We get it: You want the best possible insurance coverage for your furry family member, but you don’t want to drain your bank account to get it.
And you shouldn’t have to.
The good news is, not all pet insurance companies charge an arm and a paw. It’s crucial to find a reasonably-priced provider that doesn’t sacrifice comprehensive coverage for the sake of affordability.
Before you decide whether ManyPets fits that bill, you should know how we calculate pet insurance costs in the first place. Why aren’t all plans priced the same way? Why does a 10-year-old French Bulldog who lives in Beverly Hills cost more to insure than a 1-year-old mixed breed cat who lives in rural Kansas? It can all be very confusing.
To put it simply, factors like age, location, breed, and species all affect the price of pet insurance. And certain choices that you make when you buy your policy, like your deductible and reimbursement amounts, will also have an effect. But other factors that might seem like they’d have an effect — like your claims history — won’t come back to haunt you.
Read on to learn what pet insurance costs, which factors affect prices, and which ones have no effect at all.
What Affects Pet Insurance Costs?
Throughout this explainer, we’ll keep referring to pet insurance premiums. Your premium is the amount you’ll pay each month for your policy. This monthly payment amount will remain unchanged throughout each 12-month policy term, unless you make a change to your policy. (For instance, your premium may change mid-term if you move to a new location.)
Risks and costs
Generally speaking, pet insurance premiums increase as risks and costs increase. If a pet is relatively susceptible to illnesses or accidents — or if treatment costs are relatively high for them — your premium will reflect these factors.
Why is that?
We use the funds from premiums to pay out to customers when their pets get sick or injured. Some pets (for a variety of reasons that we’ll explore in a moment) tend to be more costly to cover. Without tailoring premiums to the needs of specific pets, we wouldn’t be able to cover all of our pet parents when they need us most.
Now to be clear, it is not ManyPets' objective — or the objective of any pet insurance company — to make more money by setting higher premiums. Premiums for French Bulldogs are usually higher than premiums for Yorkies, but the average French Bulldog owner tends to receive more (and higher) payouts than the average Yorkie owner. It balances out.
ManyPets is committed to providing comprehensive coverage to pets of all ages and breeds, from towns and cities across the US. When your pet requires costly veterinary care in a life-or-death situation, we can help you afford treatment — and the way we calculate premiums is a big reason why.
ManyPets will consider the following factors when we calculate your premium:
ManyPets insures good boys and girls of both the canine and feline varieties. Dogs tend to cost more to insure than cats.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
Veterinary treatment for dogs often costs more, simply because dogs are usually larger. This means dogs will often require higher doses of medications, and surgeries will often be more demanding
Data shows that dog owners tend to submit more accident and illness claims than cat owners. This affects overall risk, and therefore price.
All this being said, it’s not the case that all dogs cost more to insure than all cats. The other factors we’re about to explore also have a significant impact on insurance premiums.
Some breeds cost more to insure than others. That’s because certain breeds are genetically prone to more (and more advanced) health conditions. For example, flat-faced breeds like French Bulldogs and Pugs are often susceptible to serious breathing and eye conditions. Since these dogs are at higher risk, they cost a bit more to insure than many other breeds. Meanwhile, mixed breeds and generally-healthy pure breeds will often command lower premiums.
Pets tend to get sick and injured more often as they age, so older pets cost more to insure. The good news: ManyPets will not weaken your pet’s coverage just because they’re longer in the tooth. We’ll still cover all the same accidents and injuries (aside from any standard exclusions like pre-existing conditions). And your pet will still be covered at whatever reimbursement percentage and the deductible amount you select, with no annual payout limits.
When you get your quote, we’ll ask you to input your zip code. Premiums are usually higher in large cities than they are in suburban or rural areas. This is because the local price of vet care affects monthly cost. For one thing, emergency clinics and veterinary specialists — both of which charge higher prices than standard vets — are more likely to exist in metropolitan areas. Actually, urban veterinary clinics tend to charge higher prices than their suburban and rural counterparts in general. They have no choice: Their costs tend to be higher, including real estate and supplies. Staff salaries also tend to be higher due to a higher cost of living.
Your Policy Preferences
When you buy your policy, you’ll select a deductible amount and a reimbursement percentage, both of which will affect your overall premium.
Your deductible is the initial amount you’ll pay before you start getting reimbursed for coverage. A lower deductible means a somewhat higher premium and vice versa. Unlike some insurance companies, we never use per-incident deductibles. So once you’ve met your deductible, it’s gone for the rest of your 12-month policy term.
Your reimbursement amount is the percentage that you’ll be covered for on each qualified claim (after you’ve met your deductible). A higher reimbursement amount means a somewhat higher premium.
One other note: When ManyPets customers purchase insurance, they can also purchase an optional wellness plan for preventative care. You’ll pay for this plan as a separate expense; it will not affect your insurance premium.
Does No-Limit Coverage Cost More?
ManyPets never places annual or lifetime limits on insurance coverage — but that’s not the case with most pet insurance companies. Here’s our feeling: You should never be forced to choose your savings over your pet’s health, and you should never face financial calamity because you’ve chosen your pet’s health over your savings.
And yet: Serious health conditions like cancer can require treatments that exceed $10,000 in cost. Our highest payout in 2022 was for more than $19,000! If a pet insurance provider caps payouts, the policy may not help very much when help is most needed. That defeats the entire purpose of buying pet insurance.
Most companies will only cover up to a certain amount per year — $5,000 is common. In some cases, companies will offer no-limit or higher-limit payout options, but only in exchange for higher premiums. With ManyPets, unlimited coverage for qualified claims never comes at the expense of higher monthly costs.
In fact, independent reviews — like this one from Forbes — have consistently found our pricing to be competitive with the rest of the industry.
Does ManyPets Require Any Additional Fees?
ManyPets will never hit you with any surprise fees. And you won’t have to pay a fee just to sign up.
Yup, some pet insurance providers require what’s known as an “enrollment fee,” which is a fancy way of saying you pay them some extra money when you sign your pet up for insurance.
We don’t do that.
What Else Doesn’t Affect Premiums?
There are a number of other factors that customers tend to worry might affect their premiums, when in reality there’s nothing to worry about at all.
So to clear up any confusion, here are some things that absolutely DO NOT affect premiums:
Your pet’s claims history: We’ll never penalize you because your claims have been costly or high in number.
Past or chronic health conditions: Your pet’s past or ongoing health conditions won’t affect your monthly price (though standard pre-existing condition exclusions may apply in some situations).
Your pet’s gender: This has no effect on pricing, though we will ask about your pet’s gender for regulatory reasons. (FYI, some other pet insurance companies do charge more to insure male pets.)
Time spent outdoors: We’ll cover outdoor pets at the same prices as indoor pets.
How you got your pet: It doesn’t matter if you bought from a breeder or adopted from a shelter — this won’t affect your monthly price.
Weight changes : We won’t charge you higher prices because your pet's weight changes. (We do divide mixed breed dogs into four different weight groups, which can have different premiums, but changes in weight will never cause mid-term price changes.)
What Does Dog Insurance Cost?
Dog insurance tends to be just a bit more expensive than cat insurance, though this isn’t true 100% of the time.
On average, a dog insurance policy with ManyPets will cost between $30-$40 per month. But prices can be higher or lower depending on the factors we’ve discussed in this article. Puppy insurance, for example, can start as low as $20 per month.
To get a quote for your specific dog, just visit this page.
What Does Cat Insurance Cost?
On average, cat insurance costs between $20-$25 per month. Again, this number can be higher or lower depending on the factors we’ve explored in this article. Kitten insurance can start as low as $15 per month. You can get a quote for your cat here.