Finding the cheapest pet insurance options online, where every company is trying to get your attention, can be tough! To simplify things, we did the research for you. We get it. Vet costs are high and you’re looking for something affordable that makes sense for your budget.
Certainly, you want your pet to get the best vet care—and you want it to be as easy as possible on your wallet. Below, we explain the different types of pet insurance plans you can select, explain how pet insurance costs are affected, and share five of the cheapest pet insurance options you can find today. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Types of Pet Insurance Plans
If you’re new and learning about pet insurance policies, we help to break down the types of pet insurance plans you can find. Each pet insurance company has a different approach to these policies, so if you know what to look for ahead of time, you’ll be better prepared to make the best selection for your needs.
Most pet insurance policies tend to bundle accident and illness coverage, which can result in higher costs. However, ASPCA pet health insurance (highlighted below) is one of the few pet insurance companies that offer an accident-only plan. This is a great option if you’re really looking to save and only cover accidents. It’s a lot less comprehensive than some of the other options but it does save you more money. You can expect coverage for anything like broken bones or ingestion of foreign objects. These types of accidents can be quite pricey, so having this basic protection in place can save you from having to pay a high price tag for your pet’s proper care and treatment.
Accident and Illness Coverage
By far the most popular pet insurance policy that pet parents select is the accident and illness coverage policy. This one is significantly more comprehensive than the accident-only plan because, on top of covering any accidents, it also covers any illnesses. Whether it’s a rash or cough that your pet develops or vomiting and diarrhea, your illness coverage takes care of diagnostic exams and any treatments. Of course, if your pet has an incurable pre-existing condition, that won’t be covered. Make sure you read the fine print, no matter which pet insurance company you decide to go with because they each have a specific set of exclusions.
Preventative Care Coverage
Since neither the accident only nor accident and illness coverage options take care of regular vet checkups, vaccinations, or preventative treatments, some companies allow you to select optional coverage for ongoing wellness care. These are available for an additional fee, which doesn’t keep the cost down upfront but may keep costs down if you keep up with regular vet checkups. This is especially important for pets that are prone to illnesses and for older pets, as you need to keep a closer eye on their health.
Average Pet Insurance Costs
On average, you can expect to pay somewhere between $25 to $100 (and even more for some special breeds). These are the monthly premium amount that you can sometimes manipulate depending on the type of policy you choose. However, ultimately, how much you pay depends on several different factors, including:
As we mentioned, some breeds are more expensive to insure than others. For example, a Maine coon, due to its size, tends to have more health issues than other types of cats. Because of this, pet insurance companies offset what they expect to pay by raising premiums.
The species of your pet is also an important consideration. Along with considering the breed, whether you’re ensuring a dog, or a cat makes a difference in how much you end up paying. Cats are typically less expensive to insure.
This is why it’s so important to get your pet insurance policy early on in your pet’s life before they’ve developed any health conditions. As your pet ages, it’s expected that they may develop more health issues. Whether you choose to insure your pet at a later age or you already have a pet insured, you can expect those premiums to rise with nearly every pet insurance company over the years.
Your location also has a lot to do with how much you end up paying for pet insurance. There are different local and state regulations when it comes to pet insurance that affects how much veterinary cost is in your area. If you live in a city where veterinary costs are higher than usual, you can expect your premiums to reflect that as well.
Cheapest Pet Insurance Options
- Optional routine care coverage
- Discounts when you bundle
- Preventative care for kittens and puppies
- No dental coverage
Lemonade is known for its incredibly affordable insurance offers. Since they don’t only offer pet insurance, you can bundle your renter’s insurance or your homeowner’s insurance policy to save even more. The standard pet insurance policy plan that Lemonade offers covers several different veterinary costs, including diagnostic tests, emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, and prescription medications. Whether your pet has suffered an injury from an accident or has fallen ill, Lemonade offers pet insurance that covers anything from broken bones to heart disease and cancer. The only exclusions are pre-existing conditions.
Aside from their standard policy that covers accidents and illnesses, you can also choose to tack on optional coverages. The first is coverage for vet visit fees, which would cover the cost of any veterinary exam fees. The second is for physical therapy, which would come into play should your pet require rehabilitative care for recovery. The third is preventive care. Preventive care would cover all wellness visits, any vaccinations, blood tests, and fecal tests. It would also cover feline leukemia virus testing for cats and heartworm testing.
- Optional routine care coverage
- Diminishing deductible
- Comprehensive coverage
- Reimbursement for prescription food and supplements is unavailable
Embrace offers a completely customizable pet insurance policy. Select from different deductibles to lower your premium. One of the best features of Embrace’s policies is that if you don’t file any claims for your pet over a year, they lower your deductible the following policy year, so long as you stay on the plan. That means you get to save when your pet eventually does need care. The standard policy that Embrace offers covers both accidents and illnesses. This includes anything from CT scans to lab tests, surgery and hospitalizations, dental trauma, and even genetic conditions.
