How much would a vet visit cost if your furry friend gets sick?

The average pet emergency can set you back thousands of dollars.

So, is pet insurance worth it? Let’s find out. 

Most owners get it only after an emergency because of the costs involved. But is that a wise decision? 

In this article, you’ll learn:

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

We have insurance for so many aspects of our lives — our homes, cars, health. But what about our furry friends?

If you don’t currently have pet insurance, you’re among the 99% of US pet owners who don’t. Besides, is it worth getting pet insurance?

Well, the difference between paying vs. using insurance is enormous. You could save yourself lots of emotional hassle and stress with the latter. Most owners know too well how their furry bestie looks at them in pain. We’ll do anything to help them at that moment, no matter the cost.

That’s when pet insurance can save the day and maybe even your pet’s life. 

What’s Pet Health Insurance?

It’s a monthly price for a premium that pays out money if your pet needs medical care.

There are many insurance plans to choose from. Most work on a reimbursement basis, but we’ll get to that later.

Your pet’s premium will depend on their age, health, breed, and location.

Modern medicine is expensive. Insurance can prevent some nightmares, like not being able to afford life-saving treatment for your pet.

Have you heard about economic euthanasia? It’s what happens when owners can’t pay for the medical needs of their animal companions. No one should experience that, which is why being informed about pet health insurance is so crucial.

Benefits of Pet Insurance

For starters, it saves you money. The average cost of an emergency vet visit is $800–$1500. Unless you have enough savings, it’s going to make a difference to your bank balance. Paying small monthly premiums to cover most costs is easier on your budget.

Besides, it’s a relief not to worry about paying the bills. Instead, you can be there physically and emotionally for your pet.

Insurance gives you peace of mind. Most companies let you pick your vet, meaning you don’t have to settle for less. Also, you can choose the type of coverage you want. You can personalize most policies. 

black dog wearing a vet cone on his head, sitting on the grass

What Does Pet Insurance Actually Cover?

It depends on the coverage. Most providers have at least three different plans.

Routine Care

Aside from dog dental chews, your furry pal still needs regular dental work. You can claim back for that, as well as for vaccines and some tests. If the insurance covers only routine care, that doesn’t include any accidents, emergencies, or illnesses.

Accidental Coverage

It comes in handy if Spike falls and hurts his ankle. It covers any accidental physical injury, which also includes ingestion of poison or foreign objects.

Accident and Illness

It’s the most comprehensive package for all of the above, plus illness, which can help breeds with health issues.

Terms and Conditions

So, what is not covered by pet insurance? Again, it depends on the policy, but most exclude:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Tick and flea treatments
  • Microchipping
  • Regular teeth and ear cleaning

Insurance doesn’t cover these because they fall under the necessary obligations of a pet owner. 

Remember that there’s a waiting time before the policy kicks in.

It’s an extensive network of vets and insurers, so you can claim back after visiting most licensed veterinarians. 

How Much Is Pet Insurance?

To make the best decision, you need to know the price.

Average Cost of Vet Visits

Let’s start by checking how much you could save with pet insurance. 

The usual things your pet needs aren’t expensive. It’s an average between $100–$250 that includes vaccines and a wellness check.

Overall, the first year alone can cost a pet owner ranges from $1000 to $2000 for food, beds, carriers, and cages.

Now, if we factor in emergency and illness care, the price increases dramatically. What’s at first about $1000 a year can turn into a couple of thousand a day. So, is pet insurance worth it? Comparing prices for common emergencies, it definitely is.

For instance, the average cost if your pup swallows a foreign object is $7000. A kitty’s kidney failure can be over $15,000. Most owners have no idea of these prices but, according to vets, these are two common emergencies.

69% of us have less than $1000 in savings, so should the worst happen, we’ll have few options to pay. 

Not to mention that some conditions require long-term care, which costs even more over time.

You should consider all of this before adopting a pet. If you can’t care for your animal companion financially, you shouldn’t have them. It may seem harsh, but it’s the truth, according to vets who perform economic euthanasia way too often.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

It depends on your location, animal type, and breed. For example, the average dog insurance cost per month is about $48.

But you don’t need routine care coverage. It’s nice that some policies include it, but usually, it’s the accidents and injuries that end up costing a lot more than owners think.

Is pet insurance worth it for a cat? On average, the cost is $29 per month. 

To make the best decision, you need a precise quote for your animal. You can compare different pet insurance prices on this site. 

a vet monitor showing pet analyses

Is Pet Insurance Worth It for a Dog?

Some breeds have specific needs, so do your research to see if you can afford them.

For example, English bulldogs have common eye issues, which many insurance policies won’t cover. 

Looking at the average cost of pet insurance for accident-only cover, it’s about $200 a year. It’s way less than what you’ll pay for an emergency.

Accident and illness coverage costs around $600 a year. It might seem like a lot now but wait until dear old Spike needs a treatment that costs thousands every month. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right food for a senior dog.

