Is Pet Insurance a Good Idea?

Pet insurance has its pros and cons. Be sure to look at all of the factors before deciding.

Woman with dog and cat - Should you get pet insurance?
When deciding to get insurance for your pets, look at the policy very closely to understand all the details.

Though many Americans don’t know it, pet insurance is a readily available service that can help you pay for serious medical problems that occur with your pet. Deciding whether or not to get it can be difficult, so you should know the details before making any choices.

What is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is similar to human health insurance; it is available to help pay for medical bills in an industry that can be very expensive. There are a variety of companies that provide this service, and you can get different types of coverage and policies.

What to Consider Before Getting Pet Insurance

There are many factors that play into whether or not you should get pet insurance. You should do a careful evaluation of these factors before making a decision. Here are some things to consider:

  • Cost: This is one of the first things you should look at. Cost varies between providers, policies, and pets. Check up on the different companies you could go with and compare prices to see what makes the most sense for you.
  • Breed: For some pets, like dogs, certain breeds are known to be more prone to health problems. If this is the case, pet insurance might be a very good option for you. One such problem is hip dysplasia, which affects German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, and Saint Bernards primarily. Other breeds with high incidences of medical problems are Shar-Peis, pugs, and bulldogs.
  • Pre-existing conditions: If your pet has a pre-existing medical condition, make sure that the policy you get will cover it. Different policies can have confusing rules about these conditions.
  • What Does the Policy Cover: Make sure you know what your policy will cover what you will need it to. This could include routine check-ups, vaccinations, and emergencies.
  • Type of pet: While dog and cat care is fairly common, if you have an exotic pet like a bird or reptile, medical costs can be more expensive. You may want to consider pet insurance more strongly for animals like these.

Know your pet and know your policy

The most important thing to remember is that you should investigate a potential policy very closely. Know exactly what the details are, including what the cancellation policies, maximum payouts, and other features are.