YOU ASK:

How much is pet health insurance?

WE ANSWER:

It depends, really, on what level of coverage and benefits you want, as well as the deductible and co-payment amounts. Thus, when you look at how much pet health insurance will cost you, you should not only look at the premiums, but the benefit limits and the deductible amounts as well.

There are a variety of factors that affect how much premiums you will pay for pet health insurance. These include:

  • Animal being covered.

    Cats are cheaper to insure than dogs. Dogs tend to go outdoors while cats usually stay indoors. Thus, cats are less likely to present a claim due to an accident than dogs. Also, other smaller pets (like guinea pigs and gerbils) require less expensive treatments, so their premiums are smaller as compared to the premiums charged for cats and dogs.

  • Breed.

    Based on experience, there are specific breeds that are prone to illnesses and hereditary diseases. For example, German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia as compared to other breeds.

    There are also breeds where the coverage is limited only to accident insurance. For instance, the Chinese Shar-Pei as well as Shar-pei cross-breeds are not eligible for pet health insurance, only accident insurance.

  • Age of your pet.

    The younger you insure them, the lower your premiums. Of course, as a pet gets older, the probability of filing for claims increases. There are also some insurance companies who specify an age limit. If your pet goes over this age limit, it may not be eligible for health insurance or you may have to pay a higher premium for the coverage.

  • Your address.

    When you are applying for pet health insurance, most insurance companies will ask for your zip code. This is because premiums are also based on your location, since veterinarians from different places will change different fees for the same service. Thus, it is more expensive to get a particular pet medical treatment in a highly urbanized area or city such as Los Angeles as compared to getting that treatment in a rural or less urbanized area or town.

  • Level of coverage.

    The higher the level of coverage, the more expensive the plan will be. Of course, as you opt for more benefits, higher maximum limits per benefit or both, the premium charges will be higher.

  • Deductible and co-payment amount.

    Your premiums will also depend on how much deductible and co-payment percentage you're comfortable with. If you are budget conscious, you can opt to get a plan with lower premiums but higher deductibles and co-payments.

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