Average Pet Insurance Cost in 2022 by Breed, Age, & State

As the #1 pet insurance comparison shopping site recommended by veterinarians, our team at Pawlicy Advisor has access to real cost data from top providers and thousands of quotes from pets across the country.

We’ve created a public dataset so you can see how the average cost of pet insurance differs by breed, age, and state.

Use this Table of Contents to jump to the section that interests you most:

  • How much does pet insurance cost in the US?
    • Average Monthly Pet Insurance Premiums, Year-Over-Year
    • Pet Insurance Costs by State [Chart]
    • Dog Insurance Costs by State and Age [Chart]
    • Cat Insurance Costs by State and Age [Chart]
    • Dog Insurance Costs by Breed and Age [Chart]
    • Cat Insurance Costs by Breed and Age [Chart]
  • Factors That Affect Prices
    • Reimbursements and Out-of-Pocket Costs
  • Expected Lifetime Costs
  • How to Save on the Best Coverage
    • Finding the Lowest Rate

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost on Average in the US?

The average monthly pet insurance premium is $49.51 for dogs and $28.48 for cats, according to the latest report published by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).

Like human health insurance, you must pay monthly premiums to your pet insurance provider to keep your policy active. These premiums are often the first thing US pet owners look at when considering a plan.

There are two main types of insurance coverage for dogs and cats, and the plan you choose will affect the total cost:

  1. Accident & Illness Coverage: Protects against treatment costs for accidental injuries and unexpected illnesses like disease, infection, poisoning, and even cancer. (Learn more.)
  2. Accident-Only Coverage: Protect against treatment costs from accidental injuries only. (Learn more.)

Most people enroll in an Accident & Illness plan, so the datasets reported below will focus on Accident & Illness premiums. However, note that Accident Only plans are also available at a cheaper rate, but with substantially less coverage.

Average Monthly Pet Insurance Premiums (US), Year-Over-Year

Dog, Accident & IllnessCat, Accident & Illness

NOTE: Because there are such massive differences in premiums depending on each unique dog or cat — you must take the national averages listed above with a grain of salt. The data is much more informative when we look at breakdowns by breed, age, and location.

Is It Worth The Cost?

See Custom Prices

Average Pet Insurance Costs by State, Monthly

StateAverage Premium for CatsAverage Premium for Dogs
New Hampshire$28.02$46.27
New Jersey$25.98$48.63
New Mexico$24.67$40.11
New York$30.30$61.05
North Carolina$23.84$40.07
North Dakota$23.25$39.90
Rhode Island$25.85$42.43
South Carolina$24.63$38.07
South Dakota$23.72$39.00
West Virginia$21.61$36.95

Average Dog Insurance Costs by State and Age, Monthly

StateAverage Premium for 6-month PuppyAverage Premium for 18-month DogAverage Premium for 5.5-year Dog
New Hampshire$42.79$42.79$53.23
New Jersey$44.98$44.98$55.93
New Mexico$37.12$37.12$46.08
New York$56.47$56.47$70.22
North Carolina$37.07$37.07$46.08
North Dakota$36.89$36.89$45.92
Rhode Island$39.27$39.27$48.75
South Carolina$35.23$35.23$43.76
South Dakota$36.00$36.00$45.00
West Virginia$34.17$34.17$42.51

Average Cat Insurance Costs by State and Age, Monthly

StateAverage Premium for 6-month KittenAverage Premium for 18-month CatAverage Premium for 5.5-year Cat
New Hampshire$26.40$26.40$31.26
New Jersey$24.46$24.46$29.01
New Mexico$23.26$23.26$27.50
New York$28.52$28.52$33.86
North Carolina$22.47$22.47$26.60
North Dakota$21.90$21.90$25.96
Rhode Island$24.37$24.37$28.81
South Carolina$23.22$23.22$27.46
South Dakota$22.33$22.33$26.51
West Virginia$20.36$20.36$24.11

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Average Dog Insurance Costs by Breed and Age, Monthly

Dog Insurance BreedsAverage Premium for 6-month PuppyAverage Premium for 18-month DogAverage Premium for 5.5-year Dog
Australian Shepherd$51.86$51.86$61.42
Bernese Mountain Dog$85.45$85.45$122.30
Border Collie$46.22$46.22$58.49
English Bulldog$86.69$86.69$118.62
French Bulldog$86.70$86.70$110.52
German Shepherd$60.89$60.89$77.14
Golden Retriever$67.33$67.33$84.90
Great Dane$84.83$84.83$122.45
Labrador Retriever$65.36$65.36$82.60
Pit Bull$62.30$62.30$78.88
Shiba Inu$41.73$41.73$50.25
Shih Tzu$39.00$39.00$48.94
Siberian Husky$51.30$51.30$64.71

Didn’t see your breed list above? You might find it on our dog insurance directory page.

