Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?

Do you really need pet insurance? Discover the answer to this widely debated question and consider the four most important questions to ask yourself that will change everything you thought you knew about pet insurance.

Is pet insurance worth it?

There seems to be a lot of debate about the pros and cons of pet insurance. Some say it is an absolute essential for any responsible pet owner while others are still not completely convinced. From cost considerations to the health and wellness needs of your pet, there’s a variety of facts to consider when deciding if pet insurance really makes sense for you and your fabulous pet.

Does pet insurance make financial sense?

The financial considerations of pet insurance can be broken down into two major considerations:

  1. How expensive are the healthcare services you expect to claim for?
  2. What kind of monthly premiums can you expect?

The typical claim amount for a pet owner can range anywhere from R1350 annually to R10 000 (or more) in one go for a single illness or accident-related treatment.

The amount you can expect to claim for differs between owners and no animal is the same.

Small things such as your pet’s age, any pre-existing conditions or a predisposition towards a certain type of illness may affect how often and how much you can expect to claim for annually. When it comes to serious health issues – such as unexpected illness or accidents – the amount of the claim can spike to a value of over R15 000.

Here are some real examples of past pet owners claims:

  1. Removal of Bladder Stones: claim for R10 304.51
  2. Abdominal Mass: claim for R9 509.49
  3. Skin condition: claim for R10 000
  4. Cancer treatment: claims or R15 000

In 2018, there was a significant 15% increase in veterinary fees, after there had already been a 10% increase the year before. So, you can see for yourself that the costs really do start to add up. After vet visits, routine care and illness treatments, there’s still the possibility of large unexpected cots that you just can’t budget for on your own.

The great news is some pet insurance plans provide cover for claims up to a max of R 45 000 (per policy year), and some may even extend their limit to provide an annual cover even greater than that, depending on the plan you purchase. Oneplan pet insurance will pay you up to R50 000 just for illness cover if you choose their pet super plan, and you can claim up to R70 000 annually overall.

Now, what’s important is to consider the cost of your monthly premiums in relation to these possible expenses. The average pet insurance claim has gone up by 75% over the last decade, while the average premium has gone up by 50%. This means that, although healthcare costs are getting more expensive, it is worth the expense since the amount people claim for is still increasing at a higher rate than the annual percentage increase of the average premium costs.

All you need to do now is find an insurer with reasonable, affordable prices, and you’re set. On average, insurance for a dog will cost R150 per month and these premiums may decrease when you add on more pets to your plan. With an affordable pet insurer like Oneplan, insurance for cats may cost as little as R60, with the option to choose a more expensive plan for additional services. 

What are the specific healthcare needs of your pet?

From treatments for congenital and hereditary conditions to regular checkups and routine care, each pet owner will have to make provisions for the different healthcare needs of their pet. Depending on how serious the illness or health-related condition of your pet and how often these necessary checkups and treatments will take place, your monthly costs for your pet can range from moderate to pretty pricey, which is why you need to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth with any insurance plan.

If your pet falls in the older age bracket, they may require more frequent checkups and are more likely to need unexpected medical attention for accidents or potential illnesses. In this case, pet insurance is going to be your most budget-friendly option as it will save you from having to handle the costs of frequent medical care and medication, as well as emergency costs, all on your own budget.

Also, be sure to check every insurer’s specific policy as the majority of pet insurers have certain age limits that apply to every plan. However, there are a few insurers like Oneplan that have no age limit for their Pet Accident Plan, which covers your pet for unexpected accidents for only R60 pm. In this way, older animals can benefit from their pet-friendly plans too.

Read: Is My Pet Too Old to Insure?

Two important questions to ask yourself that will change the way you look at pet insurance

Have you read the customer reviews and ratings?

This simple search strategy could change everything you once thought you knew about pet insurance. Many pet insurance seekers get caught up in the prices and plans but fail to read any customer reviews or consider brand ratings. Reviews help you uncover new information about pet insurers that may not be listed on their website.

You may think your chosen insurer is the right provider for you but, until you consider genuine insight and feedback from real customers, you only have half the story. Will the insurance provider put the needs of your pet first? Is the insurer really the most affordable option that still provides quality service? Does the insurer really care about the health and wellbeing of your pet or do they out profit and policy first?

For example, when looking at an insurer like Oneplan, they are top-rated for great customer service, helpful support staff, and an easy-to-use claims process.

Are you looking long-term?

Many people struggle to see the bigger picture, which is why the benefits of having insurance may be hard for some people to recognise. Pet insurance is not about getting immediate benefits here and now. Instead, it’s about the long-term advantages of being covered – no matter what situation arises.

The most important thing to consider is if your chosen pet insurance plan is a sustainable, cost-effective option for you.

The amount of time, money and stress you could save by choosing the right pet insurer is priceless, and it means that your pet will be well taken care of for years to come. That type of peace of mind is well worth the expense.

The final word

Essentially, pet insurance is a must-have for any pet owner. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending debate about pet insurance, what’s important is that you make the right decision for you and your pet. Not only will pet insurance save you money in the long run, but it will also allow you to access the best treatment and health-care services of your furry friend.

An insurer like Oneplan is perfect for those looking for a lifelong insurance provider who will have your back for the years to come. If you simply change the way you look at pet insurance and consider these simple deciding factors, it’s easy to see that pet insurance really does make sense for you and your lovable pet.

Until next time, 

The Team