The Pet Insurance

Guide 2016

Independent Unbiased Information
for Fellow Pet Owners
As Featured On BBC1's Rip Off Britain Consumer Programme

Pet Insurance - Dog Breeds Premium Survey

Pet Insurance Bulldog BreedsWhich is the cheapest breed of dog to insure?   And the most expensive?   Are some insurers cheaper than others for certain breeds of dog?  And are mixed breeds really cheaper to insure that pedigree dogs? 

The Pet Insurance Guide has just conducted an extensive survey covering more than 50 different breeds and 16 leading pet insurance companies. 

Firstly though it is important to be aware that all pet insurance policies are different strengths and limitations so it is very important to do your research thoroughly before deciding which is the best option for you and your pets.   The premium though is always going to be an important consideration. 

Although all pet insurance companies use different underwriting models to calculate premiums, the main factors are normally where you live,  and the age, breed and sex of your dog.     This survey looked specifically at the relative cost of obtaining pet insurance for each breed. 

Least and Most Expensive Breeds

The lowest average quotes were generally as expected for the small breeds, with the cheapest breed to insure being the Jack Russell Terrier, although the Border Collie also makes our list of the least expensive ten breeds to cover. 

The most expensive breed of all to insure was the Dogue de Bordeaux which on average cost three times as much as the Jack Russell Terrier.   It should be noted that several of the insurers did not offer a quote for the Shar Pei. 


Least Expensive Breeds Most Expensive Breeds 
Jack Russell Terrier Dogue de Bordeaux
Border Terrier Great Dane
Lhasa Apso Newfoundland
Yorkshire Terrier Rottweiler
Chihuahua Shar Pei
Cairn Terrier Bulldog
Toy Poodle Boxer
Shih Tzu Bull Terrier
Border Collie French Bulldog
Pomeranian Rhodesian Ridgeback


Popular Breeds

The least expensive of the 10 most popular breeds to insure is the Border Terrier with the increasingly popular French Bulldog proving particularly expensive.   Relative pet insurance costs for all the dog breeds surveyed. 

Labrador Retriever ££££
Cocker Spaniel ££
Springer Spaniel £££
French Bulldog ££££££
Pug £££££
German Shepherd Dog £££££
Golden Retriever ££££
Border Terrier £
English Bulldog £££££
Miniature Schnauzer ££


Differences Between Pet Insurance Providers

Pet insurance providers make their own assessment of the risk posed by each breed of dog. So whereas Petplan provided very similar quotes for the Jack Russell Terrier and the Border Collie,  The Kennel Club Pet Insurance wanted almost twice as much for a Border Collie as for a Jack Russell Terrier.

It is worth noting that some insurers such as Vets Medicover and Lifetime Pet Cover offer a standard price for all but a few selected breeds.  Whilst this can produce a very competitive quote for large dog such as German Shepherd, the quote is likely to be less competitive for smaller breeds.    Animal Friends also appears to have a reasonably “flat” premium structure with just three different premiums covered most dog breeds with the premium for the highest of these being just 20% more than that for the lowest. 


Crossbreeds and Mixed Breeds

The survey results largely supported the generally held belief that crossbreeds and mixed breeds are cheaper to insure than pedigree pets although this is not always the case!

In our survey the average cost of insuring a small mixed breed dog was less expensive than any pedigree dog except for the Jack Russell Terrier.  

The average cost of insuring a large crossbreed dog was less than for most pedigree dogs but was roughly the same cost as insuring a Labrador Retriever. 

However there are striking differences between pet insurance providers particularly as some quote the same price for all non-pedigree dogs,  whereas others use the dog weight or dominant breeds to determine the premium. 






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  1. This is for the 2017 survey!
    I have been insuring my Labradoodle for 6 years with John Lewis lifetime cover. I added a Burmese cat 2 years ago and another Burmese 6 months later. the annual premium has steadily risen each year. In August 2015 I phoned them to ask if there was any way I could reduce the premiums as I had never made a claim. The response was that I could change from a life time cover policy to an annual policy. I decided to stay withthem and my monthly payment is £178.17 pcm (£2,138.07 p.a.)

    I have just bought another dog and investigated insurance – he came with 1 month’s free insurance with Buddies. They quoted a monthly premium of £132 pcm for all four animals. This prompted me to go online a check out John Lewis as a new customer. I could only insure a maximum of three animals without phoning them so I keyed in my first dog and two cats and used a different email, address, names etc. I was horrified and very angry to be quoted £91.23 pcm (£1,094.83 pa) This is just under 50% cheaper, saving me £1,043.24.
    I have made a complaint but have been told that it is unlikely that it will be upheld. They even had the temerity to say that I could cancel the original policy and take out the new one but I would not be covered for 14 days. ‘Never knowingly Undersold’ does not seem to apply to pet insurance!