Before you cancel your pet insurance, read this
Living in unprecedented, unpredictable and frankly, uncertain times has led a number of people to cut back on their monthly costs. Many are starting to question whether or not their insurance is worth the cost, specifically pet insurance. This informative article breaks down what you need to know about cancelling your insurance policy and why it might not be a good idea financially.
Pet insurance is an essential coverage created to help provide you with the financial support you need towards expert veterinary care in the event of unexpected (and expensive) healthcare costs.
Regardless of your financial situation or income, you most likely purchased pet insurance to help prevent your bank account from feeling the immediate effects of veterinary care, both those of wellness coverage and emergency and/or illness coverage. It’s highly unlikely that you are able to (or dedicated enough) to set aside money each month to save for vet bills. And as a responsible pet parent, you decided to purchase pet insurance to protect your finances and your pet’s health. And for that, you should be commended.
Owning a pet insurance plan means that you do not have to compromise on the quality of medical care that your pet receives. Pet insurance allows you to provide your cat or dog with the treatment they need, when they need it most, without resulting in you breaking the bank.
In some cases, pet owners might be questioning the need for their pet insurance policies due to the fact that their claims are somewhat limited and they are yet to face the consequences of unexpected vet bills. Pet insurance is an invaluable purchase and often outperforms a pet savings account.
The risks of cancelling your insurance
If you are considering cancelling your pet insurance policy, then it’s a good idea that you take some of the below risks associated with this cancellation into account.
1. What happens when your pet develops a chronic illness?
It might be possible that your pet currently does not have any existing conditions or has only had a few minor incidents or conditions arise in the past. And while I hope this remains to be the case for both your pet and you, the sad reality is that about 90% of your pet’s health conditions will only arise in the last 10% of their life. But they can also occur at any time.
If a chronic condition such as cancer, diabetes or arthritis occurs (to name a few), during a period of time that your pet is not covered by pet medical insurance, you will have to cover the costs of ongoing medical treatment. From surgery to chronic medication, all of these costs will come out of your own pocket.
2. Waiting periods & pre-existing conditions
If you decide to cancel your pet insurance policy, any health conditions that have been covered under your current insurance policy will be deemed pre-existing conditions and might not be covered by a new insurer later on down the line, or you may be subject to a waiting period that applies should the insurer cover pre-existing conditions. In most cases, the waiting period is 12 months.
Insurers all have their own waiting periods in place. Each benefit typically has its own waiting period. Accidents tend to not have any waiting periods, but other benefits such as vet visits, routine care or illness cover have periods of time that have to pass before you can claim.
3. Unexpected vet bills
While your pet might be in his best years right now and is healthy and happy, unexpected vet bills can and will arise during your pet’s lifetime. These costs will cause large amounts of both emotional and financial stress, and might even compromise the quality of care your pet receives.
Without the financial support of pet insurance, you risk the following:
A double whammy of stress: If you do not have the financial support needed to cover vet bills, then it’s likely that you will have the added stress of finances to deal with, coupled with the emotional stress linked to a sick pet.
Depleting your savings or going into debt: Out of pocket expenses are a surefire way to the depletion of savings or can result in a large amount of debt. Vet bills can quickly start to add up, and in some cases, they can cost upwards of R20 000 or more.
Economic euthanasia: This might not be something that you want to think about right now, but many pet owners are forced to choose euthanasia to prevent them from facing the consequences of expensive veterinary care. In fact, pet insurance was created by a vet who could no longer witness pet owners choosing euthanasia as a result of a difficult financial situation.
The bottom line? Rather chat to your insurer about what you can do to save costs and find a way you can both ensure your pet receives the care he or she needs, and your bank account does not have to suffer as a result of ‘attempting to cut costs’.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team