Insurance Pets

Can I Put Life Insurance on My Pet?

Pet owners naturally love their “fur babies” and want the best for them. Not only are they a constant source of love and companionship, but many regard them as a member of the family.

However, does that mean you also have to insure them the same as the other members of your family with life insurance? Pet life insurance differs from pet health insurance in that you’d only receive compensation if your pet passed away (rather than reimbursement for periodic health checks and medications). In this post, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of insuring the life of your pet.

A Reminder of What Life Insurance Covers

Before insuring your pets, ask yourself: How does life insurance work? Recall that life insurance for humans is primarily designed to serve as a source of income replacement. This brings up two important considerations:

  • In a traditional arrangement, if one spouse were to pass away, the surviving spouse would receive the death benefit from the insurance company. These proceeds would be used to pay for their living expenses over the next few years (as if the deceased spouse was still working and contributing).
  • The insurance company will only insure the applicant up to a certain multiple of their income potential. Most people will generally get 10 to 12 times their annual income coverage. However, if an applicant tried to get coverage substantially higher than their earning potential, they’d most likely be denied.

Now put these points into the context of a pet. Unless your pet professionally competes, works as a model, or has a social media account with a large following, from the perspective of the insurance company, it is probably only worth its value on paper. Therefore, insuring your pet’s life will probably provide a death benefit of just enough to cover the funeral expenses.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

Knowing that pet insurance will cover end-of-life costs (which are generally under $500), the next logical questions to ask yourself are:

  • How much are the monthly premiums?
  • How long would it take before you’d break even?

The monthly average cost of a pet insurance plan spans from about $9 to $37 for cats and $23 to $90 for dogs. After crunching the numbers, it would have only taken 6 to 22 months before you’d have paid more for an insurance policy on a dog than you would have paid otherwise for the funeral. Similarly, it would only take 14 to 56 months before you’d break even on a life insurance policy for a cat.

We should also note that just like life insurance for humans, pet insurance doesn’t necessarily cover all manners of death. Many pet insurance policies come with exclusions such as:

  • Hereditary diseases
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Old age

It’s important to read the fine print so that you understand what qualifies for death benefits and what doesn’t.

Is Pet Life Insurance Worth The Value?

While pets can be an incredible source of joy and companionship, taking out a life insurance policy on them may not necessarily make the most sense economically. However, if you’d still like to pursue one, be sure to do your homework first and make sure that there aren’t any exclusions that could work against you later on.

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