Finding the best pet insurance company isn’t easy, especially when you get into the details of the various types of coverage they each offer. The cost for a plan is generally one of the deciding factors for many pet owners. ‘How much is pet insurance?’ isn’t an easy question to answer, but you should keep reading to find out all you need to know.
We’ll start with the most important factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance. Aside from your pet’s age and breed, your location also matters.
To help you pick the best plan and insurance company, we compared the prices of the three most popular insurers with the most extensive coverage. After getting familiar with the important factors, you can find out more about their deductibles, reimbursement levels, and lowest rates for cats and dogs.
Factors That Influence Pet Health Insurance Cost
Every insurer takes into consideration specific factors before they calculate your rate. Some of the most common ones are age, breed, number of pets, as well as your location.
As pets get older, they are more likely to require vet treatment, hence the cost of the insurance will be higher. Companies want to protect themselves right from the start, so your dog might not even be eligible for insurance because of its age.
Cats usually live a longer life, that’s why you can expect to pay less compared to what you’ll pay for dogs. Also, the upper age limit for insuring cats is generally higher than it is for dogs.
Your pet’s breed will very likely impact the pet insurance price. Some breeds are more prone to be affected by specific health conditions throughout their life, that’s why insurers consider them higher risk and assume they’ll likely require more frequent vet visits.
For example, flat-faced dog breeds often need help with their breathing problems, while specific large-breed dogs have shorter life spans.
TAs with other types of insurance, the average cost that you’ll pay for your pet’s insurance will depend on your location.
Number Of Pets
Some insurance companies offer discounts when you want to insure more than one pet with them. There are also certain bulk deals that will lower your final cost. For example, Lemonade offers a discounted deal if you decide to get your pet insurance and homeowners or renters insurance from them.
Most companies don’t insure pets with pre-existing conditions. Thankfully, there is still a way to insure your beloved furry friend, even if it has a pre-existing health condition.
Average Cost Of Pet Insurance
According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average annual premium cost for dogs insurance in the US in 2020 was $594.15, while the monthly average premium was $49.15. For cats, the average annual premium was $341.81, while the average monthly premium was $28.48.
Top Three Pet Insurance Companies To Know About & Costs
How much does pet insurance cost? This is one of the most common questions we get. To compare prices, annual deductibles, limits, and reimbursements, we took a closer look at the plans that the top three pet insurance companies offer.
PetPlan is one of the most reputable insurance companies that specializes in pet insurance. They offer pet insurance policies for cats and dogs.
The average prices of their plans are around $35 per month for dogs and $25 for cats. The company calculates the pricing based on your pet’s age, breed, location, annual coverage, reimbursement, and deductible, so there is no way to know a final price until you input your pet’s information.
PetPlan’s insurance works whenever you visit any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada. They also offer Healthy Pet Credit, which means that after every 12-month period without a paid claim reimbursement they add 15% credit that can lower your premiums. You can get a total of 30% Happy Pet Credit.
The annual deductibles that they offer are $200, $300, $500, $1,000. When it comes to reimbursements, PetPlan’s options are 70%, 80%, and 90%. PetPlan offers two annual limits, one at $5,000 and another at $15,000.
When comparing them to the two other companies on our list, PetPlan has the highest annual deductibles, offers the same reimbursement rates as Lemonade and PetFirst, and has a higher annual limit than PetFirst, but a lower one than Lemonade.
- Pets of all ages, as long as they are at least six weeks old — There is no upper limit that prevents you from insuring your elderly pets
- Hereditary and chronic conditions
- Accidental injuries and illnesses
- Latest incentive includes free virtual vet visits with a limit of $1,000
- Costs of vet exams, including specialists and urgent visits
- Diagnostic tests including blood work and specialized chemistry during diagnostics and treatment
- Non-routine dental treatments such as a broken tooth or periodontal disease
- Ultrasounds, CAT scans, MRI
- Prescribed medication as a part of treatment
- Chemotherapy and radiotherapy
- Surgical procedures and rehabilitation
- Homeopathic procedures, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments
- Pre-existing conditions
- No multi-pet discount
- No wellness plan to cover vaccination, flea and tick prevention, neutering, spaying, or teeth cleaning
- No liability coverage
- No cosmetic procedures such as tail docking or claw removal
Lemonade is best known as the insurance provider with the lowest monthly rates. They will calculate your rates based on the age, breed of the pet, and your location. The company offers pet insurance for dogs and cats.
The lowest Lemonade policies start at $10 per month. You can insure pets as young as eight months and older than 20 years, but certain pets can be declined insurance because of their age and health condition.
Lemonade offers a 10% discount if you combine their pet insurance with homeowners or renters insurance. So, if you’re in need of either of these two types of insurance, this bundle deal can be a good idea.
