Why Pet Insurance?

How Does Breed Impact the Cost and Coverage of a Pet Insurance Policy?

Fun fact – There are 71 official cat breeds that The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes. However, there are some breeds out there that are not recognized by TICA so the actual number of breeds in existence may higher. On the other hand, there are 360 recognized dog breeds in the world. Worldwide, there are about 470 million dogs and 370 million cats kept as pets.1

And when it comes to taking care of these furry friends of ours, there are so many things that a pet parent has to consider. From supplies like food bowls, litter boxes, treats, leashes and collars to daily meals, vaccinations, medications, routine vet visits and more. And this is where pet insurance can step in to help. Pet insurance can help pet parents with the eligible costs of treating unexpected accidents and illness. Some providers even offer optional preventive add-ons to help with the cost of routine vet care, which can include vaccinations and wellness exams.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Pet insurance is a new product for lots of pet parents. So if your brand new to pet insurance, here is a quick breakdown of how it typically works:

  • Enroll your pet in a policy

  • Take your puppy to the vet for an unexpected accident or illness

  • Pay the bill upfront

  • Submit a claim to your pet insurance provider

  • Wait for your reimbursement on the eligible expenses once your claim is approved

The Impact of Breed on Pet Insurance Coverage & Rates

There are several factors that can affect your pet insurance premium and coverage, including your pet's breed. This is mainly because different breeds can be more likely to develop certain health conditions or experience certain injuries in their lifetime, impacting the cost of your premium. Pet insurance providers usually account for this by creating risk pools or tiers. Different breeds will fall into certain risk pools based on their chances of experiencing a health condition during their lifetime.

Another reason breed is usually a factor for premium pricing is that breeds of different sizes can be more prone to certain health conditions. For example, medical conditions like hip dysplasia and heart failure are more common in larger breeds.2 Here are a few examples according to LendEDU:

  • Rottweilers are more likely to be affected by osteosarcoma, an aggressive type of bone cancer than other breeds, with more than one out of every eight Rottweilers being affected.

  • Saint Bernard’s and Great Danes are more susceptible to bloat conditions than smaller breeds.

  • French Bulldogs are more prone to congenital heart disease than many other breeds.

Breed is not the only factor that can affect your premium. We'll dive into a few other factors throughout this article.

7 factors that affect pet insurance prices

There are multiple factors that pet insurance providers account for in their rates. Here are a few of the factors that can impact the cost of pet insurance for your pet:

Pet breed: Some dog breeds are more prone to certain illnesses than others, which means their vet visits can tend to be more expensive. For instance, if you have a Great Dane or a Doberman Pinscher puppy, they are more likely to develop heart diseases as compared to smaller breeds.2

Age of your pet: As pets get older, their risk for illness and injury increases, and so the cost of their insurance can also increase. Learn more about pet insurance for senior pets.

Location: The cost of veterinary care for your puppy can vary according to where you live. If you live in certain urban areas, you may have a higher premium for pet insurance because the average cost of visiting your vet may also be higher.

Coverage type: A big factor that impacts pet insurance costs is the kind of coverage that you opt for. An accident-only policy will generally cost less than a policy that covers both accidents and illnesses.

Deductibles: Typically, deductibles range from $0 to $1000. The higher the deductible for your policy, the lower your premium will be.

Discounts: Some pet insurance providers offer discounts like multi-pet or military discounts. Before enrolling in a policy, take a look at any discounts offered by the provider to see if you’re eligible.

Reimbursement levels: Pet insurance providers typically offer reimbursement rates of 70%, 80% or 90% for eligible vet bills. Just remember, choosing a higher reimbursement rate will also increase the cost of your premium.

Are premiums different for cats and dogs?

The cost of a premium usually differs based on whether you're enrolling a dog or a cat. Cats generally see a vet less often than dogs and are not as likely to experience injuries.3 So premiums for dogs are usually more expensive than premiums for cats.


While pet insurance costs can vary between dogs and cats, and even individual animals of the same species due to breed differences, don't let that price tag scare you away from safeguarding your furry friend's future! Remember, choosing a pet is about finding a perfect match for your lifestyle and heart. Each breed, dog or cat, offers unique characteristics and can all bring endless joy and love into your life.

  1. “Pet Ownership Statistics,” The Zebra, https://www.thezebra.com/resources/research/pet-ownership-statistics, July 11, 2023.

  2. “How Breed Can Impact Pet Insurance Costs,” Lend EDU, https://lendedu.com/blog/pet-insurance-rates-by-breed, Apr. 5, 2023.

  3. “How Breed Impacts Coverage and Cost,” Pet Insurance Info, https://petinsuranceinfo.com/pet-health-insurance/breed-guide, n.d.

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