What Affects Your Pet Insurance Premiums
The average cost of pet insurance depends on your pet, the coverage you buy and where you live. Insurers will also look at:
- Species: Dogs cost more to insure than cats, and male animals generally come with larger premiums.
- Breed: Larger pets generally cost more to insure because they tend to have shorter life spans and develop more health issues.
- Age: Younger pets are cheaper to insure, as they usually have minimal health issues in their early years.
- Location: Premiums vary according to state and ZIP code, with more densely populated areas carrying higher insurance costs.
Generally, a low deductible, high reimbursement level and high annual maximum will reduce your out-of-pocket costs per incident but will result in a higher premium each month.
Most plans also let you purchase “endorsements,” or add-ons, which enhance your core coverage and increase your monthly premium. Common endorsements include exam fees, routine checkups or prescription food.
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
How Progressive Pet Insurance By Pets Best Compares
While comparing pet insurance policies, consider what benefits the insurer offers. In addition to its customizable plans and transparent pricing, here are a few key advantages Pets Best provides over other pet insurance companies.
- One annual deductible: You’ll pay just one deductible per year, rather than one deductible per claim.
- Fast claims processing and payment: Claims are processed quickly and can be direct deposited to your bank account.
- No upper age limits: Enroll your pet in an accident or illness plan at any age and keep the same level of coverage as they grow older.
- Optional exam fee coverage: You can add coverage for exam fees for any covered accident and illness.
- Choose a payment plan: You can pay your premium monthly, quarterly, or annually to fit your budget.
- Unlimited plans available: With a BestBenefit plan, you can choose to have no annual limit on your accident and illness policy.
Evaluate Pet Insurance Providers Carefully And Ask Questions
Before you buy any pet insurance policy, make sure you understand what pet insurance does cover and what pet insurance doesnât cover. As you consider what kind of pet protection is right for your family, review policy options from several pet insurance providers may help you find the right balance of cost and coverage. Things that are covered under one company or policy might be excluded by another, so be thorough as you explore your options.
If you need help deciding, just ask the professionals. Speak with your family vet about your petâs specific needs, and then call a pet insurance agent or a pet insurance providerâs customer service line to discuss how a pet insurance policy could help.
You can get free policy quotes from most companies in just a few minutes by providing basic information about your pet, the kind of coverage youâre seeking and where you live. Some pet insurance providers even offer 30-day satisfaction guarantees so you can evaluate their coverage risk-free. With a little research, you can protect your petâs health, your budget and your peace of mind with pet insurance.
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Routine Care & Wellness
This refers to all vet care and procedures to prevent illness and keep your pet healthy. This usually includes: spaying and neutering, annual checkups, vaccinations, flea & tick control, heartworm medication, teeth cleaning, ear cleaning, and microchipping. These are almost always excluded from pet insurance coverage. However, many plans will allow you to add wellness coverage for an additional cost.
Why is this fair?These are the types of costs you should expect as a responsible pet owner. Theyâre predictable and are usually not outrageously expensive.
Many pet insurance companies offer an optional policy add-on, usually called a wellness policy rider, to cover a portion of these costs. However, we think your money is better spent on getting a more robust policy for unpredictable illnesses and injuries. Instead of a wellness option, weâd choose: a higher reimbursement rate, a lower deductible or a higher payout limit.
Top 10 Most Common Conditions In Dogs Covered By Insurance
Many pet owners are not aware of the high cost of veterinary services. When bills for certain conditions are exceeding thousands of dollars, it could leave many dog owners in a tough spot regarding the care of their beloved pals.
To better understand the costs related to dogs and the most common claims in 2019, we have listed below the most common conditions, and the highest claim paid out for their treatment.
Pet insurance for dogs is designed to help cover the cost and give pet owners peace of mind against unexpected vet bills.
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Pregnancy Medications And Treatments Not Covered By Pet Insurance
The costs arising out of or related to breeding, pregnancy, whelping/queening , nursing, and treatment of offspring are not covered by most pet insurance policies. Many pet insurance providers do not cover the routine costs of monitoring a petâs pregnancy, such as exams, x-rays, or lab work to monitor the progress of your petâs pregnancy.
If you are considering breeding your pet or your pet has become pregnant, talk to your veterinarian about specific recommendations for prenatal care and testing for your pet, so you know what to expect. Consider pet insurance coverage prior to your pet becoming pregnant as well, so you can be prepared should your pet have any complications.
Is There Any Way To Get Coverage For A Pre
Every insurance company is different so you have to do your research. Some insurers may handle pre-existing conditions differently than others but companies that do cover pre-existing conditions usually only do so on a limited basis under their most expensive plans.
