What’s the average cost of pet insurance?

Pet insurance is generally affordable, costing only a few hundred dollars per year on average. Cats are typically less expensive to insure than dogs, but this can vary based on the type of plan you buy. Most pet insurance companies offer two types of plans: accident-only and comprehensive. Accident-only plans cover such things as car accidents or poisoning, and cost significantly less than comprehensive plans, which cover both accidents and illnesses.

To get an idea of what pet insurance might cost you, here is a small sample of common pets and the average annual cost of a plan* from Progressive Pet insurance by Pets Best. The wide range of pricing represents the difference between states with low and high pet insurance costs.

  • Common house cat (Domestic shorthair): $161.16 – $386.28 per year
  • Small breed dog (Yorkie): $239.76 – $574.56 per year
  • Medium breed dog (Beagle): $368.16 – $882.24 per year
  • Large breed dog (Labrador Retriever): $398.64 – $955.20 per year

All sample plans are annual amounts based on an unlimited annual limit, $250 annual deductible, and 90% reimbursement for a two-year-old pet.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Simply knowing that you’re prepared for an unexpected illness or injury to your pet can be worth it. Some health issues may only cost a few hundred dollars, but major issues and surgeries can cost thousands of dollars. Without knowing what the future holds, having the right protection in place can offer peace of mind in case something does happen to your pet.

Pet insurance is a great way to help with unexpected vet visits and large out-of-pocket expenses.

How does pet insurance reduce your vet costs?

Your pet insurance plan will reimburse you for a percentage of your out-of-pocket costs, minus your deductible. You can choose your deductible limit and your reimbursement amount; the latter is typically offered in increments of 70%, 80%, and 90%. Be sure to review the details of your policy to see how your pet insurance company handles reimbursement.

What affects your rate when buying pet insurance?

Both the insurance company and type of plan you choose have a big impact on how much you pay, but there are several other factors that affect your rate regardless of the company or plan.

Five factors that affect pet insurance cost:

  • 1. Your location

    Veterinary care is more expensive in certain parts of the country. For instance, if you’re living in rural Wyoming, you’ll probably pay less for pet insurance than someone in New York City.

  • 2. Your pet’s age

    The likelihood of your pet becoming ill increases with age, which could mean higher vet costs and insurance premiums as your pet grows older.

  • 3. Breed

    Your dog or cat may be predisposed to certain illnesses based on size and genetics. For example, Abyssinians are one of the most expensive cat breeds to insure, as they’re more prone to periodontal disease and retinal atrophy. When it comes to dog breeds, pet insurance generally costs more for larger breeds—they’re vulnerable to heart and hip issues, and medication costs can be higher.

  • 4. Deductible and reimbursement level

    Choosing a higher deductible lowers the cost of your plan, but increases your out-of-pocket costs at the vet. A lower deductible increases your plan’s price, but you’ll be reimbursed more on your claim. Your level of reimbursement also affects your rate. For instance, a plan with a 90% reimbursement amount costs more than a plan that pays you back for 70% of your vet bill.

  • 5. Pre-existing conditions

    At Progressive, our pet insurance policies by Pets Best don’t require a checkup for your pet before offering a policy. Although, based on the age of your pet, some pet insurance companies may require it. Pet insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions and certain illnesses, but some past conditions that were cured may be covered. It’s always best to check with the company you choose to ensure you have the protection you need for your pet.

    Important note: Pre-existing conditions, serious injuries, and unexpected emergencies are all handled differently based on the insurance company and type of policy you choose. Reference your policy to determine what is covered, your out-of-pocket costs, and your level of reimbursement. Check out our Pet Insurance 101 article to learn more about the basics of how a pet policy works.

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