All About Self-Insurance For Dogs

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If you think about it, insuring your dog is like betting that she will get sick or injured. That’s not to say that it’s not wise to prepare for the worst, but there is a chance that you could insure your dog for her entire life and never have to claim on the insurance. Of course, it’s great that your dog didn’t need any serious veterinary treatment, but it means that you’ve ultimately paid out thousands of dollars and got nothing in return. This is why many owners are turning to self-insurance as a viable option.

What is Self-Insurance?

Self-insurance is when you take insurance into your own hands. Rather than paying into an insurance policy each month, you put the money aside yourself. This could be into a savings account or simply under a loose floorboard. Whatever works for you. This means that, when your darling dog’s days are sadly up, if she never had any medical problems, you’re left with a lump sum. If she does need veterinary attention at any point, you pay the bills from the fund you’ve set up. This means that there’s no chance you’ll pay out all that money for nothing.

What if Your Dog Injures Someone or Causes and Accident?

One big issue that you have to take into consideration if you decide to go with self insurance is that you’re liable for your pet’s actions. If your dog caused someone an injury or damaged someone’s property, it would be your responsibility to pay the bill. If your dog somehow injured someone badly enough to stop them from working (it wouldn’t necessarily be intentional, even the most well-behaved dog could cause an accident, for instance if she ran into the road), this bill could add up to millions. Even if you decide to self-insure, it’s wise to take out a cheap third party policy, as well, just in case!

What if Your Dog Gets Sick Before You’ve Saved Enough?

Another potential worry is that you won’t save up enough money before your pet becomes ill or injured. A young dog is just as susceptible to veterinary issues as an older dog, so if your pup racks up a large vet bill within the first year or two of her life, you might not have put by enough to cover the costs. One possible solution is to start out putting in larger payments each week or month, then reduce them once you’ve saved a decent chunk of cash, or to start off the fund with a big lump sum (of at least thousand dollars or so), if you can afford it. It could also be an issue if your dog develops a serious chronic illness, as this might eat up several hundred dollars each month for the rest of her life.

Is it a Good Idea?

While self-insurance might seem like a good idea, it does have its down sides. If you don’t at least have some sort of third party insurance, you could get saddled with a hefty amount of debt. Plus, imagine if your pooch got sick before you’d saved up enough to pay her veterinary bills. You’d ultimately be left with a very nasty decision to make. If you’re wealthy enough that you could afford to pay a large vet bill if you had to, or at least would be prepared to put the bill on a credit card, then it might be okay, but for most people, self insurance is probably too risky.

loznnolaLauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. She specializes in writing about dogs and other critters. Lauren lives near Oxford, with her gorgeous Doberman, Nola. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.