Pet insurance vs. a savings account?
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  1. #1
    Registered User Ocean_Beach_Dweller's Avatar
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    Red face Pet insurance vs. a savings account?

    Hello,

    I used to come here a few years ago and just recently rediscovered these boards, so great!

    Anyways, I wanted to run this idea by everyone since you all are so good at getting the most bang for your buck. My boyfriend got an English bulldog puppy a couple of months ago. He's now 5 months old. Our friend recommended getting pet insurance in case of an accident and because english bulldogs commonly develop health problems as they get older. The puppy is healthy right now, and we met his parents and they were healthy too but it still is very likely when he is older that he could have health problems.

    So we looked at the health insurance and its $54/month with a $500 per incident deductable. This seemed ridiculously high, especially given he probably won't need any sort of major medical care until he's
    8+ years old(the insurance wouldn't cover his regular checkups and vaccines). So my boyfriends idea was to just put $50-$100 a month into a savings account, and by the time he is 8, he'd have a nice chunk of money in case anything came up. If he didn't end up needing to use it, then it would just be a nice big chunk of money to put towards something else.

    I guess this idea plans on how much the average vet bill costs for such things, which is what I plan on researching a bit more.

    Not sure if anyone here would buy a pet that is known to have future medical issues or buy pet insurance, because both things are decidely unfrugal, but I thought i'd check anyways

    Also, if it helps, we are both debt free, have 6 month emergency funds, and are putting 15% income into retirement, so the $50-$100 into the savings account wouldn't be taking money from a snowball or anything more pressing.
    "A bargain ain't a bargain unless it's something you need.”

    “Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.”

    Emergency Fund: $10,000/$10,000 6 months, fully funded!

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  2. #2
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    I have had more than one vet (including those who carry literature for pet insurance) tell me to just put money aside into a savings account, rather than pay for pet insurance. I have two older dogs now, one who has had major health issues from the time I adopted him, at 5 months old, and I have never regretted not having insurance on him. There is always a possibility of any of my dogs getting some life-threatening and treatable-but-at-what-cost condition, but the likelihood is much higher with the older dogs, and if you put $50/month (or more) into a savings account, you'll have several thousand in there by the time your dog hits his senior years.

    I would also recommend reading Good Old Dog, a book about the ailments that can affect senior dogs and the sometimes inappropriate and costly measures we as humans take to prolong dogs' lives beyond a stage where the dog has any quality of life. Most of the super-expensive treatments we anticipate in our dogs' senior years are both unnecessary and sometimes downright cruel to inflict upon the dog.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Moderator Ceashels's Avatar
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    I don't like giving money away to a business that may never be used and $54/mo is absurd! That's $650 a year and $6500 for 10 years! If the dog needs a major surgery once in its life it is easier to take it out of the bank than to pay the $500 deductible and then have the insurance pay with what you have already paid them. If the dog never needs anything more than regular check ups... you've just lost a lot of money and made someone else richer.


    We put money into an envelope for our pets and this covers any of their needs (food, toys, vet, med, etc). If our pets need something significant in their future we view it as a family emergency and tap into our EF as needed. You are in a good position to do the same... and congratulations on that!
    The Free Spirit Saver who walks the path with Greebo.

    Onboard with a modified Dave Ramsey Plan
    Budget: "Every month! On paper, on purpose!"


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    I looked into it bcuz it's offered thru my employer. Unfortunately I'd have to have a plan to cover each animal. The restrictions were so many that it's better for me to just deal with an emergency as it arises. I rather have my cash in pocket and deal as it comes. IF it comes. Save your $$$$

  5. #5
    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    I don't have pet ins..............so not much help from me........but I just got this article today in email.............maybe it will help.

    Should You Consider Insurance For Your Pet?

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    As a dog breeder with 6 dogs, I don't carry it, I have a savings account specifically for unexpected pet medical bills. I have talked to people who DO have pet insurance- one thing to be careful of- be VERY clear on what 'congenital' (genetic) conditions the policy covers- many will NOT cover 'congenital' issues. In bulldogs there are MANY that can crop up, from 'cherry eye' to ACL issues to hip dysplasia, entropia (eyelashes curl into eye, very painful, I think they are one of the breeds rather prine to it)....IMO insurance is worhtless if it won't cover the very things your dog is most likely to run into, given the breed. READ CAREFULLY. I would just sock the $ away monthly and be sure to not touch it as it is for the dog....can you keep to that? Some folks start with good intentions but the 'pet fund' turns into more of an emergency fund, which makes it useless if your dogs needs $2k of medical care but you spent the account 2 months prior on car repairs.

