You’d do anything for your pet, right? You walk them in the pouring rain. You clean up the messes they make on the carpet. You buy them Christmas gifts and birthday gifts. You even gave them their own Instagram account. So why wouldn’t you invest in some pet insurance to protect their health, too?
Pet insurance can give you a little extra peace of mind, no matter how often you end up actually taking your furry friend to the vet. Covering check-ups, emergencies, vaccinations, dental care and more, pet insurance can help alleviate some of those all-too-necessary costs that come with pet parenthood. Just like the health insurance you invest in for yourself, pet insurance keeps you covered, whatever ailments befall your pet throughout their life.
But, some pet insurance is better than others. Just as is the case with your own health insurance, some pet insurance only covers specific costs, some require hefty out-of-pocket fees, some have large deductibles, and some only covers emergencies.
To help you find the provider for your cat insurance, dog insurance or exotic pet insurance, here are the top 9 best pet insurance companies to consider.
Best for Pets with Pre-Existing Conditions: Embrace Pet Insurance
Unlike some of the newer pet insurance companies that don’t necessarily boast a long track record of client and pet care, Embrace Pet Insurance offers the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pet insurance provider has been in the game for nearly two decades.
Embrace offers a range of pet insurance plans to choose from, whether you want something to cover your pet’s comprehensive wellness or something that covers accidents and emergencies only. One great thing about Embrace is that it offers better coverage for pre-existing conditions than its competitors.
Several pet insurance providers do not cover pre-existing conditions (these are any conditions that arise or start before you’re fully enrolled in your pet insurance plan). However, Embrace will cover curable pre-existing conditions under certain conditions; if your pet can be “cured” of their pre-existing condition, which, according to the terms, means going symptom and treatment-free for a year, the condition can be covered.
Just about everything else can be covered under one of Embrace’s plans or add-on plans, too. The only items not covered are those that you likely (or hopefully) won’t come up against, such as injury or illness from animal cruelty.
Best for Frequently-Ill Animals: Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation
If you have a pet that seems to be constantly getting itself into trouble, then you may want to invest in a Healthy Paws insurance plan. The provider allows you to make unlimited claims with no cap on how much the plan will pay for your pet’s care.
The plan is more geared toward injuries and accidents. There’s no wellness or preventative coverage within the plan, so your routine vet visits for things like check-ups, as well as exam fees, won’t be covered, but if you find your pet frequently at the emergency vet or needing hospitalization, you’ll definitely see the plan’s value.
The plan covers accidents, illness coverage, prescriptions, emergency care, animal hospital stays, specialist care and surgeries — and it all starts at just $20 per month for dogs.
Just note this is not an ideal plan for senior pet enrollment. You may not see the full range of plan benefits if your pet is older than eight years old, and you won’t be able to sign up for coverage with Healthy Paws at all if your pet is older than 14 years old.
Best for Families with Multiple Pets: Pet Assure
If you have multiple pets in your home, purchasing individual insurance for all of them can get a little pricey. Luckily, Pet Assure offers a family plan, which covers up to four pets of any size or type, all for one fee, as well as an unlimited plan for all of the pets in your home (in case you have more than four running around). Pet Assure also offers plans for individual pets.
Compared to other providers, Pet Assure is relatively affordable in terms of the monthly fees, and there are no annual coverage limits or deductibles for you to pay — making this provider even more budget-friendly. However, do note that Pet Assure — while the company will cover as many vet visits as you need and you won’t pay an up-front deductible — will only cover 25% of the total vet bill each visit. Prescriptions are also not covered, but pre-existing conditions are.
The unlimited plan starts at only $22 per month.
Best for Easy Payment: Trupanion
When you go to the doctor, you usually just hand over your health insurance card and then the doctor’s office will bill your insurer directly. You pay your deductible before you leave, or you get a bill in the mail. Easy, right?
With a pet insurance policy, though, you usually find that the vet’s office doesn’t bill the insurance agency. Instead, you have to pay the vet upfront, file a claim yourself with the provider and then wait for your reimbursement, however much it ends up being.
If that sounds like a hassle to you, you may want to look into Trupanion, which offers direct vet payment without the need to file a claim.
There are no payout limits, and you have several plans to choose from, and the deductibles work on a per-condition basis.
Best for Bundled Insurance: Lemonade
Sure, some insurance providers will allow you to bundle your home and auto insurance, but if you ever wanted to bundle your pet insurance, too, you were probably out of luck. That is until Lemonade came along.
This newer, handy insurance company allows pet owners to bundle their homeowner, renter and pet health insurance altogether for more savings. Plus, the company is renowned for its customer service and ease of use, making it ideal for those pet parents who aren’t quite sure what they’re doing when it comes to shopping for pet health insurance.
