What It Costs

Pet Insurance Costs

Pet insurance, on average, costs about 1/15 of what is would cost to insure an human. Several factors determine the premium pet owners can expect to pay for pet insurance. The biggest factors are..

The age of the pet. Veterinary expenses are the highest during the last two years of a pet’s life. If the insurance company’s actuarial tables say that your pet is nearing the end of his/her natural life, expect the premiums to be higher.


The type of animal: Because dogs and cats are the most popular pets worldwide, their coverages tend to be average. Birds, oddly enough, tend to have slightly lower premiums. Horses weigh in at the high end. In general, the more expensive the animal, the more expensive the premiums tend to be.

Thankfully, premiums tend not be based on breed – in the eyes of a pet insurance company, a dog is pretty much a dog.


The Plan Selected: Like most human health insurance, pet insurance plans become more costly as coverage benefits increase. Check the fine print of the provider of your choice for pet insurance. And, as always, compare providers to make sure you get the best deal.

As with human health policies, pet insurance policies carry a deductible (the amount you pay before the insurance benefit kicks in). Check with your provider regarding this.


The State the Pet Owner resides in: Not every provider of pet insurance covers all 50 U.S. states. There are states in the U.S. And then, there’s California, where the insurance premiums tend to be significantly higher. Despite the higher premiums, almost 25% of the pet insurance policies in force are for pets in the State of California.


So, what do rates generally run?

For pet major medical insurance (as of Dec 2004), an average dog owner can expect to pay anywhere between $19 – $29 per month for a dog. Cat owners fare a little better at anywhere between $12 – $25.

Add another $10-12 per month for routine care coverage.

Birds, ferrets, rabbits, and reptiles (snakes, lizards, iguanas) and other exotic pets start as low as $7 per month.

However, these are just general figures for you to use as a guideline. Rates are subject to change. As always, check with the pet insurance provider of your choice and compare rates and coverages.

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