Is Pet Insurance Worth It? - The Wealth Race (2023)

You come dwelling to seek out your canine vomiting and listless. After dashing her to the vet, you study that she swallowed certainly one of your socks and desires emergency surgical procedure — to the tune of a number of thousand {dollars}. Are you able to afford to pay that invoice? If not, pet insurance coverage is likely to be value contemplating.

Pet insurance coverage helps cowl the price of medical care to your furry good friend. It could reimburse you for bills like most cancers remedy, emergency care, prescription drugs and surgical procedure.

In some dire eventualities, pet insurance coverage might save the lifetime of an animal who would in any other case be euthanized if its proprietor couldn’t afford expensive remedy. But when your pet not often will get sick, you would find yourself paying 1000’s of {dollars} in premiums with out getting a lot in return.

So is pet insurance coverage value it? Right here’s some data that will help you make the choice.

The rise of pet insurance coverage

A rising variety of homeowners are selecting to insure their pets. Greater than 3 million U.S. canines and cats had pet insurance coverage in 2020 — a rise of 23% from the yr earlier than, in keeping with the North American Pet Well being Insurance coverage Affiliation. The entire variety of insured cats and canines within the U.S. has doubled since 2016.

That’s vital development, however the trade nonetheless covers solely a small fraction of American pets. Within the U.S., there are 69 million households with canines and 45 million households with cats, in keeping with the American Pet Merchandise Affiliation.

What pet insurance coverage prices

The common annual price for an accident and sickness coverage is about $594 for canines and $342 for cats, in keeping with NAPHIA. That works out to roughly $50 a month for canines and $28 a month for cats.

In case you select an accident-only coverage, the annual price drops to $218 for canines and $134 for cats. Such plans will cowl remedy in case your pet is hit by a automotive or swallows one thing toxic, for instance, however received’t pay out if he will get sick.

Premiums might differ considerably primarily based in your pet’s age and breed, the price of veterinary care the place you reside and the insurance coverage coverage you select.

Bear in mind that charges have a tendency to extend as your pet will get older and extra liable to well being points. Sadly, if the plan will get too costly to your price range, you may find yourself canceling the protection simply when your pet is beginning to want it most.

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To see how a lot charges may rise over time, we checked pattern quotes from insurer Pets Greatest for a Labrador retriever residing in Brooklyn, New York. Listed below are the month-to-month costs we discovered for a coverage with a $5,000 annual restrict, $500 deductible and 80% reimbursement degree:

That will not appear too dramatic once you see the will increase on a month-to-month foundation, however right here’s how your common annual premium would change over 12 years of your canine’s life:

We additionally obtained quotes from Pets Greatest for a home shorthair cat in the identical ZIP code. (Charges run by means of age 14 to mirror a cat’s longer anticipated life span.)

Whereas the general premiums are decrease for cats, there’s a equally sharp worth improve as they age.

In the long run, you’ll doubtless pay 1000’s of {dollars} for insurance coverage in case you keep the coverage over the lifetime of your pet.

Understand that these are pattern numbers for one pet insurance coverage firm in a single ZIP code. Your individual worth will differ, so it’s value purchasing round.

What pet insurance coverage pays for

So what do all these premiums get you? Whereas insurance coverage could be a godsend in case your pet is going through an costly analysis, your plan doubtless received’t reimburse each greenback you spend on the vet.

Deductibles, limits and payouts

Most insurance policies include a deductible, the quantity you’re chargeable for earlier than the insurer begins paying. When you’ve met your deductible, most plans pay out a sure share of your vet invoice — usually 70%, 80% or 90%. And you might also be topic to an annual most payout.

Say you will have a $500 deductible on a plan that pays as much as $10,000 per yr and reimburses 80% of your prices. In case your canine wants a $2,000 surgical procedure and also you haven’t put something towards the deductible but, your plan would pay $1,200. Right here’s the mathematics:

$2,000 – $500 deductible = $1,500. 80% of $1,500 = $1,200.

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You’ll be able to typically customise your plan with a decrease deductible or greater reimbursement charge, however your premium will go up accordingly.

What’s lined and what’s not

Even in case you discover a plan with no annual restrict and 100% reimbursement, it nonetheless won’t pay you again for each veterinary expense.

For instance, most plans received’t cowl spay or neuter surgical procedure until you’ve bought an add-on for wellness and preventive care. The identical goes for vaccinations, annual checkups and enamel cleansing. That’s as a result of insurance coverage is designed to cowl sudden bills, not routine prices related to pet possession.

However pre-existing circumstances are maybe crucial exclusion in nearly each pet insurance coverage plan. Pet insurance coverage covers solely new accidents or diseases, not circumstances the animal has earlier than the coverage takes impact. So don’t strive shopping for pet insurance coverage to pay to your cat’s chemotherapy after he’s identified with most cancers — it received’t be lined.

