Cost of Pet Insurance

Cost of Pet Insurance
Cost of Pet Insurance

The average monthly premium for an accident and illness dog insurance policy in the United States in 2021 was $49.51 ($28.48 for cats), according to NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Association). But did you know that most pet owners don’t cover their furry children with pet insurance? In actuality, 75% of pet owners lack pet insurance, and 39% of them eventually come to regret it. Learn what elements affect the average cost of pet insurance for dogs and cats. Is the monthly premium ultimately worthwhile? You might save paying hundreds of dollars in unnecessary medical expenses and, more significantly, feel at ease when taking care of your beloved family member.

Average Cost of Pet Insurance

The North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s most recent research estimates that the average monthly cost of pet insurance premiums is $28.48 for cats and $49.51 for dogs (NAPHIA).

Your pet insurance provider will require monthly premium payments to keep your policy in effect, just like human health insurance. When evaluating a plan, these premiums are frequently the first thing that US pet owners examine.

For dogs and cats, there are primarily two types of pet insurance coverage, and the plan you select will have an impact on the overall cost:

  • Accident & Illness Coverage: Provides coverage for medical expenses associated with treating unanticipated conditions like sickness, infection, poisoning, and even cancer, as well as accidental injuries.
  • Accident-Only Coverage: Offers protection against medical expenses incurred only due to accidents.

The datasets below will concentrate on Accident & Illness premiums as most people enroll in an Accident & Illness plan. But remember that Accident Only plans are offered at a lower cost but with significantly less coverage.

Cost of Pet Insurance Dogs

Pet owners spent a record sum on their animals in 2021. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), pet owners spent $34.3 billion on veterinary care, operations, and prescription drugs. If that figure makes you shudder, it might be time to think about purchasing pet insurance.

Pet insurance can cost anything from $10 to $100 each month. However, most pet owners should budget $30 to $50 for dogs and $15 to $30 for cats.

Several variables determine your pet insurance premium. These factors include the kind and scope of coverage, the company, and the breed and age of your pet. Due to the generally higher cost of their medical care, dogs are more expensive to insure than cats.

How Do Companies Determine Rates?

You could observe that different zip codes have different costs for pet insurance while looking at prices. Pet insurance prices frequently depend on the cost of living in a particular area. The breed and age of your pet are additional elements that may influence your spending. The cost will also vary depending on the provider and degree of coverage you select.

 #1. Zip Code

The cost of living in your city affects almost every purchase you make. You should anticipate paying more for pet insurance the more expensive the location is to reside.

100 is the benchmark for the cost of living index in American cities. You can use the index to estimate how expensive living in your city is.

For instance, New York City has a $209 cost of living. The cost of living in New York is around double that of living in a typical metropolis.

However, Omaha has a cost of living of approximately 95. The typical American spends around half as much as the typical American in New York. The distinction holds for pet insurance and additional costs like food and lodging.

After moving to New York, a family currently pays $50 per month for pet insurance and might anticipate paying roughly $100.

#2. Breed

Dog insurance typically costs more than cat insurance. Dogs as a species experience injuries more frequently than cats. They happily chomp on yard debris and chase after animals in the park. Because most cats are picky, they are less likely to get sick or hurt.

Your pet’s breed may increase the likelihood that it will contract specific diseases. For instance, German Shepherds, Boxers, and Labrador Retrievers are likelier to have hip dysplasia than Beagles, Poodles, and Pomeranians.

Each breed carries unique dangers. However, because some genetic diseases are more expensive to cure than others, your pet’s breed will impact the cost of insurance.

#3. Age

An animal is more susceptible to illness or harm as it gets older. Due to this reality, older animals must pay higher premiums for pet insurance.

#4. Coverage

When it comes to pet insurance coverage, there are many possibilities. Over 98% of all pet insurance plans offer the standard accident and illness coverage, making it the most popular choice. You can alter your monthly cost by altering your deductible, yearly limit, and co-pay in addition to your coverage selections.

#5. Company

Your choice of a company may significantly impact how much pet insurance will cost you. Apples-to-apples comparisons amongst companies show a cost differential of more than 100% for the same level of coverage! This significant discrepancy is caused by the fact that each provider bases the cost of its policies on the breed and age of your pet. Some businesses are more pet-friendly to younger animals, while others are more pet-friendly to older animals. In some circumstances, one business may support Golden Retrievers while another may charge more for that breed due to a poor experience.

