Bonus Tips: How Much Should Pet Insurance Cost in 2020

How Much Should Pet Insurance Cost?

how much should pet insurance cost

Owning a pet costs around $1,350 per year. But unexpected accidents or illnesses can happen at any time. The cost to get your pet well again can be double, triple, or even more than what you would pay yearly. Pet insurance helps cover these unplanned vet visits so you can focus on your pet’s well-being and rather than the burden of vet bills. This is a comprehensive article on how much should pet insurance cost.

Table Of Contents

According to statistics Canada, a good number of Canadian households own pets. No matter the pet you are caring for, having a pet can be expensive, especially if unprecedented veterinarian bills come up.

Deciding whether to give expensive care for your sick pet is not only emotional stress, it can also have financial consequences; hence the reason you need to ask how much should pet insurance cost before getting one.

You have the option of purchasing pet insurance to help offset the cost. However, Canada’s policies vary based on your pet’s breed, age, size, and location.

The Best Pet Insurance in Canada

CompanyBest ForMore InfoCost per month
Trupanion CanadaBest Overall Pet Insurance in CanadaRead OnMonthly cost varies due to multiple factors including: your pet’s breed, age at enrollment, and gender, the chosen deductible and the cost of veterinary care in your area. Monthly premiums do not automatically increase just because your pet has a birthday or just because you file a claim.
Petplan CanadaBest for Totally Customized CoverageRead On$16 – $60, depending on your chosen plan.
Petsecure CanadaBest for Complete Coverage including Wellness PlansRead OnPremiums will vary depending on your plan choice, breed and location. 
Pet Plus UsBest for Accident-Only CoverageRead On$19 – $89, depending on your chosen plan.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Pet insurance works like most other kinds of insurance in Canada. You will pay a monthly cost (known as “premium”), and in return, if your pet becomes unexpectedly ill or injured, your insurance company will take up a portion of the bills to a maximum percentage. Below are some examples of costs that are usually covered by pet insurance:

Surgery

Emergency Care

Accidents

Sudden illness

Diagnostic tests

Hospitalization

Prescriptions

Some pet insurance plans provide additional wellness packages that also cover parasite prevention, checkups, and vaccinations. Your policy will report what exactly is covered, and typically, it is separated — “accidents” and “illnesses.” There may be a maximum money value covered, and that cap might be applied yearly or per sickness. Sometimes, depending on your pet’s age, you will need to have it examined by a veterinarian before your insurance company can determine how much should pet insurance cost..

Comparison of the Best Pet Insurance Plans

TrupanionCanadaPetplanCanadaPetsecure CanadaPets Plus Us
DeductiblePer ConditionAnnual or Per ConditionPer IncidentAnnual, age-based
CoverageIllness, injuries, hereditary and congenital conditions as well as miscellaneous expenses including medications and diagnostic testsMedication, testing, hospital stays, non-routine examsHospitalization, surgery, hereditary conditions, diagnosis, prescriptions, dental coverageHospitalization, surgery, hereditary conditions, diagnosis, prescriptions, medical devices
Payout90% of actual costs paid directly to vet70% – 90% of actual veterinarian bills80% of actual veterinarian bills70% – 90% of actual veterinarian bills
Coverage LimitNo lifetime limitAnnual $2,500 to Unlimited, no lifetime or per condition limits$1,000 – to UnlimitedUp to $7,500 or $15,000 for accident and illness, or $5,000 accident only
Bonus Perks/Add-OnsHomeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and rehabLost pet reward, boarding fees, loss due to theftBoarding fees, trip cancellation coverage, lost pet reward, burial services, multi-pet (3+) discountCoverage when traveling with your pet outside of Canada, acupuncture, chiropractic, physiotherapy
Drawbacks30 day waiting period, maximum enrollment age is 14 years.Pets over the age of 6 will need to have a physical examPets over the age of 8 will need to have a physical exam, blood profile, and urinalysisPets over the age of 8 will need to have a physical exam, blood profile, and urinalysis

Canada Best Pet Insurance Company: Trupanion Canada

If you want to know how much should pet insurance cost, it is advised to have Trupanion in mind. Trupanion Canada is one of the biggest pet insurance providers in Canada and the best pick for the top pet insurance company in Canada. Trupanion presents a single and perfect pet insurance plan that will cover most Canadian pet owners’ needs.

