What’s The Best Pet Insurance Company For 2019?

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1stHealthy Paws logo
2ndPets Best Logo
3rd
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When a copperhead snake snuck up and bit Alyssa’s Doberman, Miles, on the muzzle, she didn’t think twice about rushing her pup to the vet. But the $600 vet bill stopped her in her tracks. Miles was fine after a dose of antivenom and some TLC, but Alyssa’s bank account is still recovering.

Melissa’s Bichon Frise, Fenway, needed not one but two knee surgeries to repair subluxated patellas, a relatively common orthopedic problem in the breed. Melissa ended up shelling out more than $4,000 to get Fenway back up and running again.

Article Overview

Pet Insurance Checklist

Want to understand pet insurance? We’ve put together a checklist for you:

  1. Use our quote form widget to get free price quotes from several top pet insurance carriers. You can also open our pet insurance quotes to see examples of pricing.*
  2. See how others compare to our top 3 pet insurance picks by reading about the rest of the pack.
  3. Become an expert on pet insurance yourself by learning more.
  4. Read some surprising pet insurance statistics.
  5. Still confused? Get to know the pet insurance lingo with our terminology cheat sheet.

*You should expect annual increases on your premiums from any pet insurance company. These rates and increases will vary based on your location, changes in vet costs and more.

Price Of Policy Ratings

Get Free Pet Insurance Quotes

The cost of each pet insurance policy is unique to your pet and is calculated based on a vast number of variables, including but not limited to your pet’s age, breed, location (e.g., where you live), health conditions and so forth.

We calculate our “price of policy” ratings based on quotes we run in addition to reader and consumer feedback. Since the price for your pet may vary significantly from that of others for a given provider, we encourage you to get quotes from multiple companies.

1st Place: Healthy Paws

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 paw being the worst and 5 paws being the best.

Healthy Paws logo1st
Overall Ranking4.65 / 5.00
Policy Coverage4.25 pawsVisit Website
Customer Service & Reputation4.75 paws
Timeliness of Claim Payment4.75 paws
Price of Policy4.75 paws

Why Do We Consider Healthy Paws The Winner?

  1. Lots Of Plan Options With No Caps – Healthy Paws offers four annual deductible levels ($100, $250, $500 or $750), four percentage options for actual vet bill payouts (60%, 70%, 80% or 90%) and no cap (per-incident, lifetime or otherwise) on any of its claims.
  2. No Yearly Limits – Once you meet your annual deductible, all policy-covered incidents will be paid during that year, while most companies reimburse after you reach each incident deductible. So, if your pet is susceptible to trouble more than once a year or you just want to be on the safe side, this plan could be a good fit.
  3. The Best Customer Service – Healthy Paws has some of the best customer service reviews in the business.
  4. Low Premium Prices – Most consumers report lower premium prices for similar coverage (unlimited lifetime benefits with no claim limits).

Coupon Code

Use this link and you will automatically receive up to a 5% discount. The actual discount varies based on individual state regulations. You can also visit our dedicated HealthyPaws promotions page to discuss current offers.

Read Our In-Depth Review Of Healthy Paws

2nd Place: Pets Best

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 paw being the worst and 5 paws being the best.

Pets Best logo2nd
Overall Ranking4.55 / 5.00
Policy Coverage4.75 pawsVisit Website
Customer Service & Reputation4 paws
Timeliness of Claim Payment4.75 paws
Price of Policy4.75 paws

Why Did We Choose Pets Best As Our #2 Pick?

  1. True Emergency Only Option – Pets Best offers an “Accident Only Plan” to cover you in case of emergencies, but it does not include exam fees or specialty treatments. This plan has a $10,000 annual limit with a $250 deductible and 90% reimbursement, making it one of the least expensive options for pet insurance.
  2. Low Pricing – Pets Best was consistently among the least expensive pet insurance companies when we ran quotes.
  3. Customer Service Options – It offers live chat, phone, email, fax and FAQs to help answer your questions. We’re also impressed with its 24/7 Pet Helpline, which allows you to speak with a vet expert any time of day.
  4. Customizable Plans Tailored To What You Want – You choose what coverage you want to pay for instead of paying more for stuff you don’t want. Deductible options are from $50-$1,000, reimbursement is available for 70%, 80% or 90%, and it offers two wellness plans.

Coupon Code

Pets Best offers two discounts that you may be eligible for when you use this link :

  • 5% multi-pet discount
  • 5% discount for military members and their families
You can also visit our dedicated Pets Best promotions page to discuss current offers.

Read Our In-Depth Review Of Pets Best

3rd Place: Figo

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 paw being the worst and 5 paws being the best.

FIGO logo small3rd
Overall Ranking4.50 / 5.00
Policy Coverage4 and a half pawsVisit Website
Customer Service & Reputation4 paws
Timeliness of Claim Payment4.75 paws
Price of Policy4.75 paws

Why Is Figo Our #3 Pick?

  1. 100% Reimbursement Available – Figo is the only pet insurance company in our reviews to offer 100% reimbursement for claims. If you want your full claims covered, Figo may be the company for you.
  2. Low Pricing – Figo was consistently among the least expensive pet insurance companies when we ran quotes.
  3. Customer Service Options – You can reach Figo in many ways, including phone, text, live chat, email, fax, Facebook Messenger or Twitter.
  4. Fully Customizable Plans – Pet owners considering Figo can create a plan to best meet their needs and budget with a choice of maximum annual coverage amount ($10,000 to unlimited coverage), annual deductible ($100 to $750) and reimbursement rate (70%, 80%, 90% or 100%). Depending on the location and age of the pet, you may qualify for additional options including a deductible between $50 and $1,500 and/or a 60% reimbursement rate.

Coupon Code

Our readers have access to an exclusive 5% off a new FIGO pet insurance policy, just use this link to get started.

Read Our In-Depth Review Of FIGO

The Rest Of The Pack

Get Free Pet Insurance Quotes

Here’s a list of companies we include in our annual pet insurance reviews (which goes above and beyond this comparison by including in-depth reviews of each provider with pros and cons) with their founding year:
  • First: Healthy Paws, 2009
  • Second: Pets Best, 2005
  • Third: Figo, 2013
  • 24PetWatch, 2000
  • AKC Pet Healthcare, 2003
  • ASPCA/Hartville Pet Insurance, 1997
  • Embrace, 2003
  • Nationwide acquired VPI in 2014 and started selling pet insurance as Nationwide (VPI was founded in 1982)
  • PetFirst, 2004
  • Petplan U.S., 2003 (Petplan started in the UK in 1976)
  • PetPremium, 2013
  • Trupanion, 2000

Review Qualification: Minimum 5 Years In Business

In the past, we’ve seen new companies enter the pet insurance space at meager prices. However, after some time in business and paying some claims, these companies increase rates to make ends meet. This ends up hurting the customers because their premiums increase drastically — and if they submitted a claim, their pet now has a pre-existing condition. So, if they change providers, that condition will not be covered by another pet insurance provider. In the end, they may have been better off going with a different, more well-established company.

Because of these issues, we’ve decided only to review pet insurance companies that have at least 5 full years of national experience. We think this approach gives companies time to establish a consistent pricing system and reputation, which helps give customers and us a better idea of what to expect.

What Is Pet Insurance & Is It Worth It?

Still not sure whether you need or understand pet insurance? We created a pet insurance 101 guide, which includes:

  • What Is Pet Insurance?
  • How Does It Work?
  • Why Do I Need It?
  • What Does It Cover?
  • How Much Is Pet Insurance?
  • Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
  • Real Reimbursement Stories

What Are The Benefits Of Pet Insurance?

This video is a useful introduction to dog insurance and the benefits of having a policy.

Reasons To Get Pet Insurance (Infographic)

Reasons To Get Pet Insurance Infographic

To share this infographic on your site, simply copy and paste the code below:

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

For those of you still on the fence, you’re probably wondering what kind of common scenarios your pup might get into when pet insurance would apply. Check out our list of common dog health issues to get an idea. For example, removing lumps and bumps is one of the most common surgeries for dogs and can cost more than $1,000 each time.

That’s a lot of money that you weren’t planning to spend, and many people don’t have that amount of cash lying around. Insuring your pet can lift that weight off of you so you can focus on enjoying your time with your pets instead of worrying about having to pay for unexpected medical bills.

Have you had experiences (good or bad) with pet insurance?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing 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 pet health 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.
Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Rose
After reading these reviews, I was hoping to get Healthypaws for my new 5 month old kitten, however, after asking for a quote on their website, it stated that they are currently not accepting any new pets in Washington State as they are getting their rating evaluated by the Department of Insurance. When I attempted to call Healthypaws it only led to a audio recording with the same information, disconnecting immediately afterwards. It has been months since I initially requested a quote and still nothing. I’ve gone so far as to contact the Department of Insurance in Washington State and ironically it appears that Healthypaws has a policy available at this time and they can add new pets to that policy. It appears to be more of Healthypaw’s decision and not the Department of Insurance that is preventing any new pets to be added to their currently available policy as they are in aiming to get a new rating plan approved. Concern is 3 almost 4 months has passed. How long will Healthypaws not make their policy available?

This too puts me in a bind similar to Susan’s situation as I see so many bad reviews for other carriers. I almost narrowed down to Figo insurance but learned their so called “Elite” plan which initially described it as an unlimited plan actually isn’t as it is based on your location. In my location, there is a maximum of 20 K for the Elite option with also a maximum lifetime amount for the pet. 20K a year may seem a lot now, but surprisingly bills and costs can add up exponentially. A cat I know in just one month incurred over 10,000 dollars in medical bills! That is literally half the maximum annual allotment for illnesses on this so called Elite plan.

Anyone else experiencing these issues and are there any other plans out there that may be viable option?

I’ve looked into Petplan, Pets Best, Embrace, ASPCA, Figo, Healthypaws (which seemed to fit me the best if I didn’t have the issue outlined above), Nationwide.

Osc
I have an 8 1/2 year old Beagle Mix (not sure his exact breed). He’s a healthy guy, but I want to get him pet insurance. Trying to find information but it’s been a bit hard. Maybe you can help:

1) What deductible is good to have for him at this age or at 9 years old? (I was thinking of going for the $1,000 insead of $500, because if nothing happens in 18 months, then it pays for itself with the money you save)

2) How much should I max out my coverage at (ex. figo has limits)? (Was really looking for a place that would have the average bills for his breed and age)

3) Reimbursement amount recommendation; kind of ties back to question #2 statistics. I was thinking of 80%, but then again, he may not need that high or maybe its too low at his age.

Would love any great recommendations and feedback.

