Pet Care

What You Can Expect To Pay For Pet Insurance (Guides For Dogs & Cats)

You can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $100 per month for pet insurance. The price varies depending on the animal type, breed, and where you live.

In some cases, the age of your pet factors in as well. Finally, policy terms such as your deductible, reimbursement percentage, and annual maximum can affect how much you pay each month for your premium.

That’s a wide range for the cost of pet insurance and we’ll break it down a little more based on whether you have a dog or cat. Then, we’ll look at what’s often included in these policies and what they won’t cover. Finally, we’ll look more closely at those policy terms and how you can adjust them so your monthly payments for your budget.

Pet Health Insurance Costs For Dogs

The average cost for dog insurance is between $20 and $50 per month. You’ll find some much higher or lower, but that’s the usual range for a good policy. You may pay more for a rare breed or if your furry family member has specific health problems.

Or, you can go with a bargain-priced policy, But that likely means you won’t get the coverage you need – or the customer service you deserve.

Pet Health Insurance Cost For Cats

Health insurance for cats is cheaper than dog insurance. It’s usually $28 per month, ranging from $15 to $30. It’s tough to find one cheaper than $15. If so, you’ll sacrifice coverage and possibly good service. Many times, you end up paying more in the long run. That’s because they don’t cover enough to outweigh the cost.

Once again, you’ll also find much more expensive policies. But, most times, they’re not necessary. You can always talk to your vet before calling around for insurance if you think you’ll need an exceptionally comprehensive policy.

That way, you’ll also have a good idea of what you need when setting up your coverage and premium.

What (And What Isn’t) Included In Most Policies

Pet insurance policies cover anything related to a dog or cat getting sick or injured. That should include:

  • Vet visits when your pet is sick
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery and Other Procedures
  • Prescriptions
  • Cancer Treatment<.li>

From there, a more robust policy will include more items related to illness or injury. Those can include:

  • Exams and Diagnostics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Dental Coverage

With all that in mind, a pre-existing condition is the one big item that virtually no pet insurance company covers. That’s if your pet has a chronic illness or was injured before your policy started. You won’t get any reimbursement for bills related to those issues.

When speaking with someone to create your policy, you’ll want to disclose that upfront. They’ll find out anyway because the company reviews previous bills and vet visits. And, it’s considered fraud to lie about it, so you don’t want to risk breaking the law.

Next, some companies consider spaying or neutering as an elective procedure that’s not covered. You’ll want to know that upfront if you have a young puppy or kitten.

Remember, each insurance company is a little different! Make sure you ask questions about the exact policy items and what coverage you want.

And, be sure to check reviews about customer service. It’s not just about what they say they’ll cover. It’s also a matter of whether they’ll process the claims the way they say they will, whether they can answer your questions when you call, and more.

Sometimes, paying an extra dollar or two a month is totally worth the better care and attention you’ll get as a pet parent.

Additional Benefits

Before we get into how you can make policy choices to lower your premium, we’ll look at some attractive and valuable add-ons and additional benefits.

Wellness rewards, wellness plans, and preventative care plans are becoming very popular. They work like a health insurance savings plan: Part of your monthly payment goes directly into an account, and you can redeem that money for things like wellness visits to the vet, dental chews, teeth cleanings, training, and other proactive medical services or products.

In other cases, you can elect to include dental coverage as a separate package. Or spaying/neutering and other products or procedures.

Policy Terms That Affect Premium Prices

Finally, let’s look at some policy terms that affect how much you pay each month. The better pet insurance companies aren’t one-size-fits-all! They’ll let you adjust how much you’ll pay per month and how much you’ll get back when you call in a claim.

The rule is: When you pay more on your monthly premium, you get more coverage, and the insurance company pays you more. When you spend less monthly, you also go out of pocket more when you make a claim.

Reimbursement Amounts

As we mentioned, pet insurance reimburses your bills instead of paying them upfront. Most companies reimburse more than 90 percent of each claim. And you can set up your policy for a lower reimbursement percentage in return for a lower monthly payment.


As with human health insurance, there’s often a deductible or co-pay for certain medicines or procedures. You can get a lower monthly payment with a higher deductible. It’s often worth the trade-off if you’re on a budget and are confident that your pet isn’t expected to have any significant health issues.

You can usually change these terms later, but not after filing a claim.

Annual Maximum

There’s a limit to how much your insurance company will pay yearly for your claims. Even if they’re all covered, you go out of pocket once you reach that threshold until the following year. If you’re on a budget and want to take the chance, negotiate a lower annual maximum in return for a lower monthly premium.

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