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Hindsight is 20/20 – How I Could’ve Saved $2,000 With Pet Insurance

[frame src=”” target=”_self” width=”620″ height=”350″ alt=”Are you thankful you have pet insurance?” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”]

When you’re trying to select the best pet insurance company, it’s not so much about finding a particular benefit you love or the best rate.

Instead, you need to find a company that will keep up with the changing industry and technology over the next 10 years.

This is why I’ve teamed up with to bring you this post.

The people there have already done the groundwork of finding pet insurance companies with long and successful track records so you can secure good, longterm coverage from a top provider that will keep pace with technology over the lifetime of your pet.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Well, that’s up to each person to decide.

I know now that it could’ve saved me at least $2,000 had I signed my dog up years ago.

When I estimate what I’ve spent on Ace’s vet bills over the last 9 years, I calculate at least $7,800. Some “free to good home” mutt I got, right? 🙂

I’ve kept most of the receipts and vet records for my dog (yeah, nerdy!) so I know this number is accurate.

Here are the details (over 9 years):


  • Routine exams and vaccinations: Approx. $1,300
  • Illnesses such as ear infections, kennel cough & a minor shoulder injury: Approx. $4,500
  • One-time emergency vet visit for pneumonia: $2,000

So in my case, having the right pet insurance policy would’ve saved me about $2,000 (factoring in the estimated cost of premiums). Insurance likely would’ve reimbursed at least 80 percent of the costs related to Ace’s illnesses.

But, I’d also love to hear from you about whether you think pet insurance has been worth it because we all have unique circumstances.

Please share your experience with pet insurance in the comments below to help others make the right decision.

Personally, the main reason I don’t have pet insurance is because I’ve always been overwhelmed by all the options and too lazy to do the research.

This is why I wanted to share

More details on is an independent pet insurance agency that offers plans from all the top providers in one place.

The company simplifies the process of choosing the right pet insurance plan for your unique needs by offering a free tool that pulls up quotes in seconds. Try it here.

Pet Insurance Quotes logo

I am interested in pet insurance for our next dog (hopefully in 2016!), so I entered in the information for a 1-year-old, large, mixed-breed dog.

Based on my info, the tool recommended plans from three different pet insurance companies: healthypaws, PetPlan and Pets Best.

I could then go in and adjust the details like the annual deductible and the reimbursement level for each plan to get an estimate on my monthly premiums.

These potential premiums ranged from about $28 to $36 per month.

All of this took me under five minutes and I highly recommend you give it a shot. Just click the screenshot below.

What I like most is that there’s no obligation to sign up for anything. allows you to see all the options and rates so you have an accurate, non-biased idea on how much pet insurance would cost and how much you could potentially save.

If you choose to sign up for a plan through the site, it’s set up for you to do so when you’re ready.

I know pet insurance is not for everyone, but it helps to hear from real dog owners who swear by it.

The following are two examples.

Deborah Lewis-Smith and Ilke

Ilke and Deborah

Deborah Lewis-Smith currently has a healthy German shepherd and calls herself “quite the convert” to pet insurance.

[quote_right]”Ilke is very dear to me, and I do not want to make healthcare decisions for her based solely on financial concerns.”[/quote_right]“It has really evolved over the years, as has veterinary medicine,” she said. “When people say, ‘My vet says it’s more economical to designate a savings account,’ I cringe.”

Lewis-Smith lost her German shepherd Rex to hemangiosarcoma of the spleen and said the cost of his care was more than $4,000.

For anyone considering a savings account vs. pet insurance, she recommends pet owners think about whether or not they are able to set aside thousands of dollars at this point in time.

“Ilke is very dear to me, and I do not want to make healthcare decisions for her based solely on financial concerns,” Lewis-Smith said. “Therefore, I reviewed my options for pet insurance.”

She ended up using to find the right plan for her dog and considers the monthly premiums affordable.

Lou Braun and MaGruff


Lou Braun said he wasn’t sure if pet insurance would be worth it but decided to give it a try. His brother is actually the founder of

“What would be the harm in trying it for a few years and seeing how it went?” Braun said.

As it turned out, Braun’s Lab puppy MaGruff was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at just 2 years old, and the only remedy was a costly hip replacement.

After a lot of research, he and his wife decided to go forth with the surgery.

“I couldn’t believe our pet insurance paid $4,500, and we only had to pay $500,” he said. “I became a true pet insurance believer after that. MaGruff was like new again after the surgery.”

[quote_center]”I couldn’t believe our pet insurance paid $4,500, and we only had to pay $500.”[/quote_center]

Braun said MaGruff is still doing great today at age 7, and his dog hasn’t had any other issues.

I asked him if he has any advice for people who might be on the fence about pet insurance.

“Truly consider the consequence of debating what to do with your loved pet when an illness or accident occurs,” he said. “I would hate to be in the position where I had to pay $5,000 out of pocket or allow my dog to suffer and not get the medical treatment needed. The monthly cost is well worth the potential risk financially and emotionally.”

Magruff the chocolate Lab

How about the rest of you? Are you thankful you have pet insurance?

It’s definitely something I’m planning to use for our next dog because I know even when factoring in the cost of monthly premiums, it would’ve saved me about $2,000 so far with Ace.

If you’re hoping to save yourself some money on potential illnesses or injuries that could come up, I’d say pet insurance is a good option to at least look into.

Let me know your experience with pet insurance in the comments, and feel free to check out The site has a lot of good info on the basics of pet insurance. It’s a good place to get started with your research.

How much money do you think pet insurance has saved you?

Let me know in the comments!

*May 2016 update: Since writing this post I have spent another $4,000 or so on Ace’s vet bills. In Ace’s case, pet insurance would’ve saved me a lot of money.


Wednesday 22nd of May 2019

While pet insurance is already one of the least expensive insurance products available, that doesn’t mean it’s always affordable – especially if you choose one of the more generous policies or have an older cat or dog.


Thursday 6th of July 2017

Hi Lindsay, I always think the insurance waste of money. But reading your article makes me think it again. Thanks

Renchan Li

Thursday 31st of March 2016

Hi Lindsay,

I appreciate this information. Using the calculator you've provided for my female 4 years old healthy Rottweiler with no pre-condition, I have these quotes: The costs are between $33/month ($5,000 coverage/yr. $1,000 Deductible, 70% Reimbursement) and $81/month (70% reimbursement, $500 annual deductibles). They cover cancer treatments.


Saturday 10th of October 2015

No pet insurance here. People look at me nuts when I tell them we don't.

We set up a savings account that is just dog related so we have that when in need of medical emergencies. It's something we decided to do long ago when my dog decided not to walk for an entire sunday--reads emergency et visit. Nothing found-next day ran around the yard like a greyhound.

Renchan Li

Thursday 31st of March 2016

Fun reading thanks: "... when my dog decided not to walk for an entire Sunday–reads emergency et visit. Nothing found-next day ran around the yard like a greyhound."


Thursday 1st of October 2015

I just checked quotes for my dogs and the pricing seems very reasonable. While I've been very lucky with my dogs a lot of my friends have not and have accrued bills well over $10,000. Thanks for sharing.