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How dog breeds affect pet insurance prices

There’s so much to consider when you’re choosing a dog. But while you’re going over the traits of each breed, it’s worth knowing that some breeds of dogs are more expensive to insure than others. We’ve crunched the numbers so you can see the cheapest and most expensive breeds of dog to insure.

Derri Dunn
Derri Dunn
Updated 30 July 2021  | 5 min read

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What’s the difference between a pedigree, crossbreed and mongrel?

You need to know whether your dog’s a pedigree, crossbreed or mixed breed when you get insurance. 

Pedigree

A pedigree is also known as a purebred dog. Both parents belong to the same breed. Examples of popular pedigrees are Labradors, German shepherds and bulldogs. 

Some insurers will have any dog where the parents are the same ‘mix’ on its pedigree list as well – for example a cockapoo plus a cockapoo equals ‘pedigree’ cockapoo puppies.

Average pedigree insurance cost: £434.27[1]

Crossbreed

A crossbreed has parents from different breeds. An example is the labradoodle, which is created by breeding a labrador and a poodle.

The first-generation labradoodle would be classed as a crossbreed. 

However, if a labradoodle was bred with another labradoodle, their offspring might be classed as a pedigree by some insurers.

Average medium crossbreed insurance cost: £293.43 

Mongrel

A mongrel is usually a mixture of three or more dog breeds. Mongrels aren’t intentionally bred like crossbreeds or pedigrees and because of this they have fewer inherited genetic health issues.

Average medium mongrel insurance cost: £356.13

How much will my pet insurance cost?

Pet insurance prices depend on a lot more than just the breed of your dog. Insurers also price your premium based on:

  • Your dog’s size
  • Its age
  • Your location
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions or behavioural problems your dog has
  • The type and level of cover you choose

.

Pet insurance is more expensive for pedigree dogs

Insurers price policies based on risk and unfortunately some breeds are susceptible to certain genetic illnesses.

That means the cost of insuring pedigrees is generally higher than insuring crossbreeds.

But pedigrees aren’t all expensive to insure. These are the five cheapest breeds to insure, according to our research:[2]

Pedigree dogs Average annual insurance cost
Chihuahua (smooth) £238.17
Shi-tzu £248.24
Pomeranian £255.66
Patterdale terrier £251.78
Toy poodle £254.53

And these are the five most expensive breeds to insure:

Pedigree dogs Average annual insurance cost
Japanese shiba inu £773.58
Dogue de Bordeaux £782.36
Mastiff £803.86
Bull mastiff £848.16
Cane cossos £924.09

 

Why are bulldogs so expensive to insure?

Bulldogs cost £655.46 on average to insure – which is quite high given their medium size.

It’s because the breed’s known for multiple genetic illnesses due to years of selective breeding for more ‘desirable’ traits, such as their short muzzles.

Many bulldog breeds now suffer from brachycephalic airway syndrome, eye problems, joint problems and skin conditions. Sadly, these tend to shorten their life expectancy, as well as increase the number of annual trips to the vets. 

Pet insurance is more expensive for large dogs

The most expensive and least expensive pedigree dogs to insure demonstrate how large, powerful dogs are more expensive to insure and small dog breeds seem to cost less for pet insurance.

In general, the bigger the dog, the more expensive they are to insure.

Annual cost of insurance for different sized dogs

Dog breed Typical weight Average insurance cost
Chihuahua (smooth) Up to 2.7kg £238
Cocker spaniel 13-14.5kg £315
Labrador 25-36kg £380
German shepherd 28-41kg £398
Bull mastiff 41-59kg £848

There are several reasons big dogs cost more to insure:

  • Third party claims – big dogs aren’t necessarily fiercer than smaller breeds, but they can do more damage to people, pets and property if there’s a fight or an incident, which pushes up their insurance cost. It’s also why some very powerful breeds, like mastiffs and cane corsos can cost a lot to insure.
  • Genetic conditions – breeds like German shepherds and Great Danes can have inherited medical problems with their hips and back, due to their large size and weight.
  • Veterinary costs – it costs more to treat larger animals. Surgeries are more expensive and they need larger doses of medication.

Are mongrels and crossbreeds cheaper to insure?

Our research shows that hardy cross breeds and mongrels can be cheaper to insure – but size seems to play a bigger part in the insurance cost than whether they’re a pedigree or not.

For example, a large mongrel costs much more to insure on average than a pedigree toy poodle.  

Average cost of insurance for different sized crossbreed dogs

In fact, crossbreeds are a good bet for cheaper insurance costs. It’s the combination of less risk of genetic conditions, without the ‘unknown’ factor that comes with a mongrel of totally uncertain combinations of genes. 

Save money on pet insurance – whatever the breed

You’ve probably fallen in love with a specific type of dog, whether it be large, small, pedigree or otherwise.

But it’s a good idea to think about ongoing costs for your dog, including pet insurance.

Make sure you research medical conditions that are common in your dog’s breed. It’ll help you decide on the type of cover your dog needs: accident only, time-limited, maximum benefit or lifetime

Most insurers won’t insure a pet for pre-existing conditions, but you may be able to find the right option through a specialist insurer. 

[1]All average pet insurance premiums sourced from Stickee Technology for policies purchased between 1 April-30 June 2021.

[2]Only breeds with 20+ policies purchased included. Crossbreeds included on ‘pedigree’ list e.g. cockapoo are not included.

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