Dog in veterinary care
Source: Markus Winkler Unsplash

Veterinary care for pets may be lowered in cost through pet insurance.

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Money? Pros and Cons to Consider

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Jul. 15 2021, Published 12:31 p.m. ET

You insure your home, your vehicle, and your own life. Whether you have a dog, cat, or any other type of animal, your pets mean the world to you. The chances are good that you would do just about anything for your pet. But does that include spending any amount of money?

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For some pet owners, a pet insurance policy provides peace of mind that they’ll be able to pay for certain medical treatments. Some policies might even offer a payout in the event that your pet passes away within a certain time frame. Let’s examine the reasons you might consider pet insurance and why you might want to forego that expense.

Pet insurance pros and cons

If you’ve had your pet for years or perhaps adopted one to keep you company during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be considering pet insurance. The general principle of insurance applies. You pay premiums up-front and then get reimbursed for covered veterinary expenses like surgeries or treatments.

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pet health insurance
Source: Pixabay

The biggest pro for pet insurance is the comfort you receive from knowing you likely won’t have to deny your pet lifesaving treatment due to the cost. A serious illness or accident could rack up high vet bills. In that case, the cost of monthly premiums is fairly low compared to potentially thousands of dollars to treat your pet.

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You should read the fine print on any pet insurance policies you consider. Determine what types of expenses you’re most concerned about and see whether you can get coverage.

Expenses that may or may not be covered:

  • Routine physical exams

  • Flea and heartworm prevention

  • Vaccinations

  • Accident care

  • Treatment for certain illnesses

    • X-rays and lab fees
    • Benefits paid when your pet is lost or passes away
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    One reason to consider skipping pet insurance is that you might be able to budget for regular veterinary expenses. There’s a chance that your dog or cat won’t need major surgery or medical care, in which case insurance might be an unnecessary expense.

    Is pet insurance worth it?

    Like any insurance policy, it’s something that you're glad to have in the event of a major expense. Similarly to humans, insurance costs go up with the age of the pet, and pre-existing conditions often aren’t covered (making it a better deal to sign up while your pet is young).

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    ValuePenguin reports that dog insurance is about 60 percent more expensive than cat insurance. The average monthly premium for coverage of both accidents and illness for dogs is $48.78, while the average is $29.16 for cats.

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    Pet insurance prices can vary, with lower premiums to cover accidents only. Your premium might change depending on the deductible and maximum amount of coverage you choose. Reimbursement levels of 80 percent or 90 percent are common for pet insurance policies.

    In general, pet insurance is usually a better deal when your pet is younger. As your pet ages and gains new ailments, the cost of insurance will likely outweigh the benefits.

    Top pet insurance companies

    According to Statista, pet insurance premiums increased nearly fourfold from $500 million in 2013 to $1.986 billion in 2020

    Companies that offer pet insurance include Nationwide, Figo, HealthyPaws, Embrace Pet Insurance, and PetFirst.

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