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Should I buy pet insurance for my dog?


No matter how careful and responsible we are as pet parents, dogs somehow find ways to get into trouble. From swallowing something they shouldn’t to coming down with an illness or getting into an accident, at some point in their lives, it’s safe to say that most animals will need an emergency vet visit. 

To minimize the risk of an expensive vet bill if something unexpected happens, you might be considering pet insurance. 

While pet insurance used to be a niche product, it’s gotten increasingly popular over time. There are now several different companies and policies you can choose from.

It’s important to understand that routine veterinary care, like wellness visits and vaccines, aren’t really what you need to be concerned about when it comes to your pet’s health care costs. The biggest concern when it comes to expensive veterinary care is your pet contracting a serious disease or getting injured in an accident and needing surgery. 

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Is pet insurance worth it? 

It’s estimated that one in three pets will need emergency veterinary treatment within a given year, and the average cost of an emergency visit can be $1,000 or more. But knowing if it’ll ever happen to you and your pet is impossible to predict. So you’ll have to decide if you’d prefer to be prepared, or risk it and hope your dog never needs expensive emergency vet care, and if he does, that it’s less than the cost of insurance would have been.

 

How much does pet insurance cost?

According to Lending Tree, the average cost of pet insurance plans that cover both accidents and illnesses is $48.78 for dogs, or about $588 per year. So if your dog did need expensive care in a given year, pet insurance was worth the investment. And if not, you paid for peace of mind.

 

What does pet insurance cover?

Most pet insurance policies cover up to 90 percent of the vet bill, so long as the procedure needed wasn’t excluded from your coverage. If you’d like to explore pet insurance plans, here is a list of The Best Pest Insurance Companies of 2021 by Money magazine.

 

How do I choose a policy?

Typically, there are three kinds of pet insurance coverage to choose from: accident only, accident and illness, and wellness plans. Accident and illness plans are the most common, as routine care like wellness visits aren’t usually too expensive.

 

The bottom line

On one hand, if something does happen and you need care, it’s great to be covered with pet insurance. But if your dog remains healthy and safe, or you are financially able to cover the cost of an accident out of pocket, you might not want to invest in pet insurance.