It doesn’t matter how much you love your dog and how well you take care of it. Pets can get sick and hurt no matter how hard you try to avoid it. That’s where pet insurance comes in and can be worth having. But is it worth it in your case?

Let’s dive into what pet insurance is, what pet insurance covers, the associated costs, and, finally, if it’s worth it for you.

What is pet insurance and how does it work?

Pet insurance is an insurance policy that can be purchased by a pet owner to help pay veterinary bills. It can cover the total or part of a veterinary expense and may not cover every veterinary procedure. Vet bills can be expensive and pet insurance is there to help in case you have an unexpected cost with your dog.

Unlike health insurance for humans, it’s likely that you’ll have to pay the vet bill in full in advance. You’ll the reimbursement later from the pet insurance company. Pet insurances come with a variety of deductibles, co-payments, and premiums plans. If you decide to get one, you should do some research and compare plans. That way you can choose a plan that best fits your specific case.

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What does pet insurance cover?

The pet insurance coverage depends a lot on the company and plan. Most pet insurance plans cover:

  • Treatment related to accidents and diseases
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Diagnostic testing, and imaging (such as X-rays and MRIs)

Some pet insurance plans may even cover things like:

  • Genetic & breed-specific conditions
  • Routine care costs
  • Alternative therapies
  • Prescription medications

The most common pet insurance plans used by dog owners only cover accidents and illnesses. Like any other insurance, the more you want it to cover, the higher the cost will be.  Most pet insurance policies won’t cover any preexisting conditions and other things such as:

  • Preventative procedures
  • Breeding
  • Pregnancy
  • Prescription diet food

How much does pet insurance cost?

There are several factors that play a role in pet insurance costs. To estimate the cost of the pet insurance for your dog, the company will consider your dog’s

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Breed 
  • Location

Value Penguin quoted 11 different pet insurance companies. They concluded that the average monthly cost of a pet insurance plan for dogs ranges from $25 to $70. The average monthly cost for a premium plan was $42.45.

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Is it worth it having pet insurance?

As mentioned before, pet insurance can be a big help if something unexpected happens to your dog. It can help you with any medical cost without putting you under a financial strain.

An article published in Consumer Reports compared the costs of several insurance plans for a dog. They concluded it only pays out if your dog has a serious condition that needs expensive procedures and treatments. However, if your dog doesn’t have any conditions out of what is normal, it’s not worth paying for pet insurance. You never know what the future holds and it’s about preparing for any situation. 

Talk to your vet about what costs are you expected to have with your dog. What are the most common problems according to your dog’s breed? Try to weigh every possible scenario so you can make a more informed decision.

Don’t try to get pet insurance after you learn that your dog needs an expensive procedure done. To prevent these situations, pet insurance companies have waiting periods. For accidents, the waiting period ranges from 24 to 48 hours. For illnesses and medical conditions, it can range from 14 days and up to one year. It depends on the condition itself.

Is pet insurance right for you?

Purchasing a pet insurance plan is very helpful if your dog has an accident or develops a severe medical condition. Treating these can drive your veterinary expenses through the roof. But keep in mind that insurances aren’t designed to turn a profit. They’re there to protect your wallet against any veterinary bills that you didn’t prepare for.

Talk to your vet to weigh what are the costs that you are expected to have with your dog. Talk about what are the chances of your dog developing any serious problems. Different breeds are more likely to develop specific medical conditions.

If you’ve decided not to get pet insurance, another option can be to start an emergency savings fund for your dog instead.