I am amazed at the cost of insurance. Not for us, although that boggles the mind as well, but for pets. We have not had pet insurance in the past, because the dog has pre-existing conditions. Yes, you heard me -- the dog had pre-existing conditions. I finally found a policy today, that will cover the dog and his hip dysplasia and heart defects... for only $588 per year. It has a $20,000 per year cap, and a deductible; in short, it works just like a people plan. For my dog.
Because, with every advance in people medicine, there are corresponding advances in veterinary medicine. Your dog can have chemo, he can get insulin for his diabetes, he can be sent to PT for his hips. He can even get glasses for his eyesight (no, not making that up). I have no idea how they do an eye test on a dog. And you can pay thousands and thousands of dollars for his care.
I got the insurance for two reasons. 1) history tells me that the dog's vet bills are averaging more than $3000 a year and 2) I read a very sad article on the increase in financial euthanasia for pets. What this means is that more and more people are having to choose to put their pets to sleep rather than pay for medical care.
I saw this myself at the vet's the last time I was there. A woman had to put a 4 year old cat to sleep, because she couldn't pay $3000 for the minor surgery it needed. She was heart-broken, but she just didn't have the resources.
So now I have pet insurance for the dog. Next month, I add the older cat to the policy, and then after that, the younger one.
Because it is better to go broke slowly, than all at once.