Average Cat Insurance Costs by Breed and Age, Monthly

Cat Insurance BreedsAverage Premium for 6-month KittenAverage Premium for 18-month CatAverage Premium for 5.5-year Cat
American Shorthair$26.00$26.00$29.37
British Shorthair$32.41$32.41$36.05
Devon Rex$29.17$29.17$36.13
Exotic Shorthair$26.16$26.16$31.55
Maine Coon$31.05$31.05$37.36
Norwegian Forest Cat$29.95$29.95$36.70
Oriental Shorthair$32.85$32.85$36.49
Russian Blue$28.53$28.53$31.68

Didn’t see your breed list above? You might find it on our cat insurance directory page.

Is It Worth The Cost?

See Custom Prices

Factors That Affect the Price of Pet Insurance

The cost of a pet insurance plan is calculated based on several factors, some of them you do have some control over to calibrate the price.

Pet Insurance Price Factors [Chart]

Impacts Premium CostAbility to Control
BreedNot in your control
Age of petNot in your control
Zip codeNot in your control
Company partner discountsNot in your control
Provider/CarrierYou control
Plan/Coverage TypeYou control
DeductibleYou control
ReimbursementYou control
Payout LimitYou control
Billing Schedule (Monthly vs Annual)You control
Number of Pets Enrolled Under Same PlanYou control

Your pet’s age, location, and breed all influence the cost. Dogs tend to cost a little more to insure than cats. Older pets are more likely to need veterinary care, so pet insurance companies charge more to cover them. Some breeds are more prone to sickness than others, so obtaining coverage for them might be more expensive.

Pro Tip: Use Pawlicy Advisor to search for quotes across top providers that fit into your budget – all in one place.

If you want to insure multiple pets, you can get a multi-pet discount (often around 10% on each additional pet). Additionally, some providers offer a small discount for paying annually, rather than monthly.

Reimbursements and Out-of-Pocket Costs

Pay attention to your plan’s annual deductible, reimbursement percentage, and annual coverage limit. Your deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your plan starts to cover costs. The lower this is, the less you’ll need to pay out of pocket each year for veterinary care.

Meanwhile, your reimbursement percentage is the percentage you’ll be reimbursed for based on your covered veterinary expenses. For example, if your reimbursement percentage is 90% and your veterinary bill is $1,000, you can expect to be reimbursed $900 from your insurance company if your deductible is already met.

Finally, your annual coverage limit is the maximum dollar amount your insurer will reimburse for you in a single year. Some plans come with “Unlimited” annual coverage, which means you’ll never hit a cap for reimbursement. Other plans may reimburse anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 each year.

All these numbers influence how much you pay for your plan each month and how much you pay out of pocket for care. For example, you could save on your monthly insurance costs by opting for a plan with a low reimbursement percentage, but you’ll have to pay more out of pocket to the vet if your pet needs treatment.

Is It Worth The Cost?

See Custom Prices

Expected Lifetime Costs

As with any insurance, premiums change based on the associated risk of an incident needing coverage. That’s why breeds that are at a higher risk of having an injury or illness arise cost more to insure than those breeds that are generally healthier. Similarly, premiums change as your pet ages, and the rate at which they change can vary drastically between insurance companies.

Some providers won’t increase your monthly premiums until a certain number of years have passed since you signed up for your plan. Some providers don’t increase premiums at all due to pet age but will do so after each filed claim.

What’s more — sometimes the lowest-cost plan today is not the lowest cost across the lifetime of your pet.

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Because of this, Pawlicy Advisor built a free tool that helps you compare pet insurance options and crunches the numbers to provide a look at how going with one plan can save you on insurance costs vs another.

Average cost of dog insurance

This Lifetime Price Score is customized for each person and indicated in the personalized search results you receive when using Pawlicy Advisor to shop for pet insurance:

Again, the Lifetime Price Score ranks how much we expect the total costs to compare across the lifetime of your pet, taking into account any premium increases that might happen as your pet ages.

If the score is high, that’s good! You’ll be saving hundreds (or even thousands) across the lifetime of your pet.

