Do I Have To Tell My Homeowners Insurance That I Have A Dog
Yes. It is essential to be honest with your insurer that you have a dog or other pet and their breed. If this breed is restricted with that insurer, you need to know that so that you can consider other options for coverage.
If you tell your insurance agency you do not have a dog and then there is a pet-related claim, the insurance company could deny coverage.
Why Are New Companies Not Eligible For Our Top 3
In the past, weve seen new companies enter the pet insurance space at meager prices. However, after some time in business and paying some claims, these companies increase rates to make ends meet. This hurts the customers because their premiums increase drastically and if they submitted a claim, their pet now has a pre-existing condition. So, if you change providers, that condition wont be covered by another pet insurance provider. In the end, you may have been better off going with a different, more well-established company.
Because of these issues, weve decided only to rank pet insurance companies in the top three that have at least five full years of national experience. We think this approach gives companies time to establish a consistent pricing system and reputation, giving customers and our team a better idea of what to expect. That being said, our experts will still cover new entrants and bring you everything we can find on these companies in our reviews, so you have all the options at your disposal.
What Do Pet Plans Cover
Before choosing a pet insurer and plan, make sure you know exactly how your dog or cat is covered. Insurers will have different coverages, but they typically fall into these categories and always exclude pre-existing conditions:
- Accidents such as cuts, lacerations, broken legs, ingestions, and swallowed objects
- Illnesses such as arthritis, allergies, skin and ear infections, diabetes, and cancer
- Hereditary and congenital conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia, glaucoma, epilepsy, luxating patella, and cherry eye
- Routine care for preventative procedures such as annual exams, vaccinations, bloodwork, and dental cleanings â for an extra cost
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Huge Increase In Premiums Every Year
I have been a customer of Healthy Paws for over 5 years now. I’ve had two of my pets covered with Healthy Paws within that time. I’ve never experienced huge increases in premiums with my first pet’s insurance. She was covered for nearly 4 years, but that pet has since passed. Currently, I only have one pet covered since Jan 2016 with a premium of $39.72/month. After one year it increased slightly to $43.70/month, which is reasonable. However, the next year it jumped to $54.18/month, and they just raised it again to $67.81/month this year. These are substantial increases, which they justify as increased cost of vet care. They really put pet owners in a bind and forcing them to choose between what they can afford and their pet’s life. Starting over with a new pet insurance company will make our pet ineligible for certain coverage based on new health conditions that have been found since then. Healthy Paws says that rates are not affected by the number or nature of the claims that we submit, but I do not believe them. Unfortunately, we have had to submit many claims for our accident prone dog, so it’s a suspicious coincidence that the premiums keep jumping up. I am not a happy customer of Healthy Paws and hate how they are taking advantage of the situation that many other pet owners will face.
Average Cost Of Treatments
If you’re trying to decide whether pet insurance is worth it, you should consider the cost of treatments without insurance. To help you calculate whether pet insurance is a good investment for you, we looked at treatment costs for the top 10 dog and cat ailments.
According to data based on average claims from PetFirst holders, the most common dog treatments cost $252.75 on average, while the most common cat treatments cost $266.79.
Keep in mind that even some of the more common issues, such as treating parvo in puppies, can be quite expensive the average claim is over $900. And serious afflictions like cancer are rarer, but treatment is also much more costly chemotherapy alone can cost $5,000 to $10,000.
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How Do I Cancel Petplan Policy
If you notify Petplan within the 30 days from the effective date shown on the declarations page, and you havent submitted a claim, Petplan will refund the premium. After 30 days, Petplan will return the pro rata premium based upon the date of termination of the policy.
If youd like a replacement for your Petplan insurance policy, take a look at our pet insurance reviews to see which pet insurance companies weve selected in our top three.
Overall Example: Major Medical Vs Everyday Issues
As with human health insurance, you have the option to choose a pet insurance plan that is high deductible but carries a lower monthly premium. These types of plans are especially useful if youre looking for a plan that will cover your costs in the event of a major unexpected issue , but are able to pay on your own for smaller, more routine issues. However, you also have the option to choose a pet insurance plan that carries a very low deductible and a much higher monthly premium. If youre looking for a plan that will cover almost everything, including minor or everyday issues, then this type of plan might be right for you. In the end, choosing a plan that is right for you comes down to evaluating your budget and determining what you want out of a pet insurance plan.