Four Strategies to Cut Costs on your Pet Insurance Coverage.

You cannot alter the breed or age of your pet to get a discount on pet insurance. You can still find ways to save money on your pet insurance, though.

#1. Add all of your pets to one insurance and make a full payment.

You can typically pay for your pet’s insurance coverage by the month or pay for the entire year’s worth of coverage up front, just like with many other insurance products. It might be cheaper to pay for the entire year upfront. Additionally, doing this can result in service charge savings. For instance, Pets Best charges a $2 service fee for every transaction, which might increase if you pay monthly. Some insurers will also provide you with a discount when you add additional pets to a plan.

#2. Invest in pet insurance as soon as possible.

Pet insurance rates increase as your pet gets older, but getting coverage when your cat or dog is young may help keep costs down. Some pet insurance providers will fix your insurance rate regardless of your pet’s age.

It’s important to note that not all pet insurance providers fix their prices. The cost of pet insurance, for instance, rise as the animal ages. To find out if your prices will go up in the future, check your insurance.

#3. Increase the deductible or decrease the coverage

Your premiums will often go down if you increase your deductible or the amount you’ll pay out of pocket before insurance coverage begins. But make sure you have enough money to pay for that sum.

You can also be reduced by reducing the reimbursement cap and the annual maximum. Policies often include many levels of coverage, reimbursement for costs (typically between 70% and 90% of the cost), and a maximum yearly coverage limit. While some insurance would only pay up to $5,000 a year, others would pay an unlimited sum.

#4. Comparison shop for coverage

The greatest way to save on pet insurance, like any other insurance, is to compare prices. Shopping around for the best deal is important because every insurance provider will evaluate your pet differently.

Estimating the potential cost of your pet’s insurance is straightforward because most pet insurance providers provide an online quote system. Compare three to five quotes you have collected. Examine the reimbursement amount and the annual maximum before reading the fine print to determine if rate adjustments as your pet ages will catch you off guard. For your pet’s needs, look for a policy that offers the most flexible coverage.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

A specialized product called pet insurance has grown in popularity over time. Except for your pet, pet insurance functions somewhat similarly to auto and homeowner’s insurance. You pay a monthly premium for a policy that specifies the coverage it will provide, the deductible that will apply, and will reimburse the provider.

There are typically three coverage options available to pet owners: accident and illness, accident-only, and wellness insurance. While accident-only insurance only covers injuries, accident and illness policies also cover the majority of illnesses. Wellness programs often cover the costs of your pet’s preventative care, such as yearly checkups and routine vaccines.

Like humans, you may adjust the deductibles and health coverage levels to suit your pet’s needs. Most pet insurance companies have an annual cap of $10,000, but a few will cover your pet for up to $20,000.

As most policies do not cover pre-existing conditions, experts advise purchasing pet insurance when your pet is still young and healthy.

“Veterinary care can be a complicated topic. According to Katie Blakeley, vice president and head of pet insurance at MetLife, “it can be reasonably priced for a while, and then maybe there’s a surprise that can eat into your budget quickly.


A very personal choice is whether to purchase pet insurance. It doesn’t follow that you shouldn’t have it just because I don’t have it for my dog.

I feel comfortable knowing I have a fund that can aid me if something goes wrong, even though having insurance for my cat would be soothing. I finance my pet-specific emergency fund with $150 each month rather than paying a monthly premium.

Furthermore, I was able to refuse pet insurance because I have a set amount in my budget, I’m vigilant about preventive care, and I have emergency funds. That does not imply that I will never consider pet insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to pay pet insurance monthly or annually?

Most people purchase pet insurance when monthly rates are at their lowest and pets are young and healthy, Pet insurance costs typically increase as animals get older and are more prone to health issues.

Which cost more to insurance dogs or cats?

Although this can vary depending on the breed and type of plan you get, cats are normally less expensive to insure than dogs. The two main types of pet insurance plans are accident-only and comprehensive.

What is another option besides pet insurance?

Six options for pet insurance are listed below. Emergency fund: Pawp. Veterinary discount program called Pet Assure. Community health-sharing program: Eusoh.

Can I claim my pets on my taxes?

Unfortunately, you cannot claim medical expenses for dogs as a deduction on your tax return. Only if your pet is a recognized service animal, such as a guide dog, would there be an exception.

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