Is Pet Insurance Worth it?

Healthcare foranimals canbeexpensive

You've likely heard of pet insurance, and possibly understand the nuances of how pet insurance works, but is pet insurance worth it? In a still-uncertain world, many of us are wary about the risks we take with our money — and our pets. The good news is pet insurance absolutely can be worth it. Pet insurance can help with unplanned accidents and illnesses, as well as things like routine care. Pet insurance works by reimbursing you for covered expenses after your pet’s care.

Let’s take a look at the most important aspects of pet insurance, and how it can make it easy for you to provide your pet with great veterinary care. 

The bottom line is that every pet can benefit from pet insurance. I highly recommend new pet owners go ahead and enroll in pet insurance as soon as possible.  You never know when you might need it.
Dr. Hunter Finn

Pet Ownership and Pet Insurance: Facts and Statistics

  • Pet ownership has increased steadily year over year, especially since the onset of the pandemic in 2020 (APPA study, 2023–2024).1
  • Approximately 86.9 million families own a pet, representing about 66% of households in the country.1
  • The average cost of annual expenses and pet expenditures has risen, with the entire pet industry generating $136 billion in revenue in 2022 (the latest data in the study).1
  • Vet care emerges as the largest expense after food and treats.1
  • Rising pet expenses can be particularly challenging amid recent inflation concerns affecting many Americans.2
  • Surprisingly, only about 3% of the national pet population is insured — about 5.36 million pets (NAPHIA study, 2022).3

With these stats in mind, let’s take a deeper look at why you may or may not want to enroll in pet insurance and whether pet insurance is worth the cost.

How Pet Insurance Helps Cover Vet Costs

Pet insurance can help cover all sorts of covered expenses — from routine illness exams to medications to annual vaccinations. But where it really can come in handy is with expensive treatments due to accidents, emergencies, and long-term illnesses. Unexpected scenarios — like heartworm, ACL surgeries, and even breed-specific diseases or cancer — could cost thousands.Pet insurance can help alleviate some of these costs.

Real-life examples of how MetLife Pet helped cover costs

When 8-year-old New York pup Nala began to experience symptoms of liver disease, her parents knew she needed to visit the vet right away. The exam and diagnosis came with a hefty bill — over $12,000. But thanks to their dog insurance policy from MetLife Pet, Nala’s owners were reimbursed for over $9,700!5

We also reimbursed one family $24,200 for thromboembolism care for their German shepherd, and another family $20,700 for bite wound care for their yankee terrier.5,6

How Much Can Pet Insurance Save You?

Below are some of the most common costs pet owners accumulate over the course of time. 7

Unleash Savings With MetLife Pet Insurance


What You Can Save 8

You Pay


MetLife Pet Covers


Total Vet Bill


What Does Pet Insurance Cost?

The cost of MetLife Pet insurance depends on several factors, including the species, breed, gender,9 and age of your pet, as well as where you live. The good news? MetLife Pet Insurance policies can start at $9 per month for cats and $15 per month for dogs.10,11 Ultimately, having pet insurance can save you money on veterinary care.

With MetLife Pet, you can also put up to 3 dogs and cats together on one policy with a shared deductible. You can even use any licensed vet in the U.S., so there’s no need to change from your preferred vet.

Pet insurance deductibles

In addition to a monthly premium, you’ll likely have a deductible you’ll have to pay before you can be reimbursed. Deductibles can vary by plan and insurance company, but they ultimately affect how quickly your reimbursements begin to kick in.

Say you have a plan with a $250 deductible and an 80% reimbursement rate. Then say your dog needs a $2,000 emergency vet visit. Once you meet that $250 deductible, MetLife Pet Insurance can reimburse you for up to 80% of that visit if it’s covered under the terms of the policy.12,13 This could put up to $1,600 back in your pocket.

Learn more about deductibles and how they work.

What Pet Insurance Covers

Pet insurance can reimburse you for covered veterinary expenses that may accrue while taking care of your pet's health — some of which can be costly. Let’s take a look at what most typical pet insurance plans cover and what they don’t.

