'A new cast' photo (c) 2010, Brad Patterson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Pet insurance is becoming more and more common.  Some high-end companies even offer it as an employee perk!  But is it right for you?

When you go to a pet insurance website they have tons of examples of super high vet bills and how they could have been avoided for just a few dollars a month.  Horrible things like accidents and terrible diseases.

The thing is, most basic pet insurance only covers accidents and conditions such as cancer or heart conditions.  And you have to be careful just how much of the bill will actually be covered.  Routine vet bills aren’t covered, such as office visits or vaccinations.  Basic plans rarely cover hereditary conditions so if you have a large breed that suffers from hip displaysia you’ll be on your own for the bill.  And some basic plans don’t even cover the bill if your dog gets sick.  However, if your dog accidentally gets loose and gets hit by a car, it’s great piece of mind knowing you can do everything to save your best friend without worrying about the cost.

Another option, however, is creating your own pet insurance.  Sign up for a high-yield savings account, such as one with ING Direct. Each month, automatically deposit money into this account.  Then, should the unthinkable happen to your dear pet, you have the funds to cover it.  And should your pet live happy and healthy for a long time, then the money is still yours.  If you don’t have a pet yet, start this fund early!  If you already have a pet, you can combine a savings account with actual pet insurance and then cancel the insurance once you have a sufficient cushion built up in the savings account.

If you don’t think you’ll have the discipline to maintain the savings account, then perhaps you might want to reconsider if you have the discipline to maintain a dog!