Getting a dog is a big responsibility, both financially, physically and timewise. Vet bills can add up quickly and the last thing we want as pet parents is to not be able to afford a necessary medical treatment our dog needs. Pet insurance is a great way to ensure your dog can get the veterinary care they need without the huge dent in your bank account.
This article will explore the best pet insurance for German Shepherds as well as what you should consider when purchasing pet insurance for your dog.
*This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you 🙂 .
How does pet insurance work?
Pet insurance works slightly differently than human insurance. For people, many times you go to the doctor and only walk out paying your co-pay, or you’ll pay nothing and be billed in the mail for any services that your insurance didn’t cover.
With pet insurance normally you pay at the vet office then file a claim with your pet insurance provider. Depending on your plan and deductible you’ll be reimbursed between 70%-90% of the cost of the treatment.
What does pet insurance cover?
Although pet insurance doesn’t cover everything, it is especially great for those unexpected accidents or illnesses that come up over the lifetime of our dogs. Many times, the cost of these accidents or illnesses can be thousands of dollars, and some families have to make very hard decisions about whether or not they can afford the type of treatment their dog needs.
Here are some things pet insurance typically covers:
- Non-routine dental care
- Emergency care
- Diagnostic tests
- Holistic treatments
What does pet insurance typically not cover?
Pet insurance is not as sophisticated as human insurance so there are services that you should be aware of that typically aren’t covered:
- Routine Care Exams
- Preexisting conditions
- Routine Dental Exams
Is pet insurance Worth it for a German Shepherd?
It depends on what you hope to get from having pet insurance. For me, pet insurance has been 100% worth it. But that may not be the case for every German Shepherd owner.
Pet insurance is worth it if you can’t afford the financial hit for an unexpected accident or illness your pet may experience. Even though these incidents hopefully, don’t happen often, whenever they do happen you don’t have to worry about the financial aspect of getting your dog help.
However, if you are only looking to get routine care covered for your dog, then pet insurance isn’t something I would invest in.
Thankfully, my German Shepherd has been healthy all of her life, but she is a wild girl. She is had both little and bigger accidents throughout her life. Pet insurance has allowed for me to get Allie the treatment she needed without hesitation at a $3,000 vet bill.
How much is pet insurance for a German Shepherd?
The average price per month to get pet insurance on a 2-year-old German Shepherd is between $35/month and $73/ month. The price for pet insurance depends on many factors such as the age of your GSD, your physical location geographically, the deductible you choose, and the reimbursement you want to get.
The younger your dog is when you get pet insurance, the better rate you’ll get. If you think you want to get pet insurance on your dog, try and get it when your dog is as young as possible.
PetPlan Pet Insurance for German Shepherds
PetPlan’s goal is to provide us, dog owners, with peace of mind by providing a great, simplistic comprehensive pet insurance plan. Pet Plan insures dogs of all breeds that are over six weeks old and don’t deny coverage for our senior dogs.
One great thing about PetPlan is that they provide coverage for exam fees which can cost between $50-$250 per injury or illness. Additionally, they also provide coverage for holistic treatments such as laser therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care.
Before PetPlan I was with another pet insurance provider (which shall go unnamed and isn’t recommended) and had a horrible experience. They wouldn’t cover things that were supposed to be covered and the customer service was horrible.
PetPlan is totally different. Not only have I never had a problem getting my claims processed correctly, and their customer service has been top-notch.
What does PetPlan Cover?
Here is a screen shot of what is covered with PetPlan:
What doesn’t PetPlan cover?
PetPlan doesn’t cover the following treatments:
- Routine care & wellness care
- Preventive care
- Preexisting conditions
- Cosmetic procedures
- Liability coverage
How much does it cost to insure a German Shepherd with PetPlan?
Below are a couple of estimates for prices based on a 2-year-old German Shepherd. Of course, this will vary by your GSD’s age, your location, and how much coverage you select, but this is just to give you an idea.
If you want $5,000 of annual coverage, you can get a plan for about $35/ month. You can also get $10,000 worth of coverage with a 70% reimbursement rate and a $300 annual deductible for about $47/ month.
I personally started with $10,000 annual coverage, but I have never used that much in a year.
I went with the higher amount because if some major illness happened, I wanted to know I would have coverage. However, for most families, the $5,000 coverage option would most likely be sufficient.
PetFirst Pet Insurance for German Shepherds
PetFirst is another great option for German Shepherd parents. It is one of the fastest-growing pet insurance companies in the United States. Their focus is to be able to help pet parents not worry about financial concerns when it comes to taking proper care of their pets.
They have plans to suit all families, from the ones who just want a little bit of coverage to those who want the most coverage available.
Where PetFirst stands out is in the fact that they have a routine care rider that can be added to your dog’s policy. The routine care rider allows for services that are not normally covered by pet insurance to be covered such as routine exams and vaccinations.
What does PetFirst cover?
This screenshot was taken from PetFirst’s website and they typically cover the following treatments:
PetFirst also covers the following after your GSD has had a policy in standing with them for 12 months:
What doesn’t PetFirst cover?
PetFirst doesn’t cover the following treatments:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Flea & tick treatment
- Routine & wellness care (unless you have the routine care rider)
- Grooming costs
- Breeding costs
- Elective procedures
- Organ transplants
- Anal gland expression
How much does it cost to insure a German Shepherd with PetFirst?
Again, I have chosen to use a 2-year-old German Shepherd to keep everything consistent for the estimated price. Below are the estimates I ran:
You can get $5,000 of annual coverage with a $250 deductible at an 80% reimbursement rate for about $43/month. It is important to note that this option includes the $125 routine care benefit that allows for routine treatments that aren’t normally covered to be covered.
