By Paula Tarpey
Our furry family members bring us lots of joy every day. Many people view their dogs or cats as another member of the family and would do anything for their pet. I am truly one of those people and I know many of our clients feel the same way.
It’s becoming more common for dogs to have knee surgeries and cancer treatments or for cats to need kidney treatments. I have had many rescue dogs throughout the years and while I love to rescue, you likely have much less information about their background and their potential health problems at the time you adopt. Animal hospital and veterinary bills from an illness or accident add up quickly. I have experienced vet bills from $3,000 - $5,000 and have heard about pet cases totaling $15,000 or more.
It’s hard to see people having to dip into their savings or retirement accounts to help their pet, so we always recommend that you investigate pet insurance for the dog or cat in your family. The monthly premiums are reasonable and can help you save money in the future. You wouldn’t dream of not having insurance for your home or a child, so why not your pet too?
Jack Stephens, DVM, who founded the pet insurance industry in the United States nearly 30 years ago offers these reasons why you should consider pet insurance:
- Allows you to pick your veterinarian. Unlike human health insurance policies that may require you to use a specific health care provider, pet insurance policies allow you to obtain care from the veterinarian of your choosing. You simply provide the veterinary bill to the insurance company for reimbursement of qualified expenses.
- Does not discriminate against any breed or age of pet. While it is advisable to obtain pet insurance as soon as you adopt your pet to obtain lower premiums, you can also insure your pet years later.
- Delivers a sense of security. Having pet insurance allows you to choose treatments for your ailing or injured pet based on the best medical option available and not restricted based on family finances. Most pet insurance policies reimburse up to 80% of costs after deductibles.
- Provides an easy way to budget pet care costs. Pet insurance policies can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. You decide which payment plan works best for you. Most plans offer discounts for additional pets in the household.
- Prevents dipping into the family’s emergency fund. True, you can set up a pet savings account, but it can be tough to discipline one’s self from dipping into this designated account when you face pricey car repairs, household renovations or other major unexpected expenses.
Talk to your veterinarian to see what plan might be best for your furry family member.
Paula Tarpey is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Kensington Wealth Partners, 7650 Rivers Edge Drive, Suite 240, Columbus OH 43235. Kensington Wealth Partners, Ltd. is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. CRN-2576670-060719