What Affects the Average Cost of Pet Insurance?
When shopping for pet insurance, it can be hard to know how much is too much for monthly premiums. That’s especially true when there are so many different benefits and conditions that can affect the price of pet insurance, like location and the age of the pet. So below we’ll look at just how certain conditions affect the average cost of pet insurance. We’ll look in-depth at how age, breed and location affect monthly premiums. We’ll also take a look at how certain plan features and add-ons affect price. That way, you can compare whether the price makes financial sense in relation to certain features and your monthly budget.
How Age Affects the Average Cost of Pet Insurance:
We’ll also look at one of the most common dog breeds to compare the age: the Labrador Retriever. We set Texas as the location.
Age tends to be the most straightforward of all the price dimensions. Like human health insurance, increased age means higher premiums as more health problems could occur. On average between the four companies, the price between a 1-year-old dog and a 5-year-old dog goes up about $20 per month in premiums. In short, if you have an older dog, you can expect to pay more.
How Breed Affects the Average Cost of Pet Insurance:
In order to see how the breed specifically affects the price, below we’ll look at the difference between a small/medium dog and a larger dog. Specifically, we looked at the difference between a Labrador Retriever and a German Shepherd. We kept the age and location the same: a 1-year-old dog in Texas.
The difference between the breeds is a little less clear cut. Both Embrace and Nationwide stay the exact same price between the medium and larger dogs. ASPCA actually goes down for the large dog in Texas. As would be more expected, Figo increases slightly for the larger dog. Depending on the size of your animal, you may have to shop around at different companies to make sure you are getting the fairest price possible.
How Location Affects the Average Cost of Pet Insurance:
Below we’ll look at the difference between three locations: California, Texas and Florida. To keep the rest of the parameters steady, we’ll compare only a 1-year-old Labrador Retriever.
Location is easily the most inscrutable part of comparing pet insurance premiums. As you can see in the chart above, the companies swing all over the place in terms of how much pet insurance costs in each location. The most dramatic is the Embrace plan that charges $77 per month in Texas and $38 in Florida. That’s about double the price in Texas.
Prices tend to fluctuate all over the country based on how much each company assesses the local cost of living or vet care to be. The chart above shows how important it is to compare different companies based on your location to make sure you are getting the best price.
Plan Features and the Average Cost of Pet Insurance:
Plan features can also drastically change the average cost of pet insurance. The most common features that you can adjust on a plan tend to be deductible, annual benefit, and reimbursement.
As a case study, we’ll look at how monthly prices change as you adjust these benefits. We’ll look at Figo, which has a responsive system that allows you to update all of these terms in real-time.
For the reimbursement comparisons, we entered a 1-year-old Labrador Retriever living in Texas. We also went with the mid-range “most popular” preferred plan. We went with a base of a $500 deductible, since the 100 percent reimbursement is only available at the $500 and $750 deductible amounts.
|Figo Reimbursement||Monthly Premium|
As expected, the higher your reimbursement rate, the more you can expect to pay per month.
Now let’s look at the deductible. We kept the reimbursement at a more common 80 percent and looked at the preferred plan.
|Figo Deductible||Monthly Premium|
The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premiums. Since the deductible is the amount you pay before full benefits kick in, it makes sense that having this amount higher would result in a lower monthly premium. You end up paying the extra money in your deductible amount.
The annual benefit, or amount you can get paid in a year, usually changes by different plan tiers. Figo is no different. We set a base of 80 percent reimbursement and a $250 deductible. Then we compared the three plans:
|Figo Annual Limit||Monthly Premium|
|Essential plan – $5,000||$28|
|Preferred plan – $10,000||$32|
|Ultimate plan – Unlimited||$33|
Again, this is another factor that drives up the average cost of pet insurance. The larger your annual payout, the higher your monthly premium goes. Though Figo is good for keeping the price fairly stable between the different plan tiers.
The main takeaway is that the average cost of pet insurance can fluctuate based on which benefits you choose. It’s up to you if the more involved benefits make sense against the increased monthly premiums.
How to Decide Which Add-ons Work for You:
Another factor that can affect the average cost of pet insurance is add-ons. These are extra monthly costs on top of base pet insurance plans that give you the ability to customize additional care coverage. These add anywhere from under a single dollar to over $25 to your monthly premiums based on which benefits you are adding.
For instance, Figo allows you to add rehabilitation coverage for an extra $0.93 per month. You can also add veterinary exam fees for accident and illness visits for an added $5.70 per month.
Another common add-on is optional wellness care coverage. Most insurers only cover accident and illness, not preventative and wellness. A famous example is Pets Best’s BestWellness for $26 per month or EssentialWellness for $16 per month. The two tiers allow for different amounts of coverage of procedures like wellness exam fees and teeth cleaning.
The best way to check to see if add-ons like these are worth it to you is to calculate out how much you average spending in a year on the procedures covered in the add-ons. Then calculate how much this add-on would cost over the course of the year. If you end up with the procedure costing more than the add-on, it might be worth.
Of course, it’s also hard to calculate for things like added accident or illness exam fees. You never know what might happen. So your own peace of mind might be worth the added cost. That’s something only you can know.
- Many different factors can go into determining the average cost of pet insurance. For instance, the older the dog the higher the monthly premiums. Prices can also fluctuate based on breed and location, in sometimes unpredictable ways. So it’s important to compare companies based on your situation.
- Other factors that can affect the average cost of pet insurance are benefits like deductible, reimbursement and annual limit. You have to decide if having more involved benefits is worth the additional monthly premium amounts.
- Add-ons can also affect how much you pay each month. Only you can determine if these add-ons make sense for your peace of mind and the type of care your pet receives.