How much is pet insurance?

12 minute read Published on Mar 22, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

Closeup front view of Golden Retriver puppy being examined by unrecognizable female vet. The vet is using a stethoscope.

Pet insurance is designed to help pet owners protect themselves from the financial ramifications of an expensive vet bill. We all love our furry friends, but caring for them can be costly. Luckily, pet insurance can help ensure that your beloved cat or dog doesn’t break the bank. Keep reading to learn more about the best pet insurance, including how much it costs and how insurance companies calculate pet insurance premiums.

What is pet insurance?

First, let’s define this unique type of insurance. Pet insurance is a type of insurance that targets medical care for your pet. Pet insurance exists to help pet owners to specifically cover unexpected medical costs related to their pets, however it is not not intended to cover routine care or care for a pet’s pre-existing condition. Although pet insurance is not mandatory for pet owners in Canada, it can provide peace of mind and protection, which makes it worthwhile for many.

Do all pet owners need pet insurance?

As mentioned, pet insurance is not mandatory in Canada, which means no pet owner is legally required to purchase pet insurance. However, nearly all pet owners can benefit from a pet insurance plan. Without pet insurance, you will be left to cover the cost of your pet’s medical care completely out-of-pocket. From surgeries to prescription medications, caring for a pet’s health is expensive. Before purchasing a pet insurance policy, contact a reputable brokerage like BrokerLink to explain to you the pros of protecting your pet. We can further explain the benefits of purchasing the best pet insurance and ensure that you and your pet are eligible. It is worth noting that some insurance companies have conditions, such as that they will only insure certain types of pets or pets of certain ages. For example, while most insurers offer pet insurance for cats and dogs, some will not insure other animals like fish, reptiles, and more.

Can all pet owners buy pet insurance plans?

Do all pet owners need insurance? Yes. But can all pet owners buy insurance? That is a slightly different story. If you have a cat or dog, then chances are you will have no trouble purchasing a pet insurance policy. However, if you own another species of animal, such as a bird, rabbit, snake, or another exotic pet, you may have a harder time finding coverage from a traditional insurer. Instead, you may have to research coverage from a specialty provider. Further, your pet's age can also determine whether a pet owner can purchase insurance. Some providers will only insure pets of certain ages. For example, your policy may stipulate a minimum age (e.g. six or ten weeks old) or a maximum age (e.g. eight to fourteen years for dogs and cats). Get in touch with Fetch to learn more about how pet insurance works and to find out if your pet is eligible for its comprehensive pet insurance plan.

How much is pet insurance in Canada?

Anyone who is interested in purchasing a pet insurance policy is probably wondering how much it costs. The cost of pet insurance in Canada varies widely, as it depends on so many factors that are unique to your pet, such as your pet’s species, age, and breed. Pet insurance is most common for cats and dogs, and insuring one of these animals might be cheaper than a less-common or more exotic animal, like a fish or reptile. Further, the age of the animal can have an impact. If your pet is young and healthy, they are less likely to develop an illness in the short term. Therefore, a pet owner may not need to purchase as much coverage, making their policy less expensive. Conversely, if your pet is older, it might require more coverage, which will be more expensive. Lastly, certain breeds of animals may have higher premiums if they are known to have health problems. Red Setters are one example of such a breed. As you can see, pet insurance in Canada is dependent on a wide range of factors. Therefore the best way to find out how much a pet insurance plan will cost is to contact BrokerLink. We have an exclusive partnership with Fetch and through them, we can provide you with information on how to get a quote.

What factors impact pet insurance premiums?

Insurance companies use many factors to calculate pet insurance rates. Some of these factors include the three mentioned above, such as the species, breed, and age of your pet, as well as your location (i.e. what neighbourhood you live in) and the coverage types, reimbursement levels, and pet insurance deductibles you choose. Generally speaking, the older your pet, the more expensive your policy will be since their odds of requiring medical care are greater. Additionally, some breeds may cost more to insure if they are known to be more susceptible to medical problems. Exotic species of pets (e.g. reptiles) may also cost more to insure, and not all insurance companies will offer plans for them, next, as with home or car insurance, where you and your pet's lives can also affect the cost of pet insurance. This is because the cost of veterinary care varies depending on the city and even the specific neighbourhood you reside in. Lastly, the amount and types of coverage you include with your policy, along with the reimbursement levels and deductibles you choose, will also impact your pet insurance cost. The more coverage you include, the lower the deductibles you choose, and the higher the reimbursement levels you select, the more expensive your policy will be. To reiterate, some of the key factors impacting pet insurance premiums are as follows:

  • The age of your pet
  • The species of your pet
  • The breed of your pet
  • Your location
  • The coverages, reimbursement levels, and deductibles you choose

What is the average cost of pet insurance in Canada?

