How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost

Pet insurance is health insurance that helps cover the costs of veterinary care for dogs, cats, and other pets. It works similarly to health insurance for humans, helping pet parents budget for unexpected illnesses or injuries.

Factors That Affect Cost

Type of Pet

Insurance premiums are based partially on the type of pet you have. Coverage for dogs costs more than cats on average, likely due to the higher frequency and cost of claims.

Age of Pet

Younger pets are cheaper to insure. As your pet ages, premiums get more expensive due to the increased likelihood of illness and injury.


Some breeds are predisposed to certain hereditary conditions, which makes their coverage cost more. Purebred dogs often have higher premiums than mixed breeds.


The cost of veterinary care varies by region, so pet insurance rates are adjusted based on your location. Urban areas also tend to have higher premiums.

Plan Type

Plans with more inclusions like dental, preventive care, and wellness exams cost more than accident & illness coverage alone.

Average Costs

The average pet insurance premium is $35-$55 per month for a dog and $15-$35 for a cat when they are young. Premiums typically range from $80-$100 monthly for dogs and $25-$50 for cats later in life. Deductibles, reimbursement rates, and maximum payouts also impact total costs.

Ways to Reduce Costs

Some tips to save money on pet insurance include:

  • Choosing a higher deductible
  • Limiting coverage to major accidents/illnesses
  • Enrolling your pet when young and healthy
  • Comparing quotes across multiple providers

While pet insurance is an added cost, it can provide valuable protection against unpredictable and expensive veterinary bills. The peace of mind it offers many pet parents makes the expense worthwhile.

More About Pet Insurance Costs

Policy Limits

Most pet insurance policies have annual or lifetime payout limits. Higher limits provide more coverage but also increase your monthly premiums. Consider your pet’s expected healthcare needs when selecting limits.

Wellness Add-Ons

Some plans allow you to add routine wellness coverage for an additional fee. This helps pay for vaccines, dental cleanings, exams, and more. Wellness coverage averages $15-$30 per month.

Multiple Pet Discounts

Insuring more than one pet with the same provider earns a multi-pet discount. Average savings are around 5-10% off the total premiums.

Pre-Existing Conditions

No pet insurance plan covers pre-existing conditions. So it’s important to enroll when your pet is young and healthy to avoid coverage gaps later on.

Reimbursement Speed

Faster claim reimbursement is generally more expensive. If cash flow isn’t a concern, longer waits can reduce your premiums.

#FAQ #Update #AdditionalContent

1. How much does the average pet insurance policy cost in 2023?
2. What factors influence the cost of pet insurance for dogs?
3. What factors influence the cost of pet insurance for cats?
4. How does pet insurance work?
5. Are pet vaccinations covered by pet insurance?

Pet ownership is common in the U.S., with nearly 87 million households caring for pets. However, the cost of pet healthcare can be a concern for many owners. Pet insurance is one way to mitigate unexpected vet bills. In this article, we’ll explore the average cost of pet insurance in 2023, factors influencing these costs, and other essential information to help you make informed decisions about your pet’s health and finances.

Average Pet Insurance Costs

The average cost of pet insurance varies depending on several factors, including the type of pet, coverage level, and location. In 2023, the average monthly cost for pet insurance is $44 for dogs and $30 for cats, according to Forbes Advisor’s analysis. However, these costs can fluctuate based on your specific circumstances.

Pet Insurance for Dogs

The cost of pet insurance for dogs can range from $27 to $66 per month. Several variables influence these costs, such as the dog’s age, coverage amount, and the insurance company. On average, a dog owner can expect to pay $44 per month for $5,000 of annual coverage or $56 per month for a policy with unlimited annual coverage.

Pet Insurance for Cats

Cat owners can anticipate monthly pet insurance costs ranging from $21 to $125. Similar to dogs, the cat’s age, coverage amount, and insurance provider play a significant role in determining costs. On average, pet insurance for a cat is approximately $47 per month for unlimited annual coverage.

Factors Influencing Pet Insurance Costs

Several factors impact the cost of pet insurance:

1. Coverage Type: The extent of coverage significantly affects costs. Comprehensive policies covering various treatments and routine care are more expensive than accident-only policies.

