Average Pet Insurance Cost in 2021 by Breed, Age, & State

by Woody Mawhinney, Licensed Insurance Agent
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Average Pet Insurance Cost in 2021 by Breed, Age, & State
How much does pet insurance cost on average? What does it normally cover? What should you pay to cover your dog or cat? What's the best way to compare plans to find the right coverage at the best price? Here's everything you need to know.

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Considering pet health insurance? The cost (often referred to as the premium) is a key factor for most pet owners when deciding if the benefits are worth the price — and the monthly cost of pet insurance varies greatly depending on your pet’s breed, age, location, and more.

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As the #1 pet insurance comparison shopping site recommended by veterinarians, our team at Pawlicy Advisor has access to real cost data from top providers and thousands of quotes from pets across the country.

We’ve created a public dataset so you can see how the average cost of pet insurance differs by breed, age, and state.

Use this Table of Contents to jump to the section that interests you most:

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost on Average in the US?

The average monthly pet insurance premium is $49.51 for dogs and $28.48 for cats, according to the latest report published by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).

Like human health insurance, you must pay monthly premiums to your pet insurance provider to keep your policy active. These premiums are often the first thing US pet owners look at when considering a plan.

There are two main types of insurance coverage for dogs and cats, and the plan you choose will affect the total cost:

  1. Accident & Illness Coverage: Protects against treatment costs for accidental injuries and unexpected illnesses like disease, infection, poisoning, and even cancer. (Learn more.)
  2. Accident-Only Coverage: Protect against treatment costs from accidental injuries only. (Learn more.)

Most people enroll in an Accident & Illness plan, so the datasets reported below will focus on Accident & Illness premiums. However, note that Accident Only plans are also available at a cheaper rate, but with substantially less coverage.

Average Monthly Pet Insurance Premiums (US), Year-Over-Year

Dog, Accident & Illness Cat, Accident & Illness
2020 $49.51 $28.48
2019 $48.78 $29.16
2018 $46.57 $29.11
2017 $45.40 $28.53
2016 $43.13 $26.77

NOTE: Because there are such massive differences in premiums depending on each unique dog or cat — you must take the national averages listed above with a grain of salt. The data is much more informative when we look at breakdowns by breed, age, and location.

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Average Pet Insurance Costs by State, Monthly

State Average Premium for Cats Average Premium for Dogs
Alabama $26.09 $42.60
Alaska $28.35 $46.89
Arizona $31.96 $53.22
Arkansas $27.52 $41.10
California $31.97 $61.29
Colorado $28.78 $47.56
Connecticut $31.56 $52.63
Delaware $27.68 $45.70
Florida $21.87 $39.70
Georgia $22.44 $35.61
Hawaii $28.15 $45.82
Idaho $25.92 $41.87
Illinois $26.90 $43.71
Indiana $21.99 $36.77
Iowa $22.54 $37.34
Kansas $24.68 $41.14
Kentucky $24.47 $41.13
Louisiana $21.41 $35.18
Maine $24.19 $40.64
Maryland $30.17 $50.02
Massachusetts $28.04 $47.56
Michigan $21.71 $36.79
Minnesota $23.05 $46.58
Mississippi $19.46 $34.17
Missouri $19.77 $39.21
Montana $22.68 $39.21
Nebraska $22.87 $37.90
Nevada $26.08 $42.72
New Hampshire $28.02 $46.27
New Jersey $25.98 $48.63
New Mexico $24.67 $40.11
New York $30.30 $61.05
North Carolina $23.84 $40.07
North Dakota $23.25 $39.90
Ohio $24.67 $40.15
Oklahoma $21.77 $35.71
Oregon $27.85 $45.65
Pennsylvania $26.90 $42.85
Rhode Island $25.85 $42.43
South Carolina $24.63 $38.07
South Dakota $23.72 $39.00
Tennessee $24.35 $40.92
Texas $20.68 $41.65
Utah $23.90 $40.40
Vermont $22.66 $37.88
Virginia $27.14 $45.46
Washington $26.46 $43.63
West Virginia $21.61 $36.95
Wisconsin $25.86 $42.11
Wyoming $19.35 $33.97

