Researching pet insurance.

Even the most lovingly cared for pet can experience an unexpected injury or medical emergency. The good news is advancements in veterinary medicine have led to improved outcomes for sick and injured pets. But this high level of care comes at a cost. 

Emergency vet visits average between $800 and $1,500, depending upon your location. If a sudden expense of this degree would put a strain on your household budget, you might want to consider pet insurance. To help you decide if pet insurance is worth it, our team at Arlington Animal Hospital takes a closer look. 

A Breakdown of Pet Care Costs

According to the ASPCA, pet parents can plan to spend anywhere from about $1,500 to $2,700 for a cat or a dog (without insurance) during the first year—and that’s just for basic supplies and routine medical treatments like vaccines, spay/neuter, and microchipping. Some of these are one-time costs, so you might expect subsequent years of pet care to be more affordable. But what about emergencies? According to CareCredit, an ingested foreign object can cost dog owners an average of $3,262 and cat owners $2,955. This is where pet insurance may come in handy.

Pet Insurance Basics

Pet insurance for cats and dogs works just like home or auto insurance. You pay a monthly premium, and the insurance company reimburses you for covered expenses. Plans vary widely, so it’s important to choose the one that fits your budget and meets your expectations for your pet’s healthcare needs. Brachycephalic dog breeds, for instance, are more susceptible to certain medical conditions than others. 

What Does Pet Health Insurance Typically Cover?

  • Ingestion of foreign objects 
  • Broken bones 
  • Cancer treatment
  • Chronic conditions like diabetes
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Surgery
  • Diagnostics
  • Prescriptions
  • Emergency care costs

Typically Not Covered

Possible Add-Ons

Some pet insurance companies offer add-ons to their policies, including:

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average monthly premium for accident and illness coverage is about $28 for cats and $49 for dogs, meaning pet health insurance would cost around $336 annually for a cat and $588 a year for a dog. The cost of your policy will depend on your pet’s age, breed, geographic location, and the chosen coverage options and add-ons. 

Pet Insurance Companies

Choosing the right pet insurance company can seem overwhelming. Popular sites like Consumers Advocate, ASPCA, and Forbes offer side-by-side comparisons to help pet owners choose the company and coverage that is right for their pets and their budgets.

Like any insurance policy, pet health insurance is something you hope you never have to use, but it can provide peace of mind if your pet incurs an injury or develops a serious illness. Please reach out to us if you have more questions about pet insurance.