Megan McArdle writes about economics, business, and public policy and has served as a columnist for magazines such as The Atlantic and Newsweek. In her latest article on bloomberg.com, she describes her decision to purchase pet insurance for her new Bullmastuff, Fitzgerald. Since McArdle is an economic conservative, she realizes that some people may be surprised by her decision, so she offers an in-depth analysis that’s pretty thought-provoking:
For starters, we didn’t get Fitzgerald comprehensive, soup-to-nuts coverage. As far as I know, no such thing exists for dogs. What we got him was a basic, high-deductible policy that costs $60 a month. The deductible is $1,000 per condition, not per year; after the first $1,000, everything is covered. There is no coverage for basic services like annual vet exams, vaccinations, heartworm, or whatever.
On the other hand, there is coverage for things like chemotherapy and kidney transplants; this isn’t a ripoff. It’s insurance that covers some very expensive health conditions with no lifetime caps; they’ll even give us hydrotherapy if he turns out to have hip dysplasia. We view the insurance as very cheap for the price. Especially when you consider the education it’s given me in how to think about health care.
Of course, to some people, $60 per month is a pretty big deal, especially on top of what it costs to feed and care for a dog in the first place. But then again, one would hate to have to make a life-or-death decision for a beloved friend based on cost.
Have you bought health insurance for your dog? Do you think it’s a good idea?