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How Pet Insurance For Multiple Pets Works – Forbes Advisor

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

If you have multiple furry companions in your home, multi-pet insurance helps safeguard your pets against unexpected vet costs. Plus, you may even qualify for a discount for insuring more than one animal.

How Does Multi-Pet Insurance Work?

The phrase “multi-pet insurance” can be misleading, as you may think it means one policy for all of your pets, but that’s usually not the case. When you insure more than one pet, you will typically buy separate pet insurance policies for each one, though you can manage the coverage from one account. Apart from that, multi-pet insurance usually works the same way individual pet insurance works.

Pet insurance companies will usually determine the cost of coverage by taking into account a pet’s breed and age, and your location, among other factors. You will select a suitable plan that best fits a pet’s needs, and repeat the same process for the next pet you want to insure.

Each pet insurance policy you buy can have a separate reimbursement level, deductible, coverage cap and monthly premium payment. However, insurers will typically let you manage multiple plans from one account, essentially linking the policies together. Therefore, you can streamline pet claims and payments for multiple policies from one place.

MetLife’s pet insurance will let you cover multiple pets under one insurance policy, but it’s not common. Even if you have one policy for multiple pets, the insurer may let you choose separate deductibles and reimbursement levels for each pet.

Is There a Discount for Multi-Pet Insurance?

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

While that may not seem like a significant price break, consider that the average pet insurance cost is about $585 a year for an accident and illness plan for a dog, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. If you have two dogs, your average yearly cost would be about $1,170. With a 5% discount on each plan, you’d save about $30 on each policy, for an annual total savings of $60. With a 10% discount you’d 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 find that half of the policyholders usually wait to add another pet to their plan,” says Walter Haugland, a spokesperson for Pets Best pet insurance.

Suppose you decide to give your five-year-old Goldendoodle a puppy companion. You can purchase pet coverage at any time for the new doggo.

What’s Covered Under a Multi-Pet Insurance Policy?

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

  • Emergency care
  • broken bones
  • Surgery
  • allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Diagnostics and lab tests
  • X ray
  • MRIs or CT scans
  • ultrasound
  • Toxic ingestions

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

How Much Does Multi-pet Insurance Cost?

The cost you pay for multi-pet insurance will vary depending on the insurance company and the coverage benefits within the plan. When calculating multi-pet insurance cost, insurance companies typically use several factors such as:

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

breed: 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 like Cocker Spaniels. This is reflected in pet insurance costs.

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

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

Reimbursement percentage: Most pet insurance companies let you select the reimbursement percentage of your policy. This amount is the portion of your vet bills the insurer will pay after your deductible. Common reimbursement levels are 70%, 80% or 90%.

Coveragecap: Some pet insurance plans can have annual coverage limits like $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 purchasing an accident-only plan that exclusively covers emergencies.

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

Can I Have Multiple Pet Insurance Policies with Different Insurance Companies?

While insuring multiple pets with one insurance company usually yields a discount, there are some situations where it may not make the most 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 might find it cheaper overall to buy accident-only coverage with one insurer and a more comprehensive policy with another.

“Coverage is usually the biggest driver, followed by price, as to why you may choose separate pet insurance policies with different insurers,” says Haugland at Pets Best.

How Do I Find a Multi-Pet Insurance Policy?

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

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

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

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