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How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

Last Updated on September 13, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Taking care of pets is not an easy task. They require your utmost attention. Their health issues also need to be taken care of at the earliest, lest they get more serious.

However, health care for pets can be costly, which is why you should consider getting pet insurance. The first question that springs to mind when it comes to this is how much pet insurance would cost.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

The average pet insurance plan cost per month is somewhere between $10 to $38 for cats and $24 to $90 for dogs, for plans that cover both accidents and illnesses, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association and based on an analysis made on pet insurance quotes from the largest insurance companies.

This means that you can spend on pet insurance anywhere between $10 and $90 depending on several factors, although most pet parents should expect a fee of anywhere between $20 and $60 per month for a plan with decent insurance coverage that involves both illness and accident protection.

Among the most important factors to influence your monthly rate will be the breed, species, and age of your pet, as well as the coverage you go for and your location.

You should expect the average cost of pet insurance for a dog to be roughly 69% higher than for cast for policies covering accidents and illnesses. Pets that have important health issues will have a higher insurance rate, as well as larger animals and older ones.

Factors that Influence the Cost of Pet Insurance

The place where you live influences how much pet insurance would cost you. For instance, health care for pets in New York would cost you twice as much as in Kansas.

This is because pet insurers tend to pay claims depending on your actual vet bills, so they charge more for policies in the states with expensive zip codes. New York and Los Angeles are some examples of such states. The average cost of pet insurance in the United States is around $492 per year.

The next important factor is the type of pet you have. Insurance for dogs is found to be more expensive than for cats. This is because dogs carry a higher risk of illness and injuries.

Purebred dogs are slightly more expensive to insure as compared to mixed breeds. This can be attributed to the fact that purebreds are at a higher risk to incur hereditary conditions including hip dysplasia, heart diseases, and cancer, which are quite common, as well as expensive.

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The age of your pet is an important factor as well. Older dogs and cats would prove to be more costly in terms of insurance since they are more at risk of incurring illness and injury. While you can get an insurance policy for a pet of any age, the older your pet is, the higher the cost of pet insurance you are required to pay.

Therefore, it is advisable to get pet insurance when the pets are young. As the pet grows older, the cost of your insurance will increase with each passing year with the average increase being less than 10% per year.

The company which provides insurance is important as well. It is important to keep in mind that not all pet insurance companies would offer you the best deal. When you research, you will find that different companies offer different policies with varying coverage and pricing.

Customer satisfaction is also something that you should focus on when it comes to selecting a company. You will also come across some companies that would have extensive limits on claims payouts and hidden exclusions. You need to avoid such companies.

Pet Insurance for your DogDon’t just look for the cheapest plan. You should also focus on getting the plan from a company that would work in your favor in the long run. Coverage plans vary. Some offer an accident-only policy, while others have more comprehensive plans which include all emergencies. The more coverage a plan has, the bigger the costs you should expect.

The average cost of pet insurance for dogs has been increasing, while the cost for cats has fluctuated. Rates have decreased by as much as 14% and increased by up to 26% in the past five years, depending on the type of policy. The cost of accident and illness policies for dogs, however, dropped 3% in the past year.

The average cost of dog insurance

You should expect an average monthly rate of $44 for dog insurance across the best pet insurance companies.

Surprisingly enough, quotes can vary by $68 or more between companies, even for pets that are the same breed, from the same location, and under the same insurance plan. If you have a dog that is more prone to injuries or live in an expensive place with high veterinary costs, then you should expect your monthly costs to be closer to the higher end of the price range.

Of course, if you need more coverage, increase the reimbursement amount, or decrease your pet insurance deductible, you will be charged a higher rate.

Company Monthly Rate
Trupanion $92
Nationwide $65
Petplan $52
Embrace $48
HealthyPaws $43
24PetWatch $36
Figo $32
PetsBest $30
PetFirst $28
AKC/ PetPartners $25

How much is pet insurance by dog breed

Pet owners will also see a difference in monthly costs between pet insurance policies for different dog breeds. You are likely to spend less on mixed-breed dogs or mutts, while purebreds will cost more to insure because mutts aren’t as prone to developing serious genetic conditions.