Thanks,
Osc

liz polo
Had Healthy Paws since 2015 – just got my rate increase 40% from last year! we don’t have any claims other than a shot for my dog every 3 months for dermatatis that’s $40. I’m trying to call them – now they have customer service outsourced been on hold for over 2 hours. I was very happy with them but lately they have gone downhill for customer service and the process of the claims. I need them to call me but they keep hanging up on me – this is what happens when you outsourced – you got people on that have quotas. HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE – gone downhill. No one to speak to from US.
Tim
Liz,

We apologize that our current customer service has not met yours or our expectations. We recognize that our hold times have been longer than expected recently. We have multiple call centers with the largest call centers based in the US and the smallest center in the Philippines, none of which work on any sort of quota basis. Our colleagues in the Philippines act as receptionists or operators, directing any concerns to our highly trained specialists if they cannot resolve them immediately. We value your feedback, and are actively communicating with all teams and trainers to continually fine-tune the customer experience.

We truly understand that no one likes any form of premium increase. Per you review, We know you haven’t had to file many claims and we hope that you never have to–this means your pet is healthy and accident free. Our management team works hard to keep our premiums as low as possible while still providing comprehensive coverage. New technology, advancements in veterinary treatments, and overall claim costs are taken into consideration when assessing our rates. Your monthly premium is going up because the increase in claim payments has been faster than the premium increases in your state. As a result, we need to increase the premium level for all pets in your state so you and your pet can have continued access to the best veterinary care. Rest assured, we will never penalize you with higher rates for making claims. All pet insurance companies, no matter how they market their benefits, will raise rates to keep up with the rapidly rising cost of veterinary care. We do our best to be transparent regarding annual premium increases by including this information on the “Frequently Asked Questions” page of our website. Give your baby a hug for us.

The Healthy Paws Team

Tammy
My 9 yr old dog just got a 50% increase in premium while my 2 year old dog’s premium just went down a little. So your answer doesnt seem to apply to me..
Janiris
I do not recommend PetsBest. They take over a month to review claims and then they reject your claim for any reason. In my case, I took my puppy to his vet because he was sick, but when I got there the vet was not there. The receptionist recommended a pet clinic nearby. When I submitted the invoice from the pet clinic I waited over a month for a response. When they finally got back to me they asked if I could provide the information from his regular vet, which I provided. About a week later I received an email stating that they had rejected my claim because they were unable to confirm his medical history. I am looking for a new insurance for my puppy company because I feel that they will always find a justification to reject your claims. Same goes with my car insurance which I have with progressive because after this I lost all my confidence in this company. I think I will be switching to Geico which, by the way, is now offering pet insurance.
Barb
I have had pet insurance for 2 of my dogs for 6 years, for one since we got him 4 years ago. All of them are rescues with mixed breed origins. We chose VPI, now Nationwide and experienced one lapse in coverage which moved me to a different plan with less coverage. I would probably make a different choice these days, however, we’ve had good results with Nationwide. One dog had a bilateral TPLO surgery and they covered up to the max of the coverage for that condition which came out to about 75%. Altogether the three dogs have had routine care managed and extraordinary illnesses covered at about 60% overall of the costs. The rates are high at this point because one dog is 9, one is 8, and the third is 6, but I would say that we have recovered the total cost of the insurance and gotten some reimbursement of costs, so it’s more than evened out for us, and I have had peace of mind about any catastrophic incident that might occur. The rule of thumb I was told when evaluating whether to get pet insurance was to decide if you’d be willing to spend 10k for your pet if it was in an accident or catastrophically ill. If you would, get the insurance. If you wouldn’t, be rational about what you can afford vs. what you’d be willing to pay out of pocket. It’s one reason I won’t go with a high deductible plan because I think if faced with paying that much out of pocket I might make the wrong decision about care. I will say that at this point the two older dogs have more restrictions on their policies due to pre-existing conditions than I’m comfortable with, but that will be the case if we switch plans, so I’m probably going to stay with Nationwide unless something changes about their coverage.
Sonia
I wanted to share my experience with pets best! I’ve had them 10 years! Had the wellness plan and accidental plan! They always paid on time. I got it ever since my dog was a puppy! She ended up developing lung issues, couldn’t breath due to a severe collapse trachea! At the time they didn’t know I’d it was pneumonia or cancer or other I had to leave her in tbt hospital as she was oxygen dependent and was On a bunch of meds! Needless to say $15k later and my girl got better! When i submitted the claim I only got $3k back telling me that bc I was one of the earlier customers when the company was just getting started and my plan/claim has a max on a specific condition for its lifetime which was $3k! After paying them 10 years that’s what they compensated me with! Months later I lost my Beautiful girl but that taught me a valuable lesson to thoroughly look at the fine print before you assume you are protected! All these years I thought I was assured and totally wasn’t! Big let down! Switched insurance company’s for my new dog after this let down!
Jazherah
My grandparents used 2 insurance companies for us kids because one covered things that the other didn’t. I’m considering using both Healthy Paws and Pet’s Best for the same reason. I know it will hit me hard in the purse, but I’m not sure if it’s legal or would be a problem with claims. Can anyone tell me?
Alex
I have a 5 y.o. yorkie who has recently undergone IVDD (slipped disk) surgery and is now recovered. Everything happened in a matter of just a few days. Statistically, one surgery should be enough for the rest of his life. Since I did not have insurance, I paid for everything out of pocket. After this scare, I am now determined to insure my dog. If he has had the surgery and recovered, would it still be considered ‘pre-existing condition’? There is always a possibility of something lie this happening but it would not be related.

Also, a friend’s dog (Maltese) had a recent episode of acute pancreatitis but it is cured now after (expensive) treatment and all tests came up normal. He is interested in getting his dog insured too, if another episode like this to happen in the future would it be covered? Sorry for the long questions, I am very confused about pre-existing conditions. If I would to sign up for insurance, will my contract be specific to my dog (e.g., if there are exceptions, they should be listed?).

Jimmy
One company to AVOID is PetFirst. They have a per incident deductible that they fail to mention over the phone (it is in the fine print in the emailed packet). Over the phone they will tell you it is yearly.
And the coverage was a fraud, they claimed a pre-existing condition when clearly the reason for the procedure was new.
Go to the Better Business Bureau website where you will see dozens of complaints, a 1 star avg reviews, and multiple comments calling for a lawsuit. I would sue them if I were in the same state, and win.
Alpha
We have a 12-week cockapoo puppy. Our vet in CT is VCA. They recommended a wellness plan, and gave us a brochure on their VCA CareClub product. Do you know anything about this provider, or how they compare to your top 3?
JBun
Wellness plans are bunk. They generally cover only the expected expenses that you can budget for. They do not normally cover illness or injury.
Pam M
I would usually be the last person to rave about any insurance, but my experience with Healthy Paws has been nothing short of perfect. I have a 5 Year old Vizsla who is a runner, climber and very active dog. I had been on the fence about pet insurance for years. A friend’s pup tore an ACL, a $4K surgery. I thought I’d signup before my dog turned 5. Several months later, what my vet initially thought was kennel cough turned out to be heart failure due to grain free food. Several echocardiograms, X-rays, and ekgs, and 5 prescriptions per month would have put me out of pocket at least $6K over the past 6 months. Thankfully I opted for the 90% reimbursement. I’m reimbursed within a few days. Submitting claims with an app and photo and done. Thank you Healthy Paws!
Don Hirschfeld
I put in a vet bill for removing rotted teeth and operating on gun disease. Healthy Paws Rejected claim.I didn’t read the fine print
They claim the mouth isn’t covered, what else isn’t covered eyes?,ears, nose and probably whatever your dog has . I paid in about $1500 maybe they don’t start paying until you pay in $5000. Oh and don’t forget the $200 deductible and 20% copay.
My rating 1 star.
Tim
Don,

We’re never happy when we can’t cover a claim for one of our clients. We make every effort to be transparent throughout our website, during the enrollment process and in the policy documents available to each client in their online Healthy Paws account regarding the limited exclusions of our policy. Those exclusions are pre-existing conditions, preventative/routine care and the office visit fee. Anyone visiting our website can see this information on our “Benefits, Coverage and Exclusions” page.

Our complete accident and illness plan covers injury to the teeth if it is caused by an accident, including extractions and reconstruction of damaged teeth. Like some other pet insurance companies, our plan does not cover the regular dental care required to maintain dental hygiene for the pet. By making routine dental cleaning part of the pet parent’s financial responsibility, it allows us to offer a complete accident and illness plan at an affordable monthly premium. Our policyholders value comprehensive accident/illness coverage and unlimited benefits at reasonable rates, which is why they choose to assume the responsibility of paying for those costs.

The Healthy Paws Team

Tom Piegari
My experience with Healthy Paws over the three years I have been with them is two rate increases. The increases have not been due to claims. Healthy Paws explains the increases are because of the type of dog ( English Bulldog) and my location (Danville, CA ). I have decreased my reimbursement level and deductible amount to partially offset the amount of the increases. I haven’t seen the upside of being with Healthy Paws pefhaps because I have not had a lot of claims. I will start to look at alternatives closely in the future.
Diana
Hi Tom,
Thank you for taking your time and sharing the information. I am in the process of researching what pet insurance would be the best choice for me. I was leaning toward Healthy Paws but now… Very disappointed that they couldn’t even respond to your post.
Good luck!
JBun
I’m here because my once $46/premium Trupanion policy is now about to be $159/month premium. My dog is only 6, this is insane. I think we need to push for legislation so that pets can have the same benefits of no pre-existing conditions if they are insured without gaps in coverage. Because right now the companies hook you, wait until the dog is a bit older, and jack up the prices like none other.
Wayne
Hi, Kimberly, Thanks so much for cautioning this. I just confirmed with Pets Best and unfortunately they are the same as Petplan and consider themselves as excess (secondary) if any other insurance is in force. So Pets Best and Petplan combo won’t work.

The only hope is some provider is willing to step up as the primary, then Pets Best can works as a secondary. However, in that case, it would be a drastic change from my original idea (noted on December 23 above) of having the current Pets Best policy as the primary and have the following cons:

1) Higher upfront costs (doubling premium and deductible), say, on the order of $700/year or $7,000/10 years in a hypothetical scenario. This does not sound worth it from an insurance point of view; i.e., you could save that cost and take the risk and pay out of pocket if such a huge expense occurs.

2) Complicated claim process (more headaches, involving two providers). Now the primary is a new policy, which does not cover certain pre-existing conditions, which are probably the common occurring conditions at the moment and will have to be covered by the secondary policy.

Like you suggested on Dec 28, at this point, it does not seem worthwhile to get a second plan at all.

