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HealthyAssurance by petMD

Healthy Assurance's mission is simple: To provide pet owners with unbiased, reliable, helpful, and timely information on pet insurance from a veterinarian’s perspective. And what better veterinarian to write this blog than Dr. Kenney, a small animal practioner and author of Your Guide to Understanding Pet Health Insurance

Is Pet Insurance Really Worth It?

In their latest study, Consumer Reports concluded that pet owners with mostly healthy dogs or cats will not receive back in reimbursements what they pay in premiums. But, pet owners with dogs or cats that have major illnesses or chronic diseases that result in large or frequent claims are more likely to benefit from pet insurance. Is a study really needed to figure that out?

It is true that most pet owners who purchase pet insurance will not receive back in benefits what they pay in premiums. Pet insurance companies have to take in (premiums) more than they pay out (reimbursements). Otherwise, they couldn’t stay in business. But, this is true with virtually every other type of insurance you buy.

Then why buy pet insurance? You purchase pet insurance for the unexpected major or chronic problems that you would have trouble paying for out-of-pocket, like a fracture that requires surgery, gastrointestinal foreign body, Cushings disease, diabetes or arthritis. I often tell pet owners that pet insurance isn’t for the $150 urinary tract infection, but for the $3500 fracture repair, etc.

In the study, Consumer Reports compared premiums with reimbursements, from puppyhood until Roxy was ten years old. But many of the chronic and costly diseases that pets get occur during their senior years. Remember, if your pet lives long enough, it is inevitable that he or she will develop one or more chronic diseases that can usually be managed successfully with either surgery or medication — sometimes over several years. Cumulatively, this can sometimes add up to a significant expense.

Trupanion was the only newer company that they included in the study, and they reimbursed the most when compared to the other three companies. I think it would have been interesting to see how all of the newer companies would have fared in the study.

Consumer Report’s overall recommendation is that pet owners should open a savings account to pay for their pet’s healthcare expenses instead of buying a pet insurance policy. People who have lost sight of the primary purpose of pet insurance usually make this recommendation. I addressed this in a previous blog post.

Is the decision to purchase pet insurance always just a matter of dollars and cents? I think not, because many pet owners who purchase pet insurance realize that it’s possible they won’t ever be reimbursed the amount they pay in premiums. They do it for the peace of mind - knowing that they will be able to treat their beloved pet just in case something unexpected and costly does occur.

If we could just get Consumer Reports to use their crystal ball to forecast for pet owners who may be interested in purchasing pet insurance whether their pet will be mostly healthy or not — now that would be really helpful!

Dr. Doug Kenney

Pic of the day: like a new cat (after surgery a few weeks earlier) by Shira Golding

cat after surgery, pet insurance, is pet insurance worth it, pet emergencies

Comments  6

Leave Comment
  • Pet health assurance
    06/30/2012 02:45am

    This is a great article to know about the pet insurances. Most of the people love to have cat and dog. They love pets as a family member. So, it is necessary to have best plan to cover the expenses reacted to the security of act or dog. Thanks for providing this helpful information.

  • Pet insurance
    03/21/2013 04:55am

    Pet insurance is good for unexpected accidents and illnesses. They can get expensive quickly, so it's nice to have insurance to cover the costs. Pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions, so if your pet is already sick or injured, it is unlikely that pet insurance will cover the costs to treat it.

  • Pet Insurance
    05/22/2013 09:31am

    I have little knowledge about pet health insurance. Anyone can tell me details about this. What are the terms of policy of pets insurance? How pet owners claim his money? This is really interesting news for me. And thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful post.

  • pet insurance
    06/19/2013 03:16am

    Pet insurance can be pretty expensive but can cost you even more if you don't have it due to the high medical care cost at the hospital. Some owners will go as far as buying pet life insurance for their pet.

  • 07/12/2013 01:52am

    Yeah, some people will buy [url=https://www.nber.com/buy-pet-life-insurance/]pet life insurance[/url] for their pet. A lot of people's love for their pet is really unconditional.

  • 08/03/2013 09:01pm

    I found the best Insurance Company, its Fleet Insurance http://www.fleetinsurancequote.co they are very co-operative and understanding. I love there services.


About Healthy Assurance

  • Dr Kenney, DVM
    Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB

    Doug Kenney practices small animal medicine and surgery at Houston Levee Animal Hospital in Cordova, Tennessee. He has a special interest in wellness care...

    Extended Bio