Should You Spring for Pet Insurance? -- Savings Experiment

Should You Spring for Pet Insurance
Should You Spring for Pet Insurance

We all love our pets, but when your furry friend gets hurt or sick, the medical expenses can be more than your budget can handle. Here we help you determine whether pet insurance is worth the investment.

Let's start with the three different types of coverage you can get. Accident coverage is the most common and every pet health insurance company should offer this, regardless of your pet's age. Meanwhile, illness coverage is more limited and becomes more expensive as your pet gets older. Finally, wellness coverage is for routine annual exams, and according to Consumer Reports and Checkbook.org, it's not generally worth the cost since an annual checkup is usually something you can safely cover on your own. In this case, paying your vet directly can help you to avoid the extra sales charges from the insurance company.

Next, do a little research to understand exactly what the insurance will cover. Coverage varies from policy to policy so pay close attention to the terms for each plan. In general, most policies will cover things like diagnostic tests, surgeries, medications and treatment. Dental work and preexisting conditions are usually not covered, so keep that in mind.

One last thing to consider are the factors that will affect the cost of your insurance. While most companies offer a variety of plans for every budget, how much you pay depends on factors like where you live, your pet's health history, breed, age and gender, the deductible and the amount of coverage. Watch out for premium increases, too, which can vary by state.

So, is pet insurance worth it? It really depends. Evaluate your financial situation and how much you're willing to pay for some peace of mind. Because when it comes to providing a long and happy life for your pet, a little financial planning can go a long way.

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