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Pet Insurance Comparison 2017: Who’s Best?

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When a copperhead snake snuck up and bit Alyssa Singer’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 Vincent’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.

Pet Insurance Reviews

Pet health insurance has been a growing industry and a passion of our’s since 2007. We work hard to bring you unique, unbiased reviews by conducting research and getting customer feedback. Below are our top three picks for pet insurance reviews this year as well as our review criteria and what you should know about pet health insurance.

Our dog insurance reviews are constantly being updated so be sure to check in regularly for new information. Awards are given each year to help you find the best dog insurance company for your needs.

Best Runner-Up 3rd Place
Healthy Paws pet insurance logo Petplan logo Pets Best logo

4 and a half paws

4.56 / 5.00

4.38 paws

4.19 / 5.00

4.17 paws

4.00 / 5.00

Read Review Read Review Read Review
Visit Website Visit Website Visit Website

Finding the best pet insurance can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve done in-depth research and spoken with real customers for each company to bring you our top three picks this year. Below are some items you may want to check out to learn more about this subject.

  1. Get 3 Free Pet Insurance Quotes

    Open our pet insurance quotes to see an example of who offers the lowest prices.
  2. Check out our SlideShare overview.
  3. See how others compare to our top three by reading about the rest of the pack.
  4. Read why you can trust our review process and learn why we are a reputable source.
  5. Become an expert on pet insurance yourself by learning more.
  6. View our infographic to see some surprising statistics and fun facts.
  7. You may want to open up our pet health insurance terminology page for easy side-by-side reference.
  8. Don’t know where to start? Check out our main pet insurance page.

Seattle Times Best Pet InsuranceWoof! Woof! Big, slobbery kisses to The Seattle Times for its endorsement of our best pet insurance for dogs recommendations.

Price of Policy Rating

Pet insurance is unique in our reviews in that the price of each policy is unique to your pet, and is calculated based on a huge number of variables, including but not limited to your pet’s age, breed, location (ie. where you live), health conditions, and so forth. Our “price of policy” rating is calculated based on a number of quotes we run in addition to general 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 logo 1st
Overall Ranking 4.56 / 5.00
Policy Coverage 4.38 paws Visit Website
Customer Service & Reputation 4.38 paws
Timeliness of Claim Payment 4 paws
Price of Policy

4.38 paws

Why is Healthy Paws the Best Pet Insurance?

Yippee! Healthy Paws is our winner! Why is Healthy Paws the top pet insurance? The competition was stiff this year, but ultimately, Healthy Paw’s consistent prices took them to top dog status!

  1. Lots of Plan Options with No Caps – We were impressed that Healthy Paws offers three annual deductible levels ($100, $250 or $500), three percentage options for actual vet bill payouts (70%, 80% or 90%) and there is no cap (per-incident, lifetime, or otherwise) on any of their claims.
  2. No Yearly Limits – Once you meet your annual deductible, all policy-covered incidents will be paid during that year, while most companies pay back after each incident deductible has been met. 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. Hereditary & Congenital Conditions and Hip Dysplasia – Most hereditary and congenital conditions, as well as hip dysplasia, are paid. These factors make it an especially great choice if you have a breed that is genetically predisposed to these types of conditions. But, be sure to sign them up when they’re young and do not have any pre-existing conditions.
  5. Low Premium Prices – Most consumers report lower premium prices for similar coverage (unlimited lifetime benefits with no claim limits) in comparison to Petplan.

Coupon Code

Use this link and you'll receive up to a 10% discount. If for any reason the discount does not show up, add in the SAVE10 Healthy Paws discount code to make sure you get this web discount. You can also visit our dedicated HealthyPaws promotions page to discuss current offers.

Read our in-depth review of Healthy Paws

2nd Place: Petplan

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

Petplan logo 2nd
Overall Ranking 4.19 / 5.00
Policy Coverage 4.38 paws Visit Website
Customer Service & Reputation 4.38 paws
Timeliness of Claim Payment 4 paws
Price of Policy

3.5 paws

Why is Petplan Our #2 Pick?

