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Pet Insurance Cost

Pet Insurance Cost

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Are you curious how much does pet insurance will cost for your pet?

It's a good question.

With a somewhat complex answer. Because just like home or auto insurance, pet insurance companies base their rates on risk and claims payouts.

Cutting to the chase - the average pet insurance policy starts at $32/mo. for a dog and $22/mo. for a cat.

But averages are not a good indication of how much it will cost YOU. Because in reality, pet insurance costs vary widely.

So how do youfind the best price for your pet? 

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Real-Life Examples

If you have an 8 year-old German Shepherd and you live in New York City, a pet insurance policy will cost you about $55 per month. However, if you have a 3 year-old Domestic Shorthair and live in Topeka, Kansas, you will only pay $16 per month.

(That's a $39 per moth difference!)

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 and claims payouts.

  • Risk - German Shepherds are much more likely to need treatment for accidents and illnesses than a Domestic Shorthair cat
  • Claims Payouts - And based on actuarial data, the cost to treat a German Shepherd in New York is much higher than the cost to treat a Domestic Shorthair in Kansas

Still confused? Thank about this example of auto insurance.

A Mercedes Benz in New York is going to be much more expensive to insure than a Subaru in Kansas. The risk of an accident in New York is much higher and the cost to repair a Mercedes in Manhattan is also much greater than a Subaru in Kansas.

(Keep in mind, if you flip the example around, say, German Shepherd in Kansas vs. Domestic Shorhair in New York, the German Shepherd in Kansas is going to be more expensive to insure).

Bottom Line: what does that mean for you?

Well, it means the only way to truly know how much pet insurance will cost for your pet is to compare quotes ... just like any other insurance product!

What Factors Determine Cost?

Dog Insurance Cost

We've covered some of the basics on how pet insurance companies rate plans, but what are the specific factors they use to determine rates?

Another good question!

Here are the 8 factors that will determine how much YOU will pay for pet insurance.

1. The Type of Pet You Have

Simply put, dogs are more expensive to insure than cats. Overall, the risk of illness or injury is higher for dogs and the cost of treatment is generally higher across the board.

2. Your Pet's Breed

Pure breed dogs and cats are slightly more expensive than their mixed breed counterparts. This is because purebreds are more susceptible to hereditary conditions. And hereditary disorders like hip dysplasia, heart disease and cancer are some of the most common and expensive issues to treat. (Sample of dog health conditions and treatment costs)

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 any age pet but the cost will be higher the older your pet is. This is why we encourage pet owners to purchase plans while their dogs and cats are young.

4. Your Zip Code

Veterinary surgery in New York City costs almost twice as much as Topeka, Kansas and because pet insurance companies pay based on your actual vet bills they charge more in expensive zip codes like New York. 

5. Company

Not all pet insurance companies are created equal. Just like any insurance product, there are good ones and bad ones. The good ones are usually a bit more expensive than the bad ones, but the extra cost is well worth it because when it comes time to file a claim, you'll be covered! (Complete company rankings for 2015)

6. Coverage

There is a wide range of pet insurance coverage options: from accident-only to full accident, illness and routine care plans. The more coverage you purchase the more expensive your policy will be. You can also choose a deductible and reimbursement rate to meet your budget. You can save money by choosing a higher deductible and lower reimbursement rate.

Some pet insurance companies also allow you to add routine care plans for an additional $23/month.

7. Deductible & Reimbursement Rate

One of the best things about pet insurance plans is that you can choose a deductible and reimbursement rate to fit your budget. 

  • Deductible - If you choose a higher deductible you will pay less for pet insurance. Conversely, if you choose a lower deductible you will get more back when you file a claim, but your monthly rates will be higher. Deductibles range from $100 to $1,000 (we recommend $200 or $500 to maximize value).
  • Reimbursement Rate - If you choose a lower reimbursement rate you will pay less each month for a policy because the company will pay less when you claim. And, as common sense will tell you, if you choose a higher reimbursement rate you'll pay more each month. Reimbursement rates range from 60-100% of your actual vet bills (we recommend 80% or 90% reimbursement rates to maximize value).