The average cost of basic pet insurance in Canada stands at roughly $39 for a dog and $29 for a cat per month. That said, as seen above, many factors impact pet insurance premiums. Therefore, it’s possible that your policy will cost more than the average depending on your pet’s unique circumstances. Contact Fetch today or request an online quote.

Get a pet insurance quote 1-866-381-1946

How does a pet insurance policy work in Canada?

Knowing how pet insurance policies work can help you understand the cost, so we break down just that below. As you now know, pet insurance aims to protect pet owners in Canada from the medical expenses required to keep their pets healthy. How do they do this? Through insurance coverage. Fetch makes it simple by offering just one plan with all the coverage Canadian pet owners could possibly need. Continue reading to see a detailed list of what Fetch pet insurance covers is as follows:

  • Prescription medications & supplements
  • Emergency vet visits
  • Virtual, in-home & office visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Physical therapy
  • Allergies
  • Surgeries
  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • Ultrasounds
  • Blood tests
  • Breed-specific issues, including hip dysplasia
  • Specialists
  • Sick-visit exam fees
  • Laboratory tests
  • Vomiting & diarrhea
  • Hereditary & congenital issues
  • Swallowed objects & toxins
  • Every tooth covered
  • Gum disease
  • Diabetes & Insulin
  • Cancer treatment
  • Acupuncture & chiropractic care
  • Treatment for aggression & separation anxiety

NEW Optional Wellness Coverage

In addition to Fetch’s injury and illness coverage, you can now choose to add a Wellness Plan which covers routine and preventative care. Care covered in the Fetch Wellness plans includes:

  • Annual exam
  • Canine Bordetella / Feline FELV vaccines
  • Canine DHLPP / Feline FVRCP vaccines
  • Canine Rabies / Feline Rabies vaccines
  • Canine Lyme / Feline FIP vaccines
  • Heartworm, flea & tick prevention
  • Heartworm tests
  • Dental cleaning
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Blood test
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal test
  • And more

Contact Fetch to learn more about pet insurance coverage!


What your pet insurance policy does not cover

As you can see, Fetch’s pet insurance policy is fairly comprehensive. However, there are certain things it won’t cover. Below is a list of medical circumstances that most pet insurance companies in Canada do not cover:

  • Cosmetic or elective surgeries: Second, most pet insurance plans will not cover elective or cosmetic surgeries. Such surgeries may include cat declawing, tail docking, or ear cropping. These procedures might only be covered if they were medically necessary.
  • Pre-existing conditions: Pre-existing conditions in animals are also not usually covered by pet insurance. These are medical problems that a pet had before you purchased your policy (or that became apparent during the waiting period before your coverage began). While most pet insurance policies do not cover such conditions, some may cover past conditions that have been cured or dormant for a set time period.
  • Breeding: Lastly, the medical expenses associated with breeding or animal pregnancy are not included in your typical pet insurance policy. However, some insurance companies may give you the option of purchasing a rider or endorsement if you wish for them to be covered.

Now that you know what is and is not covered by pet insurance. Let’s dive even deeper into how pet insurance works. We are now going to turn our attention to three important components of any pet insurance policy: payout limits, deductibles, and reimbursement levels:

  • Payout limits: Many pet insurance providers have maximum payouts for claims. These payouts typically either have annual limits, or they may apply to your pet’s lifetime or a certain type of incident or condition. A policy may also have a combination of payout limits. Please note that with Fetch’s pet insurance policy, the payout limits range from $2,500 to unlimited. Therefore, it’s important to read the terms of your policy beforehand.
  • Deductibles: Next up are deductibles. All insurance policies have deductibles, and that includes pet insurance policies. A deductible is the amount of money that the policyholder must pay before the insurance company steps in. It is common for pet insurance deductibles to reset annually, assuming the policyholder chooses to renew their policy. However, deductibles can also be per incident. In this scenario, after you pay the deductible for a certain injury or illness, your provider reimburses you up to the policy limit, even in subsequent years. This method can be useful if your pet develops a chronic condition. However, it is also risky, as if your pet were to suffer from several different medical conditions in the same year, your deductible would apply to each one. Fetch offers flexibility to customers, giving them the freedom to choose between applying their pet insurance deductibles on a yearly or per-condition basis.
  • Reimbursement levels: Finally, anyone interested in purchasing a pet insurance policy must understand how reimbursement levels work. Pet insurance plans usually reimburse policyholders in the form of a percentage of the treatment costs. Typically, policyholders can choose which reimbursement level they prefer (with Fetch, the options are 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement levels). As you can probably imagine, the higher the reimbursement level, the more expensive the policy will be. The reimbursement process is not the same for every pet insurance company. While some insurers will reimburse policyholders a percentage of their vet bill, others may reimburse you according to a benefit schedule they have established for each condition.