  1. Fully Customizable Plans with No Limits – This is a BIG one in our opinion as it allows you to only pay for what you think you will need, which could lower your monthly premium since you are not forced to pay for unlimited coverage with Petplan. New policy options were recently introduced that allows for pet owners considering Petplan to create a plan to best meet their needs and budget with a choice of maximum annual coverage amount ($2,500 to unlimited coverage), annual deductible ($100 to $2,500) and reimbursement rate (70%, 80% or 90%).
  2. The Best Customer Service – Petplan is among the best customer service options available in this industry, with 24-hour customer service via live chat, phone, email, FAQ, mail, and fax. In fact, we consider them equal to Healthy Paws.
  3. Policy is Crystal Clear – Petplan’s plan gets points for clarity – they are very specific about what your duties are as a pet parent and what they do and don’t cover so there are no guessing games involved.
  4. Hereditary & Congenital Conditions, Hip Dysplasia, and No Age Restrictions – Petplan covers both hereditary and congenital conditions (in most cases) and does not have age restrictions, making them truly a rare breed in the pet insurance category. Again, signing your pet up at an early age will make sure your dog is covered should one of these conditions present itself later (you don’t want it to not be covered due to a pre-existing condition).

Coupon Code

Use coupon code CanineJournal to receive an additional 5% discount (10% total if you sign up online). Alternatively, if you call 800-237-1123 you will automatically get the additional 5% discount! You can also visit our dedicated Petplan promotions page to discuss current offers.

Read our in-depth review of Petplan

3rd 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 logo
3rd
Overall Ranking 4.00 / 5.00
Policy Coverage 3.5 paws Visit Website
Customer Service & Reputation

3.5 paws

Timeliness of Claim Payment

4 and a half paws

Price of Policy 4 and a half paws

Why Did We Choose Pets Best as Our #3 Pick?

  1. True Emergency Only Option – Pet Best offers an “Essential Plan” to cover you in case of unplanned emergencies but it does not cover exam fees or specialty treatments. This plan has a $5,000 annual limit but still allows you to customize your reimbursement rate and deductible amount. This plan allows for one of the least expensive options for pet insurance.
  2. Customer Service Options – They offer live chat, phone, email, fax and FAQs to help answer your questions.
  3. Fast Claim Payment Pets Best says they pay claims in five days or less typically which is one of the fastest timelines we have seen in the business.
  4. Hereditary & Congenital Coverage – They cover full hereditary and congenital conditions including hip dysplasyia.

Coupon Code

Our readers have access to an exclusive PetsBest discount of 5% off BestBenefit plans for the first year! Just use this link to get started (Eligible in all states except AK, HI and TN and does not apply to accident only plan or wellness rider).

Read our in-depth review of Pets Best

SlideShare: Summary of Dog Insurance Reviews

The Rest of the Pack

The pet insurance industry is growing rapidly, and more and more families are purchasing plans to protect their furry family member and their bank account.

Here’s a list of companies we include in our annual pet insurance reviews:

  1. Healthy Paws
  2. Petplan
  3. Pets Best
  4. Trupanion
  5. Embrace
  6. ASPCA

Not Ranked (due to lack of information or new entrants): Nationwide (formerly VPI), 24PetWatch, AKC, FIGO, PetFirst and USAA

Why You Can Trust Our Reviews

Want to know how we come up with our winners and where we get our information from?

Unlike other sites, our reviews are conducted before any monetary affiliation or relationships with any merchants on this page are created. We take great pride in this since our reviews are authentic, and you can trust us. Some of the links you see are affiliate links. These links are added after the review is complete. What does this mean? It means that we receive a commission if you click on the link and buy. There is no up-charge on pricing, and the service quality is the same. This is how we can afford our continuous research on pet insurance comparisons so we can provide the highest quality and most up to date information for you. We appreciate your understanding and respect.

If you’d like to learn more about how we complete our reviews and our business, read our review process.

Learn More About Pet Insurance

We have many articles dedicated to pet insurance. We’ve divided our research into multiple pieces to avoid cluttering one page up. If you’d like to learn more about your options for insuring your valued family member, choose one of the articles below.