That’s why pet insurance coverage could also be extra priceless for pets who’re younger and wholesome than those that have already got a power situation or two.

Pre-existing circumstances may also be an issue in case you let your coverage lapse. Say you’re out of labor for a number of months and might’t pay Fluffy’s premiums. In case you reinstate her protection afterward, all her earlier illnesses will rely as pre-existing circumstances, even these lined by the sooner plan.

The price of veterinary care

Canine homeowners spend a median of $458 annually on surgical vet visits and $242 annually on routine vet visits, in keeping with a latest survey by APPA. Cat homeowners have decrease annual bills on common, spending $201 on surgical vet visits and $178 on routine vet visits. (Bear in mind: Most pet insurance coverage don’t cowl routine care until you pay additional.)

Beneath are the most typical kinds of pet insurance coverage claims for canines and cats, in keeping with NAPHIA.

1. Urinary tract an infection.

1. Urinary tract an infection.

5. Dermatology/pores and skin circumstances (allergy symptoms, irritation, infections, mass).

8. Higher respiratory an infection.

10. Most cancers/development/oncology.

11. Ophthalmology/eye circumstances.

11. Inflammatory bowel illness.

Supply: NAPHIA 2021 State of the Trade Report

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Some circumstances on this record are comparatively minor and cheap to deal with, corresponding to a urinary tract an infection resolved with a course of antibiotics. However others might rack up considerably extra bills.

For instance, one widespread pores and skin mass in canines is a mast cell tumor, a sort of most cancers. Surgical procedure to take away certainly one of these tumors might price anyplace from $500 to greater than $1,000. For tumors which can be aggressive or laborious to take away surgically, your vet can also suggest radiation or chemotherapy, which may price 1000’s of {dollars}.

In case your pet faces solely minor well being circumstances all through his life, it’s possible you’ll find yourself paying way more for pet insurance coverage than you get again. But when one thing critical goes mistaken, the insurance coverage could also be properly value it.

Options to pet insurance coverage

In case you’d relatively not purchase pet insurance coverage, you’ll be able to strive one of many following methods to pay to your furry pal’s care.


As an alternative of paying a month-to-month premium to a pet insurance coverage firm, you would contribute to a high-yield financial savings account for future vet bills.

The benefit of this technique is that in case your pet stays wholesome, you’ll nonetheless have the cash to make use of for one thing else down the highway. The draw back is that you simply won’t have sufficient saved up in case your pet has an costly accident three months after you deliver her dwelling.


Monetary help

If you end up unable to afford care to your pet, you continue to have choices. Your vet could also be prepared to work with you on a fee plan, or you’ll be able to search for one other clinic that expenses much less for the remedy your pet wants.

You’ll be able to arrange a crowdfunding marketing campaign to assist pool the assist of family and friends. Charitable organizations can also be capable to present grants or different help. The Humane Society has a helpful record of assets.

So, is pet insurance coverage value it?

Think about shopping for pet insurance coverage if:

  • Your pet is younger and wholesome.

  • You don’t have sufficient financial savings to cowl a hefty vet invoice.

  • Having insurance coverage protection provides you peace of thoughts.

Pet insurance coverage is probably not value it if:

  • Your pet is a senior or already has well being issues.

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  • A giant vet invoice wouldn’t be a monetary hardship for you.

  • You’d relatively take the chance of an costly analysis than pay for insurance coverage you may by no means use.


Is pet insurance a wise investment? ›

Every pet owner should consider pet insurance. Even if you believe you have enough money to cover veterinary costs, pet insurance could still save you thousands of dollars if your pet gets sick or injured. Especially if you have multiple pets, your out-of-pocket costs could add up considerably without insurance.

How much does the average person spend on pet insurance per month? ›

Average pet insurance costs

Most pet owners can expect to pay between $20 and $50 per month for an accident and illness plan with decent coverage. Your pet's age, species and breed, as well as where you live and the coverage you choose all factor into your insurance rates.

Is it worth getting pet insurance for a 7 year old dog? ›

Is pet insurance worth it for older pets? Yes, pet insurance can be a worthwhile investment for your older pet, even if they haven't shown any signs of serious health concerns. And if they have, your best fur-friend could still enjoy several years of quality life if they get the treatment they need.

Can you save money with pet insurance? ›

Signing your pet up for insurance can be a rewarding decision that could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the course of just a few years. Before selecting an insurance provider or an insurance plan, be sure to read over each provider's specific guidelines and exemptions.

Is pet insurance tax deductible? ›

Veterinary bills, pet insurance, food, supplies, training, grooming, boarding, and transportation costs are all examples of pet expenses you can write off on taxes. However, you can only claim pets on taxes if they meet certain criteria, such as contributing to income or serving a medical need.

