Pet Insurance

Best Pet Insurance Companies In July 2024: Reviews, Pros, Cons, Personal Experience, FAQs & Discounts

50

Last Updated: July 12, 2024 | 38 min read | 143 Comments

This content was reviewed by our licensed insurance agent, Michelle Schenker.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Here’s how it works.

I’ve ranked the 11 best pet insurance companies in 2024 according to their suitability for each situation. Based on Canine Journal’s evaluation and inspection of price, coverage, customer service and reputation, claim processing, plan customizations, and more, the rankings are earned.

My team and I extensively review the pet insurance industry’s most reputable companies, research, and analyze customer feedback. Our licensed insurance agent fact-checks everything. I update our coverage throughout the year as providers change their policies, premiums, payout limits, reimbursements, customer service experience, and more. Who are the best pet insurance companies this year? Let’s find out.

Pet Insurance RankingCompanyReview
Best Overallpets best logo 250 transparentRead Review
Best For Puppies & Kittensfetch logo 250 transparentRead Review
Best Unlimited Payoutshealthy paws logo 250 transparentRead Review
Best Valuefigo logo 250 transparentRead Review
Best Coverageembrace logo transparent 200 pngRead Review
Most Affordablelemonade logo 250 transparentRead Review
Best Vet Direct Paytrupanion logo 250 transparentRead Review
Best For Pre-Existing ConditionsAKC pet insurance logo transparent 250Read Review
Best Accident-Only Planaspca logo 250 transparentRead Review
Best For Customizable Plansspot logo 250 transparentRead Review
Best For Exotic Petsnationwide logo 250 transparentRead Review

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • According to my analysis of 45 companies, the top pet insurance providers are Pets Best, Fetch, Healthy Paws, Figo, Embrace, Lemonade, Trupanion, AKC Pet Insurance, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, Spot, and Nationwide. Each company offers unique value, which may influence your decision to choose one over another.
  • When selecting the best pet insurance policy, prioritize based on your budget, your pet’s breed’s predisposed health conditions, and the insurer’s coverage for those issues.
  • Before making a decision, compare at least three pet insurance quotes. Insurance premiums can vary significantly, and higher premiums do not necessarily equate to better coverage.
  • For personalized assistance, please reach out in our comments or forums. Share your pet’s information (breed, age, pre-existing conditions), and our team will help guide you toward the best pet insurance company for your unique needs.

Best Pet Insurance Winners

Who wins the top categories this year? Below, I highlight a brief snapshot of each company, including plan options, waiting periods, age restrictions, discounts, pros and cons, and more. You should get pet insurance pricing estimates and compare rates from at least three companies, and read my in-depth reviews of those you are interested in.

Best Overall: Pets Best Review

Pets Best offers extensive coverage at an affordable price on average compared to the competition. Its plans are completely customizable. You can include the coverage you want, including exam fees, acupuncture, rehab, and chiropractic care. There are no upper age limits, so even if you adopt a senior dog or decide you want coverage for your pet when they’re older, you won’t be limited in your coverage options.

Pets Best also administers policies through Farmers Insurance, PEMCO, and Progressive.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness, accident-only, wellness add-on
Payout Limits$5,000, unlimited
Deductibles$50, $100, $200, $250, $500, $1,000
Reimbursement Levels70%, 80%, 90%
Waiting Periods14 days for illnesses, 3 days for accidents, 6 months for CCL injuries
Average Claim Processing18-30 days
Age RestrictionsAt least 7 weeks old
Discounts5% off for multiple pets; 5% off for military members and their families

What Pets Best Customers Are Saying

Pets Best has over 750,000 pets insured. Policyholders highly rate Pets Best’s user-friendly app, stating how simple it is to file claims. However, customers complain of long reimbursement timelines, which are around a month for some. Although most are happy with their policy’s coverage and appreciate the discounts offered for multi-pet households and military families.

Sadie Cornelius, Canine Journal’s graphic designer and pet parent to Georgie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, chose Pets Best to insure her dog. Here’s her experience with the provider over the past few years.

When my dog, Georgie, was two years old, I enrolled him with Pets Best due to its reputation and competitive rates. It didn’t take long for Pets Best to prove its worth. Within the first year, Georgie contracted kennel cough, requiring a visit to the emergency room for bloodwork, tests, and prescription medications. This unexpected emergency quickly reached my annual deductible.

During his yearly checkup, the vet detected a heart murmur in Georgie, leading to a visit with a cardiologist and an echocardiogram. Shortly after, his anal glands ruptured, requiring another trip to the ER. Weeks later, he had stomach issues, leading to his third ER visit in less than a year. Finally, he needed a 6-month follow-up for his heart murmur. Georgie’s vet bills amounted to $4,588 in the first policy period. Pets Best reimbursed $2,595 after the deductible was met, resulting in significant cost savings for me.

ProsCons
Customize your plan to fit your budget and needs with different deductible, reimbursement, and payout optionsLonger than average claim processing averages (18-30 days)
May have option for Pets Best to pay your vet directly to avoid waiting for reimbursementExcludes alternative therapy
Accident-only plan is available 
Optional wellness plans are available as a rider 
Shorter than average waiting periods (3 days for accidents and 14 days for hip dysplasia) 
Consistently among the lowest prices 
Can upgrade coverage to include exam fees, acupuncture, rehab, and chiropractic care

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost From Pets Best?

Below are monthly premiums for Pets Best’s Essential plan, which covers accidents and ailments. The plan has a $500 deductible, $5,000 annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement for 25 sample pets.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$94.20$29.07$85.63$37.49$24.81
1 Year Old in New York$53.70$19.12$53.70$24.66$14.37
2 Year Old in Florida$44.17$20.97$57.81$21.89$16.50
5 Year Old in Texas$100.76$25.53$100.77$26.66$28.38
8 Year Old in New Jersey$80.89$44.36$182.98$58.11$39.49

Typically, the younger a pet is enrolled, the lower the premium. However, a younger Frenchie from California is more expensive than older Frenchies in NY, FL, and NJ. This pricing difference is likely due to California’s high cost of living, health issues incurred by Frenchies in the state, breed popularity, and other underwriter restrictions for California policies.

Additionally, of the sample pets I ran costs for all the companies in this article, Pets Best was the least expensive for one- and eight-year-olds in the northeast. This includes the following sample dogs: a one-year-old Frenchie and English Bulldog in NY, an eight-year-old French Bulldog in NJ, a one-year-old Dachshund in NY, an eight-year-old Doxie in NJ, and a one-year-old Yorkie in NY.

Premiums can vary drastically based on breed, age, and location. This is why it’s crucial to get a quote for your pet to know what pet insurance could cost you.

In-Depth Review Of Pets Best

Read my complete review of Pets Best to learn more about this insurer, including its coverage, reimbursement process, FAQs, and more. My review also includes more details about Sadie’s experience with Pets Best, including why she chose it, the signup process, claims experiences, and why she decided to renew Georgie’s policy.