This video serves as a great introduction to dog insurance and the benefits of owning a policy:

Reasons To Get Pet Insurance Infographic

Our dog health insurance infographic shows pet statistics and average costs of medical expenses.

Reasons to Get Pet Insurance Infographic

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

Pet Health Insurance Questions? We’re Here to Help!

Removing lumps and bumps is one of the most common surgeries for dogs and can cost more than $1,000. That’s a lot of money that you were not planning to spend, and most of us don’t have that amount of cash lying around. That’s one of the places dog insurance can come in handy. Insuring your pet can lift that weight off of you so you can focus on enjoying your time with your four-pawed friends, not worrying about having to pay for unexpected medical bills.

Have you had an experience with any pet insurance companies? Did you have a good or bad experience? Who’s the best (or worst) in your opinion?

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.


About Kimberly Alt
Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She adopted Sally, a 3 year old hound mix, in 2017 and is loving life as a pet parent.
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126 Comments on "Pet Insurance Comparison 2017: Who’s Best?"

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Tina
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

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

To clarify, are you looking for a wellness only plan or accident and wellness coverage?

Tina
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.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

We stand by our ratings and feel that Healthy Paws is the best pet insurance available.

Slyster
Slyster

Can you tell me when you will be updating your top 3?

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

We will be auditing this article again in 2017.

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… Read more »
Karl
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… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Hi Karl, that’s a great question. As the pet ages, there is most likely going to be some pre-existing conditions, which are not covered, and your dog is more likely to become ill, which is why the prices are higher. Depending on your breed and her specific health situation will determine the company you go with. You are doing the right thing. If hip dysplasia coverage is important to you, then Healthy Paws is out. PetPlan’s high prices make them out of the running. Have you looked into Pets Best? Do they cover everything you want covered for your dog?… Read more »
Dave
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
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… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

That’s a great question Sandra. Unfortunately, very few companies offer dental cleanings as part of their coverage. The other company we would recommend is Pets Best. Pets Best offers BestWellness which covers $100/year for teeth cleanings (in addition to other wellness related items). You’ll have to get a quote and put in your cat’s specifics to see how much it would cost.

Did you friend pay $4,000 for two cats’ dental cleanings alone?! That seems a bit overpriced. Was there other work that was done as well?

Sandra
Sandra

Thank you for the suggestion! I will definitely look into that option!

I think there were extractions and such that they had to perform once they got in there, thus a high price tag. My cats are 7, so I’m worried that there will need to be a similar level of care done to them, once they are under. And the potential for a $4k price tag is a little overwhelming.

Thank you for all your advice!

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

If you’re worried about extractions too you’ll need more than a wellness plan. Wellness plans cover routine items: annual exam, spay/neuter, flea prevention, dental cleanings, etc. They do not cover non routine dental things like extractions. Does that make sense? Is that something you’re interested in getting covered? If so, we can try to help you find a plan that fits your needs.

Sandra
Sandra

Yes, it does. Thank you!

I was thinking I would need an insurance that had a wellness plan, to help cover my cats’ teeth, including extractions. I was going to go with either healthypaws or petplan for my dog. I know that neither of those cover wellness, but do either of them (or Embrace) help with dental extractions? Do you know if any of the top 3 offer multi-pet discounts?

Thank you so so much for your help with this!!!

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Healthy Paws does not offer a multi pet discount and does not offer a wellness plan. Petplan and Embrace do offer a multi pet discount, but Petplan does not offer a wellness plan (Embrace does for an extra fee). Embrace charges an extra fee for non-routine dental treatments as well. Here’s my thoughts: Since you’d have to pay extra for the wellness plan from Embrace and extra for the non-routine dental coverage, I wouldn’t go with them. The price would most likely end up being higher. But be sure to run quotes to make sure my thoughts are correct. Healthy… Read more »
Sandra
Sandra

Great! Thank you so much for all your advice!

There is no signs of any dental issues, or distress on my cats’ behalf, just my own paranoia of knowing how these things go.