Does all pet insurance go up with age? ›

Is there pet insurance that doesn't increase with age? While most pet insurance companies do indeed raise premiums along with the pet's age, there is one that doesn't: Trupanion. All the rest that we looked at—including Embrace, Nationwide, and even ASPCA—increase premiums with age.

Does pet insurance get more expensive with age? ›

Insurance for senior pets works the same way as it does for younger pets. The main difference is price. Since older dogs and cats are more likely to need medical care, it generally costs more to buy pet insurance for them.

What is a good monthly budget for a dog? ›

The main costs include vet care, food, grooming, boarding and preventative treatments. According to the ASPCA, small dogs have an estimated monthly cost of $43, medium dogs cost an average of $56 per month and large dogs cost an average of $87 monthly.

At what age does pet insurance stop? ›

This is known as co-insurance and it's a common clause on pet insurance policies once your cat or dog reaches a certain age. That's typically around eight years old for dogs and 10 for cats. You'll be covered for damage to someone else's property or their injury usually after an altercation with a dog.

Does my dog really need insurance? ›

In some dire scenarios, pet insurance could save the life of an animal who would otherwise be euthanized if its owner couldn't afford pricey treatment. But if your pet rarely gets sick, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in premiums without getting much in return.

Can Vets recommend pet insurance? ›

Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses should not be seen to favour or endorse any insurer unless they are properly authorised by the FCA.

What is the number 1 ranked dog breed? ›

The American Kennel Club has used registration data to compile the list of 2021's most popular breeds. As always, the Labrador Retriever tops the list — this time for the 31st year!

What is the highest vet bill for a dog? ›

The dog breed with the highest vet bills — with an average pet insurance claim of $425 — was the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, followed by the Rottweiler ($401) and the Dogue de Bordeax ($395). Meanwhile, the dog with the least expensive vet bills — $226 on average — was the Australian Labradoodle.

Will my dog insurance go up if I make a claim? ›

Will my pet insurance costs go up if I make a claim? More than likely, yes. Your insurance provider may take the view that if you've made one claim, you're more likely to make another – bumping up your premiums as a result. The same is true if you've had to claim for accidents or for losing your pet.

Do you get money back if you cancel pet insurance? ›

You should get a refund of any premiums you have already paid. However, your insurer may take off a small amount to cover days when the policy was in force. They may also charge you a small administration fee. Some insurers may give you a longer cooling-off period.

Can I write off my dogs vet bills? ›

Unfortunately, deducting medical expenses for pets is not allowed as a medical expense on your tax return. The only exception would be if your pet is a certified service animal, like a guide dog.

What does a $500 deductible mean for pet insurance? ›

In its most basic form, a deductible is the amount you will have to pay to your veterinarian before your insurance policy kicks in and starts making payments for claims. Typical deductibles range from $0 to $1000, but the average are $100, $250, and $500.

Is pet insurance void if not vaccinated? ›

If you have pet insurance, your insurer requires your pet to have up-to-date vaccinations to keep your policy valid. This is because insurers (including us) often factor in vaccinations when calculating your pet insurance premium.

Is it worth insuring a 12 year old dog? ›

While insurance for an older dog may be pricier than a younger pet, it may be cheaper than any unexpected vet bills, prescription or ongoing treatment. It is always a good idea to be prepared, so ask your vet what type of conditions your breed tends to get when they reach an older age.

Is pet insurance worth it for a 12 year old dog? ›

Is it worth insuring an old dog? If you signed up for lifetime dog insurance when your dog was young and healthy, it will usually be worth renewing the policy each year as your dog ages. While this isn't the cheapest option, it guarantees your dog is always covered, even for long-term illnesses.

What age should you get dog insurance? ›

It costs less to insure a young pet

That cutoff age is typically between seven and 14 years. It's also more expensive to insure an older dog. That's why many experts typically recommend that you start insuring your pet when they're still a puppy or a kitten.

Is pet insurance worth it with pre existing conditions? ›

Even if your dog or cat has a pre-existing condition, that won't exclude you from obtaining pet insurance. The costs of treating that particular issue won't be covered by your new plan, but you can expect coverage for future illnesses and injuries. So pet insurance is still worth it.

Should I get pet insurance for my 10 year old dog? ›

If you want standard or comprehensive insurance, most providers require you to take out a policy before your pet turns nine. Your pooch or kitty can be protected for life with these policies – as long as you maintain continuous cover past this age.

Are there certain dog breeds that might not be covered by insurance? ›

The most commonly excluded dog breeds are rottweilers, pit bulls, German shepherds, chow chows, and many wolf breeds.

How much do Millennials spend on their dogs? ›

Among other findings, Generation Z pet owns spend more on their pet than any other generation: $1,885 annually, on average. Millennials are a close second at $1,195, followed by Gen Xers at $1,100, with baby boomers bringing up the rear at $926.