Best For Puppies & Kittens: Fetch Review

Fetch is the best pet insurance for young pets because it offers coverage as young as six weeks, while you must wait until eight weeks with most competitors. One unique feature of Fetch policies is its VirtualVet visit coverage. You can cover up to $1,000 in virtual vet visits over video chat, call, or text. Fetch also covers many conditions listed as exclusions by other insurers, such as alternative therapies and exam fees, without requiring extra fees.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness, wellness add-on
Payout Limits$5,000, $10,000, $15,000
Deductibles$250, $300, $400, $500, $700
Reimbursement Levels70%, 80%, 90%
Waiting Periods15 days for illnesses and accidents, 6 months for CCL injuries and hip dysplasia
Average Claim Processing5-6 days
Age LimitationsAt least 6 weeks old
DiscountsUp to 10% off for animal shelter adoptees and employees, corporate benefit plans, medical services pets, strategic partners, military, veterinary staff, and students; 10% off premiums for Walmart shoppers; Save $25 or more when you pay quarterly or annually; 10% off for AARP members for life

What Fetch Customers Are Saying

Fetch insures over 390,000 cats and dogs. Its user-friendly app is one of the highest rated by customers. Unfortunately, policyholders complain that Fetch adjusts policies at renewal, including the annual coverage limits, co-pay (out-of-pocket expense), deductible, and premium without authorization. However, there are many positive reviews regarding prompt reimbursement.

ProsCons
Customize your plan to fit your budget and needs with different deductible, reimbursement, and payout optionsCan’t have Fetch pay your vet directly to avoid waiting for reimbursement
Behavioral therapies, alternative/holistic therapies, C-sections, sick visit exam fees, and gum disease are included in coverageNo accident-only plan is available
Optional wellness plans are available as extrasLonger than average accident waiting period (15 days)

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost From Fetch?

Fetch reports on their website that the typical dog owner who insures their canine through them spends $35 monthly, while cat owners pay $20. This is much lower than the average premiums reported by NAPHIA. I gathered monthly premiums for 25 sample pets with a $500 deductible, $5,000 annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement from Fetch below.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$70.52$37.26$78.13$40.08$19.51*
1 Year Old in New York$65.02$32.40$76.00$29.15$23.75*
2 Year Old in Florida$79.23$33.71$79.23$35.06$22.55*
5 Year Old in Texas$115.86$36.46$85.90$32.87$21.66*
8 Year Old in New Jersey$231.42$93.12$231.42$83.08$51.98*
*A $500 deductible wasn’t available, so a $400 deductible was chosen

Interestingly, you may notice instances in the table above where a younger pet is more expensive to insure than an older pet of the same breed but in a different location. This is true for six-month-old Frenchies, Yorkies, Bulldogs, and Doxies in CA, which are all more expensive to insure than one-year-olds in NY.

This is why getting a price for your pet is so important. You can get a custom quote for your pet using Fetch’s form below.

In-Depth Review Of Fetch

Read my complete review of Fetch to learn more about its coverage, FAQs, and more. I also share how the claims process works and how reimbursement is determined.

Best Unlimited Payouts: Healthy Paws Review

Healthy Paws has unlimited annual and lifetime coverage for all plans, so you never have to worry about hitting a maximum limit, and you can always expect reimbursement from eligible claims after you’ve hit your deductible. In turn, economic euthanasia is reduced because pet owners aren’t choosing between a life-saving procedure for their pet and their wallets. Healthy Paws also has some of the lowest prices for unlimited payout pet insurance plans compared to other providers.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness
Payout LimitsUnlimited
Deductibles$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000
Reimbursement Levels50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%
Waiting Periods15 days for illnesses and accidents, 12 months for hip dysplasia
Average Claim Processing2 days
Age LimitationsAt least 8 weeks old and no older than 14 years old*
DiscountsUse this link to take advantage of the best possible price
*Must be enrolled before four years old in NY; enrollment after six years old has plan restrictions & no hip dysplasia coverage (MD doesn’t have this age limitation for hip dysplasia coverage).

What Healthy Paws Customers Are Saying

Healthy Paws’ list of customers is steadily growing, with over 625,000 pets insured. Android users complain about the clunky app, while iOS users have many positive reviews. Unfortunately, I’ve read many complaints of high premium increases as pets age. However, Healthy Paws’ customer support team is highly present online, responding to policyholders’ issues and resolving them one-on-one.

ProsCons
May have an option for Healthy Paws to pay your vet directly and avoid waiting for reimbursementLimited customization options based on your pet’s age
Shorter than average CCL surgery waiting period (15 days) No accident-only plan is available
Shorter than average claim processing (2 days)Not enrolling pets older than 14 years old
Unlimited payouts for all plansExcludes alternative therapies, exam fees, and gum disease
Longer hip dysplasia waiting periods than average (12 months) and pets enrolled after age 6 are ineligible for hip dysplasia coverage (MD doesn’t have this age limitation)
Longer than average accident waiting period (15 days)

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost From Healthy Paws?

Below are monthly premiums for Healthy Paws with a $500 deductible, unlimited annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement for 25 sample pets. Healthy Paws has plan customization restrictions for pets enrolled at older ages, so a 90% reimbursement option wasn’t always available. In these instances, I noted the differences.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$114.20*$32.68$114.20*$38.90*$23.23
1 Year Old in New York$75.54*$22.79$75.54*$31.92*$15.83
2 Year Old in Florida$62.42$40.89$62.42$36.76*$24.15
5 Year Old in Texas$130.99*$33.18$132.09*$40.76*$22.32
8 Year Old in New Jersey$188.50$43.39$188.50$64.65$31.89
*70% was the highest reimbursement percentage option
†50% reimbursement and $1,000 deductible was the only option
‡80% was the highest reimbursement percentage option

You can see a big difference in how much it can cost to insure a five-year-old pet in Texas through Healthy Paws. Yorkies, Dachshunds, and Ragdolls are much more affordable to insure than French and English Bulldogs. This is why you must get a quote for your pet to see what Healthy Paws pet insurance could cost you.

In-Depth Review Of Healthy Paws

Read my complete review of Healthy Paws to learn more about this provider, including key features, coverage and restrictions, reimbursement process, FAQs, and more. I also share the most common claims submitted to Healthy Paws and the high vet bills for the conditions.

Best Value: Figo Review

Figo offers extensive coverage, low pricing, excellent customer service, and fast claim processing (averages three days). Its plans are customizable, with several options for your budget and coverage needs. Plus, it offers coverage for conditions sometimes excluded by other providers, such as alternative therapies. There are no upper age limits, and it’s one of the only insurers to offer a 100% reimbursement option. For all of these reasons, I chose Figo to insure my dog.

Figo also administers policies through Costco.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness, wellness add-on
Payout Limits$5,000, $10,000, unlimited
Deductibles$100, $250, $500, $750
Reimbursement Levels70%, 80%, 90%, 100%
Waiting Periods14 days for illnesses, 1 day for accidents, 6 months for CCL injuries, hip dysplasia, and orthopedic conditions
Average Claim Processing3 days
Age LimitationsAt least 8 weeks old
Discounts5% off any new policy (exclusive for Canine Journal readers – use this link); 5% off for multiple pets; Your deductible automatically goes down $50 each year you don’t receive a claim payment

What Figo Customers Are Saying

Figo customers highly rate the user-friendly Pet Cloud app. I can attest to this as I have used the app many times to file claims and check their status. I’ve read many complaints from policyholders stating Figo claims health conditions as pre-existing when they aren’t. I haven’t had this experience myself. Overall, there are many positive reviews regarding Figo’s responsive customer support.

I chose Figo to insure my Coonhound mix, Sally, because it offered competitive pricing without compromising coverage. I added optional power-ups for exam fee coverage and preventive care. My plan has an 80% reimbursement, a $500 deductible, and a $5,000 payout limit. I had to file three claims within the first four months, hitting my annual deductible. Figo’s claim process through the app is seamless, taking less than 5 minutes. They keep me informed and promptly send explanations of benefits followed by quick reimbursements. Figo has provided me with peace of mind and assurance for Sally’s health without financial worry.

