“Pet insurance sold through the workplace is one of the fastest growing
and most popular employee benefits,” says Jon Rauser of The Rauser
Agency. If you’re lucky enough to work at a company that employs 1,000
or more people, such as Harley-Davidson, Aurora Health Care or Johnson
Controls, you could elect to take pet insurance through payroll
deduction and receive a group discount of 20 to 30 percent off retail.
“They’ll offer it without regard to the breed or age of the animal —
it’s one price,” he adds.
But what if your employer doesn’t offer this option? Individuals can buy
pet insurance from more than a dozen insurers. Expect to pay a minimum
of $15 per month for cats and $25 for dogs, though Rauser indicates $35
is the average cost of a pet policy. Rates vary and may depend on your
pet’s age, breed and location, among other factors.
Insurance companies primarily cover dogs and cats, although Nationwide
also insures birds and exotic animals. If your pet is older, take heart:
Embrace insures some 14-year-old pets, though it doesn’t cover
pre-existing conditions. Most pet insurance doesn’t cover routine care,
including vaccinations, dental cleanings or exam fees — unless you opt
for wellness coverage. And while most insurers require that you pay your
vet up front and submit a reimbursement, Trupanion pays vets directly.
Here’s how five of the largest pet insurers stack up:
*Source: Veterinary Economics, March 2013