Pet Health Insurance – Seriously?

by Tim on December 13, 2010

truffle___Our family welcomed a new addition to our family last month – a puppy.  Her name is Truffle and she’s a three-month-old chocolate lab.  (Yes that really is her in the picture)   She’s been a lot of fun, but with ‘great fun comes great responsibility.’  Ok, well I made up that quote, but she is a lot of work.

If you’ve ever owned a pet, you’ll know about the financial costs associated with keeping one.  That’s another article in and of itself, but something I learned through this whole process is the idea of pet health insurance.  After the normal vet checkup, my wife came home and asked if we would get the pet health insurance for Truffle.  I stood there puzzled and said, “What?!”  I had never heard of such a thing – pet health insurance, go figure!

How Much Does Pet Health Insurance Cost?

Curious, I had to find out what the costs were with such a policy, so I did a little research.  I pulled information from three major pet health insurers and found this information for the most basic plans.

AKC Pet Health Insurance

Deductible – $100
Incident Max – $2,000
Monthly Premium – $18.42


VPI Pet Health Insurance

Deductible – $500
Incident Max – $7,000
Monthly Premium – $15.58

Pets Best Insurance

Deductible – $500
Incident Max – $2,500
Monthly Premium – $11.23

After looking at these quotes, I realized that it wasn’t THAT bad cost wise.  If I had to choose one, I suppose it would be the VPI insurance because of the maximum incident coverage, but adding an extra $15 bill to my monthly expenses didn’t seem good.

Here’s the breakdown

Monthly premium: $15
Average life of pet: 120 Months
Lifetime premium payments:  $1800
Deductible per year: $500

I guess the question is this: am I willing to pay $1800 for the lifetime of our pet to insure against the high costs of keeping her alive if she needed medical attention.  Oh and I can’t forget the $500 deductible that we’d pay before the insurance would start to cover 80% up to $7,000 of the annual bill.

The Verdict

I’m leaning towards no insurance, sorry Truffle.  Yes, the idea of putting your pet down because of a disease or cancer is a terrible thought, but pets have a limited life and will eventually pass on.  The cost of insurance is well over $2,000 and if treatment for Truffle starts to get in the 2-3k range…it’s probably a severe medical issue that is causing her so much discomfort that it may not be humane to let her suffer through it.

Have you purchased pet insurance?  Are you for or against the idea of it?

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