March 18, 2009 Leave a comment
Now that I have 3 animals living under my roof and I could reasonably see saving a little bit of money for them, I’ve started to wonder about getting pet insurance. Jack is a puppy, and 8 months old. Tofu and Chai are 5 year old cats. My cats are 100% indoor cats and have never been to the vet since their last round of kitten vaccinations and have not been sick since then. Jack has been to the vet three times in his short 8 months not related to vaccinations for my concern rather than his need to go.
My initial idea is to purchase 1 dog insurance policy and 1 cat insurance policy. If one of the cats gets sick and/or needs to be put to sleep then I can purchase the second. To get these 2 policies it would cost me about $44/month. It would be a $50 deductible per incident and then I’d have to pay 10% of the cost. Essentially I would probably end up paying around $200 for a major incident rather than the total cost. So the question is: Is this better than just saving the money in a savings account. Consumer reports says no. I’m not sure I agree. If I were to save $44/month for the next 8 years to pay for the unexpected medical bills of my cats I’d have $4,224. This would cover one or two incidents, but after that I’d have to save more. Perhaps nothing will happen in the next 8 years. But with 3 pets, that seems unlikely. And what if something happened in the next 3 years when I had less money saved?
I suppose I could approach this like I would any other savings issue, have an account and if the cost goes over rely on the emergency fund. I’ll have to think about this, but still wonder what is the better deal.
I don’t want routine care. The low-cost clinics are far more effective than routine care insurance. Even moderate problems like cut paws or an ear infection I could pay for on my own. I’m more worried about serious problems like Jack getting hit by a car or own of my cats getting a chronic illness. I know that RIGHT NOW I wouldn’t be able to pay for this, but am not sure if getting a pet insurance policy is the right option for me.