Obtaining life insurance for your family is common. It is important for you to purchase a life insurance policy in order for your family to receive benefits if you were to pass away or become ill. There are even some situations where people can purchase life insurance for their children in order to secure low-cost policies that stay with them into adulthood. While purchasing life insurance for your children seems baffling, can you purchase life insurance for your pet or pets? Your dog or cat could be just as important to you as other members of your family, so you may be wondering if you can purchase a life insurance policy on them.
In most scenarios, the answer will usually be no. Unfortunately, many animals do not have income potential no matter the value it may have to your family. This is because insurance companies base their estimates and life insurance policies off of paper and numbers, in which most household pets do not have this. Having said that, the value that was assigned to it will either be the price that you paid for it or the cost to replace the pet of the exact same breed. Emotional value does not come into play when it pertains to insurance companies. There are exceptions, such as if your pet was to be in competitions or if they are extremely rare animals. This could include a racing horse, a show dog, or a famous pet. These types of animals will usually have an assessed value that will exceed their purchase or replacement price.
Associated Cost with Pet Funerals
Pet funerals are usually rather expensive and many individuals usually will not cremate them or bury them in a pet cemetery. While the death of a pet may be difficult, it still is rather rare to spend money to bury them. With that being said, there are individuals that will and the cost usually range as listed below:
- Cremation: $60 to $150
- Cost for an Urn for Ashes: $35 to $400
- Cost for a Burial Plot in a Pet Cemetary: $400 to $600
- Cost for a Pet Cask: $50 to $500
With these cost being high, you may be thinking that purchasing a life insurance policy is by far a beneficial option for you and your family. However, these policies have limits that make them a good financial decision for only a small handful of pet owners.
Limitations of Pet Life Insurance
Pet life insurance differs from pet health insurance. Pet life insurance is designed to cover unexpected deaths such as those that may result from an accident or sudden illness. Your insurance company will provide you with compensation in the amount of your pet’s value, which will be determined either by purchase or replacements cost, or its assessed value. Some insurers also may offer to cover euthanasia, burial costs, cremation costs in exchange for higher premiums.
Not all pet deaths will be covered, and you are more than likely to face a number of policy exclusions, which include the following:
- Preexisting Conditions – Insurance companies require a health assessment, much like humans, through a veterinarian before they will issue a policy. If your pet is suffering from a serious illness, whether it is hereditary or not, you may not qualify for coverage.
- Old Age – With all living beings, we age. Pets will get older and their life expectancy is much shorter than that of people. This is why life insurance companies limit coverage to a given time span that provides coverage while your pet is in the prime of its life. Therefore, coverage will be limited to accidental death and any sudden illnesses.
- Hereditary Disease – With various purebred dogs, they may be prone to serious illnesses. Deaths covered by these illnesses will not be covered by dog life insurance.
Is Pet Insurance Really Worth it?
Pets are expensive to have, with the average being around $1200 a year spent on an individual pet. Having a burial or cremation will only add to the amount of money that you have spent on your pet, in which there is not much reason to do this unless your pet has a high assessed value. The American Pet Products Association reports that there are approximately 86 million cats and 78 million dogs living with families within the United States. While many of these families could benefit from purchasing health insurance for their pets, there are very few that would benefit from purchasing pet life insurance policies.
There are only a few exceptions that would make more financial sense to put the money you would spend on a pet life insurance policy into a savings account set up for the purpose of covering your pets friend’s burial or cremation costs.
Overall, if you feel that your pet has an estimated value that justified the cost of a pet life insurance policy, then you should contact a life insurance company or agent and see if they can provide you a quote. Life insurance agents are able to help you with any questions pertaining to purchasing life insurance for yourself, your family, or even your pets. Life insurance has become a necessity for adults with families that are seeking to receive benefits if they were to pass away in order to help their family with funeral cost, living expenses, and more. Therefore, pick up the phone and start contacting life insurance companies about any potential questions pertaining to policies or coverage.