Some pet insurance policies cover routine care. Here’s why you might want to avoid them

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Key points

  • Pet insurance can protect you from exorbitant costs if your pet gets sick or injured.
  • Although some policies include coverage for routine care, they are not necessarily your best bet.
  • The cost of the policy may exceed your expenses for routine veterinary care.

If you are adopting a pet, one of the most important steps you can take early on is to buy animal insurance. Without pet insurance, you could end up with thousands upon thousands of dollars in veterinary bills if your pet is injured or becomes ill and needs surgery.

Even the cost of diagnosing a medical condition can be astronomical when it comes to pets. Human health insurance will often foot the bill for things like MRIs when deemed medically necessary. But without pet insurance, you could be paying hundreds of dollars if your pet needs an X-ray and thousands for more complex tests.

But while it certainly makes sense to buy pet insurance to protect yourself from catastrophic pet care bills, it doesn’t always make sense to buy a policy that includes coverage for routine care. Here’s why.

You might end up spending more

Standard pet insurance generally does not cover routine pet care. Rather, it covers things like illnesses and injuries.

But some policies cover routine care by incorporating a wellness plan. This type of plan can entitle you to one free checkup per year at the vet, and it can even help pay for some preventative medications (dogs, for example, often take medication every month to protect themselves). against fleas, ticks and heartworms). ).

At first, a pet insurance policy with a wellness or routine care component may seem like a good idea. This way, you won’t have to factor veterinary care into your budget.

The problem with these policies, however, is that they can be very expensive. And in some cases, you’ll spend more to get coverage for routine care than you would pay for that care.

Imagine being able to buy a standard pet insurance policy for $80 a month, or a policy that includes wellness and routine care for $130 a month. All told, that’s an extra $600 a year for this upgraded policy. If the cost of your pet’s preventive medication is only $30 per month and a regular annual visit to the vet is $120, that leaves you with a total cost of $480. That’s less than you would pay for enhanced pet insurance coverage.

Also, while the wellness coverage on your pet insurance policy ends up saving you money, it may come with certain restrictions or limitations. Also, even with pet insurance, it’s common to pay for your pet’s care costs up front and then submit a complaint and wait to be reimbursed. So a policy that covers routine care may not even help you from a cash flow perspective, as you may be looking at higher monthly premiums. more all that money out of his pocket.

Run the Numbers

Getting a more comprehensive pet insurance policy might interest you. But before moving forward, analyze the numbers to see if it makes financial sense. You may find that it’s better to pay for routine and preventative care out of pocket and let your insurance policy bail you out in the event of major medical events.

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