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Choosing a Pet Health Insurance Plan

Factors to Consider

There are many factors that go into choosing a pet insurance plan. Unlike most other types of insurance that have coverage content standardized by the state/province (home, car, etc.) pet insurance does not. Pet insurance policies can vary significantly by company. Each company designs their own policies and the resulting premium is determined by actuaries.

How to Compare Policies and Quotes

First, you should not buy pet insurance based on price only; you need to understand what goes into the premium. With pet insurance, there are several factors that you can’t control that will impact your quote and the coverage provided. These include:

Where you live:

It costs more to care for a pet in some areas of the country. Example: If you live downtown in a major urban center, the cost of veterinary care is usually more expensive since the clinic likely has higher rent than a rural clinic, and they’re likely paying higher wages to their staff due to the cost of living.

Species of your pet:

Cats cost less to insure than dogs.


Some breeds are known to have higher medical costs than others. (See our Breed Impact page for more information.)

Age of your pets:

Similar to medical-care costs for humans, pet medical-care costs increase with age as your pet goes from a puppy or kitten to adult dog or cat to senior dog or cat.

There are also some factors that you can control that will impact the premium. These include:

The deductible you select:

The higher the deductible, the lower the premium usually is.

Whether the deductible is annual or per-incident:

A per-incident deductible should have lower premiums.

The co-insurance you select:

The more that you contribute to the cost, the less the premium will be. For example: If you choose 90% reimbursement (you contribute 10%), you will pay a higher premium compared to what you would pay if you chose a 70% reimbursement (you contribute 30%).

The annual limits you select, if offered:

Some plans have unlimited coverage and others restrict the total amount to be paid back in any given year. The higher the annual limit, whether you use it or not, the higher the premium.

Example Policies (for demonstration purposes only)

Accident and Illness policies for a four-year-old Labrador retriever:

Plan 1







Annual Limits This the total amount a policy will pay for all claims combined in a policy year.


Lower cost, but also lower yearly limits.

Plan 2







Annual Limits


Higher cost, but covers more expenses per year.

Helpful Tip

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A Customized Policy Selection Experience

Our Compare Quotes tool is designed to make it easy for you to review policies offered by different pet insurance companies in one convenient place.