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Should I get pet insurance or just save?

As a pet owner, you want the best for your four-legged family. But what happens when they become unwell or injured? The costs of veterinary care can be overwhelming, depending on the severity of your pet’s condition. A common question is, should you get pet insurance or just save?

There is no right or wrong answer as this is wholly dependent on your personal circumstances. In the majority of cases, as a veterinary practice, we would always recommend insuring your pets. 

So why should we insure our pets?

One major advantage of pet insurance is that it provides financial protection against unexpected veterinary expenses. Accidents happen, and pets become unwell unexpectedly, just like humans do. When this happens, having pet insurance can save you from having to make difficult decisions about your pet’s health, based on financial constraints. As vets, we want to provide your pet with the absolute best level of care and therefore, chance of recovery, but with advanced medical care comes higher costs. We don’t want this to factor into the level of care we can provide. 

Depending on what type of insurance policy you take out, it can also cover ongoing treatment costs to support recovery, such as physiotherapy or alternative treatment costs. Many pet insurance companies offer customisable plans. This means you can choose exactly what cover you want and adjust your premiums accordingly.

Could I just save money each month instead?

On the other hand, some people argue that it’s better to save money monthly instead of paying for pet insurance. The idea is that you put away a certain amount each month into a dedicated savings account for your pet’s health care costs. However, it’s often a balancing act between how much you can afford and when you can afford it, should the worst happen unexpectedly. Depending on your pet’s condition at the time of needing treatment, costs can run into the thousands. If you are in a position to cover this, insurance may not be required. 

One advantage of this approach is that if your dog stays healthy, you won’t have “wasted” money on premiums for insurance that you didn’t use. You can use the money saved for anything else you want.

Another point in favour of saving – you won’t have to deal with the restrictions/limitations that come with pet insurance policies. For example, some policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions or have waiting periods before coverage kicks in.

Making the right decision

So, should you get pet insurance or just save? The answer depends on several factors. If your pet is prone to health issues due to its breed/age, pet insurance might be a good investment. Similarly, if you can’t afford a large vet bill out of pocket, pet insurance provides peace of mind – arguably priceless!

That said, if your pet is generally healthy and you’re disciplined enough to regularly put money aside to cover costs at a moment’s notice, saving might work for you. Similarly, you may already have the financial means to cover these costs either way.

Before making a decision, it’s important to do thorough research. Compare different policies for your pet and the cost versus their coverage. Read the fine print carefully so you understand exactly what’s covered and what’s not.

Whether to get pet insurance or save is a personal decision. It depends on your financial situation and your pet’s health needs. Whichever you choose, remember – the goal is to ensure your furry friend can receive the care needed, when it’s needed. After all, our pets are more than just animals. They’re part of our family, and we never know when they may be in need.

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