Watch CBS News

Is pet insurance worth it?

Beautiful female veterinarian poses for camera with Goldendoodle patient
Pet insurance has multiple benefits for your furry friends. STEVE DEBENPORT/Getty Images

With persistent inflation and a looming recession, millions of Americans find themselves looking closely at their monthly expenses. The benefits of all subscriptions and services are weighed against their financial cost. Sometimes this leads to a reduction or, even, elimination of services to help make ends meet. While you can't (and shouldn't) cancel certain financial protections like life insurance and car insurance, other services are worth evaluating to determine their true value. 

For pet owners, that means understanding the worth of pet insurance.

This unique financial protection has multiple benefits for you and your furry friends but it helps to understand its nuances before signing up. If you think you would benefit from having your dog or cat insured, then start by getting a free price quote.

Is pet insurance worth it? 

To determine if pet insurance is valuable for their needs owners need to understand the pros and cons to this particular insurance type. Here's what owners should think about:


  • Reasonable cost. Pet insurance costs vary from provider to provider, as do the factors that determine the price. However, you'll likely pay between $15 to $40 a month for a cat and around $30 to $70 per month for a dog. Your pet's breed, gender, age and weight all affect your monthly number. And, if it seems a bit expensive, remember it factors in the price of care, treatment and potential operations. Compared to those standard charges, having pet insurance can be cost-effective. 
  • You don't have to change veterinarians. Unlike traditional health insurance for humans where only "in-network" providers accept your coverage, pet insurance applies across the board. So you won't have to hunt around for a new veterinarian once signed up. You can stay with the one that's always cared for your animal.
  • There are different types to choose from. Say you only want a baseline level of pet insurance to cover routine visits and maybe some annual shots. Then you can sign up for an insurance plan that does just that. And if you want a more robust plan that covers the above and additional items like surgical procedures and prescriptions then you can find a plan that covers those, too. If you want cheap pet insurance you can opt for an accident-only policy. Bottom line: You can build a plan that works for your pet and your budget. 
  • Peace of mind. As with other types of insurance, pet insurance provides peace of mind for the pet owner by knowing that many bills will be covered. It can be difficult for someone to choose between paying to help their animal and paying for other expenses. Pet insurance removes the owner from that difficult equation by providing additional resources for a set cost.

There are multiple other benefits to having pet insurance. Get a free pet insurance quote in 30 seconds here now to learn more.


  • You'll still have to pay something. Pet insurance can help reduce costs. But, depending on what issue your pet has, the treatment recommended and any potential surgical procedure, you may still wind up having to go into your pocket. 
  • It doesn't work like your health insurance. With traditional health insurance, a provider submits a claim on your behalf, leaving you with little to pay in the office (although bills may come later). Pet insurance, meanwhile, requires you to pay the bill upfront. You're then responsible for individually filing the claim with the provider who will reimburse you at a later date. 
  • Pre-existing conditions may not be covered. This is another way that pet insurance differs from health insurance for humans. In fact, your pet may be turned down for insurance coverage if their pre-existing conditions are known - leaving you with a bill to pay out of pocket. So don't sign up with a provider later in the pet's life assuming their existing medical issues will be covered. Act now so you can get a cost-effective plan before your pet develops any nagging health issues. You can check prices with pet insurer Lemonade here now
  • You may not use all the benefits. A monthly pet insurance bill will be worth it if it helps you reduce costs. But, if your dog is healthy and doesn't require frequent visits, you may wind up paying for something you don't use. Unfortunately, pet health is unpredictable so you won't be able to do a true cost-benefit analysis until you sign up with a provider. However, you can fine-tune your plan by having your vet help guide you toward a more appropriate policy. This way you only pay for what you need now - or may need in the future.

As mentioned earlier, pet insurance has multiple benefits and it may be worth getting as a form of protection for your animals. Get a free customized price quote now and get started or use the table below to review some top pet insurance providers!

The bottom line

Pet insurance is often worth getting for cats and dogs, whether they're young or old. To get the most value out of a plan, however, owners should apply early when costs will be lower and coverage options will be more robust. But don't necessarily sign up with the first provider you get a quote from. Shop around, compare prices and do your research to find the best plan for you and your furry friend

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.