This company has a special reimbursement rate of 90% and can directly bill your veterinarian. Trupanion does not charge you extra for making claims on your policy, and they have a superb customer service track record.

PROS:

Offers direct payment to your veterinarian

The deductible is per condition

There isn’t any lifetime cap on accidents and illness coverage

Reimbursement is 90% of your actual bill

CONS:

Preventive treatments are not covered, and there is no room to add it

One plan means there will be no customization options or wellness add-ons

The maximum enrollment age is 14 years

Petplan Canada

Petplan is one of the top providers of pet insurance in Canada. It has over 40 years of experience in the pet insurance business. There are no limits as to where you can utilize this pet insurance anywhere in Canada or the US. I you are asking how much should pet insurance cost, you can start by asking petplan.

PROS:

There is no age limit on registering your pet

Many highly customizable and tiered options

Coverage caps are yearly, and start at $2,500 and go up to infinite

Reimbursement stays between 70% to 90% of your actual bill

Readily available customer service

CONS:

Pets from six years and above are mandated to have veterinary screening within 30 days of registration date.

Petsecure Canada

Petsecure Canada was established in 1989 and is wholly Canadian owned and operated and is sponsored by Petline Insurance Company. This insurance company calls itself the number one pet insurance provider in Canada and has about 150 employees, affording them the luxury to offer services in both of Canada’s lingua franca. You can find out how much should pet insurance cost and also purchase insurance from Petsecure Canada either online or over a phone call.

PROS: 

Coverage range from $1,000 per accident and illness to unlimited coverage

Extra benefits include holiday trip cancellation coverage, boarding kennel fees, lost pet advertising and burial service

Four phases of coverage from Secure 1 to Secure 4

Annual wellness care option includes exams, flea prevention, vaccinations, and examination

Multi-pet discount: when you enroll three or more pets, you can save 10%

Reimbursement is 80% of the actual bill

CONS:

The optional wellness package is costly, at $450 per year for dogs and $350 per year for cats.

Pets Plus Us

Pets Plus Us is fresher in the pet insurance industry and offers various insurance options for cats and dogs. Having its headquarters in Oakville, Ontario, Pets Plus Us is an offshoot of Pethealth Inc., and their insurance coverage is available in all of Canada’s provinces and territories. You can check in to know how much should pet insurance cost.

PROS:

No premium based increment on claims history, but yearly deductibles are tagged to age and may still increase.

There is the option of two plans: Accident and Illness, or just Accident. 

Coverage stays between $5,000 and $15,000 based on your plan.

Reimbursement stays between 70% and 90% of your veterinary bills.

Optional Wellness Care package is a stand-alone plan and covers frequent appoints for an annual fee.

CONS:

Reimbursement may not be fast. Petplus guarantees payment of vet bills within six months from the treatment date. 

How Much Should Pet Insurance Cost 

how much should pet insurance cost should be a necessary questions for every pet lover. Basic pet insurance can be obtained affordably. In Canada, the average insurance premium is $39 for a dog and about $29 for a cat. This monthly premium may seem budget-friendly, but the cost can escalate quickly based on the following factors:

The kind of pet: Some breeds of cat and dog are more exposed to chronic health problems than the others, and some rare kinds of pets (for example, reptiles) may leave you with less (and more expensive) insurance choices.

Your pet’s age: Older pets are more prone to have health problems and are therefore more costly to insure. That is why it’s important to purchase pet insurance when your pet is young.

The coverage level you pick: More pet insurance companies offer various tiers of options from budget-friendly basic coverage to premium coverage that covers wellness visits.

Location: Are you aware that vet costs can vary depending on where you live? If you live in a province where veterinarians charge more for medical services, your premiums will be higher.