You might think its unfair that you cant get coverage for your pets pre-existing condition but, remember, pet insurance is designed to protect you from the things that might happen in the future, not problems that youre currently facing. Insuring pre-existing conditions would be very expensive for everyone and encourage people to delay getting pet insurance until problems started to develop.
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Consider Whether You Need Pet Health Insurance
- A pet health insurance policy reimburses the pet owner for specified veterinary care. As with your health insurance policy, these policies typically itemize covered treatments, deductibles and lifetime or per illness maximums. The cost of the policy may vary based on the amount and type of coverage as well as the breed or species. Estimate the health costs for your animals expected life and take into consideration how much you could afford for emergency treatment or a long illness.
- A pet life insurance policy covers end-of-life costs for your animal. This can include burial or cremation expenses and even bereavement counseling for you and your family.
- Pet injury coverage may be part of your auto insurance policy. It covers the treatment of a pet injured in a car accident up to a set limit. Check with your insurance agent or company to determine if your auto policy includes coverage for a pet traveling in your car.
How To Protect Yourself From Fake Insurance Fraud
The NAICs Fight Fake Insurance program seeks to protect consumers from insurance fraud by encouraging them to Stop. Call. Confirm. before buying coverage. Consumers should call their state insurance department if they suspect illegal activity or if they have questions before purchasing an insurance policy.
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If My Pet Is Involved In An Accident Will Pet Health Insurance Cover My Vet Bills
Your insurance policy will come in handy if your pet gets a broken bone or is hurt by a car, or if they accidentally eat toxic foods or something dangerous they shouldnt have. Lemonades accident and illness policy covers diagnostics , procedures , and medication if your dog or cat gets into an accident or comes down with an illness.
Your pet health insurance covers surgery that might result if your dog or cat ingests a toy. The only exception here is if your pet has a history of eating similar toys multiple times in the past. Being a good pet parent means watching out for your fur fam! If your cat chows down on a box of laundry detergent one day, and the vet manages to save herthats reason to celebrate. But its your responsibility after that to make sure your loved one isnt able to get into that detergent.
Cost Of Pet Insurance
There are a number of factors that impact the cost of pet insurance. Here are some of the biggest factors:
- Type of pet: The type of animal you have will affect the cost of your insurance. Typically, its slightly cheaper to insure cats than dogs.
- Pet breeds: Insurance companies will consider your pets breed when calculating your rate, because certain animal breeds are more likely to experience health issues.
- Number of pets: Insuring multiple pets will be more expensive, but many insurance companies offer a discount for adding more than one pet to your policy.
- Type of coverage: Certain pet insurance policies are more expensive than others. For instance, an accident and illness policy is going to be more expensive than an accident-only policy, simply because it offers more coverage.
- Amount of coverage: The higher your annual coverage limit is, the more expensive your policy will be. An unlimited coverage policy is usually the most expensive option you can buy.
- Deductible: Choosing a higher deductible will lower your monthly rate, and vice versa. If you want affordable coverage, opting for a high deductible might be a good option if you can afford the out-of-pocket cost.
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Doing Your Homework Pays Off
Because pet insurance can be quite confusing, do as much research as you can upfront. Read up on reviews on trusted, reputable sites .
Ask friends or neighbors who have dogs, suggests Castle. And independent vets who do not have affiliate relationships with insurance companies are also a great resource. They know which insurance companies challenge payments and are good to deal with an ones that are not.
A lot of information can be found on the insurance companys website. Check out the FAQ section, or review a sample policy. If you have questions, reach out to a customer rep and get as much information as possible before signing up.
Top 10 Most Common Conditions In Cats Covered By Insurance
Pet insurance for cats is generally cheaper than pet insurance for dogs. That does not mean the vet bills will not leave a dent in the pet owners wallet. Listed below, we have gathered the top claims made for cats in 2019 and the highest claims paid out for those conditions.
In comparison to the prices of treatments, the cost of pet insurance is relatively low. As the cost of veterinary services has been on the rise these last two decades and is expected to continue rising, investing in your pets future and their wellbeing is a must. Most pet owners ask whether pet insurance is cost-effective, which we have covered more in another article.
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How Much Will Pet Insurance Cost Each Month
Per the NAPHIA, the average monthly premium for a dog in 2017 in the U.S. with accident and illness insurance was $44.67, and $15.84 for an accident-only plan.
Average monthly premiums for cats in 2017 were a bit lower: $27.93 for accident and illness plans, and $12.72 for accident-only coverage.
And like health insurance for humans, you have deductibles, monthly premiums, and co-payments.
Some plans have yearly deductibles with annual limits, and will cover treatments up to a certain amount. Youll need to pay your yearly deductible before your insurance sets in.
Other plans a schedule of benefits, which have a cap per treatment or procedure within a given time period, so youll need to read the fine print.
And the lower your monthly premium, the higher your deductible and co-pays tend to be.