So, is pet health insurance worth it? 

In our book, it is. You can’t put a price on the love and loyalty our pets give us. 

But there’s no need to go overboard, so you should read the next section before getting a policy. 

Avoiding Unnecessary Costs

When it comes to the cost of pet insurance, there are a few things you can do to reduce the price of your next vet visit. 

Keep your animal in the best possible shape with the right diet. At the very least, you should know what dogs shouldn’t eat and consider adding fiber for dogs to their meals. 

What’s more, pets need exercise. Check with your vet about the recommended activity amount.

Do your homework. If you have a specific breed, get as much information as possible on easy ways to reduce the risk of common conditions.

If your animal needs medication, opt for generics

Most importantly, keep an eye on your pet. When you follow the best pet safety practices, emergencies are preventable. If your pup likes eating string or poisonous plants, putting those away is the best option.

Buying Pet Insurance

There are a few fundamental things to get out of the way, so let’s start there.

How to Buy Pet Insurance

Only you know the needs of your pet and what you can afford. Do some research to find the most suitable insurer and plan.

Have the following pet details handy as you’ll need them for a personalized quote:

  • Age
  • Breed
  • Name
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Vet contact info

Based on this, the insurer will give you a quote. If you like the fine print, you can accept the offer.  

When Should You Get Pet Insurance?

Here’s where it gets tricky. 

Policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions, but what if your pet has insurance before you know they have an illness? That’s why you should sign up for a plan while your animal companion is young.

Also, premiums are much cheaper for younger pets. The cost increases with age, which is better than the expensive flat rate you’ll get for an older animal.

It’s not nice to think about this, but young animals get sick, too. Their immune systems are still developing and viruses, such as parvo, are still around. The average treatment for that is about $1000 but can get up to $5000.

Vets highly recommend insuring young animals, and we can’t agree more. Buying pet insurance may not seem necessary now, but all it takes is one incident to change that. 

Oh, the dreaded terms and conditions. We all hate them, but you’ll want to keep an eye out for a few details when you buy pet insurance.

Read the fine print. Take note of what’s covered, the percentage that gets reimbursed, and the maximum payout. 

Make sure to follow the rules so you can get your money back. 

Read the conditions and make an emergency pet plan if you need to visit the vet in a hurry. You might not have time to look for their contact info. 

a golden retriever being cured with infrared light

Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance

Let’s cover the basic benefits of pet insurance, as well as its cons. 

Pros 

If you’re wondering, “Should I get pet insurance?”,  here are a few reasons to do it: 

  • Premiums can be as low as dining out once a month. That’s not too much to pay for peace of mind.
  • Compared to the emergency vet care costs, insurance can cost less than one pet disaster a year.
  • Unlike our insurance, you won’t spend hours trying to find a doctor within the network. It covers licensed vets. 
  • Many websites offer free quotes and let you compare different options. It’s a lot easier than our medical insurance. 
  • If you have pet insurance, you’ll be more likely to seek pet medical care. It’s a relief not to worry about paying or wonder whether your pet needs a vet. You can just take them to be sure. 

Cons 

Here are the few disadvantages you should know about:

  • Pet health insurance doesn’t cover everything and will only reimburse you the agreed percentage.
  • You have to pay upfront and wait for reimbursement.
  • Coverage has limitations, so read the terms carefully.

It’s best to have a savings account for emergency incidents instead of waiting for reimbursement.

Do I Need Pet Insurance?

Only you can decide that. Emergencies happen, and no one can tell what the future holds.

That’s where insurance comes in. It gives you peace of mind but finding the right one is up to you.

If you have a healthy and robust pet that has never been to the vet for anything serious, chances are you might not save much with pet insurance.

So, in this case, is pet insurance worth it or not?

Well, should your pet fall ill or have common health issues, insurance can be a lifesaver

Overall, if you can afford it and it’s in no way a strain on your budget — definitely go for it. You don’t know when you’ll need it, and it can help in the most desperate moments. You don’t want to make a difficult decision because of your finances at the moment of the incident. 

Wrap Up

Pet insurance offers you peace of mind and gives your pet access to the best possible care while saving you thousands of dollars in case of emergency. But it still costs money. The price varies based on your pet’s age, location, and breed, so do thorough research to find a plan that works for you and your budget.

Is pet insurance worth it? Absolutely and it might be the best decision you make for you and your furry bestie. 

Previous articleThe Most Popular Dog Breeds in the US in 2021 [Updated List]
Next articleTop 15 Low Maintenance Pets for You and Your Kids to Love
Emma is a lover of all animals. Her cat Pumpkin enjoys stretching out in the office while mom researches the best information on how to care for their fellow furry friends. Emma’s passion for animals started at a young age. Back then, she dedicated her time to shelters and vet clinics in South Africa. Her enthusiasm for writing and research is behind the most reliable information for pet lovers. She believes in treating animals with the devotion and respect they deserve.