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How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost? 2024 Update

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

dog at vet

Pet insurance has really taken off in the last decade or so, and for good reason. It has allowed many people to afford veterinary care for their beloved pets. In some cases, that care has been lifesaving, allowing pets to live longer, healthier lives. Like human medical insurance, pet insurance has its quirks, but it has proven itself to be a very valuable resource for many people. Depending on the policy, pet insurance typically costs between $5 and $200 per month.

The Importance of Pet Insurance

Thanks to pet insurance, many people can afford veterinary care they would not otherwise be able to afford. This can be a lifesaver in an emergency and can also help you afford more testing or treatment for your pet as they age or develop new issues. A 2022 survey commissioned by pet insurance company Lemonade found that less than 50% of respondents carried pet insurance, but 42% had gone into debt to pay for pet healthcare. Significant procedures like dental cleanings and surgery can cost significantly more than many pet owners expect. For example, only 4% of survey respondents correctly estimated the cost of pet cancer treatment, which can top $10,000.

Most pet insurances won’t cover care associated with pre-existing conditions, but they still carry policies that can be extremely valuable for most people’s pets. Many companies allow you to update your policy at any time, as opposed to human medical insurance that only allows updates and changes to policies during open enrollment periods. This means that you can increase or decrease your pet’s care coverage as needed, allowing you to tailor your coverage to your current budget and needs.

a female veterinarian with cat
Image Credit: Tom Wang, Shutterstock

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

The cost of pet insurance varies widely, with some policies costing as little as $5 per month and other policies exceeding $200 every month. The huge variation in cost is reliant on multiple factors. The primary factors are the size and age of your pet. Premiums will be higher for older pets, especially pets that have met or exceeded the life expectancy for their breed or size.

A dog that is only a year old will likely have lower premiums and better coverage than a dog that is 15 years old, but also keep in mind that a Great Dane that is 15 years old will likely have a higher premium and lower coverage than a Chihuahua that is 15 years old.

Where you live is also a major determining factor for the monthly premiums you’ll pay for your pet’s insurance coverage. Higher cost of living areas will typically have higher premiums. This means that people who live in Arkansas will often have lower premiums than people who live in California. However, it also means that people who live in urban parts of Arkansas will often have higher premiums than people who live in rural areas.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

The good news is that pet insurances tend to be pretty up-front about costs you’ll be responsible for. Everything from your monthly premiums to your expected out-of-pocket expenses are all spelled out in your policy, so nothing should be a surprise.

You should always keep in mind that your insurance company can deny claims, though. This means that you may pay for services out of pocket, only to have the claim denied and receive no reimbursement. If you’re unsure if your pet’s care plan will be covered by your pet insurance policy, then you need to contact the company for verification of the coverage. Otherwise, you may be hit with the unpleasant surprise of a few hundred dollars not being reimbursed to you.

So if you are looking for the best pet insurance, that is not going to break your bank, we recommend looking at a few different companies to compare policies and find the one that best fits your needs. These are just few of the top-rated ones:

Top Rated Pet Insurance Companies:

Most Affordable
Our rating: 4.3 / 5
Most Customizable
Our rating: 4.5 / 5
Best Wellness Plans
Our rating: 4.1 / 5

How Often Should I Update My Pet Insurance Policy?

Your pet insurance policy may not require routine updates. However, it’s a good idea to at least review your policy every 6 months to a year. This will help you ensure your policy is still designed to meet your pet’s needs and your budget. As your pet ages, their premiums are likely to increase, but their coverage may decrease, depending on the company your policy is through. It’s important to stay updated on what services the policy covers so you can ensure your pet gets the best care without breaking your budget.

cat and dog together on sofa
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

How To Get The Most From Your Pet Insurance

To get the most out of your pet’s insurance policy coverage, you should make sure you are keeping track of your pet’s expenses. Keep copies of receipts and treatments, as well as estimates and any other paperwork that is provided to you. Make sure you are submitting visits for reimbursement or meeting your deductible. If you are not submitting records to meet your deductible, then you are not getting the most out of your coverage.

The other way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your pet insurance policy is by staying up to date on what the policy covers and ensuring you’re making changes to the policy as needed. Keep in mind that a monthly premium ensures your coverage and decreases your overall spending on vet care. The more you pay in a monthly premium, the more services you are likely to have covered by your insurance.

Conclusion

Pet insurance is a valuable tool to help you afford the best care for your pets. This fantastic service allows you to get care for your pet that you may otherwise not be able to afford. However, there are up-front cost considerations you need to account for when choosing a company and a policy. Some companies offer low premium policies that may not cover much when it comes to the care of your pet. Researching pet insurance companies thoroughly and choosing the coverage you feel will work best for your budget and your pet’s needs will help you find the best company for you.

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Featured Image Credit: ESB Professional, Shutterstock

Brooke Billingsley

Authored by

Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping...Read more

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