Pet insurance prices vary widely depending on the type of pet you have, their age, and even where you live. Some pet insurance plans allow you to personalize them to be as little as $1 per day.
A premium is the price you pay for an insurance policy (homeowner, health, car, even pet insurance), and these rates change because of a variety of factors.
We’re clear about what impacts car insurance premiums (speeding, causing an accident, or driving under the influence) or health insurance premiums (smoking and age). But, when it comes to your cat or dog’s pet insurance premium, a lot of factors determine the cost. These variables consist of pet-based cost factors and policy-based cost factors.
Pet-based Cost Factors of Pet Insurance Prices
These factors may vary from company to company, but most pet-based variables that determine the cost of pet insurance are:
Dogs often cost more than cats to insure because dogs are generally bigger than cats and their needs at the vet cost more (like higher doses of medication.) Statistically, more claims are submitted for dogs than cat. However, pet insurance premiums for dogs aren’t always higher than cats. All of the factors listed on this page combined determine the premium.
Your pet’s breed matters in premium calculation because of size and predisposition to genetic conditions. For example, Rottweilers and Shepherds are much more likely than Shih-Tzus and Cocker Spaniels to need costly surgery for things like cruciate injuries and hip dysplasia.
Increased risk of genetic illnesses or a predisposition to certain injuries puts pets at higher risk which leads to a higher premium.
Data shows that more claims are received for male pets than female pets so their pricing factors differ. Females are considered “lower risk” and are priced accordingly.
Pet insurance plans are priced with a pet’s age in mind, and most companies increase the cost of the plan as the pet ages. Older pets are more likely to get sick or injured, so the cost of their pet insurance plan reflects that increased risk.
Bonus Tip: Find a pet insurance plan that won’t decrease your pet’s coverage as they age, like Embrace.
Veterinary care is costlier in major metropolitan areas than in suburban or rural regions. Not only are you likely to find more advanced care in big cities in the form of complementary treatment* clinics and medical centers, but the vets make a little more due the cost of living being generally higher in major cities.
Some pet insurance companies, like Embrace, allow you to personalize parts of your policy so that you can get the best pet insurance plan for your pet’s needs and your budget. These customizable factors include:
Riders or optional coverages
Maintenance or Enrollment Fees
Reoccurring or one-time fees for enrollment, claims, or billing also affect the cost of your pet insurance plan. For example, Embrace has a one-time enrollment fee of $25 and a $1 monthly processing fee for those who pay monthly.
For more information about why these variables affect pet insurance costs, check out our coverage page.
Dog Insurance Cost vs Cat Insurance Cost
The cost of dog insurance is often more expensive than the cost of cat insurance. Statistically, more claims are filed for dogs than cats – and veterinary care for dogs tends to be costlier as well. Embrace can’t speak for all pet insurance companies, but our dog insurance cost averages about $30-$40 per month and cat insurance averages $15-$20 per month.
Contrary to popular belief, these items do not directly impact premium:
Prior medical history or chronic conditions
Whether your pet lives indoors or outdoors
Where you got your pet from (breeder, shelter, stray, etc.)
Weight change of your pet
Your pet’s level of training
Number of claims submitted
Your pet’s “extracurriculars” (agility games or therapy visits*)
*While Embrace does not, some pet insurance companies require you to pay an extra premium if your pet is involved in organized racing or working. Check out our pet insurance comparisons for details.
Affordable Pet Health Insurance
Pet insurance is never “one-size fits all,” the difference in pet insurance plans lies in the details. A plan that allows you to personalize variables such as deductibles, maximums, and reimbursement percentages will help you find a price to fit your budget. Consider the following when shopping for the best pet insurance for your furry friend:
Annual limits vs per-incident limits
Annual deductible vs per-incident deductible
How claim reimbursements are calculated
Visit our compare page for a full side-by-side comparison of pet insurance providers.
Pet Insurance Policy Discounts
Discounts on pet insurance plans vary greatly by company, so be sure to do your research when you’re shopping around. Some common pet insurance discounts include: multiple pet, military, employee benefits, and veterinary practice.
*Complementary treatments were previously called alternative therapies.