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

Unless you have a massive emergency fund waiting in a Tax-Free Savings Account, pet insurance is usually helpful to ensure you do not have to decide between your pocket and your furry friend. That said, it is not every pet insurance plan that is suitable for every situation, so it is important to ask yourself the following questions on how much should pet insurance cost before going for a policy of your own.

What Is the Aim of Your Pet Insurance?

Start by listing what you’d like your pet insurance to cover. Like other insurance types, pet insurance comes with many additional features that are expensive and not worthwhile. Making a list of your choice of coverage beforehand will help you avoid these boosts and to also know how much should pet insurance cost. It’s important not to buy more coverage than you need because it will be more pricey.

Your Type of Pet Matters

The breed, type and age of your pet will influence the insurance coverage you choose. For instance, purebred dogs tend to have more severe health issues than mixed-breed dogs and may require more coverage. Also, cats tend to have a longer life span than dogs and may benefit from a coverage that does not expand your deductible depending on age. If you own an exotic pet, your concern should be how much should pet insurance cost because you could have limited options in the companies that will provide you with insurance coverage at all.

How Much Is Your Deductible?

Your deductible is the cost you are obligated to pay out of your pocket before your insurance starts and this contributes to how much should pet insurance cost. For instance, if your pet needs emergency surgery and the price is $5,000, and your deductible is $1,000, you will pay that initial $1,000, and the insurance company will pay the other $4,000 (subject to a term called “reimbursement percentages”).

A higher deductible ordinarily results in a lower monthly premium, while a lower deductible implies you will pay more month to month. If you pick a higher deductible, you will be required to make sure you always have that money at hand in case your pet needs urgent veterinary care. There are varieties of deductibles in Canada:

Annual: You pay one deductible for any ailment being treated.

Per-Condition (Lifetime): You have a distinct deductible for each condition

Per condition (annual): Similar to above, but it renews every year.

What Is Your Coverage Limit?

Pet insurance typically has a coverage limit, also termed a cap. Some pet insurance policies have yearly or lifetime caps on coverage and some have no coverage limit whatsoever. It is important to consider these caps because, based on your pet, you may be more likely to reach them. For instance, if you have a purebred pet prone to have a chronic condition, you may regularly contact your policy’s cap.

Does Your Pet Insurance Have Exclusions?

Most pet insurance firms in Canada have exclusions and limitations on their policies. Typical exclusions include pre-existing conditions and known health problems. Make sure to how much should pet insurance cost investigate the exclusions on your possible policy because they may make the insurance policy useless for your purposes. The insurance policy may exclude working pets like aid animals or herding dogs.

What Are the Conditions of Reimbursement?

it’s important to know your terms of reimbursement while making your research on how much should pet insurance cost. While most pet insurers make the promise to refund you promptly, the truth is that you’ll most likely need to fund your pet’s treatment out of pocket at first and wait for reimbursement. This is why owning an emergency fund in a high-interest savings account or TFSA is crucial. Your pet insurance company may approve the treatment with the vet and pay them straight in some rare cases.

If you have to wait for reimbursement and your savings are zero, charge your pet’s vet care from a travel rewards or cashback credit card, so in the least, you will get back something from the expense. Just ensure to pay off your credit card debt quickly, as interest rates can be 18% or larger. If you must take a balance, consider getting a moderate-interest credit card or a balance transfer credit card to decrease the interest paid on the expense.

Consider the reimbursement rate. The reimbursement rate is the percentage your insurance company will refund you after you pay your deductible. The expected reimbursement rate is between 70% and 90% of your original bill, and the higher the percentage, the more satisfying.

What Are the Terms of Your Coverage?

Some pet insurance companies have specific requirements to meet the coverage rules. Most times, it is related to your pet’s well-being. Often, if your pet is above a certain age, you will be required to fix an appointment with your local vet to cancel out any already existing conditions.

