Pet insurance plans vary in cost according to your pet's breed, your pet's age and the level of insurance coverage you select. Comprehensive insurance will generally cost you a few hundred dollars per year, with average monthly costs of around $25 for cats and $45 for dogs. To get a cheaper plan, you can select a policy that covers accidents only and not illnesses, or you can choose an accident and illness plan with minimal financial coverage.
- Cheapest Overall Pet Insurance Plans
- Cheapest Accident-Only Pet Insurance Plans
- Cheapest Pet Insurance Plans with Wellness
- How to Find Cheap Pet Insurance
Cheapest Pet Insurance Plans with Comprehensive Coverage
To see how insurance costs compared across companies, we obtained quotes for sample dog and cat profiles for a plan with a $500 deductible, 80% reimbursement level and $5,000 annual maximum. For both dogs and cats, Embrace and Figo ranked among the most affordable pet insurance companies.
|Rank||Insurer||Monthly Dog Cost||Annual Dog Cost|
|2||Figo ($10k annual max)||$31.13||$373.56|
|3||Nationwide ($250 deductible, unlimited max)||$33.08||$396.96|
|5||AKC/PetPartners ($3k incident max)||$35.00||$420.00|
|9||HealthyPaws (No annual max)||$52.09||$625.08|
|10||Trupanion (No annual max, 90% reimbursement)||$58.14||$697.68|
PetsBest ranked as the most affordable choice for cats, but among the least affordable for dogs. Across the board, Trupanion ranked as the least affordable insurer, though they provide excellent comprehensive coverage. Keep in mind that affordability, while important, shouldn't be the only concern when selecting a pet insurance policy. You should look closely at which pet ailments are covered in your plan and which are excluded. If your pet had any prior illnesses, your plan may consider some future illnesses ineligible for treatment.
|Rank||Insurer||Monthly Cat Cost||Annual Cat Cost|
|3||Figo ($10k annual max)||$15.38||$184.56|
|6||Nationwide ($250 deductible, unlimited max)||$17.03||$204.36|
|8||Healthy Paws (No annual max)||$24.75||$297.00|
|9||AKC/PetPartners ($3k incident max)||$27.83||$333.96|
|10||Trupanion (No annual max, 90% reimbursement)||$28.14||$337.68|
It's also a good idea to examine the benefits allowance of your plan. Some companies, like Nationwide, claim to have high annual maximums but allocate the total maximum across hundreds of conditions. This means that a plan with a $14,000 annual benefit could provide you with less than $245 of coverage for something like a heart attack. This is why it's always best to compare insurance plans and balance affordability with quality of coverage.
Cheapest Accident-Only Plans
The cheapest pet insurance plans for both cats and dogs are those that only cover accidents. While comprehensive plans cover both illnesses and injuries, accident-only plans provide reimbursement solely for injuries. These types of plans are available through only a portion of the major insurers but usually cost less than half of what accident and illness plans cost.
Across the top pet insurers, we took a look at three who carry accident-only plans to give you a better idea of cost. The quotes below are for a 4 year old male Labrador retriever and a 4 year old female Bengal cat, and for a plan with a $250 deductible, 80% reimbursement level and $15,000 annual limit. Keep in mind that dog insurance is always more expensive than cat insurance, and that older pets are always more expensive to insure than puppies or kittens.
|Rank||Insurer||Monthly Dog Premium||Monthly Cat Premium|
|1||Pets Best ($10k, 90%)||$11.00||$8.00|
|2||Nationwide (14k limit, 90%)||$25.32||$7.65|
It's important to note that while accident-only plans are the cheapest option, they also have substantially less coverage than comprehensive injury and illness plans. If your pet gets a serious illness that's unrelated to a specific accident, then you'll have no coverage for that treatment. These types of plans are best if you have an active, injury prone breed, and you could also handle paying a large illness treatment bill without reimbursement.
Cheapest Pet Insurance Plans with Wellness
Pet insurance wellness coverage provides reimbursement for things like routine check-ups, preventative care and grooming. These usually aren't covered under accident and illness plans, so insurers offer pet owners the opportunity to purchase coverage through a wellness endorsement. Most insurers who offer wellness coverage will tack on a fixed monthly rate to your existing monthly premium. Below, the furthest right column shows the total cost of a dog insurance plan with accident, illness and wellness coverage.
|Rank||Insurer||Monthly Wellness Cost||Total Monthly Cost|
|1||Nationwide||Plan + $17.75||$50.83|
|2||PetFirst||Plan + $23||$57.95|
|3||Embrace||Plan + $34||$59.25|
|4||AKC/PetPartners ($3k incident max)||Plan + $26||$61.00|
|5||ASPCA||Plan + $24.95||$64.89|
|6||Trupanion||Plan + $9.95||$68.09|
|7||PetsBest||Plan + $26||$70.19|
Because the level of base coverage differs from insurer to insurer, it's important to look at the cost of wellness coverage within the overall context of your plan. Though one insurer can have a cheaper wellness endorsement, their plan might not cover as many accidents and illnesses. You should always do your homework by reading the fine print on your policy and comparing plans.
How to Find Cheap Pet Insurance
To secure the cheapest pet health insurance, you should select a level of coverage that comes with a low monthly premium. All insurance companies will charge you less per month if you select a plan that has a higher deductible, lower reimbursement level and lower annual maximum. This means that you'll get less money back per accident or illness treatment, but you'll also be paying less to your insurance company every month.
To see how the deductible, reimbursement level and annual maximum affect monthly premiums, you should compare plans with different levels of coverage. Below, we obtained sample quotes for an accident-only plan for a cat.
|Deductible||Reimbursement Level||Annual Max||Monthly Premium|
Cheapest Breeds to Insure
Particularly for dogs, larger breeds are costly to insure because more bone and joint problems develop due to their size and weight. This is why many pet insurance plans exclude coverage for hip dysplasia, a common joint problem that occurs in larger dog breeds. To determine some of the cheapest breeds to insure, we looked at the cost of accident and illness plans at a leading insurer for the twenty most popular dog breeds and ten most popular cat breeds. The quotes are for a plan with a $250 deductible, 80% reimbursement level and $5,000 annual maximum.
|Rank||Cheapest Dogs to Insure||Monthly Cost for Accident & Illness Plan|
|3||Short Haired Pointer||$32.54|
Across all insurance companies, cats are much cheaper to insure than dogs. This is because dogs tend to have active lifestyles and pose a high risk for injury, whereas domestic cats spend most of their time indoors and have a lower chance of injury. However, there are also key differences in health amongst cats which lead to higher insurance costs for certain breeds. These differences are mostly a result of breeding practices—for example, the Tonkinese cat has low insurance costs because it has developed a strong immune system through years of careful breeding practices.
|Rank||Cheapest Cats to Insure||Monthly Cost for Accident & Illness Plan|