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Do You Need Pet Health Insurance?



This is my dog Sport and I love him very much.  Most of the day he lays at my feet in my home office while I am working.  My family is fortunate that Sport has had very few medical issues.  We have had him since he was a puppy and he is now 12.  I was listening to a financial talk show this past week and a caller raised the question of ‘pet insurance’ as she began to describe a $3,000 knee procedure that her dog was in need of.  I was very interested. First, since I did not know that dogs had knees but mostly about the fact that such a procedure actually existed.  Treatments that used to only be for humans, including radiation and kidney transplants, are now available for pets.  My curiosity and resulting research is the topic of this week’s blog.


Pet insurance pays the veterinary costs if your pet becomes ill or is injured in an accident. Some policies will also pay a benefit when the pet dies, or if it's lost or stolen.  The purpose of pet health insurance is to manage the financial risk associated with expenses to treat sick or injured pets. As veterinary medicine is increasingly using expensive medical procedures and drugs, the demand for pet insurance has increased.

How Much Are You Willing To Invest In Your Dog’s Health?

We raised this question on my recent live podcast and got a variety of responses.  In my own case, my dog would end up limping before I invested $3,000 in a knee procedure for him (report me to the Humane Society if you must).  This is just me, perhaps you have an unlimited budget to deal with your pet’s medical issues. How much you are willing to spend is the primary consideration as to whether or not you should consider this type of pet coverage.

How Much Does Dog and Cat Insurance Cost?

Depending on the age of your animal, breed, and other factors, it will cost about $50 to $100 per month.  Just as with regular health insurance, your choice of deductibles and coverage will greatly influence the rate.

What Kinds Of Pets Can Be Insured?

GeckoMost plans cover cats and dogs, but I was surprised to find coverage for birds as well as ‘exotic pets’ such as:

Amphibians, Chameleons, Chinchillas, Ferrets, Geckos, Gerbils, Goats, Guinea, Hamsters, Hedgehogs, Iguanas, Lizards, Mice, Opossums, Potbellied pigs, Rats, Rabbits, Snakes,Sugar gliders, Tortoises, Turtles

The cost of health insurance for exotic animals varies greatly from one company to the next.

Where Can I Buy Pet Insurance?




Pet Care

ASPCA Pet Insurance


Is It A Good Financial Move To Buy Medical Insurance On Your Pet?

The cost of mainting this coverage over the life of your pet can be $5,000 or more.  I don’t think it is likely that you would actually spend this much on veterinary care for your pet.  For most people, it is a better approach to set aside a few dollars each month in a savings account to cover your pet’s medical needs.  There are some financial writers that actually consider pet insurance a wise investment, but I am not sold at this point.

Have you used pet medical insurance?  What was your experience?  Please comment below.

Helping you make the most of God’s money!

James L. Paris
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