ProsCons
Customize your plan to fit your budget and needs with different deductible, reimbursement, and payout optionsCan’t have Figo pay your vet directly to avoid waiting for reimbursement
Optional wellness plans are available as a riderNo accident-only plan is available
Shorter than average accident waiting period (1 day)
Consistently among the lowest prices
Shorter than average claim processing (3 days)
Alternative therapies and C-sections are included in coverage
Diminishing deductible for each year a policyholder is claim-free, decreasing by $50 until it is $0

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost From Figo?

Below are monthly premiums for Figo’s Essential plan, which covers sicknesses and accidents. It has a $500 deductible, $5,000 annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement for 25 sample pets.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$80.78$34.89$97.31$34.32$34.00
1 Year Old in New York$82.47$28.32$95.98$28.97$20.96
2 Year Old in Florida$53.82$22.64$76.69$23.15$17.66
5 Year Old in Texas$87.24$29.31$103.61$30.14$18.01
8 Year Old in New Jersey$193.07$86.89$242.38$85.50$57.67

In the sample pets I ran, Frenchies and English Bulldogs are more expensive than Yorkies and Doxies through Figo. However, this doesn’t guarantee your dog’s cost would be similar. This is why getting a price for your pet is so important. You can get a custom quote for your pet using Figo’s form below.

In-Depth Review Of Figo

Read my review of Figo to learn more about this provider and its coverage, reimbursement process, FAQs, and more about my personal experience. I share my reimbursement experience, how my Figo pricing compared to other providers, and a photo of Figo’s explanation of benefits for my claim submission.

Best Coverage: Embrace Review

Embrace has the most comprehensive coverage for accidents and illnesses, including $1,000 yearly for dental illness coverage. Embrace has the most extensive dental coverage, including coverage for tooth extractions regardless of whether an accident or illness causes the need and endodontic disease for all teeth. Embrace maintains coverage for conditions that some insurers exclude from their policies (i.e., behavioral therapy and training coverage for anxious, aggressive, or destructive dogs).

Embrace also administers policies through Allstate, American Family, Geico, and USAA.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness, accident-only, wellness add-on
Payout Limits$5,000, $8,000, $10,000, $15,000, unlimited
Deductibles$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000
Reimbursement Levels70%, 80%, 90%
Waiting Periods14 days for illnesses, 2 days for accidents, 6 months for CCL injuries, hip dysplasia, IVDD, and patellar luxation
Average Claim Processing5 days
Age LimitationsAt least 6 weeks old and no older than 14 years old for illness coverage*
Discounts10% off (5% off in NY) for multiple pets; 5% off for military and veterans (NY and TN excluded); 10% off if your company or clinic offers Embrace as an employee benefit (FL, ND, NY, and TN excluded); 5% off in NY if you pay annually; Up to 25% off for eligible USAA customers; Your deductible automatically goes down $50 each year you don’t receive a claim payment
*Restricted to accident coverage (illnesses excluded) if you enroll your dog after their 15th birthday

What Embrace Customers Are Saying

Embrace has more than 500,000 pets insured. Customers rave about its user-friendly app and highly rate it on Google Play and App Store. However, policyholders complain about Embrace’s high costs and increases at policy renewal. Overall, people are thrilled with their coverage, stating it’s very reliable and appreciate that the Wellness Rewards can cover a larger variety of items, including cremation, burial, acupuncture, massage, prescription food, grooming, chiropractic care, training classes, and more.

Sadie Cornelius used Embrace to insure her late Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lexie. She shared her experience with me below.

I signed up for Embrace because it offered a low rate for my Cavalier, Lexie. Sadly, it was needed within a year of adopting her. Her cancer diagnosis resulted in appointments with specialists, chemo treatment, and more. None of it would’ve been financially feasible without having her insured through Embrace. I’m glad I got her the best care without worrying about the cost of medical treatment. Unfortunately, she’s crossed over the rainbow bridge, but I’m so thankful for my time with her.

ProsCons
Customize your plan to fit your budget and needs with different deductible, reimbursement, and payout optionsRestricted to accident-only coverage if you enroll your dog after their 15th birthday
May have an option for Embrace to pay your vet directly to avoid waiting for reimbursementExam fees and prescription drugs for covered conditions is available for an additional fee
Optional wellness plans are available as extras
Shorter than average accident waiting period (2 days) and claim processing (5 days)
Behavioral therapies, alternative therapies, gum disease, and tooth extractions are included

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost From Embrace?

Below are monthly prices for an accident and illness Embrace plan with a $500 deductible, $5,000 annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement for 25 sample pets.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$68.50$26.78$58.07$37.76$26.54
1 Year Old in New York$65.16$31.73$65.16$44.73$23.57
2 Year Old in Florida$57.81$22.50$57.81$26.99$22.11
5 Year Old in Texas$95.71$26.87$69.05$32.24$19.29
8 Year Old in New Jersey$101.50$55.37$142.31$66.45$50.95

It’s interesting to see the differences in pricing for the various breeds. For example, Frenchies are the most popular dog breed in the U.S. and are prone to many health issues. Yorkshire Terriers are also high on the popularity list (at #13) and have their own list of health concerns. Still, premiums for the breed in the same zip codes are lower than for Frenchies and English Bulldogs.

Of the sample pets I ran for all the insurers in this article, Embrace was the least expensive for California residents with Bulldog breeds. So, suppose you’re a Californian with a Bulldog. In that case, Embrace is an excellent insurer from which to get a quote and an idea of what a policy could cost you.

In-Depth Review Of Embrace

Read my complete review of Embrace to learn more about this provider and its coverage, reimbursement process, FAQs, and more. I also share the most common claims submitted to Embrace, the vet bill averages, and what they reimburse the policyholder on average.

Most Affordable: Lemonade Pet Insurance Review

Lemonade began selling pet insurance in 2020 and quickly made a big name by offering low premiums and utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to speed up the claim reimbursement process to as little as minutes in some instances. Unfortunately, they still don’t cover all 50 states, which shows the time it can take for a company to stabilize its offerings. However, their impressive coverage and technology make it an insurer to watch.

Use Caution

We typically recommend choosing a company with at least five years of national experience in the industry. Why? Too often, new companies, like Lemonade, enter the pet insurance space with astonishingly low prices. After some time paying claims, these companies increase premiums to improve profitability. Some customers feel trapped because their pet now has pre-existing conditions, making it harder to find coverage with other companies.

Is this something you can expect from Lemonade? It’s hard to say. Lemonade has been selling other insurance products (renters, homeowners, cars, and life) since 2015. So we’re hopeful that this related experience makes Lemonade less likely to spike customer premiums. However, we can’t guarantee anything, so I urge caution when choosing a company with fewer than five years of experience.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness, wellness add-on
Payout Limits$5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, $100,000
Deductibles$100, $250, $500
Reimbursement Levels70%, 80%, 90%
Waiting Periods14 days for illnesses, 2 days for accidents, 6 months for CCL injuries
Average Claim Processing2 days
Age LimitationsAt least 8 weeks old, other age restrictions based on breed
Discounts10% off if you bundle with your renters, homeowners, auto, condo, or co-op insurance; 5% off for multiple pets; 5% off if you pay annually

What Lemonade Customers Are Saying

Lemonade policyholders rant about how user-friendly the app is, which makes claim filing easy. Because Lemonade uses AI, customers complain that contacting an actual person at the company can be challenging. However, people are thrilled with their lower premiums and fast claim processing. Customers also like the End Of Life & Remembrance rider, which covers euthanasia, cremation, and memorial items totaling up to $500.

