Article at a Glance
- Pet insurance is important for owners who don’t want to foot huge vet bills
- There are many pet insurance options available, and it’s important to do your research before choosing
- You should get pet insurance for your dog as soon as possible
Table of Contents
- How to Choose Pet Insurance
- Make a Side-by-Side Comparison
- Figure Out What’s Covered and What Might Affect Your Coverage
- Check the Insurance Provider’s Track Record
- Figure Out the Coverage That Works for You
- Pick the Right Pet Insurance Reimbursement Plan
- Review the Cost and Ask About Discounts
- Read the Fine Print
- The Best Pet Insurance for Dogs
- AKC Pet Insurance
- Figo Pet Insurance
- Nationwide Pet Insurance
- Trupanion Pet Insurance
- Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
- Embrace Pet Insurance
- ASPCA Pet Insurance
- Pet Insurance FAQs
- How much does pet insurance cost?
- When should I get pet insurance?
- Does pet insurance operate like human insurance?
- Time to Purchase Pet Insurance: Conclusion
Thanks to better veterinary care and improved nutritional products, our pets are enjoying longer lifespans. While this is great news overall, raising a healthy pet isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s estimated that owning a dog costs an average of $1400 to $4300 per year. If you’re looking to lower the cost of pet ownership, you should consider investing in pet insurance.
Pet insurance will reimburse you for some of your vet bills when your furry friend gets sick or injured. There are many pet insurance companies out there, so you need to do your research before choosing a policy.
What’s the best pet insurance for dogs? Read on to find out!
How to Choose Pet Insurance
Before we go over some of the best pet insurance companies, let’s talk about some tips for choosing the company. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Make a Side-by-Side Comparison
We recommend making a side-by-side comparison of pet insurance companies to see how each one stacks up. You’ll want to note the difference in:
- Sample reimbursements
- Other plan details
- Additional features
Once you have the company information side by side, it’ll be a lot easier to see which one is the best fit for you.
2. Figure Out What’s Covered and What Might Affect Your Coverage
Some pet health insurance plans may have exclusions for pre-existing conditions or conditions that are congenital, hereditary, or related to breeding. Some pre-existing conditions that might not be covered include:
- Heart disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Kidney disease
- Bladder crystals
Before you enroll, get a full list from the pet insurance company of the pre-existing conditions they don’t cover. Also, make sure you understand what might affect your coverage and find out how often and why your premium might increase. If there’s anything about the policy language you don’t understand, call the provider and ask for a breakdown.
3. Check the Insurance Provider’s Track Record
Before signing up with a pet insurance company, you’ll want to check their track record for dependability. You want to find a company that has proven experience and comes with strong recommendations.
- How long has the pet insurance company been in business?
- Is the pet insurance company a trusted financial service?
- Does the insurance company have veterinarians on staff who understand pets’ needs and can help develop policies?
- How many in-force policies does the provider have?
By asking these questions, you’ll get a better understanding of the dependability of the pet insurance company.
4. Figure Out the Coverage That Works for You
Just as humans need different types of health insurance coverage, so too do dogs need different types of pet insurance coverage. Before buying pet insurance, spend some time thinking about what kind of coverage you want for your dog. Here are some of the different coverage categories pet insurance companies might offer:
- Routine Wellness: This includes coverage for things such as vaccinations, wellness exams, and flea and heartworm prevention
- Unknown Medical Care: This may include things such as surgeries, hospitalizations, prescriptions, chronic conditions, lab tests, illnesses, and injuries
- Complete Care: Includes all of the above plus coverage for hereditary conditions
The more complete the coverage is, the more you’ll end up paying for monthly premiums. To figure out what kind of coverage is right for your dog, speak to your vet.
5. Pick the Right Pet Insurance Reimbursement Plan
Pet insurance companies calculate reimbursement in two main ways: They either offer an annual benefit schedule of allowances, or they use a percentage of the invoice. The invoice refers to the itemized bill your vet gives you after treating your pet. If you choose to enroll in this type of plan, you’ll get reimbursed for a percentage of what you paid at the vet. For example, a plan may reimburse 90% of your invoice.
A benefit schedule of allowances plan will list everything covered under your plan with a set amount for reimbursement. The listed reimbursement amount renews annually.
6. Review the Cost and Ask About Discounts
It doesn’t do you much good to invest in affordable pet insurance if it doesn’t cover what you need. When reviewing the cost and value of the insurance policy, make sure to take deductibles into consideration. If the policy has a per-incident deductible, then that means the deductible will be applied to every incident, therefore reducing your monthly premium.
The alternative to a per-incident deductible is an annual deductible. If you purchase a plan with a high annual deductible, you’ll have lower monthly premiums. On the other hand, if you purchase a plan with a low annual deductible, you’ll have higher monthly premiums.
