Is Pet Insurance Worth It? A Complete Guide To Find Out If So

Written by: Lindsay Giguiere



Time to read 4 min

Much like its human counterpart, pet medical insurance functions as a safeguard for your furry companion's well-being, addressing their health needs with a tailored touch. Designed exclusively for our loyal four-legged friends, this insurance offers a safety net against unforeseen adversities that may befall them.

From unexpected injuries that result from a playful romp to sudden accidents that leave you worried, and even the onset of unexpected illnesses, pet insurance steps in to provide the support your dog deserves.

The scope and specifics of the coverage, akin to a customized health plan, differ among various insurance providers and the specific policies they offer. Factors such as the type of coverage, the range of ailments or injuries covered, and the reimbursement percentages can all vary. Thus, when delving into the realm of pet insurance, understanding the intricacies and nuances of the coverage you're considering becomes essential. But don't worry, we got you covered. And we will explain everything you need to know!

Pet Insurance Coverage Options

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When exploring pet insurance, you'll come across three main coverage options: accident and illness, accident-only, and wellness coverage.

Accident and Illness Coverage

This comprehensive coverage option typically covers accidents and veterinary-diagnosed illnesses or diseases. It includes expenses such as surgery, medication, tests, emergency care, and examination fees. This option offers extensive protection for unexpected medical events and can be valuable for dog owners seeking comprehensive coverage.

Accident-Only Coverage

As the name suggests, this coverage option focuses solely on injuries resulting from accidents. It provides financial assistance if your dog is involved in an accident, covering expenses related to veterinary care, such as surgeries, medications, and hospitalization. Accident-only coverage is a more limited option but can still be beneficial if you're primarily concerned about sudden accidents.

Wellness Coverage

While accident and illness coverage concentrates on unexpected medical needs, wellness coverage offers reimbursement for routine or preventative care. This can include expenses for vaccinations, annual check-ups, dental cleanings, flea and tick prevention, and more. Wellness coverage can help offset regular healthcare costs and ensure your dog receives the necessary preventive treatments.

Considering the Costs and Benefits

Now that you understand the coverage options, let's consider whether pet insurance is worth the investment. Here are some of the factors to take into account:

Financial Preparedness

Ask yourself if you have sufficient savings to cover unexpected veterinary expenses comfortably. If an unforeseen accident or illness occurs, could you afford potentially high treatment costs without insurance? Pet insurance provides financial security and peace of mind, especially in emergencies when veterinary costs can quickly run into thousands of dollars.

Breed Predispositions

Certain dog breeds are more prone to specific health conditions or genetic disorders. Research your dog's breed to understand common health issues they may face. If your dog is susceptible to hereditary diseases, having insurance that covers these conditions can be particularly beneficial.

Age of Your Dog

Pet insurance premiums are often influenced by your dog's age. Generally, the younger your dog is when you enroll them, the lower the premiums may be. However, even if your dog is a senior, insurance can still be valuable for covering unexpected medical events at any age.

Pre-existing Conditions

In general, insurers won't cover pre-existing conditions. So, if your pet has a medical problem that arose before you took out your insurance policy, you won't be able to reclaim the cost of treatment. However, some conditions may be covered, providing your pet was symptom-free and thought to be cured for a certain period - typically 180 days. Each insurance provider will have its own definition of a curable pre-existing condition. It will pay you to check out and confirm the details before you select your policy.

Waiting period

Waiting periods are a valuable protection for pet owners. They prevent them from hastily insuring their animals after a condition is diagnosed or a symptom appears- perhaps before having time to compare various plans. Expect a typical waiting period of at least 14 days—however, hip dysplasia and certain other serious conditions that have their own specific periods.

Policy limits

Most policies require you to decide on a coverage limit. They typically include an annual limit on expenses you can claim- which often ranges between $5,000 and $30,000. As you would expect, the higher limits require higher premiums. Some policies also specify a lifetime limit or a limit on the treatment costs for any single condition.

In addition, many insurers specify age limits on coverage. This means that when your pet reaches a certain age, you'll find that you cannot renew the policy. Certain companies don't issue new policies for pets over a certain age - for example, ten years, depending on the breed's average lifespan.


It's rare for a policy to pay the entire cost of any type of care. Still, you should look for insurance covering a relatively high fixed percentage of veterinary bills — typically 70- 90%. As with other types of insurance, you must also select an annual deductible - a proportion of the total cost you'll be responsible for even when the reimbursement kicks in. You can choose not to have any deductible, but this will be reflected in higher premiums.

Consider Long-Term Costs

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Think about the long-term costs of owning a dog. Dogs are loyal companions, and your commitment to their well-being can span many years.

Advances in veterinary treatments mean that, even if your pet suffers a serious accident or develops a severe illness, it’s often possible to restore them to full health.

However, if you haven’t planned for the unexpected expense - and high technology diagnostics and treatments can easily run into thousands of dollars - you may be faced with a heart-breaking decision, when the treatment that could save your beloved companion is beyond your financial means. Pet insurance allows you to plan for future expenses and provides peace of mind.  


In conclusion, pet insurance can offer you a valuable financial safety net when unexpected accidents or illnesses occur.

Choose a policy that suits your pet’s specific needs by understanding the coverage options available, such as accident and sickness, accident-only, and wellness coverage.

While pet insurance requires an investment, it can provide peace of mind and ensure that your beloved canine companion receives the very best medical care without causing a financial burden.

Want to learn how insurance can help you plan for your pet’s health needs? Click here for details of how Petinsurer through Felicitails can help and get a quote today!

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