How Much Is Pet Insurance?

couple with cats and dogs

It’s not unusual for people to think of a pet as a member of their family. (There may even be days when a cat, dog, or bird is by far the household favorite.)

So of course those pet owners want to be sure they’re providing the best possible care for their animals without having to worry about what a trip to the veterinarian might cost.

Pet insurance offers a way to help pay for that care—whether it’s a routine checkup or an emergency. However, just like health insurance for the humans in the family, choosing the right pet insurance policy can be complicated.

There’s a wide range of coverage options and policy costs to consider. And pet insurance may not be the right fit for every pet owner.

What Is Pet Insurance?

Though it has a lot in common with human health insurance coverage, a pet policy actually falls under the property and casualty insurance classification.

It has been around for almost 100 years, but has only been available in the United States since 1982, when a subsidiary of Nationwide sold its first policy to cover the dog that played Lassie on TV.

protect pet owners from the high cost of taking their animal to the vet. (If a pet bites another animal or person, those costs typically are covered by homeowner’s insurance.)

There are a few types of pet insurance. Coverage can be limited to accident-only care for an animal, or it can be more comprehensive and include treatment for injuries and illness.

Some policies also include wellness costs, such as vaccinations, dental care, and medical tests. A few include extra benefits, such as coverage for pet care when an owner has an emergency, or coverage for vet care when the owner travels out of the country with the pet.

But preexisting conditions and cosmetic procedures usually aren’t covered. And policies tend to come with a waiting period of 10 to 30 days, which means if a pet is diagnosed with an illness or is injured before that time is up, treatment for that condition won’t be covered.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

The average cost of an accident and illness pet policy was $48.78 per month for a dog in 2019, or $585.40 per year, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. For a cat, the average cost was $29.16 per month, or $349.92 per year. Adding wellness care and other benefits can increase the cost of a policy. So can the deductible, co-pay, and maximum coverage amounts the pet owner chooses.

The most common co-pay in the United States is 80%, which means the insured pet owner can be reimbursed for up to 80% of a qualifying claim.

The cost of coverage also may be affected by where the pet owner lives. In cities or regions where veterinary practices generally charge more for office visits or treatments, the cost of pet insurance may be higher.

And coverage may cost more based on a pet’s breed and age as well. Because some purebred cats and dogs may be more susceptible to certain medical conditions, they can be more expensive to insure.

Age is a factor. The older a pet is, the more it may cost to get coverage—both at the time of enrollment and as the pet ages. (It may be difficult to even find a company that will insure a much older pet.)

The good news is, there are no “out-of-network” provider charges to worry about with pet insurance. As long as the pet owner takes Fido or Fluffy to a licensed vet, and the expenses for the visit qualify, it’s just a matter of filing a claim. Some insurance companies may pay the vet directly, but most reimburse the pet owner after the claim is submitted and verified.

How Can Pet Owners Find Prices and Plans?

Because every pet and every plan is a little bit different, it can pay to do some research.

An increasing number of employers now offer pet insurance in their benefits packages, which could mean a lower premium. So pet owners may want to check with their human resources department to see what their company has to offer.

It’s also easy to get an online price quote from many of the companies that offer pet insurance. A quick search will turn up several well-known insurers (Nationwide, Progressive, Geico, Allstate) that offer coverage, along with insurance companies that are strictly for pets. The insurer will ask a few questions (the pet’s name, age, gender, breed, any preexisting conditions), and then provide quotes for three or more plans, along with some details about the benefits those plans include.

It also may help to have an idea of what it costs to treat common (and not-so-common) problems a certain type of pet might encounter.

For example, the analysts at ValuePenguin found that the average cost of a vet visit for a dog with a common condition like a skin infection is $176, and for an ear infection, $149. Those bills might be daunting but not necessarily devastating for a family’s monthly budget. But canine chemotherapy could cost more than $1,000 a month, according to PetCareRX.com . And the bill for an entire course of treatment could be as much as $10,000.

The same thing goes for cats. An occasional visit to the vet for a urinary tract condition ($295) or an upper respiratory infection ($219) might be manageable. But the cost for a course of cat chemotherapy could be a budget-busting $10,000.

Planning for those costs could help pet owners decide if insurance is something they should consider. (Your vet also may be able to provide some helpful information that pertains to your specific pet.)

Too busy to do a deep dive into pet care costs and insurance options? There are plenty of online reviews and “best of” lists from folks who already have done the work. (As with any review or list, pet owners may find up-to-date information from an unbiased source to be the most useful.)

So, Is It Worth It?

As with so many financial decisions, there are pros and cons to purchasing a pet health policy.

Insurance may take some of the stress out of making treatment decisions for a beloved pet based on the ability to pay. Although there still could be out-of-pocket expenses to consider, it might help avoid what the pet insurance association calls “economic euthanasia,” when a pet owner makes the heartbreaking choice to put down a sick or injured animal because the required care is just too expensive.