So lets say you take your kitten in for ringworm treatment, and the bill was $100. If youve paid your deductible for the year, and your reimbursement level is 80 percent, youll get $80 back from the insurance company.
Heres another tricky part: Exam and consultation fees for a certain condition may not be covered, even if its an illness or injury. Once again, youll need to read the fine print.
What Factors Determine The Cost Of Pet Insurance
The size, breed, age, and geographic location of your pet all influence the cost of your insurance policy. The length of your policy and the company offering your plan also play a role. Finally, you get to determine what type of policy works best for you by selecting a quote that makes sense for your budget.
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Death By Accident Or Illness
If your pet dies you can get back the cost of what you paid for it or what it could sell for.
Most pet insurance policies have an age limit – typically of eight to eleven years for a cat and five to nine years for a dog – after which insurers will not pay out, or you’ll have to make a contribution to costs.
Best For Chronic Conditions: 24petwatch
- Starting price: From $340 per year
- Deductible: $100 to $1,000
If your pet battles a chronic condition, 24PetWatchs $20,000 maximum annual limit will be more than sufficient to cover treatment. And, most pre-existing conditions are no longer excluded from coverage after 24 months without symptoms.
Pre-existing conditions reconsidered after 24 months symptom-free
Coverage includes trip cancellation and boarding
Visit any licensed veterinarian
Veterinary exam or medical records required
Age limits for dogs and cats
Plans difficult to understand
24PetWatch offers four pet insurance policies for cats and dogs. The only difference between these policies is the annual limit available. Heres how much coverage is offered with each plan:
- The Extra Plan: $3,000 in annual coverage
- The Classic Plan: $5,000 in annual coverage
- The Superior Plan: $10,000 in annual coverage
- The Champion Plan: $20,000 in annual coverage
Every plan from 24PetWatch covers accidents, illnesses, and related treatments, such as:
- Exam fees
- Alternative treatments
Plus, 24PetWatch will pay for additional costs up to $500, without requiring a deductible or coinsurance. These extra coverages include:
- Boarding kennel fees
- Additional living expenses
- Lost pet recovery costs
- Deductibles: $100 to $1,000
- Annual limits: $5,000 to $20,000
- Copays: 20%
- Waiting period: Two days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses
- Network size: Unlimited
- Swallowed objects
- Broken bones
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Comparing Pet Insurance Coverage
|Accident-only||Physical accidents: surgery, broken bones, swallowing poisonous or inedible objects, cuts, bloating, torn ligaments, pet hit by a car, bee stings, animal bites, ultrasounds, MRI, and sometimes burial or cremation for pets that die from an accidental cause|
|Accident and illness||Physical accidents, sudden illnesses including digestive issues, allergies, cancer, diabetes, asthma, surgeries, related medications, congenital and hereditary conditions and sometimes alternative treatments, such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic care|
|Wellness||Spaying and neutering, vaccines, teeth cleanings, and routine care, including exams and labs|
What Is Covered Under Pet Insurance
Generally speaking, providers offering the best dog insurance design their plans to support the owners in the case of an unexpected event or an emergency that would be otherwise too expensive for the owner to pay for. While it does indeed exist, its simply not the standard for a pet insurance policy to cover smaller bills associated with veterinary care. Here are some of the major things that you can expect a policy to cover:
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How Much Is Pet Insurance
The cost of pet insurance will depend on the pet type, age, breed, and gender, in addition to the type of policy, co-pay, deductible, and reimbursement level you prefer. Premiums will also vary depending on where you live. Policy rates for cities with higher costs of living, like New York or California, are prone to cost more. Most companies offer online insurance quotes.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Pet Liability
What happens if your dog bites someone or destroys someone elses property? Generally, those types of incidents are covered by your homeowners insurance. For example, if your dog bites someone and youre sued, your home liability insurance will pay for medical expenses and even a legal defense.
You may be able to get some liability coverage through your pet insurance company. For example, we analyzed a policy that covers property damage to others, up to $25,000.
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Does Pet Health Insurance Cover Diagnostics
Yes! A Lemonade base policy will cover many of the things that vets use to keep your pup or kitty healthy. That includes blood tests, urinalysis, X-rays, MRIs, labwork, CT scans, and ultrasounds. Lemonade also offers a Preventative and Preventative+ care packages, which includes things like an annual fecal and blood test and a heartworm or FeLV/FIV test.
Where Can I Find More Information About Pet Health Insurance
There are several companies that offer pet health insurance policies. An online search, using “pet insurance” as a search term, will reveal companies that sell pet insurance in your region. Each company typically has a website where you can learn more about their coverage, receive a quote, and a purchase a policy.
Another, easier way, to learn about pet insurance is to visit one of the aggregator websites, such as PetInsuranceInfo , that allows you to compare coverage and quotes from different companies all in one location.