Wayne
1) Just got Figo medical record review report back. They found two pre-existing conditions with our dog (small, mixed breed, bichon-poodle):

“Based on the medical records submitted, these are the clinical signs and symptoms of conditions noted by your veterinarian:
a) Suspect Allergies (Year/Date)
b) Medial luxating patella – grade II/IV bilaterally (Year/Date)
… if there is any condition that were to arise found to be related to allergies or knees, it may be deemed as pre-existing.”

On the positive side, they did not mark our dog’s periodontal/dental disease, which is considered curable.

2) Petplan’s medical record review is still underway – will take 30-40 days.

I’m just thinking aloud: guess such conditions could be considered very similarly by different providers, and thus Petplan could treat those as pre-existing as well, although their definition could differ slightly. At this point, perhaps it would make no sense to switch from our current Pets Best plan (unfortunately with a $5,000 annual max, no non-routine dental coverage) to a new plan (with high max and dental) any more, as such pre-existing conditions could be expensive.

Could somebody with more experience on medical record review comment or share your insight? Many thanks in advance.

Wayne
Hi, Kimberly,

Figo is turning 6 years in two weeks. Would love to see your review on this young provider. They do have some attractive features and I’ll have to decide between Figo, ASPCA, and Petplan. It may sound stupid, but I had to enroll in Figo and Petplan to be eligible for their medical record review in order to determine which conditions are not covered. I also enrolled in ASPCA, which does not offer such a review. All three providers claim to offer non-routine dental coverage, which is the main reason for us to switch away from the current Pets Best plan (with $5,000 annual max) with no dental coverage whatsoever.

Today is my last day of 30-day trial for both. For our 6-year old bichon-poodle mix (12 lbs) in northern California, with unlimited coverage, $300 deductible, and 90% reimbursement, Figo’s monthly premium is $56.35, ASPCA’s $64.91, while Petplan’s $120.02 (even after the 5% discount from your link). One minor point: I did find Figo charged my next month’s premium on Day 24 of our enrollment, 6 days earlier than it’s supposed to be.

I understand Petplan and ASPCA are more established than Figo, which seems too young to have a track record to be compared with, but now that it’s almost 6 years old, it would be great to see your verdict on Figo. That would help me a lot with our decision. Thanks so very much in advance.

yannie
Hi? What is the problem why my dog is not eating any kind of food?
Stephanie
Can you please tell me which company would be best for a French bulldog given all of their potential health problems. I currently have nationwide but it seems they have very poor reviews. My puppy is 6 months old and no health issues yet
darcy
have you seen the yelp reviews for Pets Best? Why are you recommending this company??
Wayne
We got denied coverage from Pets Best in April 2018 for our small dog’s tooth extractions ($1,700) that were performed to treat periodontal disease. Here’s EOB from the denied claim:
“The condition being claimed is related to progressive periodontal disease. Progressive periodontal disease and conditions secondary to periodontal disease are not part of policy coverage. Please refer to the “Exclusions Applicable to All Plans” section in your Policy Form.”

However, according to https://www.caninejournal.com/is-pet-insurance-worth-it/#terms, “Non-Routine Dental” is covered by Pets Best. So I’m a bit puzzled by the accuracy of the info listed here. Can anybody clarify?

Thanks.

Wayne
Hi, Kimberly,

Thanks so much for your informative reply! I just dug out our policy (file downloaded: POL_IHC_5_PETS_PolicyBookletAnnualIllness_CA_v1.pdf). We are in California and have Pets Best $5,000 annual max plan for our five-year old bichon-poodle boy (he will be six in a few days).

The policy lists the following Items #23, #24 for Exclusions, without mentioning any of the conditions you noted above in order to obtain coverage for periodontal disease:

“23. Claims for teeth cleanings, except as provided under the Wellness Benefit if purchased. Gingivitis and progressive periodontal disease caused by the accumulation of tartar is not a covered expense.

24. Dental health care, however if injury to teeth is caused by an Accident, we do cover the cost of extractions of damaged teeth and of reconstruction of upper and lower canine teeth.”

We enrolled in the current Pets Best plan 2.5 years ago when our body was three. Had no idea then he would be prone to periodontal disease….

We are considering whether to switch to another plan with Pets Best or start with another company all over again. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Best,
Wayne

Wayne
Hi, Kimberly,

Thanks so much for reminding of pre-existing exclusions! In our case, in addition to the consideration of dental coverage, another motivation is to switch to a plan with no max, because our current Pets Best plan has a $5,000 annual max, which could be easily maxed out in the event that something serious happens. I called Pets Best today and was surprised to find out that even if we upgrade to such a plan within Pets Best, it would actually be considered as a new policy and pre-existing exclusion would apply. Our dog does have allergy, which is covered now, but would fall into this category to be excluded if we switch to any new plan (with the same or a new carrier).

Pets Best CSR also confirmed that they do not have any plan that covers non-routine dental (except for accidents).

Meanwhile, Pets Best offers a stand-alone Cancer Only plan, for ~$15/month ($200 deductible, 90% reimbursement), which can be purchased separately. Seems an option to consider, but cancer is not the only expensive condition that could happen to dogs (in our case, Bichon Poodle mix, 11 pounds). Other conditions like diabetes and knee problems would cost a fortune too.

I also called PetPlan. They do offer dental coverage for gum/periodontal disease, which is considered curable with no pre-existing exclusions! But they require a 1-year waiting period for this, which doesn’t sound bad. But again, if we switch, we would lose our current coverage for allergy. So far, allergy only costs a couple of hundred dollars a year (even without insurance), but gum disease cost $1,800 this year alone. So in principle, we would live with it if we trade dental for allergy coverage. But I’m not sure which one would be more expensive down the road, and was told allergy can stay forever.

It would be a hard decision. Neither one is ideal. Could go with two plans combined, but that won’t be cost effective either…

I’m trying to make a decision soon and take action before our dog turns 6-years old in a few days.

Any timely suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thankfully,
Wayne

Jonathan Kov
Looking to buy a plan just to protect myself in the event of a major expense. PetsBest offers a plan with an unlimited annual limit, $1000 deductible, and 70% reimbursement rate for $10.35 per month. Lets pretent my 2 year old dog needed a $8000 procedure. Thus, this procedure would cost me $2100. ($8k, less 1K, times 30%) Obviously if I up the reimbursement rate or lower the deductible, my monthly rate would increase. Has anyone else done it this way? Does anyone have a pos/neg opinion on PetsBest? Thanks
Michelle
My labradoodle has a CCL tear and is in need of a $5,000 surgery. I currently don’t have insurance. From what I hear, it is common for dogs to eventually have the same issue in the other leg. As of now, his right leg is fine. If I was to sign up for insurance now, I know the surgery he needs now on his left leg wouldn’t be covered because it was pre-existing. But, what if he gets a CCL tear in his good leg a year from now? Would that be covered since it is a different leg or would it be considered pre-existing since he already had the same issue in the left leg?
Kay
Good morning,
My Cat was diagnosed with a benign hemangioma (basically a bloody non-cancerous tumor) on his toe and the hemangioma and the toe was completely removed. The vet considers him cured. Would insurance agencies still consider this a pre-existing condition even if non-cancerous, removed and considered cured?

Thanks!

Brian
I have a Aussiedor that recently ingested a piece of a toy and had to undergo surgery to remove it. He’s only 7 months old currently and unfortunately I didn’t have pet insurance at the time. The surgery went well and he’s ok now but I am now looking into pet insurance after having to spend such a large amount of money on the surgery. If he was to ingest something in the future and require surgery again would the claim be denied?
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Great question Brian and I think the answer would depend on the company. I would suggest that you call the companies you are considering and ask them about your specific question to see whether it would be considered a preexisting condition or not.
Mel
Shopping for pup insu now. Dental coverage is important to us, who does or does not include it and who has best dental?
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Non-routine dental is covered by most major companies. In fact, every company we reviewed offers this except for 24PetWatch and PetFirst. You can see these details and more here: https://www.caninejournal.com/is-pet-insurance-worth-it/#what-does-it-cover

If you are looking for routine dental cleanings to be included, you will probably want to explore adding a wellness component to your policy. Not every wellness plan has this coverage though so be sure to read carefully. We would recommend adding BestWellness to a PetsBest insurance plan. https://www.caninejournal.com/pet-wellness-plans/#pets-best

Mark
I almost when with petsbest until i asked about what is required to maintain dental coverage (i asked because it is. Ot in the policy) i was told that a yearly cleaning was required regardless if they need it or not, i said that my vet (and many others) recommend against cleaning unless needed due the the risk of being put under which is especially true of an older dog. Anyways i asked them to point to the language “dental cleaning required every year to maintain coverage” in the policy and they sent me the same policy that I reviewed that had no such language and said “we are very clear in our polanout the dental coverage” yet when asked again they answered with the same response. I am very leary about all of these companies if you look at the policys the language is very vague and limited to give them lots of latitude in approving claims. I have no doubt that if you have a healthy no prexisting condition Fido and breaks his leg it will be covered as well as Cancer, but more common things like teeth or say swollowing an object twice in one period will be depending on the insurer and the sneeky language contained in the policy itself.
Bernemom
Just got a 9 week old bernedoodle puppy, first generation from a Bernese mom and standard poodle dad (he’s gonna be a big boy!). Read all of your great information here (THANK YOU!) and given that we have a puppy, I’m leaning towards Healthy Paws. Just wondering if you have any thoughts / experience on how these companies handle annual rate increases. From reading many comments, it seems that even if costs seemed reasonable in the beginning, many folks have faced the issue of major premium increases.
ben
i have a 5 yr old rescue. Currently have Nationwide/VPI and they want me to renew at a price near $950. we have their major medical plan with wellness plus rider. This seems like a very high price. Any suggestions on other plans would be appreciated.

PS- ion the paperwork from the adoption agency it has a pre-existing skin issue that the vet has determined no longer exists will the condition ever be covered?

Lynn
As others have mentioned, it seems every single pet insurance company has horror stories. Any company will do its due diligence to try to find any little thing in your dog’s past that can be used against you to say it’s a pre-existing condition. If they can’t, then they’ll cover it.
I can already see how hard Pets Best pushes to try to get that proof. We are in the process of our first (very simple) claim to try to get credit toward our deductible for <$20 of anxiety meds. PB wants everything but the kitchen sink from our vet/us. So now I realize, they have her full records, and let's say…if she has any future stomach issues, they'll use it against us that she saw a vet (the week before her coverage began) for being sick from eating poop in the woods. Even though I know any GI issues in the future are unrelated, they'll still say it's pre-existing.
Note that some of these companies don't allow repeat occurrences within 12 months, either. Like, if your dog gets an ear infection and it's covered once, then gets another one within 12 months, they'll deny it. I've read many, many comments to that effect.
Just be smart. Know what's in your dog's records, and think to yourself if it's honestly worth it to try to have Illness coverage. Look at it from the insurance company's eyes and try to imagine what they'll use against you. Do you really want to pay premiums for years, only to find out everything is "pre-existing" when the time comes to use your policy?
I think we're going to go with Accident-Only, and that's that.
Rainu
Is healthy paws the only one of your top 3 that has “Unlimited lifetime coverage so no annual or per incident limits on claims”?
I thought ‘pets best’ also had no annual limits? But do they have “limited lifetime coverage and per incident limits on claims”?

