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Pet Insurance

My First Major Experience with Pet Insurance

by Juan Guzman
Insurance Investment Banker
Passionate Pet Owner
Insured Pet Blogger
the insured pet logo
June 7, 2018

dog

Depending on the study, statistics show only 1-2% of American pet parents have pet insurance. Depending on the pet, about 99-100% of pet parents love their pet. Why such a disconnect? The lack of awareness around the value proposition of insurance could be a big reason. Most pet parents believe their pet won’t incur large vet bills until later in life, and convince themselves they have time to save. Parents also take precautions to reduce the risk of accidents like keeping pets indoors, on leashes and chipped. Taking this all into account, pet parents have a hard time justifying the monthly pet insurance premiums. However, pets have accidents despite all our precautions and having pet insurance when those accidents happen is very valuable.

I recently had such an experience with my frenchie, Guapo. My wife and I were cooking dinner and Guapo looked up at the table with sad puppy dog eyes for food to fall from the heavens. He was being so good, so we decided to give him a nibble of a rib we cooked. As soon as I reached down to give him a taste, he pulled it away from my grip and ran away. Within seconds, he swallowed it whole because he knew I was going to take it away. My wife and I were unsure if the bone would be digested naturally. Guapo vomited all Sunday morning. I used an app called WhiskerDocs, which connects users to veterinary advice. They advised me to take Guapo to the emergency room. Guapo had x-rays taken, and some fluids injected to help with the dehydration. The total bill was $1,500. Definitely the most expensive rib I’ve ever paid for! Guapo ended up being fine, and luckily, I had pet insurance. I took a picture of the invoices with my phone, submitted it via the app and received a check in the mail two days later. Wow, this pet insurance really works!

Pet parenting is amazing, but can be scary when your pet feels and acts sick. Our poor pets can’t communicate, so often it makes sense to take them to the vet. Sometimes it would be nice just to speak to someone with animal health knowledge to understand the potential risk associated with your pet’s symptoms. WhiskerDocs was great for this, and included with many pet insurance plans. I’ve used them in the past and they were able to diagnose the situation quickly, telling me I didn’t need to take them to the vet, saving me the trip to the vet. However, I’m happy they told me to go in this case. An unexpected $1,500 bill is hard for most to digest, and often pet parents without insurance don’t set aside emergency funds. Pet insurance is an important financial planning tool for pet parents to alleviate the financial concern of procedures that will improve or extend their pet’s life. Pet parents, vets and all those that love pets hate to hear of economic euthanasia cases. With insurance, pet parents can have peace of mind around being able to afford necessary vet care for accidents we don’t expect.

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