Understanding Pet Insurance Cost Per Month: A Comprehensive Guide

What impacts pet insurance cost per month? Learn how breed, age, coverage and more affect pet insurance premiums. Explore tips to potentially save and make the best decision for your furry friend!
pet owner with pets

Pet insurance cost per month is a big consideration for pet owners. Just like car or health insurance, costs vary, but you’ll want to weigh the price of pet insurance versus the financial risk of paying entirely out of pocket. This article will help you think through different facets of pet insurance so you can be prepared.

Table of Contents:

Factors Affecting Pet Insurance Cost Per Month

Let’s take a look at some of the factors influencing those monthly premiums. Recognizing these variables will give you a clearer understanding of how companies calculate your rate and how to possibly save on costs.

Pet’s Species

The type of pet you have can play a role in the average cost – yes, there’s even insurance for those snakes and hamsters. But generally speaking, dog insurance cost per month tends to be more than cat insurance. This is because dogs tend to have more veterinary visits than cats.

The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) reported that in 2022, the average accident and illness plan for dogs was $53.34 monthly, while for cats, it was $32.25.


Certain breeds are unfortunately prone to specific health issues. This often leads to more frequent vet visits and potentially higher vet bills. For instance, larger dog breeds might be susceptible to hip dysplasia, while certain cat breeds might have hereditary conditions. These factors can make their premiums higher.

Age and Health

This one is pretty straightforward – as pets age, there’s a higher chance they’ll develop age-related health conditions, which will lead to more vet visits. Puppies and kittens generally have lower premiums because they’re usually considered healthier.

Location, Location, Location

Just as with our own healthcare costs, the cost of veterinary care varies across different regions. If you’re in an urban area with a higher cost of living, you’ll likely notice pet insurance costs a bit more. You might even see higher insurance rates for certain zip codes.

Coverage and Deductibles

Pet insurance plans can be simple or incredibly detailed, and your choices play a role in the overall cost. Some plans offer basic accident-only coverage, which is usually the most affordable option. Others might offer more comprehensive insurance coverage, with higher reimbursement levels, that cover everything from illnesses to wellness exams.

Annual deductibles, which can typically range from $100 to $1,000, also impact how much you pay each year. The reimbursement percentage you select also influences your monthly costs, as plans with higher reimbursement percentages often have higher premiums. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium, but this will mean you’re paying more out of pocket before the insurance kicks in.

Understanding Pet Insurance Costs Versus Out-of-Pocket Expenses

It’s helpful to compare what you’d likely spend on common vet visits without insurance. Take a look:

Visit TypeEstimated Cost
Routine Checkup$45
Emergency Visit$80-$200
Cancer Treatment$2,500 to $7,000 (or more)

Imagine facing an unexpected $5,000 vet bill for emergency surgery. If you have pet insurance, you won’t have to face these bills alone. But you will need to decide what’s right for you. This brings us to an essential point – the value of pet insurance really shines when those larger, unanticipated expenses arise.

Tips for Finding Affordable Pet Insurance

While we all want the absolute best for our furry family members, that doesn’t mean overspending on pet insurance. Let’s discuss tips on making your insurance budget-friendly.

1. Get Quotes From Different Companies

Rates can change, so do your research to compare different pet insurance plans. Reach out to several insurance companies to get personalized quotes. You can often do this directly through their websites to save time. Make sure to keep coverage details and deductible choices consistent when comparing quotes to get an apples-to-apples comparison.

2. Consider a Higher Deductible

Like other forms of insurance, if you’re generally a healthy person who rarely goes to the doctor, choosing a higher deductible plan will typically lower monthly payments. However, make sure that your emergency fund or savings can handle covering your portion in the event of a large expense.

3. Check for Discounts.

Insurance providers want your business, so explore if a company offers discounts. Common examples include bundling multiple pets, spaying or neutering, or even a discount for certain professions. Every little bit of savings counts.

FAQs about pet insurance cost per month

Here are some frequently asked questions about pet insurance costs per month.

What is the average monthly cost of pet insurance?

The average monthly cost of pet insurance varies based on several factors, but according to NAPHIA, in 2022 the average cost was $53.34 for dogs and $32.25 for cats. However, remember that your actual costs could be higher or lower based on your pet’s specific details.

How do pre-existing conditions affect pet insurance?

Pre-existing conditions are a significant factor in pet insurance. Most pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. This is why it is often recommended to get pet insurance when your pet is young and healthy to get the best coverage.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Whether pet insurance is worth it depends on your individual circumstances and risk tolerance. If you’re comfortable with the potential for high vet bills and have an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, then pet insurance may not be necessary. However, if you want peace of mind knowing you won’t face financial hardship in case of an accident or illness, pet insurance could be a worthwhile investment.


Navigating pet insurance costs per month requires careful consideration. But, arming yourself with knowledge can help you find a good plan to give you peace of mind.



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