If you wanted $10,000 of annual coverage it is only an increase of about $15/month at about $58/month with a $250 deductible at a 70% reimbursement rate with no routine care coverage.
Embrace Pet Insurance for German Shepherds
Embrace Pet Insurance came into existence by winning the Wharton Business Plan Competition in 2003 and haven’t looked back. They offers a comprehensive insurance policy for pets and won the international service excellence award for service champion in 2019.
Embrace stands out on how they handle pre-existing conditions. They distinguish between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions. Embrace can cover curable conditions if pets remain symptom- and treatment-free for 12 consecutive months.
This is unique, because with many other insurance companies, once something is considered as a pre-existing condition, it can never be covered for the lifetime of the dog.
In addition, Embrace also has an option called Wellness Rewards for routine care reimbursement. This option product provides reimbursement for routine care services such as an annual wellness exam at 100% reimbursement up to the allotment amount selected.
Lastly, Embrace also has an accident only policy if you don’t want or need all the other frills. This option is only available for pets under age 15 and you must call in to make the request.
What does Embrace pet insurance cover?
Embrace Pet insurance covers the following treatments:
- Dental Disease up to $1,000 per year
- Breed & Genetic conditions
- Exam Fees
- Emergency care
- Alternative therapies for 12 weeks after the covered accident or illness in most states
- Behavior therapy
- Diagnostic testing
What doesn’t Embrace pet insurance cover?
Embrace Pet Insurance does not cover the following treatments:
- Routine Care (unless you have the optional Wellness rewards plan)
- Pre-existing conditions
- Breeding costs
- DNA testing
- Injury from fighting
- Cosmetic procedures
*Embrace should be contacted for a complete list of exclusions
How much does it cost to insure a German Shepherd with Embrace?
I targeted a 2-year old German Shepherd for the estimate with Embrace. The screenshots below can help give you an idea of the pricing.
The default option Embrace selected for a 2-year-old German Shepherd was for a $10,000 annual reimbursement at 70% with a $750 deductible which was priced at about $38/month.
I thought that a $750 deductible was a tad high so I also ran the numbers for a $500 deductible. So, $8,000 worth of annual reimbursement limit at 70% with a $500 deductible was priced at about $47/month.
The Wellness Rewards for Routine Care option is $18.75 per month for $250 of annual coverage. This amount is reimbursed at 100% of the coverage amount selected.
Trupanion Pet Insurance for German Shepherds
Trupanion has been around for over 20 years and is a member of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. One of the things I love about Trupanion is their ability to pay the vet directly instead of you having to pay, file a claim then get reimbursed. They are the only pet insurance company currently, that offers this feature.
In addition, Trupanion doesn’t place an annual cap on claims, they payout 90% of all eligible claims no matter if it costs $1,000 or $15,000.
What does Trupanion cover?
Trupanion has a fairly simple plan that covers all accidents and illnesses. This includes breed specific hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, as well as conditions that are hard to diagnose or undiagnosed conditions.
Additionally, they will cover all expenses that your German Shepherd needs that are related to the accident or illness. This includes services such as diagnostic tests, surgery, hospital stays, medication, supplements, and prosthetics.
You can also purchase a Recover & Complementary Care rider that covers acupuncture, behavior modification, physical therapy, & chiropractic treatment among other services.
In addition, they have a Pet Owner Assistance rider that can help you with non-vet expenses such as boarding fees if you become ill and need hospitalization, a reward if your dog is lost, cremation, and burial expenses due to death by an accident, and your vacation cancellation costs.
What doesn’t Trupanion cover?
Trupanion doesn’t cover the following services:
- Routine wellness exams
- Exam fees
- Pre-existing conditions
How much does Trupanion cost for German Shepherds?
Using a 2-year-old German Shepherd I got the following price quote:
You can get unlimited coverage at a 90% payout rate with a $200 deductible for about $132/ month. There is also a more cost-effective plan option with a $700 deductible for $73.40/month. I also played with the quote calculator and tried a $500 deductible and I got a price of $90.45/ month.
There are a couple of reasons Trupanion costs more to insure your German Shepherd. First, remember they don’t have a cap on what they will pay out like the other pet insurance providers. Second, they pay out 90% no matter the claim. Third, they pay directly to the vet instead of you having to come out of your pocket to later get reimbursed.
These additional options that aren’t common with other pet insurance companies come at a higher cost. However, if you want unlimited coverage, Trupanion is a great company to consider.
My Story with Pet Insurance
Before I had Allie, we had a Rottweiler named King. Unfortunately, he eventually got sick in his older age. I was later in my teen years but I remember the thousands of dollars my family spent taking him to the vet and getting him treatments. I knew when I got Allie if something ever happened to her that was that expensive, I wouldn’t be able to afford it.
So I got pet insurance for Allie, and it has certainty been the best investment. Of course, we never know what expenses we are going to have vet wise when we get a new dog, and lucky for me Allie is a healthy girl. However, she is WILD!
Since she is wild, she gets into everything! She has had a bunch of random vet visits for sprains and strains and some larger ones for infections and hospital stays. All of which have been covered 80% by her pet insurance. I have been reimbursed thousands of dollars so I would definitively recommend getting pet insurance for your German Shepherd.
Although we want to think our dogs will be happy and healthy forever, the reality is that sometimes this won’t be the case. Having pet insurance is a great way to ensure you can pay for any unexpected illness or accident that may occur during the lifetime of your dog.
Pet insurance may not be for everyone, but if you don’t want to have to come out of pocket thousands of dollars if something unexpected happened to your dog, I would certainly consider it.
Do you have pet insurance for your German Shepherd? Let me know in the comments!