Is pet insurance worth it?

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Topic: Is pet insurance worth it?

Other February 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Is pet insurance worth it?


My dog is getting older and I’m wondering if it’s worth getting pet insurance for her.  And if so, which companies do you recommend?

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It is best to think of pet insurance as catastrophe insurance.  Most pet insurance companies do not cover routine health visits.  Having said that, once your dog is in urgent need of care, you will really want that insurance (unless you want to pay $1500 for the doggie MRI, which I can say from personal experience is less fun than you think – and that was for a puppy who hurt himself jumping).  One thing you will want to consider is what measures you would realistically take to preserve the life and well being of your dog.  I don’t say that to sound mean, but pet owners vary in how far they will go to treat their pet, with some pursuing all options and others opting sooner to euthanize the animal.  If you are more the former, insurance might be a good idea for you.  Another thing to keep in mind is that most pet insurance companies will not cover preexisting conditions.  If you wait to get coverage and your dog develops a chronic condition, you will not then be able to get insurance coverage for that treatment.  As for me, I have two dogs, and have insurance through Pet Plan for both.  I like the coverage that company offers, and also like that you can adjust your premium based on the amount of coverage, percentage of coverage, and deductible you pick.


Unequivocally YES!  I have had the sad misfortune of having both my cats come down with fatal illnesses in the past 2 years.  The first cat – without pet insurance – cost me $8,000 before she died.  The second one would have cost me over $2,000 had I not had pet insurance.  I had to pay out up front, but I was reimbursed a large portion of the cost.  There is also a pet insurance – the name escapes me – that has participating vets who will not bill you but will file for you, but I can’t recall the name and you have to go to their vets.  The one I used is Pet Plan.  I only wish I’d had it for the first cat.

I’ve always heard that with the amount of things not covered by pet insurance, it’s ultimately not worth getting and that you’re better off putting the money you’d pay towards pet insurance into a savings or investment account and then using that down the line when/if needed.
Here’s a Consumer Reports article on this:


I looked into pet insurance when I got my pets several years ago and after reading the exclusions and doing the math, I decided to set aside an emergency fund that I could use for vet expenses instead rather than paying a monthly premium. Like any insurance, it’s a hedge against expenses you may not incur, so just speaking for myself personally, I was willing to take my chances that I could cover any necessary expenses out of my savings. So far the pets have been fairly healthy and it’s worked out in my favor, but I expect that the vet costs will go up with time.

Especially if you are insuring an older dog, make sure to read all the fine print. I think PetPlan is one of the better ones in terms of fewer exclusions, covering actual vet costs rather than “customary” costs, and the like. I have heard bad things about VPI (low/no payouts, looking for any excuse to deem something a “preexisting condition,” etc).

My $0.02 – pet insurance is not worth it. We had it for the first year after we adopted our first cat and never recouped the value. The major, life-saving surgery that he needed near the close of the term was not covered.  Maybe in the long run pet insurance works for some people, but I feel like the concept rivals only home warranties in terms of throwing money away.

In my experience it’s not worth it. We had our two dogs insured under VPI for everything except routine visits. Whenever we tried to file a claim for something it was rejected for one reason or another.
I was especially surprised to learn that VPI would not pay for my dog’s cateract surgery– I had checked my schedule of coverage beforehand and “cateracts” were clearly listed there. When I spoke with someone at VPI I learned that, since my dog was under 7 years of age, his cateracts are considered “juvenile cateracts” and therefore not covered.
At that point I cancelled my plan. If pet insurance won’t even cover an unexpected medical procedure that is not based on hereditary or pre-existing conditions, what will they cover? If your dog is extremely accident prone it might be worthwhile, but otherwise the experts say you’re better off putting the money into a saving account.

I disagree with most of these posts. I dont know where some of them bought pet insurance from but things like routine vet visits are absolutely covered by the plans we have for our two dogs. You do have to look at the details of what companies cover and under which plans but most I looked at when purchasing covered the most common conditions a pet would encounter. We have been with PetPartners for three years now and in our case it has paid for itself. Remember if everyone “recouped” their payments there would be no such thing as insurance. I am happy to recommend Pet Partners

When people ask me that question my answer is always the same: It depends. Buying pet insurance is both an economic and an emotional decision that needs to be based on your personal financial situation and what you’re willing to pay for peace of mind.
“If you get the right policy, it can be an asset to the health care of that pet and have a significant impact on the bill that results from a visit in an emergency situation” says veterinarian Jean Maixner, co-owner of Animal Critical Care & Emergency Services in Seattle.
My recommendation :-

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