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Just as there’s health insurance to cover medical expenses for people, you can buy pet insurance to cover unexpected veterinary bills for your furry friends. But you may be wondering, “Should I get pet insurance? Is it worth it?” Learning about the potential costs of veterinary care and the benefits of insurance can help answer these questions.

Pet insurance can be a lifesaver if your pet ever needs hospitalization or surgery. Knowing that insurance will provide coverage can give you peace of mind as well as the assurance that you won’t need to choose between holding onto savings and providing care for your pet.

Financial Benefits

A basic pet insurance plan usually costs between $30 and $50 a month, according to Money. Luckily, those monthly payments can save you from much larger bills in the event of an emergency.

CBS News reports that in 2016, the cost of treating intestinal problems in a pet was $857 while treating a urinary tract infection cost $601. The cost of cancer treatment for a pet was $2,039. According to Green Valley News, treating leg injuries costs an average of $3,480. For pet owners in Arizona, an unexpected trip to the vet in 2017 resulted in a bill between $1,200 and $1,300 on average. Given that treatment for a pet can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars, it can be worthwhile to pay a monthly premium and ensure that you aren’t on the hook for the full vet bill.

And unlike health insurance for humans, pet insurance normally doesn’t require you to stay within a network of providers. Thus, you can enjoy the financial protections of insurance without giving up a trusted vet or restricting your choices.

Peace of Mind

Pet insurance provides a valuable sense of security as you seek the best care for your pet. Having insurance takes the financial guesswork out of a checkup or emergency clinic visit. Each time you head out for an appointment with the vet, you have a clear idea of the size of your deductible, what you’ll be expected to pay out of pocket and what portion of the bill the insurance will cover. You don’t have to wonder if they’ll order a test you can’t afford because you know your coverage will help with large bills.

Pet insurance also makes budgeting for veterinary expenses easier and more predictable. Without insurance, a procedure for your pet can throw off your entire budget and lead to agonizing decisions about cutting back other spending, drawing from your savings or borrowing money. Having insurance means that in the event of a pet’s surgery or hospitalization, your out-of-pocket costs will be limited. It’s often impossible to predict when a pet will become ill, and thanks to insurance, you can still create a workable budget that will be fairly stable even in the event of an emergency.

If you decide to get pet insurance, be sure to do plenty of research first. There are a lot of plans to choose from and they each have their pros and cons. But no matter how you look at it, once you weigh the potential costs of veterinary care against the premiums and benefits of insurance, the answer to the question “Should I get pet insurance?” is likely a resounding yes.

Save It for a Rainy Day

With nearly half of Americans reporting that they wouldn’t have the money needed to cover an unexpected $400 expense, sock away some of your cash gifts for an emergency. You never know when you’ll be hit with a surprise expense like a major car repair or urgent dental work — or even a painful blow like a job loss.

If you don’t have much saved up for a rainy day fund, start saving by opening a designated savings account, depositing some of your wedding money and setting up automated transfers so that you’re saving on a regular basis.

Save for Retirement

While it may feel light years away, putting some of your wedding money toward retirement can help you set the foundation now for a solid nest egg for your golden years. It’s important to remember that while you can borrow for a house, a car or a return to school, the one thing you can’t take out a loan for is your retirement. So the earlier you can start saving, the better. If you don’t have a retirement account from your employer, you can set up an individual one such as an IRA or a SEP IRA.

Start a Nest Egg for a House

With the average cost of a house in the U.S. coming in at $368,100, consider putting your wedding cash toward a down payment on a home. The more you’re able to save, the smaller your monthly payments will be. And if you can afford a down payment of at least 20 percent, you won’t have to pay private mortgage insurance.

When it comes to what to do with your wedding money, being savvy will help you and your new spouse build a sound financial foundation for your life together. While you don’t necessarily have to put all of your wedding gift money toward your future, putting away part is a good step in the right direction. Your future selves will thank you.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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