Why Pet Insurance?

How Much Can I Benefit by Having Pet Insurance?

The quick answer is, it depends. Pet insurance is a tool that can help prevent you from burning through your savings to cover your pet’s unexpected vet bills. Let’s understand how much you can save in the long term having pet insurance.

Owning a pet can be considered one of the most beautiful things to do in a lifetime. It is not an easy job though. The routine vet visits, grooming, vaccinations, diet, toys, beds, treatments for medical conditions, and a hundred more things are essential parts of pet ownership. Vet visits may cost you thousands of dollars in total over the course of your pet’s life. And this is where pet insurance can help.

What Do Pet Insurance Plans Cover?

Most pet insurance policies include coverage for:

  • Injuries and accidents, including:

    • Bite wounds

    • Swallowing harmful objects

    • Broken bones

  • Emergency pet care, which can include:

    • Poisoning

    • Severe Pain

    • Labored breathing

    • Difficulty in breathing

    • Eye injuries

    • Vomiting and diarrhea

  • Prescription medication – Many pet insurance plans cover the eligible costs of prescription medication given to treat a condition that is covered under the policy.

  • Cancer – Many accident and illness plans cover cancer treatments, as long as it’s not a pre-existing condition.

  • Surgeries and hospital visits – Surgeries such as an obstruction in the intestines or a bladder stone are usually covered by insurance. Accidental injuries that require surgery, such as a broken leg, can be covered as well.

  • Specialty care – Including veterinary specialists like

    • Orthopedists

    • Oncologists

    • Internal medicine specialists

    • Ophthalmologists

    • Neurologists

    • Radiologists

    • Cardiologists

  • Diagnostic tests – Including X-rays, lab work, MRIs.

This list is not exhaustive, and coverage varies depending on the provider.

Let’s Calculate the Potential Savings with Pet Insurance

Premiums – On average, pet insurance for dogs cost around $39. For cats, it’s around $29 per month.1 The amount can vary depending on the breed and age of the pet, where you live, and the plan you choose. Using these averages as our base rate, you could be paying somewhere around $350 - $470 per year for pet insurance for your pet.

Now let’s look at some scenarios where you would have to spend on vet bills –

  • Accident – If your pet gets hit by a car, gets injured in a fight, or swallows a toy by mistake, your vet bill here including the medication and the aftercare could easily be upwards of $2,000.2 Assuming all of the costs included on the veterinary bills are eligible for reimbursement, and the pet insurance plan has a $250 deductible with an 80% reimbursement rate, you would have to spend $250 (deductible) + (20% of 2000-250) = $600. After reimbursement, your money spent of $600 could have been $2000 without pet insurance.

  • Illness – Cats and dogs of all breeds are at risk of developing medical conditions. These conditions can include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, cancer, arthritis, and hundreds of others. Depending on the breed, the probability of developing these conditions may vary. These diseases are not cheap to treat. Including the medication costs, specialist visits, etc. the total cost could be $2,000 or more.1

The actual cost may depend on the seriousness of the condition. If you now just calculate reimbursement looking at a vet bill of $8000; assuming all of the costs included on the veterinary bills are eligible for reimbursement, your out-of-pocket expense for a vet bill with a plan that has a $500 deductible and $10,000 annual limit with a 90% coverage would be $500 (deductible) + 10% of $7500 = $1250. After reimbursement, you could have just saved a whopping $6850!

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

It has been observed that 1 in 2 pets will experience an emergency in their lifetime.3 Although we want to do everything we can to help protect our fur babies from harm, accidents or illnesses can strike at any time. Having the right pet insurance plan could help you worry less about the potential thousands of dollars that you may need to spend in case of an unexpected emergency.

  1. "Best Pet Insurance Companies in Canada," MarketWatch Guides, https://www.marketwatch.com/guides/pet-insurance/pet-insurance-canada, Feb. 1, 2024.

  2. "How Much Does an Emergency Vet Visit Cost..." Toronto North Animal Hospital, https://www.tnah.ca/how-much-does-emergency-vet-visit-cost/, Sep. 18, 2023.

  3. “Fifi, Fido, & Affordability,” Angus Reid Institute, https://angusreid.org/canada-pandemic-pets-veterinarians-insurance, Nov. 17, 2022.

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