How much does pet insurance cost? The answer depends on an array of factors. It’s a good idea for pet parents to learn about how pet insurance works and how to evaluate coverage policies to choose the right fit for their dog. Our guide breaks down the average costs of pet insurance and things to consider before committing to a plan.
Average costs of pet insurance
Different sources cite different average costs of pet insurance. Monthly premiums can range anywhere from $10 to $100, but typically fall between $28 to $47 per month for dogs. These plans typically cover accidents and illnesses.
Factors that influence the cost of pet insurance
The cost of pet insurance varies widely depending on several factors. We’ve included some of the most common below.
Your dog’s age and breed
Pet insurance is typically more expensive for elderly pets and large breeds. Certain breeds are also predisposed to health issues that can increase the cost of coverage. For example, short-nosed breeds like Pugs are susceptible to Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). Difficulty breathing is the main concern, but severe symptoms can develop at a relatively young age. BOAS is a lifelong condition that may require corrective surgery and prescription medication.
The average veterinary costs in your area will affect the amount of your monthly premium. Read the policy agreement carefully — some insurers may adjust premiums according to local veterinary costs.
Most pet insurance providers don’t cover pre-existing conditions. These include symptoms that arise during the waiting period. Some providers may also require a full medical exam before pets are eligible for coverage.
The type of deductible
Your deductible is how much of your pet’s vet costs you’re required to pay before coverage begins. Deductibles are often adjustable and affect your monthly premium. This is the amount of money you pay each month for pet insurance. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium, and vice versa.
Annual deductibles are standard, but some providers offer a lifetime per condition deductible. For annual deductibles, you pay a set amount of your pet’s vet costs each year before coverage begins. For lifetime per condition deductibles, you pay a set amount of your pet’s vet costs for each condition.
If you need more clarification on deductibles and premiums, check out our helpful guide on understanding pet insurance terms.
While some insurance providers offer unlimited payouts, most insurance companies limit their payouts per year or per incident. Maximum payouts per year limit the amount you’re reimbursed for your pet’s vet costs each year. Maximum payouts per incident limit the amount you’re reimbursed per illness or accident.
Is pet insurance worth the cost?
Accidents and emergencies happen. Vet care is expensive. That’s why it’s always better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Pet insurance is particularly useful for breeds predisposed to health problems. Some research predicts that pet parents can save as much as $10,000 in vet costs with insurance.
However, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare your options before committing to a plan. Read the terms and conditions carefully so you know what you’re signing up for. And if you’re unsure about anything, speak with a customer service representative to ensure maximum transparency.
Things to consider before committing to a pet insurance plan
If you’re in the market for pet insurance, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind while searching for the right provider.
Virtually every pet insurance policy includes a waiting period. During this period, which typically lasts between 5 to 14 days, your dog is not covered. That said, some insurance policies go into effect immediately. This is sometimes the case for emergency and accident coverage. However, there’s almost always a waiting period for illnesses.
Coverage and exclusions
Different pet insurance providers cover different diseases and treatments. While some insurers cover alternative therapies like acupuncture and hydrotherapy, others don’t. The same goes for routine examination fees and check-ups.
Many pet insurance providers offer optional, complementary packages. These tend to cover routine dental care and emergencies like dog boarding due to owner hospitalization.
How much does pet insurance cost? Wrapping up
The list of factors that affect the cost of insurance is a long one. Pet parents should take their time comparing plans and providers to choose the right fit for their budget and pet’s needs.