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How pet insurance works for multiple pets – Forbes Advisor

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From food to lodging to routine veterinary bills, the cost of owning multiple pets adds up, especially if something catastrophic like injury or illness happens to them. Pet owners can turn to pet insurance, including multi-pet insurance, to ease the financial burden of expensive vet bills and make sure pets get the care they need.

If you have multiple furry companions in your home, multiple pet insurance helps protect your pets against unexpected veterinary costs. Also, you may qualify for a discount for insuring more than one animal.

How does insurance for multiple pets work?

The phrase “multiple pet insurance” can be misleading, as you might think it means one policy for all your pets, but that’s often not the case. When you insure more than one pet, you’ll typically purchase separate pet insurance policies for each one, although you can manage coverage from a single account. Other than that, multi-pet insurance typically works the same way as individual pet insurance.

Pet insurance companies will generally determine the cost of coverage based on the breed and age of the pet, and its location, among other factors. You’ll select the right plan that best suits a pet’s needs and repeat the same process for the next pet you want to insure.

Each pet insurance policy you purchase may have a separate reimbursement level, deductible, coverage limit, and monthly premium payment. However, insurers will generally allow you to manage multiple plans from one account, essentially linking the policies together. So you can streamline pet claims and payments for multiple policies from one place.

MetLife pet insurance will allow you to cover multiple pets with a single insurance policy, but it’s not common. Even if you have a policy for multiple pets, the insurer may allow you to choose separate deductibles and reimbursement levels for each pet.

Is there a discount for multiple pet insurance?

Insuring multiple pets can also help you qualify for a discount. Most pet insurance companies offer a 5% to 10% discount for insuring more than one animal.

While that may not seem like a significant price reduction, consider that the average cost of pet insurance is about $585 a year for an accident and illness plan for a dog, according to the Pet Health Insurance Association of North America. If you have two dogs, your average annual cost would be around $1,170. With a 5% discount on each plan, you’d save about $30 on each policy, for a total annual savings of $60. With a 10% discount, you would save twice as much, $120.

Is there a time limit for adding a pet to a policy?

“Fortunately, you can add another pet to your policy at any time. We found that half of policyholders typically wait to add another pet to their plan,” says Walter Haugland, spokesman for Pets Best pet insurance.

Let’s say you decide to give your five-year-old Goldendoodle a puppy for companionship. You can purchase pet coverage at any time for the new doggo.

What does a multiple pet insurance policy cover?

Multiple pet insurance policies cover the same health-related expenses as coverage for one pet. If you choose an accident and illness plan, you can expect the coverage to pay for expenses such as:

  • emergency care
  • Broken bones
  • Surgery
  • allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Diagnostics and laboratory tests
  • X-rays
  • MRIs or CT scans
  • ultrasound
  • toxic ingestions

Selecting an accident-only plan will exclusively cover emergencies such as skin lacerations or ingestion of foreign objects. And, if you add wellness coverage to your plan, expenses like immunizations and routine checkups are covered.

How much does insurance for multiple pets cost?

The cost you pay for insurance for multiple pets will vary depending on the insurance company and the coverage benefits within the plan. When calculating the cost of insurance for multiple pets, insurance companies often use several factors, such as:

Years: Younger pets are cheaper to insure, but pet insurance costs will increase with age.

Raise: Some breeds are more prone to specific injuries and illnesses than others. For example, shepherds are more likely to need expensive surgery due to hip dysplasia than other pet breeds such as cocker spaniels. This is reflected in the costs of pet insurance.

Postal Code: The cost of veterinary care varies by location. For this reason, insurers use your zip code as a factor in determining the cost of the policy.

Deductible: A deductible is an amount you pay before your coverage reimburses you for health-related expenses. Choosing a higher deductible lowers your premium cost.

Refund Percentage: Most pet insurance companies allow you to select the reimbursement percentage for your policy. This amount is the portion of the vet bills that the insurer will pay after your deductible. Common rebate levels are 70%, 80%, or 90%.

Coverage Limit: Some pet insurance plans may have annual coverage limits as high as $5,000, while other plans offer unlimited coverage limits for a higher price.

Policy type: Choosing a comprehensive plan like an accident and illness policy will likely cost more than buying an accident-only plan that covers emergencies only.

Number of pets: The more pets you insure, the more you pay for coverage.

Can I have multiple pet insurance policies with different insurance companies?

While insuring multiple pets with one insurance company usually results in a discount, there are some situations where it may not make much sense.

Suppose you want a comprehensive plan that includes wellness coverage for your new bulldog puppy and an accident-only plan for your 10-year-old rottweiler. In this case, you may generally find it cheaper to buy accident-only coverage from one insurer and a more comprehensive policy from another.

“Coverage is often the biggest factor, followed by price, so you can choose separate pet insurance policies with different insurers,” says Haugland at Pets Best.

How do I find an insurance policy for multiple pets?

The best way to find an affordable multi-pet insurance policy that meets your pets’ coverage needs is to compare quotes. Since rates and coverage options vary, you can identify the best policy by shopping around. You can usually get quotes online.

If you decide to shop online, you can visit each insurance company’s website individually to get quotes or use a comparison site that allows you to review many options in one place.

If you feel more comfortable working with an insurance agent, you can usually talk to one about your options in person, over the phone, or via email.

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