Does petbest coverage of hip displaysia after age 6 get reduced as well?

Audrey
I have Pets Best since 2 years ago and I love it. It had saving me a looot of money. I got when I got my cat, and until now he only had has sickness so everything it’s been covered.
Melissa Fargo
Besides Trupanion do any others pay the vet directly minimizing your out of pocket payments?
Rikki
Good morning,

Thank you for all the great information. I love that fact that you are answering every comment too. very awesome!!

My Question: is there something wrong with Geiko/Nation Wide/Progressive? I am looking at Nation Wide right now and quoted me at 43 for emergencies and wellness. looks like Nation has their own through petinsurance.com where as Progressive runs through Pets Best.

regards,

yukip
I wanna get the Healthy Paws pet insurance for my dog but they don’t offer the wellness plan. So what should I do?
Juddpaynter
Seems to me that none of these insurances are perfect. They all have negative feedback on other websites.
Donald Bowman
I forgot to mention, the pup will be 8 weeks and 1 day old this Saturday. I will need to get him/her all shots, including parvo. We will be bringing the pup straight to vet for shots, then to our home.
Donald Bowman
We will be adopting a puppy this Saturday. A coworker’s dog had unplanned puppies and I volunteered to take one. As we have not been able to coordinate schedules with the owner, this will be our first time seeing the pups. We will choose one based on personality, so I don’t have a name or gender yet. Is it possible to get pet insurance before seeing the dog?
Dani
I’ve fostered dogs & adopted senior dogs, never had pet insurance. My most recent senior dog passed away after only 3 days of illness & an $8,000 vet bill. I’m curious if pet insurance covers rescue dogs – really tough to know of any ‘pre existing conditions’ these little angels might have. And, if pet insurance covers holistic, integrative veterinary care.
Thank you!
Fran
I have no pet insurance and paid out of pocket for TPLO surgery . I decide to get pet insurance and my dog tears his other ACL–would insurance cover the second TPLO?
Jon Kova
Just FYI everone. I was just at my local vet. Asked him about pet insurance. He’s the owner of the business, and highly sought after as a vet in my area. (Owns more than one location.) He told me he still can’t believe most folks don’t buy pet insurance. I asked him his favorites, as he is the person that fills out the forms, etc. He gave me 4. Trupanion, Embrace, ASPCA, and Petplan. I asked if he had to narrow that list down which would he choose, and he told me Trupanion or Embrace.
CH GARTUS
Wondering why no insurance accepts pre existing conditions – Seems like the only one that does is Pet Assure but they are more like a discount club than insurance – Anyone have experience with this company?
Tanya Carrere Cooper
I have used Healthy Paws Pet Insurance for my last 4 pets. My service dog was the first one I ensured after our previous baby passed. He was diagnosed with a deadly cancer and passed as well. I didnt think cancer would be covered but sure enough, it was. The bill was steep and Healthy Paws paid it very quickly. We adopted three 3 month old pups from a reputable shelter and quickly insured them. Good thing, in less than a month one had a bladder problem. The next month a different one was vomiting. Each trip to the ER and overnight stays cost about 1K each…it was paid by Healthy Paws. Our most recent ER visit was our baby boy RJ who needed ACL surgery $3800 going in. Not only did Healthy Paws pay their portion, it was within 7 days. They also took the time to email us to ask how he’s recovering. Amazing customer service, and I love the mobile app. I can see if the claim waz reviewed, processing or complete. Best insurance Plan!!!!! Thanks Healthy Paws Pet Insurance!!!
Daryl
When getting quotes on-line from companies are everyone’s rates based on their type of animal/breed/age ONLY or is the State or County within the State you live in part of the equation? We live in New York/Westchester County & I’ve received quotes from Healthy Paws & Pets Best ($30-$35 range) and they are much lower than Trupanion or Embrace( $60-$65 range) for basically the same annual limit (unlimited); deductible ($250) and reimbursement (90%) Most of our friends in NY recommend Trupanion, Embrace or ASPCA which based on your comparisons doesn’t make sense if Healthy Paws/Pets Best offers the same for less so it would be nice to know if there is going to be an upcharge in our quote once we plug in our address/state/county
Damian
Are there any insurance companies that will truly not increase premiums as my dog ages ?
Jon Kova
Which company do you feel would be best if I am looking for the least amount of monthly cost? I don’t want to spend $30/$40 per month, for example. I just want to safeguard against a super high vet bill. I don’t mind having a high deductible, lower reimbursement. Or wouldn’t your rankings change, based on what I am after? (Have a 1 year old poodle)
Payton
I took my dog to VES in Madison, WI which is the ER for pets. The doctor there told us that he had a suspected cruciate ligament tear. We went home with pain medication and had him resting. There was no playing, no running, or jumping around. He’s a boxer mix, but unsure what he’s mixed with. Everyone tells us he’s mixed with a pit bull because he looks like it. Anyway, since it’s already in the doctors note that he has a suspected cruciate ligament tear on his left leg, how long would I have to wait for Healthy Paws to be able to cover this same leg for this same issue if he were to get it again. He’s only 5 months and he’s actually been fine. He stopped limping and he only has some pain when the leg is flexed but not as much when it’s extended. This is our first puppy and we just want to be prepared for the worst in case he may need surgery, although I hear that it can be self cured with resting it as much as possible but I’m not so sure about that.

Also, a lot of insurance companies don’t cover office visits for regular check ups. Banfield has wellness plans where they have unlimited office visits free of charge, vaccinations, heart worm medication, etc. Would it be best to just have the insurance and then the wellness plan on the side? Please advise.

Nancy
My vet sent me a copy of my dog’s medical records, so I could review them before purchasing pet insurance. He’s a 6-year old lab mix. During the past 18 months, he’s seen 3 different vets at the same clinic. All great doctors, but there are discrepancies between their medical notes. For example, the first vet who saw my dog noted “musculoskeletal popping” and diagnosed it is “decreased range of motion and mild crepititus in hips” but all subsequent vets at same practice noted “no lameness, normal ambulation x4, summetrical musculature.” (My dog did have a temporary sore muscle that was resolved with medication.) I was surprised to see things in the medical notes that could be interpreted by insurance as early symptoms of hip dysplasia, arthritis, allergies, dental disease, urinary problems, and more. So I wonder if it’s still worth getting insurance? Wouldn’t most claims be denied due to these types of medical notes, regardless of the discrepancies or ultimate diagnosis?
Nicki Clark
Thank you for publishing the best pet insurance reviews on the web. This was very informative and helped our family decide which policy to purchase for our new Christmas puppy. Thank you again!
Amanda Thomas
It doesn’t specify for Healthy paws if I could go to any vet. Would I be able to or would I have to go to certain vets?
Ashley
I have a 1 year old yorkie that throwed up. I took him to the vet and he has an elevated liver levels through blood work and a fasting test. The vet wants to refer him out to a surgeon suspecting it might be a shunt. Wondering if I can still sign him for insurance since he has not officially been diagnosed.
pj cook
So.. Healthy Paws will put a $ limit on my dogs services when he turns 8? What if hip Dysplaia sets in during year 9?
Jake
Warning. Stay away from Figo Pet Insurance. They are a scam. Their customer service is horrible and they process claims very slowly. I was told several times that they are experiencing high claim volume and they are hiring more people to handle it. I was also told they are growing too fast and are experiencing growing pains. This is not my problem. I have asked several times to speak with a supervisor and there is never one available. I pay my premium on time every month and expect my claims to be processed in a reasonable amount of time. Maybe they should slow down and focus on their existing customers. At this rate they will be out of business from all their unhappy customers. I wish I never signed up with them. There are lots of other pet insurance companies out there that you should consider. I will be cancelling my policy and getting a new policy with another company. Figo it is time for you to GO out of business.
Babyboybeagle
Is HGE considered a pre-existing condition or illness?
Cloud9petSupplies
Just like our life, our pets’ life is also important. Similarly, Like our Life insurance, Pet Insurance is important for our pets. It has many advantages! This article helps us find the best for our pets. Pets are really an important part of our lives. So why not choose the best for them? I did. And everyone should! Thanks for the article though! ๐Ÿ™‚
Jenn
I would NOT recommend Petsbest to anyone. I don’t even know how it’s ranked as second best. That is truly shocking. As a first time policy holder for my 4 year old cat, Petsbest was anything but helpful. I filed my first claim with them for pruitus. My cat has never had an issue with skin issues ever before. The process took over a month to process when on the website clearly says they process everything within 2 weeks and was rated highly for it! The excuses they gave me were “our department is backed up …we need more documents”..basically the runaround just to tell me at the end that my claim was denied. I had called them to make sure if this was going to be covered under my policy and was told by two reps that it would fall under illness which is why I went ahead with all the necessary procedures recommended by the vet. They obviously don’t live up to their promises and all they want is your money. What is the point of insurance? I am canceling my policy and starting on a new hunt for a good insurance for my babies. This company is the worst!
Gerard Denham
Sorry to disagree with you, but Petsbest is one of the best. Every claim I filed was processed with 2 days and check received in the mail in 5 days. When my dog died of cancer, they automatically cancelled my policy and refunded me the prorated amount of the annual premium.
Maddy M.
I was very unhappy with Petplan. We used them for our 2 young adult dogs. The first year, the monthly premium was $47 for both of them. When we moved from Arizona to North Carolina, we had to renew our policy, and at that time, it went up to $78. That’s near double in price. Ridiculous, for 2 perfectly healthy dogs under 5. When it was time to renew, we just let the policy lapse, and are now hunting for a new company.
James Cringe

I Hate Petplan. They raised the rates on us as well as our dog aged…from 1500 a year to 4000! They said they had a new underwriter. Everything at that point was a pre existing condition so we couldn’t switch and just cancelled. They also charge a deductible per incident…the others have a yearly deductible. Canine Journal is getting a kick back with their discount links.