2. Deductibles: Pet insurance typically involves an annual deductible ranging from $0 to $1,000. Higher deductibles result in lower monthly premiums.

3. Reimbursement Levels: Pet insurance policies are reimbursement-based. You can choose reimbursement levels of 70%, 80%, or 90%, with higher levels leading to higher premiums.

4. Pet’s Breed: Some breeds are more prone to illnesses, leading to higher veterinary costs. While dog breeds impact costs significantly, cat insurance rates show less variation.

5. Age of Pet: As pets age, the likelihood of illness and injury increases, resulting in higher insurance costs. Rates generally rise at renewal time as pets get older.

6. Location: The local cost of veterinary care and your location can impact pet insurance costs. Urban areas often have higher vet expenses, leading to increased premiums.

7. Discounts: Some pet insurance companies offer discounts, including annual pay discounts, multi-pet discounts, and bundling policies. Military personnel and certain employers may also offer discounts.

How Pet Insurance Works

Pet insurance operates on a reimbursement basis. You pay for your pet’s vet expenses upfront and then submit a claim for reimbursement. Unlike human health insurance, you can visit any licensed veterinarian. Reimbursement levels typically range from 70% to 90% of covered expenses, depending on your chosen policy.

What Pet Insurance Covers

Most pet insurance plans cover various medical expenses, but the specific coverage depends on the policy you choose. Commonly covered items include:

– Veterinary visits
– Surgical procedures
– Prescription medications
– Diagnostic tests
– Hospitalization

Review a policy’s benefits, coverage types, and limits before purchasing to ensure it suits your pet’s needs.

What Pet Insurance Doesn’t Cover

While pet insurance provides vital financial protection, it doesn’t cover everything. Expenses that typically aren’t covered include:

– Pre-existing conditions
– Cosmetic procedures
– Routine wellness exams
– Elective procedures

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Pet insurance can be a valuable investment if you can’t afford significant vet bills out of pocket. It serves as a financial safety net for unexpected expenses. Additionally, some policies offer add-ons for wellness and preventive care.

Pet Insurance FAQs

Let’s address some common questions related to pet insurance:

1. What discounts are offered by pet insurance companies?
Pet insurance companies may offer discounts such as annual pay discounts, multi-pet discounts, and bundling multiple policies. Some employers and the military may also provide discounts.

2. Will pet insurance offset the average cost of medical treatments?
Pet insurance plans cover many types of treatment, but whether you come out ahead depends on your premium payments versus claims. It also depends on your chosen deductible and reimbursement percentage.

3. Do dogs really need insurance?
Medical bills for dogs can accumulate quickly in case of injury or illness. Pet insurance can be a wise choice to cover unexpected healthcare costs. However, it’s essential to evaluate the specific needs and costs for your dog.

4. What percentage of dogs are insured?
Slightly less than 4% of dogs in the U.S. have pet insurance. For cats, the percentage is even lower, with less than 1% covered by insurance.

5. Does pet insurance cost increase with age?
Yes, pet insurance costs typically rise as pets age. Older pets are more prone to illness or injury, leading to higher insurance rates. Some companies may stop offering new policies after pets reach a certain age.

6. Are pet vaccinations covered by pet insurance?
Typically, pet vaccinations are not covered by standard pet insurance policies. However, some insurers offer optional wellness plans that include coverage for preventative care, including vaccinations.


Pet insurance can provide essential financial protection for your furry family members. Understanding the factors influencing costs and what is covered is crucial in making an informed decision about pet insurance.

#FAQ #Update #AdditionalContent

1. What is the average monthly cost of pet insurance for dogs and cats that cover accidents and illnesses in 2023?
2. How much can pet owners expect to pay per month for an accident and illness plan with decent coverage?
3. Why is the average cost of pet insurance higher for dogs than for cats?
4. How have the average pet insurance rates for dogs and cats changed over the past five years?
5. What factors influence the cost of pet insurance for dogs, including breed and location?

The average monthly cost of pet insurance is $49 for dogs and $29 for cats for plans that cover both accidents and illnesses, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.

