Unexpected vet visits can be quite expensive without help from pet insurance. But the premiums you pay for dog health insurance aren’t necesarrily cheap, either — costing an average of $49.51 per month.
Enrolling in dog insurance could potentially save you thousands of dollars throughout your pet’s lifetime, yet many pet parents go without coverage because they’re unable to find affordable rates that fit within their dog budget. If you’re struggling to find a pet insurance premium priced at the right point, don’t give up hope.
Here’s how to get cheap dog insurance rates in 2022 and beyond:
- Adjust the plan to fit your budget
- Shop around for pet insurance discounts
- Consider your dog’s breed, age & medical history
- Compare providers and Lifetime Pricing Score
- Keep your dog healthy and claim-free post-enrollment
- Cheap Dog Insurance FAQs
- Key Takeaways
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) and Accident-Only (AO).
An Accident & Illness policy is more comprehensive, covering a wide range of health-related problems, such as:
- Injuries and accidents like sprains and poisonings
- Serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
- Common illnesses like diarrhea, vomiting, and ear infections
- Chronic ailments like arthritis and allergies
- Hereditary conditions like eye disorders and hip dysplasia
- Diagnostics and testing such as ultrasounds, MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, and blood tests
- Procedures and treatments such as hospitalizations, surgeries, chemotherapy, nursing care, etc.
If you are looking for a policy that offers less coverage, you can buy an Accident-Only policy which, as the name suggests, covers only injuries from an accident. Many pet parents are unaware that they can choose this cheaper dog insurance option, which can start as low as $9 per month.
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.
Some pet insurance companies let you customize these policy terms, which then allows you to reduce the cost of dog insurance by adjusting the plan to your price preference.
Shop around for pet insurance discounts
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.
Consider your dog’s breed, age & medical history
Do some research about your dog’s breed to determine if there’s a risk for major health problems in the future. Some breeds, such as the Shiba Inu and Mastiff, are more expensive to insure due to known hereditary conditions.
Pet insurance rates are typically lower for puppies and younger dogs because they are generally healthier and therefore present less risk to insurance providers. And 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 and injuries.
Additionally, some pet insurance companies will cover curable pre-existing conditions. Besides cheap older dog insurance, senior dogs and those with several pre-existing conditions might also find cheaper pet insurance alternatives, such as personal savings, funding, community pools, crowdfunding, etc.
Compare providers and Lifetime Pricing Score
What is covered by a pet insurance plan will depend on the insurance company, as well as your dog’s age, breed, location, and health risks. The best pet insurance providers offer comprehensive accident and illness coverage, flexible deductibles and monthly premiums, multi-pet discounts, and transparent terms.
The list of cheap pet insurance providers includes:
|Insurance Provider||Starting Monthly AI Premium For Dogs|
|Embrace Pet Insurance||$14|
|Pet First Pet Insurance||$15|
|ASPCA Pet Insurance||$11.53|
|Healthy Paws Pet Insurance||$20|
|Lemonade Pet Insurance||$15|
*Disclaimer: Pricing differences are based on various pet-based factors (such as breed, age, and location), as well as policy-based factors like deductibles, reimbursement percentage, and annual maximum.
Another important factor to consider is the Lifetime Pricing Score. The Lifetime Pricing Score estimates a pet insurance plan’s price over the pet’s life. Monthly premiums can increase as your canine companion gets older or after your file a claim, but the rate at which they increase varies significantly between pet insurance plans and pet insurance companies.
This means the plan that is most affordable today may not be the most affordable five years from now. Pawlicy calculates the lifetime pricing score to estimate what your pet insurance plan will cost each year, allowing you to save up to 83% on your dog’s insurance policy during its lifetime!
Keep your dog healthy and claim-free post-enrollment
Since premium rates may increase after making a claim, keeping your dog as healthy as possible can also be a way to save money on pet insurance.
Vaccinations, taking care of your dog’s dental health, flea protection, regular deworming, and feeding your pet a healthy diet can all play an important part in its overall health. Healthy pups have fewer chances of visiting the vet, which in turn reduces the likelihood of you having to file a claim and, as a result, enjoy cheaper dog insurance.
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.
Cheap Dog Insurance FAQs
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.
- 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.