Do I need pet insurance?

As pet lovers, we all want our companion animals to live long, healthy lives. But there’s more to keeping your pets in the pink than providing them with nutritious food, clean water, ample exercise, and lots of love. And an unexpected illness or injury could quickly send your household finances into disarray.

If you’re on the fence about purchasing pet insurance for your dog or cat, here are five reasons to consider it.

1. Expect the unexpected. When we become pet owners, most of us understand the basic financial responsibilities of caring for a pet—such as purchasing food, collars, bowls, leashes, etc. But a sudden injury or unanticipated illness can leave you facing some hard choices—such as whether to sacrifice the family vacation to pay for your dog’s cruciate ligament repair surgery. Let’s face it, adversity has a way of striking when we are least prepared, and as with human medical care, veterinary care can be expensive. Remember that cruciate repair? On average, repair and rehabilitation costs can top $8,000 depending on the course of treatment—all of which would have to be paid out of pocket and non-reimbursable without pet insurance.

2. Expand your treatment options. As the quality of veterinary care advances, its tools, training, and technology expand to offer new treatment options and improved outcomes. For example, some canine cancers that once had grim prognoses are more easily diagnosed and treated using advanced technology. But the average cost of caring for a dog with cancer runs between $9,000 and $10,000. For many of us, shouldering that kind of expense would be a hardship (if not an impossibility) without pet insurance. The bottom line: by purchasing pet insurance, you broaden your treatment options without breaking your budget.
 
3. Understand the industry. Pet insurers look at various elements when calculating rates. Factors such as your pet’s age, breed, current health status, and pre-existing health conditions can all affect insurability and cost. Most insurers, for example, will charge a slightly higher premium to insure an older pet. This higher rate offsets the increased risks that accompany advanced age. Some insurers also look at a pet’s breed to help make educated guesses about the types of procedures that may be needed to treat breed-specific health problems. By doing a little online research, you can educate yourself about the pet insurance industry and make more informed choices when choosing a provider.

4. Shop around and compare. Like human health insurance providers, pet insurance providers are not all alike. Each offers slightly different coverage plans and premium structures. By understanding your pet’s current health picture and by knowing a little about what each pet insurance provider offers, you can make meaningful price comparisons to assist in the decision-making process.

Questions to ask when looking for a pet insurance provider:

  • Are the benefits and limitations of their policy options clearly defined? (Do they offer a sample policy to review?)
  • What are the prices and provisions of adding coverage (such as rehabilitation, dental, etc.) to your policy.
  • Are there any price discounts (such as multiple pet, employee benefits, etc.)?
  • Is the claim filing process simple, and what is the turnaround time for reimbursement?
  • Are there any exclusions that could affect your coverage? (Ex. pre-existing conditions)

5. Discover what peace of mind feels like. Perhaps the most important thing that pet insurance buys you, is the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pet will always receive the best care by a vet of your choice. And if your animal becomes suddenly injured or ill, you’ll know you’ll have the resources to pay for their care.

Editor’s Note: No one is permitted to sell, solicit or negotiate an insurance policy without a producer license in the state in which the plan is sold, and all prospects should be directed to Figo Pet Insurance. The information contained in this blog is for illustrative purposes only and coverage under any pet insurance policy is expressly subject to the conditions, restrictions, limitations, exclusions (including pre-existing conditions), and terms of the policy documentation issued by the insurer. Availability of this program is subject to each state’s approval and coverage may vary by state.


Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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