How to Save on Insurance Costs and Get The Right Coverage

Determining the best type of pet insurance for your needs is crazy difficult when doing it by yourself. The reality is that to effectively compare policies, evaluate top providers, and find the right coverage at the best price you’ll need to:

  • create a spreadsheet
  • fill out forms on every provider’s website
  • record your quote options with notes on coverage, exclusions, waiting periods
  • and dive into the fine-print for each policy to uncover and exclusions that are relevant to your specific breed

… or, you can use Pawlicy Advisor and save your sanity.

Instead, you fill out one form and the tool analyzes hundreds of policies across top providers. You’ll get a personalized recommendation based on ideal coverage and lifetime costs for your pet’s unique breed, age, and location.

Average cost of dog insurance

Finding the Lowest Rates

If you’re aiming for the lowest cost (rather than the best bang-for-your-buck), you can easily sort by price and see all options lined up.

Average cost of dog insurance

Average cost of dog insurance

You’ll also have any discounts Pawlicy Advisor can find automatically applied.

Average cost of dog insurance

Pet parents need an easy way to see the wide variety of plans on the market so they can make better decisions for themselves and their pets.

Don’t spend hours sifting through each provider’s marketing material. Instead, use Pawlicy Advisor to make buying pet insurance 100x easier.

It’s the smartest way to find the best policy for your budget.

— Update: 17-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article How Much Does Pet Health Insurance Cost And Is It Worth It? Average Cost, Deductibles, Premiums, Reimbursement, Fees, Etc. from the website www.caninejournal.com for the keyword average cost of dog insurance.

Average cost of dog insurance

According to NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Association), the average monthly premium for an accident and illness dog insurance policy in the U.S. in 2021 was $48.66 ($28.57 for cats). But did you know the majority of pet parents don’t have pet insurance for their fur babies? In fact, 75% of pet parents don’t have pet insurance, and 39% of them live to regret it.

Find out what factors go into determining the cost of pet insurance. Is the monthly premium worth it in the long run? How much should you pay for pet insurance? We explain how it works, breakdown the jargon, and cover all your questions in one article. It could save you thousands of dollars in vet bills and, more importantly, give you peace of mind when caring for your furry family member.

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. (We’ll explain how each of these impact the portion you’re responsible for paying in more detail below.)

  1. Deductible
  2. Copay
  3. Premium
  4. Extra Fees

Is Pet insurance Worth The Cost?

Average cost of dog insurance

Below we break down some of the cost factors of pet insurance, from deductibles and premiums to reimbursement, fees, and payout options. If you haven’t already, you might want to familiarize yourself with some of the other frequently asked questions around pet insurance. Our experts explain what exactly pet insurance is, how it works, examples of circumstances in which you might need it, what it covers, the best pet insurance companies, and more in our is pet insurance worth it guide.

Deductible Types: Annual vs Incident

The deductible is the portion of the vet bill you’re responsible for paying 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.

Most companies let you choose your deductible. However, Nationwide is the exception here and has a set $250 deductible.

Remember that if your contract does not explicitly say that a procedure is covered, it is not likely to apply to your deductible either. These items can vary depending on the pet insurance plan, so we suggest reading your policy carefully. Pre-existing conditions do not apply to your deductible.

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. When the policy renews, your annual deductible resets.

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. Annual deductibles are typically more preferred because it’s usually less costly to you.

The majority of pet insurance companies we review have annual deductibles.


The table below shows how the claims process would work for a pet with a $100 annual deductible who visits the vet three times in one policy year.

Claim #1Claim #2Claim #3TOTAL
Accident/IllnessForeign Body IngestionDiarrheaVomiting
Annual Deductible-$100$0$0-$100
10% Copay-$341-$65.09-$21.46-$427.55

Instead of paying $4,274.43 in vet bills, this pet parent only had to pay $527.55 and was reimbursed $3,746.88.

Read more  Ringworm In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

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. And for each new condition a vet sees your dog, you should expect to pay an incident deductible.

Trupanion and Nationwide are the only pet insurance providers we review that have per-incident deductibles. However, once you’ve paid the deductible for a condition, it is covered over the pet’s lifetime as long as you have continuous coverage from the provider.


The table below shows how the claims process would work for a pet with a $100 per incident deductible who visits the vet three times in one policy year.

Claim #1Claim #2Claim #3TOTAL
Accident/IllnessForeign Body IngestionDiarrheaVomiting
Per Incident Deductible-$100-$100-$100-$300
10% Copay-$341-$65.09-$21.46-$427.55

Instead of paying $4,274.43 in vet bills, this pet parent only had to pay $727.55 and was reimbursed $3,546.88. As you can see, this pet parent had to pay more out of pocket than the example of the annual deductible above.