Average Dog Insurance Costs by State and Age, Monthly

State Average Premium for 6-month Puppy Average Premium for 18-month Dog Average Premium for 5.5-year Dog
Alabama $39.43 $39.43 $48.95
Alaska $43.41 $43.41 $53.85
Arizona $49.25 $49.25 $61.17
Arkansas $38.01 $38.01 $47.28
California $56.56 $56.56 $70.76
Colorado $43.96 $43.96 $54.76
Connecticut $48.66 $48.66 $60.58
Delaware $42.28 $42.28 $52.55
Florida $36.69 $36.69 $45.73
Georgia $32.45 $34.00 $40.38
Hawaii $42.37 $42.37 $52.73
Idaho $38.67 $38.67 $48.28
Illinois $40.38 $40.38 $50.38
Indiana $34.03 $34.03 $42.25
Iowa $34.55 $34.55 $42.93
Kansas $38.03 $38.03 $47.35
Kentucky $38.07 $38.07 $47.24
Louisiana $32.49 $32.49 $40.55
Maine $37.61 $37.61 $46.69
Maryland $46.30 $46.30 $57.46
Massachusetts $43.97 $43.97 $54.73
Michigan $33.98 $33.98 $42.41
Minnesota $43.21 $43.21 $53.33
Mississippi $31.58 $31.58 $39.34
Missouri $36.27 $36.27 $45.10
Montana $36.27 $36.27 $45.09
Nebraska $35.05 $35.05 $43.59
Nevada $39.49 $39.49 $49.17
New Hampshire $42.79 $42.79 $53.23
New Jersey $44.98 $44.98 $55.93
New Mexico $37.12 $37.12 $46.08
New York $56.47 $56.47 $70.22
North Carolina $37.07 $37.07 $46.08
North Dakota $36.89 $36.89 $45.92
Ohio $37.13 $37.13 $46.18
Oklahoma $33.03 $33.03 $41.09
Oregon $42.18 $42.18 $52.58
Pennsylvania $39.63 $39.63 $49.29
Rhode Island $39.27 $39.27 $48.75
South Carolina $35.23 $35.23 $43.76
South Dakota $36.00 $36.00 $45.00
Tennessee $37.88 $37.88 $46.99
Texas $38.51 $38.51 $47.94
Utah $37.33 $37.33 $46.54
Vermont $35.08 $35.08 $43.47
Virginia $42.00 $42.00 $52.38
Washington $43.31 $39.37 $48.22
West Virginia $34.17 $34.17 $42.51
Wisconsin $38.93 $38.93 $48.46
Wyoming $31.40 $31.40 $39.10

Average Cat Insurance Costs by State and Age, Monthly

State Average Premium for 6-month Kitten Average Premium for 18-month Cat Average Premium for 5.5-year Cat
Alabama $24.59 $24.59 $29.08
Alaska $26.73 $26.73 $31.59
Arizona $30.12 $30.12 $35.63
Arkansas $25.94 $25.94 $30.68
California $30.05 $30.05 $35.80
Colorado $27.11 $27.11 $32.13
Connecticut $29.73 $29.73 $35.23
Delaware $26.09 $26.09 $30.87
Florida $20.58 $20.58 $24.44
Georgia $20.88 $21.72 $24.71
Hawaii $26.53 $26.53 $31.41
Idaho $24.40 $24.40 $28.95
Illinois $25.34 $25.34 $30.04
Indiana $20.72 $20.72 $24.52
Iowa $21.24 $21.24 $25.13
Kansas $23.25 $23.25 $27.54
Kentucky $23.07 $23.07 $27.28
Louisiana $20.15 $20.15 $23.91
Maine $22.80 $22.80 $26.96
Maryland $28.44 $28.44 $33.62
Massachusetts $26.41 $26.41 $31.29
Michigan $20.44 $20.44 $24.26
Minnesota $21.74 $21.74 $25.68
Mississippi $18.33 $18.33 $21.74
Missouri $18.61 $18.61 $22.10
Montana $21.36 $21.36 $25.30
Nebraska $21.54 $21.54 $25.51
Nevada $24.57 $24.57 $29.10
New Hampshire $26.40 $26.40 $31.26
New Jersey $24.46 $24.46 $29.01
New Mexico $23.26 $23.26 $27.50
New York $28.52 $28.52 $33.86
North Carolina $22.47 $22.47 $26.60
North Dakota $21.90 $21.90 $25.96
Ohio $23.25 $23.25 $27.52
Oklahoma $20.52 $20.52 $24.29
Oregon $26.23 $26.23 $31.09
Pennsylvania $25.36 $25.36 $30.00
Rhode Island $24.37 $24.37 $28.81
South Carolina $23.22 $23.22 $27.46
South Dakota $22.33 $22.33 $26.51
Tennessee $22.95 $22.95 $27.14
Texas $19.45 $19.45 $23.12
Utah $22.51 $22.51 $26.69
Vermont $21.37 $21.37 $25.24
Virginia $25.55 $25.55 $30.31
Washington $26.46 $25.14 $27.78
West Virginia $20.36 $20.36 $24.11
Wisconsin $24.36 $24.36 $28.85
Wyoming $18.22 $18.22 $21.60

