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Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

Christopher James


For all of you pet lovers out there, Pet Insurance is definitely something to consider. Like human health insurance, pet insurance can be very helpful when it comes time for your animal companion to receive veterinary care. 

This type of coverage provides many benefits, not the least of which is financial protection in the event of illness or injury. It also covers routine care like shots and preventative medications that would otherwise come out-of-pocket.

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Before you sign up for an expensive policy with only one company, take a look at this article (and don't forget to click on the highlighted text to read some pretty interesting facts about pet health). Here are some things you should understand before buying Pet Insurance .

#1: You'll have lots of company 

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, "More than 10% of U.S. households have pet insurance." And according to APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 3 out of 4 dog owners and 2 out of 3 cat owners are currently insured for their companion animals' medical expenses.

#2: The benefits might outweigh the costs

Pet Insurance can be pricey, depending on your coverage plan and your veterinarian's fees in your area. But it could be worth every cent if you end up having major or ongoing medical problems with either a new or already existing pet. Your savings could add up considerably if you began treatment after purchasing an insurance policy (rather than paying upfront). Don't forget that pet insurance also covers routine care, which averages $300 per year.

#3: You can choose between reimbursement and payment plans

Many companies offer the option of reimbursing you for specific bills or paying the veterinarian directly on your behalf. This is a nice feature if your pet's illness or injury is sudden and unexpected, as it shortens the time between vet visits. Just make sure to ask about whether a claim is eligible for reimbursement before scheduling pricey tests and procedures! When in doubt, check with your insurer first.

#4: It comes with conditions

In order to protect both their company and their clients, insurers will attach some strings to their policies that range from eligibility requirements (e.g., age restrictions, breed bans, etc.) to post-claims underwriting (e.g., veterinary exam, owner interview). Make sure you understand the specific stipulations of your coverage before signing on the dotted line. After all, it's no fun to discover that your pet wasn't covered for an illness he developed within the first six months of ownership!

#5: You might be able to pay less by bundling

Some insurers offer bundled discounts if you purchase both accident and illness coverage from them at once. In addition, some companies will reduce rates for owners who allow their pets to go through a wellness health screening. Talk with your veterinarian or company representative when choosing a plan so that you can get the best deal possible.

#6: You can get Pet Insurance

So far, I've only discussed Pet Insurance that is offered by companies in the United States. But did you know that some pet owners also choose to insure their animal companions while traveling? If your pet gets lost or is injured during a vacation, some insurance carriers cover expenses while you are out of the country. Just be sure to ask about this feature before leaving home!

#7: Your coverage may be limited if you move away from the plan's provider

If your new address is more than 50 miles away from your insurer's hospital network (or if more than 30 percent of the company's hospitals close), then it might not be worth buying a policy with them. After all, what good would it do if your pet had to travel across the state or hundreds of miles to receive care? You might be better off applying with a company located closer to you.

#8: Your premiums may increase with age

"Older is not always wiser." This adage is especially true when it comes to Pet Insurance. Some companies will increase your premiums as soon as your pet reaches a certain age (e.g., 8 years or 85 pounds). Even though this option might save money in the long run, it's best for those who plan on keeping their animals insured throughout their entire lives. Otherwise, they'll have to switch companies and/or breeds every few years just to keep costs down!

#9: might be able to keep your plan if you switch companies

Believe it or not, some pet insurance providers will allow you to transfer their policy if they provide the same coverage in your new home state. Even though this might be a hassle, it can come in handy when moving from one location to another. Just don't forget to contact your insurer with enough time before relocating so that they can send your information in advance!

#10: You probably won't be able to use it across state lines

Unfortunately, most insurers don't allow policies to jump between borders (with the exception of Pet Insurance purchased by military families). If you move away from the United States, then you'll have to cancel all coverage and reapply with an international company (or forgo insurance altogether).

#11: Your pet might be denied coverage

Even with Pet Insurance, there is no way to guarantee that your furry friend will get the care he needs. A company may refuse to cover certain procedures or illnesses based on pre-existing conditions, breed, or medical history (e.g., allergies). Although this can be frustrating and time-consuming, it's important to remember that some accidents and illnesses are unpreventable and unexpected! Just like people, animals can experience freak accidents that result in significant injuries or genetic conditions that arise without warning.


Pet insurance can be a great way to financially protect your furry friend in case of an unexpected accident or illness, but it's important to do your research before buying a policy. In this article, we've outlined some important things to keep in mind when considering pet health insurance. By understanding the basics of pet insurance, you can make sure that you are getting the best coverage for your needs and budget.