How much does pet insurance cost?

Pet insurance can provide valuable financial protection to cover the cost of treatment if your beloved pet falls ill or is injured. Here, we run through factors that contribute to the price of your policy. We also offer top tips to insure your cats and dogs for less, including spaying or neutering your pet.

Pet insurance can provide valuable financial protection to cover the cost of treatment if your beloved pet falls ill or is injured. Here, we run through factors that contribute to the price of your policy. We also offer top tips to insure your cats and dogs for less, including spaying or neutering your pet.

Mubina Pirmohamed
Insurance expert
5
minute read
Do you know someone who could benefit from this article?
Last Updated 18 JANUARY 2023

What is the average cost of pet insurance?

The average pet insurance premium for Compare the Market customers is £114 a year[1].

Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t be charged more – or less – than this. The cost of your pet insurance will depend on the type of cover you buy, along with various risk factors that insurance providers use to calculate your premium.

But if you’ve ever had to pay a sky-high vet bill, you’ll be all too aware of the sort of costs involved in paying for tests and treatment outright. Having pet insurance could potentially save you hundreds of pounds a year.

[1] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £113.64 for their pet insurance based on Compare the Market cat and dog insurance premium data for all cover types in November 2022.

How much is dog insurance?

Dogs are generally more expensive to insure than cats, with the average premium for dogs standing at £129 a year[2]. But the actual price you pay will be affected by the breed of your dog, among other factors. 

The average monthly cost of dog insurance is £10.75[3]. When you consider that an X-ray alone can cost more than £300 in vet fees, the price of pet insurance perhaps doesn’t seem so bad.

[2] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £129.00 for their dog insurance in November 2022.

[3] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £10.75 per month in November, 2022 for their dog insurance based on the monthly cost when paying for the policy in one annual payment, excluding any interest charged on instalment payments.

How much is cat insurance?

Comparethemarket customers could get insurance for their cat from £72[4] a year. Remember, though, that premiums vary depending on what level of insurance you get.

The average monthly cost of cat insurance is £5.97[5]. On the whole, cats age better than dogs, so premiums tend to be lower for cat owners.

[4] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £71.64 for their cat insurance in November 2022.

[5] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £5.97 per month in November, 2022 for their cat insurance based on the monthly cost when paying for the policy in one annual payment, excluding any interest charged on instalment payments.

What affects the cost of pet insurance?

There are four main factors that impact the cost of insuring your cat or dog:

  • Type of coveraccident only is the cheapest option available, but won’t cover the cost of illnesses. Time limited insurance covers short-term illnesses and accidents, while maximum benefit cover will pay out towards the treatment of a specific condition. Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive cover but also the most expensive.
  • Where you live – variations in vet fees across the country are reflected in the price of premiums.
  • Your pet’s age – as your cat or dog grows older, it’s more likely that your insurance provider will have to pay out for vet treatment.
  • Your pet’s breed – mixed-breed dogs are usually cheaper to insure than pedigrees, and the same applies to cats.

Top tips to cut the cost of pet insurance

Protect yourself and your pet against any potential emergencies, accidents and illnesses for less. Here are a few ways you could drive down the cost of your pet insurance:

Check if your pet is entitled to free treatment

Do you even need to pay for pet insurance? The PDSA supports sick or injured animals if their owners are on means-tested benefits, while the Blue Cross offers emergency care at its hospitals and pet care clinics for people on benefits.

Reduce your level of cover 

Pet insurance policies offer varying levels of cover, all at different prices. The most expensive policy won’t necessarily provide the best level of protection for your pet – so you could end up paying for more cover than you really need.

Keep your pet healthy

Take good care of your pet’s health from the day they arrive and you could save yourself a small fortune in vet’s bills. Make sure your pet has the right vaccinations and any annual boosters, worm them regularly, give them a healthy diet and look after their dental health.

Have your pet spayed or neutered

Neutering or spaying your pet could potentially lower your premiums. This is because it reduces the chance of your pet developing various conditions and also makes them less likely to stray.

Take advantage of multi-pet discounts

Got more than one pet? Most insurance providers offer discounts of 5%-10% for insuring multiple pets with them. It’s still worth comparing, though, as you might find it cheaper to buy single policies from different providers.

Compare pet insurance quotes 

Our pet insurance comparison service gives you an effective way to compare quotes from a wide range of insurance providers. It can help you and your pet find the right cover at a price you can afford.  

Frequently asked questions

Does where you live impact the cost of pet insurance?

You may not be aware of this, but where you live could affect the cost of your pet insurance premium. The cost of pet treatment seems to draw a parallel with the cost of living, so postcodes in London and the South East tend to have the most expensive pet insurance. Towns and cities are also likely to be more expensive than rural areas as vet fees are generally higher. This is something to bear in mind when budgeting or if you’re planning to move to a new area.

Does pet insurance get more expensive as pets get older?

Yes, it’s perhaps no surprise that insuring older dogs and older cats is more expensive than insuring puppies and kittens. Just like their owners, pets are more likely to experience age-related health problems the older they get. Pets that are getting on a bit are also more likely to have pre-existing conditions, which can limit the number of policies available to you. In fact, some insurance providers won’t offer new lifetime policies once your pet reaches a certain age – typically around eight for dogs and 10 for cats.

Do I need to pay an excess for pet insurance?

As with all types of insurance, you’ll need to pay an excess for pet insurance. When you take out cover, the excess is an amount you agree to pay towards any claim you make. Every policy comes with a compulsory excess but you can also set a voluntary excess. The more this is, the less you’re likely to pay for your premium. Just make sure you don’t set it so high that you can’t afford to pay it if you need to make a claim.

What effect does breed have on pet insurance premiums?

Breed can be one of the biggest influences when it comes to calculating pet insurance premiums. Some pedigree dogs and cats are prone to hereditary conditions that give them a higher risk of needing veterinary treatment. For example, flat-faced bulldogs can often have breathing issues, while larger breeds can suffer joint problems, making them a lot more expensive to insure than other dogs.

Premiums also vary for breeds of cat, although the difference in cost isn’t quite so marked as it is for dogs. 

Compare pet insurance

Get a pet insurance quote and you could start saving now

Get a quote
Compare pet insurance Get a quote