The three deductibles the company offers are $100, $250, and $500. There are also three reimbursement alternatives: 70%, 80%, and 90%. Their annual limits range between $500 and $100,000.
When comparing Lemonade to the other two companies, it offers the same reimbursement rates, has lower annual deductibles than PetPlan but a higher one than PetFirst, and Lemonade has the highest annual limit range on the list.
Lemonade has three packages you can choose from.
Accident And Illness Policy
- Diagnostic procedures such as x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, bloodwork, urinalysis
- Specialty procedures, surgeries, emergency care, hospitalization
- Prescribed medication and injections
- Injuries that happen during accidents, broken bones, sprains
- Treatment of illnesses including hernias, cancer, arthritis, allergies, diarrhea, heart disease, and more
Extended Accident And Illness Package
This package adds physical treatments such as chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and coverage for vet exams.
Preventive And Wellness Package
This package includes several additions such as three vaccines, annual detection of diseases, annual physical checkups, heartworm tests, fecal tests, and access to a medical advice chat.
- Some older pets
- Pre-existing conditions
- Dental care, burial, cremation, behavioral treatment
- Spaying, neutering, or microchipping
- Virtual pet exams
PetFirst is a reputable company founded in 2004. They offer highly customizable insurance plans for cats and dogs.
PetFirst’s dog insurance starts at $15/month, while the cat insurance starts at $9/month.
They offer four types of deductibles: $50, $100, $250, and $500. The reimbursement rate is 70%, 80%, or 90%, and the annual limit can range between $2,000, $5,000, and $10,000.
PetFirst’s reimbursement rates are the same as the other two companies, but it has lower annual deductibles. Their annual limit range is lower than PetPlan and Lemonade.
You can enroll pets as old as eight months with PetFirst. After renewing your insurance policy every year without a claim, you get a $25 discount off your deductible if you continue insuring with this company. If you own multiple pets and want to insure them all, PetFirst offers certain discounts.
- Hospitalizations, urgent care, and surgeries
- Diagnostic screenings such as x-rays and ultrasounds
- Diagnostic tests
- Illnesses including chronic, congenital, and hereditary
- Exam fees
- Holistic and alternative treatments
After a six-month waiting period, Petfirst will also cover treatment of intervertebral disc disease, medical cruciate, posterior cruciate ligaments, anterior cruciate ligaments, and cranial cruciate ligaments.
If you add a routine care rider you can also enjoy wellness and preventative care measures such as vaccination, spaying, microchipping, and more.
- Pre-existing conditions
- Vitamins, supplements, food
- Elective procedures
- Organ transplants
- Grooming and bathing
- Treatment of anal glands
Is it worth it to have pet insurance?
There is no doubt that having pet insurance will be a good decision. As a pet owner, it’s very likely that you’ll be facing several visits to the vet, some planned while others will be completely unpredicted and urgent.
No matter the pet insurance cost, regular visits will end up costing you more. The truth is that this type of insurance can save you money, sometimes even thousands of dollars.
If you have multiple pets, your vet bills can be substantial. Getting insurance is not only important to save you money but to also be prepared for emergency procedures that no one can predict. It will also encourage owners to get early diagnosis and on-time treatment for their beloved furry friends.
Does every vet accept pet insurance?
In general, any licensed vet will accept your insurance! Pet insurance isn’t like human health insurance where you have to select based on which clinics and doctors are a part of your network. In other words, whichever vet you decide to go to will be okay with your insurance type because they get paid straight from your insurance company.
After going to the vet office, you pay for the treatment or services and then file a claim with the insurer. Claims for human insurance work differently and are usually filed by the doctor’s office. That’s why the procedure for pets is much easier for the provider and why most licensed vets work with all insurance companies.
In most cases, there is no need to look for a new veterinarian or to explore which clinics collaborate with your insurance provider.
Although most vets, clinics, and hospitals will accept your insurance, it’s best that you check with your veterinarian before choosing an insurance company and a plan.
Pet insurance doesn’t come at a fixed price. Some of the factors that will influence the final cost are the pet’s age and breed, your location, number of pets, and any pre-existing conditions.
If you’re looking for an insurance company with the highest annual limit, you should opt for Lemonade. They also have the lowest monthly rates. But, if you’re looking for an insurer with the lowest annual deductibles, you should go for PetFirst.
- The factors that will influence the final cost of your pet insurance plan are the age and breed of the pet, your zip code, pre-existing conditions, deductible, type of coverage, reimbursement rates, and annual limit.
- The three best pet insurance companies, Lemonade, PetPlan, and PetFirst, are all affordable, offer extensive coverage, and you’ll find it easy to pick a plan that best fits your needs.
- Lemonade has the lowest monthly rates and highest annual limit, while PetFirst has the lowest deductibles. PetPlan doesn’t have an upper age limit that prevents you from insuring your dog.