Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > General > How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in California? 2024 Update

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in California? 2024 Update

Pet insurance

You’ve done your research, and now you’re ready to bring home a new pet! As you consider the items you’ll need for a new pet, there’s one important service you won’t want to forget: pet insurance.

If you live in California, you’re used to high prices for many goods and services, but you might not know how hard purchasing pet insurance will hit your bank account. Pet insurance for dogs in California will cost $20-$220 depending on certain factors and $10-$240 for cats. In this article, we’ll let you know how much pet insurance costs in California and how to compare policies to get the best one for the money.


The Importance of Pet Insurance

No pet owner wants to consider the possibility of a severe illness or accident befalling their fur baby. Unfortunately, these situations are nearly impossible to avoid, no matter how careful you are with your pets.

If you find yourself facing an emergency surgery or hospital stay for your pet, the last thing you want to worry about is not having the money to get them the care they need. Pet insurance helps lay many of those worries aside, providing financial reimbursement and support for necessary medical care.

While there is some variation in what care is covered and how it is paid for, any pet insurance policy is a valuable safety net for proactive pet owners.

Top Rated Pet Insurance Companies

Best Dental Coverage
Our rating: 4.5 / 5
Best Customer Service
Our rating: 4.7 / 5
Most Affordable
Our rating: 4.6 / 5

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost In California  Cost?

California pet owners will find several options available when shopping for insurance coverage. Once confined to only a few companies, pet insurance is now widely available, including policies from traditional human insurance providers.

Pet insurance premiums are typically paid monthly and vary based on the type of pet, age, breed, and gender. Some companies charge extra for pre-existing health conditions as well.

The following chart provides a snapshot of average monthly pet insurance costs for someone living in Southern California. We collected estimates for mixed-breed dogs and cats of average (medium size), with various ages and genders.

Male Dog Female Dog Male Cat Female Cat
6 Months $20–$116/month $20–116/month $12–$49/month $10–$47/month
3 Years $20–$102/month $20–$148/month $14–$62/month $12–$61/month
10 Years $20–$220/month $20–$220/month $20–$125/month $20–$240/month

As you can see, monthly pet insurance costs vary widely. We’ll discuss what those costs represent and how they should factor into your decision in the next section.

Factors That Impact Monthly Premium Costs

A lower monthly cost for pet insurance doesn’t necessarily indicate the overall financial picture. Some cheaper policies have higher deductibles to meet before coverage kicks in. Others may have an annual maximum coverage limit, which you could easily blow through in one sitting should your pet suffer a serious crisis.

Also, look at what percentage of the bill the insurance will reimburse because that also tends to be less with a lower monthly cost. If you have multiple pets, check to see if the company offers a multi-pet discount.

The type of pet insurance policy you’re purchasing is another factor that impacts cost. Some plans only provide emergency coverage and tend to be less expensive. Others cover basically everything outside of routine wellness and vaccination services. The most expensive policies provide total coverage: well visits, sick visits, and emergency care.

Vet holding a Cocker Spaniel
Image Credit: Goldfish Studio, Shutterstock

What Else Are You Getting For The Money?

When purchasing pet insurance, consider what else you get for the money besides coverage. Does the company provide 24/7 customer service? Pet emergencies don’t occur on a 9-5 schedule, and you need to know you can get someone on the phone when you need them.

Also, look at how the reimbursement process works. Most insurance companies still require you to pay out of pocket for care, then file a claim for reimbursement. Some, such as Trupanion, will pay your vet directly for care, minimizing the hit to your bank account.

Finally, look at how easy it is to file a claim. What documentation do you need from your vet? Can you complete the process online, or do you have to mail your forms?

When Should You Purchase Pet Insurance For Your Pet?

Our comparison chart shows that most policies are slightly cheaper for young animals. The plans for senior pets tended to have the highest monthly costs, with only a few exceptions.

If you’re getting a puppy or kitten, it makes sense to get them enrolled in pet insurance as soon as possible. Young animals tend to make bad decisions that can lead to expensive surgeries for their owners.

However, pets of any age can benefit from insurance. Older pets may be more expensive to insure, but they’re also more likely to need care.

veterinarian doctor holds a tortoiseshell kitten
Image by: Brian A Jackson, Shutterstock

How To Keep Your Pet Safe And Minimize Insurance Pay Outs

Just because you have pet insurance doesn’t mean you want to use it all the time. Keeping your pet safe and healthy is always the better option. Fortunately, these essential tips can help you do that.

Keep your pet up to date on all recommended wellness checks, shots, and blood tests. Preventing illness or catching it as early as possible has better odds of treatment success and lower overall costs.

If you have a cat, keep them indoors, and keep dogs on a leash or behind a fence at all times. Spay or neuter your pets, and teach children to keep their toys and possessions picked up to avoid accidental ingestion. Also, try to avoid keeping toxic flowers and houseplants in your home to protect your pets.

leaves divider leaf


Pet insurance might not be the most exciting purchase you’ll make for your pet, but it could be the most important. California is a pet-friendly place overall, especially for animals and owners who enjoy the outdoors. Enjoy your pet with more peace of mind in the Golden State by researching and buying an insurance policy for your dog or cat.

Featured Image Credit:, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets