Pet insurance can be a waste of money – unless your beloved pooch or moggy has serious health issues, a report has revealed.
Research into the cost of insuring your pet compared to paying a vet bill when treatment is required has shown it works out cheaper on a pay as you go basis.
The research, carried out by ConsumerResearch.org, has found that insurance is only cheaper when it comes to treating serious conditions. For run of the mill health issues, they found it was better to pay vet bills yourself.
The research was based on the premium charges of the nine main brands in the pet insurance market.
As part of the test they used the health history of a 10-year-old beagle in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. called Roxy.
The pooch has had a few incidents including three trips to a veterinary emergency room and two dental cleaning visits under anesthesia. She has also had ear and infections and gastrointestinal distress.
When researchers adjusted Roxy’s total bills into present-day dollars and compared prices with the nine insurance companies -none of the companies would have paid out more than the premiums.
It was only when they gave the insurance companies a hypothetical, potentially costly list of ailments did they prove to work out cheaper. When Roxy’s medical history was adjusted to include chronic arthritis, incontinence as a result of spaying, hypothyroidism, the removal of a benign tumor, and euthanasia, did policies return a positive payout.
Pet insurance also paid off when researchers looked at two real-life cases involving cats with serious and costly health problems. One was a kitten whose heart surgery and follow-up care cost more than $7,000. The other was a 10-year-old cat with more than $9,000 in cancer-treatment bills. In both cases they found that all nine of the policies would have saved the owner money.
ConsumerResearch.org says: “We believe most pet owners will be better off passing up pet insurance and instead putting some money in an emergency “kitty.”