A variety of factors go into determining the rates attached to pet insurance—a quickly growing product that’s now attracting the attention of industry entrepreneurs and regulators—not the least of which is a dog’s breed.
Certain breeds are more prone to illnesses and health conditions, while others—whether unfairly or not—are thought to be involved in more attacks against humans other animals. All these factors increase the risk to insurers.
A new report from Nerd Wallet examines the breeds insurers go easy on, as well as those that aren’t so lucky.
Man’s [wallet’s] best friend are mixed breeds
For both dogs and cats, animals of a mixed breed background are considered the least risky for carriers and thus have the cheapest insurance rates. Less genetically predisposed to certain illnesses, mixed breed dogs are fairly inexpensive to insure. Make that a spayed, female mixed breed and you’re paying among the least for pet insurance nationwide.
The most expensive dog breeds: Size matters
Conversely, purebreds of nearly every breed are more expensive to insure. The genetic predispositions that come with breeding within a group may mean cancer or orthopedic problems are a significant problem for a pet, which translates to higher premiums.
Short-nosed dogs are also on the higher end of the price spectrum, with Pekingese and pugs often subject to breathing problems.
Unsurprisingly, large dogs like Great Danes and Mastiffs—which experience bone and joint issues, and consequently larger doses of medication—also top the list of the most expensive breeds to insure.
“A German Shepard is going to need a much higher dose of prescription medication than a Chihuahua,” Jules Benson, chief veterinary medical officer at Petplan, told Nerd Wallet.
Wanting a conclusive list? The site concludes that English Bulldogs, Bernese Mountain dogs, Rottweilers, Great Danes and French Bulldogs cost their owners the most to insure.