What pet insurance plans typically cover

  • Unexpected injuries and accidents (falling down stairs, breaking bones, etc.)
  • Unexpected illnesses (cancer, dysplasia, etc. — only through accident-illness plans)
  • Surgeries
  • Prescription medications
  • X-rays, bloodwork, tests, etc.

What Preventive Care add-ons can cover

  • Teeth cleanings
  • Annual wellness checkups
  • Vaccinations
  • Spay/neuter surgeries

What pet insurance plans may not cover

For more information, check out MetLife Pet Insurance’s coverage and exclusions to see what we may cover for your pet.

How Much Pet Insurance Do I Need?

Great question! Many insurance providers offer two types of plans: “accident-only” and “accident-illness” plans. Accident-only plans typically cover accidents, such as broken bones, whereas both accident and illness care are covered under accident-illness plans.

If you have a puppy who’s prone to eating things they’re not supposed to eat or getting into scraps, but isn’t necessarily prone to illnesses too often, you may want to go with an accident-only plan. If you have an older dog, accident-illness plans might make more sense for you, as many breeds could become more illness-prone as they age.

Pet Insurance Waiting Periods

Another thing to consider if you’re looking to get pet insurance is that there’s often a waiting period before your coverage begins. Luckily, MetLife Pet has among the shortest wait periods for accident and illness coverage.14

What’s more, competitors can require a 6-month waiting period to get coverage for orthopedic conditions. MetLife Pet does not.10

Paying for Pet Expenses: Pet Insurance vs. a Savings Account

While it’s true you could get a savings account to help cover vet expenses, that doesn’t replace the need for pet insurance. In fact, it’s a great idea to have both.

  • Saving money takes time. Accumulating savings doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to get enough saved up to help cover costs for an unexpected expense, like a vet bill. On the other hand, pet insurance can be ready when you and your pet need it for covered expenses.
  • Savings accounts can get used for other things. Life happens, and unexpected expenses — unrelated to pets — often pop up. If you have savings you plan to use for your pet’s needs, but your faucet springs a leak or your car has a breakdown, you may have to use that money for those needs. In these cases, you may not have those funds to use for your pet if the worst happens.
  • Savings accounts may not have enough to cover expenses. No one likes to think about their pet getting sick or injured, but it can happen. Sometimes, your pet has an unlucky year and gets sick several times. Pet insurance can help protect your savings and ensure you can afford to get your pet the care they need when they need it.
  • Savings accounts can supplement and work in conjunction with pet insurance. With the way our insurance works, you pay the vet bill and then submit claims for reimbursement. You can use the funds in a savings account to pay the vet bills and then replenish the account with an approved claim reimbursement. This way, your wallet and your furry family members can remain protected.
Pet insurance can be beneficial if you have a pet who needs long-term care for a chronic condition. It can help cover the vet visits, diagnostics, procedures, and medications that your pet needs.
Hunter Finn

Bottom Line: Should I Get Pet Insurance?

So is cat or dog insurance worth it after all?

In many cases, pet insurance can be worth the cost, as it can help alleviate stress that may come with dealing with your pet’s health expenses. Pet owners with young to middle-aged pets may find that pet insurance is especially great for them, as it can help pay for various health issues over the years.

While the need for pet insurance will be based on your unique scenario, one easy way to see if it’s worth it for your family is to get a free quote now from MetLife Pet Insurance. You can also compare MetLife Pet to other insurance providers.

 Looking to purchase a policy through your employer? Get a free MetLife Pet Insurance quote for employees here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my pet insurance premiums go up because I have a claim?

No! This is one of the best things about MetLife Pet Insurance for pet parents. Each pet's premium will be unique based on their species, breed, age, gender,9 deductible, reimbursement rate,13 and ZIP code, as well as the coverage amount selected. But it doesn’t increase because you have a claim.

Isn’t pet insurance only really for catastrophic events or illnesses?