    English Bulldogs are notoriously an 'unhealthy' breed, prone to many serious genetic issues that can take years to show up.....but I think your estimate there won't be any big
    things' til the dog is 8 or so is too conservative for the breed. Be prepared, and if considering pet insurance, be VERY certain to have, in writing, what congential conditions they do or sdo not cover. my husband's co-worker just spent THOUSANDS on dual ACL repairs on their 3 or 4 year old bully.


    Kill the mortgage! Goal: 12/2023 Left to go: $141946.74 Extra paid: 2012- $4408.03 2013-$5396.21+ $400 extra towards escrow
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    Registered User Ocean_Beach_Dweller's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! Since we're financially able to, savings is definitely the way to go, and even if something comes up sooner than planned, we do have emergency funds.
    "A bargain ain't a bargain unless it's something you need.”

    “Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.”

    Emergency Fund: $10,000/$10,000 6 months, fully funded!

    Car loan: $6,000/$6,000 PAID OFF!!!!
    Student loans: $16,000/$16,000 PAID OFF!!!!


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    Registered User BlissMommy's Avatar
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    I would just money away in savings for my dog.

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    Registered User ncarr's Avatar
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    I definitely think savings is the way to go.

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    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    I don't have either for my 2 cats - but I do have a trust set up for them in case something happens to Dh & I so that they will be taken care of for the remainder of their lives. I call it the Trust Me, when someone sees what it will be worth it to them to take care of my babies, they will be fighting over the right at my funeral - lol

    (and actually the trust is worded to care for any and all animals that I may have at the time of my demise)...(My attorney thought I was a bit wacked when they were the #1 priority over anything else) - what can I say....

    “After the last tree has been cut down, after the last river has been poisoned, after the last fish has been caught.
    Only then will you find that money can't be eaten.”

    ~ Cree Indian Prophecy










  11. #11
    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    Haha, our pets are provided for in our will as well- friends and family have first dibs, if no takers they are to go to a breed specific rescue with a rather generous payment to vet them (as a I'm a breeder, some of mine are not fixed, of course, though our 'retired' dogs are) and care for them. Wouldn't want to forget our furry friends after our demise


    Kill the mortgage! Goal: 12/2023 Left to go: $141946.74 Extra paid: 2012- $4408.03 2013-$5396.21+ $400 extra towards escrow
    2014-$2376.73

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    Registered User Rosebudget1's Avatar
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    I would rather pay if they have a problem.
    My Lab had cancer when she was almost one and it was over $2000 but nothing major since then. She is now 12.
    My little dog ( 3 years) is a mutt and she has cost us nothing other than her regular stuff which is enough.
    Wife
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    (except for mortgage)

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    Registered User Spikey1341's Avatar
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    I checked out the "insurance" my vet belongs to and it is not insurance but a low interest loan. No thanks, I'll pay for it myself.
    Jeanne

    Married to Frank 31 years, no children, 2 dogs


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    Registered User Rhiamon's Avatar
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    I had pet insurance and canceled it. It cost to much money and you have one heck of a time getting your money if you need it.And canceling it was a huge effort. I had to send emails, phone calls, and finally I coped everything wrote a letter and wrote CANCEL across the top. I think that finally got them to stop.
    A savings account would be my recommendation as well. As far as I am concerned it is a scam and I got sucked into it for a while.

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    Jewelreja, one complaint I have heard from the few folks I've spoken with who have pet insurance is that it takes so long to get your money back...meaning they have to pay it all up front (as many vets require payment up front these days) and then fight to be re-imbursed by the insurnace company. In your example of a young dog needing emergency care/surgery, the owner would STILL have to pay quite a bit up front. It's not like a human doctor's office where you give your card and the vet bills them- you pay, submit the records to the insurnace company, you get paid back by them the appropriate amount.

    Perhaps they don't all work that way, but that's the impression I have been given. If so, the argument pet insurance prevents you from having to pony up large amounts of money up front on a young dog wouldn't be true. Just something to think about for those considering it (and another good reason to have an EF!)


    Kill the mortgage! Goal: 12/2023 Left to go: $141946.74 Extra paid: 2012- $4408.03 2013-$5396.21+ $400 extra towards escrow
    2014-$2376.73

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