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Pet Insurance Cost Overview


According to NAPHIA the average price of a pet insurance plan was $41/mo. in 2016. However, pet insurance rates vary widely depending on five cost factors. To give you an idea of how much it costs we created a chart that includes all 12 American pet insurance providers.

Provider Dogs *
Cats *
Pets Best $33/mo. $18/mo.
FIGO $35/mo. $20/mo.
Healthy Paws $38/mo. $22/mo.
Nationwide $48/mo. $26/mo.
ASPCA $54/mo. $25/mo.
PetPremium $54/mo. $25/mo.
AKC $55/mo. $28/mo.
Petplan $57/mo. $28/mo.
Trupanion $57/mo. $37/mo.
PetFirst $61/mo. $33/mo.
Embrace $68/mo. $40/mo.
24PetWatch $76/mo. $40/mo.

Compare Plans and Prices


Five Cost Factors


The amount you will pay for your pet insurance policy depends on five rating factors. Your pets breed, age, coverage, zip code and the provider you choose. Below are detailed breakdowns of each pricing factor so you can better understand how companies come up with their rates.

  1. Breed
  2. Age
  3. Coverage
  4. Zip Code
  5. Provider

 

1. Breed


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Bottom line, how much is dog insurance? Well, to give you an idea of how much a plan might cost for you dog we created a sample of dog insurance prices for the top 10 most popular dog breeds in America. This chart shows the average health insurance cost for each breed.

Dog Breed Avg.*
Mixed Breed Dog $38/mo.
Labrador Retriever $45/mo.
Yorkshire Terrier $42/mo.
Golden Retriever $47/mo.
Dachshund $51/mo.
Chihuahua $49/mo.
German Shepherd $50/mo.
Shih Tzu $43/mo.
Boxer $55/mo.
English Bulldog $53/mo.
Average for All Dogs $43/mo.

Pet insurance rates vary widely among different breeds of dogs and cats. The rates are based on the likelihood of health issues for a given breed. For example, if you have a four year-old German shepherd and live in New York your pet insurance policy will cost about $52 per month. If you have a three year-old Domestic Shorthair and live in Topeka, Kansas, you will only pay $26 per month. The reason a German shepherd in NYC is 3.4x more expensive than a Domestic Shorthair in Kansas is because they have completely different risk profiles.

German Shepherds are much more likely to need treatment for accidents and illnesses than a Domestic Shorthair cats. Dogs are more expensive than cats because the risk of illness and injury is higher for dogs. And purebred dogs are slightly more expensive to insure than their mixed breed counterparts because purebreds are more susceptible to hereditary conditions. In fact, hereditary disorders like hip dysplasia, heart disease and cancer are some of the most common and expensive health issues to treat.

And if you're more of a cat person here is a sample of cat insurance costs for the top 10 most popular cat breeds in America. Below is the average cost of insurance for various cat breeds.

Cat Breed Avg.*
Mixed Breed Cat $29/mo.
Domestic Shorthair $30/mo.
American Shorthair $32/mo.
Siamese $34/mo.
Maine Coon $33/mo.
Persian $38/mo.
Ragdoll $32/mo.
Bengal $35/mo.
Russian Blue $37/mo.
Himalayan $33/mo.
Average for All Cats $31/mo.

Pet Insurance Worth It? | Veterinary Care & Costs

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2. Age


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Just like humans, older dogs and cats are more expensive to insure because they are more susceptible to illness and injury. You can get a pet medical insurance policy for a pet of any age, but the longer you wait the more expensive it will be. This is one of the reasons we strongly encourage pet owners to enroll their pets while they are younger. As your pet gets older each year the cost of your insurance will go up because the risk of illness and injury is higher for older pets. Here is a list of some of the most common health issues to give you an idea of how much treatment can cost if your dog or cat gets sick or injured.

Condition Cost to Treat
Cancer $5,000 to $20,000
Luxating Patella $1,500 to $3,000
Heart Disease $5,000 to $20,000
Mitral Valve Disease $1,000 to $5,000
Patent Ductus Arteriosus $5,000 to $20,000
Heart Murmur $5,000 to $20,000
Pulmonic Stenosis $15,000 to $20,000
Broken Bones $200 to $5,000
Eye Problems $50 to $3,000
Dental Problems $200 to $2,000
Tracheal Collapse $4,000 to $7,000
Bladder Stones $50 to $500
Curvature of the Spine $6,000 to $15,000

Source: Dog Health Conditions


Consider These Facts

  • A pet needs emergency care every 2.5 seconds
  • Every 6 seconds a pet owner faces a vet bill over $5,000
  • 2 of 3 pets will experience a serious health issue during their lifetime


According to a study by CBS News, the average cost of a pet insurance plan is 58% cheaper than a daily trip to a coffee shop.

