Hospital bills can get pretty expensive and you never know when accidents happen. If you’re a pet owner, then your pet will probably need insurance as a “just in case” when they need to go to a vet or have an unexpected injury.
I have three dogs at home: Sony, Nike, and Kappa (I know, we have three famous brand names in our home). While they are a lovely addition to the family, it can be expensive taking care of them. For one thing, they need annual heartworm preventative treatments and need to be vaccinated once in a while. Nike also got in an accident once, which required one week of being given pain killers and other medicine to help her recover. For that week, we paid close to $200 a day for her medical expenses! While we could afford to pay her expenses, many people can’t pay such a large, unexpected amount. Well, pet insurance is one solution to not having to pay expensive medical bills for your pet.
I have compiled ten best pet insurance companies for you to choose from. After all, we are all trying to keep our pets happy and healthy without going broke from unexpected pet-related expenses.
Best Pet Insurance Companies
- Pet Assure
- Healthy Paws
- PetFirst Pet Insurance
- Progressive Pet Insurance
- Trupanion Pet Insurance
Depending on your plan, Embrace can reimburse up to 90% on your vet bills. You can choose a policy that protects you and your pet from unexpected expenses or covers routine check-ups and vaccines. Additionally, you have the option of combining these two policies into one coverage.
The great thing about Embrace is that they let you choose your own vet without worrying about staying within a certain network of providers. Similarly, you can pick your own specialist and emergency room without needing to stay within a network.
Embrace also covers a large number of vet services as well. If you want a personalized and/or flexible plan that fits your budget and pet, come to Embrace to get it.
With Embrace, there are no claim deductible discounts. Vet exam fees and behavioral therapy fees for your pet are also covered. Once you sign up, your pet’s medical exams are covered after a waiting period.
You can read any article about the best pet insurance policies out there and almost all of them would include Nationwide. Why? Because Nationwide has one of the best programs to cover pets’ wellness or medical policies, or a combination of both in their Whole Pet policy. Alternatively, pet owners can build their own insurance policy by mixing up features from different plans.
Some features Nationwide offer include:
- Covering pets’ new chronic condition at no extra cost
- Offering a variety of coverage options pet owners can choose from
- Having flexible plans and reimbursements
- Offering insurance policies for exotic pets such as snakes, rats, or birds
Nationwide includes insurance plans for pets that have hereditary conditions as well as accidents and unforeseeable illnesses. With Nationwide’s policy, you can either get reimbursed as a percentage of the amount you pay or as a fixed amount/deductible which would be capped.
Nationwide’s plan named Whole Pet with Wellness reimburses up to 90% of your vet bills. There is a $250 annual deductible with unlimited annual benefits. This plan only costs $114.05/month, making it fairly affordable for many pet owners. The most basic plan covers accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions with a $250 annual deductible. This plan is fairly affordable, costing only $56.39 per month.
If you have more than one pet you would like to buy insurance for, you can save 5% by insuring another pet.
Figo’s pet insurance covers accidents, injury, or illness – similar to the last two policies, you can combine two or more of these features to make your own customized plan that fits your budget and your pet’s needs. There are other options to choose from, including different annual limits, annual deductibles, and monthly payments.
Unfortunately, Figo Pet Insurance doesn’t include wellness and routine procedures like vaccinations. Regardless, Figo is still a great option for pet parents who want to access pet insurance, especially millennials who need a flexible customized pet insurance plan.
In prior to writing further about Pet Assure, I will first mention that it is a veterinary discount plan instead of an insurance policy. After enrolling your pet in a Pet Assure plan, either through your employer or as an individual pet owner, you will get a discount card that gives you 25% discount each time you visit a participating vet.
Here is why Pet Assure is on this list: it is simpler to use compared to insurance; there are no procedures that are excluded, no annual limits cap your benefits, and no claims to be filed. All kinds of animals, regardless of age, are accepted, thus those who own exotic pets can be sure their pets will receive a discount as well.
Since it is not insurance, Pet Assure can do a variety of great things: have a 45-day money-back guarantee, having no waiting period before you can use the discount, and covering all services and procedures, including pre-existing conditions.
Beware, however, that Pet Assure is regulated by state since it’s not insurance. Consult with a Pet Assure representative to learn about the regulations in your specific state.
Healthy Paws is a good pet insurance option due to its great overall value. The insurance company, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation, offers monthly premiums as low as $20 for dogs and $10 for cats, a steal compared to other insurance policies’ premiums.
There are four annual deductibles offers: $100, $250, $500, or $750. There are no caps or yearly limits on any of Healthy Paws’ plans. After you have met the deductible, all policy-covered incidents for the rest of the year will be covered. Additionally, there are no limits on any plan; after you have paid your deductible, Healthy Paws will cover the rest of your pet’s expenses until the year ends. This means there are no limits on per-incident expenses and annual or lifetime caps on payouts.
Healthy Paws’ policies can cover up to 90% of your pet’s expenses. The claim processing is often fast, taking only two days. While Healthy Paws does not offer a wellness plan, they cover alternative care that include hereditary or congenital conditions. Regardless, Healthy Paws is a great unlimited plan for those who have pets that require many vet visits a year.
