Continuing our series from: Is Pet Insurance Worth It? Part 1
What is Credit Card Care vs Insurance?
Users of everyday credit cards will recognize that said cards are used for expenses that occur as they happen. Insurance is pre-paid (usually a monthly payment) against a point in time when the need occurs.
CareCredit is a health financing credit card which you apply for and is subject to approval. Their veterinary option says:
Unlike traditional pet financing or veterinary payment plans, the CareCredit credit card gives you the flexibility to use your card again and again for your pet’s procedures.
These are just some of the small and large animal care procedures you can use the CareCredit card for:
- Annual check-ups
- Teeth cleaning
- Care of chronic pet diseases and conditions
- Dog chemotherapy
- Pet food and nutrition
Veterinary surgery & emergencies
- Spay and neutering
- Emergency services
- Surgical procedures
- Hip dysplasia surgery
It’s a way to pay for the costs of many treatments and procedures and allows you to make convenient monthly payments. CareCredit is accepted at over 200,000 providers nationwide for LASIK and Vision Care, Cosmetic and Dermatology Procedures, Dentistry, Veterinary, Hearing Care and other specialties.
Credit cards can be expensive if you need to use them. The default Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for CareCredit is 26.99%. However, when financing large amounts, they have two options that allow you to defer interest and make month payments for the term periods:
Our Reduced APR special financing options of 24, 36, 48 and 60 months are for larger purchase amounts ($1,000 or more for our 24, 36 and 48 month options with a 14.9% APR, and $2,500 or more for our 60 month plan with a 16.9% APR), letting you make monthly payments with a reduced, interest rate over the duration of your promotional period.
Full Circle Veterinary Care is an authorized provider for CareCredit and accepts their card for veterinary expenses you incur at our clinic.You can also apply for CareCredit in person at our offices. We have brochures for you. A credit decision is almost instant.
Let us move on to actual insurance providers for the comparison.
Trupanion is a pet insurance provider
From their site:
Our love of cats and dogs is why we provide comprehensive coverage for pets and strive to offer an exceptional insurance experience for pet owners. We can approve and pay bills directly to select veterinary hospitals within minutes, our customer care team is available to assist 24/7, and we have trained veterinary professionals working throughout our company to help us better understand the medical issues pets face. Because of these unique offerings, we consider ourself a step above traditional pet insurance and prefer to be known as medical insurance for cats and dogs. No matter what you choose to call us, rest assured that our policy has what it takes to help protect your pet.
You can view these graphics on the Trupanion site.
It is pretty straight-forward. You make a claim and they pay 90% of the eligible expenses. You can see what is eligible in the “What’s covered” column. Knowing “Whats not covered” is also key. Exam fees, wellness and preventive care and pre-existing conditions are not covered.
It is important to know that a pre-existing condition is defined as an illness or condition which occurred or showed symptoms prior to your pet’s coverage effective date. So your pet insurance coverage will not be excluded for what might be a hereditary trait in the animal, unless the symptoms are already showing for that trait.
What is the cost?
That is the 6 million dollar question.
For the purposes of this article, we did what most of our readers will do – we went to the Trupanion site and put in our requisite pet details and generated a quote. Using our test pet Oliver, who is a male, American Shorthair at 6 years, we came up with this quote:
As you can see clearly see in the chart, without a deductible, our 6 year old male cat is going to cost just over $130 per month or $1566.36 per year to insure.
We were curious if it would make a difference by age (Yes, it does) and plugged in 1 year to get this quote:
Oliver as a 1 year old cat is much less expensive to start – $79.65 per month or $955.80 per year with no deductible.
Lastly, we wanted to know if there was a difference for insuring male versus female cats and we turned our pet into a female (virtually, of course). Yes, there is:
Oliver (or Olivia) as a 6 year old female cat is less per month – $118.77/mo ($1425.24/yr) vs $130.53/mo (1566.36/yr) for her male counterpart.
If you choose to pay a $200 deductible, you can knock off the better part of $50 on the premiums. Which many choose to do, judging by the “Our Most Popular Choice” tag.
This gives you a hint of the rates for pet insurance. Obviously there are other variables to consider which we could not cover, like differences between individual breeds and pets with hereditary or pre-existing conditions.
To wrap up our series in Part 3, we are going to look at two more pet insurers – Healthy Paws and Figo.
FCVC hopes you find this pet insurance series useful for making a decision whether pet insurance is right for you, your pet and your lifestyle.