You come home to find your dog vomiting and listless. After rushing them to the vet, you learn that they swallowed one of your socks and needs emergency surgery — to the tune of several thousand dollars. Can you afford to pay that bill? If not, pet insurance might be worth considering.
Pet insurance helps cover the cost of medical care for your furry friend. It can reimburse you for expenses like cancer treatment, emergency care, prescription medications and surgery.
In some dire scenarios, pet insurance could save the life of an animal that would otherwise be euthanized if its owner couldn’t afford treatment. But if your pet rarely gets sick, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in premiums without getting much in return.
So is pet insurance worth it? Here’s some information to help you make the decision.
The rise of pet insurance
A growing number of owners are choosing to insure their pets. More than 4.8 million U.S. dogs and cats were covered by pet insurance in 2022 — an increase of 22% from the year before, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, or NAPHIA. The number of insured cats and dogs in the U.S. has nearly doubled since 2019.
That’s significant growth, but the industry still covers only a small fraction of American pets. In the U.S., there are an estimated 65 million households with dogs and nearly 47 million households with cats, according to the 2023-2024 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey.