Average Cost of Pet Insurance: 2018 Facts and Figures

The average monthly cost of pet insurance is $43.14 for dogs and $26.77 for cats for pet insurance plans that cover both accidents and illnesses. After obtaining quotes from eleven of the largest pet insurance companies, we found that the monthly cost of the average pet insurance plan ranges from about $25 to $70 for dogs, and $10 to $40 for cats.

Average Pet Insurance Costs

How much you pay for pet insurance varies widely: the monthly premium can range from as low as $10 to higher than $100, though most pet owners can expect to pay between $30 and $50 per month for a plan with decent coverage. Your pet's age, species and breed, as well as where you live and the coverage package you choose, all go into your insurance rates. The average cost of pet insurance is higher for dogs, older animals and larger animals, as these groups tend to have the most health issues. Below are the industry-wide averages for pet insurance, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.

Graph showing average monthly cost of insuring dogs ($42.45) and cats ($26.77)

Average Cost of Pet Insurance for Dogs

Across 11 of the top pet insurers, the average monthly premium for dog insurance was $42.45. To find the average dog insurance premium, we obtained rates for a sample dog profile from insurers' online quote generator. For the sample plan, we used a $500 deductible, $5,000 annual max and 80% reimbursement level. The mean costs below are based on a Labrador retriever—4 years old, male and neutered—with no pre-existing conditions.

Graph showing the average monthly cost ($42.45) of insuring a dog across 11 companies

Even with the same parameters for location, dog and insurance plan, insurers showed a range of nearly $50 across their plans. As such, if you live somewhere with expensive vet costs or own an injury-prone dog, you can expect your monthly premium to be closer to $70 than $25. Similarly, you'll be paying a higher premium if you want to get more coverage and decide to decrease the deductible or increase your reimbursement level. Below are the quotes for our sample dog across all insurers:

RankInsurerMonthly Premium for Dogs
2Figo ($10k annual max)$31.13
3Nationwide ($250 deductible, unlimited max)$33.08
5AKC/PetPartners ($3k incident max)$35.00
9HealthyPaws (No annual max)$52.09
10Trupanion (No annual max, 90% reimbursement)$58.14
1124PetWatch ($100 deductible)$72.32

Typical Costs By Dog Breed

The costs of monthly plans also vary according to the breed of your dog. Using the sample plan above, a three year old healthy male dog, and an insurer representative of the average cost, we found the monthly premium for the 5 most common dog breeds.

Popularity RankBreedMonthly Premium
1Labrador Retriever$37.44
2German Shepherd$34.32
3Golden Retriever$40.56

Average Cost of Pet Insurance for Cats

For cats, we found that the average monthly premium across 11 of the largest insurers was $20.99. To find how much insurers charge for cats, we got sample quotes for the plan mentioned above—$500 deductible, $5,000 annual max and 80% reimbursement level. For the sample cat, we used a four year old female with no preexisting conditions. As expected, we found that the costs of insuring a cat are significantly lower than for insuring a dog.

Graph showing the average monthly cost ($20.99) of insuring a cat across 11 companies

The cost of insuring a cat showed as much variance across companies as for dogs. For a 4 year old Bengal cat, or another medium-risk cat, you can expect to pay as little as $10 or $15 dollars a month with one of the most affordable companies. For more healthcare coverage or a more injury prone cat, you'll likely pay closer to $30 or $35.

RankInsurerMonthly Premium for Cats
3Figo ($10k annual max)$15.38
6Nationwide ($250 deductible, unlimited max)$17.03
8Healthy Paws (No annual max)$24.75
9AKC/PetPartners ($3k incident max)$27.83
10Trupanion (No annual max, 90% reimbursement)$28.14
1124PetWatch ($100 deductible)$40.69

Costs By Cat Breed

As with dogs, the costs for insuring a cat also vary by breed. To find the affordability of insuring different breeds, we looked at the five most common cat breeds. We found that the cost of insurance for the most expensive of these breeds, the British Shorthair, is nearly double the cost for the most affordable, the Exotic.

Popularity RankBreedMonthly Premium
3British Shorthair$20.76
5Maine Coon Cat$17.57

Average Cost of Treatments

If you're trying to decide whether pet insurance is worth it, you should consider the cost of treatments without insurance. To give you an idea of the affordability of insurance, we looked at how much treatment costs for the top ten dog and cat ailments. According to data based on average claims from PetFirst holders, the most common dog treatments cost $252.75 on average, while the most common cat treatments cost $266.79 on average. Keep in mind that serious afflictions like cancer are rarer but treatment is also much more costly—chemotherapy alone can cost $5,000 to $10,000.

Graph showing the cost of the most common dog conditions
RankCommon Dog ConditionsCost of Vet Visit
1Ear Infection$149.30
3Skin Infection$175.97
4Upset Stomach$385.46
6Bladder Issues$617.17
7Eye Infection$115.45

In most cases, paying for treatment out of pocket for the most common dog and cat conditions is less expensive than the annual cost of insurance. However, it's important to remember that insurance is meant to help lower the burden of the more expensive and less common ailments and diseases, like fracturing a limb or getting cancer. In these cases, having insurance will help lower the financial burden of a costly procedure.

Graph showing the cost of the most common cat conditions
RankCommon Cat ConditionsCost of Vet Visit
1Urinary Tract Condition$295.18
2Upset Stomach$385.46
3Renal Failure$485.38
8Ear Infections$149.30
9Upper Respiratory Infections (URI)$219.27


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