There may also be a waiting interval before the policy kicks in (in some cases, between 7-30 days). Finally, some pet insurance companies will refuse to insure pets over a certain age. The bottom line? on your journey to finding out how much should pet insurance cost, ensure you read your policy’s fine print.

The Average Cost of Monthly Pet Insurance By Coverage Type

According to North American Pet Health Insurance Association data, the type of coverage you purchase and the sort of pet you have are the two significant factors in how much you’ll pay.

There’s a firm difference in the price between the two main types of pet insurance: accident and injury insurance and accident-only insurance. Here’s how these two factors affect pet insurance costs, according to NAPHIA data from 2019:

Type of petAverage premium/month
Dog  
Accident and illness coverage$48.78
Accident-only coverage$16.17
Cat 
Accident and illness coverage$29.16
Accident-only coverage$10.51

The Average Cost of Pet Insurance by the Company (in Canada and the US)

The average cost of pet varies based on the animal. Here’s how each company’s prices stack up for this hypothetical pet. 

CompanyDog: Average premium/monthCat: Average premium/month
 Accident & illnessAccident onlyAccident & illnessAccident only
Healthy Paws pet insurance$41.38N/A$16.31nil
Figo pet insurance$39.80N/A$22.88 nil
Petplan pet insurance$68.06N/A$31.11nil
Embrace pet insurance$44.69offered, but no quotes online$30.48offered, but no quotes online
Pets Best pet insurance$46.02$9$24.81$6
Nationwide pet insurance$77.14N/A$40.76nil
ASPCA pet insurance$60.48N/A$36.96nil
Trupanion pet insurance $84.21N/A$53.73nil
AKC pet insurance$45.80$18.04$27.42$10.80
Source: NAPHIA

The Average Cost of Pet Insurance According to Dog Breed

Dogs come in all breeds and sizes, and the cost of dog insurance can vary widely based on its breed.

Here’s how insurance quotes for numerous popular dog breeds stack up.

Dog breedAverage monthly premium
Mixed breed – small$35.28
Mixed breed – medium$49.26
Mixed breed – large$65.06
Labrador Retriever$69.62
German Shepherd$77.35
Golden Retriever$74.90
French Bulldog$99.28
American Bulldog$115.40
Poodle (standard)$59.51
Beagle$58.86
Rottweiler$114.70
German Shorthaired Pointer$60.48
Corgi$50.76
sourced from NAPHIA

Short-nosed dogs, also termed brachycephalic breeds, like bulldogs or pugs, are prone to heatstrokes and are therefore more costly to insure. Large dogs can also be more pricey to insure since they require more prescription, which can cost more. They’re also more exposed to joint issues than small dogs, NAPHIA says.

How to Save on Pet Insurance

You can’t change your pet’s age or breed to save on pet insurance. But, you can lower your pet’s insurance costs by gathering all of your pets on the same policy and paying for them in full, purchasing pet insurance while your pets are young and tender, or by choosing a plan with a higher deductible and lower reimbursement percentage. Also, ensure you find out how much should pet insurance cost from different companies before you make your decision.

Pay for All Your Pets in One Policy

You can generally pay for your pet’s insurance coverage by the month or pay for the year’s coverage in advance. Also, doing this could aid in saving on service fees. 

Some insurers also provide discounts when multiple pets are included in a plan.

Buy Pet Insurance as Early as Possible

The older your pet, the more expensive the pet insurance will be. Therefore, getting a pet insurance policy when your pet is still young could help to reduce costs. Some pet insurance firms will lock in your insurance premium, even as your pet ages. 

Lower the Coverage or Raise the Deductible

Raising your deductible, or the amount you’ll pay before insurance coverage kicks in will generally lower your premiums. But, you’ll need to ensure that you have money at hand in order to satisfy that amount.

Lowering the reimbursement amount and yearly maximum can also lower your deductible. Some policies simply cover up to $5,000 annually, while other policies will cover an infinite amount. 

Compare Pet Insurance Quotes

Comparing pet insurance quotes and making research on how much should pet insurance cost is the most reliable way to save. Each insurance company will estimate your pet differently, so it is vital to check with many insurers to find the best price.

