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Key points

  • The average accident and illness pet insurance plan for dogs with unlimited annual coverage costs $55 per month.
  • The breed and age of your pet is a determining factor in the cost of pet insurance.
  • Where you live will also impact your pet insurance rates as vet costs vary by state and city.

The average cost of pet insurance is $45 per month for a dog for an accident and illness policy with $5,000 of annual coverage and $55 per month for an accident and illness policy with unlimited annual coverage. Pet owners spend more than $3,000 annually on their pets, according to the pet health insurance company Lemonade. 

That price skyrockets with advanced diseases. Cancer treatment that includes chemotherapy can run up to $35,000 while diabetes medication can cost around $1,200 per year. Pet insurance can help reimburse you for these medical expenses so you’re not stuck paying out of pocket in the event your pet gets sick or injured. 

More: Best Pet Insurance Companies

How much does pet insurance typically cost? 

Pet insurance costs around $55 per month for an unlimited accident and illness plan for dogs, according to our analysis. The average cost of pet insurance for a cat for the same plan is about $47 per month.

Pet insurance costs for dogs vs. cats

Here’s how much different accident and illness coverage plans can cost for dogs and cats.

ACCIDENT AND ILLNESS $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGEACCIDENT AND ILLNESS PLANUNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE
Dog
Annual: $540
Monthly: $45
Cat
Annual: $360
Monthly: $30

Pet insurance costs and policy details vary by company. When shopping for pet insurance it is always a good idea to compare rates and benefits to find the ideal policy for you and your pet. 

Pet insurance costs by insurance company

Here’s how much accident and illness pet insurance plans for dogs cost by company per month on average.  

COMPANYMONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENTMONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENTLEARN MORE
N/A$36

Via Petted’s Website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENTN/A
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$36
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s Website

$40
$50

Via Petted’s website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENT$40
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT
$50
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s website

$41$51

Via Petted’s Website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENT$41
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$51
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s Website

$44$55

Via Petted’s website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENT$44
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$55
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s website

$42$55

Via Petted’s website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENT$42
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$55
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s website

$43$56

Via Petted’s Website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENT$43
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$56
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s Website

N/A$56

Via Petted’s website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENTN/A
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$56
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s website

$50$58

Via Petted’s website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENT$50
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$58
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s website

$45$59

Via Petted’s Website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENT$45
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$59
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s Website

$51$66

Via Petted’s website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENT$51
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$66
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s website

$49$60

Via petted’s website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENT$49
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$60
LEARN MORE

Via petted’s website

N/A$60

Via Petted’s website

COMPANY
MONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENTN/A
MONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT$60
LEARN MORE

Via Petted’s website

The cheapest company for an unlimited plan is ManyPets. Fetch has the highest monthly rates for an unlimited plan, costing $66 per month. 

Types of pet insurance coverage

Most pet insurance companies offer the following types of plans.

  • Accident and illness plans: The most common type of pet insurance plan, accident and illness policies will cover accidents-related costs, like a torn ACL, and illnesses-related costs, like ear infections. 
  • Accident-only plans: Only covers accident-related costs, like broken bones and lacerations. It does not cover any illness-related costs.  
  • Wellness plans: Usually offered only as an add-on to an accident and illness plans, wellness covers things like routine exams and vaccinations.

Factors that affect the cost of your pet insurance 

There are several factors that affect the cost of your pet insurance. 

Age

Aging animals are more susceptible to illness and injury. Just like humans, as our pets age they require more health care. Monthly pet insurance costs typically increase as your pet ages. Some insurers will not cover certain conditions of an elderly pet. For example, cats 15 years of age or older don’t qualify for an accident and illness plan with the pet insurance company Embrace, but are eligible for an accident-only plan.  

Examples of pet insurance costs by age

Here’s the average monthly cost of pet insurance for different aged dogs. 

PET AGEMONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENTMONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT
3 months
$44.18
$56.65
2 years
$44
$56.38
5 years
$44.93
$56.21

Breed

The breed of your pet is another determining factor of the price of pet insurance. Each breed has its own unique set of physical and personality characteristics —  certain breeds are predisposed to certain illnesses. Large dog breeds, for instance, are predisposed to health problems including heart disease and hip dysplasia requiring more trips to the vet and higher overall vet bills. 

Examples of pet insurance costs among dog breeds

Here’s how monthly pet insurance costs can vary by dog breed and policy details.

BREEDMONTHLY COST FOR $5,000 ANNUAL COVERAGE/$250 DEDUCTIBLE/80% REIMBURSEMENTMONTHLY COST FOR UNLIMITED ANNUAL COVERAGE/$500 DEDUCTIBLE/90% REIMBURSEMENT
Mixed breed (S)
$43.97
$56.35
Mixed breed (M)
$43.95
$56.32
Mixed breed (L)
$43.94
$56.31
Golden retriever
$43.96
$56.30
Goldendoodle
$43.95
$56.28
German Shepherd
$43.95
$56.27
French bulldog
$44.00
$56.30
Chihuahua
$43.97
$56.26
Yorkshire terrier
$43.96
$56.24
Shih Tzu
$43.93
$56.21

Location

Because vet care is more expensive in some states than others, the cost of your pet insurance may vary depending on which state you live in. Where you live within your state matters, too. For instance, living in an urban area usually means vet costs are higher, so pet insurance rates may be higher. Pet owners living in rural areas might see cheaper pet insurance rates since vet costs are typically lower than urban areas. 

