With the prices of everything skyrocketing, it makes sense to consider purchasing pet insurance. After all, Minnesota is no different from other states when it comes to feeling the pinch. Over 75% of Americans are finding pet ownership more costly. Yet, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), only 2.9% of animals of the nation’s 135 million are insured.
The Importance of Pet Insurance
Dogs will be dogs. And sometimes, that means they’ll do or eat something they shouldn’t. If your Labrador Retriever eats one of your kid’s socks, expect to pay up to $7,000 for the surgery.
Of course, that’s the exception instead of the rule, with less than 2% of dog owners incurring such expenses. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that even routine care adds up with annual visits, vaccinations, and deworming. There are also flea and tick preventives and heartworm medications to consider. That’s where pet insurance can step up to the plate.
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How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
It’s essential to start with a baseline to put Minnesota’s cost in perspective. We’re concentrating on dogs and cats since few companies insure birds or other exotic pets. The average monthly premium for comprehensive insurance is $49.51 for dogs and $28.48 for cats.
Bear in mind that there are two flavors of insurance: accident only, and accident/illness or comprehensive. Most companies offer wellness coverage as a separate add-on, which we’ll discuss in detail later. The average cost in Minnesota is $46.58 and $23.05. That may seem inexpensive—however, Minnesota is an anomaly.
The area around the Twin Cities contains the bulk of the population. The cost of living is consequently significantly higher than in the more rural northern or western parts of the state. You likely find that the average cost doesn’t tell the whole story. We must delve deeper to get to the bottom of the issue.
The pet penetration is about 54% in the state. That’s a far cry from Wyoming, with the highest rate at nearly 72%. That statistic can play a role in the cost and availability of services. Thus, it may also affect the cost of pet insurance.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
We mentioned preventive care as a separate expense when it comes to pet insurance. You needn’t purchase it with a standard policy. However, it can help in the long run if it just encourages you to provide your pet with regular veterinary care. Often, changing health conditions early can lead to better outcomes and fewer additional expenses.
Wellness coverage may allot a specific amount per expense, such as an annual visit or vaccinations. Others provide a set figure that you can draw from as you choose. We suggest reading the fine print so that you understand what’s covered and to what degree. It’s worth mentioning that you usually don’t see differences in cost by breed, but by what’s covered in the plan.
Pet insurance shares some of the same pitfalls as our own insurance coverage. You may find limited or non-existent coverage for some health conditions. Many companies have other restrictions for congenital or inherited issues. Also, pre-existing, incurable illnesses are usually not included. Total premium costs vary depending on where you live, as well as your pet’s breed and age, as detailed below.
|Pet Patient||Insurance||With Wellness Coverage|
|Edina, MN||6-month female Golden Retriever||$30.37||$46.37|
|4-year male Yorkshire Terrier||$19.18||$35.18|
|2-year female Domestic Shorthair Cat||$13.47||$29.47|
|Excelsior, MN||6-month female Golden Retriever||$27.40||$43.40|
|4-year male Yorkshire Terrier||$417.38||$33.38|
|2-year female Domestic Shorthair Cat||$12.27||$28.27|
|Ely, MN||6-month female Golden Retriever||$25.85||$41.85|
|4-year male Yorkshire Terrier||$16.44||$32.44|
|2-year female Domestic Shorthair Cat||$11.65||$27.65|
When Should You Get Pet Insurance?
Most companies will insure puppies over 8 weeks old. You’ll get the most value out of pet insurance if you get a policy while your animal is still young. Coverage for a dog may run over $6,700, based on an average of a 12-year lifespan. Comparatively, the cost for a cat is about $3,300. Many insurers offer multiple pet discounts or other perks for years without claims.
The other thing to keep in mind is that some companies have a cap on the age of pets they’ll accept. Most insurers have flexible plans with varying deductibles, coverage amounts, and other discounts so they can fit any budget or veterinary care needs.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Most companies provide detailed information about what’s covered and not covered so that there are no surprises. Some will require or request a medical evaluation to note pre-existing conditions, like diabetes. We prefer insurers who allow for this documentation. It can make a difference when it comes time to file a claim.
We mentioned two types of policies—accident and comprehensive. The former covers only those expenses. We suggest checking into the specifics of diagnostics, procedures, and follow-up care. The same applies to the latter, with restrictions on some breed-specific health conditions. We recommend reading a sample policy for your state to determine the extent of the coverage.
What Else Should You Know About Pet Insurance?
Unlike people’s insurance, plans for your pet are typically reimbursement based. While you have to fork out the cash up front, you also have the freedom to choose your veterinarian. Many understand how pet insurance works and will likely work with you on the payment. On the other end of the spectrum are in-network vets who may bill the insurance company.
Many insurers offer customization options so that you can get a plan you can afford. You can choose the coverage type, payout amount, deductible, and billing schedule to fit your budget. The added flexibility makes getting pet insurance more desirable, as you can control several factors that affect your cost.
Find The Best Insurance Companies in 2023
Pet insurance is becoming more necessary as veterinary costs rise. However, it’s essential to consider the benefits. Even one claim a year can cover the annual premium. You must also think about your pet, as we’re sure you want the best for your animal companion. Insurance makes it more affordable, whether you live in Minnesota or any other state.
- See also: How Much Is Pet Insurance in Kentucky?