It is often said that a pet is like a family member. We love to lavish care and affection on our pets. They look after our mental health, so we want to look after their physical health. If you’ve ever had a pet become suddenly ill, you will know how expensive a trip to the vet can be. So, this is one of life’s expenses that’s best planned for, and good quality pet health insurance can help you with that.
If you’re wondering about the cost of pet health insurance in 2024, here is some information about prices and the factors that can affect your premium.
How pet insurance works
Not every pet owner chooses to take out insurance. But if you’re unsure if you would be able to pay
unexpected vet costs, or if your pet may be genetically predisposed to health problems (as is the case, for example, with some dog purebreds), then it is strongly recommended that you take out appropriate cover. You certainly won’t be alone! By the end of 2022, the number of pets covered reached 4.8 million in the US alone.
When you start a policy, there will normally be a waiting period, ranging from a couple of days to up to two weeks, before your cover becomes active. Any injuries sustained or illnesses commencing in this period may not be covered by the policy, similarly to any pre-existing conditions your pet may have. After this time, however, you can take your pet to any licensed veterinarian.Typically, you will have to pay the vet bill in full and then claim the money back through your insurance. How much you can be reimbursed depends on your policy. Usually, the higher your monthly premium, the higher the reimbursement you can claim.
Pet health insurance is being revolutionized by new technologies
Our pets can’t speak to let us know how they are feeling, but new technologies are offering direct insights into their health. An increasing number of pets are wearing devices that track their health metrics such as activity levels, sleeping patterns and heart rate. However, the associated costs are contributing to rising veterinary expenses, which in turn impacts on the cost of insurance premiums. For example, just since 2018, the average cost of an accident and illness pet insurance plan for dogs has increased by 14%.
The cost of pet health insurance
The exact cost will depend on the type and level of cover you need, as well as the kind of pet you own. For example, how much is dog health insurance? While the average price may range between $28.36 to $89.78 for an adult dog, it may surprise you to know that premiums start from as little as $10 per month. To ensure the right price, the policy provider will consider how old your dog is, what breed they are, whether you want to include extras like third-party insurance (in case your furry friend has a naughty day and damages someone else’s property, for example!) and even where you live, as veterinary costs differ from place to place.
Pet health insurance should be tailored to your needs. If you wish, your policy can include more than just veterinary costs: you could also be covered for loss or theft of your pet, as well as the sad event of your pet passing away. You could also have a multi-insurance policy, if you own more than one pet, saving you on average between 10-15% compared with individual policies.
How can I keep the cost of my pet insurance down?
Here are some ideas for how you can avoid paying more than you have to:
- Keeping up with your pet’s vaccinations signals to insurers that you are less likely to claim for illness and can lead to reduced premiums.
- A well-trained pet with no previous claims is seen as a lower risk and can also help towards lower premiums.
- Pet insurance is becoming a more common part of employee benefits packages, so speak to your employer and find out if they can help.
And while the insurance premium must fit in with your monthly budget, ultimately – once your cover is in place – you will no longer have to worry about unexpected costs of pet ownership.
Interesting Related Article: “What to Expect When You File a Pet Insurance Claim”