Pet insurance is rapidly growing in popularity, and for good reason! It’s a great way to keep costs under control when providing medical care to your pets. However, the monthly cost of pet insurance can vary widely based on the type of pet you have, their age, and any medical conditions or care they need. The cost can become prohibitive for some people on a month-to-month basis, so it’s important to know what to expect.
The Importance of Pet Insurance
Many people are quickly becoming aware of how important pet insurance can be, especially as costs continue to rise. Pet insurance is an excellent way to ensure you’ll be able to afford your pet’s care, even if an emergency or other unexpected expense arises.
Many insurance companies are beginning to carry pet insurance, and many employers are offering it at a discount as a job benefit, so there are ways to get hooked up with pet insurance aside from purchasing a policy directly from an insurance company. Price shopping is easy and quick to do, and many sites will provide quotes with clear explanations of the types of care they will cover, making it easier for you to make an informed decision.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
You’ll see in the following table that the monthly cost of pet insurance varies widely, even within the same company, so it’s important to understand the factors that will impact the cost of pet insurance.
Pet insurance quotes are based on your zip code because the geographical area you live in can impact the monthly cost. Many insurances will also charge higher premiums for older pets and pets with pre-existing conditions. If you want your pet’s annual wellness visit covered, it’s likely you’ll have to pay extra for a rider to be added to your policy that covers this type of care.
Keep in mind that some insurances won’t insure pets with certain conditions or that are beyond a certain age. For example, when we requested a quote from Toto Pet Insurance for a 12-year-old dog, the only coverage available was accidental injury coverage with the option to add on routine annual care, while illnesses and all age-related problems were not covered by the policy.
You may also pay more for a policy for specific breeds of animals that are more likely to be prone to congenital and hereditary problems. Cats generally cost less than dogs for monthly premiums, but some breeds of cats may end up costing more than your dog’s policy due to their risk of illness.
Monthly Pet Insurance Fees
|Geico Pet Insurance
|Toto Pet Insurance
|ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
Additional Costs to Anticipate
There are essentially no commercial pet insurance policies that cover 100% of your pet’s care, even once your deductible is met. This means that you will still have an out-of-pocket cost for your pet’s veterinary care and medications.
Before your deductible is met, you will have to pay out your deductible at vet visits before insurance will provide any coverage of care. Once your deductible is met, you will still have to pay a certain out of pocket percentage of the cost of the care.
With many insurance companies, you will pay the full cost up front and request a reimbursement from the insurance provider. They will review the records and reimburse you according to your policy’s coverage.
There are many types of care that may not be covered by some insurance companies, like certain medications, prescription diets, and treatments for pre-existing conditions. It’s essential that you fully understand your insurance coverage before agreeing to certain treatments that you’re expecting insurance to help you pay for.
You should also understand that the monthly premiums for pet insurance vary widely because of the varying levels of coverage that are offered. If you opt for a policy that provides a 70% reimbursement with a $500 deductible for your healthy, 1-year-old dog, then you may only pay $10 per month. If you opt for a policy that provides 90% reimbursement with a $100 deductible for your 10-year-old dog, then you can spend upwards of $100–200.
How Often Will I Pay Premiums?
Pet insurance premiums are typically paid out monthly. Unlike with human insurance, pet insurance is generally available year-round and does not have certain time periods in which you have to sign up for or make changes to your policy. This allows you to make changes to the policy as needed, although it is possible that every time you alter your policy, your deductible will reset as if you have entered a new year or policy period.
Although most insurance companies require monthly premium payments, some companies may allow you to pay out the full annual premium. Usually, this makes the overall cost of the premiums less expensive for you, although you will pay a significant amount of money out at once.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Routine Wellness Care?
Most pet insurances do not automatically cover your pet’s annual wellness visit, which is the yearly vet visit your pet should have for a physical exam and vaccinations. To achieve coverage for this service, you may have to pay an additional monthly premium per pet.
This add-on coverage is generally offered in coverage tiers that allow you to select how much coverage you want for the service. Even though this visit only occurs once per year, the premium is split out into regular monthly payments just like the rest of the coverage premium. Make sure to determine if the premium for this coverage won’t end up costing you more than the wellness service itself.
How to Monitor Your Expenses
Anytime you take your pet to the vet or order any medications or prescription foods, you should keep a copy of the receipt. Submit your receipts to your pet insurance company so they know when your deductible has been met.
Once your deductible is met, you should continue keeping receipts and records when possible. This way you can simply submit the claim for a reimbursement of the payment you made for the care. It’s a good idea to maintain some type of file or folder of all expenses related to your pet’s veterinary care. This will allow you to quickly provide information if requested from the insurance provider.
Inform your vet clinic that they may receive requests from your pet insurance company for copies of records and services. Your vet may require you to fill out a form allowing the release of your pet’s medical information and your personal information. It’s also a good idea to give them a head’s up that they may receive these requests so they can watch for them and respond promptly. Promptly submitting any requested records and receipts to your insurance company will help you get paid faster.
Pet insurance is an extremely beneficial service. It has allowed many people to provide care to their pets in every situation from routine to life saving. Pet insurance is a fantastic resource that helps offset the cost of medical expenses. Veterinary expenses can get quite high due to the cost of supplies and the overhead of keeping operations running smoothly in a vet clinic. By opting into pet insurance coverage, you can help support your veterinarian’s clinic while ensuring your pet always has access to the care they need.
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