The Cost of Pet Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
July 3, 2023

Because your pet is an important member of your family, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your pet receives the best medical care possible. Several insurers offer pet insurance, but how do you know which one to choose? One factor to consider in choosing pet insurance is cost, which varies based on several factors.

Continue reading for a more in-depth look at pet insurance and how to get the best coverage for your money.

The Average Cost of Pet Insurance

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average monthly cost of pet insurance for dogs is $50 and for cats is $28 for policies that cover both accidents and illnesses.

Based on examining estimates from the top pet insurance firms, Benzinga discovered that the average monthly cost of a dog insurance plan ranged from approximately $24 to $86 for dogs and $9 to $30 for cats.

Average Cost of Cat Insurance

  • Accident & Illness: $28 per month
  • Accident-Only: $11 per month

Average Cost of Dog Insurance

  • Accident & Illness: $50 per month
  • Accident-Only: $18 per month

Are Pet Insurance Costs on the Rise?

The average cost of dog insurance has risen, but the cost of cat insurance fluctuates. Prices have reduced by as much as 11% in the last five years, depending on what type of coverage you have.

Average increase for dog insurance policies: The average increase for dog insurance policies is 15% for accident & illness policies and 30% for accident-only policies.

Average increase for cat insurance policies: The average increase for cat insurance policies is 5% for accident & illness policies and 11% for accident-only policies.

Pet insurers showed a wide range of prices for their plans, even though the rules for where you live, what breed and how much insurance they had were the same. If you live in an area where veterinary costs are high or if your pet is prone to injury, you should expect your monthly premium to go up.

You'll also pay more if you want more coverage, lower your deductible or raise your reimbursement level.

Pet Insurance ProviderAverage Monthly Cost

What Should Pet Insurance Cover?

A pet insurance policy's coverage differs from one company to the next. If you're paying for pet insurance, you'll want to ensure you're getting the coverage options you need, just like you would for your own health insurance. The following are some examples of veterinary costs that may be covered by your insurance policy, depending on the type you select:

  • Accidents: In the event of an accident involving your pet, your pet's medical bills will be covered by your pet accident insurance. Fractures, cuts, bite wounds and foreign objects ingested are all common forms of injuries covered by accident insurance (including toxic substances). Accident coverage may also cover the cost of surgery, hospitalization and other forms of care necessary to aid in your pet's rehabilitation.
  • Illnesses: Pet insurance policies cover many illnesses although all insurers generally cover the most common genetic or chronic ailments. Your pet's medical bills like ear infections, diabetes, hip dysplasia or even cancer may be covered by your pet insurance provider, depending on the ailments it covers.
  • Medical testing and diagnosis: It's common for veterinarians to offer diagnostic services to help evaluate your pet's health if it's ill. X-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds and surgery are just a few examples of diagnostic procedures.
  • Preventative and wellness care: Routine medical care, immunizations, screenings and preventive heartworm or flea and tick treatments are all covered under wellness insurance. Some health insurance plans may also cover dental and ear cleanings.
  • Treatment procedures: When an accident or sickness necessitates an emergency procedure, such as an endoscopy or a tooth extraction, your pet insurance policy will cover it.
  • Prescriptions, food and pet supplements: Medication can play an important part in bringing your pet back to full health after an illness or accident. Acute or chronic illnesses or problems can be treated with prescribed drugs. Additionally, some pet vitamins to treat or prevent sickness may also be covered.
  • Alternative pet therapy: Several pet care facilities offer alternative therapies to cure pet ailments. Laser therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care are just a few of the non-traditional pet service options available.
  • Psychotherapy: Unfortunately, some pets have behavioral issues that can cause havoc in the home and the lives of those living there. Behavioral treatment focuses on changing pets' bad habits that can lead to behavioral problems, including excessive licking, digging, pacing or other disruptive behaviors.

Is There Anything Pet Insurance Doesn't Cover?

Pet insurance helps you pay for a lot of the medical care your pet might need. Pet insurance doesn't pay for all of the costs of getting your pet checked out. For example, most pet insurance plans don't cover pre-existing conditions, which are the things your pet already had before buying pet insurance. Keep an eye on your policy if you're unsure if any type of illness or medical procedure is covered.

  • Elective procedures: If you want to have your pet declawed, some pet policies don't cover it.
  • Birth-related costs: Birth-related costs are also standard exclusions from pet insurance coverage. 
  • Pre-existing conditions: Pre-existing medical conditions are the most common reason for a pet not to be covered by a plan. Every medical problem your pet has had before the policy starts is subject to exclusion, even if you cancel one policy and get a new one at the same time.
  • Preventable diseases:  For example, if you don't get your pet vaccinated for certain diseases, like canine influenza or kennel cough, and it gets one of these diseases, the treatment won't likely be covered.
  • Nonstandard or non-veterinary services: As you might expect, procedures or activities that aren't usually part of veterinary care or aren't part of the standard care aren't included, such as food or supplements, behavior and discipline training, grooming, transportation, boarding and many other things.
  • Age of pet: At either end of the age spectrum, insurers may not cover your pet if he or she is too old or young. Among other things, most insurance companies won't cover a pet younger than eight weeks of age or a pet that is 14 years old or older, depending on the species and breed of the pet. Older pets may be covered, but even if they are, the cost will likely go up a lot as the pet gets older.
  • Breed exclusion: Many dog and cat breeds aren't covered at all or only at a high price because they have a lot of health problems, like diabetes or ligament damage.

Compare Pet Insurance

For your convenience, view this list of the best pet insurance companies based on Benzinga's research to assist you in your search for pet insurance.

  • securely through Chewy Care Plus's website
    securely through Chewy Care Plus's website
    Best For:
    Annual Check Ups
  • securely through Wagmo's website
    securely through Wagmo's website
    Best For:
  • securely through Pumpkin Pet Insurance's website
    securely through Pumpkin Pet Insurance's website
    Best For:
    Families with multiple pets
    Read Review

    Limitations apply. For terms and conditions, visit Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (NPN#19084749) (“Pumpkin”) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance plans underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy, and is not available in all states.

  • securely through Spot Pet Insurance's website
    securely through Spot Pet Insurance's website
    Best For:
    Prescription food and supplements
    Read Review
  • securely through Pets Best's website
    securely through Pets Best's website
    Best For:
    Prompt Claim Payments
    Read Review

Try Chewy Care Plus

Chewy Care Plus is a robust and comprehensive wellness and insurance plan for cats and dogs. Wellness coverage includes preventative care, routine vet visits, vaccines and assorted medications.

Accident and illness coverage helps your pets when they are sick and need to go to the vet on an emergency basis. This might include sickness, injuries and orthopedic issues. Additionally, your pets might need care for age-related conditions, chronic conditions, digestive issues and more. 

Best for regular checkups, you can get 24/7 customer care and unlimited access to licensed veterinarians. 

  • securely through Chewy Care Plus's website
    securely through Chewy Care Plus's website
    Best For:
    Annual Check Ups

Is Pet Insurance Right for You?

Owning a pet can add up to a significant amount in veterinary expenses. If you believe you will need assistance paying for these costs, pet insurance coverage may be able to relieve you of some financial stress. To get the greatest value for your money, evaluate coverage options.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is it worth insuring a pet?


If you think paying for accidents, illnesses, or diseases your pet may suffer will cause financial hardship, pet insurance can offer peace of mind and may be worth considering.


Does pet insurance go up with age?


Because senior dogs and cats are more likely to require medical attention, pet insurance for them is often more expensive.