Policy details 

The details of your policy that can impact your rate include:

  • Policy type. You can choose between various policy types such as accident and illness plans and less comprehensive, but cheaper accident-only plans. Routine wellness plans are sometimes available as an add-on to an accident and illness plan. 
  • Reimbursement percentage (co-insurance). Pet insurance is reimbursement based, so you will pay your pet’s medical bills up front then submit a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. You can choose your reimbursement rate — typically 70%, 80% or 90% of the medical expenses. Higher levels of reimbursement result in more expensive insurance premiums. 
  • Deductible amount. Your deductible is subtracted from your reimbursement payout. The higher your deductible amount, the less you pay in pet insurance costs, but the more you pay towards your pet’s medical care.

What pet insurance typically covers

Pet health insurance policies typically cover a wide range of situations from ear infections to diabetes. A standard pet insurance policy will help cover the costs of diagnostics, procedures and medications to treat a dog’s eligible accidents and illnesses. 

While every company and particular pet plan differs in what it covers, most accident and illness pet insurance plans cover:

  • Blood tests.
  • Breed-specific, hereditary or congenital disorders.
  • Chronic conditions.
  • Diagnostics (X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, Ultrasounds).
  • Hospitalization.
  • Illnesses (such as diarrhea, urinary tract infections and vomiting).
  • Labwork.
  • Outpatient, emergency or specialty care.
  • Prescription medication or injections.
  • Stitches.
  • Surgery. 
  • Urinalysis.

If you want extras besides the basics, comparing pet insurance companies can help you find the right coverage. Figo, for instance, will cover all the above, plus alternative and holistic approaches, such as acupuncture, herbal medicine and hydrotherapy. Lemonade will cover acupuncture and hydrotherapy, but only with a coverage add-on that costs extra.

What pet insurance doesn’t cover 

Pet insurance typically doesn’t cover expected costs like annual wellness visits and vaccines, unless you opt for a wellness plan add-on. These are also usually not covered by pet insurance:

  • Doggy daycare.
  • Elective cosmetic procedures, like tail docking or ear cropping.
  • Experimental treatments.
  • Grooming.
  • Incurable, pre-existing conditions.
  • Pregnancy, whelping and birth.
  • Prescription diet food.
  • Supplements.

It’s incredibly important to read through the details of your pet insurance policy to know what you can expect when it comes time to file a claim and whether or not you will be reimbursed for the costs. 

“It’s similar to how car insurance is meant for car accidents, which are unexpected, but it doesn’t cover the expected and routine oil changes, brake pads or car washes,” said Rob Jackson, CEO of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation.

Because pre-existing conditions are not typically covered, it is important to take out a pet insurance policy on your animal as early as possible. The younger your pet is, the healthier they usually are. As your pet ages, it will require more veterinary care, creating more pre-existing conditions that may not be covered by pet insurance. 

How to get pet insurance

You can get pet insurance over the phone, online and through a mobile app depending on the insurance company. It’s a good idea to shop around and compare pet insurance companies to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for your pet at the best price possible. 

Methodology

Our insurance experts analyzed 18 pet insurance companies using data provided by PetInsurer.com. Rates are based on accident and illness plans for dogs.

Plan 1: 

  • $5,000 annual coverage limit.
  • $250 deductible.
  • 80% reimbursement limit.

Plan 2:

  • Unlimited annual coverage (or highest offered) limit.
  • $500 deductible.
  • 90% reimbursement limit.

Pet insurance cost FAQs

Yes, many insurers offer discounts that you may qualify for that will lower your monthly pet insurance rates. Some common discounts include multi-pet discounts if you insure multiple pets with one company, veterinarian discount if you work in the vet field and military discounts if you’re an active military member or veteran. 

Pet insurance typically gets more expensive as your pet ages because it is more at risk for accidents and illnesses.

Dogs are typically more expensive to insure than cats, but pet insurance costs vary by breed and age of your pet. 

Whether or not pet insurance is worth it will depend on your own financial situation. Emergency medical costs for your pet can cost thousands of dollars depending on the severity of it. If you don’t have pet insurance, you won’t be reimbursed for any of your pet’s medical expenses. 

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Jennifer Simonson covers everything from business to the wine industry to international travel. Outdoor adventure, water parks and all things Texas are by far her favorite beats. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Travel + Leisure, Texas Monthly, Smithsonian Magazine, Fodor's, Lonely Planet, Slate and more. You can follow her on Instagram at @storiestoldwell.

Heidi Gollub

BLUEPRINT

Heidi Gollub is the ӣƵ Blueprint managing editor of insurance. She was previously lead editor of insurance at Forbes Advisor and led the insurance team at U.S. News & World Report as assistant managing editor of 360 Reviews. Heidi has an MBA from Emporia State University and is a licensed property and casualty insurance expert.

Kara McGinley

BLUEPRINT

Kara McGinley is deputy editor of insurance at ӣƵ Blueprint and a licensed home insurance expert. Previously, she was a senior editor at Policygenius, where she specialized in homeowners and renters insurance. Her work and insights have been featured in MSN, Lifehacker, Kiplinger, PropertyCasualty360 and more.