What's the average cost of pet insurance?

Pet insurance rates are generally affordable, and they're largely dependent on you choosing the best insurance coverage for your pet. Cats are typically less expensive to insure than dogs, but this can vary based on the type of plan you buy. Most pet insurance companies offer two types of plans: accident-only and comprehensive. Accident-only plans cover accidents like broken bones or poisoning; they cost significantly less than comprehensive plans, which cover both accidents and illnesses. And while not all pet health insurers offer preventive care coverage, Progressive Pet Insurance by Pets Best allows you to add on an optional routine care plan to your comprehensive policy.

To get an idea of what dog or cat insurance costs, here's a small sample of average plan costs from Pets Best. Keep in mind that while annual costs are listed, you can choose to pay monthly or quarterly instead. Accident and illness pricing will depend on your pet and the reimbursement level and deductible you choose. Routine care and accident-only plans have fixed pricing.

Sample dog insurance costs

Pets Best's customizable dog insurance plans cost an average of $9 to $47.88 per month. Find the plan that fits your pup's needs.

Dog insurance plans Average annual cost** Fixed annual cost
Accident and illness (small breed dog) Average annual cost<sup disclosure-trigger>**</sup> $239.76 – $574.56 Fixed annual cost
Accident and illness (medium breed dog) Average annual cost<sup disclosure-trigger>**</sup> $368.16 – $882.24 Fixed annual cost
Accident and illness (large breed dog) Average annual cost<sup disclosure-trigger>**</sup> $398.64 – $955.20 Fixed annual cost
Routine care add-on: EssentialWellness Average annual cost<sup disclosure-trigger>**</sup> Fixed annual cost $192.00††
Routine care add-on: BestWellness Average annual cost<sup disclosure-trigger>**</sup> Fixed annual cost $312.00§
Accident-only Average annual cost<sup disclosure-trigger>**</sup> Fixed annual cost $108.00

Sample cat insurance costs

Pets Best's cat insurance plans can also be customized to your kitty's budget and needs. They cost an average of $6 to $32.19 per month.

Cat insurance plans Average annual cost** Fixed annual cost
Accident and illness (domestic shorthair cat) Average annual cost<sup disclosure-trigger>**</sup> $161.16 – $386.28 Fixed annual cost
Routine care add-on: EssentialWellness Average annual cost<sup disclosure-trigger>**</sup> Fixed annual cost $192.00††
Routine care add-on: BestWellness Average annual cost<sup disclosure-trigger>**</sup> Fixed annual cost $312.00§
Accident-only Average annual cost<sup disclosure-trigger>**</sup> Fixed annual cost $72.00*

Is pet insurance worth it?

Simply knowing that you're prepared for an unexpected illness or injury to your pet can be worth it. Some health issues may only cost a few hundred dollars, but major issues and surgeries can cost thousands of dollars. Without knowing what the future holds, having the right protection in place can offer peace of mind in case something does happen to your pet.

Accident-only plans only cost $6 per month for cats* and $9 per month for dogs.

How does pet insurance reduce your vet costs?

Your pet insurance plan will reimburse you for a percentage of your out-of-pocket costs, minus your deductible. Be sure to review the details of your policy to see how your pet insurance company handles reimbursement. With Pets Best's accident and illness BestBenefit plans, you can choose your deductible limit and your reimbursement amount according to your pet's budget and needs; the reimbursement amount is typically offered in increments of 70%, 80%, and 90%.

What affects your rate when buying pet insurance?

The insurance company and type of plan you choose will greatly impact how much you pay, but there are several other factors that affect your pet insurance rate regardless of the company or plan.

Five factors that affect pet insurance cost:

  • 1. Your location

    Veterinary care is more expensive in certain parts of the country. For instance, if you're living in rural Wyoming, you'll probably pay less for pet insurance than someone in New York City.

  • 2. Your pet's age

    The likelihood of your pet becoming ill increases with age, which could mean higher vet costs and insurance premiums as your pet grows older.

  • 3. Breed

    Your dog or cat may be predisposed to certain illnesses based on size and genetics. For example, Abyssinians are one of the most expensive cat breeds to insure, as they're more prone to periodontal disease and retinal atrophy. When it comes to dog breeds, pet insurance generally costs more for larger breeds — they're vulnerable to heart and hip issues, and medication costs can be higher.

  • 4. Deductible and reimbursement level

    Choosing a higher deductible lowers the cost of your plan, but increases your out-of-pocket costs at the vet. A lower deductible increases your plan's price, but you'll be reimbursed more on your claim. Your level of reimbursement also affects your rate. For instance, a plan with a 90% reimbursement amount costs more than a plan that pays you back for 70% of your eligible vet costs.

    Important note: Pre-existing conditions, serious injuries, and unexpected emergencies are all handled differently based on the insurance company and type of policy you choose. Reference your policy to determine what is covered, your out-of-pocket costs, and your level of reimbursement. Check out our Pet Insurance 101 article to learn more about the basics of how a pet policy works.

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