Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: November 1, 2022 by Crystal Uys
I’ve previously written about why I got pet insurance for Allegra and Ruby after being on the fence about it for many years. I looked at a lot of different plans, and found that there is a huge variety from plan to plan both in terms of what’s covered and what’s not, and in terms of how much is reimbursed. After making my decision and talking to people about it, I found that there are a lot of misconceptions about this topic out there. Today, I’m addressing five of the most common myths about pet insurance.
Pet insurance is too expensive
Pet insurance plans may start as low as $1 a day, depending on your pet’s age, health status, level of coverage, and the geographical area you live in. In almost any case, pet insurance premiums will be far less than the average veterinary bill. Even a fairly simple illness can easily run into the thousands of dollars.
Cats with pre-existing conditions can’t be covered by pet insurance
While it’s true that pet insurance plans won’t cover pre-existing conditions, this doesn’t necessarily mean your cat can’t be insured. Some conditions, most commonly diabetes and cancer, will limit your cat’s eligibility for coverage by an illness plan, but she would still be eligible to be covered for accidents.
My cat is too old to get pet insurance
Most plans will have age limits on coverage. They will vary by plan, but even older cats in their teens can often be insured at higher premiums. You’ll have to take your cat’s lifestyle and health status into account and do the math to determine whether it makes sense for you to pay the higher premium.
Putting money into a pet care savings account is enough
According to a recent financial study, 64% of Americans cannot come up with $1,000 in the case of an emergency. If you’re disciplined enough to set aside a good chunk of money every month for pet care expenses, than saving is absolutely the better choice for you – but how many of us will really follow through?
Pet insurance won’t let me choose my own vet
Unlike human health insurance, there are no preferred networks or HMO’s for pet insurace. Pet insurance plans are indemnity plans, which means that you pay your vet, then submit the claim to the insurance company, and the insurance company reimburses you. Pet insurance companies will never get involved in treatment decisions for your cat; they are made between you and your cat’s veterinarian.
Even though veterinary care, compared to human healthcare, is still a bargain, there’s no question that veterinary care is expensive. While pet insurance, like any other insurance, is always a gamble to some extent, it does help provide peace of mind that you won’t have to make decisions about your cat’s health based on finances.
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.