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. For example, if you select 80% as your reimbursement, then your copay is 20%.

Most companies let you choose your reimbursement. However, some companies have set deductibles (like Trupanion with 90%).


Average cost of dog insurance

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.

  • Species: Dogs are typically more expensive than cats because they’re larger and require higher doses of medication, larger medical equipment, etc. Additionally, cat owners tend to submit fewer claims than dog owners.
  • Gender: Male pets tend to have more claims than females. So females are considered “lower risk.”
  • Age: Premiums increase as the pet ages because older pets are more likely to fall ill or become injured.
  • Breed: Some breeds are predisposed to genetic conditions or are more likely to become injured, depending on their size. Larger breeds and breeds predisposed to illnesses are “higher risk,” which increases the premium.
  • Location: Vet care is more expensive in larger metropolitan areas, so pet insurance companies charge a higher premium to help offset these expenses.

Extra Fees

Some pet insurance companies charge one-time enrollment fees, processing fees, or other maintenance fees. The table below shows the fees associated with each pet insurance company we review.

CompanyReviewMonthly Transaction FeeOne-Time Fee
Read Review$2.00Average cost of dog insurance
Read Review$2.00$15.00
Read ReviewAverage cost of dog insurance$25.00
Read Review$1.00$25.00
Read ReviewAverage cost of dog insuranceAverage cost of dog insurance
Read ReviewAverage cost of dog insuranceAverage cost of dog insurance
Read ReviewAverage cost of dog insurance$35.00
Read Review$2.00Average cost of dog insurance
Read Review$2.00Average cost of dog insurance
Read Review$2.00Average cost of dog insurance

Take these fees into consideration before signing any contract because they could influence your purchase decision. Some companies will waive transaction fees if you pay for multiple months in advance.

Factors That Don’t Affect The Cost Of Pet Insurance

These items don’t impact your pet insurance premium.

  • Number of claims submitted
  • Pet’s weight
  • Whether the pet lives indoors or outdoors
  • How the pet was obtained (shelter, breeder, stray, etc.)

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.

All of the companies we review have annual payout options except for Trupanion, which has a lifetime payout term. However, since its only payout option is unlimited, this isn’t too concerning.

The majority of the companies we review offer a few options for payout options. However, Healthy Paws and Trupanion offer unlimited payout options. While unlimited payout options are great since you don’t have to worry about hitting your maximum, it can increase your monthly premium.

The table below shows the annual payout options from each company we review.

CompanyReviewPayout OptionsLimit Term
Read Review$5,000, UnlimitedAnnual
Read Review$5,000, $10,000, UnlimitedAnnual
Read ReviewUnlimitedAnnual
Read Review$5,000, $8,000, $10,000, $15,000, $30,000, UnlimitedAnnual
Read Review$5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, $100,000Annual
Read Review$5,000, $15,000, UnlimitedAnnual
Read ReviewUnlimitedLifetime
Read Review$3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000Annual
Read Review$2,500, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, UnlimitedAnnual
Read ReviewLimited Per Condition, UnlimitedAnnual & Per Condition Annually

What’s A Benefit Schedule?

Average cost of dog insurance

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. If the total bill(s) exceeds the benefit schedule’s listed sum, you’re responsible for it.

Benefit schedules can leave you paying a hefty portion of the vet bill and are typically less desirable. Here’s an example of a benefit schedule.

6 Steps To Getting Reimbursed

  1. Visit The Vet – Most pet insurance companies let you go to any licensed vet but verify this beforehand.
  2. Pay The Vet – You’re responsible for paying for all the vet bills at the time of service.
  3. Get An Itemized Invoice – Be sure to get an itemized invoice from your vet, as you will need to include it when you file your claim with the pet insurance company.
  4. Submit Your Claim – You may be able to submit claims in various ways, depending on the pet insurance company (e.g., app, email, mail, fax, etc.). Submit your claim form with the vet invoice and any other required paperwork.
  5. Wait For Approval – The pet insurance company will review your claim and notify you of their decision on whether or not the claim is eligible for reimbursement.
  6. Receive Payment – If approved, the company will reimburse you for the amount based on your policy by sending a check in the mail or via direct deposit. (Processing time can range from days to months, so if getting the money back in your pocket in a timely manner is critical for you, find out the average before you commit to a company.)

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)

Trupanion shares how it determines the cost of premiums.

Real Pet Insurance Quotes

Read some examples of pet insurance quotes 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 quote form.

Tagged With: Cost, Reviewed By Insurance Agent


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About the Author: Tung Chi