Dog Owner Diaries: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance

Healthcare is often a scary, convoluted mess, and the same can be said for pet healthcare. With a seemingly infinite number of providers that offer an impossible amount of plans, navigating the vast sea of pet insurance plans would seem like an insurmountable task.


Luckily for you, I’ve spent some time gathering information to help you get a better understanding of what pet insurance and how it works.


Why Insure a Pet?

First off, let’s look at what pet insurance does.

Most insurers have a deductible you will have to meet, and it may be annual or the incident must be determined by the plan and/or the provider. After that deductible is met, a plan’s benefits will kick in. Basic plans would cover bigger health problems (like surgeries) and would come with higher deductibles, lower premiums, and wouldn’t cover normal illnesses.


Premiums have many working parts to determine their final number. Along with plan coverage and provider, things like age, breed, and location will factor into your plan.


A major difference between pet insurance and your own health insurance is that, in most cases, you don’t have to worry about being in-network.


Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of pet insurance.



Ease of Mind
With a good pet insurance plan, you won’t have to worry as much about experiencing the sticker shock of a sky-high vet bill because your plan would cover most of the cost. Providers usually cover 70 to 90 percent of the vet bill if the treatment is covered under your plan.


Customizable Plans
Pet plans now come with almost as much variety as their human counterparts. This means that you can set yourself up with a plan tailored to meet your dog’s needs.


More Treatments
Some treatments may not even be considered because of the cost, but with insurance, you open some doors that may have otherwise been shut.


Pet insurance is widely available and there are many providers out there competing for your business. Availability also comes into play with vet offices, since most offices accept a variety of pet insurance plans.



Getting insurance for an older dog can prove to be difficult. Most providers won’t insure dogs over 10 years old, and some providers even exclude diseases that are common for certain breeds, such as hip dysplasia for German shepherds.

Overall Cost
Like any insurance plan, you may end up paying more than you are getting back in the long run. This downside will come down to the old argument of being safe rather than sorry.



After doing research for this article, I’m considering finding a new plan for my pups. My current plan is around $60 for each dog and includes preventive care, but I could use some more of the major health issue coverage for additional peace of mind. 


At the end of the day, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of pet insurance to decide if it’s something that makes sense for your pet and your budget.


I’m on the side of preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. Of course, I’d rather pay for insurance and have a healthy dog, but if my dogs get sick, it’s nice to be prepared. If you decide might make the most sense for your own situation, do your shopping and be sure to get quotes from multiple places before making your decision.

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