Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

It’s not a matter of if your pet will get hurt or sick, it’s when. The best pet insurance gives you peace of mind that expensive vet bills won’t get in the way of providing your pet the best care. If you ask us, that’s absolutely worth it.

Do I Need Pet Insurance?

Adding another expense to your budget is a challenging decision, but your pet is a member of the family whose care can be quite costly. Research shows that:

Vet Bills

Every 6 seconds, a pet parent is handed an emergency vet bill of $1,000 or more*

Peace of Mind

56% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account**

Accidents Happen

1 in 3 pets claim in their first policy year***

Pair this with the North American Pet Health Association’s (NAPHIA) findings that 68% of households in the United States have pets but only 1% have pet insurance and looming vet bills become a scary thing.

Should you get pet insurance?

Pet insurance exists for the same reason that car, renter’s, and homeowner’s insurance does: to protect you from financial ruin if something unexpected happens.

Cancer is a common illness in dogs and cats of all ages. According to CBS News, the cost to diagnose cancer is between $1,000 and $2,000 – that’s before any treatment. Chemotherapy can be between $3,000 and $5,000, and the cost keeps going up from there. Many pet parents, even with well-established savings accounts, would not be able to afford these kinds of vet bills – that’s where pet insurance helps.

Pet insurance or savings account?

A common question that pet insurance companies get is whether a savings account or pet insurance is better. The answer is they’re both great ideas and work well together. Here’s why:

  • Pet insurance is dedicated solely to your pet. A savings account is used for every unexpected cost, so if your tires need replaced the same week that your dog starts limping, you’ll be dipping into the savings account for several reasons.

  • Pet insurance is convenient. Saving money takes time and discipline. Unfortunately, your new puppy isn’t going to wait until you’ve set aside enough money for vet bills before swallowing a rock, so pet insurance has your back.

  • Most pet insurance plans are reimbursement-based. That means you pay the vet bill at the time of service and submit claims for reimbursement. Use the money from your savings account to pay the vet bill, then replenish the account with the claim reimbursement so you’ll always be covered.

Can a pet with pre-existing conditions get pet insurance?

No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions, but it can still cover anything new or unrelated to the pre-existing condition. For example, if your pet was diagnosed with allergies before you signed up, pet insurance wouldn’t cover allergies – but with many companies, including Embrace, your pet would still be covered for things like cancerhereditary conditionsemergencies and specialty care, and any other unrelated condition.

Some pet insurance companies even differentiate between curable and incurable conditions. This means that if your pet had a one-time illness, like an ear infection, and they can go a period of time (with Embrace it’s 12 months) without having or showing symptoms of another one, ear infections could be eligible for coverage in the future. Each company is different, so be sure to research waiting periods.

Why Pet Insurance is Worth It

When a member of your family is sick or hurt, you spare no expense to get them well – pets are no exception.

One of our Embraced pets, an English bulldog named June, started having trouble breathing right before the holidays. June was diagnosed with Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (common in short-nosed dogs) and needed surgery to fix it. That surgery was $6,858.32 total, and Embrace reimbursed $5,086.66. “If we didn't have pet insurance, we might not have been able to make the decisions needed to keep June alive,” said Adrienne, June’s owner.

Pet parents like Adrienne, and thousands of others, have learned the value of a good pet insurance plan when their furry family members needed vet care. Read additional stories from our Embraced customers.

Busting the Top Misconceptions about Pet Health Insurance

MYTH: Pet insurance is too expensive.

FACT: Financial challenges exist, and that's the very reason pet insurance is important to get if you can find a way to fit the premiums into your budget. It's easier to find a small amount each month than thousands of dollars in an emergency. If you’re the type of person who would do anything to save your pet, it’s better to pay a small premium for even a basic policy to help get your pet the care they need.

MYTH: Pet insurance will interfere with my treatment decisions for my pet.

FACT: Pet insurance removes the financial barrier between you and your pet’s vet. A good pet insurance plan allows you and your veterinarian to make decisions based on the best interest of your pet rather than money. Your pet insurance company won't be involved with treatment decisions in any way.

MYTH: My pet’s coverage might be dropped as they get sick or age.

FACT: It may not be true for every company but Embrace has a soft spot for seniors. We’ll never drop your pet due to age or health status. That means even when your 17-year-old Golden Retriever develops cancer, it’s covered. That’s the entire point of insurance. Purchase it when your pet is healthy, and we'll be here when you need us the most.

MYTH: I might have to change my veterinarian if they’re out of my pet insurance network.

FACT: Pet health insurance doesn't work like a human HMO; there's no “network” of providers for pet insurance. Because we reimburse you directly, you’re free to take your pet to any vet. The reimbursement works sort of like a rebate. We’ll cut you a check for our portion of the care.

MYTH: The fine print in the Terms and Conditions might trick me.

FACT: Before making a purchase decision, talk to an agent and discuss your concerns, get clarification, and get things in writing. After you purchase your policy, get clarification on what, if anything, would be considered pre-existing with Embrace’s medical history review, so there are no surprises when you go to file a claim. Reasonable companies should show you their policy terms and conditions upfront before you even enroll. Most pet insurance policies include a money-back guarantee period so you can cancel and get a full refund if you’re not satisfied.

MYTH:  Pet insurance can wait. My pet is young and healthy.

FACT: Just like you can't get covered for a wrecked car after it's already been in an accident, you can't buy pet insurance for an illness your pet already has. You have to have active coverage when the issue first becomes apparent in order to receive benefits. That’s why insuring your pet when they’re young and healthy ensures they’re covered for future unexpected issues.

*  |  **Bankrate’s Financial Security Index 2022  |  ***2021 Embrace Pet Insurance Claims Data