SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It may come as a surprise to some, but pet insurance is becoming all the more common. Like all other expenses, vet bills and pet expenses are continuing to rise in the United States. In the past, people might have been left with few choices in the event of an emergency.

Now, there’s an option that proponents say could save you a chunk of change.

Pet insurance: it’s like regular insurance, but for Fido.

What are the benefits?

Pet insurance can cover you in case you have a major emergency, like an accident or sudden illness. It can cover things like office visits and exams.

Pet insurance is also usually available on a sliding scale. If you would like to pay less and receive fewer benefits, that is completely doable. If you would like to pay more and receive greater benefits, you can also choose to do that.

What are the drawbacks?

It is still expensive to pay money to protect you “just in case” your pet ends up becoming ill. Additionally, you may still have to pay out of pocket for services, meaning you have to have the money upfront even if you will get reimbursed for some of it later on.

One example of a pet insurance policy is the one quoted for Rose, a 10-year-old medium size mixed-breed dog. Rose does not have any pre-existing health conditions.

Her policy costs just under $52 a month. This includes a $500 annual deductible with up to $5,000 in coverage and an 80% reimbursement rate.

This plan from Embrace Pet Insurance covers chemotherapy, dental trauma, prescription drugs and more.

If Rose were to develop cancer or break a tooth, the insurance would help to treat those things. If she were to require physical therapy or an X-ray, that would also be covered.

However, if it was discovered that these conditions she needed treatment for existed prior to getting insurance, things would change. She would receive no coverage for her pre-existing conditions.

Should you get it?

Depending on your budget and what you anticipate needing from pet insurance, it may be a great choice for you — or a total waste of money.

If your pet has pre-existing conditions that would disqualify it from receiving most benefits, maybe pet insurance isn’t the right choice. However, if your pet is young, it may be a good idea to look into pet insurance before health problems start to develop.

Forbes Advisor has a handy tool that will allow you to compare plans and prices.