Comparing Costs Trip to Coffee Shop Pet Insurance
Cost per day $3.25 $1.37
Cost per month $97.50 $41.00
Cost per year $1,170 $492

And according to Doctors Foster and Smith, pet insurance is actually cheaper than the annual cost of grooming, food and veterinary care. Bonus Tip: The average price increase for a policy is less 5 to 10% per year.

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3. Coverage


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There is a wide range of coverage options from accident only policies to comprehensive plans that include all emergencies. Obviously the more coverage you purchase the more expensive your policy will be. Some pet insurance companies allow you to add routine care coverage for an additional monthly charge.


Types of Coverage to Choose From

There are three different levels of coverage when considering pet health insurance. There's no right answer but the most popular plans are major medical policies that protect you and your pet from big, unexpected vet bills that are the result of accidents and illnesses.

  • Major Medical - These plans account for over 90% of all pet health insurance plans purchased.
  • Accident Only - These plans are less expensive than major medical plans, but only cover claims for accidents.
  • Wellness - Some companies allow you to add wellness coverage to a standard major medical plan.


Deductible and Reimbursement

One of the best things about pet insurance plans is that you can choose a deductible and reimbursement percentage to create a policy that fits your budget.

  • Deductible - If you choose a higher deductible you will pay less for insurance. Deductibles range from $100 to $1,000 (we recommend $200 or $500 to maximize value).
  • Reimbursement - If you choose a lower reimbursement rate you will pay less each month for a policy. Reimbursement rates range from 60 to 100% (we recommend 80% or 90% reimbursement rates to maximize value).

 

Average Prices for all 34 Plans

This table shows the average pet insurance cost for every plan available in the U.S. including monthly premiums and fees associated with enrollment. None of us wants to deal with a sick or injured pet. But unfortunately health issues happen. As you can see in the chart below, the cheapest and most affordable pet insurance plans are accident only plans, which we do not recommend because they are so limited in coverage.

Provider: Plan Premium *
Fees
Healthy Paws: Standard $38/mo. $25 one-time
Petplan: Standard $31/mo. $25 one-time
Nationwide: Whole Pet with Wellness $61/mo. $2.00/mo.
Nationwide:  Major Medical $28/mo. $2.00/mo.
Nationwide: Wellness Basic $18/mo. $2.00/mo.
Nationwide: Wellness Plus $22/mo. $2.00/mo.
Embrace: Standard $66/mo. 5%/mo.
Embrace: Wellness Rewards $650 $47/mo. 5%/mo.
Embrace: Wellness Rewards $450 $18/mo. 5%/mo.
Embrace: Wellness Rewards $250 $33/mo. 5%/mo.
Pets Best: Elite Option $58/mo. $2.00/mo.
Pets Best: Plus Option $38/mo. $2.00/mo.
Pets Best: Essential Option $31/mo. $2.00/mo.
Pets Best: Accident Only $10/mo. $2.00/mo.
Pets Best: BestWellness $24/mo. $2.00/mo.
Trupanion: Standard $58/mo. $35 one-time
Figo: Ultimate $36/mo. $9 one-time
Figo: Preferred $33/mo. $9 one-time
Figo: Essential $30/mo. $9 one-time
PetFirst: Standard $93/mo. None
PetFirst: Routine Care $400 $26/mo. None
PetFirst: Routine Care $250 $18/mo. None
ASPCA Complete Coverage $60/mo. $1.50/mo.
ASPCA: Advanced Wellness $25/mo. $1.50/mo.
ASPCA: Routine Wellness $10/mo. $1.50/mo.
PetPremium: Level 3 $43/mo. $1.50/mo.
PetPremium: Level 2 $29/mo. $1.50/mo.
PetPremium: Level 1 $14/mo. $1.50/mo.
PetPremium: Advanced Wellness $25/mo. $1.50/mo.
PetPremium: Routine Wellness $10/mo. $1.50/mo.
AKC: Standard $49/mo. $2.00/mo.
AKC: Defender Plus $26/mo. $2.00/mo.
AKC: Defender $16/mo. $2.00/mo.
24PetWatch: Standard $47/mo. $2.50/mo.

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4. Zip Code


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Color map of each state in America

Here are some sample pet insurance prices across the country for dogs and cats.