Thank you again so much! I will run all the numbers, but I am incredibly grateful for your assistance in this issue!

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Glad we could help! Best of luck!

John R.
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
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… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

We stand by Healthy Paws as our #1 pick for best pet insurance. I suggest you get a quote from each of our top 3 picks to get an idea of what your monthly premium will be. (You can do this online by visiting each company website.) Ask your vet about any common illnesses for rottweilers and try to have them covered in your pet insurance plan. If you want, you can share your findings with us here and we can help you narrow down your choices.

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
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… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Just heard back from VPI, here’s what they said: Previous injuries will be a pre-existing condition under any new policy. However, if there was no injury to the other leg your pet may have future benefits for an ACL injury. Please note that on our medical plans there is no ACL coverage for the first 12 months of the policy.

In summary, if your dog’s other ACL was torn in that first year it would not be covered.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
I did some digging on their website and here’s what I found: -If you have the Whole Pet with Wellness plan it reimburses 90% of your vet bill. This includes treatment for ACL related services with no waiting period, providing the ACL injury is not pre-existing. -The Standard plan, Superior plan, Medical plan and Major Medical plan offer benefits for the ACL, as long as the policy has been in force for a minimum of twelve consecutive months and the condition is not pre-existing to the policy. Any ACL-related services within the first twelve months will not be covered per… Read more »
Magwheelz
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

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Unfortunately since diabetes would be a pre-existing condition the insurance company wouldn’t cover it.

Magwheelz
Magwheelz

Well I could have just cancelled the appointment and made one with another vet however many days would be required after enrolling- wouldn’t have been good for my dogs health though. But at least for the diabetic part- adding it up it wouldn’t be worth getting the insurance. Still may look into it in case of other problems down the road, but probably not. Just keep my fingers crossed and pray a lot I guess.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Yes, I agree with you. Looking into pet insurance still isn’t a bad idea. There are other illnesses or accidents that could be covered if you have pet insurance before they are diagnosed or occur. We’ll be thinking of your pup and hope for a healthy, long life.

Charisse
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?

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
I did some digging and here is what I found on ACL (aka CCL: cranial cruciate ligament): Healthy Paws says if your pet was showing any problems with the other knee before enrollment it is considered a pre existing condition. So HP will cover the other knee if you sign up today (with no knee problems in that other leg) and your GSD tears her other CCL in the future. Petplan says they will cover the other CCL if the first leg remains healed for 12 months. So between Healthy Paws and Petplan it sounds like Healthy Paws is the… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

I also just received this message from Healthy Paws:

In regards to your question, Healthy Paws has only one bilateral-exclusion on our policy, applying to cruciate ligament problems. Your pet would be eligible for coverage for future cruciate ligament injuries if there had been no signs/symptoms with either leg before enrollment or during the 15 day waiting period. As your pet has sustained an injury to the right cruciate ligament prior to enrollment, we would not be able to provide coverage for any future treatment for the cruciate ligament on both the right and left leg.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

I just heard back from Embrace and this is what they said: Unfortunately, knees are bilateral and that would be a preexisting conditions.
So going with Embrace would not be a good option for your case.

Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

Hi Charisse,
Let us look into this more so we can be sure we provide you the right answer. Stay tuned…

Newell Smith
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”… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Oh no I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope your dog is doing better. Such a scary story. As for the insurance company, if it’s a code that they are having an issue with maybe the vet can bill it under the code that fits VPI/Nationwide better. Maybe then more of the cost will be covered.

Rock Lancaster
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.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt
Thanks for taking the time to review our recommendations and our process but I am sorry to hear that you have dismissed our reviews. Just to give you a little background on how our company works, we conduct independent research and write up unbiased reviews. I am one of the primary writers for Canine Journal and I know nothing about the financial relationships while I am doing my research. Being open and honest about whom we feel is the best in a category and telling our readers our findings is our top priority. Unfortunately, compensation is a necessary part of… Read more »
Angela
Angela

Is that why FIGO isn’t on here? I have read every word of these insurance companies’ contracts and after doing that—we went with FIGO. We’ve had them for 9 months and they’ve paid out over $4,000 (one got pneumonia and one ingested an entire bone) in bills for my two puppies in that time. They cover office fees, when none of the others do and their claims service has been wonderful. You can also text them anytime with your questions if you are at work or somewhere you can’t talk—I kind of like that.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

We actually cover FIGO here: https://www.caninejournal.com/pet-insurance-reviews/#figo

We’d love to hear about your experience with FIGO! Tell us what you love/hate about them.

Angela
Angela
I outlined much of it above but I was so nervous to get pet insurance because if you read Yelp reviews, many don’t pay claims or try to wiggle out of paying claims. We have two English Bulldog puppies. One is 9 mo now and one is 1. Not 2 months after getting FIGO my youngest got kennel cough that turned into pneumonia. FIGO paid 90% after my $200 deductible. They even sent him a get well card. Then he was walking at the dog park and another dog bit his eye and tore it, requiring $300-400 worth of vet… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Thanks for sharing your experience with us Angela. We recently added FIGO to our pet insurance articles this year and hope to include them in our comparison table in the near future! Glad to hear they are treating you well!

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… Read more »
fredmertz
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.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

I’m so sorry about this. We will talk to Healthy Paws about this immediately and get back to you. You should be getting a 10% discount with our link. Again, we are terribly sorry and will let you know what we find out ASAP.

fredmertz
fredmertz

No matter what link you follow or code you enter, you get the same “10% discount”. It doesn’t appear possible to pay a non-discounted rate, which means there’s not really any discount at all.

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

We spoke with the Healthy Paws Founder and here’s what we discovered.

There are discounts on both Step 1 and Step 2 of HP’s funnel. On Step 1, HP communicates you’ll be receiving lifetime discounts and on Step 2 HP communicates the actual savings. Actual savings works out to be about a month free every year. If your discounts were showing up the same with and without the link/code then it’s possibly a caching issue.

I hope this helps and let me know if there’s anything else we can do for you!

Ryan N.
Ryan N.

Those discounts are discounts given to everybody – it’s a bit of a sham and I’m surprised you endorse it as you are claiming to be an objective reviewer. It’s not a discount if it’s the price they need to be competitive with other pet insurance carriers.

Also, just to be clear there is no difference whether you click the link or not – caching is not the issue.

Blobbers
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
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… Read more »
Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker
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… Read more »
Sonia
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… Read more »
Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

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!

k.b.
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… Read more »
Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

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
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… Read more »
Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker
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… Read more »
Tina
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… Read more »
Kendra
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
Michelle Schenker
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… Read more »
Tina
Tina

Thanks so much for this review. It has been very helpful!

Happy Petplan customer
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… Read more »
Happy Petplan customer
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… Read more »
LynneB
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,… Read more »
LynneB
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,… Read more »
JulieM
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.

Keith Guse
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… Read more »
Keith Guse
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… Read more »
anonymous
anonymous

A wonderful, unbiased, comprehensive comparison!! Thank you so much for putting this together!

Brian
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
Michelle Schenker

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
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 Logan Wilson
Admin
Sara Logan 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… Read more »
Mark
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… Read more »
Sara Logan Wilson
Admin
Sara Logan 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
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… Read more »
Anderson
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
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… Read more »
Tina
Tina

They have never published mine either. I think this company shouldn’t even be on the radar of pet insurance companies unless of course there are only 10 companies. But the only comment should be wouldn’t recommend.

Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

Wow, thanks Tina and Doug. We appreciate your sharing your experiences.. they definitely help when we are reviewing and ranking companies. And, you are correct, there are not that many companies in this space. Thanks and take care.