Lemonade offers pet insurance covering both emergencies and illnesses and a routine wellness plan, and even the highest annual deductibles are pretty affordable, at $500.
Best for Alternative Care: Figo
Sometimes, your traditional veterinary care just can’t meet your pet’s needs, just like your traditional general practitioner can’t always help with your own health requirements. If you’ve been looking for alternative therapies for your pet but are worried about the costs, Figo could be the pet insurance provider for you.
Covering holistic and alternative treatments such as pet chiropractics and pet acupuncture, Figo’s insurance coverage provides a range of services that aren’t covered by other insurance providers (including cremation, when the time comes). Sure, it doesn’t cover routine care or offer wellness coverage, but you can get your wellness exams covered with a policy add-on.
Other perks include a social app for Figo customers; an app that helps you locate pet daycares, dog walkers, and pet-friendly activities in your area; and 24/7 access to vets.
Best for Dental Care: Petplan
If you’re in the market for a pet insurance plan that covers dental care, look to Petplan, which covers all kinds of dental care, including dental care for dental-related diseases, preventative care, injuries, chronic conditions and hereditary dental conditions.
Other perks include coverage for virtual vet visits and coverage for boarding, up to $1,000 in boarding costs. You can also purchase this plan for pets as young as six weeks old, which definitely can help you cut some costs if you’re worried about pre-existing conditions popping up later down the road or just during the waiting period.
Do note, with Petplan, though; the provider requires that, for coverage to apply, you must take your pet to a vet within 48 hours of any symptoms occurring.
Best for Older Pets: TrustedPals
TrustedPals is one of the few pet insurance providers that does not impose an age limit. That means, no matter your pet’s age, you can sign up for coverage.
TrustedPals also covers a few things that other providers might not, such as behavioral training and therapy, nutritional supplements, hydrotherapy and prescribed pet food.
Plans are available with $0 deductibles. The plans are also pretty flexible and customizable, so you can pick the monthly payments, benefits, deductible and reimbursement options that work best for your needs.
Best for Treatment on the Go: Spot Pet Insurance
While Spot Pet Insurance is a relatively new option, it offers a few unique perks. Plus, it’s endorsed by renowned dog whisperer Cesar Millan, who acts as the company’s chairman.
Spot is definitely one to consider if you need pet care on the go and you don’t have a home vet office. The provider allows you to visit any licensed veterinarian, emergency vet or pet specialist in the United States; it covers virtual vet visits; it covers mobile vet visits, and it provides its own virtual training services. So, wherever you and Fido are traveling, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find the care you need when you need it.
However, Spot does only cover dogs and pets; exotic animals are out of luck when it comes to coverage options.
How to Pick the Best Pet Insurance for Your Pet
There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when shopping for pet insurance.
What kind of pet insurance do you need?
As you likely realized as you perused the options above, there are several different types of pet insurance.
Accident and illness insurance (like that offered by Healthy Paws) is only suitable for emergency or unexpected vet visits. This insurance won’t cover your pet’s routine care or needs, such as vaccinations. This type of insurance can be further niched down to accident-only insurance, which only covers accidents but not illnesses.
Then, you can purchase general health insurance that covers those routine care visits and their associated needs, from vaccinations to flea and heartworm medications.
You can also find insurance plans that offer a combination of both types of coverage.
How much do you want to pay for your pet insurance?
Just like when shopping for your own health insurance, when you shop for your pet’s health insurance, you’ll have to make a choice: pay more upfront monthly but pay less in the event you actually use the insurance or pay less per month with a high deductible.
Deductibles usually start around $100 for pet health insurance and, the lower the deductible, the higher your monthly cost.
Beyond the deductible that you have to pay before your pet insurance begins covering costs, many pet insurance providers likewise put a cap on how much they’ll pay to cover your pet’s vet bills. Some put the cap as low as $5,000 per year. However, with some providers, you can pay more in the form of your monthly payment to get an unlimited plan that will cover all your vet bills once the deductible is paid.
Other factors that will influence your pet insurance costs include animal species and breed. Exotic animals are usually the cheapest to insure, followed by cats and then dogs. Some dog breeds will incur extra costs, such as breeds that are known for health problems, such as Shar Pei’s or certain large breeds. Additionally, some pet insurance providers charge more to insure an older dog.
Pet Insurance is an Investment Worth Making
Sure, pet insurance is an additional monthly bill, but when you’re staring at vet fees that stretch into the thousands, you’ll be glad you made the investment in your pet’s health care coverage now, rather than waiting. You never want to be left in the awful situation of not being able to afford your pet’s needed care, and pet insurance can make sure that never happens.
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