A common question asked by most owners is whether or not we believe they should insure their pets. Like anything else we insure, it’s a preventative measure to avoid the unknown – the big bills that can pop up when an unplanned circumstance arises.
Stats Canada reports that Canadians own about eight million dogs and cats nationwide, and spend about $1.2 – 4 billion a year on their food, preventative health care, and emergency care. That’s a lot of money annually! Though pet insurance doesn’t necessarily cover all of those costs, it can be a great tool to help cover those large unexpected costs for surgeries, medications and continuing care that come along with emergencies and health conditions your pet may develop that no one can plan for.
In Canada, we have about 10 insurance companies that provide coverage for your furry friends. Here is the list of the ones I know:
- Western Financial
- PC Pet Insurance
- 24 Petwatch
- Purina Insurance
- Pets + Us
- Cherry Blue Pet Insurance
- Ontario SPCA Pet Insurance (Ontario residents only)
Most insurance companies charge a monthly fee based on the coverage selected and a deductible upon registration. The deductible must always be paid off before the owner will start to receive compensation for costs. During my research, I found that most of the websites were really helpful and had easy navigation, as well as the ability to have a pre-quote done to determine the prices of coverage for your specific animal and their needs. I also noticed that most insurance companies will NOT cover pre-existing conditions that your animal may have. This is where doing your research before deciding is always VERY important.
Now, back to the real question: should you have pet insurance?
It’s always hard to say if or when your pet may have a medical emergency, and the worst decisions I’ve ever witnessed in a clinic environment is the panic when the cost of medical care far exceeds what an owner can afford. Stats Canada reported that last year alone, a third of the animals owned in Canada required medical care. That’s a pretty high number! To be honest, I can’t give you a yes or no answer. If you know that the breed of animal you have is susceptible to certain health issues, then I would say that it’s probably a good idea to start planning ahead, but unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball to try and tell the future. All I can tell you is that if you like to plan ahead and avoid those worst case scenarios, pet insurance is probably a good idea to ensure peace of mind.
Written by Morinville Veterinary Clinic