Average Pet Insurance Costs

How much you pay for pet insurance can range from as low as $9 to nearly $90. Most pet owners can expect to pay between $20 and $50 per month for an accident and illness plan with decent coverage. Your pet’s age, species, and breed, as well as where you live and the coverage you choose all factor into your insurance rates. The average cost of pet insurance is higher for dogs — 69% more expensive than cats for accident and illness policies. Older animals and larger animals also have higher insurance rates, as these pets tend to have the most health issues.

Five-year Increase in Average Pet Insurance Rates

The average cost of pet insurance for dogs has been increasing, while the cost for cats has fluctuated. Rates have decreased by as much as 14% and increased by up to 26% in the past five years, depending on the type of policy. The cost of accident and illness policies for dogs, however, dropped 3% in the past year.

Average Cost of Dog Insurance

The average monthly cost of dog insurance is $42 across the top pet insurance companies. Even for the same pet, location, and insurance plan, quotes varied by more than $65 across companies. If you live somewhere with expensive veterinary costs or have an injury-prone dog, you can expect your monthly rate to be closer to $90 than $25. Similarly, you’ll pay higher rates if you want more coverage, decrease the deductible or increase the reimbursement amount.

Cost of Pet Insurance by Dog Breed

The costs of monthly pet insurance plans also vary based on your dog’s breed. Mutts or mixed-breed dogs tend to get slightly cheaper pet insurance costs than purebreds because they tend to be less prone to serious genetic conditions. Brachycephalic or flat-faced breeds like bulldogs, boxers, and pugs tend to have more expensive pet insurance rates because of many potential health problems caused by their short snouts.

Average Cost of Cat Insurance

For cats, the average monthly cost of pet insurance across the largest pet insurance companies is $19. Cats tend to get cheaper pet insurance rates than dogs, but the cost of insuring a cat varies as much for cats as it does for dogs. For a four-year-old medium-risk cat, you can expect to pay $9 to $16 per month for pet insurance with one of the most affordable companies. For more health care coverage, older cats, or a more disease-prone cat breed, you’ll likely pay closer to $25 or $30 per month for cat insurance.

Cost of Common Dog and Cat Health Problems

If you’re trying to decide, consider the cost of vet bills without insurance. Minor treatment, for an ear infection or upset stomach, for example, will often cost less than a year of insurance, but multiple conditions or something more serious will usually cost more than a full policy. The most common dog treatments cost $254 on average, while the most common cat treatments cost $267, according to MetLife claims data. Even more common issues, such as treating parvo in puppies, can be expensive — the average claim is over $1,100. And serious conditions like cancer are rarer, but diagnosis and treatment are also much more costly — chemotherapy alone can cost thousands of dollars.

Cost of Common Dog and Cat Health Problems

In most cases, paying for treatment out of pocket for the most common dog and cat medical conditions is less expensive than the annual cost of insurance. Pet insurance won’t pay for all your pet’s medical costs, but it could help lower the burden of expensive and surprising vet bills, like fracturing a limb or getting cancer. In these cases, pet insurance will help lower the financial costs of an expensive procedure. It can also help you choose the right treatment for your pet without worrying about how you’ll pay for an emergency vet bill, treatment, or ongoing care.

Methodology and Sources

We collected quotes from 11 top pet insurance companies for a male dog and female cat, both four years old. We set the coverage limits at typical levels of coverage. Rates from different breeds are from ASPCA pet insurance. Procedure prices come from MetLife internal claims data. National data was collected from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s annual report.

#FAQ #Update #AdditionalContent

1. How much does pet insurance cost on average for dogs and cats in the U.S.?
2. What factors influence the cost of pet insurance?
3. Why are dogs generally more expensive to insure than cats?
4. How does the age of a pet affect the cost of pet insurance?
5. What are some strategies to lower the cost of pet insurance?

As cute as pets are, they can be a significant financial commitment. In 2022, Americans spent a staggering $136.8 billion on their beloved pets. This expense has led many to consider pet insurance as a means to help manage these costs. But what exactly is the cost of pet insurance, and can it provide long-term savings?

