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Pet insurance - a waste of money or a great deal?

   

Jade Poole from I Write Words

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Is pet insurance really worth it or are we wasting our money? The answer to the question everyone is asking

When it comes to our pets, or rather, our furry members of the family, we will do anything and everything to make sure they are happy and healthy.

No matter what happens, we will always be there for them, trying to keep them safe.

But obviously, keeping our precious pooches or fussy felines safe is not always possible. There are times when accidents are completely out of our control and all we can do is make sure they recover to the best of their abilities. And often, this recovery includes an expensive trip to the vet (or two).

Picture this scenario…

Your 8-month-old puppy just grabbed a chicken bone off your plate and swallowed it whole. At this very moment, you might be worried about a number of things, but the cost of the vet bill is not one of them.

You rush to the emergency vet clinic, it’s Sunday night and you’re scared, naturally.

The vet tells you that it will cost you about R21 000 for manual extraction and this might be more if your precious Rex needs surgery.

The life or death of your dog depends on your willingness to put the bill on your credit card immediately. 

This is the kind of situation that pet insurance was made for. And luckily, in this instance, you have it.

This means that you will be reimbursed for the bill by your insurer. It’s that simple.

Here’s the answer...

So, the simple answer as to whether having pet insurance is really worth the money?

Damn straight it is.

The reason for pet insurance

Did you know that pet insurance was created to stop pet owners from having to make life or death decisions about their pets based on their own ability to pay the vet bills?

A vet in Idaho, Dr Jack Stephens, created the first every pet insurance policy in 1981 when he found himself haunted after having to put down a dog because the owners simply could not afford the treatment.

The cost of owning a pet

If you are a pet owner, then you will know that having a cuddle bestie doesn’t come cheap.

Think about it this way, owning a pet could entail an emotional and financial investment of 10 to 20 years!

So many people underestimate the cost of owning a pet - big mistake!

Let’s give you some basic figures:

The first 6 months of owning a pet can cost you between R5000 and R10 000 - this includes vaccinations, deworming and food.

From here, the yearly total of owning a pet can cost as much as R15 000, that is R1250 a month.

And if anything goes wrong, surgery can cost you thousands of rands in one go.

The cost of pet insurance

So, now that we have a basic and rather scary idea of how much it really costs to own a pet, let’s take a look at how much pet insurance costs…

To get some figures for this part of the article, I had a look at Oneplan. An insurer who is upping the pet insurance game by offering benefits that no other insurer is, such as paying you before you see the vet and allowing you to go to any vet you like.

Anyways, Oneplan has 3 different pet plans.

The Pet Hospital Plan costs R142 a month. That’s a total of R1704 a year. In this plan your pet is covered for:

●     accident cover, up to R32 000

●     illness cover, up to R30 000

●     And kennel fees if something happens to you

Then we have the Pet Classic Plan at R278 a month and the Pet Super Plan at R390 a month.

What’s awesome about these 2 plans is that they both include visits to the vet and routine care.

That means you are covered for check-ups, vaccinations, other day-to-day care procedures and accidents!

What it comes down to

Although the routine care procedures such as vaccinations and deworming might not cost that much money, they do add up.

And then, and we hope this never has to happen to any of our precious pets if something goes wrong (because accidents can and do happen), you will end up with a bill costing you tens of thousands of rands.

Let’s not forget when the time comes to say goodbye to our furry family members and we have to put them down due to age, this could end in a bill of R3000 or more.

Where to go from here

The responsible thing to do (for your wallet and your pet) is to get pet insurance. And the trick is to get it as soon as possible to make use of vaccination benefits and ensure your pet is covered right from the start.

You’d be barking mad if you didn’t.

Until next time,

The Pet Insurance Team 

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