Jason
Question – Do these policies provide an accidental death benefit? For example, if your dog was hit by a car and did not survive is there any reimbursement for costs associated with burial or cremation? I know that’s a terrible thing to think about, but unfortunately I have had it happen and the cost of burial can be significant.
Amy Smith
This article was very helpful. I’m looking to get my son a puppy this coming Christmas and I want to make sure we choose the best pet insurance plan to go along with it. Thank you so much!
Bec
Do all plans require a vet exam prior to coverage
Glos
I have an 8 month old female Akita. I am overwhelmed with the pet insurance options. She has no pre-existing conditions so far but akitas are known for bloat, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism. What would be the best for her and us? I looked at 80% reimbursement, $250/annual deductible to compare. Healthy Paws quoted $42/mo, Trupanion $80/mo, Embrace $56/mo, Figo $51/mo, Pets Best $54/mo. I really don’t know which plan is best. Or should I just pay out of pocket (or put aside $$$$ each month). I can afford both. My first akita we spent $30k out of pocket in his last 2 years of his life dealing with cancer (age 10). Am I really going to pay ~$50/mo (if I continue with the select insurance) til she’s 10-12 years old?
Rita Chesterton
How do CATS fare under the top 3 plans? or would you recommend a different insurance company for felines?
Valerie
How much coverage (dollar amount) do you recommend for a dog for single incident and for annual coverage? I have a 4 month Rottweiller so I guess my major concerns for him would be getting hurt if he got loose from our yard, hip trouble down the road, or swallowing something.
francesco
Hi Kimberly, compliments for your activity!
i work for a European company we manufacture an innovative dialysis equipment for small/medium size pets and we would enter the US market offering this new treatment NOT available now in the US. Dialysis for PETs is available now in the US, but, only for big size pet because vets are using human dialysis machines and these machines need a lot of blood to work, small/medium size pets have not enough blood to work with those human equipment
I am now kindly asking you, as far as you know, if PETs insurances health plans cover dialysis treatment and how much insurance pay for this treatment, i read a lot about this on the web, but, treatment prices are very high and we would help PETs owners offering a reasonable price treatment
i thank you very much for your attention at me and looking forward to read from you
kind regards
Francesco
Zachary
how come Figo is not ranked? Figo covers vet exam fees, has no upper age limits, offers the most generous plans, offers a pet cloud app that is versatile in usage, and one of the most affordable. Further, ranked #1 for best overall pet insurance with reviews.com and bestcompany.com
cali
What is the best pet insurance in Canada? The top two that are offered here from your list are Petplan and Trupanion.
Rachel
Why isn’t TruPanion on the list? Their monthly NEVER goes up because your pet is sick or ages and they cover 90percent. It’s one plan. You even can choose your deductible. You’ll never be dropped either. To me, that’s the real winner.
Lisa
Just received the monthly Health Paws premium increase for my 15 month old dog. I was shocked at the $4/per month increase. Nothing has changed in coverage or in the industry to justify this kind of hike. Anyone else seeing ridiculous hikes?
The Healthy Paws Team
Lisa – During the past year there was an overall increase in the frequency of high-value treatments such as anterior cruciate ligament surgeries, cancer treatments including chemotherapy, and foreign body exploratory surgeries performed by veterinarians. These are some examples of procedures performed during the last 12 months that ranged anywhere from $3,000-$14,000. As we have stated in other responses, due to the increasing cost of new technology and advances in veterinary care, rates were adjusted. These increases provide you the opportunity to offer your pet the best medical and diagnostic options available today. Rest assured, we will never penalize you with higher rates for making claims. All pet insurance companies, no matter how they market their benefits, will raise rates periodically to keep up with the rapidly rising cost of veterinary care. We do our best to be transparent on these increases by including this information within our website on the “Frequently Asked Questions” page.

Even though we could not keep your increase as low as we would have liked, our competitors premiums are historically higher overall than your premium with Healthy Paws. Our management team works hard to keep your premiums as low as possible, but there continues to be an overall increase in the frequency of high-value treatments performed by veterinarians.

kara
I am concerned that my dog might have ACL issues. From what I have read it seems like it fits perfectly, however I need to take her to the vet to confirm. I am wondering if I get insurance now and she is diagnosed with this will they consider it a pre – existing condition if i sign up before the vet visit.
karen
as your pet ages, I have heard insurance companies don’t cover as much or none at all…say 9, 10 ,11 yrs of age..
Rachel
That’s why TruPanion is an amazing company. You’re premium never goes up if your pet has illnesses and when your pet ages. If it does go up it’s only due to inflation. You won’t have to worry about it going up much or ever being dropped.
Kathleen
I was wondering what everyones opinion are on the big difference between Healthy Paws vs. Pets Best? If I am understanding it correctly Healthy Paws price can increase any month for a variety of reasons. Pets Bset can only go up once a year.
Natalia
Healthy Paws has acted as scam artists on my policy. I believe they spend $ on advertising and ratings. I have a sick yorkie that couldn’t be diagnosed, yet every claim has been rejected. After they claimed he had pre-existing conditions he was checked for those and they came back negative. Yet H Paws still refuses to pay. They’re a complete scam,
The Healthy Paws Team
Natalia – As a company, we value our client’s input, good or bad. Unfortunately, we cannot find your account in our system with any degree of certainty using the information you provided in your review, so we’ll reply to your issues the best we can.

We do our best to be transparent throughout our website, during the enrollment process and in the policy documents available to each client in their online Healthy Paws account regarding the limited exclusions of our policy. Those exclusions are pre-existing conditions, preventative/routine care and the office visit fee (veterinary exam fee). Anyone visiting our website can see this information on our “Benefits, Coverage and Exclusions” page.

All claim decisions are based off of your pet’s medical records and the signs/symptoms that are noted by your veterinarian. Most pet insurance companies including Healthy Paws use a pet’s medical records and notes written by the attending veterinarian to determine if there are any pre-existing conditions which would keep us from approving a claim. Without being able to look at your Healthy Paws account, it sounds as though your veterinarian associated some of your pet’s conditions to a pre-existing condition and therefore, it was not eligible for coverage. We’re sorry your pet is ill and hope they’re feeling better,

The Healthy Paws Team
Kathleen – at Healthy Paws, any premium increase would occur once a year at your policy’s anniversary date.
Kathleen
To estimate future payments for insurance is it recommend to put in a search in with different ages? Some of the estimates for a senior dog are coming in more than my car insurance for the year! I am also thinking of setting up a special account just for the dog and put money into it. The insurance might reimburse you but you need the money upfront.
Rachel
So not with Trupanion. They’ll pay your vet. If you set up a special account for your pet it can take 10 years to save up $6k if you put in 50 a month. Why not just put it towards a premium and have them insured now?
sue
I’d like to know the answer to a previous user’s post…the question was. I am thinking about purchasing pet insurance for my new puppy, and was dealing with the free 30 day pet insurance company from Petfinder. They explained that other insurance companies do decide whether the cost of an xray (for example) is reasonable. And if they consider it high, they will only pay based on what they think the cost of the xray should be. So, I am very curious if the top rated companies follow this same logic.

Do all pet insurance companies work in the following way? Lets say your dog needs a x-ray Your vet charges $75. However, the pet insurance believes the reasonable cost is $65. From the $65 they will pay you 80% of that.

Thank you in advance,
Sue

Amanda Raylene
A year ago last February, a car accident caused severe head trauma to our Coonhound, Fred, less than a week after we adopted him. He would have been fine if his harness hadn’t broke. The shelter had given us a 7 day free pet insurance policy from 24Pet Watch and I just needed to enter the info on-line. The vet bill was almost $400, including the $85 cremation. 24Pet Watch paid $69 for the $300 in vet services because they believed the vet over charged us. I know the vet gave us some services free of charge and over charging was not the case. However, 24Pet Watch did allow for me to complete the entering of Fred’s information on-line after he passed away. They were very easy to work with and they did honor the policy. I hope this is helpful.
Kathleen
I would be interested to know how long the above three insurance companies have been in business. In addition what is the average increase per year for your pets plan?
Kathleen
Do all pet insurance companies work in the following way? Lets say your dog needs a x-ray Your vet charges $75. However, the pet insurance believes the reasonable cost is $65. From the $65 they will pay you 80% of that.
Karen
I am getting a Newfoundland pup in the next few weeks. I want to get insurance as soon as I get him. After looking at reviews of several reviewing sources, I am totaling confused. Newfoundland’s are prone to dysplasia, acl issues so, covering of these issues are a must. Any advice/help would be appreciated. Thanks alot.
Jacqueline
Please I need help finding the perfect insurance. I have five small breed dogs. Two of which areare nine years old and the other three are seven. They have all had emergency hospital visits at least once. I don’t ever keep up with their vaccines and teeth cleaning. I cant afford to do it, but every year I end up at the vet. So I started to consider insurance. I need a plan that is multi pet friendly, with wellness . I need one that includes teeth cleaning. Two of my dogs need an operation and I don’t know if they’ll get any coverage under any insurance. The male dog needs a perineal hernia surgery. Another dog needs cherry eye surgery , she’s had it since she was a puppy but recently I’ve noticed she started to get something that looks like a cataract on it. I don’t want her loosing eyesight or her eye. Both dogs have suffered from epilepsy, and I wanna know if any insurance will cover them when an emergency. I was saving for a surgery for them but all of it was spent on another emergency when another dog broke her leg.
Jens
Thanks for providing this information. We have two Saint Bernards (ages 2 and 4). I have requested quotes from your top three recommendations based on $500 deductible and 80% coverage. PetPlan was around double the monthly rate amount of Healthy Paws and PetsBest. There are some coverage differences, but within the limits of the quote process I tried to make it an equal comparison.
Tina
To add to my last comment… I am also looking for an insurance that includes wellness plan and I see Healthy Paws does not include. This is my second dog and I don’t want to make the same mistake of not having insurance or wellness plan since my previous puppy had many health issues, so I’m looking for the best that is worth my price and gives many benefits. Thanks
Tina
I have an 8 month old Maltese female and I am looking for the best insurance. I see you listed Healthy Paws as #1, however the vet I take her to says they accept Trupanion. Which is greater of the two? In regards to price and what the plan has to offer. I am looking to pay for the best premium plan.
Jeff
If it helps you at all I’ve had Healthy Paws for over two years. I bought the insurance on a premonition, and it turned out to be correct. I made two payments and my dog Kira ended up being severely injured. I believe he was hit by a car. His left rear leg was shattered so badly the emergency vet felt that amputation was the only realistic treatment. He was far to young for that so the vet sent the xrays out to specialists in the Bay area. A great surgeon said he could save the leg. I drove Kira to San Francisco that night, a Sunday. I arrived at 2am and surgery was done at 8am. Doc not only saved his leg, he fixed Kira up so well that he hasn’t even slowed down! The final bill was over 8K, of which I ended up paying a little over $800. Healthy Paws reimbursed me within 5 business days. The claim form consisted of taking a picture of the bill on my smart phone using the Healthy Paws app and forwarding it to them. I filled out a some basic information on the app and that was it. Best insurance experience I’ve ever had in my life. Healthy Paws says what they will do and then do what they say. They are consistently rated the best by several different authorities on pet insurance. There’s a very good reason for that ranking. They are simply the best, even going so far as to check up on me and Kira by calling and asking how we were doing and if there was anything they could do to help. Customer service is top notch too. I can’t endorse them highly enough.
Trina
Well I just got a 6 year old Yorkie yesterday looking for pet Insurance. Jeff I read your and it looks like that is the best insurance for your pet….Thanks
Slyster
Can you tell me when you will be updating your top 3?
Kim
I just got a policy with Healthy Paws for my 8-month-old puppy. I went back and forth between HP and PetPlan for a while, but here’s why I went with HP: premium increases are based on inflating veterinary costs rather than PetPlan’s “based on the age of your dog and average veterinary costs for your type of pet.” The PetPlan rep told me to start a quote for an older dog to see what my premium increases might be like. $58 for my dog when he’s 4? No thanks. HP seems like a beneficial one to start with when you have a young dog because your premium isn’t going to increase as much as with other companies. I like that PetPlan covers vet exam fees and almost chose it for that reason, but to me it isn’t worth the 25-40% premium increases every year.
Karl
Thank you for this great overview! It would be great to know which insurance you would recommend for an older dog. I have a (very healthy!) 8 yo Golden retriever female and would like to switch away from my ASPCA insurance. Healthy Paws was my first choice but they would NOT cover any hip dysplasia that might occur in the future for dogs older than 6. I called them and they didn’t quite know what to answer when I asked if they would accept an orthopedic exam testifying good bone health which can reduce the waiting period for some other insurances. Then I checked with Pet Plan and that would have been $200/month coverage, which is a little excessive. It just seems like if you do not insure your pet from early age on then why bother.
Dave
I was happy with Petplan until they raised my premiums by 50% when my dog turned 7 years old. As usual, they claimed that expenses etc. had gone up over the year; standard spin. Be aware of Petplan’s standard business practice.
Sandra
Dental coverage question:

