ADVERTISEMENT: PRODUCTS FROM OUR PARTNERS
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
The average pet insurance cost is $640 per year for dogs and $387 for cats for the most common type of policy.
Compare pet insurance providers below to find the right option for you and your pet
|What We Like
The average cost of an accident and illness policy in the U.S. is $640 per year for dogs and $387 for cats, according to 2022 data from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. That translates to about $53 a month for dogs and $32 a month for cats.
The cost of pet insurance
For an accident-only policy, the average cost is $201 per year for dogs (about $17 per month) and $122 per year for cats (about $10 per month). An accident-only policy won’t cover illnesses such as cancer, allergies or kidney disease.
Your pet's premium will depend on several factors. Those factors include; where you live, species, breed, and age.
While pet insurance can help cut your costs, it won’t reimburse you for every penny you spend at the vet. A policy will typically pay 70% to 90% of your costs after you pay a deductible, which can range from $0 to $1,000 or more. A deductible is the part of your vet bill you’re responsible for.
How pet insurance can reduce surprise bills
In most cases, you’ll need to pay the bill upfront and then file a claim with your insurer for reimbursement.
There are a few types of pet insurance plans:
- Accident and illness coverage helps pay for emergency care, surgeries, hospitalizations, diagnostic tests and prescription medications if your pet gets sick or injured.
- Accident-only policies cover many of the same expenses, but only after an accidental injury.
- Wellness coverage can pay for routine care such as annual checkups, vaccinations and preventive treatments. You can often add this coverage to an accident and illness plan for an extra cost.
Not all pet insurers offer accident-only plans or wellness coverage.
When buying a pet insurance plan, it’s important to read the terms and conditions carefully. For instance, many companies have waiting periods before your coverage starts, and not all of them cover the same types of treatments. Learn more about pet insurance coverage.
To minimize your pet insurance bill, the following tactics can help.
How to lower your pet insurance cost
You can often lower your price by changing the terms of your policy. For example, choosing a higher deductible will generally reduce your monthly premium. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to cover more of Fluffy’s vet bills before your insurer starts reimbursing you.
Customize your plan
Similarly, you can try lowering your reimbursement percentage. For example, you could have your insurer pay 70% or 80% of your vet bills rather than 90%. Choosing a lower coverage limit can also reduce your premium.
Some pet insurance companies offer savings for insuring multiple pets, paying your bill annually rather than monthly or serving in the military.
Check for discounts
You might also get a discount if you buy pet insurance along with another policy from a company that sells multiple types of insurance. For example, existing Nationwide policyholders can save 5% on a new pet insurance policy.
Finally, check whether your employer offers pet insurance as a benefit. You may be able to get a discounted rate.
There are more than 20 pet insurers in the U.S. competing for your business, so let them. Compare quotes from three insurers for similar amounts of coverage, and go with the option that works best for your budget.
It can be difficult to make fair comparisons between pet insurance quotes because not all companies offer the same coverage options and deductibles. For example, one insurer may have 90% reimbursement for all pets while another company offers a maximum of 70%. It’s up to you to decide which features might be worth paying a little more for.
Here are a few more things to check when comparing pet insurance costs:
- What’s not covered? Some plans won’t pay for prescription food, exam fees or treating dental illnesses. A plan that looks more expensive might end up being a better value if the company includes more coverage.
- What are the waiting periods? A waiting period is the time between when you buy your policy and when your coverage starts. With some plans, you could have to wait six months to a year for certain types of coverage.
- How much will the plan pay? Check whether there are limits on how much your plan will pay per year or per incident.
Shopping around is most important when you first buy your policy because pet insurance companies typically won’t cover pre-existing conditions. That makes it less appealing to switch plans during your pet’s lifetime.
Say you’ve had pet insurance with Company A for three years. During that time your dog developed allergies, and Company A has paid for her medication. If you decide to switch to Company B, the allergies would be a pre-existing condition and your new plan wouldn’t cover any treatments for them.
Get Pet Insurance Today
|What We Like