Should You Get Pet Insurance?


By: Eric Piwowar

5 Min Quiz

Image: Ron Levine / DigitalVisions / Getty Images

About This Quiz

When you own pets, they become part of your family — and whether you own a cat, dog or another animal, your goal is keeping your pet as healthy and happy as possible. Unfortunately, keeping your pet healthy can come with incredibly high costs thanks to expensive vet bills and pricey medical procedures.

There’s a way to cut down your costs without sacrificing your pet’s health, though: pet insurance. Like health insurance for humans, pet insurance can help you with the costs of caring for your pet. And pet insurance is important for every pet owner.

Pet insurance brings pet parents one big benefit: it’ll give you peace of mind.

With a pet insurance policy, you’ll rest easy because you’ll know that should your pet become seriously ill or injured, you won’t have to break the bank to get them the care they need. Pet insurance covers medical procedures that could save your pet’s life, and it can also help alleviate some of your annual expenses with wellness coverage. This unique coverage makes it easier and more affordable to get your pet to their regular veterinarian checkups without worrying about the cost.

So, could pet insurance be right for you?

How much do monthly pet insurance premiums typically cost?

Depending on the level of coverage you choose, basic plans can start as low as $8 a month, with the average cost in the United States being $43 according to the Washington Post.


Pet insurance provides no benefits for highly active, healthy pets.

Like humans, even the most healthy pet needs wellness checkups, vaccinations, and other routine services that help improve their quality of life. Pet insurance can also help cover prescription expenses, not to mention accidents both small and catastrophic.


Which pets commonly qualify for pet insurance?

Many pet insurance providers will provide coverage for a wide range of domesticated and exotic animals including Amphibians chameleons, ferrets, goats, mice, pigs, sugar gliders, turtles, and many more.


According to the American Kennel Club, how much in annual medical costs can you expect to pay for a dog?

With annual wellness check-ups costing about $200 - $300, lab work costing $100 - $300, and dental cleanings costing anywhere between $300 - $800, you can expect to pay about $700 - $1,500 per year in medical costs alone for a canine companion. These costs also don't include all preventative medication and supplement costs.


Some pet insurance providers offer discounts for multi-pet plans.

The more, the merrier! Some providers offer a 5% - 10% discount when you bundle multiple policies together. And considering that the average annual cost of pet insurance premiums is $516, according to The Washington Post, that could mean a savings of over $100 a year.


What is the most common type of pet insurance plan?

According to, accident and illness plans are the most common type of pet insurance plan. Accident-only plans are the cheapest but only cover injuries such as ingestion of foreign objects, poisoning, or if your pet was hit by a car. Accident and illness plans cover accidents plus most illnesses your furball might encounter, including allergies, cancer, and infections. The next step up in coverage is a comprehensive plan, which covers accidents and illnesses plus vaccinations, cremation and burial, flea and tick medication, and dental care.


What is the typical cut-off age for pet insurance?

While almost every illness and wellness plan has a maximum age, typically in the 12-15 year old range, some providers offer accident-only plans regardless of your pets age.


How long do you typically have to wait before pet insurance begins?

To prevent people from quickly buying pet insurance policies, using them to ensure that expensive services that their pet needs are covered and then canceling their policies, most pet insurance plans impose waiting periods on some services. It’s not unusual for there to be a 14-day waiting period for illnesses and a five-day waiting period for injuries.


How much can your pet's serious medical issue cost?

CBS News reports that veterinary services can cost upwards of $20,000 for pets’ serious medical issues, which means that policies with low maximum annual limits in the $3,000 to $5,000 range really won’t cut it. It’s a smarter idea to stick with a more expensive plan with no annual limit so all of your pet’s costs are covered.


According to Waggle, how many pets are euthanized each year due to economic reasons?

According to Waggle, half a million pets are euthanized each year due to economic reasons. Animal health workers refer to this as "economic euthanasia", a decision made when health costs become too much for an owner to afford associated with a medical condition with a good prognosis. This doesn't take into consideration the many animals that are saved from euthanasia only to end up in shelters because of economic reasons.


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