When shopping for pet insurance, keep in mind that certain factors can cause the price to fluctuate, including your location and your choice of coverage. Providers often give pet owners the flexibility to adjust their annual limit, deductible and reimbursement level, so you can get a quote that suits your pet’s needs and works within your budget.
Here are a few factors that can affect your pet’s monthly premium:
The primary factor in determining your insurance rate is the type of coverage. Most pet insurance providers offer different plans. However, these are the most common:
- Accident-and-illness: This type of coverage reimburses pet parents for veterinary care, surgical procedures, hospitalization, prescription medications and diagnostic tests related to an unforeseen incident or sickness that may befall your pet.
- Accident-only: This plan will only reimburse for medical care relating to unexpected accidents that may have caused broken bones, bite wounds and other lacerations, poisoning and torn ligaments.
- Wellness add-on: Wellness plans are not often offered as a base policy. However, they can often be purchased as an add-on. A wellness or preventive care add-on often covers vet visits, wellness exam fees, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations and other routine care costs.
An annual pet insurance deductible is the fixed amount that the pet owner needs to pay before the provider begins reimbursement for vet bills, emergency care and hospitalization. Pet insurance deductibles can range anywhere from $100–$1,000. The higher the deductible, the lower your monthly costs.
- Discounts vary across providers. Many insurers — including Lemonade, Spot, Embrace, ASPCA and Figo — offer multiple-pet or military discounts.
- Fetch offers a 10% discount to pet parents who’ve adopted from a shelter or for pets that serve as therapy animals.
- Healthy Paws offers a 10% discount to AAA members.
Pet insurance works a little differently from the health insurance you’re used to. With pet insurance, pet owners pay for vet bills up-front. Afterward, they submit a claim to their pet provider, and, if approved, the pet insurance company will reimburse the costs, typically by way of a check or direct deposit (once the deductible has been met).
When choosing your plan, many providers give you the option to choose the reimbursement percentage, typically ranging from 70% to 90%. The lower your reimbursement rate, the lower your monthly payment, but the more you’ll pay out of pocket.
Pet insurance plan prices are affected by the estimated costs of local veterinary care in your area, so your city, state and ZIP code are critical factors. For example, if you live in a metropolitan area like New York or Chicago, vets will likely charge more than vets in smaller cities nationwide. We recommend getting quotes from a few providers to find the most budget-friendly in your area.
Age and Breed
Your pet’s age and breed are directly related to how much it costs to insure it. Certain breeds of dogs and cats are susceptible to specific illnesses, orthopedic issues or other health problems. For example, French bulldogs are often genetically prone to major respiratory issues, so they will accrue more vet bills throughout their lives. Likewise, older pets are also at a greater risk for health troubles.
As the costs for care rise in amount and frequency, the costs to cover these pets also rise.