5 min read

5 Tips on Saving Money on Pet Insurance


By Tim Falk

Published: 11/12/2021, edited: 12/21/2021

Save on pet insurance for your pet

You don't have to choose between your pet and your wallet when it comes to expensive vet visits. Prepare ahead of time for unexpected vet bills by finding the pawfect pet insurance.


Pet insurance offers financial protection against the unexpected. If your dog or cat suffers an accidental injury or illness, your pet insurance plan can cover the resulting vet bills. This gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll be able to afford the care and treatment your pet needs — no matter what the future holds.

But raising a pet is already expensive, so do you really want to add another cost to an already big list of expenses? Is pet insurance worth it, and if so, is there anything you can do to make it more affordable?

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of pet insurance and how you can save money on the cost of coverage.

Why get pet insurance?

We all want to provide the best of everything for our pets — the best diet, the best home, and all the love they can handle. But if your dog or cat was to fall seriously ill tomorrow and require veterinary treatment that costs thousands of dollars? For many pet parents, the answer is, sadly, no. 

And that’s why pet insurance is worth considering for every pet parent. It provides essential coverage for accidents and illnesses that would otherwise leave you significantly out of pocket, or even worse, unable to afford the cost of treatment. Think of pet insurance like a financial safety net, so that if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to get your dog or cat the treatment they need. 

According to the American Pet Products Association's 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey, American pet parents spend around $638 on veterinary expenses per dog each year, and $374 on vet bills for a cat. 

And if your pet faces an unexpected medical emergency, you could be facing thousands of dollars worth of vet bills. According to Emergency Vets USA, the cost of a hospitalization for vomiting/diarrhea and seizures ranges from $600–$1,500 for cats and small dogs, and $800–$1,700 for large dogs. Add in exam fees ($100–$150), general bloodwork ($80–$200), and X-rays ($150–$250), and you’ll be looking at a sizable vet bill.

Emergency surgery isn’t cheap either. Emergency Vets USA says that if your pet is hit by a car or swallows a foreign body, for example, surgery could cost up to $3,000 for cats and small dogs or up to $5,000 for large dogs.

Of course, if you’ve got adequate pet insurance in place, vet bills like these start to look a whole lot more manageable. However, instead of rushing out and choosing the first insurer you come across, the important part is finding a pet insurance plan that meets your dog or cat’s needs for the right price.

gray cat sitting next to bernese mountain dog - save money on pet insurance

What does pet insurance cover?

As a pet parent, there are 2 types of vet bills you need to consider:

  • Unexpected costs due to accident or illness 
  • Routine vet care costs, such as wellness exams and vaccinations

The unexpected vet bills are pet insurance’s bread and butter. From broken bones and vomiting or diarrhea to arthritis, diabetes, and cancer, pet insurance covers a wide range of health problems. This includes protection against the cost of diagnostic testing, emergency and specialist care, hospitalization, surgery, and prescription medications. 

You can choose accident-only coverage if you wish, or opt for the comprehensive protection provided by an accident and illness plan. Check out our guide to pet insurance 101 for more details of what your plan will and won’t cover.

But pet insurance can also cover the cost of routine vet care. If you’re willing to pay a little extra and include an optional wellness add-on with your policy, your plan will also cover the cost of things like annual wellness check-ups, vaccinations, parasite prevention, teeth cleaning, and more.

Wag! Wellness plans reimburse 100% of routine care costs for your pet within 24 hours. Compare pet wellness plans to find the right match for your pet!

Save over $270 a year with Wag!'s pet insurance comparison tool

Compare leading pet insurance companies today to find the right plan for your pet.

5 tips to save money on pet insurance

Ready to buy pet insurance for your dog or cat but keen to find the most affordable coverage? Check out these simple tips to help you save money on your pet insurance policy.

Choose a higher deductible

When you apply for a pet insurance quote, many insurers will allow you to choose your deductible. This is the amount you’ll need to pay towards a pet insurance claim before your policy will provide any coverage. For example, if your policy has a $250 deductible and you receive a $1,000 vet bill, you’ll need to pay $250 of that bill before your insurance plan kicks in and covers the rest.

Choose a lower reimbursement percentage

Many insurers will also give you a chance to choose the reimbursement percentage, which is the amount of eligible vet bills your insurance plan will cover. For example, if you take out a pet insurance plan with Figo, you can choose to be reimbursed for 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100% of vet bills.

The lower the percentage you choose, the cheaper your pet insurance policy will be.

person holding credit card - save money on pet insurance

Pay annually

Does your insurer offer a range of payment schedules? For example, can you choose between paying your premiums monthly, quarterly, or annually?

If so, it’s always best to pay for your plan annually. While it might look like a sizable lump sum upfront, it often works out to be cheaper than the other options when you calculate the total cost of a full year’s coverage.

And while we’re talking about discounts, keep an eye out for special deals and offers. For example, many insurers offer a discount if you insure more than 1 pet, while military discounts are also available. Embrace Pet Insurance even offers what it calls the Healthy Pet Deductible, which reduces your annual deductible by $50 every year you don’t make a claim on your policy.

Choose a lower level of coverage

Before you take out pet insurance, think about the cover your dog or cat actually needs. Do they need comprehensive protection with a wellness plan added on, or would such a high level of cover mean paying for some features you don’t really need?

By choosing accident-only cover and forgoing a wellness plan, you’ll save money on pet insurance while still having a certain level of financial protection in place. This won’t be the best approach for all pet parents, so maybe you can pinch a few pennies simply by passing on the wellness plan — after all, you can budget for routine vet care costs in advance. It’s all up to you, your budget, and the level of coverage you want for your pet.

Shop around

Last but not least, the easiest way to save money on pet insurance is to shop around for the best value. Rather than just accepting the first quote you get, compare prices across a range of insurers.

Of course, you should never buy an insurance policy based solely on how much it costs. You need to make sure you’re getting bang for your buck, so read the fine print closely to find out whether it offers the right cover for your pet at the right price.

Insuring your dog as soon as “pawssible” is essential for preventing high vet care costs. Start comparing insurance plans from leading insurers like Healthy Paws and Embrace and save over $270 a year.

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