How dog breeds affect pet insurance prices

Some breeds of dog cost more than others to insure. We've investigated the prices you can expect to pay for popular pedigree breeds, as well as mongrels and crossbreeds of all shapes and sizes.

Updated 13 October 2020  | 5 min read

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


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


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. 


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.

What determines the cost of pet insurance?

There are a number of factors that affect the cost of pet insurance, including:

  • The type of breed
  • The size of pet
  • Your pet’s age
  • Your location
  • If your animal has any pre-existing conditions
  • The level of cover you want

Pedigree dogs are more expensive to insure

Generally, pedigrees have more genetic illnesses compared to crossbreeds, which impacts their cost. The more health issues a certain breed has, the more they usually cost to insure. 

Here’s a breakdown of some popular pedigrees and their average annual insurance price:*

Pedigree dogs Annual insurance cost
French bulldog £677.23
Bulldog £607.07
German shepherd (Alsatian) £377.65
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel £370.45
Beagle £249.60


Why are bulldogs so expensive to insure?

According to our data at GoCompare, a French bulldog will cost £428 more per year to insure than a Beagle.

Bulldogs suffer from multiple illnesses due to years of selective breeding for more ‘desirable’ traits, such as their short muzzles. 

As a result, many bulldog breeds now suffer from brachycephalic airway syndrome, eye problems, joint problems and skin conditions. These tend to shorten their life expectancy, as well as increase the number of annual trips to the vets. 

Are mongrels and crossbreeds cheaper to insure?

Not necessarily. A large crossbreed or mongrel can cost over £400 per year to insure - which is more than a pedigree German shepherd.  

Average cost of insurance for different sized crossbreed dogs

If you think that getting a mongrel will definitely save you money on insurance, think again. A small mongrel costs an average of £257 to insure every year, which is a little more than the cost to insure a beagle, at £249. 

Annual cost of insurance for different sized mongrels

Size of dog vs cost

As established above, larger cross breeds and mongrels can cost just as much to insure as certain pedigrees. In general, the bigger the dog, the more expensive they are to insure.

Size of dog vs cost of pet insurance

English mastiff St Bernard Great Dane Dalmatian Siberian husky
£763.39 £731.49 £721.94 £437.36 £416.05

Larger dogs cost more to insure for a number of reasons. 

English bull mastiffs, for example, suffer from a number of genetic issues due to their large size and years of inbreeding for desirable traits. They’re often classed as high risk for illnesses such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, entropion, gastric issues and panosteitis (a bone disorder found in large dog breeds). 

Larger dogs also tend to have shorter life expectancy. Some larger breeds such as Dalmatians, huskies and Great Danes are very energetic, so might be at greater risk of injuring themselves over their lifetime. 

When treating a large dog, surgery can cost up to twice as much and they’ll need higher doses of medication. 

How to save money when insuring a dog

Many people will fall in love with a specific type of dog, whether it be a specific breed, large or small. 

To save money when comparing pet insurance, it’s recommended that you check out what medical conditions your pet could develop - this will help you determine the level of cover your dog needs, such as 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. 

*All data in this article has been sourced from Stickee Technology and was taken from June 2019-June 2020.

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