Michelle Schenker, Canine Journal’s co-rounder and lifetime dog owner, chose Lemonade to insure her mixed-breed dog, Barley.

I got prices from several companies offering the best coverage for mixed-breed dogs, and Lemonade came in at the best/lowest price. Pets Best and Spot were close in price, but Lemonade’s coverage was the best for our crazy 5-year-old pup! Our policy covers 80% of diagnoses or treatments, has a $500 annual deductible, and a $5,000 yearly limit.

We have had Lemonade pet insurance for almost a year, so Barley is clear of all the waiting periods. Luckily, we have not had any incidents or filed any claims yet.

Lemonade pet insurance is only available in 37 states and the District of Columbia: AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, MD, MA, MI, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, and WI.

ProsCons
Customize your plan to fit your budget and needs with different deductible, reimbursement, and payout optionsCan’t have Lemonade pay your vet directly to avoid waiting for reimbursement
Optional wellness plans are available as an add-onNo accident-only plan is available
Shorter than average waiting periods (2 days for accidents and 14 days for hip dysplasia)Only available in 37 states and Washington DC
Shorter than average claim processing (2 days)Breed restrictions based on age
Alternative therapies, exam fees, and gum disease coverage are available for an extra feeGetting a quote from Lemonade is more cumbersome than other insurers

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost From Lemonade?

Lemonade reports that policies for cats and dogs start at $10 per month and average $77 per month for a four-year-old Golden Retriever in Chicago. I gathered monthly pricing for 25 sample pets with a $500 deductible, $5,000 annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement from Lemonade below.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$75.06$24.12$58.69$28.73$20.23
1 Year Old in New York$54.32$22.80$54.04$26.96$16.13
2 Year Old in Florida$40.02$15.33$39.40$19.49$11.61
5 Year Old in Texas$43.98$18.55$40.22$17.80$13.00
8 Year Old in New Jersey$110.18$40.08Uninsurable$75.71$36.09

In the many sample pets I ran for this content and other articles, Lemonade had the lowest premiums about 50% of the time. No other company came close to offering the lowest premiums this consistently. However, pricing can vary based on your pet’s details, so I always recommend getting quotes from at least three companies before deciding.

In-Depth Review Of Lemonade

Read my full review of Lemonade to learn more about this provider and its coverage, reimbursement process, FAQs, and more. My review also features Michelle’s decision-making process, which led her to choose Lemonade for Barley’s pet insurance policy.

Best Vet Direct Pay: Trupanion Review

One of Trupanion’s most talked about features is Trupanion’s Vet Direct Pay, which eliminates the claim processing wait time. Many other pet insurance companies offer a direct pay option for vets. Still, Trupanion’s Vet Direct Pay is the only option that allows payment during checkout. If Trupanion’s Vet Direct Pay isn’t available at your vet’s office, you can call to ask about it or speak with your vet about them setting it up.

Trupanion also administers policies through Geico and State Farm.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness
Payout LimitsUnlimited
Deductibles$0-$1,000 (in $5 increments)
Reimbursement Levels50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, 100%
Waiting Periods30 days for illnesses, 5 days for accidents
Average Claim Processing2 days
Age Limitations14 years old or younger
DiscountsUse this link to take advantage of the best possible price

What Trupanion Customers Are Saying

Trupanion has some of the most customers, with over 2.7 million insured pets. Its app is rated lower by customers compared to other insurers, and there are complaints of high premiums and high increases at renewal, too. However, Trupanion policyholders are extremely happy with their coverage and say filing claims is easy.

ProsCons
Unlimited payouts for all plansNo accident-only plan is available
May have an option for Trupanion to pay your vet directly to avoid waiting for reimbursementPets older than 14 are ineligible for enrollment
Shorter than average CCL surgery and hip dysplasia waiting periods (30 days)Longer than average illness waiting period (30 days)
Shorter than average claim processing averages (2 days)Consistently among the most expensive
Behavioral therapies, C-sections, and tooth extractions are included in coverageExam fees are excluded
Breeder Support Program lets breeders provide buyers with an offer for Trupanion enrollment without waiting periods (pet parents can pick up their puppy from the breeder and get insurance without any waiting periods)

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost From Trupanion?

Below are monthly costs for Trupanion with a $500 deductible, unlimited annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement for 25 sample pets.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$193.76$57.69$126.66$67.40$49.94
1 Year Old in New York$151.23$67.39$149.54$76.68$44.42
2 Year Old in Florida$284.51*$173.11*$457.54*$201.28*$110.34*
5 Year Old in Texas$210.76$99.61$222.32$115.65$41.93
8 Year Old in New Jersey$454.15$192.24$451.13$220.73$111.45
*$0 deductible

In the hundreds of sample pets I’ve run, Trupanion is almost always the most expensive. However, it can be tricky to compare providers’ coverage because Trupanion has fewer customization options and offers unlimited payouts for all plans. Although Trupanion offers some of the best coverage, I still recommend getting a quote from it to see where your pet’s premium falls.

In-Depth Review Of Trupanion

Read my complete review of Trupanion to learn more about this provider and its coverage, reimbursement process, FAQs, and more. I also go more in-depth on Trupanion’s plan options, including The Trupanion Plan, which is gradually becoming available in all 50 states.

Best For Pre-Existing Conditions: AKC Pet Insurance Review

AKC Pet Insurance is the only provider to offer coverage for pre-existing conditions after one year of continuous coverage. This can be life-changing for customers with dogs suffering from chronic illnesses or other pre-existing conditions. Different companies cover curable conditions, but AKC Pet Insurance offers complete coverage after one year. FL and WA are excluded from this.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness, accident-only, wellness add-on
Payout Limits$2,500, $5,000, $7,500, $10,000, $15,000, $17,500, $20,000
Deductibles$100, $250, $300, $400, $500, $600, $750, $1,000
Reimbursement Levels70%, 80%, 90%
Waiting Periods14 days for illnesses, 2 days for accidents, 30 days for hip dysplasia and alternative therapies coverage, 180 days for IVDD and CCL injuries
Average Claim Processing2 days
Age Limitations14 years old or younger
Discounts5% off for multiple pets; 5% off for dogs who pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test; 10% off for puppies coming from breeders who participate in the AKC Bred with H.E.A.R.T or AKC Breeder of Merit programs

Customer Experience

AKC Pet Insurance has over 32,000 insured pets. It uses the same Pet Cloud app that Figo uses, which, in my experience, is very user-friendly, and other customers agree. The biggest complaint from policyholders is that AKC Pet Insurance incorrectly denies claims, so they have to submit an appeal. However, customers say filing a claim is easy, and customer service is very communicative.

ProsCons
No vet records or exam required to enrollNo illness coverage option for dogs enrolled after age 9
Optional wellness plans are available as extrasMust purchase coverage for congenital, hereditary, and chronic conditions separately
Claims are typically paid within 2 daysExam fee coverage is available for an additional fee
Your pet is covered when they travel with you in the U.S. or Canada$3 – $4 monthly transaction fee (depending on the state) – highest in the pet insurance space, waived if paid annually
Offers coverage for pre-existing conditions after 365 days of continuous pet insurance coverage (not in FL and WA) 
Can purchase coverage for accidents, sickness, and complications related to breeding

How Much Does AKC Pet Insurance Cost?

