Average Cost of Pet Insurance: 2021 Facts and Figures

Average Cost of Pet Insurance: 2021 Facts and Figures

Find the Cheapest Pet Insurance Quotes in Your Area


The average monthly cost of pet insurance is $48.78 for dogs and $29.16 for cats for plans that cover both accidents and illnesses.

After obtaining quotes from 11 of the largest pet insurance companies, we found that the average monthly cost of a 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 greatly. Monthly premiums 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 factor into your insurance rates.

The average cost of pet insurance is higher for dogs — 60% more expensive than cats for accident and illness policies. Older animals and larger animals also face higher pet insurance rates, as these groups tend to have the most health issues.

Average cost of pet insurance for cats and dogs
Graph showing average monthly cost of insuring dogs and cats

The average cost of pet insurance for dogs has been increasing while the cost for cats fluctuates. Rates have decreased by as much as 7.2% and increased by up to 25.9% in the past five years, depending on the type of policy.

Five-year increase in average pet insurance rates

Accident & illness policies
Accident-only policies
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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 generators. For the sample plan, we used:

  • $500 deductible
  • $5,000 annual max
  • 80% reimbursement level
Graph showing the average monthly cost of insuring a dog across 11 companies
Graph showing the average monthly cost 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 veterinary costs or own an injury-prone dog, you can expect your monthly premium to be closer to $70 than $25.

Similarly, you'll pay a higher premium if you want more coverage, or if you decrease the deductible or increase your reimbursement level.

Below are the quotes for our sample dog across all insurers:

Monthly 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
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Typical costs by dog breed

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

Popularity rank
Monthly premium
1Labrador Retriever$37.44
2German Shepherd$34.32
3Golden Retriever$40.56
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Average cost of pet insurance for cats

For cats, we found 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.

As expected, we found the costs to insure a cat to be significantly lower than those to insure a dog.

Graph showing the average monthly cost of insuring a cat across 11 companies
Graph showing the average monthly cost of insuring a cat across 11 companies

The cost of insuring a cat showed as much variance across companies as it did for dogs. For a four-year-old medium-risk cat, you can expect to pay $10 to $15 per month with one of the most affordable companies. For more health care coverage or a more injury-prone cat breed, you'll likely pay closer to $30 or $35.

Monthly 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
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Costs by cat breed

As with dogs, the cost to insure a cat also varies by breed. To find the affordability of insuring different breeds, we looked at the five most common cat breeds.

Popularity rank
Monthly premium
3British Shorthair$20.76
5Maine Coon$17.57
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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 help you calculate whether pet insurance is a good investment for you, we looked at treatment costs for the top 10 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.

Keep in mind that even some of the more common issues, such as treating parvo in puppies, can be quite expensive — the average claim is over $900. And 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
Graph showing the cost of the most common dog conditions
Common dog conditions
Cost of vet visit
1Ear infection$149.30
3Skin infection$175.97
4Upset stomach$385.46
6Bladder issues$617.17
7Eye infection$115.45
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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
Graph showing the cost of the most common cat conditions
Common cat conditions
Cost 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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Sources North American Pet Health Insurance Association

Yowana is a former product analyst at ValuePenguin, specializing in credit cards, rewards programs and travel. He previously covered mortgages, banking and insurance for the website. Yowana graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science.

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