The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Average Cost of Dog Insurance 2020

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 £45 a month for dog insurance, but the cheapest cover costs closer to £22 a month.

Contents

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 comparison site partner Compare Cover.

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 £22.4 per month or £269 a year, 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 from our comparison site partner Compare Cover.

Average Cost of Cheap Dog Insuranceper monthper year
Accident Only£5.32£63.8
Time Limited£19.0£228
Max Benefit£21.8£262
Lifetime£27.7£332
Average£22.4£269

The most expensive type of dog insurance is Lifetime cover, with vet fee limits that renew each year to cope with recurring conditions. Lifetime cover with £3,000 to £5,000 of annually-renewing vet cover for a young, healthy, mixed-breed dog starts from around £20 a month (£240 a year) and goes up to £50 - £65 a month (£600 to £780) for premium plans with higher limits of £10,000 or more a year. Breeds with known health problems will cost more to insure.

chart showing how much pet owners will pay for dog insurance per month
How much is dog insurance per month?

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. For example, Lifetime cover costs around £332 per year for a young, healthy dog, although cheap policies can be found for as little as £200 a year.

chart showing how much pet owners will pay for dog insurance per year
How much is dog insurance per year?

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 - £5k of Lifetime cover start from £26 a month. This price range is a sweet spot for value, offering 2X as much cover as policies providing half the cover but costing only 10% more or so.

chart showing how much pet owners will pay for dog insurance per year
How much is dog insurance per year?

How Much is Pet 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)
Puppy£23.28
1 year£22.67
2 years£22.78
3 years£23.70
4 years£25.25
5 years£28.25
6 years£31.36
7 years£34.53
8 years£38.66
9 years£60.11
10 years£65.09
11 years£74.70
12 years£79.83
chart showing how much pet owners will pay for dog insurance by pet age for older pets
How much is pet insurance for older dogs?

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 4X 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 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 from our comparison site partner Compare Cover 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)
Border Terrier£17.84
Crossbreed£22.67
Cocker Spaniel£22.72
English Springer Spaniel£23.20
Miniature Schnauzer£24.16
Golden Retriever£24.30
Labradore Retriever£31.24
German Shephard£38.15
French Bulldog£54.73
English Bulldog£66.50
chart showing how much pet owners will pay for dog insurance by breed
The cost of dog insurance varies significantly by breed

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 £500 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.

Where to Get Pet Insurance Quotes

To get quotes from a range of UK dog insurance brands including Scratch and Patch and Animal Friends, click the blue button below to transfer to our pet insurance partner Compare Cover.

Compare Pet Insurance Quotes

Panel includes Animal Friends, Scratch and Patch, Lifetime Pet Cover and more.

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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, Agria review, Scratch & Patch review).

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.

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 innovative products targeting a giant hole in the UK pet insurance market: Preexisting condition pet insurance. They also offer regular pet insurance for those not needing this specialist cover with good cover at attractive prices.

FAQs

Dog insurance costs range from £5 per month to over £100 a month depending factors like the type of cover, amount of cover, dog breed and age.
The cheapest accident & illness dog insurance starts from around £9 a month for policies with just £1,000 of vet fee cover for a young mixed breed dog. Policies with £2k of cover start from around £17 a month. To compare cheap dog insurance quotes for your dog, visit our comparison site partner Compare Cover.
Small dog insurance costs from around £15 a month for a Lifetime policy with £2k of annually renewing cover. Small dogs usually cost less to insure than bigger dogs, because they’re less prone to health issues like hip dysplasia. That said, French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs are notoriously expensive to insure, even though they’re not large.
Dog liability cover costs around £10, £14 or £20 a year, depending on the size of the dog, from companies like Bought By Many (click hereto get a quote in about a minute. Third party liability is typically included in most Accident & Illness dog insurance policies (but not Accident Only plans) if you also want vet health cover.
Dog insurance can help you pay for vet bills in case your four-legged friend falls ill or is injured in an accident. If you want the peace of mind and financial support that come with having your dog insured, pet insurance is probably a good idea. If you won't have any problem paying any vet bills that arise, you may not need vet cover. Even so, a good policy includes 3rd party liability which can help protect you if your dog injures someone, runs into the street and causes an accident, etc. Keep in mind that the average pet insurance claim is £750.

Methodology

We researched prices for the UK dog insurance market using our pet insurance comparison site partner, Compare Cover. They work with a large panel of insurers including:

Compare Cheap Pet Insurance

Pet cover can help with vet bills. Protect your beloved dog today.

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Comments

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.