YOU ASK:

Can you help me determine which animal insurance makes more sense for my senior pet: accident insurance or medical insurance?

WE ANSWER:

To start with, let us define the two kinds of insurance.

  • Accident insurance will pay for injuries due to accident (accidental ingestion, vehicular accident, etc).
  • Meanwhile, animal medical insurance will pay for medical treatments for unexpected illnesses and accidents. Thus medical insurance provides wider coverage and is thus more expensive.

To help you know which animal insurance is for you, here are a few simple steps:

  1. Look at your annual veterinary care expenses.

    Take out the receipt you have for veterinary visits, medications, x-rays, etc. Classify the costs - write these under illness/accident or routine care. This way, you can more or less see how much you pay for routine care and how much you pay for unexpected illnesses or accidents.

    Of course, you can never really estimate for illnesses or accidents, since these are primarily unforeseen. But studying your expenses will help you develop a clear estimate.

    Make estimates for up to five years.

  2. Study different quotes from various insurance companies.

    Look at what they have to offer in terms of benefits, as well as what is limited and excluded and under what conditions and terms will a claim be denied. Compare this with what you are already spending for your senior pet.

    For senior pets, it is advisable to look into benefits such as diagnostic tests, coverage for chronic illnesses and prescription medications.

  3. Place in consideration your pet's current condition in terms of its age, lifestyle and health. This will help you know more or less if he is likely to be injured or ill.
  4. Compare premiums versus benefits.

    Do you feel that you are doing your level best in terms of preventive health care so that your pet is less likely to get sick? Do you feel that you are better off putting the premiums into a savings account so that you can pay for routine costs easily out of pocket? Then, you may be avail of accident-only insurance, since this covers you for catastrophic expense.

    However, if you can afford to buy health insurance and don't mind shelling out the deductible and co-payment percentage, and your pet is still eligible for medical insurance, we recommend that you consider getting one, as this provides more comprehensive coverage.

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