It’s midnight and you are at the animal hospital with your dog. It turns out he broke his back leg and it will require orthopedic surgery. The surgery costs $2,500 with hundreds of dollars in aftercare and physical therapy. Sound familiar or scary? That is why the pet insurance industry is one of the fastest growing pet related industries.
How pet insurance works
Pet insurance companies are not charitable groups that want to help you in times of financial need. They are profitable businesses. The reason they are profitable is that they know that the risk of a payout to pet owners is less than the money they receive in total monthly premiums. They also know that the chances of your pet needing extended care when they are young are slim enough that you will have paid more than enough monthly premiums by the time they are due in the pet’s later years. Why not take advantage of the same facts? Be your own insurance company and keep all unspent money.
Pet Savings Accounts
Quality pet insurance policies range from $35-75 per month, depending on coverage and deductible. Why not put that same amount into a savings account for your pet(s)? In a year, the bill would be worth $420-900. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s pet ownership statistics, the average household spends only $378 annually on dogs and $191 annually on cats in veterinary care. Your bill would easily cover these charges.
Over your dog’s life, the account would grow to ensure care in the pet’s later years. If you considered annual exams and vaccines “deductible” and paid for them out of pocket instead of the bill, especially during your pet’s early, healthy years, the bill would be even bigger in the later years.
Another way to protect your pet savings account in the early years is to consider the addition of “catastrophic” pet insurance. These are less expensive than large policies and protect against serious injury or illness. Ultimately, the policy can be canceled if the savings account grows.
Pet insurance analysis in Consumer Reports agrees that confident pet plans are superior. Chances are in your favor that there is money left over in your pet savings account after your pet dies. You keep the money that would have been spent as monthly premiums and profits for the insurance companies. Feeding a quality diet and maximizing your pet’s health will also minimize veterinary bills and increase the value of your pet savings account.