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Pet Insurance Cost
Pet Insurance can save you thousands on vet bills
Pet insurance is cheaper than you think.
Here are 5 factors that determine how much you will pay for pet insurance.
- Your Pet's Breed
- Your Pet's Age
- Zip Code
- Deductible and Reimbursement
Get a customized quote to see custom prices for your pet.
Let's Use an Example
Let's take Rex. Rex is a 3 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 accident and illness policy 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.
- Company: Healthy Paws
- Coverage: Standard Accident & Illness
- Deductible: $500
- Reimbursement Rate: 80%
- Monthly Cost: $28.00
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.
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 pet insurance costs of the top 10 most popular dog breeds.
|Mixed Breed Dog||$28/mo.|
|Average for All Dogs||$32/mo.|
Full accident & illness coverage for a 3 year-old
Learn More: Dog Insurance
Here is a sample of pet insurance costs of the top 10 most popular cat breeds.
|Mixed Breed Cat||$22/mo.|
|Average for All Cats||$22/mo.|
Full accident & illness coverage for a 3 year-old
Learn More: Cat Insurance
Cost by State
For your benefit we researched and crunched numbers to get the average cost of pet insurance by state.
Pet Insurance cost is directly correlated to the cost of living index.
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 $384 per year. Take a look at our table below to get an idea of how much accident + illness plans costs in your state.
Full accident & illness coverage for a 3 year-old mixed breed
The simple answer is the average pet insurance policy is $32 per month for a dog and $22 per month for a cat.
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.
Below is data we've collected over the years. We've broken down the information by dog breeds, cat breeds and location.
As you'll soon learn, prices can vary widely depending on the type of pet you have.
Here are the eight factors that determine how much you will pay for pet insurance coverage.
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.
The average price increase for a policy is less than 10% per year.
Company You Select
Coverage You Select
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.
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 Rate - 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).
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.
Real Life Stories
Buster and Anna, Anna pays $42/month for Buster's plan
Made a Great Pet Insurance Decision
"I first visited this website 2 years ago after we got our new golden retriever puppy. I was torn between Embrace, Petplan and Healthy Paws. Healthy Paws was the most expensive, but I chose them because they had no payout limits.
This summer our new dog broke his leg chasing a tennis ball at our neighborhood dog park. The veterinary hospital wanted $7,200 to fix the break.
I called Healthy Paws from the waiting room and got an informal pre-approval from the customer service rep that the break was fully covered. We moved forward with the surgery and Magnet made a full recovery after about 4 weeks of care and rehab exercises.
He now has 4 pins in his front leg but he seems to have fully recovered. We made a great pet insurance decision and I recommend Healthy Paws to other dog owners. They paid their claim in one week and allowed me to focus on getting our dog healthy."
Teresa, Insured by Healthy Paws
Unexpected Vet Bills Really Added Up
"We took Rebo in for a routine annual exam and they found a growth behind his ear that caused our vet some concern. He suggested we get a biopsy to make sure the growth wasn't malignant or infected.
They removed the growth in a simple, local anesthetic procedure and sent the tissue to a lab for tests. Five days later we were informed that the tissue tested in the lab was not cancer, but there was a rare bacteria found that would require a couple of nights in a hospital.
They had to inject antibiotics and steroids through an IV to eradicate the bacteria at the source. We were relieved that it was not cancerous but it was still worrisome and emotionally stressful given that he was in a hospital getting treatment.
The good news is that the treatment took very well and they successfully removed all traces of the bacteria and Rebo got a clean bill of health. Speaking of bills, our bills from start to finish totaled $2,400.
That's a lot considering the fact that the condition wasn't too serious. Petplan sent us a check for $2,060 just 5 days after we submitted our claim. It was a very easy process. If you have a dog I recommend Petplan because they pay."
Wynona, Insured by Petplan
Tiger Got the Surgery He Needed
"My wife and I rescued Tiger last Summer. They estimated his age was 3 and had no idea what his previous health history was. We decided to get pet insurance because of the unknown.
We searched for plans on PetInsuranceQuotes.com and decided to choose Pets Best based on price. The other two companies we considered were Petplan and Healthy Paws. We ended up choosing Pets Best Level 2 Plan, which provides $10,000 in annual coverage.
We also chose the $200 annual deductible and 90% repayment rate. I felt that would be sufficient amount in case something significant happened. And sure enough a year and half later Tiger tore his knee up during a walk after chasing after a squirrel.
At first I thought he just stepped on a rock or sprained his ankle (do dogs have ankles?). Later that night he was still favoring his leg and it was shaking. I felt bad but still thought it was a sprain.
We put some ice on it and decided to wait through the night to see if it got better before taking him to the vet. The next morning he seemed to be in even more pain so we took him to Dr. Stephens. They did some physical tests and believed it was a tear in his knee ligaments.
Dr. Stephens referred us to a specialist where Tiger would undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the damage in his knee. The MRI cost $800, which seems ridiculous but if there was a full tear they would need to verify.
Our only other option was to wait and see if his knee healed, which was even more ridiculous. The MRI showed a fully torn ligament that required corrective surgery.
Based on Tiger's size (he's a medium mixed breed dog) they assumed the surgery would restore him to 100% health. The surgeon said the surgery would cost $3,800 assuming there were no complications or ongoing issues.
So from my calculation we were up to $4,600 assuming everything went smoothly. At this point I realized the true value of pet health insurance. All of the decisions we were making were based on Tiger's well-being and not money.
I know for a fact if I didn't have insurance our conversations and decisions would have been much different. We scheduled surgery for the next morning and paid the bill with our credit card.
We submitted our claim to Pets Best 3 days after surgery and they sent us a check 7 days later for $3,960. We still had to pay about $600 from our deductible and 10% co-payment but that is a much different proposition than $4,800.
I am glad to report that Tiger is back to full strength and has no complications from the ACL repair. Modern veterinary care is pretty amazing but it's expensive. That is the #1 reason to purchase pet health insurance."
Kimberly, Insured by Pets Best
If you have a four year-old German shepherd and live in Santa Monica, California, a pet insurance policy will cost you about $42 per month.
If you have a three year-old Domestic Shorthair and live in Topeka, Kansas, you will only pay $16 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.
That's cool, try out this example using auto insurance.
A Mercedes Benz in New York is going to be much more expensive to insure than a Subaru in Kansas because the risk of an accident in New York is much higher and the cost to repair a Mercedes in Manhattan is also much greater.
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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We’ve generated over 1 million quotes and sold thousands of plans.
“We submitted over $4k in claims to Healthy Paws and in less than 2 weeks we were reimbursed. So amazing!!!” - Brandon
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Pet insurance pays up to 90% for veterinary treatment when your dog or cat gets sick or injured.