Do You Need Pet Insurance?


The purpose of any type of insurance is to help you pay for large, unexpected expenses that would be difficult to handle otherwise. And that’s the idea behind pet insurance – to help you cover unexpected costs related to taking care of your pet. For many of us, we couldn’t imagine not having a pet but their companionship also comes with vet bills that can add up quickly when your pet needs medical assistance to recover from an illness or injury.

Is Pet Insurance Necessary?

To decide whether or not you should consider having pet insurance, you need to think about a number of factors, such as:

  • Financial Situation: Will you be able to cover hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars in vet bills? If the answer is yes, then pet insurance may not be necessary for you.
  • Age of Pet: An aging pet is more likely to have medical issues; it is usually cheaper to insure them when they are young.
  • Breed of Pet: Some breeds of cats or dogs are susceptible to certain illnesses or hereditary conditions, and very special breeds may be the target of thieves. Also larger dogs can be prone to joint problems while some breeds are likely to suffer from respiratory problems.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

When you’re thinking about pet insurance, you need to be aware of what it covers and what is not covered or excluded from the policy.

  • On-going Care: Does the policy include routine and seasonal care, such as vaccinations, flea treatments or prevention, annual exams, etc.? Are there any age restrictions or does it cover them for life?
  • Illness: Ask if this includes any hereditary or congenital conditions and if any types of treatment are excluded, such as behavioural or alternative therapies?
  • Accidents: Confirm this covers all emergency bills such as surgery, drugs, hospitalization, specialists, etc.
  • Other Expenses: Is euthanasia covered? Some policies may cover the original purchase price of your pet if they are stolen or lost. Does the policy cover cremation or burial costs?
  • Deductibles and Co-Pays: Verify how much you pay and how much your insurance covers. For example, you may need to pay a $100 deductible before your insurance pays the rest or before you share or co-pay the rest of the expense. Co-pays are often 80/20 meaning they pay 80% while you pay 20% but sometimes you can choose 90/10 or 70/30 split, which will influence your premiums.

Lastly, you’ll want to know how claims work: Do you pay the whole bill first then get reimbursed or do you just pay the vet your portion of the bill and the vet claims the rest?

Advice from Insurance Experts

We love our pets too and would be happy to get you some no-obligation quotes for pet insurance. If you have any questions, feel free to speak with our insurance experts at Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers at 1-800-731-2228 or email us at

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