You're covered. Your spouse is covered. So are your house and your car. Now you're wondering if life insurance policies are available for the family dog. He is, after all, the light of your life, and having an insurance policy on him could help cover his final expenses. You're in luck -- dogs can get their own insurance policies, although the cost and types of coverage vary greatly.
It will take some digging and research, but it is possible to find life insurance for your dog. Traditional insurance companies, like the one your life or homeowner's policy is through, usually don't carry policies on dogs, even if they're purebred. There are companies that specialize in pet insurance, however, and they're the ones that can provide the coverage you're looking for.
People who get life insurance for their dogs typically have expensive purebred pooches. Not all of them are show dogs, but many are, making insurance a common-sense issue. And because of the cost of a specially trained service dog, people who have these types of dogs sometimes choose to insure them, too.
Life insurance for dogs doesn't work exactly like life insurance for humans. You'll have to shop around and find out what different policies cover and how they determine the payout. Some policies are written for accidental death only, and some will pay for costs like final veterinary expenses, euthanasia, cremation or burial. One insurance company might calculate the payout based on the market value of the dog at the time of his death, while another will base it on the price you paid for your dog. Ask about age cut-offs, too. Some insurance companies won't insure dogs over a certain age and will even drop insurance once a dog reaches 10 or 11 years.
If life insurance on your pooch isn't practical, consider getting help with healthcare to improve the quality of his life and possibly extend it. If you haven't looked into it before, you might be surprised at the number of companies that offer health insurance for pets. Like your own health insurance, there are usually different levels of coverage ranging from wellness plans to accident coverage. It may not insure the life of your dog, but it can help defray the costs of medical treatment -- which may end up literally being a life and death issue.
- Chow Chows; James Atkinson
- Withrow and MacEwen's Small Animal Clinical Oncology; edited by Stephen J. Withrow, David M. Vail
- Dog Insurance Site: Life Insurance for Dogs
- ASPCA: Affording Veterinary Care for Your Pet
- David Price: Insurance Agent, Farmer's Insurance, Chubbuck, Idaho
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images