Huskey dog and gray cat
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Can You Afford NOT to Consider
Affordable Pet Insurance?

~Crunching the Numbers~   

Affordable pet insurance - What do I mean by that?

Have you ever counted the cost of owning a pet? I wish I had thought about it more carefully and considered the full scope of my responsibility when I brought my first pet home years ago. Raising a pet is a choice we freely make and we need to consider how that choice impacts our lives and our pet's lives.

I wish I had considered that my adorable, cuddly little puppy might possibly get sick or become injured some day and need unexpected veterinary would have saved me a lot of heartache, and suffering, and stress, and oh yeah, money! I could go on and on, but the good news is it doesn't have to be this way.

First let me clarify; I do not sell pet insurance. I'm simply a pet parent who has suffered a lot of heartache and tragedy with my pets, not to mention financial hardship. I'm simply hoping to impact others to see the necessity of being prepared for the unexpected.

My personal story...
cat looking at dog

Let's take a realistic look at the cost of
not considering affordable pet insurance.

Scenario #1) The Well-Prepared Pet Owner

Let's pretend you're currently the proud pet parent of a young, energetic, pup named Sparky, (we'll give him a name just for the sake of keeping it real).

Let's assume you've done your homework, you've compared pet insurance companies and the policies that they offer. Maybe you found a low cost pet insurance policy, but you're unsure whether it will be enough.

Most of these companies also offer a supplemental 'wellness' plan to help with the cost of annual exams, but it's just too expensive an option for you at this time. Now, don't make any decisions until you've received all of the quotes and you've read, and re-read them carefully.

Finished, great! Now let's move on. You've decided on pet insurance company (A), and you choose one of the affordable pet insurance options which should cover most health or accident emergencies.

The cost of your new policy is: $19.00 per month and has a $250 deductible. Your new policy reimburses you 80% of all allowable claims.

Now let's pretend Sparky has no accidents and suffers no health problems for the first three years he's with you:

Monthly premiums: $19.00 x 12 months = $228
$228 x 3 years (36 months) = $684

After three years you have a whopping investment in your "affordable" pet insurance policy of $684 and you've never even filed a claim??? Congratulations!

OK, now take a deep breath... You're probably asking yourself at this point whether or not this affordable pet insurance is worth it, and whether you should continue paying for it? After all Sparky got a clean bill of health again this year and there are no signs of anything changing, right? Wrong!

Insurance shouldn't be considered an investment you're going to get something back from. You're purchasing peace of mind. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you'll never have to put your finances before the veterinary medical care your pet may someday need. The peace that comes from knowing that you have made a commitment to your pet and you can keep that commitment no matter what, because he is completely dependent on you for ALL his needs.

If your pet lives his entire life without ever having a medical emergency, then you are very fortunate indeed! But according to recent statistics that's not very likely! Some studies suggest one-in-three pets are expected to become ill or suffer at least one injury or illness during their lifetime that leads to unexpected veterinary care.

blue line

Now back to our story...

Let's break down the cost of all your pet's normal routine veterinary care over the period of a year, without anything extraordinary happening.

Your affordable pet insurance premiums are $228. Let's assume your annual wellness exam runs about $140 (and believe me this number can vary.)

Your pet's annual dental cleaning can cost somewhere around $120 (depending on his size) and then there is an additional $60 or more for recommended blood work screening. (Note: If your pet is over a certain age annual blood work screening may well be required before his teeth can be cleaned.)

(Hey, what about including flea & heart worm prevention in your annual expenses? Although most of us are using some form of flea & heart worm prevention for all or most of the year, we're going to leave this expense out since for this example as it can vary for each family.)

$228 - Annual premiums for your affordable pet insurance
$140 - Annual wellness exam
$180 - Annual dental cleaning with blood work
$548 - Total (Ouch! One could certainly make a case for the supplemental Wellness coverage if you can afford it!)

Now let's pretend that during Sparky's fourth year with you he runs out into the street and gets hit by a car and suffers several serious injuries (it's only pretend remember). His leg has been broken in a couple of places and he has some internal injuries as well.

He will need surgery, a short stay in intensive care (ICU), and several days of recovery in the animal hospital. He will also take home several of prescription medications and need some veterinary aftercare.

After all is said and done, Sparky is as good as new, and his medical bills total $5600. You have paid your bill, (because most veterinary hospitals require payment at time of service), and you submit your claim to your affordable pet insurance company.

 $250 - Your deductible
$1070 - Your 20% of allowable expenses
$1320 - Your total out of pocket expenses

$4280. - The amount your affordable pet insurance company reimburses you for 80% of allowable expenses related to this accident.

OK, we're still in year four here, so we must look at your total veterinary expenses for the year.

$228 - Annual affordable pet insurance
$140 - Annual wellness exam
$180 - Annual dental cleaning with blood work
$1320 - Sparky's accident expenses
$1868 - Total veterinary expenses for year four
hound dog

OK, you're in shock again, so let's take a look at this same four years without having purchased affordable pet insurance.

Scenario #2) The Not-So-Prepared Pet Owner

Here's a look at the numbers

$140 - Annual wellness exam
$180 - Annual dental cleaning with blood work
$320 - Total veterinary expenses per year

Now add in the expense of Sparky's accident-

$5600 -
(Sparky's accident)
$320 - (annual veterinary expenses)
$5920 - Total

Feeling any better now?

Let's take it one step further. You add up your total veterinary expenses for the four years you've had Sparky and you were prepared for emergencies by purchasing affordable pet insurance.

$548.00 (pet insurance, annual exam, dental)
x 4 years
= $2192.
(total annual care)
+ $1320 (Sparky's 4th year accident)
$3512 - Total cost of veterinary expenses over first four years including your affordable pet insurance.

Yes, you know what's coming; the same scenario, but sadly not having purchased the affordable pet insurance...

$320 (pet insurance, annual exam, dental)
x 4 years
(total annual care)
+$5600 (Sparky's accident)
$6880 Total costs of veterinary expenses for the same four years.

...So, by purchasing affordable pet insurance, you would have saved yourself $3368 from only one health emergency, not to mention the pain and suffering you would have been spared. And God forbid there should be more than one accident or health emergency as was my case!

So I ask you,
 can you afford
NOT to consider affordable pet insurance??
puppy with questions
One or more of these tragedies over the lifetime of your pet can rock your financial boat in ways you don't want to consider.

Compare and Prepare!
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