Most pet insurance firms offer a simple online quote system, so it’s easy to calculate your pet’s insurance cost. Gather and compare three to five quotes. Look for the reimbursement amount and maximum annual limit, then scan the fine print. Look for a policy with the most versatile coverage for your pet’s needs. 

Average Costs According to a Cat Breed

Popularity rankBreedMonthly premium
1Exotic$12.79
2Ragdoll$17.57
3British Shorthair$20.76
4Persian$19.17
5Maine Coon Cat$17.57

The Average Cost of Treatments

Average cost of treatments

RankCommon dog conditionsCost of vet visit
1Ear Infection$151.20
2Allergies$234.84
3Skin Infection$175.97
4Upset Stomach$385.46
5Diarrhea$203.14
6Bladder Issues$617.17
7Eye Infection$115.45
8Arthritis$255.75
9Hypothyroidism$123.29
10Sprains$267.17
Average$252.75
RankCommon cat conditionsCost of vet visit
1Urinary Tract Condition$295.18
2Upset Stomach$385.46
3Renal Failure$485.38
4Diarrhea$203.14
5Allergies$234.84
6Diabetes$276.39
7Colitis$203.14
8Ear Infections$149.30
9Upper Respiratory Infections (URI)$219.27
10Hyperthyroidism$215.75
Average$266.79

Sources: North American Pet Health Insurance Association

Establish a Pet Insurance Plan to Fit Your Budget

Breed, age, and location are not the only factors that influence the premium price. There are other options open to you! Most insurance providers propose plans to choose from with different coverage levels, and some even allow you to customize your coverage totally.

Policies with low deductibles (the amount you will pay out of pocket before pet insurance starts), large annual limits (the maximum amount your policy will cover in one year — many could offer unlimited) and low rates will cost more in monthly premiums — but will provide the most trustworthy financial safety net if your pet requires medical care.

Can’t bear to pay lots of money on a monthly premium but still desire peace of mind if there is a crisis? Contemplate getting a low-cost policy with a high deductible. You may go ages without hitting your deductible. Still, should your pet be diagnosed with heart disease, cancer, hip dysplasia or another expensive condition, you could get a refund of thousands of dollars.

Get a Pet Insurance Quote

The only way to find out how much should pet insurance cost is to get a quote.

Most providers provide free, no-obligation quotes — just input a little bit of data about yourself and your pet. You’ll get a quote immediately generated for you in a matter of minutes and may have the option to save it and revisit later.

Check how much should pet insurance cost for your dog or cat, think about the price of veterinary therapies for common conditions — plus the knowledge that your pet will get the best care regardless of your budget — then decide if insuring your pet is worthwhile.

How Much Does It Cost to Neuter or Spay a Cat or Dog?

Prices for spaying and neutering will vary from province to province, from below $50 to a few hundred dollars. It will also depend on whether the surgery is conducted at a low-budget spay clinic or animal shelter or a regular veterinary clinic. 

How Much Does a Pet X-Ray Cost?

One can expect to pay an average of $200 based on the medical condition. The good thing is that most pet insurance companies cover X-rays; hence it is recommended by your veterinarian and not for an already existing condition.

How Much Does Dental Cleaning for a Pet Cost?

Dental cleanings are a significant part of maintaining your dog or cat’s oral health and critical to preventing costly and severe dental infection. However, because they are preventive in their character, they are usually not covered under a pet insurance policy, which focuses on covering your cat or dog against unexpected injury and sickness.

To help save on regular dental care, ask your veterinarian if they allow a wellness package that comes with a discount on a number of packaged services in exchange for a monthly cost or annual fee.

Ask for the Fine Print

If you are going with pet insurance, here are some key questions to ask before you purchase:

Does coverage affect the age of the animal?

How much will you pay per claim, and does that increase over time?

Is there ever a maximum payout?

What isn’t covered (i.e., genetic conditions)?

Does the policy cover vaccines?

