Numerous variables influence the cost of pet insurance, including the kind and breed of pet you wish to cover and your geographic area, and the deductible you choose.
To help you decide how much pet insurance you need and why this article lays out each of these variables. In addition, we provide advice on saving money on pet insurance.
Even if you’ve had a dog or cat for a long time, the process of making a choice might benefit you.
Insurance for pets isn’t cheap.
Several criteria determine how much you will pay for pet insurance, including its species (dog plans are more costly than cat coverage) and its breed (some are more prone than others to require expensive veterinary care), what you need to know. Mirek Saunders founded Paydaychampion to help those who need money for pet insurance.
The typical cost of dog health insurance
U.S. dog owners shelled out an average of $594.15 per year on accident and sickness (“comprehensive”) insurance premiums, according to a 2020 poll by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (the latest statistics available at the time).
All insured pets’ data is based on the average above. Depending on the breed, age, region, and other characteristics, we could find a wide variety of typical prices. Depending on the policy’s specifics, a dog’s accident and sickness coverage may cost anywhere from $15 to $100 per month.
Insurance rates, broken down by breed, are on the rise.
Because many diseases run in families, the kind of animal you get has a significant impact on the price you pay. For example, demodectic mange in English bulldogs costs $350 to treat, whereas elbow dysplasia surgery costs $1,500-4,000 per elbow in Golden and Labrador Retrievers for young dogs.
Different premiums may be obtained by combining these variables. A five-year-old dog from two other breeds, for example, would cost the same to insure under the same policy. Based on our research, ensuring an English Bulldog would cost between $180 and $240 more per year than doing so for a Golden Retriever.
The typical cost of cat health insurance
According to a 2020 poll by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (the most recent statistics available), Americans paid an average of $28.48 per month ($341.81 per year) for insuring their cats, based on premiums for accidents and sickness (“comprehensive”) pet insurance policies.
Another way, insuring a cat is more than 30% less expensive than insuring a dog ($49.51 per month, $594.15 per year). This is partly because felines, on average, need fewer vet visits than dogs (due to factors including a lower propensity for accidents and a lesser incidence of hereditary diseases).
Cat insurance premiums are also less breed-specific than dog insurance premiums. The yearly cost of cat insurance varies across breeds, but by no more than $500, as this chart demonstrates. When it comes to pet insurance, a dog of the priciest breed costs roughly $2,000 a year more than one of the cheapest breeds.
State-by-state insurance premium averages
To get a free quotation for pet insurance, you may have noticed that your zip code is an essential piece of information. As a result, pet insurance companies consider where you live when calculating premiums.
Vet care costs vary widely throughout the nation, a significant concern. Pet owners in California shell out $1,500 a year for veterinary care, while those in North Dakota shell out less than $800 on average.
Even within states, prices vary widely, with metropolitan regions costing more and rural areas being less expensive. 365 Pet Insurance provides a breakdown of typical premium expenses for five cities in each state.
The rates for accident insurance are influenced by the various locations’ impact on accident risk. Animals in cities are more likely than those in rural areas to need emergency treatment after an accident, such as being struck by a vehicle. Insurance rates go rise as a result of these increased risks.
Pet insurance premiums that aren’t included
Pet insurance rates aren’t the only thing you’ll have to pay out of pocket each month. Dog and cat insurance policies include deductibles and reimbursement rates that might vary substantially.
Deductibles for pet insurance
Depending on your policy, deductibles vary from $200 to $1,000 with pet insurance. You’ll have to pay this amount before your insurer starts paying out.
Reimbursement rates for dog and cat insurance
Even after you’ve paid off your deductible, your insurance will likely only cover 70%, 80%, or 90% of your spending moving forward. It is common to have three or four pre-determined alternatives for reimbursement rates (or reimbursement percentages).
Insurance for pets has coverage limitations.
However, there’s a third factor to consider. Each year, you may choose one of many amounts between $5,000 and $30,000 for your animal’s insurance policy. If your vet bills exceed your yearly insurance maximum of $5,000, the insurer will not pay any more costs until the following year.
Some insurance companies require a waiting time before filing a claim for your pet, which varies from company to company.
Is it worthwhile to get pet insurance?
To determine whether pet insurance is a good investment, you must compare the total coverage expenses with the expected cost of your pet’s medical treatment. Then there’s the issue of how much of that money a pet insurance policy will compensate you for.
If your pet suffers from a significant illness for which treatment might cost thousands of dollars, having pet insurance will pay off handsomely. If your dog has a terrible injury that requires considerable surgery, the expense of which may run into the tens of thousands of dollars, the same applies.
However, it is unlikely that your cat would need such intensive care. Also, if your pet’s medical history is ordinary, you won’t be able to reclaim your expenses.
Preventive and routine visits and exam expenses are not covered by most insurance plans so that you won’t be compensated for vaccines and checks.
Veterinary visits for most diseases or minor accidents will likely not result in reimbursement. Even though they are all covered by insurance, the yearly cost is unlikely to surpass the standard $500 deductible. Even if your annual out-of-pocket expenses for routine medical treatment exceed your deductible, you will still be responsible for paying 20% or 30% of the extra.
