Pet insurance can be a safety net against the unexpected costs of pet ownership. However, many pet parents choose not to get it, often because they find it cost-prohibitive. So, what’s the best option for pet owners? We’ll examine pet insurance coverage, associated costs, and the alternatives to determine if it’s worthwhile.
What’s covered by pet insurance?
If you want to insure your pet, it’s a good idea to compare different providers and understand what they offer.
- An accident-only policy covers accident-related injuries, such as those from a motor vehicle accident, a torn ligament, food poisoning, and ingested foreign objects.
- An accident and illness policy covers the accidents listed above, plus other types of emergencies, such as broken bones, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medications, digestive issues, infections and illnesses.
Some insurance companies provide add-on packages for wellness, prevention and routine care. These may cover the costs of dental care, vaccinations, yearly wellness checkups, and spaying or neutering.
Check whether the insurance company covers dog bites and damage to third-party property (these types of accidents are generally covered under a home insurance policy). Some don’t, and the ones that do may only provide very limited coverage. Also, if you’re thinking of insuring reptiles, birds, rabbits or fish, these are classified as exotic pets. Currently, there is no pet insurance coverage for these types of pets in Canada, and some provinces prohibit keeping certain exotic animals.
How much is pet insurance today?
There are several factors that determine how much you could be shelling out each month to pay for pet insurance. Lane Kent, head of Pets Plus Us, a pet insurance provider in Canada, says, “The cost varies based on species, breed, location and age, and customers can get even more pricing options by adjusting factors like deductible, annual limit and reimbursement percentage.”
Certain breeds are more prone to health problems, which means it may cost more to insure them.
Generally, the cost of insurance increases as a pet ages, because older pets have a greater chance of becoming ill or getting injured. Some insurance companies set a maximum age limit on coverage. Enrolling your pet while it is young and healthy can give you access to more affordable rates.
According to data from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), in 2022, the average monthly premiums in Canada were: