"Need" is a relative term. This is the kind of conversation that, had round the dinner table, one of my kids would definitely pipe up "first world problems, Dad". I suspect that pet insurance is another great example of the value of an emergency fund. To judge by the way that Diana Clement writes about it, I think she feels the same way. Having said that, if you were temporarily in possession of a loved animal and curiously had no cash cushion, it might be worth buying while you got the rest of your finances sorted out. The great thing about an emergency fund is that it forces you to look at purchases as your own risk manager, and at times, as your own claims manager. After a while you gather the experience necessary to look beyond the initial cost to buy a thing / pet / car etc... and you consider the total cost of ownership, which is a really valuable shift in perspective for people that want to enjoy better financial lives.