Posted August 6, 2013
Americans love their pets, with at least one in three people owning one dog or cat. Last year pet owners invested more than $53 billion to care for their canines and felines, reports the American Pet Products Association. The cost to feed, medicate, board and groom pets has more than doubled in the past 20 years, causing many owners to wonder whether they should consider pet insurance.
According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, there are three types of pet insurance policies offered by several insurance companies, with the deductible chosen reflected in the premium cost:
- Accident only – premiums cost about $10 to $20 monthly for dogs, less for cats
- Accidents and illnesses (major medical plan) – premiums average $30 to $40 monthly
- Wellness (vaccinations and checkups), accidents and illnesses – on average premiums range from $60 to $75 each month
Many insurance policies pay 80 percent of the veterinarian bills once the deductible is satisfied.
While pet insurance may seem like a good investment, experts recommend reviewing the cost of insurance over the life of the pet. For example, if the premium for one pet were $30 monthly, the annual cost would be $360. If the pet lives at least 10 years, the owner would pay at least $3,600 for insurance. Then add in out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and the copay percentage, and the total investment may be more than expected.
With the growth in pet ownership, many employers are offering pet insurance plans for employees as a value-added benefit. According to Bloomberg Business Week, one-third of Fortune 500 companies now include pet insurance options in employee benefit packages.
To learn more about the benefits and costs of pet insurance, review these articles: