How much is dog insurance? Dog insurance ranges in price from a low of £5 a month up to a high of £100 a month or more, depending on factors like the type of policy, the level of cover and the age and breed of your dog. It's relatively common to pay around £27 a month for dog insurance.
- Average cost of dog insurance in the UK
- Compare pet insurance for dogs
To help you get an idea of how much a good dog insurance policy will cost for your dog, we've researched dozens of policies from popular UK pet insurers. Whether you're a new dog owner or you are looking for a policy for your older pet, use this information to help you get a picture of the UK dog insurance market. To compare quotes for your dog, visit our pet insurance comparison tool.
Average Cost of Dog Insurance in the UK
The average cost of dog insurance with £2,000 to £10,000 of cover starts from around £9.1 per month or £107 a year, and the average amount paid for pet insurance is around £27 per month (ABI). But but quotes really vary depending on factors like age, breed and type of cover (e.g., the four different types of pet insurance: Accident Only, Time Limited, Maximum Benefit per Condition and Lifetime). Prices below reflect the average of the 5 cheapest quotes we found for a young, mixed-breed dog. Prices can be multiples higher for some policies (e.g. from different companies, breeds, pet ages, coverage levels, etc.).
All else equal, the most expensive type of dog insurance is (typically) Lifetime cover, with vet fee limits that renew each year to cope with recurring conditions. Lifetime cover with annually-renewing vet cover for a young, healthy, mixed-breed dog starts from around £11 a month (£134 a year) for £2,000 to £5,000 of cover and £18 a month (£220 a year) for plans with higher limits of £10,000 or more a year. But costs can be much higher from some companies, with some quotes in our tests of £60 per month (£600 to £700 a year). Breeds with known health problems will also cost more to insure.
It is not surprising that Accident Only plans are the cheapest, because they only cover injuries due to accidents, not any illnesses. Since illnesses like allergies, tumours, skin conditions, infections, diabetes, etc. are by far the biggest reasons to visit the vet, accident & illness cover is much more likely to provide the protection you'll need against large vet bills.
The three types of accident & illness cover work in different ways. Here's a quick recap of how all these plans work, which you can read more about here.
- Accident Only plans only cover injuries due to accidents and won't help for illnesses, which are the main reason dogs visit the vet.
- Time Limited plans only cover 12 months of treatment for accidents & illnesses from the start of a condition, which is not good for covering recurring or chronic conditions.
- Max Benefit plans offer a bit more cover in that there is no time restriction but instead a maximum £ amount of cover per accident or illness.
- Lifetime plans are generally the most comprehensive since, as the name says, they'll keep paying for accidents & illnesses throughout your pet's life—while there is an annual limit, this amount resets each year and is available to use again for any new, recurring or chronic conditions.
Annual Cost of Dog Insurance UK
How much does dog insurance cost per year? On an annual basis, dog insurance can easily cost hundreds of pounds, depending on the type of cover, breed and other factors. For example, cheap Lifetime cover costs around £134 per year for a young, healthy dog, although more expensive policies can cost many hundreds of pounds (and in some cases, over £1,000 a year).
Monthly Cost of Dog Insurance UK
How much does dog insurance cost per month? On a monthly basis, dog insurance starts from just a couple of pounds, depending on the type of cover, breed, age of dog and other factors. For example, it's not unusual for a cheaper lifetime policy to start from around £11 per month for a young, healthy dog, although more expensive policies can cost £60 per month or more.
How Much is Dog Insurance by Cover Limit?
As you can see in the chart below, the typical cost of dog insurance policies offering £3k to £5k of Lifetime cover start from £168 a year (£14 a month), while plans with £6k to £10k of Lifetime cover start from around £201 a year (£17 a month). This means lifetime plans are, roughly, around 20% to 30% more than time limited and max benefit policies. Pet owners who can afford this extra premium get cover that renews each year to cover ongoing and chronic conditions, which are not as well served by time limited and (to a better extent) max benefit plans.