AKC Pet Insurance states premiums for accident and illness plans start as low as $10 per month. I gathered monthly bills for 25 sample pets with a $500 deductible, $5,000 annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement from AKC Pet Insurance below.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$73.67$36.88$88.34$34.16$38.78
1 Year Old in New York$53.28$24.64$68.96$24.96$24.44
2 Year Old in Florida$62.90$30.24$86.80$33.05$28.90
5 Year Old in Texas$117.78$45.45$136.90$49.66$41.42
8 Year Old in New Jersey$208.19$92.47$235.28$106.02$67.78

In the many sample pets I ran, AKC Pet Insurance’s premiums were typically in the lower to middle of the pack. It’s interesting to see the cost difference between six-month-old pets in California and one-year-olds in New York. Premiums were consistently higher in California than in New York, even though the pets were younger in California. This doesn’t mean that all California pets have higher premiums than other locations through AKC Pet Insurance, so getting a quote for your pet will ultimately give you the best idea of cost.

In-Depth Review Of AKC Pet Insurance

Read my complete review of AKC Pet Insurance to learn more about this provider, its coverage, key features, rider options, and whether your dog is eligible for coverage.

Best Accident-Only Plan: ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Review

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance’s Accident-Only policy is the most customizable and has the fewest restrictions (even covering cruciate ligaments). Unlike other accident-only policies, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance lets you select your annual deductible ($100-$500), reimbursement (70%-90%), and annual limit ($2,500-$10,000). Additionally, no upper age limits force you into accident-only insurance if you enroll your pet after they reach a certain age. You can also add an optional wellness plan to this plan, something other providers only allow to add to their accident and illness policies. Overall, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance’s Accident-Only plan is an excellent value and option for pet owners wanting more options for this insurance type.

ASPCA Pet Insurance also administers policies through Travelers and Waffle.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness, accident-only, wellness add-on
Payout Limits$2,500, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000
Deductibles$100, $250, $500
Reimbursement Levels70%, 80%, 90%
Waiting Periods14 days for illnesses and accidents
Average Claim Processing15-30 days
Age LimitationsAt least 8 weeks old
Discounts10% off for multiple pets

What ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Customers Are Saying

Since its founding in 1997, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance has insured over 600,000 pets. Unfortunately, pet owners complain that reimbursement takes a month and rate the app lower than other insurers. However, customer service reps are active in online forums, helping customers resolve any outstanding issues they may have.

ProsCons
Customize your plan to fit your budget and needs with different deductible, reimbursement, and payout optionsLonger than average accident waiting period (14 days)
May have an option for ASPCA Pet Health Insurance to pay your vet directly to avoid waiting for reimbursementLonger than average claim processing (15-30 days)
Accident-only plan is availableGum disease and tooth extractions are excluded
Optional wellness plans are available as add-on
Shorter than average CCL surgery and hip dysplasia waiting periods (14 days)
Behavioral therapies, alternative-holistic therapies, and exam fees are included

How Much Does ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Cost?

Below are monthly premiums for an accident and illness ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan with a $500 deductible, $5,000 annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement for 25 sample pets.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$60.93$33.13$76.07$33.13$19.65
1 Year Old in New York$79.91$42.23$76.74$42.23$24.18
2 Year Old in Florida$80.03$32.37$94.14$32.37$19.90
5 Year Old in Texas$122.13$31.50$97.35$31.50$18.30
8 Year Old in New Jersey$193.77$78.37$227.94$78.37$43.77

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance costs are typically priced competitively amongst others. I found it interesting how much more affordable Yorkies, Doxies, and Ragdolls are through ASPCA Pet Health Insurance than Bulldog breeds.

Additionally, Yorkie and Doxie premiums were the same for the pets I ran. This is the first time I’ve noticed this happen in the thousands of quotes I’ve run over the past decade (except for Spot below). Grab an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance quote for your furry pal to see what it could cost you monthly.

Full Review Of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Read my ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Review to learn more about this provider and its connection to Hartville and Waffle.

Best For Customizable Plans: Spot Review

Spot Pet Insurance was founded in 2019 and offers many ways to customize your plan. You can choose an accident-only policy or accident and illness policy, add on a wellness plan, and adjust your deductible, reimbursement, and payout options. These options provide a wide range of ways to help fit Spot into your budget.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness, accident-only, wellness add-on
Payout Limits$2,500, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, unlimited
Deductibles$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000
Reimbursement Levels70%, 80%, 90%
Waiting Periods14 days for illnesses and accidents
Average Claim Processing5-7 days
Age LimitationsAt least 8 weeks old
Discounts10% off for multiple pets; 10% off for Purina customers; Up to 20% off for eligible AAA customers

What Spot Pet Insurance Customers Are Saying

The difference in Spot’s customer reviews and app ratings has improved quite a bit within the past year alone. Customers rave about how easy the app is to use, how fast claims are processed, and how courteous Spot’s customer service team is. I’ve also noticed that Spot has cut its average claim processing time in half. Previously, it had been 10-14 days, but more recently, it’s been 5-7 days. Overall, I’m pleased with the improvements I’ve seen over the last year from Spot, especially with it being a newer provider.

ProsCons
Customize your plan to fit your budget and needs with different deductible, reimbursement, and payout optionsCan’t have Spot pay your vet directly to avoid waiting for reimbursement
Accident-only plan is availableLonger than average accident waiting period (14 days)
Optional wellness plans are available as a riderGum disease and tooth extractions are excluded
Shorter than average CCL surgery and hip dysplasia waiting periods (14 days)
Behavioral therapies, alternative therapies, and exam fees are included
Claims are typically paid within 5-7 days

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost From Spot?

Below are monthly premiums for Spot’s accident and illness plan with a $500 deductible, $5,000 annual coverage, and 90% reimbursement for 25 sample pets.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$62.93$35.13$78.07$35.13$21.65
1 Year Old in New York$81.91$44.23$78.74$44.23$26.18
2 Year Old in Florida$81.45$34.13$95.46$34.13$21.64
5 Year Old in Texas$121.98$32.94$97.62$32.94$19.79
8 Year Old in New Jersey$176.73$72.67$207.54$72.67$41.65

The pricing for Yorkies and Doxies was identical in the sample pets I ran. I’ve never noticed this happen in the thousands of quotes I’ve run over the past decade. This happened with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, also administered by Crum & Forster (C&F) Insurance Agency. Snag a quote for your pet from Spot to see if it fits your needs.

Full Review Of Spot

Read my Spot Pet Insurance Review to go more in-depth about this provider and its coverage, including its wellness plan options, plan customizations, and more.

Best For Exotic Pets: Nationwide Review

Nationwide is the only U.S. pet insurance provider offering exotic pet insurance and dog and cat insurance. If you have a rabbit, bird, reptile, ferret, or another small mammal, consider insurance through Nationwide. Like dog or cat insurance, exotic pet insurance covers unexpected visits to the vet that are subject to the insurance plan you choose. Depending on your selections, this may include accidents, illnesses, the death of your pet, and more.

Plan OptionsAccident & illness, accident-only, wellness add-on
Payout Limits$2,500, $5,000, $10,000, benefit schedule
Deductibles$250, $500, $1,000
Reimbursement Levels50%, 70%, 80%
Waiting Periods14 days for illnesses and accidents, 12 months for CCL injuries
Average Claim Processing10-14 days
Age LimitationsAt least 8 weeks old and no older than 10 years old for illness coverage*
Discounts5% off for 2-3 pets; 10% off for 4 or more pets
*Restricted to accident coverage (illnesses excluded) if you enroll your dog after their 10th birthday

What Nationwide Pet Insurance Customers Are Saying

Many customers dislike the Major Medical plan’s benefit schedule because they hit limits for conditions and incidents. However, Nationwide also offers a more traditional insurance plan that allows you to select your accident and illness coverage individually. Plan options vary based on your pet and location. Currently, Nationwide insures more than one million pets and has one of the highest-rated apps in the industry.

