What is a Good Deductible for Pet Insurance?

by | 02/22/2023

As pets continue to become valued members of our families, more and more pew owners are choosing pet insurance for their cats and dogs. Pet owners want to keep their pets as healthy as possible, and they realize that this entails providing them with good medical care such as wellness checks and annual visits to the vet. Having a good pet insurance policy in place can make all the difference.

However, it’s important to understand the policy, including what the insurance company will pay and what you’ll have to pay. Part of an insurance policy is the pet insurance deductible. How much you will be required to pay is often determined by the deductible and the co-insurance.

What is a Good Deductible for Pet Insurance?

Probably one of the hardest decisions to make when choosing pet insurance is choosing the pet insurance deductible. Depending on the pet insurance company, you’ll have a choice of several deductible amounts. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium (amount you pay monthly).

Of all the factors that affect your premium, the deductible will play the biggest role. You can save a lot of money by choosing a higher deductible. However, if your deductible is so high that you won’t be able to pay it for months, it’s almost the same as not having any pet insurance at all.

Deductibles generally range from $50 to $1,000. The most common deductible chosen by pet owners is $250. When we think of a pet insurance deductible, we typically think of it as being an annual deductible because this is the most common. However, there are other types of deductibles.

The type of deductible offered by the pet insurance company may also play into your decision. When choosing the deductible, a good choice is one that you can afford to pay at the time of service. Most pet insurance companies don’t pay the bill. They reimburse the pet owner after the pet owner pays the bill. If the deductible amount they withhold from the reimbursement amount is going to hurt you financially, the deductible is probably too high.

Dogs are generally more expensive to insure than cats, so to offset the costs, you may need a higher deductible to afford the monthly premium. However, remember not to go too high with the deductible because you will end up paying more out of pocket if something goes wrong. Another thing to consider is the breed of animal. Certain dogs, for instance, are prone to certain health conditions so you may want to keep that in mind when choosing not just the deductible amount but also the deductible type.

Deductibles in Pet Insurance Explained

Before you can be expected to choose a good deductible, it’s important to understand how they work. The deductible amount is the amount you have to pay before the insurance will pay. If you have a $250 deductible on your pet insurance policy and a vet bill for $1,000 for covered services, you will have to pay the $250, and the insurance company will pay $750.

This is the case if the policy reimburses 100 percent. If the insurance reimburses 90 percent, you would pay the $250 deductible plus 10 percent of the $750. Now that we’ve explained the basics of how deductibles work, we’ll get into the type of deductibles offered. The type you choose or the insurance company offers will also determine how much “out of pocket” you’ll pay.

  • Annual deductible – The annual deductible is the most common type with pet insurance companies. If you have a $250 annual deductible, you will only have to pay the $250 once each year. If your pet has a large vet bill at the beginning of the year, the $250 deductible will be met. Therefore, you will not have to pay it again for the rest of the year. When the policy year is up and the policy renews, you will once again have to pay $250 per year.
  • Per-condition deductible – The per-condition deductible is what the name implies. Each time the pet needs treatment for a different condition, a new deductible will be required. There is a deductible for each condition in which the pet needs treatment.
  • Lifetime per-condition deductible – While this option is similar to the per-condition option listed above, it’s very different. The deductible applies to specific conditions, but you only pay the deductible once in the animal’s lifetime. This option is good for certain breeds of animals that are prone to certain conditions. For instance, your dog is diagnosed as having hip dysplasia when he’s two years old. You meet the deductible for this condition with the first visit. You will not have to pay any more deductibles for dysplasia-related visits for the rest of your dog’s life. You will be required to meet the deductibles for other health conditions but not hip dysplasia. However, each health condition will require only meeting the deductible once per lifetime.

Deductible Options from Top Pet Insurance Plans

Deductibles can vary from one insurance company to the next, and premiums vary from one company to the next. Research different insurance companies to see what they each have to offer before you choose one particular policy. Below are some deductible options from some of the top pet insurance companies.

  • Embrace – Embrace offers an annual deductible. Pet owners can choose from a $200, $300, $500, $700, and $1,000 deductible. They do offer a bonus to pets that do not make any claims. For every year the dog goes claim-free, their deductible will be lowered by $50.
  • SPOT – SPOT offers an annual deductible. Pet owners can choose from a $100, $250, $500, $750, or $1,000 deductible.
  • Pets Best – Pets Best offers an annual deductible policy as well. Pet owners have a wide variety of deductible amount choices ranging from $50 to $1,000 at $50 increments. With so many options available, pet owners can check the premiums using different deductible amounts until they find the one that best fits their budget.
  • Pumpkin – Pumpkin offers an annual deductible. Pet owners can choose from deductibles of $100, $250, or $500.
  • Trupanion – Trupanion offers a lifetime per-condition deductible. Pet owners can choose any amount between $0 and $1,000 deductibles. These deductibles must be met every time the animal is brought in for a different condition. This means, if your pet gets diagnosed with diabetes, you will only be responsible for the deductible once over the life of your pet. If they have multiple conditions, then this could end up being more costly as you will need to reach the deductible for each new diagnosis.

Choosing the right deductible often takes research and time, but it can make all the difference in how much money you’ll save each year. Here are some examples of how much difference it will make with different deductible amounts.

We will use a policy from Pets Best. This policy is on a dog, offers a $5,000 annual limit and a 90 percent reimbursement rate. Below are the different monthly premiums you would pay on their most popular plan with different deductibles.

Deductible vs. Premium: Pet Insurance

$100 deductible $63.05 per month
$200 deductible $51.67 per month
$250 deductible $47.64 per month
$500 deductible $34.14 month
$1,000 deductible $19.06 per month

As you can see, adjusting the different numbers: deductible, annual limit, etc. will result in a different monthly premium amount. Get a free quote today to see what pet insurance will cost for you and yo