Pet Insurance – A Waste of Money or a Life Saver?

Pet insurance is getting a lot of promotion these days with many major players in the insurance industry now offering pet insurance policies. But is there any real value in it for you?

Quite simply – yes. But, do some homework before you sign up as all policies are not created equally.

There is no public health care system for pets and so you as the owner have to cover the full cost of treatment when an accident or illness arises. Veterinary medicine is every bit as complicated as its human equivalent and thus the costs for emergency and ongoing treatment can be considerable. In the case of an accident, having a pet insurance policy in place could mean the difference in being able to proceed with a treatment to try and save the life of your pet, or otherwise having to choose the unthinkable option of having your pet euthanised.

Choice Magazine published a review of the pet insurance industry in late 2011 which identified some of the best value pet insurance plans on offer at that time, as well as pointing out some tips and traps when comparing providers. Their report is a really good place to start if pet insurance is something you have been thinking about. There are also a lot of consumer comments attached to the article where you can read other peoples opinions on various pet insurance companies they have experience with.

Recently we were talking with one of our long-term clients and she told us she took out a pet insurance option with her home and contents insurer 5 years ago for an extra $50 a year. This has been exceptional value for her and her pet Lilly as Lilly has been a bit of a problem child and has had in excess of $5000 in veterinary treatment with us in that time which has all been refunded by the insurer.

Accident and emergency cover has been literally a lifesaver for several more of our clients. The insurance they have had for their pet’s has enabled the owners to afford life saving surgery and treatments that without would have meant the pets would be no longer with us.

There are other options to insurance of course (including self-insuring, loans etc) and so it may be that you don’t need a pet insurance policy. But if you have ever thought that you may not be able to cover the costs of veterinary treatment should an unforeseen situation arise then without doubt pet insurance can offer considerable peace of mind.