Since adopting a dog last summer, I decided that I really needed to get with the program and get pet health insurance for all three of my pets (one dog, two cats). These reviews are an immense help! Thank you!

I know this is a dog forum, but I can’t seem to track down an answer to this elsewhere on line, I thought I’d ask here: I’m trying to find a plan for my cats that cover dental cleanings. Embrace seems to cover $400 (under their wellness reimbursement), but I just had a friend pay nearly $4000 for her two cats. Are there any other insurance options that cover that kind of procedure Thank you!

John R.
I am a Petplan Pet Insurance customer since 2012 and unfortunately I had a very large vet bill last year when my Boxer began having seizures. I won’t get into the details of my dog’s situation, but I can say that Petplan was excellent throughout the entire situation. The claims process is pretty straightforward and when I had questions, Petplan was quick to point me in the right direction. I ended up getting reimbursed almost $3,000, so that was a major relief.
Monica
I am in need of help with picking out an insurance for my 9 week old Purebred Rottweiler. I’ve never owned a dog in my life nor do I have any experience. I’ve tried asking most of my friends who has dogs but they all have a wellness plan and not real insurance. I know that all dogs are different and you gotta pick an insurance that will go well with your dog but I feel so confused and overwhelmed by all the options out there. I’ve been trying to ask on social media (Instagram) what they prefer but they were no help. If someone can direct me to the right plan and help me out, it’ll be greatly appreciated.
ken
I had vpi but they have a schedule of coverage that barely covers 50%. I don’t know why HealthyPaws rated so highly as they do not cover holistic care or holistic prescriptions by the vet. I put healthypaws pet insurance as bad. I ended up with trupanion which had similar coverage to healthypaws but also covers holistic care, holistic prescriptions by a vet, etc.
susan williams
PLEASE respond to this I am needing help. My dog tore his acl two months ago. He has had terrible problems and two surgeries and scheduled to have a third. Today I signed up with VPI pet insurance – the Wellness plan. I have been assured by several representatives that if his other leg (common) also get a torn acl it will be covered under this plan. The only waiting period is 14 days. I am very skeptical of this but four people including a supervisor assured me that it would be covered under the wellness policy. Anyone that can give me any experience with this would be so appreciated. I do not want to pay $62.00 per month and then find out it won’t be covered. The other leg very often does get a torn acl. I know nothing under the first leg would be covered. PLEASE GIVE ME FEEDBACK. The policies are too difficult to decipher. Thank you.
Magwheelz
Just found out my dog has diabetes and has an appointment later today to get started on insulin. Do these plans cover this after it’s already been diagnosed (pre-existing condition I guess)? My current vet doesn’t even take insurance but would seek out another one if I had to. Thanks
Charisse
My GSD has to have her knee repaired (ACL tear). Some companies cover the other knee if it becomes injured and some do not. Can you tell me what is the best insurance company for me?
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Hi Charisse,
Let us look into this more so we can be sure we provide you the right answer. Stay tuned…
Newell Smith
Regarding VPI/Nationwide, my dog was impaled on a large branch in a creek. She had a hole in her belly the size of a quarter. The animal hospital had to operate on her overnight. They made a five inch incision to clean the wound and make sure there was no perforation of her stomach, and they installed a drain tube. The bills were over $1500. VPI/Nationwide treated it as a routine laceration and paid only $375. They said I couldn’t talk to a medically trained reviewer, but could only talk to customer service, who would only talk about the “code” for laceration. They told me to go talk to my state insurance commissioner if I had a problem with it.
Rock Lancaster
I was going to take these reviews seriously and consider them when choosing. That is, until I realized you accepted (and very possibly solicited, who knows) a kickback from them. The second you did that, the credibility of the reviews went straight into the dumpster. It doesn’t matter when you made the deals with them, the dates aren’t relevant. The only fact that matters is you made the deals.
Sam
This is about Healthypaw and the note by caninejournal after Healthypaw’s review. The discount is not true: either way I tried it never came up. And I tried many ways. See below.

This is the note by caninejournal above: “Use this link and you’ll receive a 10% discount. If for any reason the 10% discount doesn’t show up, add in the SAVE10 healthy paws discount code to make sure you get this web discount”.

1. I would never know if I truly would get the discount, but I used the link. I used the link, I got a $40.59 quote for my pet.
2. I did not use the link; i went straight to their website. I got a $40.59 quote for my pet. Same input; same output. Just did not use the link.
3. I started over; did not use the link, just went straight to the website, but not I entered the “save10” discount code. I got $40.59 on my quote.
4. I called the customer rep from Healthypaw to understand. I explained the above and got an answer. “Yes you are getting a 10% discount”
5. I said – “I’m sorry if I’m a bit skeptical, especially after what I’ve seen and shared with you. Let me try again. Same outcome.
6. I asked again: “Am I truly getting the discount? 10% is a good discount and I don’t want either caninejournal or healthypaw to mislead me”. The customer representative said – “yes”. I said: “well, maybe this is not the right plan for me”. I was not expecting a harsh reaction. I was hoping she would do something for me. She abruptly said – “We want to make sure we have happy customers. Good bye”. No other consideration or attempt to resolve the matter; talk to a supervisor or an apologize for my struggle; or doing something. Nope. She abruptly said that phrase and hang up right after. No time for me to say anything else. I thought that was rude. I noticed that caninejournal says in its review and I will quote: “They have great customer service”
5. I thought. Let me take a step further. Maybe Healthypaw got my email and the discount is linked to my email. Let me rule that out. I asked my wife to go straight to the website (no link from canine journal used); plus, she used her email (different email obviously); she entered a fake name of pet, not my pet’s name (just in case the quote was linked to my pet). My wife obviously, kept all remaining inputs the same: age, address, zip code, breed. Are you curious about the outcome? The quote came up at $40.59. Shocking.
6. I called again, and went to the prompts. I got Lisa. I did not even mention why I called. She said: I’m just the just the receptionist. Nobody is available right now. I can ask someone to call you back when they are done. I asked: “Can I wait on the call center queue?” She said: “no, that’s not an option”. I asked: “Am I calling during business hours?”. She said: “Yes”.
7. I thought: well, how can I not wait on the queue? It is not a call center? I’m sure I called the call center number on its website (1-855-898-8991).
8. It MIGHT be because today is Sat and not the cream of the crop is working on Sat. Don’t know. But, it is just another watch out on customer service.
9. So, bottom line: watch out on the discount note by caninejournal and also the discount that Healthypaw claims they offer. I’m offering all the details so you, consumer, can judge by yourself. I was hoping Healthypaw could reach me out and clarify this. All this happened between 3:30 PM and 4:00 PM EST. My quotes and contact info are there for the 27560 zip code. There won’t be a hundred people quoting at the same time for this zip code at the time indicated above. It will be easy to find my contact info. But I’m a bit skeptical. And it is unlikely that will come back to this forum just because I don’t do this very often. So, I won’t see any replies. Consumers, watch out. Cheers!

fredmertz
I just had the exact same experience with the quotes and scanned the comments looking for information. Thanks for proving I’m not crazy. Well, not crazy about this. I know the reviews are all excellent, but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth for sure.
Blobbers
So recently I’ve noticed blood in my dog’s urine. I haven’t taken her to the vet yet. Would she be exempt from pet insurance, since it hasn’t officially been diagnosed?
Sonia
I’m actually thinking of doubling up on pet insurance for the first year or 2. After lengthy research I like offerings by both PetPlan and Embrace. Healthy Paws is attractive, but also much more expensive. After doing some price and care comparisons, I’m considering PetPlan at the 80% or 90% with $200 deductible for $15/$17 per month and at the same time carrying and Embrace policy at 80% with a $750-$1000 deductible for $13.50/$9.50 per month. My logic on this is that after combing reviews, Petplan seems low ball prices and then hike annual premiums. I have a puppy with no per-existing conditions at this time and it seems safer to carrier two policies rather than one should my puppy have any issues and I encounter rate hikes with Petplan. My long term plan is to set money aside in a separate savings account and just carry and the Embrace policy to cover a real costly emergency or illness. I like that I can also earn $50 per year off the deductible when I don’t file a claim with Embrace. So, I’m looking at paying between $24.50 and $30 per month carrying two policies for the short term. Just wondering what others might think of this plan and if anyone else carrying two policies on one pet?
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Hi Sonia,
We wanted to do a little research to make sure we give you correct info on this one since we had never heard of anyone carrying two policies on their pet.