While paying low monthly premiums may sound great, keep in mind that this likely means you’ll be offered a smaller number of benefits. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the insurance company about discounts. Many companies offer discounts for families with two or more pets. You can also check with your employer to see if they offer discount policies.
7. Read the Fine Print
Last but not least, don’t forget to read the fine print. Most insurance plans come with a short waiting period of about 14 days. Treatment during the waiting period is not covered. Some plans also have longer waiting periods for certain conditions, such as ligament injuries. Also, some insurance plans don’t cover certain conditions, such as hip dysplasia, which is why reading the fine print is important.
The Best Pet Insurance for Dogs
Here are some of the top pet insurance companies to choose from:
AKC Pet Insurance
- Annual coverage limits range from $3000 to $16,000
- Lifetime limit per illness or injury ranges from $1500 to $8,000
- Deductibles range from $100 to $1000
- Reimburse up to 80% of your eligible charges
- Dogs don’t need to be purebred or registered with the American Kennel Club
- More coverage is available at an additional cost to cover things such as preventative care or hip dysplasia
Figo Pet Insurance
- Offers annual coverage limits of $10,000, $14,000, or unlimited
- Can choose deductible amount ranging from $50 to $500
- Reimbursement levels range from 70 to 100%
- Covers congenital and hereditary conditions such as knee problems, ligament problems, and hip dysplasia
- Figo also covers holistic and alternative treatments
- All Figo plans cover exam fees and a limited amount of behavioral therapy
Nationwide Pet Insurance
- In addition to dogs, they also offer plans for cats, birds, and reptiles
- They offer a “whole pet with wellness” plan that pays for 90% of your vet bills
- Nationwide Pet Insurance also offers a “major medical” plan that pays up to a benefit limit
- Offers annual deductibles of $100 or $250
- Coverage goes up to age 10 for cats and dogs
Trupanion Pet Insurance
- Offers one plan with no payout limits
- Plan pays for 90% of your vet bills
- Deductible options range from $0 to $1000
- Trupanion covers surgeries, diagnostic testing, medications, hospital stays, prosthetic devices, and veterinary supplements
- Covers congenital and hereditary conditions
- Offers coverage for dogs ranging from 8 weeks to 14 years old
- Additional coverage available for extra issues, such as property damage caused by your dog
- Coverage is also available for working pets, such as service dogs or law enforcement dogs
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
- No per-incident or annual caps on coverage
- Deductible options range from $100 to $500
- Reimbursements range from 70 to 90%
- All plans cover illnesses and accidents, including congenital, hereditary, and chronic conditions
- Covers hip dysplasia for pets who are enrolled before age 6
- Coverage available for dogs ages eight weeks to 14 years
- Can submit claims via their mobile app
Embrace Pet Insurance
- Annual coverage limits of $5,000 to $15,000
- Deductible options range from $200 to $1000
- Reimbursement levels range from 65 to 90%
- Offers both accident-only and complete coverage plans
- Covers specialist care, alternative therapies, and breed-specific conditions
- Coverage available for dogs 14 years and younger
- Offers “wellness awards” which work like a health savings account
- Offer a free “ask-a-vet service” that gives you 24/7 access to an online vet
- If you don’t make a claim, you get $50 off a year
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
- Annual coverage limits range from $2500 to $20,000
- Unlimited coverage available on some plans
- Deductible options range from $100 to $500
- Reimbursement levels range from 70 to 90%
- Offers both comprehensive and accident-only plans
- Offers coverage for alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and stem cell therapy
- Coverage starts at eight weeks, with no maximum age limit
- Can add wellness coverage to any plan
Pet Insurance FAQs
Choosing pet insurance can be overwhelming. Here are some frequently asked questions related to pet insurance:
How much does pet insurance cost?
As you would assume, the more coverage you get, the more you can expect to pay each month. Generally speaking, though, you can expect to pay between $10 to $70 a month for pet insurance.
If you’re only paying $10 per month, you’re probably only getting coverage for serious injuries. If you’re spending closer to $70, you’re likely covered for things such as routine vet visits and regular medications.
When should I get pet insurance?
You should purchase early in your pet’s life. Ideally, you should do it soon after you bring your pet into your home.
If you adopt an older dog, try to get pet insurance as soon as possible after you adopt them, as they’ll likely develop more health issues as they age that can drive up insurance costs.
Does pet insurance operate like human health insurance?
If you’ve picked a health insurance plan through your work or bought you’re on health insurance, you’ll find that buying pet insurance isn’t that different.
Time to Purchase Pet Insurance: Conclusion
As you can see, there are many great options out there when it comes to pet insurance for dogs. Now, you just need to figure out which policy is right for your furry friend.
Of course, keeping your pet healthy and daily wellness routines are the best way to keep your vet bills and pet insurance costs low. One way to keep supporting your pet’s health is with CBD products. Click here to learn all about our top CBD products for dogs!