According to Marketplace, the yearly cost of veterinary care for the U.S. pet owners alone was expected to reach $32.3 billion in 2021. Surprisingly enough, this is second to the cost of pet food.
With such expenses at the vet, it’s no surprise how many people are turning to pet insurance.
As of September 2021, IBISWorld recorded the pet insurance industry at $1.7 billion for the year.
It is rapidly growing at just over 7% this year from last year and 14% per year since 2016.
During the pandemic, 30% of households adopted a pet, surely affecting the growth of the pet insurance market.
With so much demand, is there a way to find low cost pet insurance?
The answer is yes. Because of the competitiveness in the industry, you can compare and get quotes to find the best deal.
Types of Pet Insurance
When deciding what to buy for pet insurance it is not just a matter of lowest price, coverage is very important to consider.
Depending on what type of animal you have, along with the breed, consult your vet about what coverage you’ll expect to need the most.
This will be pretty easy since most breeds have similar ailments as they age.
Most companies break down coverage into two categories: dog policies and cat policies.
There is also exotic pet insurance that covers birds, bunnies, hamsters, and other less-popular pets. You’ll surely find a cheap pet insurance policy that covers your pet’s needs.
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There are countless insurance companies that offer pet insurance.
You’ll find different policies and levels of coverage that every company offers so it’s important to request pricing on similar plans when getting quotes.
This top ten list of insurance companies, provided by Value Penguin in June 2021, will give you a place to start when searching for low cost pet insurance:
- AKC/Pet Partners
These companies definitely offer dog and cat policies, but you’ll have to inquire directly about coverage on exotic pets.
Cause of Price Differences
The price differences are based primarily on the breed of the animal.
For dogs, the breed that is most expensive to cover is typically a Golden Retriever just slightly higher than a Bulldog.
For Cats, the breed that is most costly in the British Shorthair followed by the Persian type.
Below is a list of average monthly premiums for popular dogs by breeds as listed by Value Penguin in June 2021:
- Labrador Retriever – $37.44
- German Shepherd – $34.32
- Golden Retriever – $40.56
- Bulldog – $39.00
- Beagle -$34.32
You’ll notice fluctuations anywhere from $1 to $15 among insurers for a particular breed and plan.
This is why it is important to get quotes from several (at least three) different insurance companies when determining the best pet insurance cost.
Below is Value Penguin’s June 2021 list of average monthly premiums for popular cat breeds:
- Exotic – $12.78
- Ragdoll $17.57
- British Shorthair – $20.76
- Persian – $19.17
- Maine Coon – $17.57
Just like the dog policies, cat policies will be different from insurance company to insurance company as well.
Be sure to compare quotes and coverages on the pet insurance cost.
Why Buy Pet Insurance?
Pet medical procedures, appointments, and ailments can add up quickly. Out-of-pocket expenses for an aging dog or cat will put you into debt after just one visit.
With the cost of pet food as the primary expense of owning a pet, you most likely won’t have a savings set aside for medical emergencies for your pet.
Let’s take a look at the most common medical conditions with dogs and how much they cost:
- Ear infection – $150
- Allergies – $235
- Skin infection – $175
- Upset stomach – $385
- Diarrhea – $203
- Bladder issues – $617
- Eye infection – $115
- Arthritis – $255
- Hypothyroidism – $125
- Sprains – $267
All it takes is an upset stomach and bladder issues to tax your savings and put you into debt.
Typically, with older pets, issues arise frequently so you’ll find the pet medical bills piling up before you know it.
This is why you really want to find cheap pet insurance before you find yourself underwater.
Just like health insurance for humans, pet insurance does not usually include vision and dental in their base coverage.
These are considered “add-ons” and will cost extra each month. For example dental insurance for pets is an additional policy.
You’ll discover that most insurers offer two types: accidental and illness.
With roughly 85% of dogs experiencing dental issues after they are four years old, Dog Endorsed says it might be smart to add dental to the insurance policy if it doesn’t include it.
A few things covered by dental pet insurance include: root canals, gum disease, and extractions among other things.
An individual policy can cost anywhere from $10 for a puppy to $100 per month for older dogs.
To get dental pet insurance prices down, you can choose it as an add-on to your current pet insurance.
Most of the time the company will give you a better rate with an average high of $40 per month in addition to your base policy.
It is always a tough decision to buy insurance or risk not having it. When it comes to your pet, it may seem silly when you have an energetic, healthy baby pet.
That’s why it’s smart to reevaluate each year as your pet grows.
It is obvious that as a pet ages, they will have more illnesses. It would be advantageous to research your pet and their breed’s history of physical ailments as they age.
This will not only let you know what type of coverage to buy, but also when to purchase a policy on your pet.
In addition, if you have an expensive, pure-bred, animal that you use for breeding or racing or showing, it is very smart to find low cost pet insurance for them.
The risk of them being injured or getting sick is much higher when they are active.
If you have any experience with low cost pet insurance, let us know in the comments below!