How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in Canada? Prices for 2023

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The cost of pet insurance can seem unappealing but shopping around can help you find a good deal that suits your and your pet's needs.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is a policy you purchase that will reimburse for part of the costs of medical treatments for your pet. Policies can be purchased from big-name insurance providers or from specialist animal insurers.

After having chosen an insurer, you will agree to pay a certain amount in premiums each month. After an initial waiting period, the coverage will kick in and you will be reimbursed for whatever medical expenses your animal might have, typically at a rate of 80% or 90%.

How much is pet insurance in Canada?

The cost of pet insurance will vary depending on the specifics, breed and age of your pet. Most insurers provide for more common pets like dogs and cats. Reptiles, fish and more exotic animals may require you to look for specialists in the field.

For dogs and cats, a rough estimate would be that the most basic packages need to be under $50 a month and the most comprehensive, over $150. The key question to ask yourself is: will I save money having this insurance if my pet gets sick?

If you have a young, healthy pet, it may be that they only need routine check-ups and vaccinations. In this case, be careful not to over-purchase coverage that you don't need. However, if your pet is older, say a cat of 10 years or more, or is a breed well-known for having health problems, like a Red Setter, then it is worth having insurance in place for when problems arise.

Do I need pet insurance?

Pet insurance is not mandatory in Canada. Like with any insurance, buying g or not buying it is a gamble. If you do not buy the insurance and something happens you may be forced to dip into your savings, or worse, have to choose between your budget and caring for your pet.

You should also consider your specific situation. If you live in a cabin in Hockley Valley, Ontario and your dog knows to avoid bears then perhaps you will need less coverage. If you have a cat and live next to a busy road in downtown Vancouver, BC, then it could be worth having an accident and emergency insurance policy in place.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Let's take a look at some of the costs of basic vet procedures, using a snake as an example:

Visit to a reptile vet
Fecal exam
Parasite medicines
Reptile vet costs Canada

As you can see, for a healthy reptile, which did not suffer from chronic or repeated health problems, an owner might be tempted to pay for the costs out of their own pocket. After all, all the yearly visits come to just over $100 and the cheapest insurance will be more than that.

By contrast, let's look at the costs associated with a dog who has a chronic disease like cancer:

Oncologist consultation
up to $250
up to $500 a dose
Radiation (palliative)
up to $1,800
Radiation (curative)
up to $6,000
Cancer treatment cost for dogs

The average cost for cancer treatment is $3,282 for cats and $4,137 for dogs. These are large sums of money and clearly, it would be extremely useful to have an insurance company covering 90% of the costs.

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What is the best pet insurance in Canada?

The best insurance is always the one most suited to your specific needs and budget.

That said, it is always important to closely read the fine print before you sign a contract. Some pet insurance policies will exclude routine check-ups, and others will cover visits to the vet but have low limits on the amount of reimbursement available for intensive, long-term treatments.

Some insurers may have perks, for example, PC pet insurance offers the first month's coverage free of charge.

How to compare pet insurance in Canada?

As mentioned, when comparing Canadian pet health insurance, you need to balance your budget against the potential needs of your pet.

The best way to compare pet insurers and find the best deal is to use our pet insurance comparison tool.

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