Dog Insurance for Older Dogs
As your dog ages, you will need to pay higher premiums for the same vet cover. For example, dog insurance premiums can double by around 8-9 years of age. This is because—like their owners—dogs are more likely to have serious health issues when they are older.
|Monthly Cost of Cheap Dog Insurance by Age (crossbreed dog)
Two ways to reduce the cost of health insurance for older dogs are opting for a Time Limited or Max Benefit plan instead of Lifetime or choosing a higher excess and/or paying a variable excess in addition to the fixed excess. Before choosing a higher excess, read about the Pros and Cons of a Higher Excess on Pet Insurance.
Dog Insurance Cost by Breed
Dog insurance costs vary tremendously be breed—for example it costs 2X to 6X as much to buy Lifetime cover for dog breeds with genetic health issues, like German Shephards (prone to hip dysplasia) or Bulldogs (prone to breathing difficulties), compared to hardy, healthy breeds like Border Terriers.
While gender doesn't play a large part in premium calculations for dog insurance (it does for cats), breed of dog certainly does. To see how much more insurance for some breeds cost than others, we gathered sample quotes for the top 10 most popular dogs in the UK, as determined by the Kennel Club. Prices reflect the average of the 5 cheapest quotes we found for policies with at least £3,000 of Lifetime cover for a one-year-old dog.
|Monthly Cost of Cheap Dog Insurance by Breed (age 1 year)
|English Springer Spaniel
If you are thinking about buying a dog and are just researching the costs of dog ownership keep in mind the insurance costs for different breeds, especially if you are budget conscious. Every year, a dog owner could have to pay at least £400 extra in dog insurance premiums for a breed prone to genetic conditions (e.g., a Bulldog) compared to a crossbreed dog or terrier. And this difference can widen as your pet ages. Over a theoretical 12-year lifetime, some pet owners could pay £5,000 - £10,000 more in insurance premiums than others based on breed alone.
For more money-saving tips, see our article How to Save Money on Pet Insurance.
Labrador average life
Given pet insurance costs more for some breeds, and pet insurance gets more expensive as pets get older, we go to thinking about lifespans for different breeds—because pets need vet care throughout their while lives so you'll be paying for pet insurance for years and years. But how many years?
One of the most popular dogs in the UK, labradors tend to live 10 to 12 years. Some may reach 13 or 14 years of age, but this is pretty rare. Expect the cost of dog insurance for a lab to really ramp up from age 7 or so.
Smaller dogs often live longer. Terriers are especially hardy and can live to 15 to 17 years, or even more. Their dog insurance costs might take a little longer to jump up—maybe from age 9 or 10, although this will depend.
Compare Pet Insurance for Dogs
To compare quotes from a range of UK dog insurance brands including Scratch and Patch, Purely Pets, Pet Protect, Lifetime Pet Insurance, Animal Friends and more, click the blue button below.
Compare Pet Insurance Quotes
Panel includes Animal Friends, Scratch and Patch, Lifetime Pet Cover and more.
Best dog insurance
Or click to get quotes directly from some pet insurance companies that we have rated highly, click the relevant blue buttons below (for more information on each, read our in-depth product reviews: Petplan review, ManyPets review, Agria review, Scratch & Patch review). Note: some of these companies might charge more for their premium products; they are not likely to be as cheap as the cheapest plans mentioned above.
Petplan Pet Insurance is the largest insurer of dogs and cats in the UK. Due to this, many vets are accustomed to submitting claims on behalf of pet owners, which can save you a lot of hassle. Petplan policies include dental illness and injury but don't cover euthanasia.
ManyPets Pet Insurance offers a range of interesting pet insurance options including cover for pre-existing conditions and even a way to get some money back in years you don't claim. Definitely a company to consider.
Agria Pet Insurance offers comprehensive Lifetime plans for lower-than-average prices, owing to the 10% copay you pay on top of a fixed excess. We like that Agria is a specialist pet insurer with a long history and desirable features such as dental illness, euthanasia and cremation/burial.
Scratch & Patch pet insurance stands out for good cover at attractive prices. We like that they're innovative, previously testing the waters in pre-existing pet insurance and forgoing the 14-day no-cover window at the beginning of a policy if your pet was insured already elsewhere.
We researched prices for the UK dog insurance market using the panel of insurers we work with, including:
Compare Cheap Pet Insurance
Pet cover can help with vet bills. Protect your beloved dog today.