The short answer to this question is YES!
We strongly recommend that all our clients obtain health and accident insurance for their pets. If you think you don’t need to insure your pets or feel it may not be worth the expense, you should ask yourself the following question: If my pet got sick or had an accident and the cost to treat him/her was $5000 or more (potentially a LOT more), would I be able to authorize treatment without any hesitation and without causing myself financial hardship?
If the answer to this question is NO, then you need pet insurance.
Many people feel that it is not worth paying for pet insurance because they may never need it or may not use it for several years. Using this argument, we would not insure our homes or cars either, but this is not the case. Some clients feel that they would be better off putting the money they would spend on insurance into a separate account each month to pay for unexpected veterinary costs. There are two problems with this approach:
1) Many of us have this good intention but will not actually keep up with it.
2) This approach only works if your pet does not need treatment for several months/years after you start to save.
Another mistake people tend to make with respect to pet insurance is to wait until the pet is older, thinking that they will not need to pay premiums for as long. This often results in the pet ending up with what is termed a “pre-existing” condition, which the insurance company will no longer cover. If you insure your pet when it is young and healthy, then the pet will likely be covered for all illnesses for the rest of its life.
It is possible to obtain pet insurance which only covers accidents. Obviously the monthly premiums for this type of insurance are cheaper. It is certainly better to have this type of insurance than none at all, especially for younger pets as they are more prone to things such as swallowing toys, etc., but keep in mind the above advice about pre-existing conditions; it may be worth the extra each month not to have to worry about what you may end up needing to claim for.
Below are some links to some of the major companies offering pet insurance in Canada. If you have specific questions about choosing a company or a plan, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!