Insurance also might help a pet owner sidestep the temptation to use a high-interest credit card to pay for care.

Another plus: Because policies can be customized, it may be possible to find one that provides basic coverage and still works within the family budget. And pet owners who love their vet won’t have to switch to a new provider.

cash management account can help you manage your overall budget and determine if you can afford pet health insurance, or if you’d have to make some adjustments to make it work.

Do you know how much you’re spending on veterinary bills—either for wellness visits or illnesses? You can use the SoFi app to help track the spending history in your SoFi Money® account and see what you’re actually paying the vet each month or year.

Do you have an emergency fund that you could turn to if your pet is injured in an accident or suddenly becomes seriously ill? If you decide you’d rather put your money into an emergency fund instead of pet insurance, the interest you’ll earn on the cash in your SoFi Money® account could help you grow that fund faster than if you kept it in a traditional checking or savings account.

People love their pets, but the cost of owning a pet can be overwhelming. Putting together a plan for how you’ll pay for your pet’s care—from puppy- and kittenhood to old age—could help keep those bills from chewing up your hard-earned paychecks.

Learn more about how SoFi Money® can help track expenses and save for emergencies.



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DoorDash vs. UberEats: Which App Is Right For Your Next Side Gig?

Glassdoor review: 3.9 out of 5.
To become a Dasher or Uber Eats driver, you have to meet a baseline of requirements. Some are vehicle related and some are age and experience related.
As of Fall 2019, the company switched to a payment model where Dashers earn a higher base pay per order in addition to keeping 100% of their tips. Previously, a customer’s tip would subsidize the Dasher’s base pay.

DoorDash vs Uber Eats: The Top Food Delivery Apps Duke It Out

The two apps handle pay a little differently, both in how you get paid and how you pay for customers’ orders when you pick them up. Neither company offers guaranteed wages (unless you live in California).
Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers the gig economy, remote work and other unique ways to make money. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.
To make automobile deliveries, the minimum age requirement is based on your local jurisdiction, plus at least one year of driving experience. Vehicles must be no more than 20 years old. Drivers must be properly insured and can use bikes and scooters in certain markets. The age requirements are higher for those who prefer two wheels — 18 for bicycles and 19 for scooters.

Round 1: App Reviews

A woman looks at what's offered on Uber Eats.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

DoorDash Driver (Dasher) Reviews

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
Feedback from Dashers is overall mixed, but there’s a clear preference for the iOS version of the app. Trends in negative reviews across all platforms show that many drivers have trouble with glitches and crashes, especially Android users, and that the nature of the work takes a toll on their vehicles. Many negative reviews mention that DoorDash’s strict performance metrics are a hassle.
The decision goes to our judges. (That’s you.)
This one’s easy. Both services are available in most big cities in all 50 states.

Uber Driver Reviews

After passing the checks, you’ll need to select what type of “orientation” you want. The pandemic paused in-person orientations. Depending on your market you may need to request an “activation kit” instead. Receiving your activation kit may take an extra couple of weeks, according to driver reviews.
For better or worse, apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats have disrupted the food-delivery industry. Since their launch in 2013 and 2014 respectively, restaurants across the country have outsourced delivery services to independent drivers who use the apps to make extra cash.
To qualify as a Dasher you must be at least 18. Dashers need to have a valid driver’s license. There are no car requirements, but auto insurance is required. In some markets you can make deliveries on scooters, bicycles and motorcycles.
The activation kit includes a Dasher manual, a hot bag and a credit card, which is used to pay for orders. Once you receive and set up the card through the app, you can start accepting orders.
Promotional offers are popular with both DoorDash and Uber, but they’re temporary and vary by location. Aside from sign-up bonuses and referral codes, here are a couple perks that are here to stay.

Round 2: Job and Vehicle Requirements

A woman drives for Uber.

During the pandemic, these services have seen demand like never before. For customers, the apps make ordering food from just about any restaurant as easy as opening their smartphones. For drivers, it’s almost as easy to land a delivery job hawking food from local eateries.

DoorDash

Check out how this food delivery driver may ,000 in one month.

Uber Eats

A few perks unique to DoorDash include grocery delivery options, automatic insurance coverage and health care services.

Round 3: Sign-Up Process

Because the apps are so popular, they’ve amassed more than 4.1 million driver reviews. Both companies require their drivers to use different apps than customers, a huge perk when trying to get a sense of drivers’ perspective. Worker reviews from Glassdoor are also included.