I expect to pay for my pets annual wellness care and have worked it into my monthly budget, so I already know that I’m not interested in paying an additional monthly premium to have my insurance company cover my dog’s wellness expenses. In addition, if any small health issues come up throughout the year, I have a rainy day fund that allows me to pay for veterinary care without cutting into my monthly budget too severely. However, if my dog came down with a serious illness or had an unexpected accident and needed treatment that exceeded $5,000, it would be difficult for me to financially recover from that kind of expense.
Here’s to a healthy winter ahead for you and your pets!
The CVH Team
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Costs Can Outweigh Benefits
The hidden cost of premiums is alarming, but it could be justifiable if you get proportionately high benefits in return. So, Checkbook conducted an in-depth cost/benefit analysis.
Checkbooks undercover shoppers gathered premium quotes and worked with the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine to develop a reasonable basket of vet services for two model pets: Woof, a medium-size, male mixed-breed dog, and Kitty, a male mixed-breed cat, from age 2 months through 12 years. Researchers then applied the fine-print rules of nine accident and illness insurance plans with similar key options and terms.
Overall, insurance was a worse deal when Woof and Kitty were lucky to have only low to moderate health problems, and a better deal when they suffered lots of medical problems. But the problem with spending so much to insure against disaster is that the odds of calamity are fairly long. Every six seconds a pet owner faces a vet bill of $1,000 or more, according to PetInsuranceQuotes.com, an online marketplace. Pet insurers also cite this statistic. That sounds scary, but in a country of 185 million cats and dogs, thats about a 3 percent chance over a year.
At the same time, the owners of 17 percent of Embraces insured dogs filed claims for cruciate ligament injuries, and the insurers claim for repair was $21,047. But the average for that treatment without insurance was $4,500, Embrace said.
All Deductibles Are Not The Same
Depending on the pet insurance company, the deductible will either be annual, per condition/incident, or per visit. The best option is annual once you reach the deductible, you are set for the year, no matter how many times your dog goes to the vet. Per condition/incident means you only pay the deductible once in a calendar year for the same problem.
For instance, if your dog has allergies and goes to the vet four times in a year for his allergies, you only need to reach the deductible once and then all future care is covered. Per visit is your worst option. It means that every time your dog goes to the vet, you must pay the deductible before anything will be covered.
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How Do I Get Cheap Pet Insurance
If you decide to buy a policy, there are a few things you can do to keep the cost as low as possible.
Pet insurance is going to be cheaper when your pet is in a good physical condition. Your pet is more likely to be considered a low risk for the insurer if its been given up-to-date jabs and micro-chipped.
Its also worth keeping an eye out for early signs of illness, and seeking treatment early, to catch problems before they become worse.
To get the right level of cover for your animal, check out the needs that are specific to your breed. Purebred cats and dogs may need a higher level of protection than mixed breeds.
Exotic or unusual pets such as lizards, parrots or horses will have different needs to cats and dogs, so you may need a specialist policy.
If you can afford it, paying for your policy annually, rather than in monthly installments, can also bring down your costs. You can find out more in our guide on how to find cheap pet insurance.
Purebred Dogs May Be Subject To Exclusions
If you own a purebred dog, listen up. A number of pet insurance policies exclude diseases and conditions that are genetically linked to certain breeds, for instance, hip dysplasia in a giant breed, or cancer in a Golden Retriever. If you own a purebred dog, choose a pet insurance provider that does not exclude hereditary conditions in purebreds.
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The Pets Breed Will Affect Pet Insurance Costs
Your pets breed is a major factor in determining pet insurance costs. Thats because some breeds are predisposed to illnesses, which typically translates to more veterinary visits and higher medical bills. For example, some larger breeds of dogs are more susceptible to heart and hip issues.
In our analysis of filings by pet insurers to state regulators, we found many pricing levels based on dog breeds but little variation for cats.
Cats are cheaper to insure than dogs. And birds, reptiles, rabbits and ferrets cost less to insure than cats.
Heres an example of annual pet insurance rates for common pets from Progressive Pet Insurance by Pets Best.
|Type of pet|
Annual Costs Are Worth It
If your pet is old enough then it can become more expensive to take care of them each year because all sorts of things can happen arthritis, cancer and a range of other conditions. This is why it is important to have pet insurance so that you can get good rates on your yearly premiums because they will likely not rise based on age, breed or previous health condition, which means you do not have to pay any more than expected each year.
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Insurance Will Save You Money In The Long
If you have a healthy pet, then it will be much cheaper to insure them than handle any major medical costs that come up due to an accident or illness. These costs will quickly add up so it is better to spend money on premiums now instead of having to pay huge bills for vets care later on. Make sure you find insurance that will let you choose how much you can pay per month, and how little out of pocket you can afford before they cover everything without stress.
