oneplan pet insurance

A lesson learned - how pet insurance could have saved my family a fortune in vet bills


Jade Poole

vet bills (2)

Learn from my (expensive) mistakes and witness the REAL costs of keeping a pet without comprehensive pet insurance.

Alright, this time around I’m going to change up my usual blogging strategy here, because this topic deserves your immediate attention. So, instead of my usual introductions, I thought I would start this blog off with one of the most accurate and potent quotes that I have ever read:

“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, and the lesson afterward.” – Vernon Law

This quote couldn’t reign truer when it comes to health.

More often than not, it takes a major medical emergency to prioritise our health. And the current pandemic is proof of it. All of a sudden ‘health’ is one of the most searched Google terms and individuals are panicking about protecting their wellbeing.

The exact same can be said about pet insurance.

Still to this day, the vast majority of comprehensive pet insurance policyholders decided to take out this kind of coverage after witnessing the TRUE price of owning a pet. And well, I was one of them.

An expensive mistake

Now, I will be the first person to tell you that I am a stickler for a budget. No major debit orders are made without an hour-long family meeting and a good old pros and cons list. So, when the topic of pet insurance came up, it seemed like an unnecessary purchase. My pets were chipper, happy and seemingly healthy, so why not skip out on the added expense?

This was the first mistake.

It’s easy to think of pet insurance in the short term. Your mind instantly goes to a dark place where you are seeing another harrowing amount deducted from your account every month. Instead of looking at the bigger picture, we hyper-focus on the fact that it is seemingly an unnecessary cost.

However, this was undoubtedly the biggest and most costly mistake I have ever made!

A vet bill to remember

One of the most visceral moments I have ever had in my life was when our family dog was hospitalized. All of a sudden, our hyperactive golden retriever was sluggish, sleeping and just completely run down. What we had self-diagnosed as a ‘tired baby’ was actually our family pet battling cancer.

The issue here is that as pet parents we assume that we have the knowledge to diagnose our pets ourselves. All of a sudden, we’re just claiming that certain symptoms are just exhaustion or laziness. And while these symptoms may be true, they may be a key indication that something more serious is happening.

This is something I wished I knew before.

All of a sudden, our dog is convulsing, and we are rushing to the emergency veterinarian room in the middle of the night. The kids are in tears, we’re panicking and we’re doing everything to keep our pup comfortable. As soon as we arrive at our local vet, they are hooking him up to machinery and taking blood all while we all panickedly flip through outdated magazines in the waiting room.

We were prepared to do anything to keep our dog safe. What we didn’t realise was that his health was going to set us back R8 000 in one go.

A painful reality check

Now, let the record show that this R8 000 vet bill was only the beginning of a long and expensive journey ahead. From regular check-ups to chemotherapy and prescribed medication, the costs were exorbitant – I am talking upper thousands. This life-threatening condition was absolutely wreaking havoc on our savings accounts. So much so that the topic of economic euthanasia came up - on several different occasions.

Six months down the line and we were hit with another follow-up surgery bill after our dog was experiencing heart troubles. I would mention the price of those, but you get the gist. These medical bills are not a simple and easy swipe. All of a sudden you are forced to dip into your savings and cut back on household costs in order to fork over the money for those bills.

In the midst of one of the scariest, most worrying moments of our lives, we had a major flashback to our family meeting and how we had decided to skip out on pet insurance.

The power of pet insurance

Do not recreate our mistakes. Pet insurance is an absolute essential if you are a pet owner. Not only would this kind of protection have eased our anxiety, but it also wouldn’t have threatened our financial security. After forking over R50 000 over the space of a year for pet medical procedures, spending a couple of hundred every month seems like an obvious choice.

Don’t wait until you are in the thick of an emergency to prioritise your pet’s care. Pet insurance has been designed specifically with the intent of not only making vet’s more accessible but more affordable.

Pet insurance would have been our saving grace. Let it be yours!

If you are ready to prioritize your pet’s health and wellbeing, then it’s time that you took our comprehensive pet insurance TODAY!

Until next time,

The Petinsurance Team

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