After our last two beagles had serious (translates to very expensive) health issues, when we got Teddy and Charlie we decided to purchase pet health insurance - to at least help defray the unexpected. Talk about "unexpected" - to date - Teddy was diagnosed with the rarest skin disease an animal can have - fortunately the veterinary dermatologist ($$$) is almost certain he will be cured and not need the very expensive medication for life! Charlie ruptured a disc between the 3rd and 4th vertebra - swelling and hemorrhaging caused complete paralysis within 24 hours. After neurosurgery ($$$) on his spine and a week in recovery at the specialty hospital, he was up and walking (very slowly!) - he continued to improve over several months and is a happy playful beagle again! For me, there is no alternative when the boys are young, and otherwise healthy and active and give us more love and laughter than seems possible to return. We are glad we've got ASPCA Pet Insurance! Living in California translates to higher costs for veterinary care, but at least the insurance has been helpful in putting a little dent in the costs incurred. We have been reimbursed reasonably (considering the costs of treatment and care for veterinary specialists in California!), certainly they have more than covered the costs of premiums - we do not regret our decision to get health insurance for Teddy and Charlie!