ASPCA’s plans are excellent for pet parents who frequently travel out of state with their pets. ASPCA’s policies provide medical or wellness coverage with no network requirements and no extra charges if you visit a vet who is out-of-state. Maybe because of this, ASPCA got an A in rating from A.M. Best for their insurance offers for dogs and cats. For those who wonder what A.M. Best is, they are a rating agency that rates a variety of industries including pet insurance based on how much the pet insurance cover and the overall quality of the coverage.
Depending on your specific plan, you can adjust annual spending caps or select an unlimited expense plan. You can set your own deductible as well, ranging anywhere from $100 to $500. While unlimited expense plans are more expensive, they are better if your pet needs many trips to the vet a year.
ASPCA is also a great insurance policy for pet owners who have multiple pets. With ASPCA’s plans, you can list all of your pets under one policy and receive a 10% discount offer. This means there is only one premium for all of your pets!
The Complete Coverage insurance policy covers accidents, illnesses, hereditary conditions, and behavioral issues for all of the pets listed under the policy. Moreover, you can add preventative care such as vaccines and heartworm treatment onto the base plan.
PetFirst Pet Insurance
PetFirst is a great insurance policy for pets’ routine care. While some insurance policies won’t cover routine care such as vaccinations, dental care, and preventative treatments, PetFirst does so with a coverage that can be applied at any vet, specialist, or emergency clinic in the U.S.
There are five routine care options to add onto your policy. Depending on what options you pick, your plan will include some combination of routine examinations, vaccinations, dental care, microchipping, preventative treatment for parasites, spaying and/or neutering, and behavioral training.
You do not need a medical exam to activate care coverage, which begins after only 24 hours! Moreover, PetFirst is known for its top-notch customer service.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not accept dogs that are over a certain age, often the age of 12, or have similar restriction for cats’ insurance policies. Yet, older pets are the ones needing insurance the most as they are more likely to need vet care. The good news is, with PetsBest, you don’t have to worry about your pets’ ages when applying for pet insurance. While rates do go up depending on your pet’s age, you can be sure your pet will be insured regardless of their age.
PetsBest’s plans cover emergencies, illnesses, and other situations that your pet may encounter such as cancer. You can also add a wellness plan onto your policy which covers routine care such as vaccinations or dental care.
With a deductible ranging from $0 to $1,000 and 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement, you can find the plan that works best for you. While you can go for accident coverage only if you’re on a tight budget, this will not cover treatment for illnesses. The accident and illness plan offers more coverages such as examination and physical rehabilitation.
If you have a PetsBest plan, you can be sure to reach a customer representative anytime as they have a 24/7 pet helpline.
Progressive Pet Insurance
Progressive has three packages: BestBenefit Accident and Illness, Accident Only, and Wellness Care plan. You can either choose a comprehensive plan that covers both accident and illness, or only opt for either the Accident Only or the Wellness Care if you’re on a tighter budget.
The Accident Only plan is inexpensive and can save you money if your pet has an accidental injury and/or needs surgery. However, this plan doesn’t cover preventative care or vet visits.
The Wellness Care plan covers routine check-ups, some diagnostic tests, and most vaccinations. However, it doesn’t pay for accidental illnesses and injuries.
If you want to “just be safe”, you can opt for the Best Benefit Accident and Illness plan, which covers both accidents and routine care, ranging from skin conditions to serious diagnoses like diabetes or cancer. Of course, the premium is higher on this plan, but it is a comprehensive plan that covers most medical expenses your pet can potentially incur.
Progressive’s plans have deductibles anywhere from $50 to $1,000. Your claims will be handled by the company Pets Best instead of Progressive. However, overall, Pets Best has an A+ A.M. Best rating for pet insurance.
Trupanion Pet Insurance
Hereditary conditions for many dogs and are potentially expensive, such as hip dysplasia found in many large dogs. However, Trupanion will cover hereditary conditions even if they were not noticed or diagnosed in prior to the beginning of your policy.
What’s special about Trupanion’s policies is that they have a “per-condition” deductible instead of yearly deductible. This means that after meeting a deductible on a condition, it won’t reset over the life of your pet. Trupanion also pays claims directly to your vet or hospital, which means you don’t need to fill out forms and don’t have to pay expensive bills upfront.
After enrolling your pet on an insurance policy, you can add one of two additional packages: Recovery and Complementary Care, which covers nonclinical procedures such acupuncture and physical therapy, or the Pet Owner Assistance package, which covers the cost of things that are not vet bills, including advertising and giving rewards for lost pets.
Given all of these wonderful services, Trupanion is still fairly affordable with a monthly premium of $59 for dogs and $32 for cats.
How Does Pet Insurance Work and Is It Expensive?
Pet insurance works similarly to a person’s health insurance: you pay a monthly premium and when medical costs come up, you can rely on your insurance to pay for a part of those vet bills. Pet insurance can be expensive or affordable, depending on many factors: how old your pet is, whether it has any hereditary illnesses or preexisting conditions, and what kind of pet it is.
