What’s The Best Pet Insurance Company For 2020?

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1stHealthy Paws logo
2ndPets Best Logo
Figo Pet Insurance logo
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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.

Looking back, Alyssa and Melissa wish they had considered pet insurance more seriously before their dogs experienced such costly vet bills. While both chose to move forward with shelling out the money for the expensive procedures, other parents don’t have this option.

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. It 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, etc.

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

Healthy Paws App Screenshots

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

Pets Best Screenshot of App

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 pet insurance options.
  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 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%, annual limit is $5,000 or unlimited, 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

Figo App Screenshots

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 ($5,000, $10,000, and unlimited coverage), annual deductible ($100 to $750), and reimbursement rate (70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%). Depending on the pet’s location and age, 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

Visit our pet insurance reviews for a full list of companies we include in our annual review. That review goes above and beyond this comparison by including in-depth reviews of each provider with pros and cons.

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

Pet Insurance Facts & Stats (Infographic)

Pet Insurance Stats 2020

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 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 work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's 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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July 29, 2020 1:14 pm

July 29th, 2020, I started looking for insurance for a rescue Akita we are looking into getting. I came across this site and started checking out these companies for reviews. They all seem to have started out great, people loved the policies, and so on. Then, the new reviews or updated reviews started surfacing June 2020, stating people’s policies are going up a lot and they are not getting covered for things from the past, like emergencies and other simple things like visits. So I started digging, even more, the discount you have up, no longer works and the prices people are quoted is not what they are paying, it’s way more. I keep looking, and people are now getting ripped off by these once amazing companies. So here we are in COVID19, summer of 2020, it’s looking like someone is buying out good pet company insurances and are now ripping people off through them. Nationwide Pet Insurance is not even owned by Nationwide LLC, Scottsdale Insurance Company owns them. Who is Scottsdale Insurance Company anyway!?
What I’m saying is someone is buying up good companies and turning them into trash companies so they can take money from good people. Please research new companies and change this list because it’s no longer accurate. Not 1 company on this list is good anymore.

Lesly Arizola
July 7, 2020 1:48 pm

My Boston Terrier is 1 and I’m looking for a good insurance. Any recommendations?

July 29, 2020 1:15 pm
Reply to  Lesly Arizola

None on this list are good anymore. I research each one and noticed big changes in them.

June 30, 2020 5:47 pm

Is there any company that does not have a bilateral knee exclusion? My 6 year-old dog is having knee surgery on left rear leg and I now realize how important insurance is! I have no policy and it will cost $4,000. I understand a future injury on the right is more likely now. Your site told me Figo would cover me after a 6 month waiting period but I called and they said “bilateral knee exclusion” and it would not be covered ever. They said all pet insurance had same exclusion. Is this true? Would any insurance cover future knee surgery?

Susan Nelson
May 3, 2020 1:33 pm

Is is true that Healthy Paws is the only pet insurance who does not increase the rate for pet age once you have coverage?

July 13, 2020 3:46 pm
Reply to  Susan Nelson

I hope this answer isn’t too late, but Healthy Paws just increased my monthly premium by 30%, from $60 to $78, for my 3-year-old dog. I am really bummed out about it, as they have increased every year, so I have been on the lookout for a new insurance company to switch to now.

March 29, 2020 10:34 am

It is apparently a truism that the pets of vet students (and those of their parents) come down with virtually every illness known, giving students the opportunity to have first-hand experience with every possible condition. When my daughter was in vet school, she and her classmates researched pet insurance companies to determine which were the best. A large majority selected Healthy Paws. After several urgings from my daughter, I signed our two dogs up for Healthy Paws insurance and will be forever grateful that I did. After about a year on insurance, one of our dogs began having serious medical problems in rapid succession—near-fatal pancreatitis, IBS, very difficult to control diabetes, and several large tumors on her paws. Each of these ailments has been very expensive to treat, and as my girl remains the happiest dog on earth, I am always grateful that I never have to make a decision to ration her health care or deplete our retirement savings. Healthy Paws has been prompt to settle every claim I’ve ever sent in (almost 90 at this point, plus fewer for my other dog, who also has needed some expensive treatments.) I cannot recommend Healthy Paws enough. They have made it so easy for us to get first-class treatment for both of our dogs so that we have more years to enjoy them.

