How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

Pet insurance costs vary based on details like the type of pet you have, the type of plan you choose, and where you live. Let’s dive into those details!

Feb 13, 2024By Lauren Rey
how much does pet insurance cost

Pet insurance can be one of the best tools that pet owners have to protect their pet and their personal finances, but there’s often a lot of confusion around cost. So, how much is pet insurance? The only true answer is — it depends! Some plans can be as low as under $20 a month while others can reach well past $100. Pet insurance costs are determined by several unique factors. Let’s take a look at what they are and how you can find the best plan for your budget.

Factors That Affect Pet Insurance Costs

choosing pet insurance
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The cost of pet insurance is highly individualized which is why it’s difficult to obtain pricing from potential insurers without filling out an online form. Your quoted price will be based on several personal details including:


Pet owners in more populated metropolitan areas like New York or Miami will often pay much higher premium rates than those living in less-populated, lower-cost-of-living areas. This is due to local veterinary pricing as well as other cost-of-living factors.

Cat vs Dog

Pet insurance costs are directly tied to average healthcare costs. Dogs are typically more to insure than cats as their healthcare costs are often higher.

Breed of Pet

Certain breeds carry higher health risks — meaning they will be priced higher. For instance, French Bulldogs, which carry several genetic health risks and can be prone to respiratory problems due to their shortened airways, are one of the most expensive breeds to insure.

Age of Pet

As our pets age, their risk of developing health conditions goes up so they become more expensive to insure. Monthly premiums for puppies and kittens are often much lower than older dogs and cats.

Types of Pet Insurance Coverage

pet insurance
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There are multiple types of plans and levels of coverage that pet owners can choose from. Which one you choose will play a major role in how much you pay monthly. The most common options include:

Accident and Illness Plans

Considered the standard in pet insurance — accident and illness plans cover your pet’s treatment for most accidents, illnesses, and other emergencies. This can include things like trauma-related injuries (hit-by-car, falls, etc), broken bones, foreign body ingestions, urinary tract infections, cancer, diabetes, seizures, and much more.

Accident-only Plans

As the name implies, accident-only plans strictly cover treatment for accidents. This can include hit-by-car injuries, falls, broken bones, wounds, burns, toxic ingestions, and other accidental injuries. Accident-only plans are typically offered as a lower-cost option or an alternative for pets with lots of pre-existing conditions that may not benefit from full medical coverage.

Wellness Add-ons

Typically offered only as an add-on to full coverage plans, wellness plans cover your pet’s preventative care. This may include things like yearly exams, vaccinations, health screenings, parasite prevention, and more.

Customizable Coverage Options

Some pet insurance providers offer multiple options for your deductible, reimbursement percentage, and annual limit. Pet owners can customize their plans to fit their budget and their pet’s needs by raising or lowering these options. In general, lower deductibles, higher reimbursement percentages, and higher annual limits will raise premiums.

Pet Insurance Costs for Dogs

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Dogs top the list as the most insured pet in America with over 4 million dogs insured and counting. While individual costs will still depend on several factors, average costs tend to range from $30 to $60 a month for a basic policy with accident and illness coverage. Averages for insuring a dog with an accident-only plan range from $10 to $20 a month.

Pet Insurance Costs for Cats

cat owner
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Cats are the second most insured pet in the country with around 1 million insured and counting. Like dogs, the individual cost to insure your cat will still depend on several factors, but averages tend to range from $20 to $30 a month for a basic accident and illness policy. Accident-only plans for cats average around just $10 a month.

Tips For Finding Affordable Pet Insurance Coverage

shopping for pet insurance
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While the average pet insurance premium is often still quite low compared to what one pet illness or emergency might cost to treat, many pet owners still struggle to find a plan within their budget. Here are some tips for finding more affordable pet insurance coverage for your pet!

  • Shop around — The pet insurance market is bigger than ever and still growing! Be sure to shop around and get quotes from multiple companies to compare rates.
  • Insure your pet early — The earlier you insure your pet, the better premium and coverage you’ll get. If you just adopted a puppy or kitten, enroll them in a pet insurance plan right away!
  • Customize your plan — Some pet insurance plans allow you to customize your monthly premiums by raising or lowering your deductible, reimbursement rate, and annual limits. While these will raise your out-of-pocket costs in an emergency, they can keep your monthly premiums low. Many pet owners opt to keep a lower monthly payment but put a little money aside or have an emergency credit card to cover their deductible if needed.
Dogs Like Hugs
  • Look for discounts — Some pet insurance providers offer discounts when insuring multiple pets, bundling coverage with home or auto (if they also provide it), and for members of the military. Be sure to check for what discounts may be available when shopping around.
  • Skip the wellness add-ons — While wellness add-ons can be a great way to boost your pet’s coverage if you need to keep your premiums low — stick to the basics! There are other ways you can plan ahead and save for your pet’s wellness care, but emergencies are never planned. It’s better to ensure your pet is covered with the best accident and illness plan that fits your budget.
Lauren Rey
By Lauren Rey

A lover of all animals, Lauren’s background is in the veterinary world, but she is now a content writer on travel, wildlife, and all things pets! She’s based in Florida, but when not writing, she’s usually plotting out a new road trip route with her partner-in-crime. Pickles is a mixed-breed rescue dog that loves hiking, road trips, and Starbucks just as much as her mom does!