How much does pet insurance cost?

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.

How much does pet insurance cost?

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.


What impacts the cost of pet insurance?

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:

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Dogs often cost more than cats to insure because:

  • Dogs are generally bigger than cats and their needs at the vet cost more (higher dose of sedation, medication, etc.)
  • Statistically, more claims are submitted for dogs than cats
However, pet insurance premiums for dogs aren’t always higher than cats. All of the factors listed on this page combined determine premium.


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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 Shi-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.

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Claims 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.

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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.

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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 alternative care clinics and medical centers, but the vets make a little more to account for the cost of living differential.

Policy-based Cost Factors of Pet Insurance Prices

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:

  • Deductible
  • Reimbursement percentage
  • Annual maximum
  • 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.

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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.

What doesn’t affect the cost of pet insurance premiums?

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.)
  • Declawed status
  • 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.

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Pet health insurance is administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency, LLC and underwritten by one of the licensed insurers of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., including American Modern Home Insurance Company d/b/a in CA as American Modern Insurance Company (Lic. No 2222-8), and American Southern Home Insurance Company. Coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, underwriting review, and approval, and may not be available for all risks or in all states. Rates and discounts vary, are determined by many factors, and are subject to change. Wellness Rewards is offered as a supplementary, non-insurance benefit administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the United States. © 2020 American Modern Insurance Group, Inc.  Wellness Rewards not available in Rhode Island.