*It is worth noting that Fetch’s pet insurance policies feature annual limits ranging from $2,500 to unlimited, your choice to apply your deductible on an annual or per-condition basis with 70%, 80%, and 90% reimbursement options on vet bills, access to Fetch Forward™ technology that provides insights into the future health of your pet, as well as the ability to cancel at any time.

Deciding if pet insurance is worth it for you

Still not sure if purchasing pet insurance is right for you? We suggest asking yourself the following questions. Answering these questions will help you determine if pet insurance makes sense for you and your furry friend:

What type of pet do I have?

First thing’s first, consider the type of pet you have and want to insure. As you now know, the species, age, and breed of your pet can all impact your insurance rates and the pet insurance coverage you need. For example, purebred dogs might be more prone to health issues than mixed-breed coverage and therefore require more coverage. Meanwhile, if you have an exotic pet, you may have trouble finding an insurer that will insure you. It’s also worth noting that some pet insurance companies only insure pets of certain ages. For example, some policies may have minimum age limits of six or ten weeks old or maximum age limits of eight to fourteen for dogs and cats. So if your pet is extremely young or old, your options may be limited.

Why do I want to purchase pet insurance?

To answer this question, make a list of everything you hope your pet insurance policy will cover. As with most types of insurance, the more coverage you purchase, the more expensive your policy will be. Carefully evaluate your budget and your pet’s needs and order your list from most important to least important.

How much can I afford to pay out-of-pocket in the event of an accident?

Think carefully about how much you can reasonably afford to pay out-of-pocket should something go wrong. If you have money saved up and are comfortable spending a lot of it on your pet in the event of an emergency, then maybe pet insurance isn’t a necessity. But if you are living on a reduced income or have money saved up for other purposes (e.g. a new house or your kid’s college fund), then having pet insurance is likely a smart decision.

How much of a deductible am I comfortable with?

Keep in mind that your deductible is the amount of money you must pay toward an insured loss before the insurance kicks in. For example, if your dog needed emergency surgery that cost $7,000 and your deductible is $1,000, you would be required to pay the $1,000 before the insurance company stepped in to pay the remainder (which will be subject to your chosen reimbursement percentage - more on that next). The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be. However, you should never raise your deductible to an amount you cannot afford to pay, as in an emergency, you would need to have this money on hand.

What coverage limits do you prefer?

Each type of coverage featured in your pet insurance policy has a limit. As the policyholder, it is your job to decide what limit or cap to include. Some pet insurance policies have annual or lifestyle limits while others are unlimited. Depending on your pet, they may be more or less likely to reach these limits, so you will need to think carefully about what is right for you.

Do the exclusions on your prospective pet insurance policy work for you?

As noted, most pet insurance companies in Canada, including Fetch, have exclusions and limitations to their policies. Common exclusions are pre-existing conditions, cosmetic surgeries, routine care, and more. Carefully review the exclusions on any prospective pet insurance policy to ensure they align with your expectations and avoid any surprises down the road.

What reimbursement level suits your budget?

Understanding the terms of reimbursement of any pet insurance policy is crucial. Though most insurance companies aim to reimburse policyholders as quickly as possible, the reality is that you will likely have to pay for your pet’s medical care out-of-pocket upfront and wait for reimbursement. Therefore, not only do you have to be prepared to pay these costs upfront, but you also need to consider which reimbursement rate is right for you. Fetch offers reimbursement level options of 70%, 80%, and 90%. The reimbursement level or rate is the percentage your insurance provider will reimburse you after your deductible is paid. The higher the rate, the better. However, pet insurance policies with higher reimbursement levels also tend to be more expensive.

How to purchase pet insurance

Ready to purchase pet insurance but aren’t sure where to begin? As with any insurance policy, it all starts with a little research. Get in touch with Fetch (or request pet insurance quote online). From there, all you have to do is purchase your pet insurance policy (which can easily be done online), and voila - you will have the protection you need. Please note that after purchasing a pet insurance policy through Fetch, there is a waiting period that ends 15 days after the effective date of your policy. You will receive an email notification the day the waiting period ends.

Contact a pet insurance company for a free pet insurance quote

Ready to learn more about how much pet insurance costs in Canada? BrokerLink can help. We have partnered with Fetch (a leading pet insurance provider in Canada) to offer 10% off your pet policy per month for life. Get in touch with Fetch today or get a free quote online today. Using Fetch’s online quote tool, you can receive an accurate and competitive estimate on your pet insurance policy in minutes.

Get a pet insurance quote 1-866-381-1946