Pet insurance form

Pets Are Family: Do You Insure Them Like Family?

You insure your car. You insure your house. You insure your life. But should you insure your pet? Fluffy may feel like part of the family, but is pet insurance really necessary?

In some cases, it may be worthwhile. In 2014, Americans spent over $2 billion in pet purchases and $15 billion on vet care. For those with high-maintenance or high-value animals, insurance could be a wise investment. The market currently offers several types of pet insurance. Consider your furry family members and decide if these policies meet your (and their) needs.

Health insurance

Similar to human health insurance, these policies include premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. Also like people insurance, the cost varies based on the animal’s age and health and the level of insurance purchased.

Life and theft insurance

Intended primarily for exotic animals, this coverage reimburses owners for stolen animals and pays benefits upon death. It’s commonly held by zoos and owners of high-value animals such as championship racehorses or police dogs.

Homeowners and renters insurance

Standard homeowners and renters policies offer protection for pet owners. Depending on your situation, customization may be necessary to provide the coverage you need.

Liability Protection – If your dog bites someone, this coverage will kick in. However, if he or she has a history of biting, or is classified as a dangerous breed, limitations may be placed on policy coverage. In these cases, you may need to purchase a separate liability policy specifically for your pet.

Personal Property – Pet accessories can be pricey. Large cages or other accessories for bigger animals can be especially expensive. Keep in mind that these fall under the personal property coverage of your homeowners or renters policy. If Clifford’s dog house or Morris’s “gold” collar is damaged or stolen, you should be reimbursed. But check to be sure you don’t need a special rider for that collar.