ProsCons
Optional wellness plan is available as add-onCan’t have Nationwide pay your vet directly to avoid waiting for reimbursement
Shorter than average hip dysplasia waiting period (14 days)Restricted to accident-only coverage for pets 10 and older
Behavioral therapies, alternative therapies, and exam fees are included in coverageLonger than average waiting periods (14 days for accidents and 12 months for CCL surgery)
Shorter than average claim processing (4 days)Gum disease and tooth extractions are excluded
One of the only pet health insurance companies to offer exotic pet insuranceCurrently dropping 100,000 pets from coverage and leaving them stranded

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost From Nationwide?

Nationwide states on its website that pet insurance starts at $13 per month. Below are monthly premiums for Nationwide’s Major Medical plan, which uses a benefit schedule with a $250 annual deductible. The plan covers accidents and illnesses. You must call them directly to get a price for your bird or exotic pet.

French BulldogYorkshire TerrierEnglish BulldogDachshundRagdoll Cat
6 Month Old in California$60.15$28.51$57.65$29.30$18.60
1 Year Old in New York$56.72$38.33$66.70$40.38$22.75
2 Year Old in Florida$55.57$35.46$84.78$33.06$18.32
5 Year Old in Texas$82.87$38.16$120.33$38.69$19.14
8 Year Old in New Jersey$109.18$47.74$126.05$77.96$38.61

Comparing Nationwide against other insurers is difficult because it primarily offers a benefit schedule for its insurance in the top five states with the most insured pets and highest gross written premiums for pet insurance. Get a quote for your pet to see what plans Nationwide offers for you.

Full Review Of Nationwide Pet Insurance

Read my Nationwide Pet Insurance Review to learn more about this insurer, including how its benefit schedule works and a list of all pets eligible for its insurance.

What Is Pet Insurance?

There are many unknowns in owning a pet. Will Fido be diagnosed with a chronic condition? Will he tear his ACL during a game of fetch? Will he develop an appetite for eating shoes, wood chips, and other objects? All of these can result in unplanned trips to the veterinarian, which means unexpected costs and stress for you.

This is where pet insurance can ease your mind. Instead of facing hundreds or thousands of dollars in vet bills, you can focus on your pet’s health.

Pet insurance helps pay for covered veterinary treatment of the insured pet’s sicknesses and/or injuries. Insuring your pet can help you save money on unexpected vet bills during a medical emergency.

But, pet insurance does not cover routine care like wellness exams, related lab work, or vaccinations. Further, it does not cover the deductible portion outlined in your policy, the remaining reimbursement percentage, or anything beyond your annual payout limit.

What Are The Different Types Of Pet Insurance Plans?

There are two pet insurance plans: accident-only and accident and illness. Some companies also offer an optional wellness plan for an extra charge, but it isn’t an insurance product. Since several pet insurance providers offer wellness plans during enrollment, I included them to ensure you know the full range of options during new enrollment.

What Do Accident-Only Pet Insurance Plans Cover?

An accident-only plan only covers vet bills associated with an accident, such as torn ligaments, broken bones, foreign body ingestion, poisoning, injuries, bite wounds, and more. Illnesses are excluded from this coverage. An accident-only pet insurance plan is typically less expensive than an accident and illness one since it covers fewer expenses. However, only some companies offer this policy type.

What Do Accident & Illness Pet Insurance Plans Cover?

This is the most common and popular type of pet insurance plan. It covers injuries (like broken bones, foreign body ingestion, and other items covered in accident-only plans) and sickness-related conditions (like cancer, allergies, urinary tract infections, arthritis, skin infections, ear infections, and more). This type of policy is more comprehensive than an accident-only one.

What Do Wellness Plans Cover?

Wellness coverage is purchased as an add-on or a standalone product and comes with an incremental fee. Typically, this program covers things that occur during an annual exam, such as vaccination, flea/tick/heartworm treatment, teeth cleaning, and spay/neuter procedures. A wellness plan is a financial tool to help cover the costs associated with preventative measures that assist your dog’s overall health and prevent maladies where possible. Regular vet visits, especially ones covered with a wellness plan, also encourage owners to be more proactive with their pet’s health. Wellness plans are not pet insurance as they don’t cover costs associated with accidents or illnesses.

Plan Type/NeedAccident-OnlyAccident & Illness
(most popular)
Wellness
Injury-related conditions (broken bones, foreign body ingestion, poisoning, bite wounds, etc.)
Sickness-related conditions (allergies, urinary tract infections, arthritis, cancer, ear infections, etc.)
Preventative measures (annual exams, vaccination, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, teeth cleaning, spay/neuter procedures, etc.)
Cost$$$$$$*
*Most expensive in total when wellness is added to an accident & illness policy

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Pet insurance coverage varies based on the policy type and the company you choose. The majority of accident and illness pet insurance plans cover the following items when deemed medically necessary. However, this coverage may have limitations, so please check your policy.

I have put together a comprehensive guide to what pet insurance covers. You’ll also find cost and reimbursement examples, criteria to consider, alternatives to pet insurance, wellness plans, and more.

CoveredExcluded
Blood testsBoarding
Cancer (chemo & radiation)Cremation & burial costs
CAT scansElective procedures (e.g., declawing, ear cropping, spaying/neutering, tail docking, etc.)
Chronic conditionsFood & supplements
Congenital conditionsGrooming
Emergency vet visitsPre-existing conditions*
EuthanasiaPregnancy & breeding
Hereditary conditionsVaccines
MRIs
Non-routine dental treatment
Prescription medications
Rehabilitation
Specialized exams & care
Surgery & hospitalization
Ultrasounds
X-rays
*Coverage for pre-existing conditions may be deemed “curable” by some insurance providers, so check your fine print. This exception doesn’t apply to all pet insurance plans, and details of this coverage vary, so review your policy carefully.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

  1. Visit the vet and pay your bill at the time of service.
  2. Send a completed claim form and an itemized receipt to your insurance company. Some companies require a signature from your vet, so it is wise to take a printed copy of your claim form to your visit.
  3. Once the claim is approved, the insurance company will send your reimbursement* via your chosen payment method (check, direct deposit, etc.).

*The reimbursement timeline can vary from a few minutes to a few weeks, depending on the complexity of your claim and the promised processing time. The reimbursement amount depends on your policy details, including deductible, annual payout, reimbursement percentage, coverage, and exclusions.

Pet Insurance Claim Example

Let’s walk through an example to better understand how it works.

Suppose your policy has the following coverage:

  • $250 annual deductible
  • 80% reimbursement
  • $5,000 payout limit

In that case, you’re responsible for the following:

  • Any unplanned vet bills related to covered items up to $250,
  • 20% of the total vet bill up to $5,000, and then
  • 100% above the $5,000 payout limit
How pet insurance works infographic

How To Choose The Best Pet Insurance For You

How can one decide with so many pet insurance companies to choose from? This is why it’s crucial to take the time to consider your options carefully. By understanding the key considerations and committing to the research, you may find a provider that fits your breed and health concerns. 

