Does Your Pet Need Health Insurance?

Most pet owners grumble at vet bills, and wonder whether health insurance for their pets would be cost-effective. Consumer Reports Money Adviser crunched numbers for a hypothetical dog from puppyhood to euthanasia, and concluded that pet health insurance is a sound investment…if your pet has a serious or chronic health condition. Wait, that’s just like health insurance for humans.

How can you predict serious health condictions? You can’t. Instead of buying pet insurance, Consumer Reports argues that the most cost-effective plan is actually to budget for vet care on your own.

Our alternative argument: Pet health costs should be budgeted into your regular and emergency budgets. If it turns out you need the money, you’ll have it to use. If you don’t need it, that’s more money in your pocket, not the insurer’s. And, you can take steps to keep your pet safe and healthy so you’re less likely to need that vet visit.

If you’ve purchased health insurance for your pet, what have your experiences been?

Putting pet policies to the test [Consumer Reports Money Advisor]
Should you buy pet health insurance? [Consumer Reports Money]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.