Animal Emergencies, Should We Get Pet Insurance?!
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Animal Emergencies, Should We Get Pet Insurance?!

Posted by Matthew Ruggiero on

So as many of you saw on our FB page, Penny had to go to the emergency vet yesterday after she ate the arm off a sock monkey toy. The dimensions were similar to a hot dog...she swallowed it whole. She had that "I'm doing something really bad..." look on her face, and was swallowing really hard on something. We looked down at the now 1-arm monkey, and figured out what had happened. 

Seeing as it was 7pm, we had to go to the emergency 24 hour vet. They induced vomiting, the arm came up, and all was well. Right? Oh, you mean to tell me that 35 minutes of work cost me $231? Well I suppose it makes sense when is $130 just to get your pet in the door at that place. Best part was, we were one of three animals with eating disorders; one ate a sock, one was Penny, and one ate a tennis ball. 

Nope, that's not all. The next day I came home from work to check on her, and she looked miserable. Took her outside and she started throwing up again. Had to take her back in, and they told us x-rays were needed. They found a blockage in her small intestine. They gave us two treatment options- one was $440 and the other (where she stayed in the hospital over night) was $1520. OUCH. That 35 seconds of fun for Penny while she ate her toy cost us roughly $700. Something similar ever happen to you?

While waiting in the lobby (which you do lots of) they have ads for pet insurance all over the place. Great advertising right? Nothing that goes on in that place will cost less than $200. We looked at for the math in this post. 

Since my background is in engineering, I wanted to do the math on this. Here were the results. For a 7 month old pure bred Collie, a $200 deductible with 80% reimbursement (amount of a claim for reg or emergency vet treatment that you will be reimbursed before the deductible is applied) and $10k max annual was $26.39 per month; their "bronze" plan. The $100 deductible was $36.58 per month, and the $50 deductible was $49.16 per month.

You're telling me that instead of the $700 I payed yesterday for a dog I've had for 6 months could have cost me $200 plus $316.68 per year? Or $100 plus $440.16 per year? Those numbers do make sense. And we didn't even pick the overnight hospital stay option (which would have been required if something worse happened or she couldn't throw up the toy), which would have been $1800. And even worse yet, if she needed surgery...well we didn't even ask what that would have cost. The insurance site estimated that it costs roughly $10,000 for an "indigestible object removal", so I'm thinking that answers that question. Pretty soon that $316 or $440 per year is looking pretty good. 

They also say on the site that 1 in 3 pets will need vet care this year, and when you have an especially adventurous one like ours, I'd say we're on the side of the 1 in stead of the other 2. Another stat on the site that every :06 seconds a pet parent is faced with a vet bill over $1,000. Man, I'm in the wrong business. 

Please share your thoughts with me! The numbers do look enticing, but I don't know if I want to pull the trigger...especially when I pay less per month in med insurance for myself!

Have a safe day!
Matt and Penny


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