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Pet Insurance Cost
How much does pet insurance cost?
The answer is the average cost is $41/mo.
However, the price you will pay for your pet could be as low as $15/mo. or as high as $75/mo.
The wide range in pricing is based on 5 factors:
- Where You Live
- Your Pet's Breed
- Your Pet's Age
- Your Coverage
5 Cost Factors
We created a comprehensive overview of all 5 cost factors if you want to dig deeper.
Factor #1: Where You Live
For your benefit we researched and crunched numbers to get the average cost of pet insurance by state. 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 your actual vet bills they charge more for policies in expensive zip codes like New York and Los Angeles.
The average cost of pet insurance throughout the United States is $492 per year. Take a look at our table below to get an idea of how much standard accident and illness plans costs in your state.
If you have a four year-old German shepherd and live in Santa Monica, California, a pet insurance policy will cost you 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.
Factor #2: Your Pet's Breed
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. Here is a sample of dog insurance costs for the top 10 most popular dog breeds in America.
How Much is Pet Insurance for a Dog?
|Mixed Breed Dog||$38/mo.|
|Average for All Dogs||$42/mo.|
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.
How Much is Pet Insurance for a Cat?
|Mixed Breed Cat||$32/mo.|
|Average for All Cats||$32/mo.|
Factor #3: Your Pet's Age
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 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.
Bonus Tip: The average price increase for a policy is less 5 to 10% per year.
Factor #4: Your Coverage
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
There are three different levels of coverage when considering pet health insurance.
- Accident Only - These plans are less expensive than major medical plans, but only cover claims for accidents.
- Major Medical - Most popular. These plans account for over 98% of all pet health insurance plans purchased.
- Wellness - Some companies allow you to add wellness coverage to a standard major medical plan.
Deductible & Reimbursement
One of the best things about pet insurance plans is that you can choose a deductible and reimbursement rate 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 60-100% (we recommend 80% or 90% reimbursement rates to maximize value).
Average Prices for all 37 Plans
This table shows the average cost for every pet insurance plan available in the U.S. including monthly premiums and fees associated with enrollment. 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.
|Healthy Paws: Standard||$39/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: 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: Routine Care $400||$26/mo.||None|
|PetFirst: Routine Care $250||$18/mo.||None|
|ASPCA: Level 4||$60/mo.||$1.50/mo.|
|ASPCA: Level 3||$43/mo.||$1.50/mo.|
|ASPCA: Level 2||$29/mo.||$1.50/mo.|
|ASPCA: Level 1||$14/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: Defender Plus||$26/mo.||$2.00/mo.|
Premium for three year old, mixed breed dog, $200 deductible, 90% remibursement with maximum coverage and limits.
Bonus Tip: None of us wants to deal with a sick or injured pet. But unfortunately health issues happen.
Factor #5: Company
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. Here is a list of all 12 companies currently offering plan in the U.S.
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
Learn More: Best Pet Insurance
Other Cost Factors
Every pet insurance company 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.
The average pet insurance policy costs $41/mo.
However, averages are not a good indication of how much pet insurance really costs because rates vary depending on your pet's breed, age and where you live. We've generated over 1 million pet insurance quotes so we know a thing or two about prices.
Sample Pet Insurance Claim
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.
So 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.
|Cost of Treatment||$12,000|
|Reimbursed||$10,800 ($12,000 x 90%)|
|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
Real Life Stories
Pictured: Anna pays $42/mo. for Buster's plan
"They're rated the best and I can tell you they are the best!"
"The trip to the ER and IV's cost about $400 and the plan reimbursed us about $150. Then in May 2015 Buster's active lifestyle caught up to him and he tore a ligament in his front left leg. I couldn't pinpoint when the injury occurred but it became clear after a couple days of limping and whining that something was wrong..." Read More
- Anna & Buster, Insured by Healthy Paws
"Get Petplan as Soon as You Get Your Dog"
"We eventually purchased a policy from Petplan but not after Charley had about $1,500 in veterinary bills after swallowing the corner of a pillow when he was a puppy. Lucky for us there was no long-term damage so when we enrolled Charley with Petplan he did not have any pre-existing conditions..." Read More
- Claire & Charlie, Insured by Petplan
"Friendly on the Phone"
"I dread calling some companies but not Pets Best. Anytime I have a coverage question the staff there is very helpful and happy. They actually seem happy to be answering my questions and helping. It's such a refreshing experience..." Read More
- June & Sparky, Insured by Pets Best
More Stories: Pet Insurance Reviews
Comparison Shop to 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 company 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.
Edited by: Nick Braun
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Pet insurance pays up to 90% for veterinary treatment when your dog or cat gets sick or injured.