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2 Questions To Knowing When Pet Insurance Is The Right Choice


Jade Poole from I write words

Pet Insurance Is The Right Choice

Is pet insurance always necessary? We explore the top questions to ask yourself before purchasing a plan in this responsible pet parents guide to knowing when a pet insurance policy is a good idea for not only your pet’s wellbeing but for your finances too.

Veterinary medicine advances are on the rise. As vets and medical procedures allow our pets to lead longer and healthier lives, we are made increasingly aware of the costs of responsible pet ownership

Whether these costs are associated with routine healthcare or the more serious and more expensive costs of emergency and unexpected pet care, there is no way around it, pet healthcare does not come cheap.

As pet owners start to question whether or not pet insurance is a good idea (not only for their pet’s health but for their budget’s health too), I thought an article on the instances that pet insurance makes financial sense would be a fitting read for pet owners in this predicament. 

Why it pays to plan for the unexpected

Before I get into the instances in which pet insurance might be a viable option for you, I thought I would first discuss why planning for your pet healthcare needs is not an option, but a necessity.

The same way that we plan for our own medical expenses with medical aid or health insurance, we should apply this thinking to our pet’s healthcare.

In fact, have a look at this article I wrote on the differences between pet insurance or saving a monthly amount for emergencies.

Many pet parents only realise the need for pet insurance or a pet savings account when something goes wrong (i.e. their dog is involved in a fight, their kitten falls from a height or their pet is diagnosed with a serious and chronic illness). Being faced with a vet bill of R10 000 or more is the wake-up call you need to realise why it pays to budget for the unexpected.

Granted, some pet owners have a pet insurance policy that is hardly used. And whilst this is ideal for your pet’s health as it means your furry family member is leading a happy and healthy life, it may not seem as ideal for your budget as your monthly premiums seem to become a grudge purchase.

The thing is, you can never predict when something might go wrong. And inevitably, your pet will get older and with that, comes an increased risk of health concerns and expenses.

How to know when pet insurance is the right choice: 2 questions to ask yourself

I chatted to the team at Oneplan Pet Insurance to find out the top reasons as to why some of their clients have pet insurance, some of which you might find particularly interesting.

1. Will I be able to afford unexpected medical expenses out of pocket?

One of the biggest reasons why pet owners decide to purchase pet insurance is to avoid out of pocket expenses.

Whilst you might not bat an eyelid at routine healthcare costs such as check-ups and vaccinations, you will get quite a shock when your vet gives you a bill of R30 000 for emergency surgery to save your pet’s life.

In fact, your pet swallowing something she shouldn’t have can set you back R5 000 to R11 000 for surgical or endoscopic removal. Nevermind the costs of common issues such as hip dysplasia which can cost upwards of R30 000.

2. Is your pet’s health at risk?

Although this is not always an easy question to answer as even indoor pets still run the risk of developing serious diseases or hurting themselves. However, certain pets such as working dogs are particularly prone to injury.

In fact, Oneplan sponsors a K9 wildlife crime-fighting unit, Project Rhino’s K9 Unit. This team of dogs constantly put their lives on the line, meaning healthcare cover such as pet insurance goes a long way in ensuring their vet bills are covered and their health is in the best possible hands.

Another way to look at this is by chatting with your vet about the particular health risks associated with your pet’s breed. Some breeds are prone to certain conditions and diseases. The same thinking applies to older pets. The way that humans are more likely to develop chronic health issues, our pets can suffer from the same growing health concerns and costs.

The final bark

There are a number of factors that play a role in your decision to purchase a pet health insurance plan. In the end, it is entirely up to you.

A word of caution if you are avoiding pet insurance in an effort to save money, think about the financial implications surprise vet bills can have on your monthly budget. When comparing the cumulative costs of monthly premiums with the costs of a pet emergency, you will start to realise just how much financial sense pet insurance makes, nevermind the peace of mind it will give you.

Until next time,

The Pet Insurance Team

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