Pet insurance can be extremely worthwhile for many pet owners. But consider your situation first. Without pet health insurance, you face the possibility of one day having to fork over hundreds of dollars to repair Buster's leg or, worse yet, having to decide whether to spend thousands of dollars to save Frisky's life.

The value really depends on the type of pet you have, its age and health (some breeds, older pets, and pets with chronic or terminal illnesses are usually not approved for coverage), and your personal feelings about pet health care. You may have personal limits as to what extraordinary measures you are willing to consider for a pet, or you may be willing to do absolutely anything possible to treat an unexpected health problem. In the latter case, pet insurance premiums are fairly reasonable, ranging from $100 to $300 per year. The premiums can increase as much as 50% as your pet ages (usually after nine years of age for dogs and 11 years for cats).

More and more companies are now offering pet insurance to employees. If yours doesn't and you are interested in the option, ask your human resources department to look into it. In the meantime, check out insurers such as Veterinary Pet Insurance, PetCare Insurance, and an alternative, PetAssure. Here's an article with more info on pet insurance.