How Much Does Dog Health Insurance Cost?

Dog health insurance is an important part of owning a pet today, but some dog owners may postpone purchasing insurance for their pet because they believe the cost is too high or that they won’t require health insurance for their pet.

In the course of an average pet’s lifetime, a pet health insurance policy costs between $2,000 and $6,000, with monthly premiums averaging between $20 and $40 monthly.

The Factors that Influence Insurance Costs

Several factors influence the cost of pet health insurance, including the pet’s age, its breed, its pre-existing conditions and the type of insurance the owner wishes to purchase.

Let’s look at each factor in more detail:

Age: As with human health insurance, the younger the insured is, the lower the rates. Premiums increase in pet health insurance as an animal matures, and some companies will only offer coverage to young animals. Coverage continues on these pets as they age, but coverage cannot be purchased for adult animals that were not previously insured.

Breed: Beagles and Portuguese Water Dogs are thought to be good insurance risks because these breeds have consistent health records, but other breeds are deemed at-risk for certain inherited medical conditions, which may make them more expensive to insure. Consider the brachycephalic breeds such as the Pug or the Bulldog, both of which may be prone to problems with their teeth, eyes, eyelids or skin folds in addition to the obvious potential respiratory issues.

Pre-existing conditions: Many pet health insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions, which may limit the type of insurance you can obtain for your pet. Some pre-existing conditions exclude dogs from receiving health insurance.

Some companies offer coverage for chronic conditions, such as diabetes or osteoarthritis. Coverage availability may depend on the dog’s age, and some conditions may have preset coverage limits associated with them.

A few companies offer cover for genetic conditions, but these policies are quite expensive. Review a genetic coverage policy carefully, and ask your insurance provider to clarify any details that are unclear before you purchase such a policy.

Insurance type: Some dog owners opt for complete care coverage that helps cover the cost of both routine and urgent veterinary care, while others choose policies that cover only accidents or illnesses.

Discounts May Be Available

Depending on the company you choose for your pet health insurance needs, you may qualify for discounts. Companies may offer better rates for annual payments, online policies, altered pets, multiple pet homes, service dogs or microchipped pets.

Annual payments: Some insurance companies offer dog owners discounts if the owner opts for annual premium payments instead of two, four or 12 payments during the course of the year.

Online policy service: Policies that are ordered or maintained via the company’s website may qualify for a discount when compared to policies that are serviced over the phone or via mail.

Altered or intact: Dogs that have been spayed or neutered may qualify for a reduced premium because they are less likely to contract certain diseases (testicular or uterine cancer, for example) than intact pets.

Number of pets being insured: Many companies offer multiple-pet discounts, so you may receive a cost reduction if you’re insuring more than one pet.

Service animals: In some instances, the organization that provides a service dog to a disabled person will provide health insurance for the dog, while in others, the insurance company will provide a discounted rate for pet health insurance on such dogs.

Microchipped pets: Some companies offer discounts for pets that have been microchipped for identification purposes.