As veterinary medicine becomes more advanced, it is more important than ever to have pet insurance in place to cover the cost of any unexpected veterinary treatments. You may be wondering what factors influence the cost of insurance for your dog. Or you may be planning on having a new dog in your life and be wondering how much to budget for insurance costs. 

The cost of a pet insurance policy is influenced by various factors including the age, breed, any medical history of the dog and sometimes where you live. Different levels of cover are also available, which have been covered in another post.

Let’s focus here on how the type of dog you have can affect insurance premiums. Read on to find out more.

Are smaller dogs cheaper to insure?

The simple answer to this question is yes, generally – although there are some exceptions. Larger breeds are usually more expensive to insure, with giant breeds such as the Great Dane and Bull Mastiffs often having the highest premiums. This is because larger dogs incur higher veterinary costs – they need higher doses of medication for example, and some surgical procedures may take longer. Also, some larger breeds can be more prone to certain inherited medical conditions due to their large build, such as joint disease and spinal problems. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that larger dogs tend to have higher premiums for third party insurance. This is because if they are involved in an incident where they injure another pet, a person or property, they can potentially cause more damage, and this results in higher costs to the insurance company.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Certain smaller breeds are at a high risk of genetic conditions, which pushes up their insurance premiums. For example, due to their propensity for breed-related respiratory problems, French bulldogs are one of the most expensive breeds to insure despite being relatively small.

How does breed affect insurance costs?

Crossbreed or mongrel (mixed breed) dogs are cheaper to insure than pedigree breeds of the same size. This is because they come from a wider gene pool which means they are less prone to inherited medical conditions. However, it could be the case that the size of the dog remains a bigger factor. For example, a larger crossbred dog may still be more expensive to insure than a small pedigree dog. 

When it comes to pedigree dogs, certain breeds will be more expensive to insure depending on how prone they are to inherited conditions. When doing your research into getting a dog, it is important to take insurance costs into consideration, to get an idea of what it would cost to insure a particular breed over its lifetime. 

What other factors influence insurance costs?

Older dogs are more expensive to insure than younger animals as the chance of them getting unwell is higher. If your dog has pre-existing medical conditions, for example diabetes or arthritis, many insurance companies will not cover costs for treatment of these conditions (although there are some exceptions). This may also push up the cost of your insurance premium.

It is also important to look at details of insurance policies like the excess payment. This is often higher for older dogs. Some insurance companies run ‘co-payment’ schemes, whereby owners must pay a proportion of the total cost of treatment in animals and the insurance company covers the rest. These costs can add a substantial amount onto your insurance bill in the event that your dog becomes unwell. 

How do I find out more about insuring my dog?

Before taking on the lifetime commitment of owning a dog, it is well worth doing some comprehensive research into the different types of insurance available and likely costs for your chosen breed. Getting insurance quotes from several companies may help you compare different policies, but be sure to read the small print and remember cheaper isn’t necessarily always better. If you would like advice on how to choose your insurance policy, your veterinary surgeon will be well placed to help. Although they will not usually be allowed to recommend a particular insurance brand over another, they will be experienced in how insurance claims work and what different policy types cover.

Vetster option 01 (Blog)