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What Is The Average Pet Insurance Cost By State?

Last updated 07/11/2024 by

Benjamin Locke

Edited by

Summary:
Pet insurance costs vary widely by state due to local regulations, veterinary expenses, and pet health trends. Factors such as breed and age also significantly impact the cost of insurance, with older pets and certain breeds having higher premiums.
When you look into little Tommy the cat’s eyes after he’s enjoyed his favorite tuna, you realize just how important those moments are. Ensuring Tommy’s health and well-being becomes a priority, and that’s where pet insurance comes into play. Pet insurance helps cover unexpected veterinary costs, so you can keep Tommy healthy and happy without financial stress.

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How does pet insurance cost vary by state?

Pet insurance prices can change significantly depending on where you live. Local laws, veterinary expenses, and the general health of pets in the area play a big role in determining premiums. Competition among insurance companies in some states can also impact how much you end up paying.
The states with the highest average pet insurance rates include California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Illinois, largely due to high veterinary costs. Conversely, states with the lowest rates, such as North Dakota, Iowa, Idaho, South Dakota, and Wyoming, benefit from lower veterinary costs and fewer claims.
Pet insurance costs can vary significantly by state due to factors like regional veterinary care costs, state regulations, and the prevalence of certain breeds. For instance, states like California and New York tend to have higher insurance premiums due to the higher cost of living and more expensive veterinary services. On the other hand, states with lower living costs, such as Ohio or Arkansas, generally offer more affordable pet insurance. Additionally, some states have different regulatory environments that can impact the cost and availability of insurance plans. – Bricks Coggin, Owner at ABCs Puppy Zs

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance works similarly to human health insurance. Pet owners pay a monthly premium to the insurance company, which in return covers a portion of veterinary expenses related to accidents, illnesses, and sometimes routine care, depending on the policy. The owner typically pays for the vet services upfront and then submits a claim to the insurance company for reimbursement.

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States with the lowest average pet insurance rates

StateAverage Annual Premium
North Dakota$250 per year
Iowa$260 per year
Idaho$270 per year
South Dakota$275 per year
Wyoming$280 per year
North Dakota, Iowa, Idaho, South Dakota, and Wyoming are among the states with the lowest average pet insurance rates. These states benefit from lower veterinary costs and fewer claims, which contribute to lower insurance premiums. Additionally, competitive insurance markets and favorable regulations help keep costs down.

States with the highest average pet insurance rates

StateAverage Annual Premium
California$600 per year
New York$580 per year
Florida$570 per year
Texas$550 per year
Illinois$530 per year
On the other hand, California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Illinois face the highest average pet insurance rates. These states often have higher veterinary costs, leading to more expensive insurance premiums. Additionally, these states may experience higher claims rates due to the prevalence of pet health issues and higher costs of living.

How does breed impact pet insurance?

The breed of your pet can significantly affect your insurance premium. Certain breeds are more prone to specific health issues, which can increase the cost of insurance. For example, larger dog breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards may have higher premiums due to their susceptibility to joint issues and heart problems. On the other hand, mixed breeds generally have lower insurance costs because they are less prone to genetic disorders.

Average Pet Insurance Cost by Breed

BreedAverage Monthly Premium
French Bulldog$107
Rottweiler$112
Golden Retriever$75
German Shepherd$68
Mixed Breed (up to 50 lbs)$25

Impact of Age on Pet Insurance

Age is another crucial factor in determining pet insurance costs. Puppies and kittens often have lower premiums because they are generally healthier and less likely to have pre-existing conditions. However, as pets age, the likelihood of health issues increases, leading to higher premiums. Senior pets, in particular, may have significantly higher insurance costs due to the increased risk of chronic illnesses and the need for more frequent veterinary care.

Expert Insight

“As pets age, several factors influence the cost of pet insurance. Older pets are more prone to developing health issues such as arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer, which can lead to higher insurance premiums. Insurance companies anticipate the increased likelihood of claims for age-related illnesses and conditions, thus adjusting the cost accordingly. Pre-existing conditions, which are more common in older pets, may not be covered by new insurance policies or require higher premiums. Pet owners should know that enrolling their pets in insurance plans is often more cost-effective while young and healthy. This secures lower premiums and ensures coverage for conditions that may develop later in life. It’s important to carefully review policy details regarding age limits, exclusions, and any potential increase in premiums as the pet ages.” – Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM & Staff Veterinary Writer at WeLoveDoodles

Average Pet Insurance Cost by Age

AgeAverage Monthly Premium
1-year-old Dog$43
5-year-old Dog$55
10-year-old Dog$97
1-year-old Cat$21
5-year-old Cat$27
10-year-old Cat$41
The breed of your pet can significantly affect your insurance premium. Certain breeds are more prone to specific health issues, which can increase the cost of insurance. For example, larger dog breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards may have higher premiums due to their susceptibility to joint issues and heart problems. On the other hand, mixed breeds generally have lower insurance costs because they are less prone to genetic disorders.
Enrolling your pet as early as possible is vital to avoid age-related coverage restrictions. Doing so helps reduce the risk of pre-existing conditions and allows time for waiting periods to pass for coverage in case of emergencies. Each insurance provider has its own age restrictions. Most providers offer enrollment when pets are around 6-8 weeks old. Some companies have maximum enrollment ages, typically around 14, or coverage limits if you enroll your pet after a certain age. For instance, Nationwide doesn’t offer illness coverage for pets enrolled after they turn 10. Certain companies also have breed-related age restrictions, like Lemonade. Providers such as Healthy Paws restrict coverage for expensive procedures like hip dysplasia if you enroll your pet after age 6. – Kimberly Alt, Canine Journal

