Insuring Your Pet: Your Many Options

Just as sure as the sky is blue, the unexpected will happen to your pet. It’s not something we all want to think or be overly preoccupied with, but an unexpected sickness or accident may happen to your pet.

Why is Pet Insurance Important?

  • Two out of every three pets will experience a significant health problem during their lifetime
  • A pet receives emergency medical care every 2 ½ seconds
  • One in three pets will need emergency veterinary treatment every year
  • Dogs under the age of one are 2.5x more likely to have an unexpected visit to the vet

Now we can’t have our pet encased in a plastic bubble for the rest of its life. They need to be able to do fun pet things: Your dog needs to walk, run, play and socialize with other pets. And your cat needs to do the same. But incidents will happen, and your pet will sooner or later require medical attention.

Pet insurance is structured in the same way as health insurance is for humans. The premiums you pay vary depending on the scope of coverage, pet characteristics (age, breed, overall health), deductibles, and claim limits (annual, lifetime, treatment). A major component of premium costs relates to whether a policy covers preventative care. Policies can be simple, just covering shots and exams to more broad coverage, which can cover hereditary conditions.

Other interesting facts about pet insurance is that it is regulated as property and casualty insurance, not health insurance. 91% of pet insurance policies cover dogs. Accident and illness coverage average about $535 annually for dogs and $335 annually for cats. Finally, cancer, which is diagnosed in 12 million pets annually, will set an owner back an average of $2,033.

How Can I Pay?

One of the most significant impediments for people not being able to go to the vet is a lack of funds. Veterinary procedures can run up to several thousands of dollars, and this can leave some pet owners in a bind. In the worst situations, a pet owner may have to choose between taking care of their own financial obligations or the health or even the life of their pets.

There are many solutions available to help owners who are in these stressful situations. Pet insurance is now available through pet specific providers like Trupanion and Healthy Paws. Insurance conglomerates like Nationwide have pet plans to go with their many coverage packages. Crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe and YouCaring present online platforms where the community can donate to a pet-specific cause. Furthermore, there’s a new option that combines insurance and crowdfunding models to provide a way for pet owners to pay for each other’s expenses together.

Despite a tiny percentage of pets being insured in North America, pet insurance is now being considered by millennials and younger professionals who are choosing not to have children. It is because of this group of individuals that decide to become “pet parents” and are considering adding pet insurance to their standard plans, instead of having children. Companies are now considering adding pet insurance to their health, vision, and dental packages.

The next option pet owners should consider for funding pet expenses is through crowdfunding. When most people think of crowdfunding, they think of Kickstarter and Indie-a-gogo, which are mostly used by tech entrepreneurs to help seed their early stage startups.

Crowdfunding Is the Way to Go

Crowdfunding has become prevalent for charity and donations. Websites GoFundMe and YouCaring have been the most popular sites for funding those who have suffered through some sort of misfortune or are afflicted by ailments and are needing of financial help. These crowdfunding sites can be used by pet owners who do not have the financial capabilities to care for their pet. They need only to turn to the crowd, their friends, family, and anyone who cares for their cause.

If the unexpected were to happen to your pet, it is very easy to set up a GoFundMe campaign. Also, you can share your campaign on social media with your inner circle and your community.

The best cases of a GoFundMe campaign being successful relies on how much exposure the campaign receives. Often times a news report from your local station will mention a GoFundMe campaign raising funds to help an individual. Also, if you are extremely active on social media, your campaign will receive a lot of eyes because you have a lot of online friends. Unfortunately, some pet owners are not able to get local news coverage or have a professional publicist at hand. Also, not every pet owner, no matter how many times they post their pet’s picture on Instagram or Facebook, have a large following. We can conclude that crowdfunding through sites like GoFundMe can generate a lot of funding from the caring community but it requires a lot of legwork or a bit of luck to create the exposure and the buzz.

The option that combines insurance and crowdfunding the best would be an upcoming startup like Eusoh (pronounced you-so). This startup provides a platform where pet owners can come together and join groups to share pet expenses together. Simply, this site allows people to “pool” money together in case something happens. Traditional insurance works in this same way, but you’ll be paying substantially more, and your monthly premiums are part of the insurance companies’ revenue.

Eusoh requires a low monthly payment of $10 a month to use the service. It also requires a first-time “pledge” or payment, which will be used to cover the expenses of the group. You will be using these funds or someone in your group will be using it. Whoever it may be or whose pet is the beneficiary of the funds, you are making an agreement with your fellow group members and Eusoh users to help pay pet expenses as a community.

What happens is that when there is an expense, you will pay your share of the invoice. Your share of the costs will never get too high. The reason for this is the technology behind eusoh: The platform expands and brings in other users from other groups to help pay for costs. The occasion of this happening will be very seldom, but rest assured, eusoh has taken the steps to ensure that you, your group, and other members will not pay too much.

How does this differ from insurance?

Basically, you are obligated to pay your insurance premiums every month. With Eusoh, you’ll be paying only for the subscription and your share of the costs. The system will not allow your share to get too high. Altogether, studies from insurance companies have found that pet owners will save at least 20% monthly on Eusoh. And if there are cases where no one in your group has any expenses, the only thing you pay for is the subscription fee. If nothing happens to anyone’s pet, no one has to pay a share.

Eusoh works similarly to insurance because it allows people to create “risk pools” but it won’t hanker you down with ever-increasing monthly premiums. And compared to crowdfunding sites, you don’t need to acquire exposure or local news coverage or a large social media following for your campaign. Eusoh already has a large user base that is ever increasing. And as the user base increases and when you do the math, overall savings for everyone will be greater. Simply, the more people using Eusoh, the less you have to pay.

Wrap Up

The options pet owners have when the unexpected happens to their pets are many. From the traditional insurance, to the Internet-based crowdfunding to the hybrid, crowdsourcing site, Eusoh. With insurance, costs will vary due to the breed, age, and overall health of your pet. The success of crowdfunding is correlated to the amount of exposure a campaign receives. And the hybrid option, Eusoh, is a new and somewhat complex concept. Whatever option you choose, it should be enough to cover your pet expenses now and in the future. We implore everyone to research these options and find out which one saves them the most money and time.

About the Author
Joe Cayetano is the Marketing Manager for Eusoh.com, Eusoh is a new crowd sharing platform that provides an affordable and transparent way for consumers to share expenses using scalable technology and the power of community in today’s sharing economy. Joe is the proud owner of a Golden Retriever and he is an avid lover of horses.

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