It’s unfortunate that 42% of pet owners have gone into debt because of their pets’ needs, according to data from Lemonade. But putting pet insurance in place could potentially help you avoid that situation (or at least avoid it to some degree).
A pet insurance policy might pick up the tab (or the bulk of it) when your animal needs costly surgery or medical treatment. And having pet insurance might spell the difference between getting stuck with a massive load of credit card debt or not.
But even if you have pet insurance, it’s important to have savings for pet care. Here’s why I make a point to set aside funds for my dog’s care on a regular basis.
You might still have to shell out some money
Having pet insurance gives me peace of mind. But it doesn’t give me a free pass to not save for my dog’s care every month.
See, like many insurers, my pet insurance company requires me to pay for my dog’s services out of pocket and then submit a claim. If that claim is approved, I get reimbursed. But that doesn’t always happen right away. So I still need a way to be able to pay for my pet’s care on the spot and potentially wait beyond my credit card bill’s due date to get paid back.
Now, I’ll also say that in addition to saving a preset amount of money every month for my dog’s care, I have a separate pet care emergency fund. The purpose of this is to cover a large medical expense that my insurance company may not pay for.
My dog has a pre-existing condition — arthritis. So the pills he takes daily to manage that condition aren’t covered by our insurance policy. Thankfully, they’re not so expensive.
Meanwhile, it may come to be that one day, my dog needs surgery to treat his arthritis, only it’s not a covered expense since it relates to a condition he had before our pet insurance policy was put in place. I would hate the idea of seeing my dog suffer due to a lack of funds on my part. So I have several thousand dollars socked away in the bank just in case I’m ever forced to pay for a major medical expense my insurance won’t pick up the tab for.
Always be prepared
Owning a pet means taking on a lot of responsibility, financial and otherwise. But it’s important to make sure you have money available to cover your pet’s care. And it’s a good idea to have a pet emergency fund, just in case.
Years ago, my friend’s dog needed a $12,000 surgery, and her insurance policy had an $8,000 limit for that particular issue/procedure. So even with insurance coverage, she still had to shell out $4,000 of her own. Take that as a lesson to build up your own cash reserves so you’re never forced to skimp on care for your pet due to a lack of funds.