Should I Buy Pet Insurance?

By Mitch Rice

Pets are expensive. They are adorable but costly creatures. Pet insurance is a way for owners to mitigate costs for emergency medication and veterinary visits. But, is it worth it to buy pet insurance?

Pet insurance covers emergencies like sprains, flea and tick prevention, or even costly surgeries — of course, this depends on the coverage you choose. On average, a pet owner will likely pay $30 a month per pet for pet insurance. So, pet insurance does have the potential to keep you from going into debt if your pet needs emergency medical care, since costs are on the lower end. That’s said, let’s look into all the details and see if it is a good idea for everyday pet owners.

What Is Pet Insurance?

Similar to health insurance, pet insurance is a form of protection against unexpected vet bills. This can save you thousands of dollars in the long run, depending on the severity of your pet’s health needs.

Moreover, pet insurance aims to bring pet owners financial peace of mind. This enables pet owners to care for their pet and not be anxious about the bill!

What Pet Insurance Covers

For starters, pet insurance policies can reimburse up to 90% of veterinary costs. This is why, in recent years, pet insurance consumers have grown considerably.

It’s increased so much that the number of owners with pet insurance has doubled since 2016. That means over 3 million cat and dog owners have pet insurance as of 2020.

Typical Costs of Pet Insurance

Pet insurance companies can range in price from $10 to $100 per month. The average cost for pet owners is between $30 and $50 a month.

Of course, your insurance rate will also vary based on:

  • Breed
  • Age
  • Preexisting health conditions
  • Area where you live

Another factor to consider is the additional health risks associated with your particular breed. For example, Pit Bull Terriers are seen as high-risk for violent behavior by pet insurance companies, which may account for an increase in the monthly premium price. Larger breeds like Mastiffs can have hip issues and malformations. It’s important to understand the health story around your breed, so your not surprised by an upcharge.

In addition, some breeds have increased risks of contracting specific diseases. For example, French Bulldogs are more susceptible to a condition called hemivertebrae, a spinal deformity.

These examples are just a few of the possible complications around your particular breed. We recommend doing some research around your particular breed (hopefully you did this before you bought the puppy or kitten), but it will keep you informed as you buy insurance, and also keep you abreast of health issues you may want to be on the lookout for.

One More Example for Good Measure

To put it in perspective, let’s look at dogs as an example. A two-year-old dog will cost about $28 per month. Meanwhile, on average, a four-year-old dog will cost $31 per month. So, the older your pet gets, the more monthly insurance costs will go up.

Who Should Buy Pet Insurance?

If you’re worried about the cost of emergency vet visits, you should invest in pet insurance. That’s said, it’s all about your budget. If you have the funds to cover emergency procedures that could cost over a thousand dollars, then there’s no need for pet insurance (good for you). Of course, it would still be nice a backstop or the ability to get reimbursed, so it all doesn’t have to come out of your pocket.

Another benefit of pet insurance is that it can be a cushion in case your financial situation changes. Pet insurance gives you comfort, knowing that your pet will still have care even if you can’t afford the expensive treatments out of pocket anymore.

Canine Journal has more great information on pet insurance.

In conclusion, for most pet owners, pet insurance is a good idea. If you have a healthy dog on your hands, well, that’s great. However, if you do need to make some unexpected visits to the vet, it can give you some comfort to know that you have some financial padding. As we stated above, this can help you be there for your pet — we all know how stressful our furry friends can get at the vet! Pet insurance can make everyone a little bit more relaxed!

Data and information are provided for informational purposes only, and are not intended for investment or other purposes.