We know that adopting a cat or a dog is expensive… That’s why, in recent years, new insurance products have appeared on the market to protect our pets.
Have you ever wondered how it works, how much it costs and if it’s worth it? Here is some information on the subject.
What is protection?
Pet insurance reimburses part of the costs if your cat or dog becomes ill or has an accident. This is therefore the equivalent of the health insurance policy that you already take out for other family members. Like any other insurance policy, there is usually a deductible to pay on claims, which increases with age.
The policies are on an annual basis, renewable each year depending on the age and health of the animal. According to the policies, they can cover only treatments due to an illness or accident, or even dental care, routine consultations and even preventive actions such as vaccines.
In most cases, pet owners must first pay the bill to the veterinarian, then have a claim form filled out and signed. If the request is approved, the pet owners then receive a check to reimburse part of the costs incurred.
What are the costs?
Most insurers offer different levels of protection at different costs. The basic level will rather cover the costs linked to illnesses and emergencies, while the more comprehensive (and more expensive) plans may offer preventive care but also sometimes even alternative therapies (such as chiropractic, physiotherapy and acupuncture for animals) as well as behavioral therapies.
For minimum protection, the monthly price starts around $ 13 per month for cats and $ 16 per month for dogs. The bill can go up quickly, however: the average would rather be between $ 30 and $ 50 per month, and the upper limit can easily reach $ 100 and even more.
From what age (and up to what age) can one take out an animal insurance policy?
In general, cats and dogs are eligible as soon as you adopt them, that is to say around 8 weeks.
Some insurance policies have an age limit for animals, however, since like humans, of course, the older they get, the more likely they are to get sick. What is certain is that the older the animal, the more expensive the insurance will be / the more the exclusions will be.
Where to shop for pet insurance?
Some traditional insurance companies, for example HBC, have plans for dogs and cats.
There are also companies that specialize in this type of policy and that offer their services in Quebec, for example:
Each company offers insurance plans with specific features: coverage is sometimes 80% and sometimes 90% of costs incurred, etc.
Is it really necessary?
In Canada, only 1% of pet owners currently subscribe to this type of policy. But it must be said that in other countries, these insurances are much more widespread: 23% of cats and dogs are insured in the United Kingdom for example and 43% in Sweden!
The answer to this question is probably in a gray area: in truth, no insurance is really essential … It is always a question of looking at the pros and cons, but also of properly assessing the risks.
Most pets will have health problems or “emergencies” in their lifetime and the bill can go up quickly! Surgery alone can cost $ 4,000 or more. It is certain that if that happens, it makes a huge hole in the budget … The sad reality is that every year, many animals that have a treatable health problem are nevertheless euthanized simply because their owners are not unable to pay for this treatment.
Here is an example calculation:
A dog insured from a very young age at a cost of $ 35 per month, that gives $ 420 per year.
After 12 years, we are talking about $ 5,040 spent on pet insurance. At this price, it is basic insurance, so it does not necessarily reimburse routine, preventive or alternative costs.
If the dog develops a serious illness or has an accident, these costs will no doubt be reimbursed. But if the animal maintains good enough health, the insurance will not necessarily have been profitable.
However, what you buy with insurance is above all a peace of mind … So every pet owner must think about the question!
Note: This article is simply intended to increase understanding of animal insurance and to provide information. Incredible Viral does not necessarily endorse the named companies, but rather wants to simply offer different choices to pet owners. It is important that readers read up well with each insurance company to specify plans and conditions.