A little more than 150,000 pets are insured and DVM NewsMagazine reported the “stop treatment” threshold for most people is roughly $1,400 in pet health costs. What’s more, a recent analysis by Consumer Reports magazine concluded that pet insurance may not be beneficial to some whose pets never encounter a catastrophic experience.
Pet owners say pet health insurance is not always reliableMore pet owners say they’d be better off providing better preventative care for their pets rather than rely on pet health insurance and wellness programs that often lead to confusing and inconsistent coverage. Demand for FlexPet has increased this year for people looking to nurture their pets’ joints back to good health rather than let insurance cover portions of an expensive joint replacement procedure. Many of these people report their insurance policies are filled with unclear restrictions and confusion surrounding pets with pre-existing conditions.
“With frustrating policy exclusions, fuzzy rules on pre-existing conditions and unclear benefit schedules, pet insurance may no longer be the right decision for my pet and me,” said Christina Fajardo, a pet owner and California resident. “It makes more sense to focus on keeping my pet in good health through regular checkups, proper diet and nutrition. It’s gotten to the point where it’s just as much of a headache as my own confusing heath insurance.”
California ranks as the fifth most popular state in filling FlexPet orders, and demand is expected to rise after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently vetoed legislation AB 2411 calling for better disclosure of pet insurance benefits.
Consumer Reports cited an example in comparing the lifetime cost difference between carrying pet insurance with that of regular veterinary visits and checkups. The analysis showed the pet owner would have paid up to $5,000 more in pet insurance costs compared to the cost of the checkups.