How to be a Smart Shopper When it Comes to Pet Insurance

Nov 25, 2018

Just like the human members of the family, our pets can get sick or injured. And when they do, the vet bills can be staggering, even prohibitive.
Photo of a dog

Cancer treatment for a dog can easily top $13,000, according to, if it involves surgery and chemo or radiation.

While a record number of pet parents are now buying health insurance for their dogs and cats, most pets in the U.S. still don’t have this coverage.

Pet insurance has gotten much better during the last 15 years, according to a new study by, the independent, non-profit consumer organization that rates products and services. Most policies now cover hereditary and congenital problems, chronic problems and even alternative medicine.

Checkbook’s survey of nine pet insurance companies shows that prices vary greatly for the same coverage. For example, for a mix-breed dog who lives to the age of 13, lifetime premiums ranged from $5,700 to $16,000. That’s more than a $10,000 difference for basically the same coverage.

Checkbook found that two pet insurance companies – Healthy Paws and Trupanion (based in Seattle) had low lifetime premium costs. This is due, in large part, because they don’t boost premiums as pets age, as some other companies might.

Want to know more? Check out this recent article by NBC News.