Pet Insurance Guide

Pet insurance works much like health insurance does for humans, but with some differences. It’s similar in the sense that it can provide coverage for the cost of unexpected veterinary care for your pet. You will pay a monthly or annual premium to the insurance company, often with a deductible, and in return, the insurance company provides coverage for eligible veterinary expenses.

Where pet insurance differs is when a pet requires veterinary care, you will need to pay the veterinarian for the treatment upfront. Then you have to submit a claim to the insurance company. The insurance company will review the claim and then will reimburse you for a portion of the covered expenses, based on the terms of the policy you have.

Why People Get Pet Insurance

The Benefits of Pet Insurance

There are many potential benefits to getting pet insurance, including:

  • Financial Protection: Pet insurance can provide financial protection in the event of unexpected accidents, illnesses, or injuries. Without insurance, the cost of unexpected veterinary care can be a significant financial burden for pet owners, potentially resulting in difficult decisions about whether to seek necessary treatment or not.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that you have insurance can give you peace of mind that your pet will be able to receive necessary medical care in the event of unexpected health issues. You can focus on providing your pet with the care and attention they need, without worrying about the cost.
  • Customizable Coverage: Many pet insurance providers offer a variety of plans and coverage options, allowing you to choose the coverage level and deductible that best fits your needs and budget.
  • Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions: Some pet insurance providers offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, which can be particularly beneficial for pets with chronic health issues. However, many do not so it’s important to be aware of this policy or plan accordingly.
  • Alternative Treatments: Many pet insurance providers cover alternative treatments such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and chiropractic care. This can provide additional options for treating your pet’s health issues.
  • Discounts: Some pet insurance providers offer discounts for multiple pets, as well as other incentives such as spay/neuter discounts.

Compare Pet Insurance Providers

Insurance ProviderMonthly Cost RangeAnnual Deductible RangeMulti-Pet Discount
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance$20-$50$100-$500Yes
Embrace Pet Insurance$25-$50$100-$500Yes
Healthy Paws$20-$60$100-$500No
Pets Best$25-$50$0-$1,000Yes

Get Additional Details

MetLife Pet Insurance

MetLife Pet Insurance offers comprehensive coverage for pets, including dogs and cats. They offer customizable insurance plans that cover accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions, as well as alternative therapies and ... Read more

Spot Pet Insurance

Spot Pet Insurance is a pet insurance provider that aims to offer affordable and customizable insurance plans for dogs and cats. They offer a simple online platform for pet owners ... Read more

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws was founded in 2009 with the mission of providing comprehensive and affordable pet insurance coverage for dogs and cats. The company offers one simple plan that covers accidents, ... Read more

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is a subsidiary of Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group that is endorsed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Their ... Read more

Petplan Pet Insurance

Petplan is a pet insurance provider that offers customizable plans for dogs and cats. Their coverage includes illnesses, accidents, and hereditary and congenital conditions. Petplan also offers optional coverage for ... Read more

Trupanion Pet Insurance

Trupanion is a Seattle-based pet insurance company that offers medical insurance for cats and dogs. Their coverage includes hereditary and congenital conditions, as well as chronic conditions, cancer, and other ... Read more

Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance was founded in 2003 and offers customizable pet insurance plans that provide coverage for accidents, illnesses, and wellness care. They also offer coverage for hereditary and genetic ... Read more

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Nationwide is a well-known insurance and financial services company that has been providing pet insurance since 1982. With more than 800,000 pets insured, Nationwide is one of the largest providers ... Read more

Best Pets Pet Insurance

Pets Best was founded in 2005 by a veterinarian who recognized the need for comprehensive and flexible pet insurance coverage. The company offers three different insurance plans, each with varying ... Read more

kitty and puppy napping

What Does Pet Insurance Cost?

The cost of pet insurance can also vary widely depending on the coverage selected and the age and breed of the pet. In general, your monthly premiums can range from around $10 to $100 or more, depending on the level of coverage and the specific policy. Some providers may also offer you discounts for insuring multiple pets, for purchasing a policy online or even bundling it with other types of insurances the company might provide.

It’s important that you review the specific terms and conditions of any pet insurance policy carefully to understand the coverage, cost, and limitations. Be sure you research the different pet insurance providers and policies available, and consult with your veterinarian or other trusted sources to make an informed decision about whether pet insurance is right for you and your pet.