It is wise to consider any illnesses your dog’s breed may be predisposed to. For example, suppose your pet is predisposed to hip dysplasia. In that case, you’ll want to ensure you’re satisfied with the terms associated with hip dysplasia coverage. Some companies add additional waiting periods to hip dysplasia or consider it a bilateral condition, thus excluding it from coverage as a pre-existing condition. Additionally, consider a conversation with your vet about any potential conditions they’d recommend covering based on the breed or mix.

After you have a list of your must-haves, you’re ready to narrow down your list of options.

  1. Your biggest concern as a pet parent should be the reputation of the pet insurance provider. Have you heard of them? Do family and friends use them? What has their experience been when they’ve had to file a claim? Getting a pet insurance policy is only useful if it covers what you expect it to cover and if you can afford the monthly bill. Remember, although the monthly cost is important, it’s not the most crucial factor when choosing insurance. The whole point of any insurance policy is ensuring you have the coverage to pay for otherwise unaffordable bills in emergencies.
  2. Decide what type of coverage you want for your dog and which additional perks may be negotiable to lower your costs. Our pet insurance comparison tables can help highlight the key differences between providers, including plan options, coverage, waiting periods, age restrictions, and quotes.
  3. Obtain price estimates from at least three companies to get an idea of how much your monthly cost will be. Pricing varies drastically, and just because a company charges you more doesn’t mean the coverage is more thorough.
  4. Don’t hesitate to contact potential providers with any questions before signing up. Pay close attention to that experience—it may reflect customer service quality down the road.
  5. Consider the claim reimbursement process, including how it works, the average processing timeline, and whether the company can pay the vet directly. If a company takes longer than you can wait for reimbursement, you may want to seek other options.

Picking a pet insurance plan is a personal choice, and no one knows what your dog needs better than you. Take the time to make an informed decision, and know it’ll be worth the added protection in the long run.

How to pick pet Insurance graphic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions we’ve received from our readers regarding pet insurance. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments.

What Are Pet Insurance Waiting Periods?

Waiting periods in pet insurance help exclude recent or previous illnesses or accidents, keeping costs lower and ensuring proper coverage. Pet insurance companies can effectively pay for claims and remain profitable by charging and receiving policy premiums.

Pet insurance companies have two primary waiting periods: one for illnesses and one for accidents. Additional waiting periods are common for more serious health conditions (e.g., hip dysplasia, CCL tears, Intervertebral Disc Disease [IVDD], and other orthopedic conditions).

Generally, pet insurance companies have a 14-day waiting period for illnesses and around a 3-day waiting period for accidents. The waiting period for hip dysplasia, CCL injuries, IVDD, and other orthopedic conditions can range from 14 days to 12 months. However, some U.S. states are gradually adopting a Model Law for pet insurance, which attempts to standardize each state’s regulations. The Model Law has a standard for waiting periods that all companies must follow. This means that if you live in one of these states, waiting periods don’t need to be a deciding factor since all companies offer the same waiting periods for your state.

*Waiting periods for California, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Washington are as follows:

  • Accidents - 0 days
  • Illnesses - 14 days
  • Cruciate Ligament Conditions - 30 days
  • Routine Care - 0 days

How Do Pet Insurance Companies Know About Pre-Existing Conditions?

Upon enrollment, insurers may require a vet exam or your pet’s medical records. If a vet exam is required for enrollment, the insurer typically requests it be within 30 days of the policy’s effective date. During this appointment, your vet will assess your dog’s overall health and note any abnormalities. Some providers require a detailed exam of your dog’s legs and hips for orthopedic issues.

Additionally, providers may collect this information by analyzing your dog’s past vet records. If your dog hasn’t had a recent vet exam, the insurer may ask you to have your dog assessed.

Generally speaking, pre-existing conditions are determined as accidents and illnesses that have manifested before the policy’s effective date or during the waiting period. For example, suppose your dog was diagnosed with hip dysplasia in June, and you bought pet insurance in the following month of the same year. In that case, the condition won’t be covered.

However, a few insurers offer coverage for curable pre-existing conditions if they are free from treatment and symptoms for a set period. Conditions that may be covered include ear infections, urinary tract infections, kennel cough, gastrointestinal issues, and more. Furthermore, AKC Pet Insurance is entering new territory for the industry and offering coverage for pre-existing conditions after 365 days of continuous pet insurance coverage.

Is Pet Insurance Tax Deductible?

No, pet insurance is not tax deductible.

According to IRS publication 502, if you have a guide dog or service animal, you may be able to deduct expenses related to buying, training, and maintaining the animal. This can include any costs, including food, grooming, and veterinary care.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Only Dogs And Cats?

Most insurers limit pet insurance policies to dogs and cats. However, Nationwide also offers pet insurance for exotic pets, including reptiles, birds, rabbits, ferrets, miniature pigs, guinea pigs, goats, sugar gliders, chinchillas, and other small mammals. Nationwide’s exotic pet insurance policy has a 90% reimbursement rate, and the average cost is $11 per month for reptiles, $13 per month for birds, and $19 for rabbits.

You can also purchase horse insurance if you have a passion for horses, but it is a different type of policy. So be sure to do your homework before registering.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Dental?

Pet insurance companies generally cover a portion of non-routine dental-related claims. However, the extent of coverage varies by provider. Embrace and Pets Best offer some of the best dental coverage for pet insurance.

Pet insurance doesn’t cover dental cleanings. However, if you have a wellness plan (as a standalone product or added to your pet insurance policy), it may include coverage for a portion or all dental cleanings.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying And Neutering?

No, accident and illness plans don’t cover spaying and neutering. However, you can purchase a wellness plan as a standalone product or add it to your pet insurance policy, which may cover a portion of your dog’s spaying/neutering procedure. My Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying & Neutering article details this.

Can I Go To Any Vet With Pet Insurance?

Most pet insurance companies allow you to choose any licensed vet for your pet’s health care needs. I know one company, Companion Protect, that is the exception to this rule. Companion Protect claims to cover more of the cost within its approved network of vets. While they allow you to use an out-of-network vet, it may cost you more money.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Pet Insurance?

Although my team feels that pet insurance is valuable and worth it for most, here are four cons to be aware of:

  1. Routine preventative exams and associated expenses aren’t included in your pet insurance policy. You must purchase a wellness plan at an incremental cost to cover these.
  2. You will still have out-of-pocket expenses, including your deductible and any amount that surpasses your payout limit. You will also be responsible for covering the balance of the reimbursement amount (i.e., if you chose an 80% plan and your provider agrees to cover your claim, you will still owe 20%).
  3. Most pet insurance providers exclude pre-existing conditions from coverage, and you are responsible for associated costs.
  4. Unlike human health care, most pet insurance companies require you to pay vet expenses upfront and wait for reimbursement. Some companies offer a vet direct pay option as an alternative to this standard reimbursement model. Still, you must work with your vet to ensure this is in place before you begin treatment.

What Should I Ask Before Buying Pet Insurance?

These are questions I recommend asking your provider before you sign up.

  1. Can I choose my vet?
  2. What are the waiting periods?
  3. What’s excluded from coverage?
  4. Are there extra fees for coverage related to exam fees, prescription medication, or other items?
  5. Can you show me an example of how a claim is handled?
  6. What will I be responsible for paying?
  7. What happens if I buy a policy after my pet gets sick or hurt?
  8. Are there any limits on benefits (per-incident, annual, or lifetime)?
  9. How fast will my claim be processed and repaid?

Is It Worth Making A Pet Insurance Claim?