This way if something does happen and your pet needs surgery, then at least you know that all ongoing care and medication costs are covered by the insurance company.
Having a pet can be a wonderful experience, but the costs that go along with them can make it difficult to handle on top of everything else you have going on. By getting the best pet insurance though, you can help yourself and your animals as much as possible and avoid being stressed out by all these costs in one go. Make sure you choose the right plan that covers their injuries, illnesses and accidents alike so that they are covered no matter what happens.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost
While individual costs will vary based on your pets breed, age, health and the tier you opt for, across 11 of the top pet insurers, the average monthly cost for dog insurance is $42.45, while pet insurance for cats costs an average of $20.99 per month, according to Value Penguin.
Have an exotic pet ? Your options are a bit more limited, but you can still find coverage. Check out Pet Assure and Nationwide for plans for birds, rabbits, reptiles and other members of the animal kingdom.
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Routine And Wellness Care
Wellness and preventative care plans provide you with reimbursements for expected treatments in addition to unexpected treatments. You may be able to purchase a wellness plan separately, but they are generally sold as an add-on feature to existing accident-illness plans.
Many pet owners want routine care coverage for their pets in addition to accident and illness coverage. Routine care includes items like vaccinations, preventive medication, spay/neuter procedures, dental cleanings, and general health checkups.
The most complete form of coverage you can get for your pet is an accident-illness plan with a wellness plan attached to it. This is generally the most expensive type of pet insurance plan, but it also provides the most coverage. If you believe youll be making regular and frequent trips to the vet to get your pet care, and if you want the most amount of coverage possible for unexpected costs, this is the best type of plan for you and your pet.
One Veterinarian’s Alternative To Pet Insurance
The American Veterinary Medical Association adopted a policy of encouraging its members to educate their clients about the existence of pet insurance in 2019. The policy met with enthusiasm from some who are in favor of the opportunity to, in their opinion, educate pet owners. Others pushed back saying they were not qualified to promote insurance.
After more than 25 years of veterinary practice, Tracy Leonard, DVM, is among those who do not view pet insurance as a worthwhile expense. Instead, the Dayton, Ohio, veterinarian says that she and her staff recommend CareCredit, a type of healthcare credit card that can be used for, among other things, veterinary care. Other similar cards that also allow you to finance veterinary care include Wells Fargo Health Advantage and iCare Financial. It’s important to note that healthcare credit cards are not insurance. They are simply a way to finance large medical bills over a long period of time.
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Your Choice Of Breed Of Furry Family Member Can Increase Your Pet Insurance Costs
Some pure breed dogs and cats are prone to hereditary conditions that can increase your pet insurance costs. The French Bulldog, which is hugely popular in the UK, is particularly prone to health issues and so their pet insurance costs can be higher than other dogs, so it is a good idea to get quotes from a variety of insurers.
Researching the potential hereditary problems your puppy or kitten might develop by consulting breed guides can help you to understand the pet insurance quotes you get. Its also a good idea to talk to owners who have bought pets from your chosen breeder in the past. A good breeder will gladly provide you with other owners to talk to and doing your research could help you to keep your pet insurance and vet fee costs down.
Why I Chose To Buy Pet Insurance
We decided to buy pet insurance for my Miniature Poodle Jäger when he was a puppy. The first three years, he had a major illness or injury each year, which more than made the insurance worthwhile. In his fourth year, we made no claims, but when Jäger was 5 years old, he broke a tooth and needed a root canal .
All in all, the insurance was worthwhile for us. Jäger is 7 now, and we probably wont be renewing his policy when it expires. The premium has gone up over the years, and at this point it seems to make more sense to just put that money in a savings account for him every year.
Actually, thats exactly what many dog owners choose to do instead of buying insurance. If you put $300 or $400 a year into a savings account specially set aside for your dog, you can grow that into a nice little sum that will be waiting in case your dog ever has a major illness or injury. Of course, a major veterinary issue can cost into the thousands $300 a year might not cut it if your dog is hit by a car when hes 4 years old and needs a $3,000 surgery.
On the other hand, you could buy an insurance policy for your puppy and never have to use it beyond a random claim for diarrhea or an ear infection. Whether youre buying it for yourself, your dog, or even your iPhone, insurance is a gamble. You might never need it, but if you do, you will be glad you have it.
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Picks Of The Litter Insurance Plans
A record number of pets in North America, more than 2 million, were covered by insurance last year, up nearly 17 percent, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.