Are monthly pet plans worth it? ›

We highly recommend getting insurance for all pets to help manage sudden costs should your pet get sick, ensuring they get the best care they can. We also recommend health plans for most pets for a number of reasons.

What happens if you don't have pet insurance? ›

You'll be liable for your pet's treatment costs.

What type of dog insurance is best? ›

The best type of dog insurance is Lifetime cover, because these types of policies have limits that renew each year. Renewing limits protect against long-term or recurring conditions over the course of your dog's life. The next best type of cover is usually considered to be Max Benefit.

Why is my dog insurance so expensive? ›

As any animal ages it becomes more likely to suffer an illness and so this is a primary driver of price increases year on year. Most, but not all, insurers work on a model where the price increases as time passes giving them scope to react to vet price increases and manage their overall risk, too.

Should I put my dog on my homeowners insurance? ›

Just like with the rest of the people in your family, it's necessary to have your dog on your policy. While it may increase your premium because dogs can pose a liability risk for things like dog bites, your homeowners insurance will likely cover dog-related incidents.

What are the advantages of pet insurance? ›

Pet insurance mainly provides cover for veterinary fees if your pet is injured or becomes ill and is a sensible approach to making sure this does not become a concern. It can give you peace of mind that you are in a position to afford all the veterinary care that your pet may need.

How popular is pet insurance? ›

So how many pet owners have pet insurance? About half, or 44.6%, of pet owners stated they currently have pet insurance in our survey. On a larger scale, NAPHIA's 2022 State of the Industry Report found that more than 4.41 million pets were insured in North America in 2021, up from 3.45 million in 2020.

What dog breed lives the longest? ›

Australian Cattle Dog

An Australian Cattle Dog called Bluey holds the record for the longest-lived dog - reaching an incredible 29 years of age. The breed normally lives for around 15 years.

What is America's favorite pet? ›

Since 2020, America's Favorite Pet has crowned a Top Cat and Top Dog every year. Animal Kingdom took the Competition to a whole new level, and the results are in! AFP is proud to announce that the 2022 America's Favorite Pet: Animal Kingdom is Gaitlyn Rae, a capuchin monkey.

What is the average vet bill in America? ›

The average national cost for a dog's routine check-up is $50 to $250. Overall vet costs including wellness check-ups, dental care, lab tests and vaccines can total between $700 and $1,500 per year.

Does pet insurance go up annually? ›

It's true that you can generally expect your pet's insurance coverage cost to increase each year, along with their ever-increasing age. However, this doesn't mean that there aren't things you could—and sometimes should—consider changing about that coverage as time goes on.

Does pet insurance go up over time? ›

Age is typically the primary factor in premium increases. As pets get older, their risk of getting sick or hurt goes up, which means they cost more to insure. But your premium is based on several other factors as well, including your pet's breed and the cost of veterinary care in your area.

Is the pet industry profitable? ›

Pet supplies are a leading industry category in the United States, with sales of approximately 4.54 billion U.S. dollars and positive sales growth of 2.7%.

Does all pet insurance go up every year? ›

No matter which insurance company you choose to use for pet insurance, you can nearly always expect a yearly increase in your payments. Most pet insurance policies will increase by a small amount each year… However, the value by which this increases by can vary from policy to policy and also from year to year.

What age does pet insurance stop? ›

Is there an age limit for pet insurance? There isn't an age limit for pet insurance as long as your pet is insured and you keep paying your premium. But if you don't have pet insurance, you generally need to take a policy out before your dog or cat turns 9 or you won't be able to get comprehensive cover.

Does pets best increase with age? ›

Pets Best insurance plan premiums increase over time as a pet ages, even though there is no age limit for getting covered.

Should I insure my dog? ›

It can be an especially worthwhile pet insurance for owners with a healthy pet breed that aren't expecting to have to cover any chronic or hereditary conditions. It will cover most immediate injuries and illnesses and the cover is usually enough to help with vet bills until your pet is mostly recovered.

What do pet owners buy most? ›

Pet food and treats make up 40.5% of all pet product spending (APPA) Any pet owner will confess that feeding and rewarding their companions are the most expensive aspects of pet ownership. In 2020, Americans spent $50 billion on kibble and treats.

What is the highest paying pet job? ›

Veterinarian. A veterinarian is one of the highest-paying animal careers. There are many different types of veterinary jobs.

What should my pet insurance cover? ›

What can pet insurance cover? Pet insurance mainly covers veterinary treatment costs; however, some policies provide additional options. This may include payment for the loss or theft of a pet, death of a pet by illness or injury and third-party liability cover.

Is pet insurance cheaper if neutered? ›

Neutering your pet can mean you see a reduction in the cost of your pet insurance premium as your pet is less likely to stray or develop health conditions related to not neutering your pet.


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