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Should you insure your pet?

Should you insure your pet?

We all love our pets. Often a beloved dog or cat becomes as much a part of our family as a child or close relative. And when pets age, suffer accidents or start to have health problems, bills and emotions can quickly become complicated and overwhelming.

Dog and woman playing on a sofa

The value and care of your pet is not covered by your renters’ insurance policy (though your pet’s bed, toys, and other possessions are part of the contents of your apartment and are included). One option you may want to consider as you provide for your pet’s future is to purchase insurance for your pet.

Pet insurance is essentially the same as human health insurance – depending on the policy, it typically covers expenses incurred if your pet becomes ill, is hit by a car, or gets in a fight with another cat or dog and has their ear ripped off (by the way, please don’t let your pets roam around outside with no supervision – it’s a recipe for disaster).

The tricky part of pet insurance is figuring out whether the cost of the insurance (which can vary widely, depending on the type of pet you have and  how old it is) will be less than the coverage you’ll benefit from should anything ever happen to your dog or cat.

There are mixed opinions on this one. Many assessments conclude that the cost of pet insurance over a pet’s lifetime ends up about equal to the cost of the insurance premiums, so you might be better off setting the money aside and taking your chances.

However, if you want the peace of mind that pet insurance offers and know that you’re the type of person who would want to keep your pet alive in almost any foreseeable crisis, insurance might be the best route for you.

One disclaimer about pet insurance is that policies can be variable and finicky about what they’ll cover. For example, they will almost always cover your aging dog’s arthritis medication, but they might not cover a purebed pup’s heart condition, arguing that it’s a preexisting or genetic disease.

Before signing on to any pet insurance plan, be sure to do your due diligence and find out what you can expect from the policy you’re buying later on down the line. Hopefully you and Fido or Fluffy will have a long happy life together and never need to use that coverage at all.