Average Dog Insurance Costs by Breed and Age, Monthly

Dog Insurance Breeds Average Premium for 6-month Puppy Average Premium for 18-month Dog Average Premium for 5.5-year Dog
Australian Shepherd $51.86 $51.86 $61.42
Bernese Mountain Dog $85.45 $85.45 $122.30
Border Collie $46.22 $46.22 $58.49
Boxer $74.88 $74.88 $100.68
Chihuahua $38.45 $38.45 $47.27
Corgi $56.49 $56.49 $71.56
Dachshund $45.16 $45.16 $55.70
English Bulldog $86.69 $86.69 $118.62
French Bulldog $86.70 $86.70 $110.52
German Shepherd $60.89 $60.89 $77.14
Golden Retriever $67.33 $67.33 $84.90
Great Dane $84.83 $84.83 $122.45
Labrador Retriever $65.36 $65.36 $82.60
Pit Bull $62.30 $62.30 $78.88
Poodle $51.07 $51.07 $64.75
Pug $59.22 $59.22 $72.91
Rottweiler $88.76 $88.76 $128.38
Shiba Inu $41.73 $41.73 $50.25
Shih Tzu $39.00 $39.00 $48.94
Siberian Husky $51.30 $51.30 $64.71

Didn’t see your breed list above? You might find it on our dog insurance directory page.

Average Cat Insurance Costs by Breed and Age, Monthly

Cat Insurance Breeds Average Premium for 6-month Kitten Average Premium for 18-month Cat Average Premium for 5.5-year Cat
Abyssinian $30.44 $30.44 $36.61
American Shorthair $26.00 $26.00 $29.37
Bengal $27.18 $27.18 $32.72
Bombay $24.96 $24.96 $27.25
British Shorthair $32.41 $32.41 $36.05
Burmese $30.96 $30.96 $34.32
Devon Rex $29.17 $29.17 $36.13
Exotic Shorthair $26.16 $26.16 $31.55
Himalayan $32.27 $32.27 $37.87
Maine Coon $31.05 $31.05 $37.36
Munchkin $30.53 $30.53 $36.57
Norwegian Forest Cat $29.95 $29.95 $36.70
Oriental Shorthair $32.85 $32.85 $36.49
Persian $32.09 $32.09 $35.51
Ragdoll $28.09 $28.09 $34.67
Russian Blue $28.53 $28.53 $31.68
Savannah $27.18 $27.18 $32.72
Siamese $27.79 $27.79 $30.73
Siberian $25.08 $25.08 $31.02
Sphynx $33.88 $33.88 $39.77

Didn’t see your breed list above? You might find it on our cat insurance directory page.

Is It Worth The Cost?

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Factors That Affect the Price of Pet Insurance

The cost of a pet insurance plan is calculated based on several factors, some of them you do have some control over to calibrate the price.

Pet Insurance Price Factors [Chart]

Impacts Premium Cost Ability to Control
Breed Not in your control
Age of pet Not in your control
Zip code Not in your control
Company partner discounts Not in your control
Provider/Carrier You control
Plan/Coverage Type You control
Deductible You control
Reimbursement You control
Payout Limit You control
Billing Schedule (Monthly vs Annual) You control
Number of Pets Enrolled Under Same Plan You control

Your pet’s age, location, and breed all influence the cost. Dogs tend to cost a little more to insure than cats. Older pets are more likely to need veterinary care, so pet insurance companies charge more to cover them. Some breeds are more prone to sickness than others, so obtaining coverage for them might be more expensive.

Pro Tip: Use Pawlicy Advisor to search for quotes across top providers that fit into your budget - all in one place.

