Pay off high-rate debt with a personal loan and save thousands. Learn more.

How Much Is Pet Insurance?

By Kim Franke-Folstad · May 12, 2023 · 7 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

How Much Is Pet Insurance?

Many people think of a pet as a member of their family. So of course pet owners want to be sure they’re providing the best possible care for their animals without having to worry about what a trip to the veterinarian might cost.

Pet insurance offers a way to help pay for that care — whether it’s a routine checkup or an emergency. However, just like health insurance for humans, choosing the right pet insurance policy can be complicated.

There’s a wide range of coverage options and policy costs to consider. And pet insurance may not be the right fit for every pet owner. Here’s what to know.

What Is Pet Insurance?

Though it has a lot in common with human health insurance coverage, a pet policy falls under the property and casualty insurance classification.

Pet insurance has been around for almost 100 years, but has only been available in the United States since 1982, when a subsidiary of Nationwide sold its first policy to cover the dog that played Lassie on TV.

As with health insurance for humans, pet insurance has a range of options and costs to consider.

And it’s growing in popularity: The North American Pet Health Insurance Association reports that the industry has more than doubled since 2018, and the number of pet insurance premiums in the U.S. grew by 30.4% from 2020 to 2021.

Most of the 4.4 million pets insured are dogs (82% in 2021) and cats (18%). But some insurers may offer coverage for birds, fish, and other pets.

Pet policies are designed to protect pet owners from the high cost of taking their animal to the vet. (If a pet bites another animal or person, those costs typically are covered by homeowner’s insurance.)

There are a few types of pet insurance. Coverage can be limited to accident-only care for an animal, or it can be more comprehensive and include treatment for injuries and illness.

Some policies also include wellness costs, such as vaccinations, dental care, and medical tests. A few include extra benefits, such as coverage for pet care when an owner has an emergency, or coverage for vet care when the owner travels out of the country with the pet.

But preexisting conditions and cosmetic procedures usually aren’t covered. And policies tend to come with a waiting period of 14 to 30 days, which means if a pet is diagnosed with an illness or is injured before that time is up, treatment for that condition won’t be covered.

💡Quick Tip: Want to save more, spend smarter? Let your bank manage the basics. It’s surprisingly easy, and secure, when you open an online bank account.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

The average cost of an accident and illness pet policy was $48.66 per month for a dog in 2021, or $583.91 per year, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. For a cat, the average cost was $28.57 per month, or $342.84 per year. Adding wellness care and other benefits can increase the cost of a policy. So can the deductible, co-pay, and maximum coverage amounts the pet owner chooses. These costs are something to consider as you’re budgeting for a new dog or cat.

Reimbursement is typically 80%-90%, which means the insured pet owner can be reimbursed for up to 80%-90% of a qualifying claim. The deductible can be up to $1,000. Research shows many pet owners choose a deductible of $250.

The cost of coverage also may be affected by where the pet owner lives. In cities or regions where veterinary practices generally charge more for office visits or treatments, the cost of pet insurance may be higher.

And coverage may cost more based on a pet’s breed and age as well. Because some purebred cats and dogs may be more susceptible to certain medical conditions, they can be more expensive to insure.

Age is a factor. The older a pet is, the more it may cost to get coverage — both at the time of enrollment and as the pet ages.

The good news is, there are no “out-of-network” provider charges to worry about with pet insurance. As long as the pet owner takes Fido or Fluffy to a licensed vet, and the expenses for the visit qualify, it’s just a matter of filing a claim. Some insurance companies may pay the vet directly, but most reimburse the pet owner after the claim is submitted and verified.

Recommended: 19 Tips to Save Money on Pets

How Can Pet Owners Find Prices and Plans?

Because every pet and every plan is a little bit different, it can pay to do some research.

An increasing number of employers now offer pet insurance in their benefits packages, which could mean a lower premium. So pet owners may want to check with their human resources department to see what their company has to offer.

It’s also easy to get an online price quote from many of the companies that offer pet insurance. A quick search will turn up several well-known insurers (Nationwide, Progressive, Geico, Allstate) that offer coverage, along with insurance companies that are strictly for pets. The insurer will ask a few questions (the pet’s name, age, gender, breed, any preexisting conditions), and then provide quotes for three or more plans, along with some details about the benefits those plans include.

It also may help to have an idea of what it costs to treat common (and not-so-common) problems a certain type of pet might encounter.

For example, a physical for a dog can be as much as $300, and up to $200 for a cat, depending on your location and the pet’s age. Those bills might be daunting but not necessarily devastating for a family’s budget. But an emergency vet visit with multiple overnight stays in an emergency clinic could be as much as $3,500. And surgeries your pet might require can run into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

Planning for those costs could help pet owners decide if insurance is something they should consider. (Your vet also may be able to provide some helpful information that pertains to your specific pet.)

💡Quick Tip: If you’re faced with debt and wondering which kind to pay off first, it can be smart to prioritize high-interest debt first. For many people, this means their credit card debt; rates have recently been climbing into the double-digit range, so try to eliminate that ASAP.

So, Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

As with so many financial decisions, there are pros and cons to purchasing a pet health policy.

Insurance may take some of the stress out of making treatment decisions for a beloved pet based on the ability to pay. Although there still could be out-of-pocket expenses to consider, it might help avoid what the pet insurance association calls “economic euthanasia,” when a pet owner makes the heartbreaking choice to put down a sick or injured animal because the required care is just too expensive.

Insurance also might help a pet owner avoid taking on credit card debt or depleting their savings account to pay for their pet’s care.

Another plus: Because policies can be customized, it may be possible to find one that provides basic coverage and still works within the family budget. And pet owners who love their vet won’t have to switch to a new provider.

But pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, and premiums also may be higher for breeds that are vulnerable to costly health conditions. The cost also goes up as an animal gets older, which is when many pets start having problems that require expensive treatments.

And, as is the case for most types of insurance, if policyholders don’t use their benefits, they don’t get their money back. So, for example, if the pet owner opts for an accident and illness policy and the pet stays healthy for several years, the insurance bills could end up costing more than the vet bills. You may want to set up an emergency fund to help cover any healthcare costs for your pet instead.

Recommended: How to Pay for Medical Bills You Can’t Afford

The Takeaway

If you aren’t sure if pet insurance is right for you, it might help to look at how the cost would fit with your current finances. If money is tight, is there something you could or would give up in order to pay for a pet policy? Also, would pet insurance tackle financial stress by keeping you from worrying about what you’d do if your pet needed expensive care?

Think about these questions carefully. If you feel you won’t get your money’s worth out of a health insurance policy, you may want to skip it for now. But if it’s easier for you to pay a premium monthly, rather than having to come up with a hefty sum all at once if something happens, you may decide pet insurance is a good option.

Better banking is here with up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

SOBK0523014U

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender