If you want to purchase pet insurance for your dog or cat, it can be difficult to figure out the best policy for your pet.
As with any new insurance policy, you want to find the best pet insurance coverage for the lowest price. There are many ways to accomplish this and still find quality pet insurance at cheaper rates.
There are many ways to find a good pet insurance policy that has enough coverage and affordable monthly premiums.
We will do our best to help you accomplish this!
Why Should You Spend Money On Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is money that will go towards the coverage of those unexpected accidents or sudden illness that could lead to a huge medical bill that you can’t afford to pay. And no one ever wants to be in that position.
Therefore, pet insurance is knowing you have the ability to pay your portion of the medical bill.
Pet insurance does not have to be super expensive. You just need to know the kind of coverage you want, the premiums you can afford and what is best for your specific dog or cat.
The best cheapest companies are not only affordable but do offer great medical coverage.
We always advise that you insure your pet when he or she is young. Plans are not only less expensive at that time, but you can get your pet covered before any illness or condition occurs.
If your pet does develop a condition prior to enrollment, it is called pre-existing and no insurance company would ever cover your pet for that illness or condition.
Here are some tips to help you find the right coverage for your pet and the pricing that comes with that coverage.
Comprehensive Medical Coverage Plans
If you decide to get pet insurance, comprehensive coverage is really the best well-rounded medical coverage for your pet.
Most pet insurance policies offer this type of coverage as their basic plan because it includes almost all diseases, chronic conditions, all types of accidents and even dental associated with an accident.
The whole point of getting pet insurance is to cover for these expensive conditions and all the testing that goes with it. If your pet has to go to the hospital, you pay for the medical treatment, x-rays, and any associated cost.
And, comprehensive coverage will typically cover most of it at the hospital of your choice.
Of course, this coverage is more expensive, but you will be reimbursed for a lot more of the bill so it ends up saving you money.
Preventative Care Coverage (Wellness Coverage)
All lot of the pet insurance providers offer a wellness option to add to your base pet insurance policy. These packages tend to cover annual vet visits, routine procedures, some dental, spaying and neutering, and other preventative or routine costs.
While the typical monthly add-on is not that expensive, if you are really looking to save money, you don’t need a wellness package.
This will only drive up your premiums on expenses that you can typically afford. And most wellness packages only offer a portion of the treatment or procedure reimbursement which in the end is not a big saving.
Want to save money?
Don’t add a wellness package!
Accident Only Coverage
Accident only coverage is a policy that is literally just for accidents. It can be used for some diseases but not all.
Typically, these plans are cheaper but there are many exclusions so your pet might not be covered for a big medical bill if it was not an accident.
On the flip side, this type of coverage is the cheapest of all the various coverage options. If you want just the bare minimum than accident coverage could be a viable option for you.
Some pet owners with older pets will take out an accident only policy because their pets are too old for comprehensive coverage.
How Reimbursements Work
Depending on the pet insurance you choose, the best policies will offer you a range from 60 to 90% reimbursement of the medical bill (after the deductible is met).
You can choose the reimbursement that best suits you and that can help keep your monthly premiums down.
For instance, if you choose a 90% reimbursement, this will lower your monthly premium because you agreed to pay more of the bill.
The deductible is your first payment of any medical bill that is pre-determined when you sign up.
This is a one-time payment and then your pet insurance coverage will reimburse you for the balance of the bill.
There are two types of deductibles:
1 – Annual Deductible
An annual deductible allows you to pay the deductible one time each year. Once you pay the deductible, all the medical treatments and procedures are covered up to the reimbursement level that you choose for the rest of the policy year.
This is our preferred deductible because there are no surprises. You know exactly what you are paying.
2 – Per-Condition/Incident Deductibles
A per-condition deductible is when you pay a set deductible for each illness or condition. Once that deductible is met, the rest of the medical treatment for that incident or condition is covered.
This can be limiting unless it is a per-lifetime incident deductible and your dog or cat has a disease like cancer that needs on-going care.
Deductibles can range anywhere from $60 to $900 dollars depending on the plan and what you choose.
If you choose a higher deductible, you can lower your monthly premium rate.
How Pet Insurance Pricing Works
It is hard to predict how much pet insurance will cost for your dog or cat because there are many factors that can affect pricing:
…are all factors that determine your monthly pricing.
For the most part, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 a month for cat insurance and $40 to $50 a month for dog insurance. As mentioned above, if you really just want the cheapest policy, choose an accident only plan.
Cats are cheaper to insure than dogs because they are typically indoors and less prone to injuries.
Of course, you don’t just pay for your monthly premium. You need to pay your deductible and the reimbursement percentage that you choose upon signing up.
While we always want to keep the prices down, make sure to choose a policy where your pet’s specific illness or condition is covered. If your dog or cat is already ill or has a condition or disease that needs treatment, this might fall into the pre-existing condition category.
And, no pet insurance will cover your pet for that condition.
Accident Only Plans: Cheapest But Not The Best Coverage
If you really want to spend the bare minimum for pet insurance, accident-only plans provide reimbursement for injuries and some specified illness.
These plans, while providing substantially less coverage, are typically 50 % of the cost of most accident and illness plans.
Tips To Find The Best Coverage
Look for a policy that pays on the actual vet bill
With all pet insurance, you pay the medical bill up front and are then reimbursed by the pet insurance company. Trupanion is one of the few pet insurance companies that pay the vet directly.
Try to find a policy that pays on the vet bills and not a benefit schedule that your pet insurance company pre-determines. This way you aren’t guessing what the provider will cover but you will know the exact amount you will be reimbursed.
Unlimited benefits will insure that you are covered for all conditions
Each pet insurance policy offers different benefit levels and caps. Healthy Paws is a popular pet insurance policy that has an unlimited benefit level in all of their plans.
Some other pet insurance companies even include unlimited lifetime benefits while others have specific limit levels. While the caps can sometimes lower premiums, it is not a guarantee and then you will owe the balance of a very large medical bill.
Benefit limits can range from $5,000 to unlimited. If you can afford the unlimited, it is the best way to know you are always covered for a big medical bill.
How to find the cheapest pet insurance
Look for a policy that has a low monthly premium rate. You can accomplish this by choosing a higher reimbursement rate (80 to 90%) and will get less money back if your pet does have a big medical bill.
But, you will pay a lower amount each month and if your pet doesn’t have an accident that year, you saved money that whole year.
Our List Of The Best and Cheapest Pet Insurance Companies
PetFirst offers the lowest monthly average premium for dogs at $17 a month and $9 a month for cats.
PetFirst does not skimp on coverage with many plan choices. There are two plans: Lifetime and Standard. The lifetime plan has annual limits and the Standard per-incident.
They have the lowest deductible range of all our plans reviewed starting at $50. From there, you can customize your plan according to your needs with their choice of 70 to 90 % reimbursement.
You can save $20 by enrolling your pet online.
If you have an older pet, PetFirst is a great choice with no upper age restriction.
To learn more about PetFirst, read our full review.
Embrace offers monthly average premiums for dogs at $18 a month and for cats $10 a month.
Embrace has many customizable plans that can help you control your premium rates.
With deductibles ranging from $100 to $1,000 and reimbursements percentages of 65% to 90%, you can really customize the plan according to your budget.
If your pet is healthy, you get a $50 discount off the next year’s enrollment rate. If you want another 5% saving, make sure to spay or neuter your pet.
Learn more about Embrace by reading our full review.
PetPremium has the cheapest monthly premium rates with dogs averaging $12 a month and cats average $9 a month.
The reason they aren’t our number one choice is because the lower priced plans have lower per-incident limits. But, if you are just looking for some decent coverage, this could be a good choice for you.
PetPremium has three deductible choices ranging from $100 to $250. If you want to reduce your monthly premium, choose a higher deductible level.
There is an accident-only plan that can reduce your premiums even further.
To learn more about PetPremium, read our full review.
Petplan monthly average premium rates are $29 for dogs and $18 for cats.
Petplan offers extremely customizable deductible options to help you budget for your dog or cat’s needs,
With the choice of an annual or per condition deductible, you have a choice of deductibles ranging from $100 up to $2500.
Their plans are very comprehensive and do have unlimited benefits in some of their plans if that is important to you.
You can get further discounts if you enroll more than one pet or for online enrollment.
To learn more about Petplan, read our full review.
Healthy Paws monthly average premium rates for dogs is $33 and $17 for cats.
While not the cheapest of the reviewed companies, Healthy Paws has a lot to offer.
With unlimited benefits in all of their plans and alternative therapy options, it is a great choice for pets of all ages. They even offer unlimited lifetime benefits!
You can also pick and choose your deductible from $100 to $500.
If you belong to Costco, AARP or some other membership groups, you can get an additional 10% discount.
To learn more about Healthy Paws, read our full review.
Pets Best monthly average premium rates for dogs is $31 and $17 for cats.
While their higher end plans are pricey, the lower plans can offer decent coverage. The annual benefit level is only about $5,000 and only unlimited is offered in their higher end plan.
Deductibles can range from $50 to $1,000 with reimbursements of 70 to 90% of your bill.
Discounts of 5% for each pet are available if you enroll more than one pet.
Pets Best also offers a simple accident only plan if you just want some accident coverage for approximately $10 a month for dogs and $7 a month for cats.
To learn more about Pets Best, read our full review.
Summing It All Up
Of course, we never want to let price get in the way of helping our pets, but these policies are not only cheaper but do offer very good coverage.
If you want to look at some of our other favorite pet insurance policies, check out our top 10 best pet insurance companies of 2018 list!