Dog insurance is a good idea for dog owners who do not or will not have the necessary funds available to handle expensive veterinary bills should their pets become ill. With technological and medical advancements, modern veterinary can be very expensive. A typical trip to a veterinary emergency room can cost $1000 or more. Pet owners who love their pets but do not want to go broke caring for them as they grow older should seriously consider insuring their pets.
The average cost of dog insurance will be different depending on the age and breed of your dog. As your dog ages, certain conditions are expected.
Different breeds are prone to different medical ailments, with some breeds having a reputation for short life spans and significant medical problems. Dog insurance cost will vary depending on the policy chosen. The typical dog insurance policy will cost between $22 and $28. Companies differ as well as to the kinds of policies they sell and what they cover. Most dog insurance plans work where the pet owner pays the vet bill at the time of the visit, and then files for reimbursement from the insurance company afterwards. That money usually arrives in about 30 days. Besides the premiums, these policies have deductibles of $50 or higher, and copayments, fees that should be factored in when evaluating dog insurance cost. They also might have riders providing an array of preventive measures for an additional premium of about $10 a month as another addition to the cost of dog insurance.
This kind of pet insurance is not the same as health insurance. Dog owners are legally liable for damage and injuries caused by their pets. In some jurisdictions, this is a strict liability situation. Dog liability insurance protects the pet owner and possible victims. It has been reported that roughly one third of all homeowner policy claims are dog related, with claims running as high as $300,000. Certain breeds of dog are considered “high-risk” breeds, and several insurance companies will not issue policies on homes with these dogs. This list of potentially dangerous dogs includes Pit Bulls, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Chow Chows, and wolf hybrids. The cost of dog insurance for a policy with $50,000 worth of coverage can be as much as $300 a year.
People who run a pet walking business should have insurance as well. This insurance is to cover situations where the dog breaks loose and attacks someone while on a walk, or does damage to property. Pet walkers and pet sitters can buy insurance, or they can join an organization such as Pet Sitters Associates. Membership in this group costs $174 a year and comes with basic insurance. These insurance plans can be expanded for additional premiums adding to dog insurance cost.
Dog medical insurance was created to help people deal with the ever increasing costs of veterinary medicine. As medical technology improves, it gets more expensive. Procedures thought impossible to be performed on a pet just a few years ago are now routine, but some of these can cost thousands of dollars. Dog insurance cost for policies of this type runs about $30 a month, and can be less for dogs that have been spayed or neutered. Some companies also offer multi-dog discounts. Because pre-existing conditions are not covered, it is important to begin coverage while the dog is a puppy to get the maximum benefit.
As dogs age, the cost of dog insurance gets more expensive and coverage becomes limited.
This is why it is important to begin insuring your dog as a puppy. Long term coverage is best so that your pet remains covered for any recurring conditions as they age. Some insurance programs for older dogs are merely discount plans and require vets to participate in their program in order to cover the pet. There are companies that have no age restrictions and provide 80% reimbursement of charges even for older dogs to alleviate dog insurance cost. Trupanion is a company that actually specializes in covering mature pets from 8 to 14 years of age. Policies for older dogs tend to have more restrictions. Pet owners want a policy that will last for the remainder of their dog’s life.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded in 1866. The ASPCA now sees offering insurance as a vital part of its overall mission to helping protect pets. The ASPCA offers five different levels of coverage with maximum yearly benefits reaching $13,000. Their policies offer an 80% reimbursement of charges with a $100 yearly deductible – a very reasonable cost for dog insurance. Their website has a couple of tools to help pet owners determine the right level of insurance for their pet and their budget. Dog insurance cost for a two year old terrier starts at $11 a month for Level 1 coverage and goes up to $100+ for and Enduring Care plan that covers ongoing conditions from one year to the next.
VPI Pet Insurance, a division of Nationwide Insurance, bills itself as the oldest and largest pet insurance provider. They offer two plans – the VPI Medical Plan and the VPI Major Medical Plan. The difference between the two plans is that the Major Medical Plan reimburses over 80% of charges while the Medical Plan reimburses 41% to 54% based on the condition being treated. VPI allows you to choose between three deductible levels, the lowest being $100 yearly. With that deductible, The Medical Plan would cost this pet owner $24.35 a month and the Major Medical Plan would cost $31.41 a month. VPI also has online calculators and other tools to help the pet owner determine the right amount of coverage for their pet according to dog insurance cost. As dogs get older, these premiums will increase and the available policies change to cover only injuries and routine care.
Pitbulls have a bad reputation for being a dangerous breed. However, pitbull enthusiasts insist that the dogs are fiercely loyal and great companions and protectors of children. With VPI, dog insurance cost as determined by monthly premiums for Pitbulls is not much higher than for terriers. But that is for health insurance. Pitbull owners will want to look into liability insurance should their dog attack. Some jurisdictions are seeking to require pitbull owners as well as the owners of other breeds deemed to be dangerous to register their dogs and show proof of liability insurance. Because of their reputation, liability insurance for pitbulls is among the most costly compared to the other “high-risk” breeds.