How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost In 2022?
More than 90 million households in the US have pets, which roughly translates into more than 90 million opinions about how to best care for a pet. But one way to protect against huge and unexpected vet bills is with pet insurance.
How much does an average pet insurance policy cost?
For dogs, pet insurance ranges from $20 to $44 per month. For cats, we found a range of $12 to $46 per month. Overall, pet insurance costs an average of $35 per month for dogs and $28 per month for cats, with $5,000 of coverage for the year.
You can find a pet insurance policy that fits almost any budget by adjusting the levels of coverage in the plan. Know that pet insurance rates typically increase each year at renewal time as your pet ages.
The cost of pet insurance varies based on several factors, including the type of coverage, the amount of coverage, and the breed and age of the pet.
Factors in pet insurance costs
Pet insurance companies use multiple factors when determining rates.
Type of coverage
One of the biggest factors that determine pet insurance costs is coverage. For example, a comprehensive policy that covers a range of treatments and routine care will also cost more than an accident-only policy.
Your coverage choices depend on the pet insurance company. Here are the common types of pet insurance Cost plans:
- Comprehensive pet insurance plan. A comprehensive pet insurance plan will combine an accident and illness policy with a regular care plan.
- Accident and sickness coverage. This type of policy helps pay for vet bills for unforeseen events, such as sprains from accidents, poisonings and common ailments like ear infections. This may cover lab tests, surgery, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and even emergency care.
- Accident coverage only. This type of policy covers certain medical expenses if your pet suffers an accident, such as a broken bone. Coverage may include diagnostic tests, surgery, X-rays, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and emergency care.
- Regular wellness plans. This type of policy covers medical expenses for wellness exams, flea and heartworm prevention, vaccinations and other routine annual care. These plans are usually add-ons.
The deductible is the amount the veterinarian pays out of pocket each year before coverage begins. You can choose pet insurance Cost deductibles that typically range from $0 to $1,000.
The higher your deductible, the less you’ll pay in pet insurance costs.
Pet insurance policies are reimbursement-based, meaning you usually have to pay for your pet’s medical bills upfront and submit a claim to the pet insurance Cost company.
Once you meet the deductible for your plan by paying out-of-pocket, coverage begins at the level specified in the plan. You can usually choose reimbursement options of 70%, 80% or 90% of the pet’s medical expenses that are covered by the plan.
Pet insurance costs more for better levels of reimbursement.
For example, say you have a pet insurance plan with a $500 deductible and an 80% reimbursement level:
- If a pet has a medical procedure that costs $1,500 and it’s your first claim of the policy period, you’ll pay $1,500 to the first vet.
- The first $500 of that is your deductible.
- You will then be reimbursed 80% of the remaining $1,000, for a reimbursement of $800.
Breed of pet
Your pet’s breed is a factor in determining pet insurance costs. That’s because some breeds are prone to illnesses, which usually translates into more vet visits and higher medical bills. For example, some large dog breeds are more prone to heart and hip problems.
In our analysis of filings by pet insurers with state regulators, we found many price tiers based on dog breeds but little variation for cats.
Cat insurance is cheaper than dog insurance. And birds, reptiles, rabbits and ferrets cost less to insure than cats.
Age of the pet
The age of the pet is another piece of the pet insurance cost puzzle. As your pet ages, the chances of illness and injury increase, resulting in higher pet insurance costs. We analyzed the age rating factors for veterinary pet insurance company policies and found that the best prices were after a pet’s first birthday until about six years of age. By a pet’s ninth birthday, you can expect its age rating factor to more than double.
Here’s a look at how pet insurance costs can vary with age from a veterinary pet insurance company policy in California.
What does pet insurance cover?
Most pet insurance companies offer plans that will cover issues such as:
- Accidents and injuries (such as broken bones, bites, and swallowed objects or poisons)
- Cancer (if it develops after the plan is implemented and not pre-existing)
- Diagnostic tests (such as MRIs, X-rays, and lab work)
- Emergency care
- Illnesses (such as diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and vomiting)
- Prescription medicine
- Special care
- Surgeries and hospitalizations
- What pet insurance covers depends on the type of plan you buy.
Review the plan’s benefits, coverage types, and limits before purchasing to make sure it fits your needs.
What does pet insurance not cover?
Pet insurance can provide important protection for your pet and your wallet, but it doesn’t cover everything. Pet insurance policies generally do not cover expenses such as:
- Breeding, pregnancy or whelping
- Cosmetic procedures (such as ear cropping or tail docking)
- Experimental treatment
- Food, Diet and Nutritional Supplements
- Pre-existing conditions
How does pet insurance work?
Once you’ve decided to buy a pet insurance policy for your loyal companion, you’ll choose customizations for your policy (coverage level, annual limit and deductible).
After the waiting period is over, you can take your pet to any vet for treatment. You’ll pay the vet, submit a claim, and later receive reimbursement from your provider.
Here we’ll take a deeper dive into what pet insurance policies typically do and don’t cover.
What does a pet insurance policy cover?
Before buying a pet insurance plan, you should make sure it covers the level of care you need. For example, if your dog’s breed is prone to hip dysplasia, you need to make sure that it is covered under your policy.
In general, most pet insurance companies will offer coverage for these cases:
- Accidents/injuries (broken bones, toxic ingestion, bite wounds, etc.)
- Diagnostic testing (MRI, X-ray, CAT scan, bloodwork, etc.)
- Major and Minor Illnesses (Cancer, Epilepsy, Allergies, Ear Infections, etc.)
- Prescription medicine
- surgical procedures
Some pet insurance providers also offer wellness care add-ons, which may provide coverage for these care items:
- Annual checkups
- Behavior therapy
- Flea/heartworm prevention
- Spay/Neuter Surgery
What does pet insurance not cover?
No pet insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions or any illness or health problem your pet has before enrollment in coverage.
Additionally, every pet insurance policy comes with a waiting period or time frame that the insured has to wait before the coverage starts. If your pet becomes ill during the waiting period, the illness will not be covered. The length of the waiting period varies among different providers and types of coverage.
Other exclusions may include:
Bilateral conditions (an illness that affects both sides of your pet’s body) if it already affects one side
- Cosmetic procedures
- Alternative procedures
Some pet insurance companies, such as Embrace, will cover treatable pre-existing conditions after a certain waiting period until symptoms recur.
The bottom line
Some pet health issues don’t cost an arm and a leg, and you may be willing to pay as you go. However, if your pet has suffered a major problem, treatment can cost thousands of dollars. Pet insurance Cost gives you the peace of mind that, if an unexpected, significant problem affects your pet, you won’t have to think twice about getting them the treatment they need.
From California to New Jersey and from poodles to Persians, pet insurance Cost premiums can vary based on a variety of factors. It is always best to get several quotes to find the best one for you.