How to lower your pet insurance premiums

Lowering your pet insurance premiums can help you save money while ensuring your pet gets the necessary care. Here are some effective ways to reduce your costs and keep your pet healthy and happy:
  1. Choose a higher deductible: Opting for a higher deductible means you will pay more out-of-pocket before the insurance kicks in, but it can significantly lower your monthly premiums.
  2. Start early: Enroll your pet in insurance while they are young and healthy. Younger pets have lower premiums, and you can avoid exclusions for pre-existing conditions that may arise later.
  3. Shop around: Compare quotes from multiple pet insurance providers to find the best rate. Use online tools like Pawlicy Advisor or Policygenius to get multiple quotes quickly.
  4. Look for discounts: Many insurers offer discounts for multi-pet policies, military personnel, senior citizens, and those who adopt pets. Check with your provider for available discounts.
  5. Customize your coverage: Adjust your plan’s reimbursement rate, annual limit, and deductible to balance coverage needs with premium costs. Forego optional wellness plans if they are not necessary for your pet’s current health.
  6. Consider an accident-only plan: These plans cover emergencies like poisonings or injuries from accidents and are typically cheaper than comprehensive plans.

Do costs differ by city and municipality, too?

Yes, pet insurance costs can differ significantly by city and municipality due to variations in veterinary care costs, local pet health trends, and regulatory requirements. Urban areas typically have higher premiums compared to rural areas, reflecting the higher cost of living and more advanced veterinary services available in cities. Some of the major differences are:

Cost of veterinary care

Urban areas, especially larger cities like New York City or Los Angeles, often have higher veterinary care costs compared to rural areas or smaller towns. This is due to the higher operating costs for veterinary clinics, such as rent and salaries, in urban settings. As a result, pet insurance premiums tend to be higher in cities due to these increased costs.

Local pet health trends

The prevalence of certain health issues can vary by location. For example, urban areas might see higher rates of respiratory problems in pets due to pollution, while rural areas might have more cases of tick-borne diseases. Insurers consider these local health trends when setting premiums, which can lead to differences between cities and municipalities.

Regulatory requirements

Some cities or municipalities may have specific regulations that affect pet insurance. For instance, certain areas might require additional coverage for pets that are frequently exposed to specific hazards, such as wildlife or environmental pollutants. This can impact the type and cost of pet insurance policies available in different locations.

Availability of specialized services

In larger cities, there are often more specialized veterinary services available, such as advanced diagnostic tools or specialty surgeries. While this is beneficial for pet owners, it also contributes to higher overall costs, which are reflected in insurance premiums. Conversely, in smaller towns, the lack of specialized services might result in lower insurance costs.

Competition among insurers

The number of pet insurance providers operating in a given area can also influence costs. Cities with more competition among insurers may offer more competitive rates and a wider variety of plans, whereas rural areas with fewer options might have higher premiums due to lack of competition.

FAQ

Can I get pet insurance for older pets?

Yes, you can get pet insurance for older pets, but premiums are generally higher due to the increased risk of health issues. Some insurance companies might also have age limits for new policies, so it’s advisable to check with providers to understand their terms and conditions for insuring senior pets.

What is excluded from pet insurance coverage?

Common exclusions from pet insurance coverage include pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedures, breeding costs, and preventive care unless specified in the policy. It’s important to read the policy details carefully to understand what is and isn’t covered before purchasing insurance for your pet.

Is pet insurance worth it for indoor pets?

Pet insurance can still be beneficial for indoor pets as they are not completely free from risks. Indoor pets can suffer from illnesses, accidents like falls, or ingest toxic substances, leading to unexpected veterinary bills. Insurance provides financial protection against these potential costs.

Can I transfer my pet insurance to a new provider?

You can switch pet insurance providers, but it’s important to note that any pre-existing conditions your pet has will likely not be covered by the new policy. It’s also essential to compare the coverage, premiums, and terms of the new policy to ensure it meets your needs better than your current plan.

Key takeaways

  • Pet insurance costs vary significantly by state, influenced by factors such as local regulations, veterinary costs, and the prevalence of pet health issues.
  • Breeds prone to specific health issues, such as larger dogs, tend to have higher insurance premiums compared to mixed breeds, which generally have lower costs.
  • Age is a crucial factor in pet insurance costs, with premiums typically increasing as pets get older due to higher risks of health issues.
  • Cities and municipalities can have differing pet insurance costs due to variations in veterinary care expenses, local health trends, and available specialized services.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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