One thing that tops kids' Christmas lists time and again is a pet. If you're one of the countless parents who gave in and got your son or daughter a cat or dog, congrats! You're in for a lot of fun. But bringing a new pet into the home also raises another question: Should you buy pet insurance?
For starters, premiums vary widely depending on age and breed. If your pet is young, you can get a lower rate for insurance, which can pay off big if something costly happens, like an illness or injury. But if your pet is older, the coverage may cost more and be less comprehensive as older pets are more likely to end up at the veterinarian's office. And because some breeds are prone to certain health ailments, the cost of coverage is going to be higher for many purebreds.
Consumer Reports notes that average premiums start at $16 per month for a cat and $22 per month for a dog, with dogs costing more because their vet care is usually more expensive. Your best bet is to look online to compare different plans and coverage amounts. Some well-known pet insurance providers include VPI, APSCA, Healthy Paws, PetFirst, Petplan and Trupanion.
If pet insurance does't seem like the right fit your cat or dog, consider putting a certain amount of money aside every month to save up for potential trips to the vet. You never know when Fido or Fluffy may need medical assistance.