The Average Cost of Pet Insurance

In the United States, the average cost of an accident and illness policy for dogs is $640 per year, while for cats, it’s $387 annually, based on 2022 data from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. This translates to roughly $53 per month for dogs and $32 per month for cats. If you opt for an accident-only policy, the average cost is notably lower, with dogs at approximately $201 per year (about $17 per month) and cats at $122 per year (around $10 per month). It’s important to note that an accident-only policy will not cover illnesses like cancer, allergies, or kidney disease.

The actual premium you pay for your pet’s insurance depends on various factors. Here are some of the most common ones, along with sample rates from popular pet insurers.

Location Matters

The cost of veterinary care varies significantly by region. If you reside in an area with higher veterinary expenses, you can anticipate paying more for pet insurance. For example, we compared quotes for insuring a Labrador retriever puppy in San Francisco versus one in Indianapolis. Predictably, it was notably more expensive to insure the puppy in San Francisco due to its high cost of living.

Species and Breed Considerations

Dogs generally come with a higher insurance price tag compared to cats. Moreover, coverage for more exotic animals, such as birds or potbellied pigs, is rare. Below are examples illustrating the price disparities between insuring cats and dogs from different insurers.

Breed-Specific Costs

Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to specific medical conditions, which can increase the cost of coverage. We will compare the cost of insuring a French bulldog versus a small mixed-breed dog as an example. French bulldogs, for instance, are at a higher risk than most other breeds for developing medical issues like breathing problems and skin fold inflammation.

Age and Its Impact

As pets age, they become more prone to various medical conditions such as arthritis or heart disease. Consequently, pet insurance providers often charge higher rates for older pets. If you’re considering adopting an older pet, bear in mind that even if insuring a puppy is relatively inexpensive now, you may end up paying more in the future. Here, you can see how rates may differ when insuring a one-year-old dog versus a seven-year-old one.

The Rising Cost of Veterinary Care

The expense of veterinary care has been on the rise, with nearly an 8% increase reported since the previous year. This increase is based on the most recent consumer price index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Beyond inflation, you might also find yourself paying more due to the increasing sophistication of veterinary medicine. While having more advanced tests and treatments is undoubtedly beneficial for your pet’s health, it can also lead to larger veterinary bills.

Managing Pet Medical Expenses

While pet insurance can help mitigate the cost of veterinary care, it’s important to understand that it won’t cover every penny of your expenses. Typically, a policy will pay between 70% to 90% of your costs after you’ve paid a deductible, which can range from $0 to $1,000 or even more. The deductible represents the portion of your veterinary bill for which you are responsible. In most cases, you’ll need to pay the bill upfront and then file a claim with your insurer for reimbursement.

Types of Pet Insurance Plans

There are several types of pet insurance plans available, but not all providers offer accident-only plans or wellness coverage. When purchasing a pet insurance plan, it’s crucial to carefully read the terms and conditions. Many companies have waiting periods before your coverage starts, and not all plans cover the same types of treatments.

Strategies to Lower Your Pet Insurance Costs

To reduce the cost of your pet insurance, consider these strategies:

Customize Your Plan

You can often lower your premium by adjusting the terms of your policy. For instance, opting for a higher deductible will generally result in a reduced monthly premium. However, it’s essential to remember that with a higher deductible, you’ll need to cover a larger portion of your pet’s veterinary bills before your insurer begins reimbursing you. Similarly, you can lower your reimbursement percentage. Instead of having your insurer pay 90% of your vet bills, you might opt for 70% or 80% coverage. Choosing a lower coverage limit can also lead to a reduction in your premium.

Seek Discounts

Some pet insurance companies offer discounts for various reasons, such as insuring multiple pets, paying your premium annually instead of monthly, or if you’re serving in the military. Additionally, you might qualify for a discount if you purchase pet insurance alongside another policy from a company that offers multiple types of insurance. For example, existing Nationwide policyholders can save 5% on a new pet insurance policy. Lastly, check whether your employer offers pet insurance as an employee benefit, as this may provide you with access to a discounted rate.

