One the last few years, the insurance industry has seen an amazing amount of growth – for pet insurance, that is! So many people decided to adopt a new furry family member during the pandemic, and that trend continued well after 2020.
At the same time, more pet parents are investing in cat or dog insurance to help keep their pets healthy and happy. While pet insurance has been around for more than two decades, it’s finally being seen as a valuable investment for just about anyone.
But, many people ask: What can I expect to pay each month? And, what do I get when you sign up for a policy?
We’ll answer all that and more in this article.
Average Monthly Cost For Dog Insurance
The average dog insurance cost is between $20 and $30 a month. It can be as little as $20 a month or as high as $100. The exact cost depends on your dog’s breed and where you live. In some cases, your dog’s age is a factor as well. Finally, you can customize some terms of your policy to adjust the price.
We’ll get into how you can change the price of your monthly premium a little later. For now, we’ll go over what you get with a policy – and what’s not included.
Dog Health Insurance Coverage And Options
When you buy dog health insurance, you pay a monthly premium and will get reimbursed when you pay for something covered under your policy.
In that way, it’s a little different than insurance for humans. We’re used to having prescription costs or doctor and hospital bills go straight to the insurance company first. Then, we may have a deductible, co-pay, or partial payment due once the company has paid its part.
Instead, a pet parent pays the bill up front and sends a copy to their insurance company for reimbursement. The best companies reimburse more than 90 percent of the claims their policyholders submit.
What’s Usually Included With Your Policy
Generally, dog health insurance covers procedures and surgeries, emergency care prescriptions and medication, tests, and exams. As a result, you should be covered if anything bad happens, like if your pet gets sick or has an accident.
Not every company offers the same coverage with every policy. And, most insurers allow you to pick and choose what gets covered – to some extent, anyway.
Some premium insurers will also cover behavioral therapy, diagnostic tests, and offer dental coverage. Some also pay for prosthetic limbs, mobility aids, and behavioral therapy.
What’s Not Included
No pet insurance company will cover a pre-existing condition for your dog. So, you won’t get reimbursed for anything to do with a chronic illness or previous accident.
That, in part, is why it’s essential to purchase dog insurance when your pet is still a little puppy. That way, you’re covered for whatever comes later in life.
Speaking of puppies, most new pet parents ask about spaying and neutering. Some companies cover it, while others don’t. Or, in some cases, it’s covered as part of an optional coverage offering.
While just about every dog insurance policy covers the basics, you can elect to add or take off some forms of coverage. Doing so can raise or lower your monthly bill. So, it would help if you considered your dog’s unique needs and your budget.
You may realize that you don’t need certain benefits on your policy. Or that you should really invest in some benefits over others.
This decision often depends on the breed, as different dogs are susceptible to various problems as they age. You can always speak with your vet for advice before setting up a policy.
How To Change The Monthly Cost Of Your Policy
As we mentioned, your location and the age and breed of your dog can affect your monthly cost. But, there are also some benefits, features, and aspects of your policy that you can change to lower your monthly premium.
In general, the less your insurance company has to pay when reimbursing you, the less you pay every month. So, you can decide what’s better for you: Higher premiums and more coverage, or less coverage but lower monthly costs?
This depends on your budget and how often you expect to use your insurance policy.
Deductible And Annual Maximum
Dog insurance policies have deductibles and annual maximum amounts the company will pay. You pay a claim deductible until you’ve paid a pre-set amount for the year. Then, your claims are completely covered.
But, the company will pay out a certain amount each year. Then, you’ll go out of pocket until the policy renews.
You can lower your monthly payment by increasing the deductible and reducing the annual maximum.
Another way to lower your monthly bill is by lowering the reimbursement percentage you’d get back on a claim.
For instance, instead of getting, say, 95-percent reimbursement on every claim, you can pay a little less each month but only get 90 percent or less back when you submit a bill that should be covered.
Benefits And Add-Ons
Fine-tuning your policy isn’t always just about saving money. Adding extra benefits will keep your pet healthy and happy depending on what you or your dog needs.
And, it may still save you money in the long run, even though you’re paying a little extra month-to-month.
This could mean getting a policy covering spaying or neutering a puppy. Or a wellness rewards program that works like a health insurance savings account for people.
In that case, part of your monthly premium goes into an account you can use to pay for wellness visits, medical supplements, training, and other things a standard policy doesn’t cover. All this is to say: There are plenty of options and a lot of flexibility when purchasing dog insurance. With a bit of research, you’ll find and customize a perfect policy for you and your furry family member.