Understanding what factors to consider when determining coverage limits ensures proper protection against unexpected pet expenses. Your location and your pet’s age, breed and size can impact your needs and costs.

To find the best option for pet insurance, compare personalized quotes from available insurance providers in your area. Before signing the agreement, review the details of the plan thoroughly.

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Key Takeaways

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You can start by determining the right coverage level, finding available insurers and comparing your options. You can also consult your vet, check for discounts and carefully review plans before deciding on an option.

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There are four major factors to consider when figuring out how much pet insurance to get — the pet’s age, breed, size and location.

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The cost of pet insurance may vary per pet, but average annual rates are $608 for dogs and $300 for cats.

Insurance Rates

Compare Pet Insurance Rates

Ensure you are getting the best rate for your insurance. Compare quotes from the top insurance companies.


How to Get Pet Insurance

Pet insurance offers a way to manage substantial veterinary costs should your pet suffer from certain illnesses or accidents. It can help make pet healthcare more affordable.

But with the many options available, finding the best policy can be overwhelming. That’s why knowing how to get pet insurance is crucial, from figuring out the right coverage and insurance provider to finalizing the deal.

Below is a simple step-by-step guide to help you get started.


Determine the right coverage

Figure out what type of coverage fits your pet’s needs.

  • Accident-only coverage: for accident-related injuries
  • Wellness: for preventive and routine care
  • Accident and illness: for illnesses and accident-related vet bills

Consider your budget. The broader the range of coverage offered by insurance, the higher the premium. Higher coverage amounts are also more expensive.


Find available insurers in your area

Research pet insurance companies that provide coverage in your area. You can start by searching online or asking friends or family for recommendations. Create a list of possibilities and explore their websites to get an idea of their plans.

Keep in mind that premium rates vary per insurance provider.


Compare your options

Examine the company’s track record. Reading customer reviews can give you an idea of how the insurer handles claims and complaints.

Get personalized quotes from multiple insurers. Some companies offer online quotes, which makes it easier to compare plans, covered conditions and pricing.

Pet insurance costs vary per state, coverage limit, insurer and pet.


Consult your vet

Ask your veterinarian if there’s a certain coverage type they recommend. Depending on your pet’s health, there may be conditions and illnesses they’re at risk of getting down the road.

Although some vets may not want to endorse insurance providers to their patients, some are open to giving advice based on their experience.


Check for discounts

Some companies may offer special deals. For instance, you may get a discount if you take out more than one type of insurance from the same company. Some insurers also offer a multi-pet discount for clients who insure more than one pet.

If you’re unsure whether a company offers discounts, ask an agent about special deals you may qualify for.


Review the plan

Once you’re confident about an insurer, your next step is to inform them about your desire to get pet health insurance. Discuss the details of their policy offer. Don’t hesitate to ask about things that are unclear to you. Make sure you read the fine print. Take note of the coverage limit, conditions covered, payment frequency and deductible.

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Understanding the options available will help you find the best pet insurance. Weigh the pros and cons of each company. Check what types of coverage they offer and if special policy features are suitable for your pet. For example, the best provider for cats may not be the best option for exotic pets.

Factors to Consider for Determining Your Pet Insurance Coverage Limit

When choosing a pet insurance policy, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting the right coverage. Evaluating certain factors can help you determine how much pet insurance to get. Consider your pet’s age, breed and size. Where you live may also affect the coverage limit that you’ll need.

Insurance providers also use these factors when calculating premium rates.

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    If you’re getting pet insurance coverage early, a lower coverage limit may be enough. Typically, younger pets are healthier. Older pets may require higher limits as they’re more at risk of having pre-existing conditions, getting injured and developing serious conditions.

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    Some breeds are more prone to developing certain illnesses and hereditary conditions. They may require more visits to the vet and expensive treatments.

    Certain breeds also exhibit more dangerous behaviors, such as swallowing foreign objects. If such is the case for you, consider getting a higher coverage level.

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    Typically, larger breeds are more expensive to insure and may require higher coverage amounts. They may need higher dosages of medication. They often age faster, so they may get sick more often than smaller breeds.

    Life spans also vary. Larger breeds tend to have shorter life spans.

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    The recommended pet insurance coverage amount may vary per state. For instance, the recommended coverage is $3,000–$8,000 in Alabama and $8,000–$20,000 in California.

Location is also a significant factor in determining pet insurance premiums. Policies are typically more expensive in states with a higher cost of living because veterinarians in these areas charge more. Pet owners in rural areas spend less on pet insurance because of the lower cost of living.

Pet Insurance Premiums in Different States


$3k to $8k


$8k to $20k


$5k to $10k


$3k to $8k


$8k to $20k


$5k to $15k


$8k to $20k


$5k to $15k

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Pet insurance provides financial protection, but it can also be costly. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce costs.

  • Consider insuring your pets while they’re young and healthy.
  • Get lower coverage limits if your pet is low-risk.
  • Spay or neuter your pet to reduce the risk of certain health complications and reproductive-related conditions.
  • Ask about discounts.

These are only some ways to get lower premiums. Comparing quotes from multiple insurers can help you find affordable options.

Insurance Rates

Compare Pet Insurance Rates

Ensure you are getting the best rate for your insurance. Compare quotes from the top insurance companies.


How Much Does it Cost to Get Pet Insurance?

There are several factors affecting the cost of pet insurance, including breed, age, location and possible pre-existing conditions.

Based on MoneyGeek’s study, dog owners spend an average of $608 per year on pet insurance. Pet insurance for cats, on the other hand, costs an average of $300 annually. Actual premiums may vary depending on coverage options and other factors.

Average Annual Cost of Pet Insurance

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Cat Insurance:
$300 per year
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Dog Insurance:
$608 per year

Some animals are more expensive to insure. For example, dog owners tend to pay more than cat owners. But there’s also a disparity across animal breeds.

The most expensive dog breed to insure is the Bernese Mountain Dog, with an average cost of $1,246 per year. Pet insurance plans for Chihuahuas are the cheapest, with an average annual rate of $450.

Price disparity can also be observed across cat breeds. Pet insurance for Maine Coons is the most expensive at $1,211 per year on average. Policies for medium-hair cats are the cheapest at $510 per year on average.

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The cost of pet insurance may also vary per breed size. Having smaller breeds may help you qualify for lower pet insurance rates. Generally, smaller breeds have fewer health problems. Insurance providers also see them as less risky to insure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about getting pet insurance coverage can help you determine the best insurance plan for your pet.

About Mark Fitzpatrick

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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content director at MoneyGeek with over five years of experience analyzing the insurance market, conducting original research and creating content that can be personalized for every buyer. He has been quoted on insurance topics in several publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Mark earned a master’s degree in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his economics and insurance knowledge to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.