July 17, 2024

The Health

Your health, your choice

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost? (April 2024)

Your pet’s age, breed and location, and the chosen coverage options and discounts will all impact the overall cost of insuring your pet. 

1. Coverage Options

Most pet insurance providers allow you to customize your annual limit, deductible and reimbursement rate. You will generally pay the lowest monthly premium if you choose a low annual limit, low reimbursement percentage and high deductible. However, you will pay more out of pocket when your pet goes to the vet. 

2. Pet Breed

Breeds with a higher risk of certain health conditions will cost more to insure each month. Purebred pets can be predisposed to illnesses that can make veterinary care more expensive, driving up the price of a pet insurance policy.  

3. Pet Age

The cost of covering older pets will always be more expensive than a younger ones, but each provider has different policies about when and how it raises premiums. 

Most pet insurance companies allow you to enroll your pet at 6 weeks old. Some companies have a maximum age limit for enrollment, often ranging from 10 to 14 years. Therefore, if you have an older dog or cat, you’ll need to find a company for senior pets that does not have upper age limits. 

When should you enroll your pet in a plan?

Patrik Holmboe, Head Veterinarian at Cooper Pet Care, suggested,

“Overall, the best time to enroll your pet in pet insurance is when they are young and healthy. Basically, the sooner, the better!”

Most pet insurance companies do not cover preexisting conditions, and their chance of developing them increases as they age. Holmboe added,

“Most policies are cheaper for younger pets. If you start early, most insurance policies allow you to either lock in this lower price or gain some form of discount as the animal ages.” 

4. Where You Live

Your location also plays a role in the price you will pay for any type of insurance coverage — not just pet insurance. Different states have different laws and regulations that dictate insurance pricing, what data a company can collect from consumers and what benefits providers must include with coverage. For example, while most states allow insurance providers to collect credit score information to determine rates for things like homeowners and auto insurance, California and Hawaii forbid insurers from collecting this information.

As a result of variations in state law, insurance companies take on different levels of risk depending on the policyholder’s residence. Pet insurance is no exception — in our review, we found significant variance in coverage rates between states. For example, the average monthly cost of pet insurance in Missouri is $41, while the state average in Massachusetts is $75 per month. Overall, the most expensive states to insure your pet in are Massachusetts, Connecticut and California, while the most affordable are Arkansas, Nevada and North Dakota.

5. Provider Chosen

The provider itself impacts the premium you pay. Each company assesses risk a little bit differently, weighing some factors more than others. That can lead to varying costs for identical policies based on the provider you choose. Based on our analysis, Lemonade offers great value by combining affordable prices with comprehensive coverage.

6. Discounts Offered

Many providers offer discounts when you enroll multiple pets or pay for your annual coverage upfront. Additionally, some providers offer discounts for policyholders who are military members or animal care workers. Compare top companies’ discounts below.