How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

dog in moneyPerhaps you’ve looked into pet insurance before, but there was always one looming question in the back of your mind: how much does pet insurance cost? It’s a great question to ask, but the answer is somewhat complicated. The uncomplicated answer is that it depends on several factors.

What Determines Costs

There are eight main factors that go into determining your costs for pet insurance.

  • Company – Not all pet insurance companies operate the same way, which means your costs will vary depending on the company you choose. Just like any other insurance product, there are good ones and bad ones. You’ll find that the good ones often cost more than the bad ones, but at least you won’t be wasting your money each month. Personally, we think if you’re going to pay for something every month, it should be useful to you when you need it.
  • Pet Type – Pet type refers to whether or not your pet is a dog or a cat. Simply put, dogs are more expensive to insure than cats. The risk of illness or injury is higher for dogs, and the cost of treatment is usually higher, as well. With such risk factors, most pet insurance companies will charge higher premiums for dogs than they will for cats.
  • Breed – Your pet’s breed is also a factor. Purebred dogs and cats are more susceptible to hereditary conditions; therefore, they are usually more expensive than their mixed breed counterparts. Additionally, certain breeds are susceptible to medical conditions that other breeds are not. That means those breeds are a higher risk factor than others, so the premium for those breeds will be higher.
  • Age – Older pets cost more than younger pets, because just like humans, they are susceptible to illness and injury. Given the greater health risks associated with older pets, it’s also more expensive to treat and care for them, which means more expensive vet bills. Because insurance companies know they may have to pay out more for older pets, they increase the premium to help offset the costs.
  • Location – The fact is, pet insurance for those residing in New York or Los Angeles is more expensive than pet insurance in Kansas or Oklahoma. Because insurance companies reimburse you for the cost of your vet bill, they charge a higher premium to customers who live in more expensive areas.
  • Coverage – There are different levels of coverage, much like auto insurance. There are accident-only, full accident, illness, and routine care options available, and the more coverage you add to your policy, the more expensive it gets. You also get to choose a deductible and reimbursement rate, both of which will affect your monthly premium.
  • Deductible – Deductibles typically range from $100 to $1,000, but one of the benefits of pet insurance is that you can choose your deductible amount. Higher deductibles mean lower monthly premiums, while lower deductibles mean higher premiums. However, lower deductibles also mean that you get more back when you file a claim. It’s a fine balance, but we recommend that you choose a deductible between $250 and $500 to get the most value.
  • Reimbursement Rate – Reimbursement rates range from 60% to 100%, and they work like the deductibles. You can choose a lower reimbursement rate and get a lower premium, or you can choose a higher reimbursement rate and pay more each month. We recommend that you choose either an 80% or 90% reimbursement rate to maximize your value.
  • Discounts – Every insurance company offers various discounts that you can take advantage of to help lower your monthly premium. These include things such as multiple-pet or partner discounts. If you participate in these discounts, it will help lower your monthly costs.

Average Costs

Knowing what affects the cost of pet insurance is all well and good, but you may still want to know how much pet insurance costs. Although we can’t give you a direct answer given the factors we talked about above, we can give you an average. The average pet insurance policy for dogs is $32/month while the average for cats is $22/month.

Knowing the price of pet insurance can go a long way in helping you determine if it’s right for you and your beloved pet. However, there are a lot of factors that you have to keep in mind, and prices will vary from company to company. The best way to get an accurate idea of what you’ll pay monthly is to get several quotes and compare them to find the one that suits your needs best.  Here’s our review of the top pet insurance services to get you started.

Related Guides: