Are you thinking about buying pet insurance for your Boston Terrier? I recently wondered if pet insurance would be worth it now that Bella, my Boston, is ten years old.
We had her annual veterinary appointment a few days ago, and the bill was $320.00. We had to get her routine check-up as well as shots and some blood work.
I did some research on not only Bella’s age but younger Boston Terriers as well. Here is what I found.
How much does it cost to have pet insurance on a Boston Terrier?
Pet Insurance for Boston Terriers ranges from as low as $11.95 per month to as high as $58.67 per month for a one-year-old Boston. Factors affecting the cost of insurance is the breed of the dog, your dog’s age, and where you live.
What Company’s Offer Pet Insurance?
There are several companies offering pet insurance. The most affordable one I found was Pet Assure. Here is a list of pet insurance companies with a link to their website.
If you would like to compare any of these companies to one another, you should check out Pet Insurance.com comparison tool. This nifty comparison feature is easy to read and understand.
Plus, you do not have to put in any personal information to use the tool. Click here for the pet insurance comparison tool.
What Determines The Cost of Pet Insurance?
After looking at the three leading pet insurance companies, Pet Assure, Nationwide, and FIGO, the critical factor affecting the cost of insurance was age and if your dog is purebred or mixed. No other factor regarding my Boston changed the monthly price of insurance coverage. Some sites did say that location affects price, but I didn’t see a difference.
As for lowering the price of insurance, there are many factors. If you had a higher deductible, the monthly premium cost would be less expensive. If you had less coverage, your price would be lower. One thing in the Nationwide and FIGO quotes was the option to cover veterinary visits. If you added the option of covering vet visits, the cost of the insurances monthly premium would increase quite a bit.
NOTE: One thing I found very interesting was Pet Assure has a flat monthly fee no matter the type of dog or age. Plus their plans were the most affordable and had no rules about pre-existing conditions. Pet Assure is a health saving plan rather than actual insurance, but it would be great for someone who had a dog with pre-existing conditions.
Pet Insurance Costs
Pet Assure is a unique company in that it is not quite insurance, but more like a discount program. The way the “insurance” works is as soon as you sign your dog up, you can get a 25% discount on many dog-related treatments and vet visits.
I think what I like most about this type of pet insurance is that it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. Also, you can cancel anytime, and there is no waiting period.
The drawback for Pet Assure compared to regular pet insurance is that not all Veterinarian clinics are Pet Assure partners. If you had proper pet insurance, you would be able to go to any vet in your area.
Do not be discouraged if your vet is not a Pet Assure participant you can sign them up for the program if they are willing to do so. Here is the link to see if your local vet is in the Pet Assure Network, as well as options on what to do if they are not.
What’s Covered Under The Pet Assure Plan
|Dental Cleanings||Dental Exams and X-Rays|
|Routine Care & Vaccines||Diabetes Management|
|Allergy Treatments||Sick Visits|
|Spays & Neuters||Cancer Care|
|Surgical Procedures||Emergency Care|
|Parasite Screenings||Pre-Existing Conditions|
*Exclusions: None, but they do not cover medications, groomings, or outsourced services like blood work sent to a lab. Only in-house medical issues.
To be consistent, all prices assume the following; only one dog in the household, and no other insurance discounts applied. And of course, the dog is a Boston Terrier in these cost assumptions.
|Age||Paid Monthly||Annual Cost Monthly||Paid Annually*|
*You receive a discount if you pay annually.
Nationwide is an insurance company that not only provides personal insurance like home, auto, and life but pet insurance as well. For over four decades, Nationwide has been offering pet lovers protection on their fur babies.
Like regular insurance for humans, Nationwide’s pet insurance costs are influenced by the breed of the dog as well as the dog’s age. To get a quote, you will be asked several different questions such as your zip code, dog’s sex, spayed, or neutered. However, the only questions that affect the price of the quote are the breed and age of the dog.
Unlike Pet Assure, with Nationwide, there are plans to choose from as well as different coverages, payment plans, and reimbursements for each. The three plans to choose from are:
- Whole Pet with Wellness
- Whole Pet
What is the difference between all three programs?
The difference between Whole Pet with Wellness, Whole Pet, and Wellness is the coverage. All three plans will only cover up to 90% of the out of pocket bill. However, what is covered depends on the policy.
Whole Pet with Wellness is the most comprehensive plan covering nearly everything you can imagine. Next is the Whole Pet plan; this plan is truly an insurance plan. The Whole Pet Plan only includes non-preventive accidental items like surgeries and hospitalizations. Finally, we have Wellness coverage.
Wellness coverage covers only preventative care like wellness exams & tests, vaccinations, flea/ heartworm prevention.
In this article, I’m only going to cover the cost of Whole Pet since this plan is actual insurance (non-preventive). However, the difference between the three isn’t all that substantial. For example, a ten-year-old purebred Boston Terrier under each plan costs the following monthly:
- Whole Pet with Wellness – $191.25
- Whole Pet – $161.56
- Wellness – The website says you can buy this separately, but I could not figure out how to get a quote anywhere on the site. If you can figure it out, send me a message via the contact us form, please.
Whole Pet with Wellness
Whole Pet with Wellness encompasses everything that can and will happen to your dog medically. Below are all the items covered under the Whole Pet with Wellness Plan.
What is covered with Whole Pet with Wellness
|Spay or neuter||Torn nail|
|Tooth removal||Skin allergies|
|Separation anxiety||Skin cancer|
|Skin growth||Prescribed therapeutic pet foods|
|Prescribed nutritional supplements||Kennel coughs|
|Hip dysplasia||Heartworm prevention|
|Heartworm treatment||Foreign body in stomach|
|Eye infection||Ear infection|
*This is just a few of the big items covered under this plan. To see the comprehensive list check out Nationwide Whole Pet with Wellness Coverage.
What Perks Do You Get?
The beautiful thing with Nationwide Pet Insurance is you get access to a 24/7 Vet Helpline. You can call this hotline at any hour to ask a pet health-related question.
Cost For Whole Pet Coverage
The price of your dog’s health insurance at Nationwide is based on the dog’s age. The chart below gives you some examples of ages and what the monthly and yearly cost would be at that particular age. Also, this cost is based on Whole Pet Coverage. Whole Pet with Wellness Coverage is basically an additional $30.00 on top of these monthly rates.
|Age||Paid Monthly||Annual Cost Monthly||Paid Annually*|
*For the one year age there is an initial payment of $113.28 before you begin the $58.67 monthly payments.
**For the three year age there is an initial payment of $130.06 before you start the $67.06 monthly payments.
***For the five year age, there is an initial payment of $164.66 before you begin the $84.37 monthly payments.
****For the seven-year period, there is an initial payment of $216.95 before you start the $110.53 monthly payments.
*****For the ten year age, there is an initial payment of $322.97 before you begin the $161.56 monthly payments.
FIGO Pet Insurance is another insurer I found online with some great reviews because of its app technology. You can submit a claim from any device mobile or your computer. This insurer is up to date on their technology.
Here Is What Is Covered Under FIGO
|Emergency & Hospitalization||Diagnostic Testing|
|Heredity & Congenital Conditions||Chronic Conditions|
|Advanced Cancer Treatment||Vet Exam For Injury or Illness|
|Veterinary Specialists Treatments||X-rays, MRI’s, CAT Scans, Ultrasounds|
|Knee Conditions||Hip Dysplasia|
|Holistic & Alternative Therapies||Prosthetic & Orthotic Devices|
|Co-Pay & Deductible Waived if Life-Threatening||And more depending on the plan…|
To have a consistent theme to this article, all prices assume the following; only one dog in the household, and no other insurance discounts are applied. And of course, the dog is a Boston Terrier in these cost assumptions.
FIGO says that it does base it’s insurance costs on breed, age, and location. Your monthly rate for insurance may be different from mine due to where you live. However, the change in the monthly rate due to your location should be nominal.
|Age||Paid Monthly||Annual Cost Monthly||Paid Annually*|
*There is a military discount.
**At 7 Years the deductible is $250.00 minimum (before this age you can choose a deductible as low as $50.00).
***At ten years the deductible is $500.00 minimum.
Common Health Issues of a Boston Terrier and Costs
|Patella Luxation||$1,500 to $3,000|
|Hemivertebrae||$1,500 to $4,000|
|Cataracts||$2,700 to $4,000|
|Everted Laryngeal Saccules||$500 to $1,500|
|Epilepsy||$200 to $500|
Read my article: 10 Common Boston Terrier Health Problems
Things To Consider When Buying Pet Insurance
Before you purchase pet insurance, you will want to read the fine print and decide if the cost of the insurance is worth the benefit, you will receive. Of course, like all insurance, you are probably hoping never to need it for an actual problem. However, having the insurance gives you peace of mind in the event something terrible happens to your loved one.
Insurance Definitions To Know Before You Purchase
These are the monthly payments you will be making to the insurance company to be insured.
A waiting period is the time from when your insurance coverage begins to the time you can use it. Some insurers may require a waiting period. Do not expect to buy insurance today and use it today; be sure to ask the company if a waiting period applies.
Exclusions are everything not covered by the insurer. If there is a particular ailment you are worried about be sure to check the exclusions. The worst thing that could happen is you purchase pet insurance that does not protect the fears you have.
Insurers do not want you to buy insurance because you need it today. To protect themselves from too many payouts insurers put a clause in the insurance plan excluding conditions your dog already has. Check with your prospective insurer about their policy with pre-existing conditions. The insurer may cover pre-existing conditions but place a waiting period on that particular condition before they will cover the costs.
The deductible is the amount of money you will pay before your insurance covers the rest.
Copays are related to deductibles. Every copay you make will be deducted from your deductible in a given year. Once you have reached your deductible amount (cash out of your pocket) for the year, you will be covered 100% by your insurance up to the cap. However, all insurance is different regarding copays or coinsurance be sure to get clarification when you purchase your insurance.
The cap is the annual amount of money an insurer will pay out for coverage. Insurers are not giving dog owners a blank check for coverage; there is a cap to the amount of money they will payout in a given year. For pet insurance, it is usually around $10,000 per year, but each insurer is different.
Pet insurance can be worth the cost depending on the type of dog owner you are. Before I wrote this article, I was 100% sold on the idea that pet insurance was a scam. Now, after doing my research, pet insurance can be worth it to certain types of dog owners. If you are the type of owner, who takes your dog to the vet regularly and always does what the vet recommends a comprehensive insurance plan can save you money.
If instead, you are the type of person who only wants to save money. And you are the person who doesn’t always do what the vet tells you. A savings card like Pet Assure could be beneficial (this is me).
Before buying pet insurance, you will need to run the numbers for yourself to decide which one is better for you. As for me, I’m sticking with no insurance on Bella and just paying cash when I need to cover her medical expenses.
Need Help Paying For Your Dogs Medical Care? Check out my article covering five ways to pay for your pets medical care, 5 Tips To Pay For Your Pet’s Medical Bills.
Read the fine print before purchasing pet insurance.