Published: Aug 22, 2022 4 min read
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If you’re a pet owner, you probably want to care for your animals without breaking the bank. That’s a possibility pet insurance can afford you — but is it worth it?

Studies have shown that one pet can cost anywhere between $15,000 and $55,000 over its lifetime. Without pet insurance, most of these costs would come out of pocket.

Below, we’re going to provide a general overview of how these policies work, what they cover, and the costs involved. Additionally, we’ve compared the Best Pet Insurance Companies. Simply pick a provider and enter your pet's information to view rates.

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance is a policy paid in monthly premiums.

If your pet is sick or injured, you may be required to pay the bill in full upfront depending on your pet insurance provider. In that case, afterward, you submit a claim to be reimbursed for the percentage specified in your plan. Some providers may reimburse upwards of 90%. Other providers offer the option of paying your vet directly, although you will need to pay any deductible, co-insurance, and costs not covered.

Pet insurance policies include deductibles you must satisfy before coverage begins — just like with human health insurance. The deductible amount, usually between $200 and $1,000, is determined by the policy you, the policyholder, choose. That said, the lower the deductible, the higher the premium.

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Compare Top Pet Insurance Companies And Get A Free Quote
Simply pick a provider, submit your pet's info, and request a free quote based on your needs.

What does it cover?

Finding the right coverage for your pet may involve researching general types of policies to better understand what these include.

In general, pet insurance policies tend to cover issues related to accidents, illness, and wellness. Pre-existing conditions — meaning ailments that predate enrollment — are not covered by insurers. Below, we've provided a generalized guide, but coverage varies by provider.

For more specific coverage information, check out our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies.

Accident and illness

  • Covers injuries caused by accidents
  • Covers sickness or disease diagnosed by a vet
  • May be good for pets who regularly experience health complications


  • More affordable monthly premiums
  • Better for healthy pets unlikely to develop genetic issues
  • Covers accidental and self-inflicted injuries

Wellness coverage

  • Covers routine care
  • Tends to have a zero deductible
  • Grooming and training may also be included

The costs

Routine and preventative treatment can cost you hundreds of dollars. Moreover, common vet procedures may cost $5,000 or more. When you consider these numbers, an insurance policy makes sense.

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average monthly price of pet insurance is $48.66 for dogs and $28.57 for cats with Accident and Illness coverage. Keep in mind that the pricing of your premium will depend on many factors, including your pet’s breed, age, gender, and where you reside.

Bottom line

Like most insurance policies, the value of pet coverage comes with knowing that you're financially covered in the case of an accident or unexpected ailment. And with pet surgeries costing thousands of dollars, that benefit is tangible. With that said, if your pet lives a healthy life, you’re unlikely to recoup the costs of a pet insurance policy. The policy will pay off in the event that your pet has an accident or develops a serious health issue.

To learn more about the best providers, see our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies.