How much does pet insurance cost?


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Vet visits are expensive – especially if it’s an emergency visit. While veterinary costs vary based on where you live, hospital stays and surgeries can cost thousands of dollars.

To alleviate the financial stress of these costs, many pet owners take out pet insurance. While some pet parents assume it’s a waste of money, choosing a policy that fits your budget can pay off when faced with a hefty and unexpected veterinarian bill.

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Examples of monthly animal insurance prices

When comparing pet insurance offers, you will find that prices vary widely for similar amounts of coverage. Here are examples of monthly pet insurance costs for a medium-sized mixed breed dog with $ 5,000 annual coverage. Embrace, Pets Best, and TrustedPals all got excellent awards in Forbes Advisor’s analysis of the best pet insurance companies.


  • 3 months old: $ 45.50
  • 4 years old: $ 50.06
  • 8 years old: $ 63.75

Pets best

  • 3 months old: $ 30.80
  • 4 years old: $ 33.07
  • 8 years old: $ 68.23


  • 3 months old: $ 39.33
  • 4 years old: $ 35.67
  • 8 years old: $ 54.67

Rates are based on California, Florida, and Texas zip codes for $ 5,000 annual coverage with a $ 250 deductible and 90% refund.

Factors in pet insurance prices

To determine if pet insurance is right for you, see if the cost is worth the value of a financial safety net on veterinary bills. Here are the factors that typically affect the cost of pet insurance.

The type of pet insurance

A major factor that will determine the cost of your pet insurance is the type of policy you choose. There are basically three types of animal health insurance:

  • Accident and Illness Policy are the most common and cover veterinary bills for various illnesses such as viral infections and accidental injuries such as broken bones. This type of policy generally includes hospitalization, surgery, and diagnostic tests.
  • Accident only guidelines Only provide cover for unexpected accidents such as exposure to toxins or injury from getting stuck in a car.
  • Wellness plans are usually additions to animal health insurance. You cover some routine and preventive costs like an annual wellness visit, vaccinations, and flea and tick prevention.

Annual coverage limit

Pet insurance sets the maximum annual amount it pays in the event of damage. You often have a number of options for an annual cap, from a low annual limit of $ 2,500 (like Toto) to an unlimited annual refund (like Pets Best).

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The higher the annual maximum, the higher your monthly premium.

Deductible amount

A pet insurance deductible is the amount you must pay in veterinary bills before your insurance starts to reimburse you. Some policies have an annual deductible while others have a conditional deductible.

Common deductibles are $ 100, $ 250, and $ 500, but you can find policies that offer both higher and lower deductibles. Higher deductibles lower your monthly pet insurance payment.

Note that expenses not covered by the policy will not count towards your deductible. For example, if you pay for behavioral therapy for your dog that is not covered by the plan, the cost will not count towards your deductible.

Reimbursement level

Typically, you’ll need to pay the veterinarian’s bill at the time of treatment and then make a pet insurance claim. After you have paid the deductible in veterinary bills, the animal insurance will reimburse you up to a certain percentage, the so-called reimbursement rate. Typical reimbursement rates are 70%, 80% or 90%.

Choosing a higher reimbursement increases your premium cost but decreases the amount you have to pay for out-of-pocket claims.

For example, let’s say your policy includes a $ 300 deductible with a 70% refund. During the term of the policy, you will be financially responsible for paying the deductible of $ 300 and then for 30% of all costs covered by the policy.

It is important to note that the reimbursement is only valid for illnesses or accidents that are covered by your policy. For example, if you go to the vet for a routine check-up, the policy will not reimburse you unless you have also purchased a wellness plan.

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The breed of dog

Because some breeds are more prone to certain genetic conditions and specific injuries than others, the breed and size of your pet are important factors when insurers calculate your insurance costs. For example, large size and weight dogs typically cost more for pet insurance.

A Forbes Advisor study of the most expensive dog breeds for pet insurance found that Dalmatians, mastiffs, pit bulls, and Dobermans are among the most expensive to insure.

Age and gender of the pet

The older your pet gets, the more likely it is to get sick or injured. Therefore, expect the cost of pet insurance to increase as the pet ages.

Some pet insurers also use gender in pricing, with female pets costing less.

Your location

Just as the cost of living varies by location, so do the veterinary costs. For example, veterinary care is typically more expensive in urban areas, which affects pet insurance prices.

Quick tips to cut pet insurance costs

There are a couple of things you can do to lower your costs.

  • Compare the animal insurances. When comparing pet insurance offers, it is important not to overlook the differences in the underlying benefits. What pet insurance covers often varies depending on the plan. For example, not all tariffs cover the veterinary examination fee for a visit due to an accident or illness, although the treatment costs can be covered. And not all plans include good dental insurance for pets.
  • Reduce the reimbursement level. If you choose a lower reimbursement level, you will pay fewer premiums. If your pet needs to see the vet, you are financially responsible for a larger portion of the vet’s bill.
  • Get pet insurance as soon as possible. Buying a policy when your pet is young and healthy will minimize the chances of your pet developing conditions that are not covered when you later purchase a plan.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about pet insurance options. Your veterinarian can have a good idea of ​​what type of coverage is best for your particular pet. Also, because they understand the genetic conditions of different breeds, they can point you to smart choices.
  • Find insurers with pet insurance discounts. Some pet insurance companies offer discounts such as multiple pet discounts, military discounts, and annual wage discounts.

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About Clayton Arredondo

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