I came across an article describing one family's journey when deciding whether or not to purchase pet insurance for their pets. One reason I think it is worth reading is that it talks about many of the objections that some people have to pet insurance.
First of all, rather than purchasing pet insurance, they decided to open a savings account to pay for their pet's healthcare expenses. They quickly learned that while this strategy works great if your pet remains relatively healthy, it has serious shortcomings if your pet experiences one or more serious accidents and illnesses.
Because they had experienced significant veterinary expenses with one of their pets, when they started looking at pet insurance policies, it was easy to spot those policies that would have left them still having to pay most of the bill out of pocket. Although most claims that pet owners pay will be relatively small, you want your policy to cover you if and when the really expensive events happen. That's why I've always encouraged pet owners who are researching pet insurance to look at a policy in light of what their out of pocket expenses would be should they face a $5,000, $10,000 or even higher bill. The worksheets included in the Pet Insurance Toolkit allow you to calculate your out of pocket expense (including the annual premium) when getting a quote on policies offered by pet insurance companies in the United States.
Be sure to read a sample policy before purchasing pet insurance from a company. Look at not only the lifetime, annual, or per-incident limits, but also look at coverage for items like alternative therapy, prescription pet foods, behavioral therapy, chronic conditions, hereditary conditions, and special treatments like stem cell therapy that might have lower limits or may not be covered at all. Ideally, you want all of these things covered up to the maximum limits of the policy.
One reason I designed and published the Pet Insurance Toolkit is to help pet owners understand how pet insurance works and then provide a step-by-step way to research all the insurance companies and compare them side-by-side in order to make a wise decision. In the Pet Insurance Guide Podcast, I've interviewed representatives of many of the pet insurance companies providing further insight into the pet insurance industry and specifically their policies.
Note: This blog does not endorse specific pet insurance companies, but strives to be an unbiased source of information to educate pet owners about the industry.