Understanding the cost of pet insurance

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In the first of our two-part pet insurance series, we discussed a general overview of pet insurance terms, what to expect and what not to expect. of available fonts. Now let’s move on to the actual costs, as well as examples of two common incidents that would require emergency pet care.

Financial data site ValuePenguin found that the average monthly insurance premium for a dog was $ 42.45 in 2016 based on a $ 500 deductible, with a maximum annual payment of $ 5,000 at 80% reimbursement level for a healthy 4 year old sterilized male. Labrador retriever.

In that same study, he determined that the average monthly premium for a cat was $ 20.99 based on a $ 500 deductible, an annual maximum of $ 5,000, and a reimbursement level. 80% for a healthy 4-year-old female. As mentioned in our last column, prices vary widely depending on the animal’s chosen age, breed, weight, sex, location and level of coverage. And, as you can see, the cost of insuring cats is considerably lower than that of dogs.

We’ve chosen typical emergency medical conditions for cats and dogs to see how much you can expect insurance to cover and break them down. Owners are responsible for covering veterinary expenses up front and then submitting an invoice to their insurance company for reimbursement.

Keep in mind that the vet you choose to perform the surgery has an impact on the cost. Surgery in an emergency room, specialty or referral veterinarian will cost more than at your regular veterinarian’s office, just as seeing a specialist doctor is more expensive than seeing your family doctor.

One of the most common emergency surgical procedures for pets is the removal of a foreign object. As an example, our case study is a 5-year-old male Labrador Retriever who swallowed a sock and needs surgery to remove it. It is covered by an insurance plan that has an annual deductible of $ 250, an 80 percent reimbursement rate, and no coverage cap.

The average cost of surgery for a foreign body ingestion is $ 1,755. Please keep in mind that while this cost can vary widely, this is the estimate we are using for illustration purposes.

To determine your reimbursement with this plan, calculate as follows:

  • Total invoice, $ 1,755
  • Subtract the annual deductible, $ 250, and multiply the remaining amount by the reimbursement rate – $ 1,505 multiplied by 80 percent equal. You will be reimbursed $ 1,204
  • Your total cost is $ 801.

While you may not be able to watch your pet all the time to watch for what they ingest, there are things you can do to better protect your home from pets to avoid this kind of emergency visit. Pick up the clutter on the floor; keep medicines, cleaning products, socks and other valuables out of reach; and buy a trash can your dog can’t open or put it in a secure cabinet.

For our next case study we will be using a 5 year old tabby male who has a blocked bladder and requires surgery, perineal urethrostomy. It is covered by a similar plan, but with an annual deductible of $ 500, a reimbursement rate of 90% and no coverage cap.

The average cost of perineal urethrostomy is $ 1,500, again, keeping in mind that this cost can vary widely depending on several factors.

To determine your reimbursement with this plan, calculate as follows:

  • Total invoice, $ 1,500
  • Subtract the annual deductible of $ 500 and multiply the remaining amount by the reimbursement rate: $ 1,000 multiplied by 90%. You will be reimbursed $ 900.
  • Your total cost is $ 600.

There are various thoughts in veterinary circles on how to prevent blockages in male cats, as the cause may be unknown. However, the most common recommendations are to increase your cat’s water intake by adding high quality wet food to her diet, cleaning her litter box regularly, and keeping your pets stress free.

This is just a small glimpse into the world of pet insurance, but we hope it will help guide you as you begin your own research.

Nicole Forsyth is President and CEO of RedRover, an organization that focuses on getting animals out of crisis and strengthening the human-animal bond through emergency shelters, disaster relief services, financial aid and education. She writes Dollars and Pets for the Bay Area News Group. Send your questions to [email protected]


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