– When considering two insurance policies to cover the same condition usually one would have to be a primary insurance policy and the other would be considered secondary insurance. The primary would cover as much as possible under the policy terms and then the second insurance would ‘kick in’. Filing with both companies as the primary, for full reimbursement, would be considered insurance fraud! I would recommend checking with each company on how this situation would be handled under their policy terms.

– Both Petplan and Embrace use the same criteria when determining annual rate increases with premiums adjusted in future policy years based on veterinary inflation and age factors. Here are links to the information on Embrace’s criteria for annual rate increases:

o https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/after-you-enroll/renewing/aging

o https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/after-you-enroll/renewing/veterinary-inflation

o https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/after-you-enroll/renewing/pet-population-changes

– We have run sample quotes this week with Petplan for a medium mixed breed for 6 months, 2 years, 4 years, and 8 years to show how their premiums change based off of current data. (*5% online discount applied, using zip code 19073, bronze policy, $200 deductible, and 80% reimbursement) 6 months – $23.67, 2 years – $25.79, 4 years – $33.13, 8 years – $55.72.

Sonia
Thanks for your reply Michelle. I really appreciate the research on this topic. I would prefer not to carry two policies, but after reading so many posts on different boards it really seems like the safest option at least for the first 2 years. Just as you noted insurance carriers state the criteria they use to determine annual rate increases, but my issue is there really is no transparency especially regarding increases do to geographical area. So many pet owners are caught off guard with premium increases and I don’t want to be one of those. For me it’s more of a safety net and having an alternate option. I wouldn’t file a claim with both carriers, but I do think having a policy with a low deductible and one with a high deductible makes sense until I feel settled with the right insurance provider.

As an aside, I have received quotes from almost all pet insurance carriers and I currently signed up for a 2 month free trial with Embrace. I received a quote from Embrace before signing up for the free trial. Once I received my policy for the 2 month free trial from Embrace there was already a price increase to continue the policy after the 2 month free trial than from my original quote. I called to see why and to see if they could adjust this to the original quote. On the plus side, there was really no hold time and the customer service rep was very friendly. She was going to look into this and I asked her to email me back. I was emailed promptly, maybe within 15 minutes and I was told that the original quote was only good if I purchased it within 24 hours and that the quote from my 2 month free trial reflects a projected increase for my state in September.

At this point this really has more of a feeling of a free trial with a bumped rate and that makes me feel uneasy about pet insurance. I did send a reply email to a customer service rep that evening, but I haven’t heard back so if I don’t hear something back on Monday, I’ll follow up and post. I will mention that the increase is not that much a difference $0.32 more per month, but it’s still a negative difference. My plan was to sign up for the free trial and immediately lock the original quote I received. I was just really surprised that the increase came with the free trial.

Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Thanks Sonia for keeping us in the loop. Very interesting to hear the ins and outs from someone going through the consideration and purchase process right now. All the best!
Jeff
I know this is 18 months old, but your idea caused me to ponder a question. Pet insurance is NOT pet health insurance per se, it is legally considered property insurance. So why is their a prohibition on buying multiple policies and making a claim on each premium paid? Like I said, health insurance has a primary and secondary insurance value, but I am not aware of property insurance carrying the same limitations. Anyone have an answer to that question??
k.b.
I purchased pet insurance after a traumatic broken leg injury sent us rushing to the e.r. with my 1-year-old lab. 2 steel plates and 16 pins, plus surgery and recovery in the hospital, took all of my savings. Because there is no indigent care requirement at veterinary hospitals (as there is for humans), the hospital would not proceed with my dog’s care until I had made a 50% deposit on the estimated cost (so-long, new car). I actually stopped to think about it, and that fact – considering making a choice between my dog and my cash – made me ashamed. I vowed never again to be caught in that place, and so I went with the only available insurance at the time – VPI. My dog’s leg became a pre-existing condition that they would not cover, and, thankfully, he has not had a broken bone since. He has, however, made several more trips to the e.r. and I am so thankful I have insurance for him – it saved my financial bacon. The additional wellness policy (annual checkups, meds, etc.) has been completely worth it for me as well. Yes, you have to pay the entire bill upfront before being reimbursed (you also have to submit the claim forms and documentation yourself) – but if the bill is large and the vet is amenable, payment plans can be worked out.

VPI has been criticized for low reimbursement rates and occasional customer service snafus, but I have had only good experiences and, on the whole, have been very pleased. Since they do not cover breeding dogs, and because the pet insurance field has expanded so rapidly with so many options, I will be looking elsewhere for more comprehensive coverage for our new puppy. The list published here is just one of the helpful articles I’ve found in doing my research.

In short, my advice to folks is three-fold: 1. Do your homework: get quotes from as many companies as you can and read them thoroughly; read reviews of those companies; ask questions of your friends, family, kennel clubs, vets, and – most importantly – the companies themselves (Do they have more than one plan available? Does your premium change or does the plan’s coverage change when your dog reaches a certain age? Are there breed restrictions or additional costs for things like breeding?) 2. Know your own limits: what can you spend monthly; what are you willing to spend in the event of an emergency; to what extent are you willing to treat your pet medically? and finally, 3. Know your pet’s limits (and be honest!): How active is your pet? What has his/her medical history been? Is his/her health likely to improve or become more complicated as s/he ages? What kind of shape is s/he in? If you can be honest and well-prepared, you’ll find a worthwhile solution.

Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Thanks for sharing your story and advice K.B.
Tim
Agree 100%! Do NOT go w/ VPI. I wish I would have known that if you bring your dog in on the first day the policy kicks in, they will consider any issues as pre-existing. Therefore don’t bring in on day one and tell your vet they just started that day… otherwise it is pre-existing (sure this is the same for all dog insurance).
JollyJim
For about 6 years I’ve had petplan and have been mostly satisfied with them as insurance companies go. Small claims maybe once every other year for minor accidents or blood work. However, each year they keep raising the rates even though my 11 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback girl is very healthy. I just received a renewal notice and it’s higher than my insurance with 100% coverage & no deductibles. I personally think animal insurance is a rip off without being regulated like human insurance companies are. Too many routine things are not covered, like teeth cleaning. But, if one loves their companion, one should have insurance. I’m switching companies today.
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Sorry to hear about this Jim. Petplan and most pet insurance companies base pricing on the risk associated with the breed, age and your geographic location. If the dog is a purebred and/or the breed is prone to certain issues, pricing will likely go up as the pet ages. Pet Insurance is highly regulated under Property insurance, so it’s more similar to car insurance than human health insurance. Several companies offer health maintenance plans, including our #3 pick Embrace, but that comes at a price that is not much different from what you would pay at your vet’s office anyway for the services. So, we recommend that you keep that money in your pocket until you need it vs. paying it out each month.. but, it’s your call. Petplan and most pet insurance is bought to cover unexpected items like accidents, illness and injuries. We like to think of it like other insurance – you have it just in case but hope you never it. Best wishes to you and your sweet girl!
Tina
I have VPI pet insurance and I agree with what was written. I have yet to submit a claim that wasn’t denied. Or partially denied. I have a dog that has developed arthritis and they are telling me it is a pre-existing condition. I had a pup that had dry skin as a puppy. Probably because he got too many baths while he was being kennel trained. 3 years later, he developed a bad allergic reaction to something for which he had to be given steroid shots and put on a special diet, etc. Guess what… that was a pre-existing condition because he had dry skin as a puppy. I hate this company (VPI). They try to convince you they are the best but they really really stink. And their customer service agents are just awful to communicate with. My 4 year old male did something horrible to his knee this weekend and we are going to have to go to surgery this week. I am hoping VPI will cover this but if they don’t and call it some pre-existing condition…. because he had knees when he was born… I am so done with them.
Jeff
Wow! I will make a note of this and advise people in our club to avoid them, but I think they were bought out and now are known as Nationwide. I hope you received good news.
Kendra
Good article that has led me to further research these 3 companies as I’m in the market. However, I did look into PetPlan on the Better Business Bureau. Both locations had an F and B- rating, along with an alert being issued. Reasons were cited as information inquiries being returned and lack of response from this business.

This obviously has raised a red flag for me on pursuing PetPlan. It also raises questions of how this can be the #1 rated pick? Is this a truly objective article or funded by the companies? Are these unfounded concerns?

Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Hi Kendra,
Thank you. We do a lot of work to make sure our reviews are unbiased and provide the best recommendations for our readers. I am not sure about the BBB ratings you found but the Petplan we have reviewed is also known as Fetch, Inc. and they are located in Philadelphia, PA. You can find their rating of A+ here: http://www.bbb.org/washington-dc-eastern-pa/business-reviews/insurance-companies/fetch-incorporated-in-newtown-sq-pa-155937065 That being said, you are correct to do your research as company’s certainly change over time. I can tell you first hand that I have Petplan for my dogs and have been very happy with their help when I needed it. You can read the story of my dear Lily here. Good luck and keep us posted on your decisions. Thanks!
Tina
Thanks so much for this review. It has been very helpful!
Happy Petplan customer
I know this is an old post, but since my insurance reimbursement checks just came in the mail, I’m motivated to voice my support for Petplan.

We had a similar experience as some other people: we were shocked (and really disappointed) to see the premiums for both dogs go up staggeringly after the first few years, and they have increased each year. The year I lost my job, we had to make some ugly choices, but making other sacrifices to keep pet insurance was the best. decision. ever.

Even with the jumps in premium…

Total premiums paid over the last 9 years= ~$2,100 per dog.
Reimbursement for non-ACL knee injury in 2012 = $2,000 for one dog.
Reimbursement for ACL knee injury in 2014= $2,000 for same dog.

The vet says that there’s a good chance the other ACL will need to be treated in the next year, because that’s just how knees work. But I am losing no sleep about it. If I met a Happiness Manager in person, I would hug them and maybe cry, because my dogs are healthy and I’m about to cash the reimbursement check that’s going to let me pay my mortgage this month.

Petplan is efficient, comprehensive, and doesn’t try to make medical decisions in place of the vet–they pay based on what a vet says is necessary.

Happy Petplan customer
I know this is an old post, but since my insurance reimbursement checks just came in the mail, I’m motivated to voice my support for Petplan.

We had a similar experience as some other people: we were shocked (and really disappointed) to see the premiums for both dogs go up staggeringly after the first few years, and they have increased each year. The year I lost my job, we had to make some ugly choices, but making other sacrifices to keep pet insurance was the best. decision. ever.

Even with the jumps in premium…

Total premiums paid over the last 9 years= ~$2,100 per dog.
Reimbursement for non-ACL knee injury in 2012 = $2,000 for one dog.
Reimbursement for ACL knee injury in 2014= $2,000 for same dog.