Location Dogs *
Cats *
Alabama $35/mo. $27/mo.
Alaska $43/mo. $33/mo.
Arizona $37/mo. $28/mo.
Arkansas $34/mo. $27/mo.
California $46/mo. $38/mo.
Colorado $41/mo. $36/mo.
Connecticut $42/mo. $34/mo.
D.C. $43/mo. $35/mo.
Delaware $42/mo. $35/mo.
Florida $38/mo. $36/mo.
Georgia $39/mo. $34/mo.
Hawaii $44/mo. $34/mo.
Idaho $37/mo. $27/mo.
Illinois $42/mo. $36/mo.
Indiana $35/mo. $28/mo.
Iowa $35/mo. $29/mo.
Kansas $33/mo. $26/mo.
Kentucky $36/mo. $27/mo.
Louisiana $37/mo. $29/mo.
Maine $40/mo. $34/mo.
Maryland $41/mo. $36/mo.
Massachusetts $44/mo. $38/mo.
Michigan $42/mo. $36/mo.
Minnesota $39/mo. $33/mo.
Mississippi $34/mo. $27/mo.
Missouri $38/mo. $32/mo.
Montana $35/mo. $28/mo.
Nebraska $34/mo. $27/mo.
Nevada $37/mo. $31/mo.
New Hampshire $40/mo. $32/mo.
New Jersey $42/mo. $32/mo.
New Mexico $34/mo. $28/mo.
New York $48/mo. $38/mo.
North Carolina $39/mo. $32/mo.
North Dakota $36/mo. $31/mo.
Ohio $39/mo. $32/mo.
Oklahoma $36/mo. $31/mo.
Oregon $39/mo. $32/mo.
Pennsylvania $42/mo. $34/mo.
Rhode Island $45/mo. $35/mo.
South Carolina $35/mo. $29/mo.
South Dakota $38/mo. $33/mo.
Tennessee $37/mo. $30/mo.
Texas $42/mo. $34/mo.
Utah $35/mo. $29/mo.
Vermont $40/mo. $33/mo.
Virginia $39/mo. $32/mo.
Washington $41/mo. $33/mo.
West Virginia $34/mo. $28/mo.
Wisconsin $38/mo. $32/mo.
Wyoming $36/mo. $28/mo.

Over the years we've generated over 1 million pet insurance quotes across the country so we have more data than anyone about pet insurance costs. We researched and crunched the numbers to get average costs by state. Where you live is the first factor that determines the cost of pet insurance.

The reason costs vary by state is because prices vary depending on the cost of care where you live. For example, veterinary surgery in New York City costs twice as much as veterinary surgery in Topeka, Kansas and because pet insurance companies pay claims based on a percentage of your actual vet bills companies charge more for policies in expensive zip codes like New York than they charge in places like Kansas.

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5. Provider


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Every provider is similar in the type of coverage they offer (all offer major medical, some offer wellness care). However, each provider provides different prices based on where you live, your pet's age and the coverage you choose. That is why it's so important to compare plans and prices so you can find the best value possible. Here is a list of all 12 American pet insurance providers.

 Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws

 Petplan Pet Insurance
 Pets Best Insurance
 
ASPCA Pet Insurance

ASPCA

 Trupanion Pet Insurance

Trupanion

Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace

 PetFirst Pet Insurance

PetFirst

Veterinary Pet Insurance

Nationwide

 PetPremium Pet Insurance

PetPremium

AKC Pet Insurance

AKC

 24PetWatch Pet Insurance

24PetWatch

Figo Pet Insurance

Figo

Not all pet insurance companies are created equal. As you shop around you'll notice that some companies have broad coverage, high customer satisfaction and fair pricing. Other companies have hidden exclusions, limits on claims payouts and horrible customer ratings. When you compare pet insurance companies, plans and costs keep in mind that the cheapest plan is not always the best option for your pet. Learn More: Best Pet Insurance

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Protect your pet today


Price Increases


Big dog doing some accounting

One of the most common questions we get is, "How much will the price increase as my pet ages?"

To answer the question, we did an analysis, and the short answer is that on average prices increase 9.6% per year. It's important to note that 10% is just the average and each company is different. You should also keep in mind that as your pet ages the chances of a serious illness or injury increases, which is why the price goes up.

Also keep in mind that if you start with a good price the increases over time won't sting as much. So if you choose the right company at the right price in the first place, you'll be happy as your pet ages. But here is some more advice, detailed information and a comparison of how each company handles prices increases.

For the record, we recommend you choose a company and stick with them for the life of your pet. The reason you should stick with one company is to avoid exclusions and starting over your waiting periods. There's also not much cost savings switching companies.