If you want to insure multiple pets, you can get a multi-pet discount (often around 10% on each additional pet). Additionally, some providers offer a small discount for paying annually, rather than monthly.

Reimbursements and Out-of-Pocket Costs

Pay attention to your plan’s annual deductible, reimbursement percentage, and annual coverage limit. Your deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your plan starts to cover costs. The lower this is, the less you’ll need to pay out of pocket each year for veterinary care.

Meanwhile, your reimbursement percentage is the percentage you’ll be reimbursed for based on your covered veterinary expenses. For example, if your reimbursement percentage is 90% and your veterinary bill is $1,000, you can expect to be reimbursed $900 from your insurance company if your deductible is already met.

Finally, your annual coverage limit is the maximum dollar amount your insurer will reimburse for you in a single year. Some plans come with “Unlimited” annual coverage, which means you’ll never hit a cap for reimbursement. Other plans may reimburse anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 each year.

All these numbers influence how much you pay for your plan each month and how much you pay out of pocket for care. For example, you could save on your monthly insurance costs by opting for a plan with a low reimbursement percentage, but you’ll have to pay more out of pocket to the vet if your pet needs treatment.

Is It Worth The Cost?

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Expected Lifetime Costs

As with any insurance, premiums change based on the associated risk of an incident needing coverage. That’s why breeds that are at a higher risk of having an injury or illness arise cost more to insure than those breeds that are generally healthier. Similarly, premiums change as your pet ages, and the rate at which they change can vary drastically between insurance companies.

Some providers won’t increase your monthly premiums until a certain number of years have passed since you signed up for your plan. Some providers don’t increase premiums at all due to pet age but will do so after each filed claim.

What’s more — sometimes the lowest-cost plan today is not the lowest cost across the lifetime of your pet.

Because of this, Pawlicy Advisor built a free tool that helps you compare pet insurance options and crunches the numbers to provide a look at how going with one plan can save you on insurance costs vs another.

Lifetime price score

This Lifetime Price Score is customized for each person and indicated in the personalized search results you receive when using Pawlicy Advisor to shop for pet insurance:

Again, the Lifetime Price Score ranks how much we expect the total costs to compare across the lifetime of your pet, taking into account any premium increases that might happen as your pet ages.

If the score is high, that’s good! You'll be saving hundreds (or even thousands) across the lifetime of your pet.

How to Save on Insurance Costs and Get The Right Coverage

Determining the best type of pet insurance for your needs is crazy difficult when doing it by yourself. The reality is that to effectively compare policies, evaluate top providers, and find the right coverage at the best price you'll need to:

  • create a spreadsheet
  • fill out forms on every provider's website
  • record your quote options with notes on coverage, exclusions, waiting periods
  • and dive into the fine-print for each policy to uncover and exclusions that are relevant to your specific breed

… or, you can use Pawlicy Advisor and save your sanity.

Instead, you fill out one form and the tool analyzes hundreds of policies across top providers. You'll get a personalized recommendation based on ideal coverage and lifetime costs for your pet's unique breed, age, and location.

pawlicy advisor recommended pet insurance plan example

Finding the Lowest Rates

If you're aiming for the lowest cost (rather than the best bang-for-your-buck), you can easily sort by price and see all options lined up.

sort by lowest payment plans on pawlicy advisor

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You’ll also have any discounts Pawlicy Advisor can find automatically applied.

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Pet parents need an easy way to see the wide variety of plans on the market so they can make better decisions for themselves and their pets.

Don't spend hours sifting through each provider’s marketing material. Instead, use Pawlicy Advisor to make buying pet insurance 100x easier.

It's the smartest way to find the best policy for your budget.

Woody Mawhinney and his dog Wrigley

About the author

Woody Mawhinney, Licensed Insurance Agent

CEO and Co-Founder - Pawlicy Advisor

Woody Mawhinney, CEO and Co-Founder of Pawlicy Advisor, was relieved when his pet insurance covered his Shar Pei’s monthly prescription costs. However, many veterinarians and pet parents in his community shared with him the difficulties they faced when evaluating options. As a licensed insurance producer nationally, he launched Pawlicy Advisor as the first U.S. pet insurance marketplace actively endorsed by veterinarians, aiming to improve the pet insurance experience by providing objective analysis, more thorough comparison, and a streamlined educational experience.

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