How Much Is Pet Insurance in 2024?

Pet insurance typically costs between $10 and $50 per month.

Stephanie Colestock
Stephanie Colestock

Stephanie is a DC-based freelance writer specializing in personal finance. Her work covers insurance, loans, real estate investing, retirement, and more.

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Katie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Mark Friedlander
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Mark Friedlander
Mark FriedlanderDirector, Corporate Communications
  • Corporate communications director for Insurance Information Institute

  • 20+ years in insurance and communications

As Director, Corporate Communications for Triple-I, Mark serves as the non-profit’s national spokesperson, sharing information and education on a wide array of insurance issues.

Updated December 10, 2023 at 4:00 PM PST

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Pet insurance is a type of coverage that can provide financial reimbursement for your pet’s health care, including illness, injury, and routine visits. You’ll pay a monthly premium for the plan and then file a claim if your pet has an accident, illness, or other diagnosed medical condition. On average, accident and illness coverage costs $53 per month for dogs and $32 for cats across the U.S.

The cost of your premium will depend on your pet and where you live. Older animals and breeds with common hereditary issues will likely cost more to insure. While having coverage can ease the financial burden of unexpected veterinary costs, it won’t cover all types of medical care.

Here’s what you need to know about pet insurance, including what it covers and how much you can expect to pay for a policy.

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How much does pet insurance cost?

The U.S. average cost of accident and illness pet insurance is $53 per month for dogs and $32 per month for cats, according to data from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).[1] Your own costs can vary depending on the type of pet you’re insuring — as well as its age, health, and breed — where you live, and the amount of coverage you buy.

To find the best price for pet insurance that meets your pet care needs, you’ll want to shop around and compare multiple policies from different pet insurance companies. Here’s a look at each of the factors that determine pet insurance costs and how you can find the best price on your next policy.

Your pet’s details

As with health insurance for humans, pet insurance premiums depend on the specifics of the pet you want to insure. This means that you may pay more or less for coverage depending on the following factors:

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    Pet species

    Dogs often cost more to insure than cats for a few reasons that increase costs at the vet. For example, dogs are typically larger than cats and require higher medication doses.

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    Pet breed

    Your pet’s breed can increase the cost of pet insurance due to its size or if it’s prone to certain genetic conditions or injuries.

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    Age

    Older pets are more likely to experience health concerns, so your monthly premiums will likely be higher than if you’re insuring a new puppy or kitten.

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    Gender

    Pet owners typically file fewer claims for female pets than male pets.

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    Location

    Where your pet lives also matters, as average veterinary costs can vary by city and state.[2]

The coverage you want

As you probably expect, your pet insurance rates will also depend on how much coverage you want to buy and what type of insurance you need. Accident-only coverage provides less coverage than accident and illness policies, so it costs less. The average cost of an accident-only policy is $17 per month for dogs and $10 for cats.

Good to Know

Your policy’s deductible, reimbursement percentage, and annual maximum reimbursement all affect your insurance costs. You can adjust your policy costs by choosing a higher (or lower) annual deductible for claims.

Your pet’s health

If your pet already has a history of certain medical conditions or injuries, you’ll likely pay more for coverage than if your pet has a clean bill of health. Your coverage will likely exclude any of these pre-existing conditions.

Average pet insurance cost for dogs

Average quotes for a 5-year-old dog range between $33 and $209 per month.

While the average pet insurance cost for dogs will vary from one pet owner to the next, here are some quotes from the top pet insurance companies for a 5-year-old dog with at least $5,000 in annual coverage. We also chose an 80% reimbursement rate and a $500 pet insurance deductible for these quotes.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Cost
ASPCA$33
MetLife$40
Embrace$44
Fetch$56
HealthyPaws$59
Nationwide$63
Trupanion$63*
*Trupanion policies, by default, have unlimited annual coverage.

Average pet insurance cost for cats

Pet insurance for cats, according to Insurify’s analysis, costs between $14 and $55 each month.

As with dogs, the average monthly premium for cats also depends on the animal’s location, breed, age, health, and gender. You can adjust your premiums according to the amount of coverage you want to buy.

Here are some quotes Insurify received for a 3-year-old female cat. Policy specifics include an 80% reimbursement, a $500 deductible, and $5,000 or more in annual coverage.

Compare the average quotes below.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Cost
ASPCA$14
HealthyPaws$19
Nationwide$21
Metlife$21
Embrace$21
Fetch$22
Trupanion$28*
*Trupanion policies, by default, have unlimited annual coverage.

Types of pet insurance

You can choose from a few different types of pet insurance coverage, depending on what sort of expenses you want covered and how much you’re willing to spend.

  • Accident-only coverage: As the name implies, this type of coverage only reimburses you for eligible expenses related to a pet injury incurred from a fall, collision with a car, or another incident. This policy type is less expensive, but it doesn’t cover illness or other health conditions.

  • Accident and illness coverage: This coverage is more comprehensive and will kick in for your pet’s injuries and illness. It can reimburse you for expenses related to injuries, as well as cancer, arthritis, and other non-acute diagnoses.