Insurance may or may not cover dental treatment and behavioral therapy for pets. Pet insurance is not covered in the plan, although cremation and burial expenses may be.
In other words, many pet owners may be better off saving money for unexpected medical expenditures by not purchasing pet insurance in the first place.
How much money a pet insurance policy will save you
When it comes to your pet’s health, you may never be able to collect on insurance coverage. Treatment costs for an essential medical condition might soon exceed the policy’s deductible, and you will be compensated for those increasing payments as the invoices pile up.
For the most part, at least. Ten percent to thirty percent of the price is yours, even if the insurance company covers most. Depending on the severity of the illness or injury, it might amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in additional costs.
Aside from that, you’ll have shelled out premiums for the duration of the insurance, which might mount up to thousands of dollars. In this instance, pet insurance benefits cat owners more financially than dog owners.
As previously mentioned, cat insurance rates are substantially cheaper than dog insurance prices. However, when it comes to the comparative expenses of treating a severe ailment, that gap does not exist – or at least is not as significant. A cat insurance policy is more likely to pay out than a dog because of the higher cost of treatment for a cat than a dog and the cheaper premiums for cat insurance.
There are several ways to reduce the cost of pet insurance.
The cost of pet insurance is affected by various variables, some of which you have no control over overall. To save costs, consider your budget and goals and choose an insurance policy that strikes the right balance between them.
Increase your deductible amount.
According to our pricing study, your pet insurance policy’s annual cost might vary by hundreds of dollars depending on the deductible level you choose. A large deductible might save you money if your pet is sick or injured, whether from a medical problem or an accident.
Savings may be made by selecting a higher deductible option. For example, by choosing a $500 deductible, you may expect to save at least $200 each year on your insurance premiums. And the savings would more than quadrupled to almost $450 a year if you increase your deductible to $1,000.
Set spending restrictions for the coverage, and ensure you don’t go over them.
The amount of money that a policy will cover is often limited. Typically, yearly limitations are in place, but there may also be lifetime limits for specific conditions.
You may be able to set your limit in several cases. The smaller the coverage limit you choose, the cheaper your rates will be more affordable. The difference between the top and lowest levels of coverage is $100 per year in our pricing study. Given the price of pet insurance, it’s essential to look at every option for saving.
The proportion of costs that are repaid may be changed.
The smaller the percentage of veterinary expenses you choose to have your insurance company cover, the more you’ll have to pay out of pocket, but the cheaper your premium will be. Even if you elect to pay 30 percent of qualifying veterinarian costs rather than 10 or 20 percent, you may save little more than $100 a year, for example, by choosing a higher co-pay.
Your pet’s age is a factor.
Over time, the cost of insuring your dog or cat will rise in tandem with its age. In some instances, insurance firms restrict plan selections as your pet matures, while in others, the maximum age at which you may join is 15.
According to our pricing comparison statistics, three-year-old dogs’ insurance rates haven’t changed at all compared to one-year-olds. In contrast to younger pets, the chances of an older pet being ill are higher. Hence the rates go up continuously as the animal becomes more aged.
Between the ages of three and five and between the ages of five and eight, premiums for both dogs and cats increased by around 25% and 50%, respectively. For dogs, the premiums increased by almost 50% between the ages of 8 and 10, perhaps due to the more significant treatment costs than cats, whose premiums increased by around 33% between 8 and 10.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Insurance Premiums
What is the cost of pet insurance?
Ensuring a dog often costs between $600 and $750 a year, while doing likewise for a cat typically runs between $350 and $500. Your pet’s breed, age, and location all play a role in determining the actual premium you’ll pay. Not only does the deductible, coverage limit, and insurance carrier affect the total cost.
Is it worth the money to get pet insurance?
Most insurance policies will pay out more if the worst happens, such as when your pet is diagnosed with a significant illness or injured in an accident that needs extensive surgery. Those who can afford it will reap the most important benefits when it comes to pet insurance. But insurance may not be a sensible investment if you don’t want to put your pet, particularly an older one, through significant (and maybe painful) therapy or surgery to extend its life.
Pet insurance deductibles vary from company to company.
$500 is the most usual sum. A $200 deductible or $1,000 deductible is standard. Certain companies provide coverage with zero deductibles. Your deductible will be more expensive.
How much does it cost to insure a pet?
A healthier breed of cat or dog may be insured for as low as a few hundred dollars a year. Prices increase as a dog becomes older and when a dog gets worse for specific species.
The Bottom Line for Pet Insurance
To acquire a policy you can live with, both financially and emotionally, it’s essential to know what influences the cost of pet insurance and change the ones you can manage.
Because an animal with a typical medical lifespan is unlikely ever to need treatment that surpasses the policy’s yearly deductible, understanding how unlikely it is that you will recuperate your pet insurance costs is critical.
Pet insurance only pays out if anything wrong occurs to your dog or cat, as homeowners insurance does not pay out until your house is damaged by fire or heavy winds. This product is ideal for pet owners who are willing to go to great lengths to preserve their pet in an unexpected medical emergency that requires prolonged and costly treatment.