Pet insurance is a vital part of keeping your pet safe, but the cost can vary a lot. Costs vary a little bit each year, and they vary from state to state. If you are living in Florida in 2022, you might be overwhelmed by your insurance options and want to know what you can expect.
Here’s a comprehensive overview of how pet insurance works and how much you might pay for insurance in 2022 for your dog or cat.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
Pet insurance varies significantly depending on your pet, your provider, and what is covered. Pet insurance also varies a little bit by zip code—if you live in a more expensive part of Florida, you can expect to pay a little more because vet costs are more expensive.
The age, breed, and health of your pet also make a difference. In general, cat insurance is cheaper than dog insurance. You can expect to pay around $8–15 a month for a lower-coverage plan for your cat and around $20–30 a month for a higher coverage plan. These numbers might increase slightly if your cat is older or is a breed prone to health conditions.
For dogs, size matters. Smaller dogs are usually around $20 a month for a low-coverage plan and $35–45 for a high-coverage plan. Medium dogs are usually around $25 for a low-coverage plan and can cost up to $40–50. Large dogs usually cost around $30 for a low-coverage plan, and the best plans are around $55–75. Like with cats, these costs can increase if you have a breed prone to health conditions or your dog is older.
The following table gives a price range estimate for three popular pet insurance providers in Florida. These plans are estimates only. Cost is based on a 3-year-old mixed-breed pet and may vary slightly depending on your zip code.
Pet Insurance Pros & Cons
If you have ever been to the vet, you know how quickly costs can add up. Pet insurance helps minimize unexpected costs by covering for accidents and illnesses. Pet insurance works a lot like human health insurance—you usually have a range of coverage options, a maximum coverage amount, and a deductible. Most pet insurance plans only cover accidents and illnesses, but a few also have wellness add-ons. These increase your cost significantly, so it’s not always cheaper than paying for regular check-ups out of pocket. Depending on the options you choose, your cost could vary significantly.
Some pet owners choose to have a fund set aside for pet emergencies instead of using pet insurance. By putting aside a little bit of money every month, you can build up an emergency fund over time. We recommend buying pet insurance unless it is realistic for you to keep at least $3,000 in savings for emergencies. Even then, insurance may be a safer bet over time.
Regardless of where you live, quality veterinary pet care can be pretty costly. A balanced pet insurance plan from a company like Lemonade to help you keep those costs under control.
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Additional Costs to Anticipate
When you’re budgeting out pet insurance, it’s important to look at what’s actually covered to see your cost. For most insurance plans, coverage of routine checks isn’t worth the cost, so you will have to budget that in yourself. In addition, you should know what your deductible is and make sure that you can afford to cover costs up to your deductible. Beyond the deductible, there is often a co-pay of 10–30% of the total cost of care.
Another cost that some pet owners fail to recognize is reimbursement costs. Many pet insurance companies require you to pay your vet directly and then apply for reimbursement. This can take approximately 2–4 for most pet insurance companies, with some companies being faster or slower. If you don’t have significant savings, you should be prepared for this temporary hit on your account and research insurance companies that reimburse quickly.
What to Look for in Insurance Providers
For many, cost is the number one factor in health insurance. But just because you can get a plan for only a few dollars a month doesn’t make it the best value. Look for plans that have a deductible you can afford and a higher percentage of costs paid for less money.
Different owners have different needs when it comes to coverage. Make sure to read your contract carefully to make sure that your needs are covered. Look out for coverage of prescription medicine, long-term conditions, and other more expensive care. If your pet’s breed is prone to specific conditions, check to see if they’re covered.
Customer Service and Ease of Use
Customer service is hard to gauge, but reading reviews can help you know how easy your company is to work with. Look for reviews from customers who have spoken to the customer service department but be careful. Many customers don’t read their coverage plan carefully and leave a bad review when the department can’t help them. These reviews aren’t very indicative of the customer service.
One of the most important things to consider is the speed of repayment. Look for reviews that tell how long it takes for claims to be repaid. Many companies will advertise those claims are repaid within a few weeks, but reviews help you know if that is true.
As you can see, pet insurance costs are all over the map. Don’t just look for the cheapest insurance—take some time to find a plan that gives you the most coverage that you can afford. When emergencies come, you’ll be glad to have more coverage and less to pay in the moment.
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