  • Wellness coverage: Not all pet insurance companies offer wellness coverage, but you can sometimes add it to an existing pet insurance policy. This coverage can provide coverage or reimbursement for routine vet expenses related to your pet’s annual wellness, including teeth cleanings, routine blood work and exams, and flea or tick preventatives.[3]

How to find cheap pet insurance

Finding cheap coverage will depend on factors not in your control (like your pet’s age and gender), as well as factors you can control, like how much coverage you purchase and other policy details.

To lower your pet insurance costs, you can:

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    Shop around for coverage

    Comparing policies is your best option for finding the lowest possible price for the coverage you want. Most insurers offer online quotes that you can get in minutes by entering your pet’s information. You can then compare these coverages and quotes to see which provides you with the most value.

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    Purchase accident-only coverage

    You can pay less for coverage by buying the basic level of coverage for your pet.

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    Increase your plan’s deductible

    Setting a higher deductible typically results in lower premiums, but higher out-of-pocket expenses.

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    Look into discounts

    Some insurance companies offer discounts for pet owners insuring two or more pets, bundling coverage, making up-front payments, and more. Always inquire with your insurer or agent to see if you qualify for any.

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    Bundle two or more coverages

    You can also reduce your costs by bundling coverage with another policy type or another pet’s insurance. If your insurer offers auto, home, renters, or life, you can often get a discount for buying more than one type of policy.

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Do you need pet insurance?

Whether you actually need pet insurance depends on your financial situation and factors like your pet’s health, age, and breed.

It’s impossible to know exactly what injuries or illnesses your pet will experience in their lifetime. Certain breeds are more susceptible to conditions, though, so if your pet’s breed is notorious for having medical issues, it might be worth buying coverage to protect your finances. You may also want to buy coverage if an unexpected injury or illness would cause serious financial stress.

Keep in Mind

Non-routine expenses can add up quickly — especially if the injury or illness is serious. For example, chemotherapy for a dog or cat can cost between $3,000 and $10,000 or more.[4] And surgically repairing a dog’s torn cruciate ligament will cost between $2,000 and $4,000 at minimum.[5] Buying a low-cost pet insurance policy could alleviate some of that financial stress.

Pet insurance FAQs

Before purchasing a pet insurance policy, you should always shop around and compare quotes to find the best policy for your pet’s coverage needs. The following information should answer your remaining questions.

  • Is pet insurance worth it?

    If your pet has an unexpected injury or accident, pet insurance is generally worth it. If you’re deciding whether you should buy pet insurance, you should consider your budget for coverage and concerns about your pet’s health. If you can’t afford to pay for a large and unexpected medical bill out of pocket for your pet, you should consider buying coverage.

  • Do most vets accept pet insurance?

    Pet insurance plans typically will reimburse you after you make a payment rather than working with the vet directly. This allows you to visit any licensed care provider you choose without worrying about plan acceptance or pre-approval. You’ll have to pay for your pet’s care up front before you can submit vet bills for reimbursement according to your plan.

  • What pets are the cheapest to insure?

    In general, pet insurance is cheaper for cats than for dogs. It typically also costs less to insure younger pets because older pets have higher chances of injury or illness. Beyond that, some breeds are cheaper to insure than others.

    For example, mixed-breed dogs and cats are more common and tend to have fewer health problems compared to purebred pets, so they cost less to insure. Among dogs, English springer spaniels, Yorkshire terriers, Australian shepherds, and dachshunds are the cheapest to insure, on average.

Methodology 

Insurify’s team of data scientists gathered the average quotes included in the article on each pet insurer’s website using specific pet profiles and coverage details. For the average quotes for dogs, we used a profile of a two-year-old mixed breed, medium-sized male dog. For cats, we used a profile of a two-year-old American shorthair female cat. Quotes for both species were for accident and illness coverage with 80% reimbursement, a $500 deductible, and $5,000 or more in annual coverage.

Sources

  1. North American Pet Health Insurance Association. "Section #3: Average Premiums." Accessed September 26, 2023
  2. Embrace Pet Insurance. "How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost? What Determines Pet Insurance Prices." Accessed September 26, 2023
  3. Insurance Information Institute. "Facts about pet insurance." Accessed September 26, 2023
  4. CareCredit. "Cat and Dog Chemotherapy Cost and Financing Options." Accessed September 26, 2023
  5. CareCredit. "Dog ACL (CCL) Surgery Cost and Financing Options." Accessed September 26, 2023
Stephanie Colestock
Stephanie Colestock

Stephanie is a DC-based freelance writer. She primarily covers personal finance topics such as insurance, loans, real estate investing, and retirement. Her work can be found on CBS, FOX Business, MSN, Yahoo! Finance, Business Insider, and more. When she isn't helping people plan for their financial futures, she is traveling, hiking with her kids, or writing for her own website, TomorrowsDollar.com. She can be reached on Twitter @stephcolestock

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

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Mark Friedlander
Reviewed byMark FriedlanderDirector, Corporate Communications
Mark Friedlander
Mark FriedlanderDirector, Corporate Communications
  • Corporate communications director for Insurance Information Institute

  • 20+ years in insurance and communications

As Director, Corporate Communications for Triple-I, Mark serves as the non-profit’s national spokesperson, sharing information and education on a wide array of insurance issues.

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