Unexpected visits to the vet can cost thousands of dollars, and for many people it can mean a significant financial burden, or difficult decisions to be made about treatment for their beloved pet. Liz Walden answers our question: Does it pay to get pet insurance?

Does it pay to get pet insurance?

Some pet owners feel that they are not getting value from their insurance if they are not getting back more (or at least the same) as they put in.  But that’s not how insurance works – and there is really no one answer to the question of whether or not pet insurance pays off.

Simply put, insurance (all kinds) works through the concept of “pooling”.  So all the premiums from all customers is put together, so that when there is a claim on a policy, the funds are taken from the pool.  So in this way, each pet owner (policyholder) who does not claim in a year (for example) is assisting other pets who unfortunately had an event that required vet care.  Of course the tables can turn, and those who have not needed money from the pool in one year may need it in another year.  So this is why sometimes pet parents can feel as though they are paying out but not getting anything back, but others are very happy to be receiving hefty reimbursements on their vet bills.

At the end of the day, it’s not really a financial question and it may sound corny, but with pet insurance you are buying peace of mind – knowing that if the unexpected happens to your fur friend, you will be able to give your pet the very best of care, and manage the vet’s bills, without being faced with difficult choices.

The idea with insurance is that you put aside a small amount each month, and then if disaster strikes and your pet needs serious vet care, the insurer will help with the vet’s bills, alleviating financial stress and enabling you to make decisions in the best interest of your pet, without worrying about the bills.

With pet insurance many customers do get out more than they put in, but that’s not always the case – depending on how lucky (or unlucky) your pet is with respect to contracting an illness, or getting an injury.

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Author bio
Liz Walden has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Petsecure Pet Insurance (www.petsecure.com.au) to Australian pet lovers.  She is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by by those who work to promote a better life for all animals.  Liz is also passionate about education that supports responsible pet ownership, and strongly believes that all pets deserve the very best care.

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  1. We ranked up an $8k vet bill for our cat in 2 weeks the health fund paid us back 80% no questions asked, for us we have well and truly got our monies worth

  2. I think it depends on how financial you are. If you have access to funds to pay the bill it’s a great idea. If you don’t have a spare credit card I don’t think it’s worth it.

    I was paying a small fortune each month on pet insurance for our dogs thinking I was being responsible but when we had a large bill for a broken leg, I needed to come up with several thousand overnight before it would be reimbursed. In the end I had to ask family and friends to chip in and was able to repay them quickly but it would have been easier and much less embarrassing to have put the premiums in an account so that I did actually have the money available.

    1. Pet Problems Solved with Dr Jo It was actually my dog who broke his leg and I needed several thousand dollars for his surgery which I didn’t have. I did have top pet cover with a company that paid 100% of the bill minus the excess but that didn’t help at all when the Vet wanted $ right away.

    1. Yes I have. I make fortnightly deposits a priority out of my budget – more than what I would pay for insurance. I call it their ‘pocket money’ and also use it for their food and ongoing expenses. I’m on the disability pension and saving money specifically for them gives me peace of mind.

  3. I had insurance for my oldest cat, and it was great, because he needed an $1,800 operation. But now, unemployed, and with 4 cats, I can’t afford the premiums. In the past 3 years,none of them has needed more than a few hundred dollars of vet treatment.

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