Washington state is well known for its mountains and forests. While the state is beautiful though, it also poses risks to the safety of our pets through natural disasters and weather conditions. Even the wild or neighborhood animals your pet meets in their adventures can be a source of illnesses or injury.
Vet bills are incredibly expensive and this is where a good pet insurance policy is worth its weight in gold. If you’re looking for pet insurance in Washington, this guide will cover the average rates for basic monthly plans.
What Is Pet Insurance?
Introduced as a way to protect pets, pet insurance is a way to support you if your pet ever gets into an accident or develops an illness. It’s designed to help you afford the treatment that would otherwise be too expensive. This allows you to ensure your pet gets the health care they need instead of losing them through euthanasia.
While pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions and it’s recommended that you sign up for a plan when your pet is younger, many owners are reassured by the support their policy gives them. When it comes to emergency trips to your veterinarian, the reimbursement from a pet insurance plan is a lifesaver for many pets and their owners.
Top Rated Pet Insurance Companies
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in Washington?
Vet bills are expensive but are often a necessary part of keeping our pets as healthy as possible. With the number of procedures available and possible ailments your pet can suffer from, the cost of your visit to the veterinarian can vary from anywhere between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Unfortunately, the cost of the vet bills themselves also plays a part in how much a pet insurance policy will cost.
Pet insurance providers base their rates on the annual coverage, deductible, and reimbursement rates they offer. No matter what provider you sign up with, the premium will be more expensive for an unlimited plan with a low deductible and high reimbursement rate. The price can also change depending on whether you have a cat or a dog, or several pets.
We’ve compared the monthly costs of several of the more popular pet insurance providers in Washington state. These rates are based on a deductible of $250 and a reimbursement rate of 90%. We considered both a $5,000 and an unlimited annual coverage limit to give you the best idea of how the premium changes for each company.
|Pet Insurance Provider||Monthly Cost:
$5,000 annual coverage
Unlimited annual Coverage
Additional Costs to Anticipate
Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to find a pet insurance provider that covers the entirety of your vet bill for you. While you can adjust your plan as needed to suit your needs and the amount or type of pets you own, there are still plenty of additional costs that can make the premium for your plan a lot higher.
Preventive care packages, for example, are offered by a lot of insurance providers. This is because many of the providers don’t include coverage for routine veterinary visits in their basic plan. Providers that do offer the preventive package add-ons do so for an extra cost alongside the rates you’re charged for the main coverage.
The species, age, and breed of pet you own affect premium prices too. In general, dogs are a lot more expensive than cats due to the size of many dog breeds.
Age plays a part too, especially if you sign up for a policy when your pet is already an adult. The older your pet is, the more you’ll be asked to spend on your policy. Older pets are also more likely to have pre-existing conditions which aren’t covered by pet insurance at all.
When Should You Sign Up for Pet Insurance?
Technically, you can get pet insurance anytime during your pet’s life if your pet is over 8 weeks old and the provider doesn’t have an upper age limit in place. There is a caveat to this, however. The older your pet is, the more likely they are to already have conditions that aren’t covered by the plan.
Coverage for older pets is also more expensive than if you sign up with a kitten or puppy. This is due to the increased likelihood that an older pet will develop a health issue that will require treatment. In comparison, a younger pet will be cheaper as they are less likely to have pre-existing conditions and are generally healthier.
By signing up for a policy when you first adopt a new kitten or puppy, you’ll also be covered if anything happens. If your newest family member does have an accident at home, you’ll be covered by the policy and won’t have to worry about affording the unexpected bill. Some providers also cover vaccinations, microchipping, and kitten or puppy packages that help to ensure your young pet grows as healthy as possible and stays safe.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
The conditions pet insurance covers depend on the provider. Most policies only cover accidents and illnesses, with an accident-only option if you need a cheaper plan. While individual policies can vary in how claims are handled, they’re all designed with unexpected veterinary costs in mind.
Accidents or sudden illnesses that require an emergency trip to the clinic are covered. In the majority of accident and illness plans, the coverage includes expenses such as prescription medications, hereditary or chronic conditions, surgery, and diagnostic fees. Accident-only plans, however, will only cover the cost of treatment for injuries and won’t cover illnesses at all.
Very few providers will cover routine visits in the main plan. Instead, providers will ask for an extra fee to add a wellness package that covers vaccinations and routine visits to the vet to your policy.
Unfortunately, pre-existing conditions aren’t covered by any pet insurance provider at all. These are conditions that your pet develops before you sign up for coverage—or that occur during the waiting period before the policy kicks in. No matter what provider you choose, if your pet has a health condition before you sign up, you won’t benefit from the aid of your plan.
Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?
Whether your pet insurance plan is worth the cost depends on several things. You should consider how often you go to the vet, how likely your pet is to get into an accident or develop an illness, and also your budget.
Choosing a policy that covers every possible accident or illness your pet could suffer from is a great idea in theory. However, if the plan only offers unlimited coverage, minimal deductible choices, and low reimbursement options, you might find you’re paying over the odds for a plan you barely use.
While not needing your pet insurance plan is a positive thing, you want to ensure that your policy supports you even when you don’t need it. If it’s too expensive for your budget, the ongoing monthly cost will be a hassle to meet in the long run.
Take the time to consider all of the pet insurance providers available and what you need your policy to do for you. By tailoring your plan to your needs, you’ll be more likely to see the benefits rather than see it as another expense.
Find The Best Pet Insurance Companies in 2023
A pet insurance plan tailored to you and your pet is a useful thing to have regardless of where you live. The thought of not being able to afford the treatment to save your pet if something happens makes an already stressful situation worse, which is why pet insurance is slowly growing in popularity.
For pet owners in Washington, the cost can vary depending on how many pets you have, the provider you choose, optional add-on packages, and how old your pet is.
Featured Image Credit: Ekaterina Minaeva, Shutterstock