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How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

Pet Insurance Cost

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Cost Overview


So, how much will pet insurance cost you?

Unfortunately it's not an easy question to answer.

Your quotes could be higher than you hope or a lot cheaper than you imagine depending on a number of pricing factors.

These factors include your pet's breed, age and where you live are impossible to change. Other factors, however, like your pet's health and level of coverage you choose are easier to adjust.


The average American will pay $31 per month on a pet insurance plan in 2016.


And according to Doctors Foster and Smith, pet insurance is actually cheaper than the annual cost of grooming, food and veterinary care.

Now that we've said what we need to say, here are five factors that determine how much you will pay for pet insurance.

  • Type of Pet You Have
  • Where You Live
  • Your Pet's Age
  • Company You Choose
  • Coverage You Select


Cost Factor #1 - Type of Pet You Have


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.

Dog Breeds Cost *
Mixed Breed Dog $28/mo.
Labrador Retriever $34/mo.
Yorkshire Terrier $31/mo.
Golden Retriever $36/mo.
Dachshund $40/mo.
Chihuahua $38/mo.
German Shepherd $39/mo.
Shih Tzu $32/mo.
Boxer $44/mo.
English Bulldog $42/mo.
Average for All Dogs $32/mo.

* Standard accident & illness coverage for a 3 year-old


See pet insurance prices for your pet


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.

Cat Breeds Cost *
Mixed Breed Cat $22/mo.
Domestic Shorthair $24/mo.
American Shorthair $24/mo.
Siamese $26/mo.
Maine Coon $28/mo.
Persian $29/mo.
Ragdoll $23/mo.
Bengal $25/mo.
Russian Blue $29/mo.
Himalayan $28/mo.
Average for All Cats $22/mo.

* Standard accident & illness coverage for a 3 year-old


Cost Factor #2 - Where You Live


Color map of each state in America

Pet Insurance cost is directly correlated to the cost of living index.


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 $366 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/mo. $17/mo.
Alaska $33/mo. $25/mo.
Arizona $27/mo. $18/mo.
Arkansas $24/mo. $17/mo.
California $36/mo. $28/mo.
Colorado $31/mo. $26/mo.
Connecticut $32/mo. $24/mo.
D.C. $33/mo. $25/mo.
Delaware $32/mo. $25/mo.
Florida $28/mo. $26/mo.
Georgia $29/mo. $24/mo.
Hawaii $35/mo. $24/mo.
Idaho $27/mo. $17/mo.
Illinois $32/mo. $26/mo.
Indiana $25/mo. $18/mo.
Iowa $25/mo. $19/mo.
Kansas $23/mo. $16/mo.
Kentucky $26/mo. $17/mo.
Louisiana $27/mo. $19/mo.
Maine $30/mo. $24/mo.
Maryland $31/mo. $26/mo.
Massachusetts $34/mo. $28/mo.
Michigan $32/mo. $26/mo.
Minnesota $29/mo. $23/mo.
Mississippi $24/mo. $17/mo.
Missouri $28/mo. $22/mo.
Montana $25/mo. $18/mo.
Nebraska $24/mo. $17/mo.
Nevada $27/mo. $21/mo.
New Hampshire $30/mo. $22/mo.
New Jersey $32/mo. $22/mo.
New Mexico $24/mo. $18/mo.
New York $38/mo. $28/mo.
North Carolina $29/mo. $22/mo.
North Dakota $26/mo. $21/mo.
Ohio $29/mo. $22/mo.
Oklahoma $26/mo. $21/mo.
Oregon $29/mo. $22/mo.
Pennsylvania $32/mo. $24/mo.
Rhode Island $34/mo. $26/mo.
South Carolina $25/mo. $19/mo.
South Dakota $28/mo. $23/mo.
Tennessee $27/mo. $20/mo.
Texas $32/mo. $24/mo.
Utah $25/mo. $19/mo.
Vermont $30/mo. $23/mo.
Virginia $29/mo. $22/mo.
Washington $31/mo. $23/mo.
West Virginia $24/mo. $18/mo.
Wisconsin $28/mo. $22/mo.
Wyoming $26/mo. $18/mo.