Insurance for cats is often the cheapest, and insurance for exotic animals might or might not be expensive depending on the regulations associated with keeping exotic animals as pets. Insurance for dogs is more expensive than cats most of the time, although not by much. Generally, the older your pet is, the higher the monthly premium will be.
Is It Worth It to Get Pet Insurance?
The question of whether it’s worth it to get pet insurance really comes down to your ability to cover unexpected expenses you might incur if your pet gets sick or gets into an accident. It’s the same reason people get health insurance: so they don’t go into debt if they get ill or sick.
When people can’t afford veterinary care for their pets, sometimes they drop their pets in shelters, and that is a very sad thing to see. Thus, if you think you don’t have a few thousand of dollars available in case your pet has a health concern or gets in an accident, it might be worthwhile to buy pet insurance.
If you either can’t afford insurance or don’t think it’s necessary but still want to avoid paying large bills when your pet gets sick, needs surgery, or when preexisting conditions take a wrong turn, you can always opt for catastrophic plans. Many pet insurance companies in my list of recommendation offer this option, including Nationwide, Pets Best, Healthy Paws, Embrace. Some accident-only plans may cost as little as $20 a month and could save you $1,000 or more if your pet gets in an accident.
You can always go without an insurance plan for your pet, providing that you don’t foresee unexpected expenses outside of routine care and can afford unexpected pet-related expenses when they come up. The few vet visits a year to check up on your pet will probably not leave you in debt and you can always plan ahead for them. However, even if you only take your pets to the vet for routine care like vaccinations, if you take many preventative measures to ensure your pet is healthy and happy, you might still see value in having a pet insurance policy that helps you pay for routine care expenses.
Don’t Wait to Get Pet Insurance
Most people will agree that the earlier you buy insurance for your pet, the better (some companies will have an age-restriction for pets that are too young for too old, so make sure you do your research beforehand). If you’re adopting a pet, chances are the shelter already has great offers or recommendations just waiting for you to ask.
As your pet gets older, they are more likely to need insurance, similar to humans getting older. However, many companies don’t want to provide coverage for older pets and others don’t cover preexisting conditions. This is an unfortunate fact as it makes it harder for pet owners to secure affordable and good coverage for them.
Companies like Pets Best and Nationwide on our list provide insurance even for older pets. While chances are your premium will be higher the older your pets are, you can still rest assured that your pets’ vet expenses are covered when they need it the most.
How to Find the Right Plan for Your Pet
In order to find the right insurance policy for your pet, you will need to consider the pet’s age, medical history, breed, and preexisting conditions. For example, if you get a pure bred German Shepherd dog, you might want to look up the dog’s parents’ medical record to see if there are any hereditary illnesses that can potentially affect your dog. Moreover, research about health problems German Shepherds often get, such as hip dysplasia.
If your pet has been sick, you might want to find out if that illness is a symptom of a preexisting condition and whether it will be covered.
If you pet has many preexisting conditions or hereditary illnesses, you might want an insurance plan that covers these. On the other hand, if your pet has parents that have relatively few health issues and the breed does not have many serious illnesses to worry about, then you might want to opt for accident-only or routine care options. The bottom line is, make sure you’re paying for only what you need.
If you have an exotic pet, check with the state’s regulations as to whether you need a vet to be assigned to your exotic pet or not and which insurance policy will cover the costs of taking care of an exotic pet. Nationwide and Pet Assure are two insurance companies on the list that provide coverage for exotic pets.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It for Indoor Pets?
Pets who primarily stay indoors, such as cats, are at a lower risk of getting into accidents. Thus, the pet might be less exposed to danger, injuries, and infections. Because of this, if you have an indoor pet like a cat, you might wonder whether it’s worth it to get your cat on an insurance plan. After all, they just lounge around the house all day, yawn, eat, and do other cat things (I’ve had several cats before; I know how inactive they can be).
While you probably don’t see the need for to get insurance for your indoor pet due to the lower risk of exposure to danger, especially if you have a young and healthy pet, and you might actually not need one. That’s fine too. However, sometimes illnesses that are genetic or breed-specific do not show until the pet is older.
So, you might say, “I’ll just get insurance when the pet is older”. Of course you can do that, even though it might be harder to find a company that will accept older pets (I know, dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating sometimes). Additionally, it can be much more expensive to get insurance for a pet when he or she is older. You will also need to save up some money for “emergency” expenses – your pet might still get injured even if it stays indoors most of the time.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that while the choice whether to get pet insurance is up to you, and your pet might actually not need an insurance plan, it is still highly recommended that you enroll your pet in an insurance plan to cover expenses that come from accidents, hereditary conditions, illnesses, and other medical conditions. Depending on your budget and your pet’s needs, you can opt for accident-only plans, routine care plans, or a combination of both. If you decide to get an insurance plan for your pet, be sure to do your research first, read other people’s reviews about the insurance company to make sure it is reliable, and compare prices and benefits across different plans to find the best overall plan. I hope you and your pet will always stay happy and healthy.