What About a Savings Account in Case of Emergencies?

Regrettably, the sudden onset of ailment can wipe out the pet savings account for medical costs entirely, as you’ll be responsible for paying the full vet bill, and you’ll be limited by how much you’ve saved. What if you’ve saved $1,000 and you’re hit with a $3,500 vet bill? It is still best to find a good insurance company to cover you in case of an emergency.

More Steps to Save on Pet Insurance

Take measures to keep your pet healthy and reduce medical costs.

Safeguard against parasites. Fleas can cause profound anemia, and ticks can spread Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. An economical topical solution can keep the bugs at bay.

Ask your vet to tell you the vaccines you can skip. Some effectively prevent severe and expensive diseases. But ringworm, for instance, is a mild condition, and its vaccine isn’t that effective, she says.

Spay or neuter your pet. Doing so can help prevent health issues, including certain cancers. 

7 Top Tips for Cutting the Cost of Pet Insurance

Protect yourself and your pet against any potential emergencies, accidents and illnesses for less. Here are some ways to drive the cost down.

You could cut the cost of pet insurance by:

  • Paying a higher excess
  • Checking you have the level of cover to suit your pet’s needs
  • Checking if your pet is entitled to free treatment
  • Keeping your pet healthy
  • Considering spaying or neutering your pet
  • Checking for insurance providers that offer multi-pet discounts
  • Comparing pet insurance quotes

FAQ – How Much Should Pet Insurance Cost?

How Much Does It Typically Cost to Own a Dog?

Most people can count on around $500 in total expenses to adopt a dog or cat, get supplies, and cover initial medical costs. Then, you should budget around $500 per year in most cases for ongoing costs too. Those costs vary based on your pet’s size, brands you prefer, and assumes your pet is generally healthy.

Is Owning a Dog Worth It?

Falling in love with a dog is simple. Sharing your place with a canine friend can bring you much joy. Maintaining a dog takes a lot of money, time, and commitment – over 15 years worth, in many instances. Dog ownership can be remarkably gratifying, but it’s also a big responsibility.

What Is Not Covered by Pet Insurance?

This usually includes annual checkups, spaying and neutering, vaccinations, flea & tick control, heartworm medication, teeth cleaning, ear cleaning, and microchipping. These are almost regularly excluded from pet insurance coverage.

Does Petplan Insurance Go up Every Year?

These dynamic influences mean your premium will grow over the existence of your policy. However, Petplan will not raise your premium as a direct consequence of any claim you make. Do more research about the costs of pet insurance and what can affect your premium.

Does Your Pet Insurance Go up If You Make a Claim?

Will my pet insurance costs increase if I make a claim? More than probable, yes. Your insurance provider may hold the view that if you have made one claim, you’re more likely to make another – bumping up your premiums as a result. The same is true if you’ve had to claim for accidents or for losing your pet.

What Does the Pet Insurance Cover?

Pet insurance implies health insurance for your pet. It covers the costs of treating certain pet sicknesses, so you don’t have to pay for veterinary services out-of-pocket. Unlike human health insurance, pet insurance doesn’t pay your vet directly. Instead, it reimburses you for covered costs after you pay the vet.

Is Lifetime Pet Insurance the Best?

Lifetime pet insurance is usually the most expensive level of cover because it offers the most comprehensive protection. If you require your pet to be covered for a wide range of illnesses and injuries throughout their life, lifetime cover can be a good option.

Last Words: How Much Should Pet Insurance Cost

While choosing the right insurance company for your pet and ,making enquiries on how much should pet insurance cost, weigh your options i.e. coverage, deductibles, exclusions, and reimbursement. You may have a pet that requires remarkably more coverage, or you may find yourself in a case where a wellness package and the additional add-ons make sense financially.

The main gist of the matter here is that you want to be ready both mentally and financially in case an unexpected event comes up. Plan ahead, be sincere about your financial situation and invest in coverage to serve your pet in their time of need.

READ ALSO: Bodily injury claim settlement amounts

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