DoorDash

Uber Eats drivers get a variety of discounts and may be eligible for Uber Pro perks.
All Uber drivers receive discounts for vehicle maintenance and phone service plans. Uber also partners with Stride Health to provide health plans and tax advice. Drivers automatically receive supplemental auto insurance, which covers up to million in damages. There’s a ,000 deductible before benefits pay out.
When picking up orders, you may be required to pay for the order using the company red card from your activation kit.

Uber Eats

While DoorDash doesn’t offer health insurance, the company does partner with Stride Health, which provides free health care advising and assistance to Dashers who need help finding affordable insurance plans.
App Store (iOS) review: 4.6 out of 5.
Google Play (Android) review: 3.8 out of 5.

Round 4: Pay and Tipping

App Store (iOS) review: 4.7 out of 5.
Google Play (Android) review: 3.3 out of 5.

DoorDash

Uber Pro perks have recently expanded to all of Uber’s markets across the U.S. Only top-rated drivers receive Pro perks like tuition and gas reimbursement, and the program is designed for Uber drivers primarily, not Uber Eats drivers.

Dashers report earning between and an hour depending on location, but those earnings aren’t guaranteed. Pay is based on how many orders you accept per hour and how much customers tip you. DoorDash pays weekly through direct deposit, or you can access your earnings early through Fast Pay, for .99.

You can sign up to become a Dasher on the driver app. You’ll have to consent to a background and motor vehicle check (and pass both). They could take as little as a few days, but err on the side of a week or two.
But before you download your next job, take some time to review the key differences between DoorDash and Uber Eats so that you can make the most of your delivery gig.

Uber Eats

The general premise of the two apps is almost identical: Customers place food orders at local restaurants. The apps alert drivers in the area with the order details. The first driver to accept the order picks up the food and drops it off to the customer. Simple enough, right?
If you’re a current rideshare driver for Uber, it’s easy to start delivering with Uber Eats. You simply opt in to Uber Eats orders through the driver app and start delivering without any additional screening.

Round 5: Available Locations

People walk alongside a lake and tall buildings.

Becoming a delivery driver for DoorDash and Uber Eats is simpler than landing a part-time job. You can complete the entire process from your smartphone or computer.
Glassdoor review: 3.7 out of 5.

Final Round: Additional Perks

If you drive for both Uber and Uber Eats, your food deliveries may apply to Uber Pro, but Uber-Eats-only drivers aren’t eligible.

DoorDash

Ding! Ding! It was an even match-up. Uber Eats and DoorDash were neck and neck throughout. No knockout punches. A good few jabs by DoorDash’s insurance coverage and grocery options and a couple of hooks by Uber’s overall ratings and ability to switch to ridesharing.
Dashers also get supplemental auto insurance and occupational accident insurance for accidents or injuries that fall outside your current auto insurance. The insurance plan covers up to million in medical costs, a weekly payment of 0 for disabilities and 0,000 to dependents for fatal accidents. Coverage is automatic. There are no deductibles or premiums.
And if it’s too close to call, you can always sign up for both to see which one suits you better.
Previously, DoorDash and Uber Eats ran driver support centers in major metro areas of most states. In 2020, many of these centers closed due to the coronavirus. Some still exist, but neither company offers a comprehensive, public list of remaining locations.

FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM

Uber Eats

For drivers new to Uber, you can sign up on the website or through the driver app. Because of the stricter vehicle requirements, the application requires more detailed information on your ride. A background check is also required, which may take three to five business days to process.
More than 3 million drivers reviewed Uber. A caveat worth noting is that Uber has one driver app. That means it’s hard to get the opinions of only Uber Eats drivers because general Uber app reviews are mixed in. Overall, reviews are positive.
Depending on your location, you can expect to earn to an hour on average. Again, those wages aren’t guaranteed because your earnings are based on orders and tips. With Uber Eats, you pocket 100% of your customers’ tips. You get paid weekly via direct deposit, or you can pay a fee to access your earnings early through Instant Pay for 50 cents.
Several differences are worth noting, though. Some minor and some major. We took a deep dive into those differences, looking at pay, vehicle and job requirements, available locations, driver reviews and more to help you make an informed decision before you start delivering.

Final Decision in DoorDash vs Uber Eats

You won’t be involved in the payment process for food orders. Partner restaurants are reimbursed directly by Uber.
After the background check clears and your application is approved, you’re free to start taking orders. No orientation or additional equipment is needed.

There are a lot more delivery options out there. Here’s how the top 10 delivery apps stack up.

Workers reviewed DoorDash more than 760,000 times.
After you’re screened and accepted as a Dasher, you can choose to deliver food in any city where DoorDash operates, meaning there are no hard location requirements. The company also launched grocery delivery services in some Midwest and West Coast areas.
Trends in negative delivery reviews on Glassdoor indicate GPS issues and trouble contacting customer service. Several drivers mentioned problems with promotion and surge pay (bonus pay during in-demand times). Negative reviews regarding vehicle wear-and-tear are common.