Pet Insurance Blog

How To Get Cheap Dog Insurance: Top 5 Tips

Kari Steere
Licensed Insurance Producer - Pawlicy Advisor
woman high fives dog lying on floor

Unexpected vet visits can be quite expensive without financial assistance from pet insurance — but at an average rate of $49.51 per month, the price of a pet insurance plan might sound costly, too.

Pawlicy Advisor can help you find great dog insurance coverage at the lowest guaranteed price.

While it's true that pet insurance can potentially save you thousands of dollars throughout your pet's lifetime, many owners pass on the opportunity because they're unable to find affordable rates that fit their budget. In this post, we'll offer valuable advice to help you find cheap dog insurance, so you can sign up for a plan that provides incredible coverage at an inexpensive rate.

Click a link below for more information on how to get cheap dog insurance in 2023:

  1. Adjust the plan to fit your budget
  2. Shop around for pet insurance discounts
  3. Enroll your dog at a young age
  4. Compare projected policy costs
  5. Keep your pet healthy to avoid price increases

Adjust the plan to fit your budget

There are two general types of dog insurance you can choose from when it comes to protecting your pet’s health and your personal finances: Accident & Illness (AI) coverage and Accident-Only (AO) coverage.

AO plans offer significantly cheaper dog insurance rates. Many pet parents are unaware of this affordable option starting as low as $9 per month. However, the coverage in these plans is limited to vet costs for accidental injuries. Examples of eligible expenses might include the cost to diagnose and treat:

  • Sprained and strained muscles
  • Torn muscles and ligaments
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Poisonous bugs and venemous snake bites
  • Abrasions and burns
  • Puncture wounds from animal attacks
  • Blunt force trauma and internal bleeding
  • Foreign object ingestion
  • Accidental poisoning

You could save money by opting to enroll in basic accident protection, but it's important to be aware of all the potential costs you might have to cover out-of-pocket. AI plans are more expensive because they're much more comprehensive, covering for a wider range of health issues in dogs such as:

  • Acute cases of diarrhea, vomiting, ear infections, etc.
  • Common infections and transmissable disease, like kennel cough or giardia
  • Chronic conditions such as allergies, diabetes, and cancer
  • Hereditary disorders like hip dysplasia in certain breeds
  • Diagnostics and imaging (i.e. ultrasounds, MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, and lab work)

The cost of pet insurance will also depend on your deductible amount, annual limit, and reimbursement rate. Generally, the lower the reimbursement and higher the deductible, the cheaper dog insurance will be. For instance, a dog insurance plan that pays out 100% of covered vet bills will be more expensive than a plan that reimburses 70% of the total bill.

Generally, the lower the reimbursement rate and higher the deductible, the cheaper dog insurance will be
Kari Steere, Licensed Insurance Producer

Some pet insurance companies let you customize these policy terms, which allows you to get cheaper dog insurance by paying only for what you need.

Shop around for pet insurance discounts

Different insurers offer different types of discounts. Most of them (ASPCA, Hartville, PetFirst) offer multi-pet discounts that range from 5% to 10%.

man sitting with dog on couch

Discount clubs like Costco also offer attractive discounts. Costco Business and Gold Star members, for instance, get a 15% discount on pet insurance rates, whereas Executive members get the same discount plus the $15 enrollment fee and the first month of premiums waived.

Dog owners may be able to find discounts by bundling multiple policies with the same insurance company. Lemonade, for instance, offers a 10% discount for bundling your pet health insurance policy with renters insurance.

Some providers, like USAA and Armed Forces, offer discounts to current and former members of the military and their families. If you have served in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, or Marines, you’re eligible for up to a 15% discount with these insurance companies.

Pet insurers may also have other ways to help dog owners save money. For example, Embrace offers an optional Wellness Rewards plan that allows you to create a fund for wellness expenses and gives you a $25 annual bonus for doing so.

Enroll your dog at a young age

Do some research about your dog’s breed to determine if there’s a risk for major health problems in the future. Some breeds are more expensive to insure due to known hereditary conditions, such as the Shiba Inu and Mastiff.

Pet insurance rates are typically lower for puppies and younger dogs because they are generally healthier and therefore present less risk to insurance providers. That's why the best time to enroll is while your pet is still young and healthy.

woman sitting with dog on floor

Although it might seem counterintuitive to pay premiums for a perfectly healthy dog within the first few years of its life, waiting to enroll could be very expensive if a pre-existing condition develops and your dog is shut out from insurance coverage throughout the remainder of its life.

