Emergency vet bills average between $800 and $1,500, and some procedures can cost in the thousands. Pet insurance helps cover the cost of emergency medical care for your BFF, but it can often end up just as pricey. This has many pet parents wondering—is pet insurance worth the cost?
We know you’d do anything for your fur family—we would, too! But pet parent life comes with uncertainties—like puppies eating shoes and kittens tumbling from high surfaces. It’s not our fault, but it is our responsibility to take care of them afterward. The hefty cost of vet care can make that difficult, if not impossible, for most Americans. Many pet parents turn to pet insurance to help with unexpected expenses. So, is pet insurance worth the cost? Let’s do a quick pro-con analysis.
3 Perks of Pet Insurance
1. Financial relief for emergency expenses
Four out of five pets will have at least one emergency during their lifetime, and they can cost a bundle. Most base-level pet insurance plans offer some form of accident or injury coverage, giving you protection in case of an emergency. Just don’t forget that most pet insurance claims are reimbursements, so you’ll still have to cover the bills up front.
2. Available discounts and benefits
Some pet insurance offerings now include discounts on select routine health services and everyday essentials, free services and rewards, and brand partnerships with exclusive member pricing. Even so, with a high-cost plan and a healthy pet, these perks may not outweigh the cost.
3. Ability to do more for your pet
Every year, too many pet owners are blindsided by a medical crisis they can’t afford, resulting in around 500,000 pets being “economically euthanized” annually.
But according to a recent joint analysis, pet parents with insurance are more likely to seek medical care for their four-legged friends than those without. Dog parents with insurance visit 73% more often, while cat parents visit 43% more often.
Investing in pet insurance could mean saving yourself — and your best friend — from a no-win situation.
3 Pet Insurance Pitfalls
1. Premiums vary by age, breed, and size
An offering’s “base plan” may seem like a steal, but most pet insurance providers charge higher premiums once they’ve assessed the age, breed, and size of your fur baby.
For example, coverage for some breeds costs more because they’re prone to certain health problems. Premiums are also age-based, and the rates will increase as your pet ages. For some dog breeds, the significant increase in their golden years can make premiums too expensive, just as your good ol’ boy or girl needs insurance most.
2. Restrictions and more hidden costs
Here are some examples of hidden costs or restrictions with many pet insurance plans:
- Breed-based restrictions or exclusions (because of predispositions)
- Age-based restrictions or exclusions
- Age limits for new policies
- Deductibles that have to be paid per instance
3. Multi-pet coverage can add up
Most pet insurance requires individual plans for each animal, though some providers offer multiple-pet discounts. Even still, you can nonetheless end up paying hundreds of dollars a month. The average American home has more than one dog and cat, so most pet guardians will require multiple plans.
What’s the Solution?
So, is traditional pet insurance worth it? Only you can decide. The good news is that conventional pet insurance is not your only option.
Pet Hero by FIMC™ is an affordable alternative to pricey pet insurance. A subscription-based benefits package, Pet Hero provides you and your BFF with a suite of practical benefits made for real pet lovers like you. You get benefits for your entire pack or pride for under $20 a month, with no added fees or restrictions based on age, breed, or size, and no deductibles.
As pet parents, we know that your lives together go beyond emergencies, so our services do too. A Pet Hero plan membership helps with the everyday costs of loving your pet like family, with included 24/7/365 telehealth services for vet care, discounts up to 75% at over 68,000 pharmacies, and preferred pricing on a host of everyday pet essentials from our brand partner, QALO.
If you’re looking for pet protection that doesn’t dog your wallet, Pet Hero is a win-win!