Pet Insurance

amigo mga pet insuranceIf you have a scaled or furry friend in your life, you may have briefly considered taking out an insurance policy to cover your pet’s potential injuries or procedures. Most people opt not to take out a health insurance policy for their pets, but you may not have considered just how valuable that insurance policy could be to saving you money, stress, and your pet’s life. If you’re even considering pet insurance, here’s some information to consider.

Firstly, talk with a trusted veterinarian. Usually, vets can give sound advice about which insurance agency will offer you the best deal to get you the most coverage for the most reasonable price. They are a non-partisan source for information, since they don’t make any money on insurance sales. The vast majority of vets will also take any insurance, so you won’t have to worry about in-network care providers the same way you have to with people insurance.

Vets are also well-versed in the different breeds of pets and the kind of care each kind of dog, cat, bird, or reptile will need. For example, pugs are highly prone to cardiovascular and pulmonary issues, so you may need extra coverage to keep your pug healthy at a reasonable cost. Consult your vet on what species or breed specific issues may need extra coverage for your pet.

Think about the cost versus benefit of the cost. On the one hand, you could be paying a decent amount of money as your monthly premium. However, consider how much the cost would be defrayed in the event of an emergency or accident. Amigo MGA has already written about high versus low deductibles for human health insurance and car insurance, and you may want to do the same calculations for your pet.

You’ll also want to do the preemptive work to keep insurance rates low. Make sure your pet stays healthy by grooming it regularly and taking it to the vet for regular check-ups or to consult if something seems “off.” Doing the leg work on the front end will keep costs low in the future, just like with human health insurance.
While still being cost-conscious, you don’t want to skimp out on protection for your family pet. In the event of an emergency or just regular health issues, you want peace of mind knowing that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg and that your pet will be happy and healthy again in no time.

High Deductible or Low Deductible?

 

When it’s time to shop for insurance, you may be tempted to pick a plan based on deductibles without knowing the full consequences of what your choice means to your future. Understanding how deductibles work will help you calculate your risk and how to optimize your insurance plan to save you money while properly covering you.

At its most basic, a deductible is the threshold amount an insured person has to pay for a service (accident repairs, an emergency room visit, etc.) before an insurance policy will step in to cover the rest. A premium, conversely, is the amount of money you pay into your insurance on a schedule (yearly, quarterly, etc.). Usually, your premium and your deductible are inversely proportional; that is, the higher your premium is, the lower your deductible is, and vice versa. A plan with low deductibles offers higher coverage, and a plan with high deductibles costs less monthly but demands more out-of-pocket money in the event of an accident.

Note that the deductible is not, in fact, the copayment, or proportion of the cost you’re responsible for. Deductibles exist to deter small claims that an individual could likely pay totally on their own in order to save the insurance company money on petty costs.

When it comes time to decide how much you want to spend on  your premium versus your deductible, there are some important factors to consider regarding your own situation, your budget, and your emergency fund.

Insurance exists to ensure that you’ll be financially stable in the event of an accident or similar tragedy, so picking an premium/deductible package based solely on saving money in the present may not be the wisest solution. Suppose someone chose an insurance plan that demanded a low monthly payment of $100, but a deductible of $3000, for example, confident that nothing bad will happen to them and they can use the extra cash that they won’t be spending monthly on insurance. Such an individual may feel good about spending so little money on a monthly basis to “be covered,” but in the event of an accident, may not have $3000 sitting around to cover costs, so the insurance policy proves completely useless to the person in peril.

Cutting premiums to save money only really works if your emergency fund is well-stocked. That is, if you can easily afford to pay a $3000 deductible in the event of a crisis, then a low premium may be just fine. Without any accidents, the math may look “better” with a low premium, but accidents are just that — unforeseen, unplanned emergencies.

The simple answer to the “high or low deductible” question lies in your ability to pay said deductible in a moment’s notice. Choosing a high deductible for the sake of cutting costs may turn around and bite you if something bad were to happen. Do your math carefully and think about your emergency readiness before you start skimping on insurance premiums.