Breeds With the Best Pet Insurance Rates

If you’re thinking of purchasing pet insurance for the furry friend in your family, the breed will play a role in the price you’ll pay. Some dog and cat varieties are predisposed to certain illnesses or conditions, which increases the risk for insurers. Here’s a guide to the cheapest and most expensive breeds to insure.

The cheapest pet insurance rates: mixed breeds
If you own a mixed breed dog or cat, you’re most likely to have the lower premiums than purebred pet parents, because mixed breeds are less prone to genetically predisposed ailments. The profile of the cheapest dog or cat to insure is a small, spayed, female mixed breed, says Laura Bennett, chief operating officer at Embrace Pet Insurance.

The most expensive pet insurance rates: purebreds, short-nosed dogs and large dogs
The purebred pet you’ve always dreamed about isn’t the best choice when it comes to insurance. Just like with people, certain diseases and conditions such as cancer and orthopedic problems can be genetic. These breed-specific illnesses mean higher premiums, says Kathryn Clappison, a public relations specialist at pet insurer Trupanion.

For example, Siamese cats are known to contract chronic lower airway disease, golden retrievers are pre-disposed to cancer and Yorkshire terriers frequently have displaced kneecaps. Short-nosed dogs including Pekingese and pugs are prone to breathing problems. Big breeds such as mastiffs, Great Danes and Bernese Mountain dogs often have bone or joint issues and require larger doses of drugs and anesthetics.

“Large breeds usually have higher premiums because it costs more for their medical treatment,” says Jules Benson, the chief veterinary medical officer at Petplan, an insurance company. “For example, a German shepherd is going to need a much higher dose of a prescription medication than a Chihuahua.”

Puppies and kittens in general frequently require medical attention, just like kids. These young pets are most likely to go to the vet for swallowing something other than food such as a peach pit, children’s toy or long strings or ribbons. Treating this condition – known as foreign body ingestion – costs an average of $1,400 for both dogs and cats. Bernese Mountain dogs, Siberian huskies, goldendoodles, golden retrievers and American pit bull terrier puppies most frequently experience this ailment, according to Trupanion.

Overall, the most expensive dog breeds to insure are English bulldogs, Bernese Mountain dogs, Rottweilers, Great Danes and French bulldogs, according to Trupanion. These pups are especially prone to hip or elbow dysplasia, respiratory conditions, allergies and cancer. The costliest cat breeds are Siamese, Bengals, Himalayans, Maine coons and ragdolls.

Ultimately, pets of all breeds are prone to develop a health condition at some point in their lives. To avoid having to pay for these costly conditions out of pocket and to get the best pet insurance rates, enroll in a policy while your animal is young and free of pre-existing conditions.

Reprinted from Nerd Wallet