Kelly Doyle
Kelly Doyle
One major difference I've seen between VPI and the others that I didn't see mentioned here is that VPI has an allowance limit on all injuries and illnesses. They are listed in a document called, "VETERINARY PET INSURANCE VPI® MAJOR MEDICAL PlAN BENEFIT SCHEDULE" that I found on their website. You mentioned that they cover crutiate, ACL, however looking at the fine print it appears from this document that their limit of coverage for ACL is $670. (The usual cost being around $4,000.)  If this is correct then this is a MAJOR difference from the others who cover a straight… Read more »
Diane Moran
Diane Moran
I had VPI pet insurance for my lab and always received excellent service. They covered yearly wellness visits as well which I don’t see with the other companies. My dog ended up having cancer and needed many tests and procedures completed as well as different vet visits. VPI covered all of these visits. So yes you may pay a little more but if I didn’t have this insurance I would have been unable to give my dog all the help he needed. Unfortunately, my baby was beyond help and died at the age of 3. 8 months later I rescued… Read more »
guest
guest
Wow – what a great job you guys did! And I know how much time you had to put into it because I've done my own research and it takes a lot of time to understand all of the options out there. There is not one company that has exactly the same policy structure and options as another. They have all craftily created their own unique plans. Minor thing, but I wanted to point out that you have spelled the names of two of the companies incorrectly on this. Pet Plan is actually Petplan (although it is spelled correctly on… Read more »
Summit
Summit
Your review is informative and I am considering changing my pet insurance from Healthy Paws to Petplan for the many reasons noted in your summary.   This decision is based upon my recent claim submitted to Healthy Paws which was denied. By way of background, my cat was experiencing diarrhea on or off. My claim was denied since Healthy Paws stated that the clinical symptoms preceded the diagnosis prior to the effective date of the policy. Okay, I can understand their position, however, going forward any claim that is submitted that relates to Gastroenteristis will be denied including diarrhea which… Read more »
Laurel F.
Laurel F.

Purina is no longer in the pet insurance business. They sold the company to 24PetWatch and I have a feeling the policy will not be as good as it was. Purina was awesome!! It was great insurance and had fast payments, but after reading the reviews of 24Petwatch we will be changing insurances.

Wendy S.
Wendy S.
I too had Purina Pet Care that was switched to 24PetCare. So far, they have honored claims in the same manner as our original policy. However, they did try to exclude anything related to upper respiratory for my one cat. I called them about it to complain. My *kitten* at the time simply had the sniffles like a whole slew of kittens do; how could they now use it as an excuse to deny claims on anything and everything as broad as respiratory in nature, I asked. They told me that I could have my vet submit some form and… Read more »
Petsecure
Petsecure

I have dog health insurance and I totally support you because, sometimes we fall and we haven't insurance at that time. It shouldn't be an option for our lovely dog and pet.  Nice topic and useful comment; I like it.

Watson
Watson

The main reason to get pet insurance is to pay the vet’s bills if your pet gets sick or is injured. If your pet is part of the family and you would do anything to get the money to pay for treatment, then you should consider insurance. If you have enough disposable income or savings to be able to pay the vet yourself, then you might not need it.

Jane
Jane

Hi all, Really the above posts matters a lot. Thank you everyone for your valuable information. I am learning more about the pros for pet insurance and the price comparison too.

Diane
Diane
PurinaCare considers ingesting a foreign body as an illness not accidental. Before I purchased a policy, I had taken my puppy to the vet because she had a very small piece of plastic in her poop. The vet checked her out and said she was fine. Several months later after purchasing a policy from PurinaCare, she swallowed a piece of a rubber toy that lodged in her small intestine. She was critical within 36 hours and had emergency surgery to remove the "foreign object" which cost approximately $4,000. She would have died without the surgery. PurinaCare considered this a pre-existing "illness" and wouldn't… Read more »
Chris
Chris

Based on your report I have signed my two dogs up for coverage with Petplan. One thing that is inaccurate in your report is that you state "Monthly premium does not adjust for age." According to Petplan's own website: "Coverage is never decreased due to pets aging. Premiums do increase upon pets reaching certain age brackets." You should probably make the correction in your report.

Canine Journal
Admin
Canine Journal

Hi Chris and thank you so much for this clarification. We have updated our site to reflect this update and apologize for any confusion. We also use PetPlan for our dogs and were unaware of this when we purchases out plan. We have had excellent experience with them to-date though and wish you and your pets the best. Thanks!

