We don’t like to think that something could happen to our pets, so we often avoid subjects that revolve around their overall health or eventual passing. It’s also the same reason why we don’t think of our estate planning and how our pets or loved ones should fit into our will and trust.

However, being proactive can ensure you aren’t separated from your pets if you move into a care home, recoup your pet investment, and receive the help they need when they’re sick.

3 Types of Coverage You’ll Need for Your Pet

By getting pet life insurance, pet insurance, and a pet estate plan, you’ll ensure your pet is fully covered, no matter what happens to them or you. Let’s take a closer look at these plans.

1. Pet Life Insurance

Pet life insurance works a little differently than human life insurance. Humans usually get life insurance to ensure their family has the same lifestyle when they pass. These policies will also be used to repay a mortgage, pay college tuition, or reimburse funeral or wake costs.

On the other hand, pet life insurance protects your pet-related financial investment. That’s why many professional handlers and owners who have media-trained pets will get life insurance for their pets. It’s very expensive to replace a dog or cat who’s undergone years of training.

If you plan on getting life insurance for a pet, know that it’ll only cover the cost of replacing the pet once they die and, in some cases, if they’re stolen. Pet life insurance will not cover:

  • Death from old age
  • Death from a hereditary disease
  • Death from a pre-existing health condition

That means that pet life insurance will primarily cover accidents. Remember that life insurance isn’t just for show pets; you may want to purchase a policy if you have a high-valued pet.

For example, buying a purebred French bulldog can cost $4,000. This cost doesn’t include the cost of shots, training, toys, food, and so on. The average dog can cost $33,112 over a 10-year life span, so you may want to insure your pet to recoup some of that money.

Pet life insurance

2. Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is one of the best ways to protect your pet. We go more in-depth in our pet insurance article, but we’ll sum up a few key points you should be aware of. Pet insurance is similar to health insurance in that the policy will reimburse you for veterinary expenses.

Pet insurance can help you save money on pet bills, giving you peace of mind should your pet’s health take a turn for the worse. Although the names “pet insurance” and “pet life insurance” sound similar, the pet’s owner can use pet insurance to aid their furry friends while alive.

Every pet owner should invest in pet insurance when their pet is young, especially if they don’t have enough savings for surgery. In some cases, senior pet insurance may be necessary.

Pet Estate Plan

A pet estate plan outlines who will take physical custody of your pet if you pass. Your will names the actual person or organization that will provide them with daily care through their lifetime, while the trust will discuss specific care requirements for your pet, like food or health concerns.

Every case is different, but when planning for your pets, ask yourself:

  • Where do I want my pets to live (sanctuary, friends or family’s house, etc.)?
  • What unique care requirements need to be accounted for?
  • What specific person(s) will be responsible for my pet’s daily care?
  • What financial resources can I provide to make the transition easier?
  • Who is responsible for the administration/oversight of my assets left for my pet?


You should never assume that your friends or family members will care for your pet when you pass. Always ask the people you mean to place in your will and trust before allowing them to take on this crucial role. Think of your current pets like your children and plan accordingly.

Some states limit the terms of a pet trust to 21 years, which is enough to take care of a dog or cat but isn’t enough for certain birds and horses. There’s no limit to the amount of money you can leave to care for your pet. However, the IRS will get suspicious if you leave too much.

Article written by Author: Nadine Westwood

Do you Have the Right Coverage for Your Pet

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