Checkbook found that two companies stood out from the pack. Healthy Paws and Trupanion offered the lowest lifetime premium costs. This is due, in large part, because they dont boost premiums as pets age.
Based on its extensive research, Checkbook concludes: If youre going to buy pet insurance, Healthy Paws and Trupanion are two good places to start looking.
Other shopping tips:
- Make sure you understand whats not covered: Pre-existing conditions are never covered. Some conditions that are covered may be considered pre-existing if they develop up to a year after you enroll. Most plans dont cover the diagnostic exam, just the prescribed treatment.
- Enroll when young: Coverage is typically available when a puppy or kitten is six to eight weeks old. By insuring your pet at a young age, you can avoid claim rejections for pre-existing conditions.
- Skip coverage for wellness, preventive and elective care: Buy insurance to protect against unexpected, large financial risks. Annual checkups don’t fit that need.
When we added wellness coverage to our hypothetical pets, we found that for most policies the increased premiums were higher than the benefits we’d receive; in other words, a waste of money, Brasler said.
We Don’t Raise Rates Just Because Your Pet Has A Birthday
Trupanion is unique because we are the only pet medical insurance company that always use your pet’s age at enrollment to determine your policy’s price.
Petplan, like all other pet health insurance companies other than Trupanion, use what is called “birthday pricing.”
Birthday pricing means that an insurer will automatically change your rates when your pet gets older, on top of any rate changes for inflation or other factors.
If your pet has a Trupanion policy, in our eyes they will always be the age they were when they enrolled. For example, if your dog enrolls when theyre 8 weeks old, well price them as an 8-week old for their entire life.
Based on their filing, Petplan has set rate changes based only on your pet’s age. Basically, for a pet enrolled at less than 1 year old, 0.850 is the best rate of the monthly cost. Every year as the pet ages, there is an increase in the base rate. These are their automatic rate increases for dogs:
- 26% increase of the base rate on 3rd birthday
- 67% increase by the 5th birthday
- 121% increase by the 7th birthday
- 237% increase by the 10th birthday
- 413% increase by the 13th birthday
These are some significant differences.
When it comes to pricing, Trupanion is different. We know medical insurance is for the life of your pet, so we share the risk with all responsible, loving pet owners like you that enroll their pets at the same age, regardless if they enrolled last month or last decade.
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What Information Does Trupanion Use To Make Rate Decisions
In short, your cost is priced specifically for your pet based on the information collected in our database from over 1 million claims for Trupanion pets. This data allows us to price premiums with precision, catering to each pets unique needs while providing the most value to our members.
To do this, we look at the number and size of paid claims as well as what our members pay for their coverage, and compare it to what we expected to see based on breed, location, age, gender, etc. When these numbers arent what we expected, we have to adjust our prices accordingly.
Routine Costs Every Pet Parent Has To Budget For
The ASPCA estimates dog parents spend approximately $355 to $650 annually on food, toys, treats, and other miscellaneous expenses depending on the size, breed, and location of their animals.
Infrequent purchases such as crates, carrier bags, and cages can cost an additional $470 to $560. In total, the first-year costs of owning dogs and cats are approximately $1,000 to $2,000.
Meanwhile, the average cost for a routine veterinary checkup or wellness visit can cost anywhere from $50 to $250. Vaccines are pretty affordable. Youll likely pay about $100 for a dogs core vaccines, for example.
NOTE: Reoutine care, wellness visits, and vaccines arent what you need to be concerned with when it comes to your pets vet costs.
If your pet comes down with an illness, or if your vet discovers something amiss at a regular checkup, you can expect your vet bills to go up substantially.
The biggest costs come from unexpected emergencies and surgeries – which is where pet insurance can be a literal lifesaver.
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Average Pet Insurance Costs
How much you pay for pet insurance varies greatly. Monthly premiums can range from as low as $10 to higher than $100, though most pet owners can expect to pay between $30 and $50 per month for a plan with decent coverage.
Your pet’s age, species and breed, as well as where you live and the coverage package you choose, all factor into your insurance rates.
The average cost of pet insurance is higher for dogs 60% more expensive than cats for accident and illness policies. Older animals and larger animals also face higher pet insurance rates, as these groups tend to have the most health issues.
The average cost of pet insurance for dogs has been increasing while the cost for cats fluctuates. Rates have decreased by as much as 7.2% and increased by up to 25.9% in the past five years, depending on the type of policy.
Five-year increase in average pet insurance rates