However, this doesn't mean you can’t find cheap pet insurance for older dogs. Even if your canine companion has a pre-existing condition, it can still benefit from coverage for any unrelated illnesses or injury. Additionally, some pet insurance companies will cover curable pre-existing conditions.

Compare projected costs over the lifetime of the policy

When looking for cheap dog insurance, don't make the mistake of focusing exclusively on the premium rate at the time of enrollment. Monthly premiums can increase as your canine companion gets older or after your file a claim, so the plan that is most affordable today may not be the most affordable five years from now.

The rate at which rates increase varies significantly between plans and providers. Pawlicy Advisor calculates these variables to estimate a pet insurance plan’s price over the duration of your policy, known as the Lifetime Value Score, helping you save as much as 83% on your dog’s insurance throughout its lifetime!

Get expert guidance to find the best pet insurance for your best friend.

Keep your dog healthy to avoid price increases

Since premium rates may increase after making a claim, keeping your dog as healthy as possible with preventive care can also be a way to save money on pet insurance.

Dental care, flea protection, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and routine vaccinations for dogs can all play an important part in your pet's overall health. Healthy pups have fewer chances of sick visits at the vet, which in turn reduces the likelihood of you having to file a claim and helps you enjoy cheaper dog insurance. Annual wellness exams for pets are also vital for screening and detecting health issues, enabling you to treat them promptly before they become too expensive treat.

Some providers offer diminishing deductibles to reward pet parents for keeping their furry family members in good health. Embrace’s Healthy Pet Deductible, for instance, automatically reduces your annual deductible by $50 each year that you don't receive a claim reimbursement.

Questions & Answers

What's the cheapest pet insurance for dogs?

If you're looking for the cheapest dog insurance in 2023, here's a list of companies with some of the lowest starting enrollment rates in the industry — but keep in mind how prices are susceptible to change over your pet's lifetime.

Provider Starting Monthly Premium For Dogs
Embrace $14/mo
MetLife $15/mo
Pets Best $9/mo
ASPCA $16/mo
Prudent Pet $16/mo
Figo $20/mo

*Disclaimer: Pricing varies by breed, age, location, and policy terms.

Is there free dog insurance?

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as free dog insurance. Unless your employer offers pet health insurance as a benefit, you’ll need to pay to have your dog covered.

Does pet insurance work differently than human insurance?

Yes, there are a few key differences between human and pet insurance that are important to understand. First of all, your dog is considered to be your property under the law. This means that pet health insurance is similar to property insurance.

Pet coverage is also not as restricted as with humans, which means that pet owners are not limited to specific companies or networks. Finally, these two types of insurance differ in the way payments are made. When a pet requires medical treatment, the owner pays the bill up-front and in full, then submits a claim to the pet insurance company for reimbursement.

When is the best time to sign up for pet insurance?

The best time to sign up for pet insurance is when your puppy is still young and in good health, so that your pet insurance plan can cover illnesses and accidents that might develop in the future.

Is dog insurance worth it?

Pet insurance provides financial protection for unexpected veterinary expenses and gives you peace of mind knowing that you can provide your dog with diagnostics, medications, and treatment without significant financial risk.

Is it easy to find cheap dog insurance?

The good news is that dog owners no longer need to go from website to website in order to compare quotes and find the best deal. Pawlicy Advisor will show you pet insurance plans from top US insurers ranked by Lifetime Pricing Score based on your dog's age, breed, and location so that you can purchase the one that best fits your dog’s needs and your budget.

Key Takeaways

  • There is no such thing as free dog insurance. Unless your employer offers pet insurance as an employee benefit, you will need to pay for coverage.
  • Some ways to get cheap pet insurance for dogs include adjusting the insurance plan to fit your budget, shopping around for discounts, looking into cheap pet insurance for multiple dogs, considering the animal’s age, breed, and health history, as well as keeping your pet in good health, etc.
  • The best time to take out a pet insurance policy is when your dog is still young and healthy so that your insurance plan can cover accidents and illnesses that might develop in the future.

Do you want to find the best pet insurance?

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The pet insurance marketplace endorsed by veterinarians, at Pawlicy Advisor we make buying the best pet insurance easier. By comparing personalized coverage and pricing differences we can save you a ton of money, up to 83% in some instances!

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Kari Steer, Licensed P&C Insurance Agent at Pawlicy Advisor

Kari Steere
Licensed Insurance Producer - Pawlicy Advisor

Kari Steere is a licensed P&C insurance agent in all 50 states and has focused entirely on pet insurance since 2019. As an animal lover with a rescued Terrier named Barry, when she's not helping pet owners find the perfect plan on Pawlicy Advisor, she runs a ranch in Oregon and rehabilitates any animals that come across her path.

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