Trying to decide if dog insurance coverage is the right plan for you and your pet can be confusing and a hard decision to make.
Less than 1% of pets are covered by Pet Insurance in the United States. There are several insurance companies available to choose from, different coverages to choose from, different deductibles and different co payment to choose from.
First you are going to have to decide is dog insurance worth it. If it is, what type of dog health insurance coverage do you need, what is the best insurance plans for your needs and then what type of dog insurance coverage is right for you and your dog .
After you know what you need, you can pick the insurance company that works best. I am going to help you better understand what your options are when it comes to Pet Insurance. Find out how much pet insurance costs for your breed of dog.
Deciding if Dog Insurance is Worth It
If you are looking at insurance as “I will be further ahead or further behind if I purchase it,” there are no guarantees. Insurance is a safety net to protect you against unexpected costs. Insurance is to help pay for large, unexpected expenses which might be hard to pay out-of-pocket.
There is no way to know ahead of time if your dog will have an accident or get an illness. Rather, it should be looked at as if something unexpected happens, will I be able to afford the expenses.
The average price for dog insurance is $30-$50 per month, or $360-$600 per year. This insurance would not cover routine wellness checks, but would cover illnesses, accidents, emergency care and prescriptions .
There is also a Wellness Plan that covers routine checkups and vaccinations. In most cases, in order to have wellness coverage, you will also have to have the general pet insurance and that monthly average cost will increase.
Factors that will affect the price you will pay for insurance:
- The breed of dog.
- The age of dog.
- The deductible that you choose – range from $0-$2500 per year.
- The co-pay you choose after deductible is met.
- Type of insurance you choose – Accident Only, Accident with Comprehensive, Accident, Comprehensive and Wellness. The only company currently offering Wellness only is Nationwide.
Pure breeds will cost more to insure because they are prone to some hereditary conditions. Older dogs will also cost more to insure, and premiums are likely to increase as the dog ages.
Premiums will be much lower for young, healthy dogs. Pet owners that have insurance, on average still pay 20% of pets medical expenses.
Top 10 Breeds That Have The Highest Vet Bills – according to iheartdogs.com
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- English Cocker Spaniel
- Doberman Pinscher
- Great Dane
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- French Bulldog
- Bassett Hound
How Pet Insurance Works
Pet insurance works differently than your health insurance works. It is considered a reimbursement type insurance.
What that means is when you leave the veterinarian’s office, you are responsible to pay the bill in full, and then you would submit your invoice to your insurance company and they would reimburse you the allowable amount, generally with 3-5 days, but could take up to 30 days.
You can choose any veterinarian as long as they are a licensed veterinarian. There aren’t any veterinarians considered out-of-network.
Besides choosing the plan that is right for you, you will also choose what your deductible will be (this is the amount that you will be responsible for on each claim), usually they are $100, $200, or $500.
You will also choose your copay. The average is 10-20% of each claim will be your responsibility. See my example below on how his works. This example is using a $200 deductible with their co payment being 10%.
Total Treatment Cost: $10,000
Reimbursement Rate: 90%
Calculation $10,000 x .90 = $9000
Subtract Your Deductible: $200
Total Reimbursement By Insurance: $8800
Your cost for the $10,000 invoice $1200
What is Covered by the Plans
Wellness Plans – This would be available only as an adder to Pet Insurance for all companies except Nationwide
- Parasite Prevention
- Dental Care
- Wellness Exams
- Routine Screenings
- Behavior Training
- Heartworm Tests
There are no deductibles or co payment on Wellness Plan
Pet Insurance – This is broken into 2 Types
- Broken Bones
- Accidents – poisonings sprains, ACL Ruptures
- Illness – ear infections, cancer, heart disease
- Emergency Care
- Hereditary and Congenital Conditions – allergies, hip dysphasia
- Orthopedic Conditions
- Prescription Medications
- Procedures – surgeries
Accident only insurance is very inexpensive, usually $5-$10 per month, but it isn’t covering many items. Comprehensive covers illnesses along with accidents.
Pre-existing Conditions will not be covered under these plans. There is also a waiting period before the insurance will go into effect, along with your veterinarian needing to send your dog’s records to the insurance company.
Pet Insurance Companies – And How to Get Insurance
In the United States, there are 12 major Pet Insurance Companies. You should get pricing from multiple companies before deciding on an insurance provider. Policies are simple and easy to compare. You can get quotes from different companies within minutes.
Top Rated Insurance Companies
Healthy Paws – Unlimited benefits and no per-incident annual or lifetime caps. You can adjust your copay and deductibles. No Wellness Plans available.
Pets Best – Deductibles can be adjusted. Multi-pet discount available, no age limits, pregnancy and euthanasia are covered.
Petplan – Customizable plans giving you lots of options.
Nationwide – The only company that offers Wellness Only Plan
Check out Pet Insurance Review’s Chart of major Pet Insurance Companies and the positives and negatives of each.
How to Get Pet Insurance – you will need the following information to get started on a quote:
- Pet’s Name
- Pre-existing Conditions (if any)
- Vet’s Name and Contact Information
To find out the approximate monthly expense you just type in your dog’s name, age, size and zip code and you will get information immediately as to the monthly cost for Dog Insurance.
Dogs are part of our family and making good decisions for them can be hard . Pet Insurance is one of those hard decisions. So is dog insurance worth it for you and your dog?
If you decide not to get Pet Insurance, I suggest having an emergency fund that could help cover some of the expenses if the unthinkable happens and your dog has lots of medical expenses. You don’t want to be in the position of deciding between the expenses or having to euthanize your dog.
If you end up needing help with a big dog medical bill, I suggest contacting The Humane Society. They have a list of organizations that may be willing to help pay for the expenses.
Before you make any decisions if Pet Insurance is right for you, you should talk with your veterinarian about the costs your pet’s breed will usually incur and about their experiences with different pet insurers. They will be able to give good advice on both.
It is easy for you to find out how much pet insurance is and you are making no commitment to actually purchasing pet insurance.
Please leave comments or questions below.