Cheap Pet Insurance for Dogs and Cats

Cheap Pet Insurance for Dogs and Cats

Find the Cheapest Pet Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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If your pet gets injured or falls ill, pet health insurance can help you cover expensive vet bills. The cost of each plan varies, depending on the company, your pet's breed and age, and the level of coverage you select.

Comprehensive pet health insurance costs around $25 per month for cats and $45 a month for dogs, adding up to a few hundred dollars per year.

There are ways to find cheaper coverage, though. Here's what to know.

Cheapest overall pet insurance plans

We pulled insurance quotes for a sample dog and sample cat across several companies for a standard pet insurance policy. Plans included 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.

Consider this if you want cheap coverage for your dog's vet visits and care, not just major issues.
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We'd also recommend considering Healthy Paws if you want limitless coverage for accidents and illnesses, but you're willing to pay for routine care yourself.

Rank
Insurer
Monthly dog cost
Annual dog cost
1Embrace$25.25$303.00
2Figo ($10,000 annual max)$31.13$373.56
3Nationwide ($250 deductible, unlimited max)$33.08$396.96
4PetFirst$34.95$419.40
5AKC/PetPartners ($3,000 incident max)$35.00$420.00
6ASPCA$39.94$479.28
7Petplan$40.83$489.96
8PetsBest$44.19$530.28
9HealthyPaws (no annual max)$52.09$625.08
10Trupanion (no annual max, 90% reimbursement)$58.14$697.68

The most affordable choice for cats was PetsBest — but it was among the least affordable for dogs. Across the board, Trupanion ranked as the least-affordable insurer, though they provide excellent comprehensive coverage.

Consider this if you want the best-priced coverage for your cat.
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While affordability is important, it shouldn't be the only concern when selecting a pet insurance policy. You should look closely at which pet ailments are covered and which are excluded. If your pet has preexisting conditions, your plan may consider some future illnesses ineligible for treatment.

Rank
Insurer
Monthly cat cost
Annual cat cost
1PetsBest$9.94$119.28
2Embrace$13.79$165.28
3Figo ($10,000 annual max)$15.38$184.56
4ASPCA$16.77$201.24
5PetFirst$16.95$203.40
6Nationwide ($250 deductible, unlimited max)$17.03$204.36
7Petplan$19.66$235.92
8Healthy Paws (no annual max)$24.75$297.00
9AKC/PetPartners ($3,000 incident max)$27.83$333.96
10Trupanion (no annual max, 90% reimbursement)$28.14$337.68

It's also a good idea to examine the benefits allowance when comparing insurance plans and determine if the plan balances affordability with quality of coverage.

Some companies, like Nationwide, claim to have high annual maximums but allocate the total maximum across hundreds of conditions. This means, for example, that a plan with a $14,000 annual benefit could provide you with less than $245 of coverage for something like a heart attack.

Cheapest accident-only plans

As the name implies, "accident-only" plans only cover expenses related to sudden accidents, and won't cover the costs associated with illnesses. Accident-only plans are the cheapest option for both cats and dogs and are only available through some major insurers.

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

We took a look at three insurance companies that 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. Plans came 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 older pets are always more expensive to insure than younger ones.

Rank
Insurer
Monthly dog premium
Monthly cat premium
1Pets Best ($10,000 max, 90% reimbursement)$11.00$8.00
2Nationwide ($14,000 max, 90% reimbursement)$25.32$7.65
3ASPCA$25.98$17.57

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 wellness covers costs like routine checkups, preventive care and grooming. These are usually available as an endorsement, which increases the cost of your monthly premium.

Rank
Insurer
Monthly wellness cost
Total monthly cost
1NationwidePlan + $17.75$50.83
2PetFirstPlan + $23$57.95
3EmbracePlan + $34$59.25
4AKC/PetPartners ($3,000 max)Plan + $26$61.00
5ASPCAPlan + $24.95$64.89
6TrupanionPlan + $9.95$68.09
7PetsBestPlan + $26$70.19

Because the base coverage differs with each insurer, it's important to look at the cost of wellness coverage within the overall context of your plan. One insurer can have a cheaper wellness endorsement, but 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 plan, select a level of coverage that comes with a low monthly premium.

All insurance companies charge less per month if you select a plan with a higher deductible, lower reimbursement level and lower annual maximum.

While you'll receive less reimbursement, you'll also pay less to your insurance company every month. To see how the deductible, reimbursement level and annual maximum affect monthly premiums, 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
$10090%Unlimited$25.53
$10080%Unlimited$23.73
$10070%Unlimited$21.68
$25090%$15,000$18.80
$25080%$15,000$17.57
$25070%$15,000$16.13
$50090%$5,000$12.34
$50080%$5,000$11.65
$50070%$5,000$10.79

Cheapest breeds to insure

Larger breeds are generally more costly to insure because they develop more bone and joint problems 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 large 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 20 most popular dog breeds and 10 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 and illness plan
1Daschund$32.54
2Shih Tzu$32.54
3Short-haired pointer$32.54
4Yorkshire terrier$32.54
5Siberian husky$40.66

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 among 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 and illness plan
1Tonkinese$18.56
2Bengal$20.88
3Ragamuffin$23.20
4American shorthair$23.20
5Ragdoll$25.52

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.