If you have a pet insurance policy, making a pet insurance claim is almost always worth it. Providers have made filing claims reasonably simple. Even if you know you won’t get reimbursed because you have yet to hit your deductible, the claim will go toward your deductible. It may not be worth filing a claim if your policy has any limits (per policy period or per condition) and you have already hit the maximum. 

Should I Get Pet Insurance & A Wellness Plan Or Use A Savings Account Instead?

Our readers often ask this, so describing a scenario could be helpful.

Let’s say you save $55 each month (the average pet insurance premium) for 5 years, totaling $3,300 in your vet bill savings account. What if your dog experiences an emergency, such as a life-threatening condition like cancer? The average cancer treatment plan can cost $6,000-$10,000. Unfortunately, your savings account with $3,300 won’t cover the high vet bills that are piling up.

Meanwhile, investing $55 monthly into a pet insurance policy could ensure your dog has more coverage for emergency vet visits, even a cancer diagnosis. So, if your dog’s cancer treatment costs $6,000, a pet insurance policy would cover beyond the $3,300 you saved.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

According to Canine Journal’s Economic Euthanasia Study, 36% of respondents are willing to spend up to $1,000 on their dog’s medical needs to avoid euthanasia. Unfortunately, veterinary care costs are only increasing, and an unexpected accident or illness can quickly exceed $1,000. However, pet insurance can help reduce the burden.

What would you do if you encountered a $1,500 pet-related emergency tomorrow? Would it crush your budget and leave you in a difficult place financially? Would you hesitate to move forward with an expensive vet treatment?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then pet insurance is worth it if you can afford the monthly bill for your dog. Having your dog insured can help you prepare financially and benefit your dog with more well-rounded health coverage. It also provides peace of mind during already stressful times.

I have an entire article dedicated to helping you decide if pet insurance is worth it. It can help you understand how pet insurance works and how it can benefit your pet’s life and your own.

5 Ways To Buy Pet Insurance

There are five ways to buy the best pet insurance policy to fit your needs.

  1. Use our free pet insurance comparison form to answer a few quick questions about your dog and compare pricing from multiple providers.
  2. Go directly to insurers’ websites and fill out their free quote forms.
  3. Call or email pet insurance providers to speak with them directly and get all of your questions answered.
  4. Ask your employer if pet insurance is offered as an employee benefit.
  5. If you feel overwhelmed, contact an independent insurance agent for guidance.

Pet Insurance Companies (All Of Your Options)

Didn’t see the company you were looking for? Wondering what happened to AKC Pet Insurance, Animalia, Bivvy, CarePlus, Companion Protect, Doggo, Hartville, ManyPets, MetLife, Odie, Paw Protect, Petco, PetPartners, PetPremium, Physicians Mutual Pet, Prudent Pet, Pumpkin, Spokk, Toto, TrustedPals, Wagmo, 24Petprotect, or policies offered by Allstate, American Family, Farmers Insurance, Geico, PEMCO, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers, USAA, Waffle, Costco, or Wishbone? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. I have stats and full reviews on all of these companies on my complete pet insurance companies list.

Methodology

We review each U.S. pet insurance company to provide an unbiased breakdown of providers' performance in real claim situations. We use a 100-point scale for each pet insurance company to rank them. Our in-depth research includes:

  • Coverage & Exclusions (30%) - We scrutinize every policy from top to bottom and read all the fine print, carefully noting each exclusion. We factor in any age restrictions, required add-ons for basic coverage, and whether a company is available nationwide. Insurers with fewer exclusions receive more points in this category than those with less coverage.
  • Pricing (15%) - We evaluate pricing by running thousands of sample quotes for dogs and cats of various breeds, sizes, locations, and ages. We analyze which companies charge extra fees and discounts and consider which companies nick and dime pet owners with add-on coverage. Providers with the lowest premiums, fewest extra fees, most discounts, and fewer add-ons receive more points in this category.
  • Customer Service & Reputation (12%) - We assess hundreds of customer reviews, scope out the sign-up process, speak with representatives, and factor in company history and years in the pet insurance marketplace to determine the points in this category. Companies with an easy sign-up process, highly rated mobile apps, multiple ways to reach customer service, positive consumer feedback, and a seamless claim filing process score high in this category.
  • Financial Strength (10%) - Insurance is only beneficial if you can count on reimbursed claims. Companies with at least five years of nationwide experience and high A.M. Best and Demotech ratings receive high remarks in this category.
  • Customization Options (10%) - We consider customizations available to adjust your coverage to fit your budget. Companies with fewer restrictions based on breed, age, location, etc., multiple plan options, and more reimbursement rates, deductibles, and annual limits earn the highest scores.
  • Waiting Periods (5%) - Providers with the shortest illness and accident waiting periods and fewer additional waiting periods for other conditions merit high remarks.
  • Claim Processing (5%) - We share our firsthand experience submitting claims with companies and examine how long it takes to be reimbursed. Insurers with a vet direct pay option and short claim processing averages earn the most points.
  • Innovation (3%) - We meet with company representatives to discuss changes related to the industry, their company, and their offerings. Providers offering unique, comprehensive coverage and utilizing advanced technology receive more points.

Unlike many other review sites, we refuse to let pet insurance companies pay for the top spot in our rankings. Companies must earn their position in our comparisons by performing well in the marketplace. We also highlight each company’s pros and cons in light of their competitor’s strengths. In doing so for over a decade, we’ve helped pet parents make more educated decisions among the top pet insurance options. Pet insurance providers read our reviews, regularly check them for accuracy, and value our input to help create positive industry changes and better protect your pets. We only recommend the best of the best because it’s what our readers deserve.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Choosing the right pet insurance policy for your pet is a personal decision. That’s why we value your trust in us to provide all the objective information you need to make an informed choice.

Canine Journal has been covering the topic of pet insurance since 2012, well before other conglomerates discovered the rising popularity of health care for our pets. Many of our authors have personal experience with pet insurance, including Kimberly Alt, who has been Canine Journal’s go-to author for pet insurance for over a decade, having written about nearly every possible facet related to pet insurance. Kimberly knows the subject so well that she can answer a breadth and depth of pet insurance questions immediately. And on the rare occasion she doesn’t know the answer off the top of her head, she can find it within minutes due to her extensive list of resources.

Kimberly also consulted with Michelle Schenker, Canine Journal’s in-house licensed insurance agent, for additional expertise, to ensure accuracy, and give Canine Journal the authority to write about and assist readers in purchasing policies that are accurately represented. 

Here is a quick comparison table showing what we offer compared to the competition.

 Canine JournalPawlicy AdvisorPet Insurance ReviewForbes
Began Covering Pet Insurance2012201820052021
Website’s FocusCovers Everything Dog-RelatedSells Pet Insurance PoliciesAggregates Pet Insurance Consumer ReviewsFinance, Investing, Technology, Science, Politics, Law
# Of Pet Insurance Companies Covered4471910
# Of Pet Insurance Comparisons37002
# Of Individual Pet Insurance Reviews307016
Personalized QuotesBrown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)
Expert AssistanceBrown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)
Pros & ConsBrown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)
DiscountsBrown checkmark (Yes)
Pet Insurance Company DirectoryBrown checkmark (Yes)
Coverage ComparisonBrown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)
Plan Customization ComparisonBrown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)
Waiting Period ComparisonBrown checkmark (Yes)
Licensed Insurance AgentBrown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)
Licensed Veterinarian ConsultantBrown checkmark (Yes)
Compare Providers Side-By-SideBrown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)
Customer ReviewsBrown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)
Engagement with CompaniesBrown checkmark (Yes)

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing, availability, and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.

Subscribe
Notify of
143 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend