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Three years ago, I wrote a post about whether or not I thought pet insurance was worth it. My dogs still have pet insurance. As they’ve gotten older and the premiums have gone up, I figured it was time to revisit the topic and calculate if the pet insurance is still worth it.

Our provider is Nationwide pet insurance.

The Cost of Pet Insurance

We’ve had pet insurance for both dogs almost their whole lives. Zara was 5 months old when we got it for her and Colombo was 3 months old.

I have submitted 81 claims to Nationwide for Zara in the past ten years, for an average of 8 per year. I’ve submitted only 21 for Colombo in the past six years, for an average of 3 per year.

The deductible for each dog is $250 per year. So you have to reach the deductible before Nationwide will pay anything. However, I’ve found that $250 is a pretty low number to meet.


These numbers are for a period of ten years, from 2014 to 2023. I’ve counted 2023 in the total because we’re almost done paying the premium and have already reached the deductible. Zara’s pet insurance resets on April 1st every year.


total amount of premiums paid


vet costs that were claims submitted to Nationwide


total of premiums and submitted claims


payments received from Nationwide


total out of pocket cost with pet insurance


savings due to having pet insurance


These numbers are for a period of seven years, from 2017 to 2023. I have counted 2023 because we have started paying the premium and have reached the deductible. Colombo’s pet insurance resets August 1st every year.


total amount of premiums paid


vet costs that were claims submitted to Nationwide


total of premiums and submitted claims


payments received from Nationwide


total out of pocket cost with pet insurance


savings due to having pet insurance

Romping around can sometimes lead to injury!

Does Pet Insurance Save You Money? For Us, Yes

From the numbers above, you can see that for Zara, having pet insurance has been worth it. We’ve saved $5,076 over the past ten years, which is about $500 a year. For Colombo, we’ve saved $1,995 in seven years, which is about $285 a year. When I calculated the numbers in 2020, we had only broken even with Colombo. Over the past few years, he’s had a few costly procedures that have made the pet insurance more worth it with him.

The premium (the amount you pay out of pocket for the year, regardless of whether you use the insurance or not) really goes up significantly every year, especially as the dogs are getting older. I’m sure inflation/rising costs play an issue too.

Pet Insurance Premiums Do Increase Over Time

These are the premiums per year and they all include a 5% discount. We initially had a 5% discount when the pet insurance went through Chris’ employer. Now the 5% discount is for having multiple policies.


2014, puppy: $250

2015, 1 yo: $297

2016, 2 yo: $337

2017, 3 yo: $351

2018, 4 yo: $379

2019, 5 yo: $500

2020, 6 yo: $672

2021, 7 yo: $807

2022, 8 yo: $1,058

2023, 9 yo: $1,268

2024, 10 yo: $1,716
(not included in numbers above)


2017, puppy: $250

2018, 1 yo: $324

2019, 2 yo: $324

2020, 3 yo: $416

2021, 4 yo: $669

2022, 5 yo: $785

2023, 6 yo: $913

Zara’s premium is really high now. Although I haven’t included the 2024 numbers in the cost-saving calculations, Zara’s premium will now be $143 a month starting April 1st. I definitely got a bit of sticker shock when I saw that. We’ll need to receive payments of at least $1,966 ($1,716 premium plus $250 deductible) over the next year to make the policy worth it. But given her penchant for injury, that’s highly possible.

In 2023, Nationwide paid out $2,219 for Zara. The cost of her premiums and deductible were $1,518. So far we’ve saved $701 this year. Her policy term will be up on March 31st.

In 2023, Nationwide paid out $803 for Colombo. The cost of his premium and deductible is $1,163. We’ve lost $360 so far, but we still have six months left of his policy term.

So, Is Still Pet Insurance Worth It in 2024?

The last time I calculated this number, I concluded that pet insurance was worth it for us, and given these numbers, it still is. We’ve saved money over the lifetime of our dogs, as well as yearly. I like the peace of mind having pet insurance brings. Once we’ve met our deductible, I will be more inclined to visit the vet to get a minor thing checked out because it’s likely the insurance will cover it. If we didn’t have insurance, then I would likely be more careful about how often I went there.

As the premiums keep going up, I’ll have to keep an eye on these numbers to make sure we are still saving money. I also looked into the cost of getting a new policy if we got a third dog, and they’ve changed their pricing structure. It doesn’t seem like they cover quite as much for new policies, which is disappointing. However, I have been satisfied with Nationwide. In the past few years, they’ve started paying out claims electronically and REALLY quickly – like within 3 days of submitting a claim. That’s very helpful.

The numbers above don’t include costs for preventative visits or vaccines, which now probably run about $500 a year for each dog. Add that to the amount of money spent per dog and I’d estimate we’ve spent about $2,036 per year on vet visits with Zara and $1,640 per year with Colombo. If you’re going to start a dog vet savings account instead of having pet insurance, putting away about $100 to $150 a month would be a good place to start. I realize that is not feasible for everyone, but any amount that you can set aside for vet costs will be helpful. Even if your dog is very healthy, anything can happen.

Do you have pet insurance for your dog? Do you find that it’s worth it? Leave me a comment below.

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