Company Year 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year 7 Year 9 Total Avg.
Embrace  $   32  $   30  $   33  $   39  $   48 50% 5.2%
Trupanion  $   38  $   44  $   51  $   55  $   62 63% 6.3%
24PetWatch  $   60  $   66  $   73  $   83  $   99 65% 6.5%
PetFirst  $   43  $   46  $   51  $   61  $   78 81% 7.7%
Nationwide  $   26  $   27  $   33  $   38  $   49 88% 8.2%
Healthy Paws  $   25  $   31  $   36  $   44  $   53 111% 9.8%
ASPCA  $   30  $   32  $   36  $   51  $   68 127% 10.8%
PetPremium  $   30  $   32  $   36  $   51  $   68 127% 10.8%
Figo  $   21  $   25  $   30  $   39  $   52 148% 12.0%
AKC  $   28  $   34  $   41  $   54  $   72 157% 12.5%
Pets Best  $   19  $   19  $   25  $   37  $   55 189% 14.2%
Petplan  $   28  $   29  $   44  $   62  $   87 211% 15.2%
               
   $ 181  $ 202  $ 248  $ 338  $ 455    
               
          151%    
               
20-Apr-17       Avg. 9.6%    

Note: Average price for three year-old, mixed breed dog


Available Discounts


Every pet insurance provider offers discounts that you can take advantage of. One of the most popular is multi-pet discounts for pet owners with two or more pets. You can also find discounts for military personnel, veterinary professionals and micro-chipped pets. Some companies also offer employer discounts and membership discounts through AAA and AARP to name a few. The good news is that when you use our quote system you automatically receive the maximum discounts allowed by each provider.


Sample Pet Insurance Claim


So how does this all work?

Here is a sample pet insurance claim so you can understand how claims are paid and see the real benefit of having pet insurance coverage. Let's take Rex. Rex is a three year-old mixed breed dog living in Columbus, Ohio. Rex is healthy and his parents, Nick and Melissa, want to make sure they're covered in case he gets sick or injured.

They purchased a standard major medical plan to insure Rex in case of unexpected health issues. Like most pet owners, Nick and Melissa are on a budget, so they select a $500 deductible and 80% reimbursement rate. This lowered their costs even further. Here is a simple example of how pet insurance claims work. Pet insurance companies pay claims based on your actual, total veterinary bills.

Health Issue Cancer
Cost of Treatment $12,000
Reimbursement 90%
Reimbursed $10,800 ($12,000 x 90%)
Deductible Less: $200
Total Claim Paid $10,600

Source: Cancer in Dogs

The good news is that Nick and Melissa are actually paying less than the national average for their plan for Rex. And the best news is that Rex will be covered and get the treatment he needs if he ever needs expensive veterinary treatment.


"Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make his tail wag."

- Kinky Friedman


Compare & Save


It's important to mention the one thing you can do to save money on pet insurance... shop around. Our quote generator will help you shop around quickly without the hassle of calling individual pet insurers and repeating the same information.

Each provider is unique in the way they calculate rates based on breed, age and location. That is why we always encourage pet owners to use our quote system to compare plans and prices from all the top companies.


Compare pet insurance plans


More Information


How Much Do Dogs Cost?

Depending on the breed and source it can range from free to $10,000+. If you rescue a dog then the only cost you have is the cost of shots and a minimal fee. If you want a purebred puppy then you can expect to pay a breeder somewhere between $500 to $5,000. And if you want a rare, well-trained hunting or therapy dog then you can expect to pay $10,000 to $25,000.


How Much Does a Dog Cost Per Year?

The cost of dog ownership depends on your dog's age, breed and where you live. Here is a sense of what you can expect to pay each year based on the size of your dog.

  • Small dog breeds - $2,674
  • Medium dog breeds - $2,889
  • Large dog breeds - $3,239
  • Giant dog breeds - $3,536
  • Average first year cost across all sizes - $3,085


How Much Do Cats Cost?

Owning a cat is much less costly than owning a dog. According to the Humane Society of Huron Valley did a study that concluded the average cost of owning a cat. Here is the breakdown:

  • Total Annual Cost for Indoor Cat - $620
  • Total Annual Cost for Outdoor Cat - $863


Can I Get Dog Life Insurance?

Petplan Pet Insurance is the only provider that offer dog life insurance plans.


Where Can I Get Rates?

Learn more about each of the five cost factors and let us help you find the right plan that fit's your budget! Compare Pet Insurance Quotes

 

Edited by: Nick Braun


* Rates are based on quotes for standard major medical plans for a one year-old mixed breed dog or cat, $250 deductible, 90% reimbursement, maximum payout limits, 43221 zip code.


 
 
 

Common Pet Health Problems


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