January 14, 2020 11:28 pm

Healthy Paws is the reason we didn’t have to have our dog put down on Christmas Eve. He ruptured 2 discs, was in tremendous pain, and couldn’t use his hind legs. There is no way we could have afforded an almost $9000 vet bill to save our dog. Because we had Healthy Paws insurance we were able to afford to get him the surgery he needed. He is recovering amazingly! We have had to file two big claims in the last two years and Healthy Paws has really come through for us. They paid claims as per our policy. Absolutely worth having!!

Richard Breenberg
January 8, 2020 3:27 am

You really need to re-evaluate your review for PetPlan. They were a great company when they were owned and run by the founders, however they are now a greedy company that will guts insurance coverage for pets that they have had to pay out high medical costs. Our 13 1/2 year old Westie has been insured with PetPlan for 11 years and for the most part we have been happy with the plan as she has had many medical issues since she was 2 1/2. Her coverage consisted of a $100 deductible per illness and unlimited coverage of 90% of her vet bills. We had been reimbursed over $40,000 for 2019 and were able to give Mattie the best medical care possible, while paying $3,207 in premiums to PetPlan. We expected a big increase in our premium when the policy was up for renewal in Augustas, 2018, when Mattie would be turning 14. However, we were shocked when we got a renewal letter the provided for drastic reductions in her coverage. The only policy offered to us limited coverage to to $15,000 per year, $750 deductible per illness and 70% reimbursement. While the premium cost went down to $774.56 per year, this in no way compensated for the drastic change in benefits. I spoke to several PetPlan representatives and was told that I should be happy that they don’t cancel policies as other companies do for older pets. from reading reviews of PetPlan I know that they did the same thing to other pet owners that has sick pets needing costly care. Isn’t that why people buy insurance, to cover their expenses if and when their pet gets sick. This company lets you down when you need them the most. My Mattie has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but in her memory I will continue to try and alert others that this is not the compasionat company they would you to believe they are. PLEASE take another look and reconsider your evaluation. You obviously believed their propaganda.

November 27, 2019 8:46 pm

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.

November 25, 2019 2:26 pm

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.


liz polo
October 25, 2019 4:18 pm

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.

January 22, 2020 3:36 pm
Reply to  liz polo

My dogs have been insured with Healthy Paws since 2013 and 2015. Healthy Paws has NEVER paid out a claim for either dog (we’ve only had minor health issues and we’ve never reached our deductible), and still our premiums have gone up every year. I just received notice our premium is increasing 36% in March. I too was told it was because vet costs have increased. We will be paying about 2.5x what we were paying when we signed up. At some point I will no longer be able to justify the monthly expense for pet insurance (probably when we’re going to need it the most), and at that point I will have wasted paying premiums for years.

Also, when I called to inquire about the increase and asked for a quote based on a higher deductible and lower reimbursement level, I received an email with even higher prices. When I called to inquire about the higher rates for less coverage, I was put on hold repeatedly by a woman who didn’t seem to know the answer to any of my questions. Ultimately she came back on the line and said a manager would get back to me in 48 hours. Very disappointing customer service when the rep can’t even answer a basic premium questions for an existing customer.

I’m looking around at other companies but honestly the reviews for all of them are terrible. Way too many complaints about claims being denied.

I think with my next dogs I will just put $100/month into a health savings account and forgo the pet insurance all together.

Tim from Healthy Paws
January 30, 2020 4:23 pm
Reply to  Debbie


We truly appreciate we have been able to play a part in the care of your pets over the years. We know that no one likes any form of premium increase and that your pending increase is larger than normal. 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. Premiums are determined based on the rates and rating rules filed and approved within each state’s Department of Insurance. These reflect the cost of treatment, advances in veterinary medicine, your individual pet’s breed, gender, age and other factors, in addition to the overall claims experience for the program within the region your pet resides. 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.

In regards to the updated quotes, we’re assuming you went online to get a new quote versus going through your Healthy Paws Online Customer Center. The pricing for your current policy is per the rating plan approved by your state’s Insurance Department, and we are not permitted to deviate from those rates for existing policyholders. The quote you generated recently is the approved pet insurance product filing for NEW accounts only. Please try to adjust your policy via the online customer center and you should see a reduction in your premiums. If not, please send an email to the administrators of Canine Journal giving them permission to provide us with your full name and policy number. We’ll have a Customer Liaison Manager look into the issue and get back with you. We thank you for being a valuable member of the Healthy Paws Family.

The Healthy Paws Team

Tim from Healthy Paws
October 30, 2019 6:43 pm
Reply to  liz polo


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

November 13, 2019 9:11 pm

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..

October 22, 2019 6:54 pm

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.

October 15, 2019 10:31 pm

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.

September 29, 2019 5:45 pm

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!

January 8, 2020 3:58 am
Reply to  Sonia

So sorry for your loss .. which Company did you end up going with for your new pup? I currently have pets best for our new pup & considering switching to a more complex plan

August 27, 2019 3:12 pm

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?

August 26, 2019 10:10 pm

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?).

August 27, 2019 11:34 am
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Thanks for your thoughtful answers, Kim. I will definitely investigate Petplan. I do want to point out that I understand that if there is issues related to this particular disk, it won’t be covered but if it ever happens again, it would be a different disk location and not related to previous episode in any way. Of course, I don’t know the level of details these insurance companies go into. It is true that non chronic pancreatitis is not preventable but the acute one may happen again if a dog accidentally eats something wrong. Wouldn’t it be similar to food poisoning? Or if a dog had a food poisoning once, it is a pre-existing condition?
It’s almost like if a dog breaks a leg and it is cured, all future broken legs would be considered pre-existing conditions. The other part of the process I’m confused, insurance companies seem to request medical history with the first claim rather than during enrollment. I would prefer to submit everything during enrollment so they can tell me if my dog has pre-existing conditions. I am afraid to have an issue in the future and be denied a claim cause of this poorly defined existing condition clause. Healthy Paws definition of pre-existing condition is enormously broad.

August 1, 2019 7:15 pm

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.

June 27, 2019 5:36 pm

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?

July 10, 2019 2:07 pm
Reply to  Alpha

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
April 22, 2019 5:08 pm

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
April 17, 2019 9:45 pm

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 from Healthy Paws
May 21, 2019 6:03 pm
Reply to  Don Hirschfeld


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
February 10, 2019 7:29 pm

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.

July 10, 2019 2:11 pm
Reply to  Tom Piegari

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.

March 1, 2020 3:37 am
Reply to  JBun

After reading all these posts it appears Vet care is a major SCAM. I was going to consider getting more “rescue” animals, but honestly, this makes me sick. Vets need to LOWER their rates. Their obscene charges are the reason so many people would even have to consider the idiocy of pet insurance. My Gosh, it’s pathetic.

March 13, 2019 6:27 pm
Reply to  Tom Piegari

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!

January 1, 2019 5:23 pm

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.

December 21, 2018 2:37 am

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.

December 23, 2018 2:23 am
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Hi, Kimberly,
Thanks so much for sharing your insights. My thoughts about your suggestion:

1) Allergies: all providers I talked to (Petplan included) said “allergies are considered non-curable and will be pre-existing for life”.

2) Looks like our best bet is to keep our Pets Best plan (with $5,000 annual max), and supplement it with some add-on or a secondary plan at a low premium (to keep the total cost affordable). Such options include:

2.1) Pets Best offers a cancer only plan, at about $15/month with a $8,000 annual max. But the downside is: cancer is not the only condition that can break your bank, and thus it seems very dicey to have this add-on. Maybe not worth it.

2.2) Enroll in a secondary plan with a different carrier, with an annual max about $15,000, but it’s not easy to keep the premium below $30/month, unless we raise the deductible to $500 and/or drop reimbursement level to 70%.

Here’re the quotes we got for a 6-year old, bichon-poodle mix, male dog (in San Jose, California):
Carrier, Annual Max, Reimbursement, Deductible, Premium/month:
*Quotes (as of Dec 23, 2018):

Figo $14,000 70% $500 $24.18 (add $4.85 for office visits)=> winner?
ASPCA $15,000 70% $500 $43.41
Petplan $15,000 70% $500 $48.32 (after 5% Caninejournal discount)
* our current plan:

Pets Best $5,000 90% $200 $50.76 ($2 monthly installment included)

If we take the above Figo option ($14,000 max), combined with our current Pets Best ($5,000 max), that will give a total of $19,000 annual max, which should be decent/sufficient, at a combined monthly premium of $24.18 + $50.76 = $75.

3) My specific questions are:

3.1) How would dual insurance policies work together?

(I do understand in principle, the two policies would complement, not duplicate, each other when it comes to claims/reimbursements, and the two carriers will talk to each other in this process. One policy can reimburse, within its coverage, what’s left unreimbursed by the other policy.)

3.2) How is the deductible calculated for dual policies? Can the same dollar amount paid count toward both policies’ deductibles? Or one needs to count them separately, say, $200 for Pets Best and $500 for Figo, and a total of $700 for combined dual policies?

Was wondering if anybody had similar experience of getting two plans and how it would work out in terms of both maximizing coverage and minimizing premium cost. Suggestions? Comments? Many thanks.

December 26, 2018 3:35 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Hi, Kimberly,

Thanks so much for your suggestion. Yes, we did check with Pets Best and discovered that (as I posted on November 13, 2018 at 2:17 am below) to increase our coverage beyond the current $5,000, we must start a new policy, which means unfortunately certain covered conditions under our current Pets Best plan will BECOME pre-existing conditions to be excluded from coverage under the new plan. In other words, we are stuck with the current Pets Best plan (a mistake made a few years back). This is the part of Pets Best that I don’t like, but have to live with.

December 27, 2018 11:30 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

I asked Petplan CSR and here’s what they said. My current insurance will be primary, and the new policy will be secondary, pretty much like human medical insurance. Basically, one will end up paying pay deductible and copay twice, first with the primary, and then with the secondary for the remaining amount of the claim beyond the primary’s coverage and falling within the coverage of the secondary.

December 31, 2018 6:52 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Hi, Kimberly, Thanks so much for cautioning this. I just asked 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 if some provider is willing to step up as the primary, then Pets Best can works as a secondary. Will see… Pet insurances are so difficult!

July 24, 2019 9:08 pm
Reply to  Wayne

Hi Wayne,

I am also looking for secondary pet insurance, so I just wonder if you ever found the right combination for you or stayed with Pet’s Best? Thank you!

December 31, 2018 3:41 am
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Hi, Kimberly,

Thanks for pointing this out. I asked Pets Best before and I believe they accept a secondary policy, but will double check tomorrow to see if they will act as the primary in this case and will report back what I find out. At the moment, I’m inclined to take Figo as our secondary, rather than Petplan which has ridiculously high premium, e.g., $174.70/month for $15k annual max/70% reimbursement/$500 deductible (for a bichon mix male dog at age 15), which is 3 times that of Figo. (Note this would be on top of what we will continue to pay Pets Best as the primary, and thus we cannot afford a high-premium secondary policy.) At the same time, I hesitate to take Figo because it’s a new provider, not yet being reviewed on Caninejournal. It would be very helpful to see your verdict on Figo soon, hopefully before I have to make a decision by January 2.

List below is a projected premium table (from online quotes, as of Dec 28, 2018) as our dog (bichon mix male) ages from 6 to 10 and then 15, where Petplan has the steepest rate increase.

Provider/max/reimbursement%/deductible, Age: 6, 10, 15
Primary policy
PetsBest /$5k/90%/$200: 59.85, 127.37, 158.58
Secondary policy
Figo /$14k/70%/$500 (no vet fee): 24.18, 37.20, 51.68
ASPCA /$15k/70%/$500: 43.41, 78.14, 108.53
Petplan /$15k/70%/$500 (after 5% off): 48.32, 88.37, 174.70

January 1, 2019 11:08 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Minor update:

Just found two excess insurance policies could potentially work together. Here’s a quote from a Pets Best policy:

“This Policy is excess over any other valid and collectible insurance, whether: primary; *** excess ***; contingent; or on any other basis…
If you have other insurance that provides similar primary coverage or *** is also excess *** covering the same Covered Loss, our share of the Claim is the pro rata proportion that the applicable scheduled limit, or sub‐limit…”

December 17, 2018 3:45 am

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.

December 13, 2018 7:39 pm

Hi? What is the problem why my dog is not eating any kind of food?