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Home > Insurance > How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in Puerto Rico in 2024?

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in Puerto Rico in 2024?

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Although pet insurance has been a mainstream offering in the United States for over 30 years, insurance coverage for pets in Puerto Rico is a relatively recent development. The first pet insurer to offer coverage for Puerto Rican owners and their pets was Trupanion in 2011.1 Even this year, it remains slim pickings when it comes to companies willing to offer insurance to pets living in Puerto Rico.

There is endless debate regarding whether pet insurance is worthwhile, but in the end, this is a subjective decision based on the owners’ and pets’ circumstances and requirements.

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The Importance of Pet Insurance in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico (officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) is an unincorporated island territory of the United States that is governed separately from the other states. This means that living conditions and costs of services in regions for the territory may vary compared to the rest of the US.

Several factors may lead to Puerto Rico being considered a higher-risk region in terms of the health of beloved pets. The island has a documented stray dog problem, which could lead to a prevalence of diseases.2 There is a heightened risk of pet dogs and cats having aggressive encounters with stray dogs, the results of which may be disastrous. Additionally, due to the island’s position, it is subject to frequent and sometimes devastating hurricanes.3 These few factors may lead to the conclusion that pets in Puerto Rico are good candidates for coverage with pet insurance, since their risk profile is could be considered higher.

Aside from these regional factors, access to good veterinary care is essential for all pet owners, regardless of the general health of your pet. Some veterinary procedures are routine andanticipated and can, therefore, be budgeted for. However, you can’t predict when you may need the services of a veterinarian for that expensive, albeit life-saving, intervention. Many pet owners are financially unprepared for these events and may even go into debt to cover them. Having a sound pet insurance plan in place can prevent this from happening while providing peace of mind for pet owners.

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How Much Does Pet Insurance in Puerto Rico Cost?

Many variables determine the final cost of insuring your pet—such as species, breed, size, and age. Usually, cats are cheaper to insure than dogs. Premiums increase if the animal is older or purebred, and in dogs, they increase with the size of the animal.

Insurance companies often offer customizable plans, where you can either add on features or leave certain ones out, resulting in higher or lower premiums. For instance, if you opt for a plan with a low deductible and maximum reimbursement rate, then you would expect to pay a higher premium for those benefits. Conversely, structuring a plan to have a lower reimbursement, higher deductible, and lower annual coverage might bring your premiums down.

The below breakdowns show a comparison between the two main companies that offer pet insurance in Puerto Rico. The summary details the insurer-recommended plan and associated premium to insure a cat and a dog. Note that these costs would vary depending on the dog or cat’s breed, size, and age, as described above.

Comparison of insurance plans for a 2-year-old 28-pound mixed breed male dog:

Trupanion MetLife
Premium $30.48 $29
Annual Coverage Unlimited $5,000
Claims settlement Direct-to-vet payments Claims refunded within two weeks
Cancer Included Included
Chronic conditions Included Included
Congenital conditions Included Included
Hereditary conditions Included Included

Comparison of insurance plans for a 2-year-old domestic shorthair female cat:

Trupanion MetLife
Premium $15.70 $29
Annual Coverage Unlimited $5,000
Claims settlement Direct-to-vet payments Claims refunded within two weeks
Cancer Included Included
Chronic conditions Included Included
Congenital conditions Included Included
Hereditary conditions Included Included
couple with a dog getting a pet insurance
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Additional Costs to Anticipate

Of course, pet insurance plans do not cover every veterinary, health, or routine-care-related issue. Most plans cover accidents or illnesses, or a combination of these. As an illustration, the example plans above are accident and illness coverage plans.

This means that although you would be covered for the unexpected, you would still need to budget for additional costs associated with preventative care of your pet.

These additional costs include:
  • Dental work (such as teeth cleaning and extractions)
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Microchipping
  • Tick and flea control
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Deworming
  • Grooming
  • Vaccinations

Depending on the annual coverage sum, some plans will also not cover veterinary office visits and examinations. Plans with unlimited annual coverage usually do not cover these.

It is possible to include many of these additional services within your plan by opting to include a wellness plan. You can expect to pay an elevated premium for the inclusion of a wellness plan. However, considering the substantial, and ever-increasing costs of these procedures and services, it may be well worth signing up for one.

What Else Doesn’t Pet Insurance Cover?

In some instances, pet insurance companies may not offer to insure certain breeds of dogs or cats—particularly those that they consider to be at high risk due to hereditary conditions. They may also refuse coverage for pets over a certain age. If they do offer the coverage they might have special terms and conditions accompanying insurance plans for elderly pets. Premiums will invariably be higher for your elderly dog or cat.

Most insurance companies will not cover pets with pre-existing conditions. However, some make exceptions under certain conditions. For example, if veterinary records are submitted showing long-term remission or recovery from the condition.

It is important to always read the fine print of any pet insurance offer before signing on, to ensure that there are no exceptions that could have been missed.

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Find The Best Pet Insurance Companies in 2024

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Conclusion

We all want the best health care for our pets. Even though we may budget and plan carefully for their well-being and upkeep, it’s impossible to predict when tragedy may strike. Even worse is being financially unprepared for such an event, causing additional stress.

A carefully considered and well-structured pet insurance plan could be the reassuring solution should misfortune strike. Just the knowledge that this backup is in place could ease those everyday worries you might have of such an unforeseen event.


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