Pet insurance is sold to pet owners with the promise that it will cover part if not all of your pets medical bill.

A serious illness or injury can take a financial toll, even when the patient is a pet. Cancer treatments can easily run $5,000; surgery to fix a torn ACL from, say, a poorly executed jump off the sofa can cost about $3,300. Pet insurance is sold with the promise that by helping to cover some of your pet’s medical bills, you won’t be forced to consider “economic euthanasia” in the most dire circumstances.

A few years ago, my cat ate part of a lily plant leaf. I didn’t think anything of it, but then my cat started to act weird. I relied on my internet doctor (google) to figure out what was going on. The internet doctor revealed that lily plans can be toxic to cats.  My immediate reaction was to pack up my cat and run to the veterinarian.

My sweet cat had to undergo emergency treatment. This included a 3 day stay in intensive care, tests, and IV fluids. My total bill was close to $2,000! That’s right. My pet insurance covered $1500 from the bill. My responsibility was $500.

As financially helpful and probably emotionally comforting it is to have pet insurance, is the monthly premium really worth it? A study recently revealed that only about 1% of 174 million animal babies are insured. This may seem like a small amount, but pet insurance is actually on the rise.

Some of the big pet insurance policy holders include:

  • PetFirst
  • Petplan
  • Trupanion
  • Embrace
  • Healthy Paws

How Do Plans Work?

Pet insurance is very similar to human health insurance. Pet policies come in a number of deductibles, co-payments and premiums. The main difference is that you have to pay the veterinarian the full medical bill and then wait to be reimbursed from the pet insurance company.

The insurance company Trupanion is changing this reimbursement model. Their model provides payments directly to the service provider on the same day over service.

The cost of coverage depends on your pet and its breed, age, the increasing cost of veterinary care, and the coverage that you choose for your pet baby. All policies exclude pre-existing conditions and also exclude breed specific conditions.


Just like human health insurance, you can pick your coverage plan. You can pick a plan that covers accidents, or one that covers accidents and sickness. You can even find coverage for wellness check ups (similar to your yearly physical check up). Approximately, 81% of pet insurance plans cover both accidents and illness for dogs.

Additional Ways To Save On Your Pets Medical Expenses

  • Stay up to date on your pets vaccines! This will help avoid illnesses. Also talk to your vet to see which vaccines you can possibly skip.
  • Stay away from flees and ticks! Ticks can cause Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
  • Neuter your pet. This can help prevent health issues like cancer.

Having a pet is another whole being to care for. You need to take it seriously and consider if pet health insurance is optimal for your animal baby. Do more research, talk to your veterinarian and call pet insurance companies to figure out what is optimal for you.


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