Pugs, boxers, and bulldogs with flat faces, called Brachycephalic dogs, will usually have more expensive pet insurance, as they can develop additional health problems due to their short snouts.

Breed Monthly Rate
Bulldog $53
Labrador Retriever $44
Golden Retriever $44
Mutt (mixed breed, up to 100lbs) $37
Beagle $37
German Shepherd $37
Mutt (mixed breed, up to 50lbs) $33

Average cost of cat insurance

The average pet insurance monthly premium when it comes to cats is closer to $20 across most large pet insurance providers.

Although the cost to insure a cat will vary just as much as in the case of dogs, cats are generally cheaper to have insured than dogs. You should expect to pet insurance rates that are somewhere between $10 and $18 per month to get pet insurance for a four-year-old cat that presents medium risks, at most affordable companies. When it comes to health care coverage, if you have a more disease-prone cat breed or your cat is fairly older, you will likely pay between $27 and $32 per month for cat insurance.

Company Monthly Rate
Trupanion $38
Nationwide $25
Embrace $25
Petplan $22
PetFirst $22
24PetWatch $19
HealthyPaws $18
AKC/PetPartners $17
Figo $15
PetsBest $11

Cat insurance cost by cat breed

Just like in the case of dogs, you will spend more or less to insure your car depending on its breed. DSH, Domestic Shorthair, as well as other common breeds, but also mixed breeds, will usually be cheaper to get insured.

Average cost of medical treatments for pets

Considering the eventual vet bills without insurance is a great way of figuring out whether you need pet insurance or not. If you’re only going to be dealing with some minor treatments like an upset stomach or an ear infection, then it might not make sense to get a year’s worth of insurance, but if you think you’ll have to deal  with more serious issues or multiple conditions, then these will surely cost more than the full price of the policy.

According to MetLife, the most common cat treatments shouldn’t cost more than $270, while the most common dog treatments will cost around $255 on average.

It might prove pretty expensive to treat even some of the more common issues, like parvo in puppies, with average claims being over $1,100. And although very serious conditions like cancer are very rare, if your pet needs diagnosis or treatment, you will spend much more than you would on insurance, with chemotherapy alone being several thousands of dollars.

Cost of common dog health problems

Condition Cost of Vet Visit
Bladder issues $627
Upset stomach $395
Allergies $259
Sprains $277
Arthritis $265
Skin infection $185
Diarrhea $213
Ear infection $159
Hypothyroidism $133
Eye infection $125


But depending on your individual situation, in most cases, it will be less expensive to just pay for treatments out of your pocket when it comes to most common dog and cat medical issues than going for annual pet insurance.

Keep in mind that although pet insurance will help lower the burden you will face from surprising and expensive vet bills, like the pet getting cancer or fracturing a limb, it still won’t cover the whole medical bill of the pet.

Cost of common cat health problems

Condition Cost of Vet Visit
Kidney Failure $495
Upset Stomach $395
Urinary Tract Condition (UTI) $305
Diabetes $286
Allergies $245
Hyperthyroidism $226
Upper Respiratory Infections (URI) $229
Colon Issues $213
Diarrhea $213
Ear Infections $159


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The thing about pet insurance plans is that you have the opportunity to select a deductible and reimbursement rate so as to ensure that a lot of strain is not placed on your budget. If you select a higher deductible, you will have to pay less for insurance. Deductibles can range from as little as $100 to as much as $1000. Selecting a lower reimbursement rate implies that you will have to pay less each month for a policy. The range for this lies between 60 and 100%.

Should the average working Joe get insurance for his pets?

Although insurance might be pricey if you have a purebred or exotic pet, you should keep in mind that your pet is likely to require emergency care frequently which would, in turn, increase your vet bill, so getting the best pet insurance plan would work in your favor. It is one of the expenses that you should have in mind before even getting a pet, to make sure that you will be able to cover all of its needs.

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