Pet insurance can help with a wide range of veterinarian needs — whether it’s to reimburse you for expenses related to treatment for major ailments, like cancer or a broken bone, or milder conditions, like an ear infection or a hurt paw. It can also help cover the costs of preventive care, which can benefit many pet parents. Pet insurance might help cover expenses up to 90% of the cost, depending on the plan you select.11

If you’ve been impacted by a large vet bill, you may have already researched how pet insurance can help. But don’t wait to have a big bill before getting your furry family member covered. With MetLife Pet Insurance, you have the power of choice, and coverage can be customized to best meet your needs. As the winner of the “Pet Insurance of the Year” Award,15 MetLife Pet is committed to helping you keep your pets happy, healthy, and protected.

 Dr. Hunter Finn

Dr. Hunter Finn has been paid by MetLife to discuss the importance of choosing pet insurance. He is an integrative veterinary expert first, and social media star second. America’s favorite veterinarian owns Pet Method in McKinney, Texas, where he cares for pets while prioritizing their emotional well-being. When he’s not at his clinic, he’s starring in viral videos on TikTok (2 million followers) and Instagram (500K followers) — where he’s been known to snuggle puppies and conquer the latest dance trends.


We Can Help Cover Vet Bills While You Focus on Your Pet’s Care

What are you looking for?

Resources if you are purchasing a pet plan on your own.

Resources for individual policyholders, employees, and members who receive coverage through their employer.

  • I want to get a quote and find out how much a policy may cost
  • I have an existing plan and want to file a claim

**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “Pet Industry Market Size, Trends & Ownership Statistics,” American Pet Products Association

2 “High inflation is finally letting up, but it’s weighed heavily on many Americans,” CNN Business, 2023

3 “State of the Industry Report 2022,” North American Pet Health Insurance Association, 2023

 Based on MetLife Pet internal claims data from 2023

5All claims paid amounts are based on MetLife Pet internal claims data from October 2022. Story altered for illustrative purposes.

6 This example is for illustrative purposes only. This is based on a policy with a [$] deductible and [%] reimbursement. The pet policy issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company is the governing document with respect to all matters of insurance. The specific facts of each claim must be evaluated in conjunction with the provisions of the applicable Policy to determine coverage in each individual case.

7 “How Much Do Americans Spend on Their Pets?” LendEDU, 2023

8 Examples are for illustrative purposes only. Please note that these examples do not include or account for any premium expense required to pay the pet policy. Actual premium rates may vary based on pet age breed, location, deductible, reimbursement rate, and annual limits you choose. Examples are based on covered expenses on a policy with a 90% reimbursement after meeting a $250 deductible. The pet policy issued by MetGen is the governing document with respect to all matters of insurance. The specific facts of each claim must be evaluated in conjunction with the provisions of the applicable Policy to determine coverage in each individual case.

9 For IAIC policies only

10 For IAIC policies, coverage for these conditions is subject to a 6-month wait period. Please review your policy for complete details.

11 Calculation based upon select plans and coverages. Actual rates may vary based on pet age, breed, location, deductible, reimbursement rate, and annual limits you choose. For IAIC policies, premium is also based upon pet gender.

12 Deductible options range include: $0 – $750 in $50 increments and $1,000, $1,250, $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500.

13 Reimbursement options include: 70%, 80% and 90% and a 50% option for MetGen policies and a 65% option for IAIC policies only. Pet age restrictions may apply.

14 Accident and optional Preventive Care coverage begins on midnight EST of the effective day of your policy compared to a wait time of 2 to 15 days for many competitors; Illness coverage begins 14 days from the effective day of your policy compared to 14 to 30 days for many competitors. Based on a January 2024 review of publicly available summary information. Competitors did not furnish copies of their policies for review. If you have questions about a particular competitor's policy or coverage, please contact them or their representative directly.

15 “2023 Pet Insurance of the Year Award” Winners, Pet Independent Innovation Awards

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

Disclosure for Maine Residents

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