First off, if your dog is anything like the one in this video...then you NEED insurance!

At the onset, pet insurance sounded like the most ridiculous thing.  The majority of the people in the world don’t even have insurance (let alone medical care)!  But nonetheless, when we got JoJo (French Bulldog), we opted for insurance because of all the common inbred genetic defects we read about.  (Turns out insurance doesn’t even cover that...we were misinformed/ignorant)  That was in 2007, and now almost 5 years later , I finally decided to crunch the numbers and determine if it's been worth it.  

The pet insurance industry is growing significantly and will probably continue to grow, despite the poor economy.  There are plenty of companies competing for your business that offer a variety of plans, it makes your head spin.  You can find more information at www.petinsurancereview.com (they claim to be an independent site that fosters customer reviews).  

I have VPI pet insurance and I pay around $435 per year (partially subsidized by my company).  I wanted to compare costs WITH and WITHOUT pet insurance over the last five years, to see if I've saved any money.  So with pet insurance, I added up all of our out-of-pocket expenses plus the annual fee and subtracted all of the reimbursements for that year.  Compared that directly with our out-of-pocket expenses as if we were WITHOUT pet insurance. This is where we ended up:

Luckily in the last five years, we haven't had any BIG accidents or genetic defects rear their ugly head.  The cost in 2007 is driven by JoJo being spayed and in 2011 she cracked her tooth on a Nylabone (subject of another post!).  On average, it cost us $250 more a year WITH pet insurance, except for 2011 where, so far (fingers crossed), we’re ahead $294...with one month to go.  

SOOO...the question only YOU can answer.  Is it worth it?  At first, I said NO, because I lost $250  a year or $20 bucks a month on top of what I paid for JoJo’s vet bills...but that is how insurance works, right?  I’d be singing a different tune if we had a 10K vet bill!  So at the end of the day, I’ll keep the insurance...just in case.
 

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