It’s a nightmarish scenario for a pet owner. Your much-loved pet is terminally ill. Treatment is available, but it would set you back thousands of pesos, which you do not have.
You realize that if the animal’s suffering is to be alleviated, you may have to put it down. This predicament is even given a name. Economic euthanasia is the term for it.
Of course, fear of financial euthanasia isn’t the primary motivation for pet owners to purchase insurance. Having a pet comes with its own set of expenses, and medical treatment is often one of them.
Pet health insurance, like human health insurance, is thought to help keep costs down. Is it, however, effective?
What exactly does pet insurance cover? How much does it set you back? Is it worthwhile, first and foremost?
Pet Insurance vs. Pet Ownership
According to the Insurance Information, 47 percent of Filipino families own a pet, according to a poll conducted by the Philippines Pet Products Association (PPPA). A dog is owned by just under 50% of those families, a cat by 46 percent, birds, fish, reptiles, and other small animals by a third, and a horse is owned by just under 4%.
However, when it comes to pet insurance, the numbers are drastically different. Only 1.7 percent of the more than 151 million dogs and cats in the Philippines are insured, according to pet surveys.
The number of insured pets other than dogs and cats is a minuscule fraction of a percent. As a result, the focus of this talk will be on dogs and cats.
How Much Does Pet Care Cost?
Diagnosing diabetes in a cat will set you back around ₱15,000. Treatment lasts the rest of the animal’s life and costs between ₱10,000 and ₱15,000 every year.
Heartworm treatment might cost anywhere from ₱20,000 to ₱20,000 depending on your pet’s condition.
In the event of an accident, emergency hospital care might cost up to ₱20,000. It’s possible that treating and repairing a ruptured ACL will cost up to ₱170,000.
Depending on the treatment, the big “C” (cancer) may cost ₱260,000 or more.
Breed is another element that influences the cost of care. This is especially true in the case of dogs, as certain breeds are predisposed to certain medical problems.
Hip dysplasia, for example, is a disorder in which the bones that make up the hip ball and socket in large dog breeds like retrievers are misaligned and cause pain. This can lead to hip replacement surgery, which can cost anywhere between ₱180,000 and ₱360,000 each hip.
What Pet Insurance Covers
Pet health insurance, like human health insurance, comes in a variety of forms, each with its own set of coverage options and fees. The three most prevalent types of coverage, albeit the nomenclature differ by insurer, are:
This form of coverage often includes immunizations, routine tests, and dental work, as the name implies. This type of care is often known as “routine” or “preventative” care. Wellness insurance normally does not have a deductible, but it does not cover illness or accidents.
Accidental injuries such as poisoning or ingestion of a foreign substance, getting hit by a car, cuts, and other bodily injuries are covered under this policy. Owners of older pets who have outgrown full coverage often select accident-only coverage.
Illness and Accident
This is the most extensive sort of coverage, and it covers veterinary treatment for injuries, illness, disease, and most changes in your pet’s natural health. Some pet owners combine wellness coverage with a comprehensive accident and illness policy, depending on the insurer’s offerings.
Various Coverage Levels
Most insurers offer several levels of coverage within each type of coverage, which are frequently referred to as “basic,” “enhanced,” and “premium.” As you might expect, basic is the least priced and gives the least amount of coverage.
Conditions of Typical Coverage
Deductibles, co-pays, and annual or lifetime coverage caps are all standard aspects of pet health insurance. Pre-existing conditions are nearly never covered by health insurance.
A waiting period, which can last anywhere from 10 to 30 days before coverage begins, is another prevalent element of pet health insurance.
It’s also worth noting that most pet insurance policies pay you after you’ve already paid for veterinary treatments. The most typical reimbursement amount is 80%, while 90 percent and even 100% coverage is occasionally offered.
Options for Coverage
In addition to the coverage offered by the type and level you select, most insurers also give a variety of additional benefits sometimes included in the policy, sometimes not. Here are a few examples:
- When the pet is taken out of the nation, the expense of emergency treatment is covered.
- If your pet bites or injures someone, you’ll need liability insurance (typically part of homeowner insurance but some pet insurance includes it)
- The expense of presenting a reward for the recovery of a lost or stolen pet, which may or may not include the reward itself.
- If you are hospitalized, the cost of caring for your pet.
- Participation in a pet-ownership-focused online community
Is pet insurance a good investment? In light of the aforementioned average costs of care, it’s easy to conclude that paying less than ₱10,000 per year for accident-only coverage or around ₱30,000 for accident and illness coverage would be a reasonable hedge against a multi-thousand peso vet bill, especially if that bill could result in something as horrible as economic euthanasia.
The return on investment for wellness coverage is less certain. The cost of wellness coverage is likely to be similar to the cost of coverage you would have paid regardless.
If you decide to purchase pet insurance, do your research and shop around for the greatest value.