The vet says that there’s a good chance the other ACL will need to be treated in the next year, because that’s just how knees work. But I am losing no sleep about it. If I met a Happiness Manager in person, I would hug them and maybe cry, because my dogs are healthy and I’m about to cash the reimbursement check that’s going to let me pay my mortgage this month.

Petplan is efficient, comprehensive, and doesn’t try to make medical decisions in place of the vet–they pay based on what a vet says is necessary.

LynneB
I have had petplan for 5 years and have always been happy with them, until this year when I got my policy renewal. The rates are going up 33% for my two dogs. I called to ask why and apparently they increase rates based on your dog’s age and increases in veterinary costs in your area. Given that my dogs will certainly continue aging, their policy is quickly becoming unaffordable (my dogs are 4 and 5 years old, hardly geriatric dogs). Also, the $200 deductible is per incident, so you pay that for each claim. I’m looking at healthy paws, they told me they do not increase rates based on a dog’s age and their deductible is annual. The cost would only be a few dollars more and there is no per incident cap (Petplan is $10,000). I hate to leave petplan but they have become unaffordable given the benefits that they offer.
LynneB
I have had petplan for 5 years and have always been happy with them, until this year when I got my policy renewal. The rates are going up 33% for my two dogs. I called to ask why and apparently they increase rates based on your dog’s age and increases in veterinary costs in your area. Given that my dogs will certainly continue aging, their policy is quickly becoming unaffordable (my dogs are 4 and 5 years old, hardly geriatric dogs). Also, the $200 deductible is per incident, so you pay that for each claim. I’m looking at healthy paws, they told me they do not increase rates based on a dog’s age and their deductible is annual. The cost would only be a few dollars more and there is no per incident cap (Petplan is $10,000). I hate to leave petplan but they have become unaffordable given the benefits that they offer.
Keith Guse
Hi Lynne, it’s a pleasure to meet you! My name is Keith, and I manage Petplan’s social media presence. I saw that you took the time to mention your concerns, so I wanted to personally respond to them and thank you and see if i could be of assistance. Having been with us as long as you have, I hope I’ve had the chance to “meet” your furry family members on our Facebook page (if not, please introduce yourself!). I can certainly understand how a premium increase of that level would leave you concerned and frustrated. If I can offer a bit of clarity to the excellent points you’ve already mentioned, Petplan’s rates may increase due to age and veterinary inflation, but this may not be every year, as it is all driven by actuarial data that we receive. As the cost of veterinary care and the age of the pet increase, so may our rates in order to be able to cover the increased risk of your pet developing a serious illness or accident. I know that a premium increase can be difficult to budget for, and we would be happy to work with you to see if there is anything we can do on your policy side to help with the costs. I really do believe we offer the best value product in the industry. In addition, while a pet insurer may not claim to increase premiums based on age, they will likely still need to raise your premium over time to reflect other factors, such as the increase cost of new technology and advances in veterinary care. I do understand the appeal of an annual deductible, but at Petplan, we utilize a per-condition deductible and flexible reimbursement levels to offer you the best-value premium. When you consider that serious illnesses tend to be chronic, a per-condition deductible can be very beneficial, as you’d only need to satisfy that condition deductible once per policy year. If you’ve ever had a pet with allergies, you could satisfy that in the first month, easily, but we hope you never have to! In addition, your veterinary exam fees are covered for illnesses and injuries – saving you upwards of $150 for each visit, a cost you could have to pay upfront with another provider. I know it can be a difficult situation to be in when your premium changes, but you can always rest assured though that you have the protection of your Petplan family through your pets’ golden years. If you have any questions or would like us to take a look at your policy to see if there are any options for providing you with a lower premium, please email me at socialmedia@gopetplan.com or give one of our Happiness Managers a call at 1-866-467-3875 and we will be happy to assist you. Thanks once again, Lynne.
Keith Guse
Hi Lynne, it’s a pleasure to meet you! My name is Keith, and I manage Petplan’s social media presence. I saw that you took the time to mention your concerns, so I wanted to personally respond to them and thank you and see if i could be of assistance. Having been with us as long as you have, I hope I’ve had the chance to “meet” your furry family members on our Facebook page (if not, please introduce yourself!). I can certainly understand how a premium increase of that level would leave you concerned and frustrated. If I can offer a bit of clarity to the excellent points you’ve already mentioned, Petplan’s rates may increase due to age and veterinary inflation, but this may not be every year, as it is all driven by actuarial data that we receive. As the cost of veterinary care and the age of the pet increase, so may our rates in order to be able to cover the increased risk of your pet developing a serious illness or accident. I know that a premium increase can be difficult to budget for, and we would be happy to work with you to see if there is anything we can do on your policy side to help with the costs. I really do believe we offer the best value product in the industry. In addition, while a pet insurer may not claim to increase premiums based on age, they will likely still need to raise your premium over time to reflect other factors, such as the increase cost of new technology and advances in veterinary care. I do understand the appeal of an annual deductible, but at Petplan, we utilize a per-condition deductible and flexible reimbursement levels to offer you the best-value premium. When you consider that serious illnesses tend to be chronic, a per-condition deductible can be very beneficial, as you’d only need to satisfy that condition deductible once per policy year. If you’ve ever had a pet with allergies, you could satisfy that in the first month, easily, but we hope you never have to! In addition, your veterinary exam fees are covered for illnesses and injuries – saving you upwards of $150 for each visit, a cost you could have to pay upfront with another provider. I know it can be a difficult situation to be in when your premium changes, but you can always rest assured though that you have the protection of your Petplan family through your pets’ golden years. If you have any questions or would like us to take a look at your policy to see if there are any options for providing you with a lower premium, please email me at socialmedia@gopetplan.com or give one of our Happiness Managers a call at 1-866-467-3875 and we will be happy to assist you. Thanks once again, Lynne.
JulieM
Thanks LynneB for your review on petplan. I too have been with them since my Australian shepherds were puppies which is 5 years ago. Both my policies have gradually increased every year and has doubled from 2009-2014!! They aren’t even 6 years old yet! I am unable to afford petplan unfortunately because I believe they are a good company but I can’t see paying for an increasing annual premium for 2 dogs on one income anymore.
anonymous
A wonderful, unbiased, comprehensive comparison!! Thank you so much for putting this together!
Brian
Great article. I was getting ready to sign up with Embrace and did not know about losing coverage for older dogs. I just signed up with Petsplan and spoke with a guy named Richard that was very helpful. I also just dropped my very expensive VPI insurance. VPI does a great job marketing to large companies which is how I signed up. Shame on me for not doing more research on looking at VPI on the front end.
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Thanks Brian for the feedback and glad out site saved you from a potential pitfall. Petplan is what I have for my dogs and they have not let me down, not even when my dog almost did not make it from a poisonous snake bite last year!
Sonia

Hi, I will be only in the country for about 2-3 months and every pet insurance plan seems to be for an entire year. I will be leaving in January with my pet so wondering if there are any options for my dog?? Thanks.

 

Sara Wilson

Hi Sonia, we don't know of any policies that offer a month-to-month contract right off hand, but will look into it and will let you know if we find any options! Thanks for your comment.

Me

Beware of companies giving 30 or 60 trials. You should value what's you pay for and once the trial is up, the cost usually turns you off. Question: Do you really want to see that your pet insurance is paying for itself? That would mean my pet would need to have something bad happen for me to use it. I want my pet happy and healthy and only when something really bad happens will I know I have the insurance to support me. It would be like you getting car insurance and running into someone, because you wanted to see how well it worked. If you think that way, I beg you to never own an animal. Also, do not depend on your veterinarian to have the right answers for phi, as they are as confused as you are. You can want it all covered but what are you willing to pay for it? Do not tell either that because your pet is living they need to give their services away. Having a pet is no different from owning a car, kids or home, they cost and there is a choice to take that cost and responsibility on. DO NOT transfer your lack of responsibility to others.

Mark

Hi, great article. I have Petplan and have been extremely happy with their customer service, who they refer to as " Happiness Managers," as well as being reimbursed over $3,000 for Hip Dysplasia, WHICH IS COVERED AS STANDARD IN ALL OF THEIR POLICIES. (You mentioned that Trupanion was the only company that offered hip dysplasia coverage without an add-on, which was incorrect)! I couldn't be happier with going with Petplan, and I know my vet is a big supporter since they don't require a vet diagnosis or signature to submit a claim form like all the others do. Thanks again for the great info!

Sara Wilson

Thanks so much for your feedback! We do mention that PetPlan covers most hereditary conditions in their policies, and hip dysplasia falls under that category. Glad you've enjoyed your experience with them!

We also have updated the language re: Trupanion to reflect this terminology. You are correct that it was a bit misleading. Thank you for helping us stay on top of the details!

Andrew

I wanted to say that you have really helped me trying to figure out if I could get pet insurance. My vet suggested that I get it on my border collie that was diagnosed last week with diabetes, but most places seem like that they won't cover it. Or the cataracts that she got because of it.

I see a lot of comments that "if you care for your pet," but regular insurance doesn't make you pay upfront and then tell you that you get pennies on the dollar after their deductible, other charges, and your premium. I just got furloughed because the government doesn't think that they should pay us after 20 years in the service. I retired, government pushed contracts back six months, didn't get retirement check for two months, couldn't find a job for six months, Colorado messed around lying for four months for unemployment and never got a dime.

My pets have always gone yearly for checkups, but my 14 year old has several large tumors and now my border collie has diabetes. I have had dogs all my life and have never needed insurance, but it seems that they only there to take your money instead of helping.

If I didn't have the money now to pay, then what? You pay upfront and then maybe get reimbursed some later. It's a losing battle.

Anderson

I feel like the pet insurance companies, especially the providers listed in the top three of this page, do a great job of letting you know exactly what is covered. You are correct, if you don't have the money to pay for pet insurance now, it is not going to do much good. However, once you do the research, you should have a very clear view of what each particular insurance provider will cover.

Doug

Wish I had this info years ago when I signed up for VPI. I assumed that all pet insurance was similar. I've spent thousands in insurance premiums and thousands in vet bills. Despite having their top-of-the-line policy, they pay out very little. I've also had MANY problems with errors — I've received Explanation of Benefits stating completely erroneous diagnoses, have brought this to their attention, and had to resubmit claims. I have no idea why they make so many errors. Maybe they figure their customers don't read the EOBs and won't bother to follow-up.  

Instead of paying out all this money in premiums, I should have set aside money each month in an account. Now, if something catastrophic happens, I still pay money to the vet AND the high VPI monthly premium (over $70/month).  

I've been very di