8. Discounts

Every pet insurance company offers various discounts that you can take advantage of including multi-pet discounts and partner discounts. The good news is that you can use our free quoting system to compare prices from all the leading companies at once... and you'll get our partner discount! (Our partner discounts range from 5-10% depending on the company).

Are you lost? That's okay! Just visit our Pet insurance 101 page to learn the basics about pet health insurance.

Pet Insurance Rates by Location

We researched and crunched the numbers to get you the average cost of pet insurance by state. Use our data to see what your states average premiums are to get a better idea of what you should be paying.

Pet Insurance by State

The average cost of pet insurance throughout the United States is $384 per year. Take a look at our table below to get an idea of how much accident + illness plans costs in your state.

Location Dogs Cats
Alabama $25/month $17/month
Alaska $33/month $25/month
Arizona $27/month $18/month
Arkansas $24/month $17/month
California $36/month $28/month
Colorado $31/month $26/month
Connecticut $32/month $24/month
D.C. $33/month $25/month
Delaware $32/month $25/month
Florida $28/month $26/month
Georgia $29/month $24/month
Hawaii $35/month $24/month
Idaho $27/month $17/month
Illinois $32/month $26/month
Indiana $25/month $18/month
Iowa $25/month $19/month
Kansas $23/month $16/month
Kentucky $26/month $17/month
Louisiana $27/month $19/month
Maine $30/month $24/month
Maryland $31/month $26/month
Massachusetts $34/month $28/month
Michigan $32/month $26/month
Minnesota $29/month $23/month
Mississippi $24/month $17/month
Missouri $28/month $22/month
Montana $25/month $18/month
Nebraska $24/month $17/month
Nevada $27/month $21/month
New Hampshire $30/month $22/month
New Jersey $37/month $27/month
New Mexico $24/month $18/month
New York $38/month $28/month
North Carolina $29/month $22/month
North Dakota $26/month $21/month
Ohio $29/month $22/month
Oklahoma $26/month $21/month
Oregon $29/month $22/month
Pennsylvania $32/month $24/month
Rhode Island $34/month $26/month
South Carolina $25/month $19/month
South Dakota $28/month $23/month
Tennessee $27/month $20/month
Texas $32/month $24/month
Utah $25/month $19/month
Vermont $30/month $23/month
Virginia $29/month $22/month
Washington $31/month $23/month
West Virginia $24/month $18/month
Wisconsin $28/month $22/month
Wyoming $26/month $18/month

* Full accident + illness coverage for a 3 year-old pet

Pet Insurance Rates for Dogs

Here is a sample of pet insurance costs of the top 10 most popular dog breeds. Obviously the prices will vary based on your dog's age, where you live and the coverage you select.

Dog Breeds Cost
Mixed Breed Dog $28/month
Labrador Retriever $34/month
Yorkshire Terrier $31/month
Golden Retriever $36/month
Dachshund $40/month
Chihuahua $38/month
German Shepherd $39/month
Shih Tzu $32/month
Boxer $44/month
English Bulldog $42/month

* Full accident + illness coverage for a 3 year-old dog

Pet Insurance Rates for Cats

Here is a sample of pet insurance costs of the top 10 most popular cat breeds. Obviously the prices will vary based on your cat's age, where you live and the coverage you select.

Cat Breeds Cost
Mixed Breed Cat $22/month
Domestic Shorthair $24/month
American Shorthair $24/month
Siamese $26/month
Maine Coon $28/month
Persian $29/month
Ragdoll $23/month
Bengal $25/month
Russian Blue $29/month
Himalayan $28/month

* Full accident + illness coverage for a 3 year-old cat


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. The fact is that where you live and the type of pet you have is unique and the only way to find the best price is to get rates from multiple companies.

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