Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

I have been an emergency veterinarian for more than 10 years, and I highly recommend pet insurance.
Pet insurance helps cover the cost of medical care for your pet. It’s crucial in emergency situations when saving your pet’s life could require emergency surgery or hospitalization. Just like human hospital bills, the costs can add up quickly.
People in BC are lucky to have MSP cover their medical bills in emergencies.
Unfortunately, our pets aren’t as lucky. I’ve seen concerns about money play a deciding role in whether or not a pet receives treatment. Sometimes, this means deciding between life or death, even if the medical problem is curable!
Some pet insurance plans are ideal for covering emergencies. For example, Trupanion Pet Insurance will cover 90% of the veterinary costs associated with treating your pet’s illness or injury, with no limit! Bonus: Trupanion will even cover medical treatments and surgery for some congenital disorders, such as hip dysplasia, which can be debilitating without surgery. Trupanion, however, doesn’t cover routine wellness services such as dental cleanings and yearly checkups.
Other pet insurance plans (Pet Secure, 24 Pet Watch) offer coverage for routine wellness services but limit how much they will cover (typically $5K per medical problem per year). Treatment for serious conditions like trauma (being hit by a car, attacked by another dog), septic shock, cancer, or autoimmune disorders (meningitis, encephalitis, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia) can cost more than $10K in the first year.
Just like with any insurance, it’s best to sign up before there’s a problem. Securing a monthly premium when your pet is a young, healthy kitten or puppy is always cheaper than waiting until your pet is older.
If you have more questions about pet insurance, talk to your veterinarian.
Having good medical insurance is highly recommended and can be life-saving in situations of catastrophic illness and injury. View the Pet Insurance Comparison Chart.



    1) DON'T WAIT TOO LONG TO GET HELP! If you wait too long, it could be too late. This is especially true for concerns such as laboured breathing, pale gums and weakness. You know your pet best, so if you are worried or concerned, "when in doubt, check it out!"

    2) PREVENT THE PREVENTABLE. Learn as much as possible about dangers that face your pet, such as household poisons, seemingly harmless objects (like toys, clothing, garbage and rocks), other animals, and vehicles. Pets are like toddlers and they need a responsible adult/babysitter to protect them from danger. Puppies and kittens need to start their vaccines at ~8 WEEKS (and they need boosters too!) to protect them from deadly diseases.

    3) BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST CASE SCENARIO. Have a plan in place, know your nearest emergency clinic, have the ASPCA phone number on speed dial. Know basic first aid training and CPR. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, BE FINANCIALLY PREPARED. The cost of medical treatment in an emergency, and the owners' ability to pay for it, is probably the most important factor that determines whether a pet will receive the medical care it needs. The best way to protect yourself is to have good medical insurance for your pet. Do your research.

    **REMEMBER**: WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM, with the best interest of the patient as everyone's first priority. Let your vet do what he/she does best, and don't try to grab the steering wheel and obstruct your vet from doing his/her job. We are all in the same car, we are all headed to the same place, but only one of us has the driver's license (meaning, only the vet has the medical training and background to "drive the car"). 


    The medical information on this site is provided as an educational resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information does not create any veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

    Please consult your pet's health care provider before making any health care decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Twin Trees Vet expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.