Do I Need Good Credit for Pet Insurance?

Quick Answer

In most cases, your credit will not affect your ability to get pet insurance. It’s possible that insurers in some states may consider your credit-based insurance score, but it isn’t the norm for pet insurance.

A woman with her beloved pet dog

Pet insurance can help you cover some of your pet's medical costs, which may come in handy if a beloved pet falls ill or experiences a health emergency. Your credit score probably won't impact your ability to get pet insurance—or the amount you'll pay for it. These things will likely be determined by the type and breed of the pet, their age and their overall health. The level of coverage you choose is another important factor. But every insurer is different, and it's possible that your credit score could come into play.

Can I Get Pet Insurance With Poor Credit?

Generally speaking, yes, you can get pet insurance with bad credit. Most insurers will care less about your credit and more about your pet's age, breed and health—and the level of coverage you're seeking. But that's not to say your credit won't matter.

Does Your Credit Score Affect Pet Insurance Rates?

It's possible that insurers in your state may consider your credit-based insurance score. Insurance companies use it to predict the likelihood of you filing a future claim. This is common practice when buying auto and home insurance in certain states. And in the eyes of insurers, pets are considered property—like a car or a house.

That said, it isn't the norm when it comes to pet insurance. There's no indication that pet insurers are using credit-based insurance scores when deciding who they'll cover and how much they'll charge.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Pet Insurance?

The level of coverage you choose will play a major role in your pet insurance costs. There are three main types of pet insurance, and there's a wide range of coverage within each category:

  1. Accident-only: Covers medical care related to an accident
  2. Accident and illness: Covers accidents and costs related to certain illnesses, but it generally excludes routine and preventive care
  3. Pet wellness plan: Covers routine and preventive care, but typically excludes accidents, illnesses and pregnancy

Below are other factors that affect the cost of pet insurance:

  • The pet you want to insure: The species, breed and age of your pet will directly affect your premiums. Some types of animals cost more to care for and are more susceptible to medical problems than others. Purebred animals often have hereditary conditions. English bulldogs, for example, frequently suffer from respiratory problems and spinal issues.
  • Where you live: It costs more to run a veterinary practice in urban areas. If you're in a relatively big city, you'll likely pay more than someone who lives in an area with a lower cost of living.

How to Save on Pet Insurance

Here are some simple ways to save money on pet insurance:

  • Enroll while your pet is young. Premiums are usually higher for older pets who are more prone to health issues—and pre-existing conditions are typically excluded.
  • Pick the right policy type. Avoiding coverage you don't need can help you save money. You might purchase accident and illness insurance while factoring routine care into your regular budget. Either way, consider your pet's unique health care needs when choosing a plan.
  • Shop around. Gather multiple quotes and compare different insurers. The same type of coverage can cost more with one insurance company and less with another. Also look at what medical care is included in each plan.
  • Look for discounts. Bundling pet insurance with your home or auto coverage could get you a lower rate. Some insurers also offer military discounts and price reductions for AARP members.
  • Increase your deductible. When you file a claim, this is the amount you have to pay before your insurance kicks in. Opting for a higher deductible can lower your premiums.
  • Reduce your reimbursement rate. Most pet insurance companies will reimburse you for a percentage of each approved claim. A lower reimbursement rate can reduce your premium, though you'll face higher out-of-pocket costs if something happens to your pet.

Does Pet Insurance Affect Your Credit?

In most cases, insurance payments do not impact your credit—but it's always best to pay your insurance premiums on time. Otherwise, your insurer could cancel your coverage. Experian Boost®ø will actually reward you for keeping up with your insurance payments. It's a free feature that gives you credit for the bills you're paying anyway, including your insurance premiums. Your positive payment history can help improve your credit score based on Experian data.

The Bottom Line

Generally, your credit health won't impact your ability to get pet insurance—or the rates you'll pay. What matters most is the type of pet you have, where you live and the level of coverage you choose. That said, it's always wise to maintain strong credit. Doing so can make it easier to qualify for new loans and credit. It can also help you secure the best rates and terms. You can check your FICO® Score and credit report for free from Experian to see where you stand.