You also have the option to add on Wellness Rewards to cover those routine care appointments. You can select from several different annual coverage options so that you have a plan to rely on when you take your pet to the vet for regular checkups, vaccinations, microchipping, and heartworm medications. If you choose not to add the wellness plan, you’ll be responsible for those out-of-pocket costs. Oh, and one more thing! The accident and illness plan also includes coverage for complementary and rehabilitative treatments at no extra cost.
3. Healthy Paws
- Covers alternative therapies
- Two-day turnaround on claims
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- As your pet ages, reimbursement levels decrease
Healthy Paws is a fantastic, affordable pet insurance company that offers unlimited annual coverage. Healthy Paws’ policies do get a little bit pricier as your pet gets older; nevertheless, they consistently offer lower premiums when compared to other pet insurance policies. The only downside is that Healthy Paws does not offer an option for preventive care, so if that’s something you’re looking for, Healthy Paws may not be the best option for you.
The plan that Healthy Paws offers covers veterinary costs for all medically necessary treatments related to accidental injuries and illnesses. This could be chronic conditions, cancer, or even hip dysplasia (after a 12-month waiting period). Exclusions include pre-existing conditions, elective procedures, routine care, veterinary exam fees, and spay/neuter surgeries. For pets under six years old, you can receive up to 80% reimbursement but pets older than six years old are only eligible for up to 70% reimbursement.
4. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
- The standard policy includes microchipping
- Covers vet and exam fees
- Standalone accident-only coverage
- Coverage is limited to $10k annually
Typically, pet insurance companies bundle accident and illness coverage, which tends to have a higher deductible and higher premiums. If you’re interested in lowering the cost of coverage by selecting an accident-only policy, ASPCA is a great option. To lower your monthly premium, even more, you can choose lower reimbursement rates (as low as 70%). Your deductibles range anywhere between $100 to $500 annually and annual coverage limits range between $3,000 and $10,000.
If you’re interested in more comprehensive care, you can choose the Complete Coverage plan to obtain coverage for illnesses as well. For preventative care, you can select between their Basic Preventative Plan or their Prime Preventative Plan. One of the highlights of ASPCA pet health insurance is that their policies cover the cost of veterinary visits and exam fees, which are typically not included in coverages from competitor pet insurance companies.
- Telehealth coverage up to $1k
- Premium reduction when no claims are filed
- Discounts for quarterly and annual payments
- Claim processing period takes longer than other companies
Fetch pet insurance takes a unique approach to pet insurance policies that most other companies avoid. They cover holistic treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic care. Pets don’t just need care for accidents and illnesses, sometimes they also need some alternative therapies to help them recover. Additionally, Fetch covers behavioral issues, which can include conditions like anxiety. Whether you are an active or retired military member or you are an AARP member, Fetch also incentivizes you by offering discounted premiums.
The standard plan Fetch offers covers accidents, illnesses, holistic treatments, and behavioral problems. You can even get dental treatment for your pet, and Fetch covers it. The standard plan is pretty comprehensive, which is why Fetch doesn’t offer any optional coverages for wellness or preventative care. Surprisingly, Fetch also offers coverage if you have to cancel your vacation as a result of your pet becoming ill or being injured. You can select an annual reimbursement cap or select their unlimited coverage option. The highest deductible you may be required to pay is $500 while the lowest is $250.
If you would like to read more expert pet insurance advice, see the Ultimate Guide to Pet Insurance: What it Covers.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Marcela Ruth Romero
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Which pet insurance does not raise premiums?
Nearly every pet insurance company that offers pet insurance policies raises premiums as your pet ages. This is because as your pet gets older, he becomes more prone to developing illnesses and may also become more susceptible to accidents and injuries. To protect themselves, pet insurance companies raise those premiums, knowing they will be spending more on coverage over the life of your pet. However, there is one pet insurance company that does not raise premiums. That company is Trupanion. You can insure your dog or cat up to age 14 through Trupanion. They offer unlimited benefits and reimburse you up to 90%. The only exclusions are pre-existing conditions and routine care.
Which insurance is best for my dog?
That all depends on the type of coverage you are looking for. Ultimately, a more comprehensive plan is always the better option because you cannot predict injuries, accidents, or illnesses, even if you know that your dog has a genetic predisposition to a certain type of health condition. The more comprehensive your coverage, the better off both you and your dog will be.
How can I lower my pet insurance cost?
Pet insurance companies like Embrace offer a diminished deductible, which helps you save if you don’t file any claims through the life of your policy. When you sign up for a policy, you may also decide on selecting a larger deductible to lower your monthly premium. Similarly, you can lower your reimbursement rate so that you are not paying so much on a monthly basis. Remember, however, that these changes to your policy affect you when it comes time for your pet to receive veterinary care. You’ll either have to pay a higher deductible at the time of treatment or when you get your reimbursement, it won’t be as much as it would have been if you had been paying the higher premium throughout your policy.
Is Lemonade a good insurance company for dogs?
Lemonade is one of the most affordable pet insurance companies that offers a standard policy for accidents and illnesses. They also give you an option to include additional coverages, so it’s a great option when you’re looking to save and keep your pet insured.
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