Provided by Money.com
Managing the Cost of Pet Ownership
The rewards of sharing our lives with Frenchies are vast. Dogs (and pets in general) provide companionship, comfort, and emotional support. They also bring levity into our lives: have you seen just how many funny or heart-warming French Bulldog videos go viral online? Some studies go as far as to suggest pet people live longer than their more boring, pet-less counterparts.
However, pet ownership also comes with responsibilities. We’ve said this before, but it bears repeating–if you’re thinking of getting a French Bulldog, you should consider carefully whether you’re ready to make a lifelong commitment to someone who will be dependent on you for everything. From small things likes belly rubs to big things like health and survival, it’s all on your plate.
The Biggest Expense in Pet Ownership
Next to food, vet bills make up the largest portion of what you’ll be spending money on as a pet owner. Some veterinary expenses are par for the course, like the cost of annual check-ups and booster shots. However, accidents and illnesses usually fall into the category of unexpected expenses, and many pet owners find themselves financially ill-prepared for them. But thankfully, the pet insurance industry seems to keep growing and is now more commonplace and accessible than ever.
The animal insurance industry (which has really blown up in the past decade) actually has a rich, hundred-year long history. Back then, policies were mostly written to protect farmers’ livelihood–farm animals. The first American dog to have health insurance was the beloved animal film star Lassie the Rough Collie. But nowadays, there are a lot of lucky dogs (and cats and birds and iguanas) out there with families that want to make sure they’re doing all they can for them.
Pet insurance is an effective way of “budgeting” for emergency veterinary expenses. Is it right for you and your furry family, thought? That’s another matter entirely–but keep reading and you might just find out.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Pet insurance policies are just as varied as any other type of insurance policy you might buy. The best pet insurance policies not only cover emergency procedures but also cover a wide range of expenses associated with the injury or illness, including diagnostic procedures, hospitalization, surgery, intensive care, medications, and even physical therapy. Some pet insurance companies allow you to build your own policy by choosing either accident or illness coverage, or both. As pet lovers ourselves, we recommend going for both. As you know, life with pets can be very unpredictable (yet never boring)! In addition, some insurers offer wellness coverage that reimburses you even for routine care like vaccinations and certain checkup procedures. It’s also worth noting that that particular option is typically on the more expensive side. Basically, it pretty much costs as much to have the coverage as it does to pay for the care out of pocket. But if you’re particularly finicky about your Frenchie, it can give you the most peace of mind.
How to Compare Pet Insurance Policies
Shopping smartly pays off in the pet insurance category as much as it does in any other—however, the pay-off is often more than monetary. Finding a good pet insurance provider can truly be lifesaving for your pet. We recommend you compare at least a handful of policies before making a decision either way. The good thing is, many pet insurance companies make that process easy by offering fast online quotes. The trick is to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples—or French Bulldogs to French Bulldogs, as the case may be. Some insurers allow you to fine-tune your policy by adjusting benefit limits, co-pay percentages, and deductibles. That’s one way to help you find a plan that suits your budget. If you’re serious about comparing the nitty-gritty details, you’ll want to be clear on several key points for each one you’re considering:
- What are the annual benefit limits?
- What are the lifetime benefit limits?
- How much is the deductible?
- What percentage of each bill does the policy cover?
If you can, structure each quote you request the same way–all with the same benefit limits, deductibles, and co-pay percentages.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
In truth, there’s no easy and responsible answer to that question. Pet insurance premiums may vary a lot based on a number of factors. These include the type of pets you have, their age, and your location. You’ll be asked to provide these details when you request a quote. You can usually purchase very good coverage for dogs that run between $40 and $50 per month. Cat policy premiums are around $25 per month. One last thing: don’t forget to ask about multi-pet discounts if you’re lucky enough to share your home with more than just one pet!