Why Does My Location Affect Pet Insurance Costs?

| CJ Silvasi

Many factors go into pet insurance premium costs. One of the most impactful is location. We discuss how your hometown and pet's breed & age affect costs.


Getting a quote for insurance can feel a lot like filling out your taxes. You’ve got to provide your pet’s age, breed, and general health, as well as your personal address. But wait, why does location affect insurance premiums? Shouldn’t a Terrier in Texas cost the same as a Poodle in Pennsylvania? We dig deep into why your location affects costs, and how a variety of other factors contribute to pet insurance premiums.

How Do Pet Insurance Companies Determine Their Rates?

Pet insurance premium rates are determined based on several factors, both for you and your pet. The quote process is designed to gather the information needed to provide the cost of a plan for your pet in your specific location. These factors include your pet’s species, breed, age, as well as your zip code. All these details create an estimated health expense, meaning a best guess at how much it will cost to provide pet insurance coverage for your pet.

How Does My Pet’s Species Impact Pet Insurance Costs?

Cats and dogs have very different health needs. Dogs are typically more adventurous and physical, so there is an inherently higher risk that they will have more injuries or emergency medical needs. Studies showed that, based on the injuries experienced by pets, two-thirds happened to dogs, so this is a justified estimation. Additionally, 63% of American cats are kept exclusively indoors, where they are less likely to be exposed to illnesses or potential injury.

Why Does My Pet’s Breed and Age Change Their Pet Insurance Costs?

Similarly, your pet’s breed and age significantly impact the likelihood of them developing expensive medical issues. For example, larger dogs are considered “seniors” earlier than smaller dogs and cats, who both have longer life spans. Senior pets, regardless of species, are more likely to experience a major disease or illness.

Why Does the State I Live in Change the Cost of Pet Insurance?

Like all types of insurance, pet insurance is highly regulated on the state level. Each state has different requirements for insurers and their services. Because of this, some providers need to offer different plan options and benefits based on what is allowed in each state. This can have a direct impact on the cost of providing premiums on the state level.

The general cost of living in each area, down to the city in which you reside, provides a direct correlation with veterinary costs. Someone living in Los Angeles, California is likely to pay higher fees per vet visit, regardless of reason, than someone who lives in Sioux City, Iowa, where cost of living is drastically lower than average.

When you sign up to get a quote for pet insurance coverage, don’t panic when they ask for details about your pet and location. These are the primary factors involved in determining the cost of providing coverage for your pet. It is the only way pet insurance providers can give you an accurate and fair rate for protecting your pet from unexpected illnesses and injuries.

Some companies will also ask for information on your pet’s health history before providing a quote or will change their quoted rates after you supply their required vet health exam. This is because most pet insurance companies do not offer coverage for any pre-existing conditions, so if your pet has been previously diagnosed with a disease, regardless of what it is, they will not cover expenses related to it.

While in the process of getting quotes for your pet’s insurance coverage, be sure to factor in more than just price. AKC Pet Insurance is the only provider to offer coverage for pre-existing conditions1. Also, our customer service is highly rated, and our customizable coverage options allow you to build a pet insurance plan at a price you’re comfortable with. 

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1 Not available in all states. Pre-existing condition coverage available after 365 days of continuous coverage. “Only brand" refers to comparison with 5 pet insurance carriers making up approximately 80% of the US pet insurance market (Nationwide, ASPCA, Trupanion, HealthyPaws and PetPlan).

CJ Silvasi

CJ has always wanted to be a writer. She even threatened to drop out after her first day of kindergarten when they weren’t immediately going to teach her to read and write. Fortunately, she stayed in school, earned her degree in Creative Writing from Christopher Newport University, and now gets to live her best life with her husband, 3 Japanese Chins, and cat writing for AKC Pet Insurance.


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