In the United States, there are about 90 million dogs and 95 million cats. However, only 1-2% of that number represents the number of pets covered by pet insurance. Survey results from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) suggest that more pet owners are turning to pet insurance. Over the past four years, the average annual growth of pet health insurance has been 22.1%.
The NAPHIA featured many top insurance companies including Figo Pet Insurance, Embrace Pet Insurance, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation, Nationwide, ASPCA, and Trupanion, and using the information can help you find the best pet insurance.
There are at least 20 pet insurance companies to choose from in North America, and finding an affordable choice can be difficult. With pet parents spending nearly $1.56 billion by the end of 2019 on pet insurance plans, it's important to understand what kind of pet insurance policies there are and what is the most affordable pet insurance to help you save on your vet bill.
Types of Pet Insurance Policies
There are two major pet insurance policies for both dog insurance and cat insurance.
Accident-only policies are typically cheaper because they only support emergency care like injuries from car accidents, ligament tears, and if your pet eats something they shouldn't.
Accident and illness policies offer more comprehensive coverage because they cover the same as accident-only with the addition of general wellness care protection against digestive issues, infections, and illnesses like cancer.
These coverage options can also include add-ons like wellness care, which may include vaccinations, dental care, chiropractic care, diagnostic testing, and other exam fees.
Average Costs of Dog Insurance
The average monthly premium for dog insurance in 2019 was around $50, with an average annual cost of $585 for comprehensive coverage. Accident-only insurance coverage was significantly cheaper with an average monthly premium of $16 and an annual cost of less than $200.
Average Costs of Cat Insurance
For cat insurance, accident-only insurance coverage cost a monthly premium of around $10, with annual cost of around $125. For comprehensive coverage, the monthly premium was about $20 more expensive than accident-only, and for annual, it was around $350.
Considering the average annual and monthly premiums will help determine which pet insurance coverage is right for you.
How to Choose Affordable Pet Insurance
Pet parents need to remember that pet insurers base insurance prices on many factors. Larger animals, older animals, and certain breeds prone to hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia in dogs and any chronic conditions or pre-existing conditions will increase the price of veterinary care and pet health insurance. These factors may also determine whether it is best for you to get accident-only coverage or comprehensive coverage.
If you have a relatively young pet, accident-only coverage might be the right choice for you. If you have a breed of dog like labrador retrievers or german shepherds that are prone to hip dysplasia even as young dogs, a comprehensive coverage plan might be the best pet insurance option for you.
Using a comparison tool from Nationwide pet insurance that differentiates its own services with some of its top competitors can give a baseline to help you find the best pet insurance for you and your pet. The tool compares monthly premiums and annual deductibles as well co-pay percentages and sample reimbursements. Many insurance companies have comparable prices and pet insurance policies, but they don't always offer comprehensive coverage or add-ons.
Whether your pet has hereditary conditions or is completely healthy, having the best pet insurance can help pet parents have peace of mind and save on their vet visits.