Ziggy & Zarko: Do We Need Pet Insurance?

2 brothers/Siberian cats on a shelf

Is Pet Insurance Necessary?

Ziggy and Zarko are our Siberian cats. They are entertainment and companions all wrapped up into two huge, furry, wonderful members of our family. To read a bit more about them visit our Thanksgiving, 2018 post here. Many people automatically assume we have pet insurance for them. This is probably because it is clear we dote upon them. And we are insurance agents! Do we need pet insurance for our two (mainly) indoor cats? Is pet insurance a good idea for your pets?

Sixty-eight percent of all U.S. households own at least one pet. The number of pet-owning households is 84.6 million, with 48 percent owning a dog and 38 percent owning a cat.

DVM360
Ziggy and Zarko checking out their boundary
Do we need pet insurance?
Ziggy and Zarko checking out their boundary
Do we need pet insurance?
Research Assistant
Millennials are the largest pet-owning demographic owning 35 percent of all the pets in the United States.


According to NAPHIA, the average cost in 2017 for accident and illness premiums in the U.S. was $45 per month for dogs and $28 for cats. Of course, much depends on the pet breed, age, and coverage included in the policy.

NAPHIA.org

Dog looking at camera
Pet Insurance?

Cost of Pet Ownership

Pet ownership comes with a lot of expenses. Your pet needs good quality food and periodic veterinary care. Whether you opt to get insurance to help with the cost of veterinary medicine, there will still be costs associated with their healthcare. No policy covers preexisting conditions. There are a few plans that cover routine care as part of wellness coverage. Most policies have a deductible or a co-pay. These costs vary based on the plan. Read the benefit schedule to find out about caps and restrictions.


In 2017, $69.51 billion was spent on our pets in the U.S. 
Breakdown:                                           
Food                                                              $29.07 billion 
Supplies/OTC Medicine                           $15.11 billion
Vet Care                                                        $17.07 billion
Live animal purchases                              $2.1 billion
Pet Services: grooming & boarding     $6.16 billion  

American Pet Products Association
There is usually a waiting period after signing up for insurance

Who buys pet insurance?

In the U.S.A. and Canada, there are approximately 2 million insured pets. Ten percent of dogs and about 7 percent of cats have insurance. Though there is insurance for exotic animals, it is not as common. The number of insured pets continues to rise each year. This trend is expected to continue to do so with Millennials and their love for their pets.

Where do I find pet insurance?

Most veterinarians offer some type of pet coverage. Discuss with her/him your pet’s health needs. There are many different types of coverage. Make sure you know what the policy covers and what additional costs may be incurred. For example, there are some basic policies that cover accidents only. Review the policy that you feel is the best option for your situation. Is the benefit of having the policy worth the cost? Does it cover what you feel are the most important items? If your pet has a predisposition towards certain ailments or illnesses due to genetics, you may want to research those policies, too. There are a few policies that cover some genetic diseases. These usually have a much longer waiting period.

There are additional resources in this post to check out more information about pet coverage. The black button posted above the cute, brown-eyed dog, links to a Consumer Reports article. This has some excellent information. Also, ask your insurance agent if you are able to get pet insurance through him/her. Nationwide Insurance covers dogs and cats and some other types of pets. The resources below will give you a lot of information about pets and pet ownership. Some of them have information that will lead to you to additional pet insurance providers. With any type of health-related insurance, read the fine print and ask questions.

Pet insurance necessity is a personal decision based upon you and your pet’s circumstances. Whatever you decide, we wish you many happy years of companionship with your pet!
Munkey the Yorkie

Resources:

NAPHIA

Dogtime

Pet Insurance Review

Web DVM

APPA

DVM360