Keith
Keith

Hi, I wanted to insure my five year old German Shepherd girl with PetPlan however they would only offer their very basic plan as they told me German Shepherd's are now on their special breed list and suffer from more illnesses than other dogs or is it because they are one of the most popular breeds in the UK and PetPlan has paid out too much? 

phyllisj
phyllisj

At Pets Best Insurance, we’re pet owners and pet lovers, too. We don’t want anyone to go through the pain of euthanizing a pet simply because they can’t afford to treat liver cancer in dogs.

Anonymous
Anonymous
I also didn't know that they offered such extensive services.  Wow, pet insurance is just about as complicated as human insurance.  I was also surprised when I found out that pet insurance was not just for cats and dogs.  You can have just about any pet covered that you want covered.  Pet insurance is something that is a long time coming.  I mean it didn't exist even just a few years ago and every trip to the vet was like several hundred dollars.  Because of that, I'm sure that only vets that serviced rich clients were the only ones that… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
I remember a number of years ago when I decided to research pet insurance companies to provide better coverage for my aging dog how I was amazed at how little competition there was out there and few choices I really had to go with.  The coverage was simple and restrictive and ultimately, because my dog was older, I decided not to go with any of them because the premiums would have been higher than it really seemed to be worth in comparison with the kinds of care that he needed.  After reading this article, it amazes me in a completely… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
Thank you for doing all the work for this article and for linking it to your quote chart! It literally saved me hours of time. I was able to cross several potential pet insurance companies right out of consideration due to higher prices, lower reputation, and coverage limitations. The remaining are the ones I am getting quotes from. I am not necessarily going for the lowest premium when I make my decision, so much as the best value and service for the money. I've also been thinking of getting a microchip, but am unsure how much financial sense it really… Read more »
Hank
Hank
By having your dog microchipped, you can expect to save around $2 a month on pet insurance. The savings is nice, but you should really have your dog microchipped for other reasons. I know most dog owners do not think about their dog running away, but you just never know. When a stray dog is picked up and taken to a shelter, the first thing they do is check for a microchip. This should lead to an immediate reunion between the owner and the dog. That kind of security is priceless to me, but the $2 a month savings on… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
I know, I am going to sound like a walking advertisement, but I had such a great experience with Embrace. During a family cookout one day, my dog accidentally ran into a beehive while catching a frisbee and got stung many times. We did not realize he was having an allergic reaction to being stung until we saw him having immense difficulty breathing and noticed his face swelling. One trip to the emergency veterinary care hospital alone would have cost thousands, let alone the emotional stress of having an emergency during the middle of a nice family gathering. Lucky enough… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
I remember when pet insurance was still a largely unknown service in this country.  I cannot really speak for other countries, but from what I know of how Americans feel about their pets, I would bet that we are on the leading edge of the industry worldwide.  Reading through this comparison tells me just how far it has all come and that tells me that there is obviously an increasing demand for this type of thing as every year passes.  Visits to the vet are getting more and more expensive and with the economic crunch we are collectively going through… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
Before reading this article, I was vaguely aware of pet insurance and sort of dismissed it. I mean, it seemed like a luxury item, just like a studded collar and bottled water. Why go through the time and expense of getting pet insurance? In short, I was the skeptic that the author was talking about. Of course, the author is also a veterinarian, and the scenarios described in the article hit straight to the heart. I am convinced now that pet insurance is every bit as necessary as dental insurance is for people. I dislike the idea that I would… Read more »
gthomson
gthomson
I had a cat for 19 years, and never considered having insurance on him. I felt it was just something the vet was pushing to bring in more dollars, but not really needed. Well, at 15 years old, that cat did something stupid and broke his front leg in the process – top half of the leg, so the surgery was more involved. Cost me about $3,500, which I didn’t have, so it all went on a credit card. I have had a dog now for a couple years, and if I got another $3,500 bill like that, it’d break… Read more »
Micheal Brown
Micheal Brown

Having a pet is easy but to maintain is not so easy. If the pet had a fatal disease that needed to be treated, then we also spend some money but if the pet dies the money goes to waste. So we need to insure our pet in case to lower our expenses and treat in a proper manner.

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