* Standard accident & illness coverage for 3 year-old mixed breed dogs and cats


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.


Cost Factor #3 - Your Pet's Age


Dog laying down using a calculator

The average price increase for a policy is less than 10% per year.


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.


Cost Factor #4 - Company You Choose


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.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws

Petplan Pet Insurance

Petplan

Pets Best Insurance

Pets Best

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

Want to Dig Deeper?

Best Pet Insurance Companies


Cost Factor #5 - The 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).

 

Here is a table that shows every pet insurance plan available in the U.S. and the cost for maximum coverage for a 3 year-old, mixed breed dog.

Company - Plan Premium * Fees
Healthy Paws - Standard $38.54/mo. $25 one-time
Petplan - Standard $31.40/mo. $25 one-time
Nationwide - Whole Pet with Wellness $60.84/mo. $2.00/mo.
Nationwide - Major Medical $28.24/mo. $2.00/mo.
Nationwide - Wellness Basic $17.75/mo. $2.00/mo.
Nationwide - Wellness Plus $22.00/mo. $2.00/mo.
Embrace - Standard $65.90/mo. 5%/mo.
Embrace - Wellness Rewards $650 $46.95/mo. 5%/mo.
Embrace - Wellness Rewards $450 $18.00/mo. 5%/mo.
Embrace - Wellness Rewards $250 $32.50/mo. 5%/mo.
Pets Best - Elite Option $57.87/mo. $2.00/mo.
Pets Best - Plus Option $37.93/mo. $2.00/mo.
Pets Best - Essential Option $31.03/mo. $2.00/mo.
Pets Best - Accident Only $10.34/mo. $2.00/mo.
Pets Best - BestWellness $23.50/mo. $2.00/mo.
Trupanion - Standard $57.90/mo. $35 one-time
Figo - Ultimate $36.11/mo. $9 one-time
Figo - Preferred $32.99/mo. $9 one-time
Figo - Essential $30.30/mo. $9 one-time
PetFirst - Standard $92.95/mo. None
PetFirst - Routine Care $400 $26.00/mo. None
PetFirst - Routine Care $250 $18.00/mo. None
ASPCA - Level 4 $60.21/mo. $1.50/mo.
ASPCA - Level 3 $42.53/mo. $1.50/mo.
ASPCA - Level 2 $29.00/mo. $1.50/mo.
ASPCA - Level 1 $14.34/mo. $1.50/mo.
ASPCA - Advanced Wellness $25.00/mo. $1.50/mo.
ASPCA - Routine Wellness $10.00/mo. $1.50/mo.
PetPremium - Level 3 $42.53/mo. $1.50/mo.
PetPremium - Level 2 $29.00/mo. $1.50/mo.
PetPremium - Level 1 $14.34/mo. $1.50/mo.
PetPremium - Advanced Wellness $25.00/mo. $1.50/mo.
PetPremium - Routine Wellness $10.00/mo. $1.50/mo.
AKC - Standard $48.67/mo. $2.00/mo.
AKC - Defender Plus $26.00/mo. $2.00/mo.
AKC - Defender $16.00/mo. $2.00/mo.
24PetWatch - Standard $47.20/mo. $2.50/mo.

* Premium for 3 year old, mixed breed dog, $200 deductible, 90% reimbursement, maximum coverage and maximum limits


Important Note:

None of us wants to deal with a sick or injured pet. But unfortunately health issues happen.


Consider these facts:

  • A pet needs emergency care every 2.5 seconds

  • Every 6 seconds a pet owner faces a vet bill over $3,000

  • 2 of 3 pets will experience a serious health issue during their lifetime

 

Bonus Coverage - Other Cost Factors


Patriotic French Bulldog


Discounts

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.


Average Costs

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.

 
 

Sample Pet Insurance Claim


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.

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

- Kinky Friedman


Real Life Stories


Buster & Anna

Pictured: Anna pays $42/month for Buster's plan, but has saved thousands


"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


Comparison Shop to Lower Your Cost


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.


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