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.
The average monthly cost of a pet insurance plan ranges from about $23 to $90 for dogs and $9 to $37 for cats, based on an analysis of quotes from the largest pet insurance companies.
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.
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.
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.
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Five-year increase in average pet insurance rates
Average cost of dog insurance
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.
Full coverage insurance includes comprehensive and collision coverage, which pay for repairs to your own car after an accident, regardless of who’s at fault.
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
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.
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Cat insurance cost by cat breed
As with dogs, the cost to insure a cat varies by breed. Mixed breeds tend to have even cheaper pet insurance quotes, including the most common Domestic Shorthair or DSH.
Average cost of medical treatments for pets
If you’re trying to decide if pet insurance is worth it, 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.
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 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.
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.
Cost of common cat health problems
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.
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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.
Sources North American Pet Health Insurance Association pet industry report