Life Insurance For Dogs: Worthwhile Or Unnecessary Expense? | Herepup
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Life Insurance For Dogs: Worthwhile Or Unnecessary Expense?

It might come as a surprise for some people to know that life insurance for your dogs is a real thing. It was a surprise to me, when I first heard of it. It peaked my interest and I wanted to learn more.

Right off the bat it made sense. As a member of your family, your dog should have the same advantages to life insurance and health care that all other members do. But is it really necessary for you to purchase a separate life insurance policy for your dog? Does it provide enough benefits or is it just an unnecessary expense?

After doing a little digging, I was able to find some interesting information. I hope that sharing it might help you decide if you need a life insurance policy for your dog.

life insurance for dogs

What Is Life Pet Insurance For Dogs?

Life insurance for your dog is not the same as life insurance for people. It is also different from simply getting a health insurance for your dog. It is in fact a specialized coverage generally available to compensate owners for the expenses associated with the passing of their dog, resulting from an accident or sudden illness.

What Does Dog Life Insurance Cover?

A dog life insurance policy covers various items associated with the passing of your dog from burial and cremation services, to grief counseling for the family. This can be especially helpful in households with children, as they have a difficult time understanding the idea of death.

Policies also reimburse owners for the replacement of their dog. I know, that this part sounds insensitive, as if your dog were just a piece of property, but it’s not to be interpreted that way. Owners of service dogs have to come to terms with the reality of getting a new dog sooner than later. These dogs are very expensive due to the training they receive, having the capacity to replace such a great loss is essential.

The Difference Between Pet Life And Health Insurance

One of the more interesting features that I think really makes life insurance different, from simply getting health insurance, is the option of recovering the cost for the purchase of your dog.

As a member of your family, your baby, your best friend; he’s irreplaceable, and priceless to you, so the idea of a putting a monetary value is undoubtedly depressing, scary and callous. Unfortunately it's part of the process when you're planning for your dog's death.

A replacement amount is available if or when you even decide to get a new dog. Understand however, that the reimbursement amount may not match what you originally paid for the dog. The disbursement will either be capped, meaning it’s already been set not to exceed a specific amount or an appraisal based on a variety of factors like age, breed, usefulness and special traits. Sadly, your sentimental value is not taken into consideration.

Can You Get Life Insurance On A Dog?

Anyone can get a life insurance policy for their dog, though this type of insurance is designed for owners of highly valued animals, for instance animals that produce an income. Breeders, owners of championship dogs and service dogs are more likely to purchase a life insurance policy as an added protection for their investments.

Where To Buy Life Insurance For Dogs?

If you’re interested in buying a life insurance policy and already have health insurance for your dog, start by re-evaluating his current health plan. Even though life insurance and health insurance for are two separate things they can sometimes be combined. There are health insurance companies that include additional coverages for your pup and vice versa.

Therefore, if you do already have a health plan for your dog it is possible to subjoin bereavement coverages for an additional fee. Remember to ask about replacement value - also know as as loss, mortality, or theft coverage - since some don't offer this.

Dog Health Insurance Companies

If you do not have health insurance for your dog already, but would like to compare the benefits to life insurance here are three very good suggestions to get you started:

    • Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
    • Pets Best
    • Go Pet Plan

Other Plan Options

Finding dog life insurance companies that have exactly what you need is going to take a little homework, but I can tell you where to begin looking.

    • Besides your dog's health insurance you can contact your own life insurance company. Find out if there is anything in your own plan that safeguards you in the event your dog passes. Ask if any of their other products offers assistance for this type of loss.
    • Another good choice is your Auto (Homeowners or Renters) Insurance. Often times there’s a branch that sells pet insurance. Get in touch with them and ask if they offer more than just liability insurance for you dog.
    • Banks are another good source. In addition to checking, savings and loans add pet insurance to a bank’s credits. Just so that you’re aware though participating banks are mostly outside of the United States.

Is Life Insurance For Your Dog Necessary?

Not everyone needs a life insurance policy for their dog. Also keep in mind that you don’t have to get separate life insurance. As I said before, it is possible to have a life insurance policy that reimburses for veterinary bills. This way you can have one or the other. Having both may not be necessary or cost-efficient.

Things To Consider Before You Buy

Know Your Budget: How much money can you set aside to pay for life insurance? Determine if the amount you're putting in is worth the amount you are getting out of it. Insurance can be expensive depending on the amount of coverage you want. Figure out what you want and need most. Finagle with the deductible and premiums or other parts to make it as affordable as possible.

Check The Fine Print: Be sure that what you're paying for is actually covered. For example bereavement coverage might only allow for burial or cremation, but not grief counseling expenditures. Know the limits of your plan. It may be that your dog’s breed is predisposed to an illness not covered in the event of his death.

Opting In or Out

Finally, there’s a reason why there's not a life insurance commercial on every channel. I think that there's a small percentage of dog owners that can truly benefit from having this type of insurance. Policies can get very expensive. If all you're looking to recover is the funeral cost putting some money into a saving account would probably be better than paying it out premium every month over your dog's life-time.


Dr. Laura Harris is our resident dog health expert. She started to fact-check dog health-related information for HerePup during her internship and contributes since then. Her expertise is in dog nutrition, senior dog care, especially critical care medicine and internal medicine.

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