What You Need to Know About Pet Insurance
Americans love their pets, spending over $70 billion dollars on their pets. Healthcare-related pet expenses accounted for $17 billion. This is nearly 25% of the total pet budget. Yet, only 1% of pet owners buy pet insurance for their furry friends.
Your Best Friend Is Expensive
By far, dogs and cats are the most popular pets. 60.2 million households care for 89.7 million dogs. The debate about whether there are more dog lovers or cat lovers is still split. There are less households with cats, but they have more of them: 47.1 million human families care for 95.6 million cats.
The decision to adopt a pet is a huge one. Americans spent nearly $30 billion just to feed their pets. Even a healthy dog or cat will cost well over $1,000 the first year. Spaying/neutering, flea and tick medication, supplies, and food – it adds up quickly. What do you do when Fido or Fluffy gets sick? That’s when the cost of pet ownership can skyrocket. For example, it will cost $800 to $1,000 just to diagnose the presence of cancer in a dog.
The Younger, The Cheaper
Pet insurance can help with the cost of caring for a sick pet. Like health insurance for humans, buying coverage for a younger, healthier animal is less expensive. Since pet insurance companies do not cover preexisting conditions, you’ll want to get coverage for your pet before they get sick. Where you live makes a difference. For example, annual vet costs in California are nearly double what pet owners get charged in North Dakota. ($1,400 versus $769). Lifetime limits, deductible, and the percentage of coverage you select also impact the monthly premium.
The average monthly cost of healthcare insurance is $25 to $90 for dogs, and $10 to $40 for cats. Age and breed can increase the premium considerably. Pet insurance companies can charge $116.96/mo for a Saint Bernard puppy. However, a mixed breed, medium-sized dog of the same age will cost $37.28/mo. With pet insurance, age isn’t just a number. Fast forward to each dog’s 10th birthday and the monthly cost is $541/mo and $164.86/mo, respectively. (With no lifetime limits, $250 deductible, 80% cost coverage.)
The Best Pet Insurance
There are several pet insurance companies. We recommend Healthy Paws, Pets Best, and PetPlan. Each company allows you to compare the cost of different plans on their website.
Each of the three companies offer excellent pet insurance. Pets Best is the only company of the three that offers optional wellness plans. All three have 15 day waiting periods before coverage begins. HealthyPaws has the lowest claim processing time, with an average of 2 days. PetPlan is a large provider with lots of experience in the industry.
|Healthy Paws||Pets Best||PetPlan|
|Claims Processing Time||2 Days||5 Days||5-14 Days|
|Select Lifetime Coverage Limit||No||Yes||Yes|
|Select Payout %||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Waiting Period||15 Days||15 Days||15 Days|
Which Company Has the Lowest Premium?
It depends on your pet's breed and age. To quote your pet across all 3 carriers, fill out a short pet application here:
Compare Pet Insurance Quotes
Ask and You Shall Receive
None of the companies cover pre-existing conditions. Although, Pets Best customer service advises,
Knees (cruciate ligaments, soft tissues, and patellas) are not covered during the first 6 months of the policy. However, you may choose to have this exclusionary period waived by having your pet’s knees examined by a licensed veterinarian within the first 30 days after starting your policy. If both knees are healthy on this exam the 6-month exclusionary period will be reduced to the standard 5- or 15-day waiting period
Basically, once you buy coverage, you are required to get a checkup from a licensed vet, showing everything is healthy. We recommend getting a quote from each company and asking questions in advance of signing up for coverage. Price depends on several variables, including breed, age, zip code, and more.
Show Them Some Love
We recommend healthcare coverage for your pet. Any type of insurance offers peace of mind, but it will also allow you to give your dog or cat the best care possible should they ever be diagnosed with a serious illness. Any pet owner wants their furry friend to have a long, healthy life. Now, go give Fido and Fluffy a big hug and an extra treat.
At your service,