The amount of coverage provided and the cost of the premium can vary depending on the policy, the age and health of the pet, and other factors. Some policies have annual deductibles, which require you to pay a certain amount out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. Other policies may have annual or lifetime coverage limits, which cap the amount of reimbursement available for veterinary expenses.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Preventive Care?

Many pet insurance providers typically do not cover routine preventive care, such as annual check-ups, vaccinations, and other routine veterinary procedures. However, some pet insurance companies offer optional wellness plans or add-ons that provide coverage for vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and other preventive care services, such as dental cleanings, bloodwork, and certain diagnostic tests. These plans are designed to help pet owners budget for the cost of routine care and may offer a range of benefits, such as discounts on certain services or coverage for preventive medications.

It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of any pet insurance plan you are considering to understand what is and is not covered. If you have specific concerns or questions about coverage for preventive care, it’s also a good idea to speak directly with the pet insurance company or your veterinarian.

dog at vet

The Alternative: The Cost of Going to the Vet

The cost of a veterinary visit can vary widely depending on the location, type of practice, and the services provided during the visit. However, according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association in 2021, the average cost of a routine veterinary visit for dogs was $292 and for cats was $246. You can expect to pay much more for any serious health emergencies. Some pet owners can spend thousands of dollars to help save their fur-babies.

It’s important to note that the cost of veterinary care can increase significantly for more serious or complex health issues or emergencies. This is where pet insurance can be particularly beneficial, as it can provide financial protection for unexpected veterinary costs that may be difficult to manage on your own.

Cost of Getting You Pet Fixed

The cost of getting a pet fixed, also known as spaying or neutering, can vary depending on a number of factors, including the size and age of the pet, the location of the veterinary clinic, and any additional services provided during the procedure. However, on average, the cost of spaying or neutering a pet ranges from $200 to $500.

It’s important to note that the cost of spaying or neutering may be lower in some areas, particularly for low-cost or subsidized programs aimed at reducing pet overpopulation. Some animal shelters and rescue organizations also offer spay/neuter clinics at a reduced cost.

Overall, spaying or neutering your pet can be an important step in preventing health issues and reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, as well as preventing unwanted litters. While it can be a significant expense, the cost of spaying or neutering is often lower than the cost of caring for an unexpected litter of puppies or kittens.

Paying for Pet Vaccinations

If a vet recommends a vaccination for your pet, it really means you should get it, especially the core vaccinations covered here.

For Dogs

Puppies require a series of vaccinations to protect them from a range of infectious diseases. The exact vaccinations required can vary depending on factors such as the puppy’s age, breed, and overall health status.

The following are some of the core vaccinations that are typically recommended for puppies:

  • Distemper: This vaccination protects against a highly contagious virus that can cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological problems in dogs.
  • Parvovirus: This vaccination protects against a virus that can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration, and can be fatal in young puppies.
  • Canine adenovirus: This vaccination protects against a virus that can cause respiratory and liver disease in dogs.
  • Rabies: This vaccination is required by law in many states and protects against the rabies virus, which can be fatal to both humans and animals.

The cost of each vaccine can vary depending on factors such as the location of the veterinary clinic and the specific brand of vaccine used. On average, you can expect to pay between $20 to $50 per vaccine, with the rabies vaccine typically costing slightly more. However, some veterinary clinics may offer package deals or discounted rates for multiple vaccinations, so it’s worth checking with your local clinic to see what options are available.

For Cats

Kittens require a series of vaccinations to protect them from various infectious diseases. The specific vaccinations recommended for your kitten can depend on a number of factors, including their age, breed, and overall health.

Here are some of the core vaccinations that are typically recommended for kittens:

  • Feline Distemper (FVRCP): This vaccination protects against a group of viruses that can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal problems in cats.
  • Feline Leukemia (FeLV): This vaccination protects against a virus that can cause leukemia and other types of cancer in cats.
  • Rabies: This vaccination is required by law in many states and protects against the rabies virus, which can be fatal to both humans and animals.

Like vaccines for dogs, the cost of each vaccine for cats vary. The average cost is also $20 to $50 per vaccine.

human hugging dog

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Whether pet insurance is worth it depends on your individual circumstances, including your pet’s health, age, and breed, your budget, and your own level of comfort with risk. Ultimately, the decision to get pet insurance is a personal one that should take into account your pet’s health and your own financial situation. If you do decide to get pet insurance, be sure to carefully research the different options and read the policy terms and conditions before making a decision.