Shop Around

In the United States, there are over 20 pet insurers competing for your business. It’s advisable to compare quotes from at least three insurers, considering similar coverage amounts, and choose the option that aligns best with your budget. Keep in mind that making fair comparisons between pet insurance quotes can be challenging since not all companies offer identical coverage options and deductibles. For example, one insurer may offer 90% reimbursement for all pets, while another may have a maximum of 70%. Ultimately, the decision should factor in which features are worth paying a little more for.


In conclusion, pet insurance can be a valuable financial tool for managing the costs associated with your pet’s health care. Understanding the factors that influence pet insurance costs and employing strategies to lower those costs can help you make an informed decision about the right coverage for your furry companion.

#FAQ #Update #AdditionalContent

1. What is the average monthly premium for dog and cat insurance in the U.S. in 2022?
2. Why do some pet parents choose not to have pet insurance?
3. What factors determine the cost of pet insurance?
4. What are the different types of deductibles in pet insurance, and how do they work?
5. What is a benefit schedule in pet insurance?

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average monthly premium for an accident and illness dog insurance policy in the U.S. in 2022 was $53.34 ($32.25 for cats). But did you know the majority of pet parents don’t have pet insurance for their fur babies, and 39% of them live to regret it?

Average Cost Of Pet Insurance

Pet insurance costs vary based on numerous factors we’ll discuss in this article. The monthly premium can range from $10 to more than $100, depending on your pet’s characteristics. However, the majority of pet parents pay $30-$50 per month for pet insurance.

What Determines The Cost Of Pet Health Insurance?

There are four main elements that you’re responsible for paying in regards to a pet insurance policy. Below we break down some of the cost factors of pet insurance, from deductibles and premiums to reimbursement, fees, and payout options.

Deductible Types: Annual vs Incident

The deductible is the before reimbursement. The lower the deductible, the higher your monthly premium will be. The opposite is true as well; the higher the deductible, the lower your monthly premium is. There are two main types of deductibles, annual and incident.

Annual Deductible

Pet insurance plans that utilize annual deductibles require you to meet your deductible once per policy term. So once you meet your deductible, your claim reimbursement only subtracts the copay until your policy’s renewal. An annual deductible is easier to budget for because you know you’ll only have to meet the deductible once throughout the year (this isn’t the case for incident deductibles) if your pet experiences any accidents or illnesses. The majority of pet insurance providers have annual deductibles.

Incident Deductible

A per-incident deductible means you have to meet the deductible multiple times for each new emergency your pet encounters. This type of policy typically reimburses you less if your pet sees a vet for multiple medical conditions in one policy term. Per-incident deductibles can be more challenging to budget for because you don’t know how often your dog will need to be seen by the vet.

Reimbursement Percentage

The reimbursement percentage is the amount covered by the pet insurance company after your deductible. The remaining portion is your copay, which is the amount you must pay per incident after your deductible. Most companies let you choose your reimbursement.


Premiums (paid monthly, quarterly, or annually) are based on unique factors associated with your pet. These factors can vary based on the company you buy from, but these are the variables most insurance companies consider.

Extra Fees

Some pet insurance companies charge one-time enrollment fees, processing fees, or other maintenance fees. Take these fees into consideration before signing any contract because they could influence your purchase decision.

Factors That Don’t Affect The Cost Of Pet Insurance

These items don’t impact your pet insurance premium.

What Are Payout Options?

The payout option is the highest amount a pet insurance company will reimburse during the policy period or over the pet’s insured lifetime. A lower payout option means you may be liable for more costs if your pet experiences expensive vet treatment.

What’s A Benefit Schedule?

Nationwide is the only company we review that uses a benefit schedule for its reimbursement method. A benefit schedule includes a list of diagnoses and the maximum amount of money the pet insurance company will pay if a vet treats your pet for that condition or procedure.

6 Steps To Getting Reimbursed

Some pet insurance companies offer to pay vets directly instead of requiring you to pay for the vet bill and then wait for reimbursement. If this is something of interest to you, you’ll want to consider this before choosing a pet insurance company.

How One Pet Insurance Company Determines Price (Video)

This video shares how it determines the cost of premiums.

Real Pet Insurance Quotes

Read some to get an idea of how much pet insurance could cost you. You can also obtain a quote from our top-ranked pet insurance companies using our.

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