Pet Insurance Reviews 2019: Cost & Coverage Comparisons For All Companies

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Fido just leaped for a frisbee, and now he’s limping. What’s wrong with him? Do I need to take him to the vet? How much will it cost? This is why pet insurance is so critical. In a time of panic, you should be worrying about the health of your dog, not the number in your bank account.

We rate the biggest names in the pet health insurance industry based on our own research and provide you with a summary of what each company offers, as well as pros and cons for each. Feel free to click on the “Read Review” text below the company name in the table below to go straight to its review.

Top Pet Insurance Companies 2019

Healthy Paws logoPets Best logoFIGO logo
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Ranking1st2nd3rd
Total Score4.654.554.50
Policy Coverage4.254.754.50
Customer Service & Reputation4.754.004.00
Timeliness of Claim Repayment4.754.754.75
Policy Price4.754.754.75
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

Pet Insurance Cost & Coverage Comparison Tables

Pet Insurance Cost & Coverage Comparison Table screenshot

Our coverage comparison is relatively straightforward, but pricing comparisons can get complicated. Why? Pricing quotes are unique because they’re based on each pet’s age, breed, geographic location and several other factors.

For this reason, we encourage you to get quotes from multiple companies before deciding on a pet insurance provider. We’ve made this easy for you by creating a quote widget that will pull price quotes from top pet insurance companies when you fill out one short form with your pet’s details.

Get Free Pet Insurance Quotes

By entering your pet’s specific characteristics you can get a better understanding of the coverage he or she needs. We’ve compiled a couple of comparison tables that address cost and coverage issues:

  1. Pet Insurance Cost Comparison*
  2. Pet Insurance Coverage Comparison
  3. Get Pet Insurance Price Quotes from Top Companies (FREE)

These links open comparison tables in a new window so you can compare coverage and estimated costs side-by-side as you research company reviews. If you’re unsure where to start, be sure to read our beginner’s dog insurance guide.

*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.

Healthy Paws Review

#1

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Healthy Paws continues to impress us with its unlimited benefits with no per-incident, annual or lifetime caps. This company also has far fewer coverage exclusions compared to many competitors, so it appears that Healthy Paws is less likely to deny your claim.

You can also customize your out-of-pocket expense risk by adjusting your policy’s reimbursement rate (70%, 80% or 90%) and deductible ($100, $250, $500 or $750) when you sign up. There are some restrictions on the reimbursement and annual deductible amounts for pets, depending on the age when they’re enrolled.

Healthy Paws has excellent customer service reviews. Check out the comment section in our Healthy Paws individual review. It’s filled with real customer accounts.

What’s missing with Healthy Paws? It doesn’t offer a wellness plan to cover annual vet visits, which is an increasingly popular feature among pet parents.

Overall, we think Healthy Paws is the best-bet for pet insurance. It has some of the best coverage and at one of the least expensive monthly premiums. If you do run into any hiccups, we’re sure you’ll get the help you need with its excellent customer service.

Pros

Cons

  • Annual deductible (not per incident)
  • Unlimited lifetime coverage so no annual or per incident limits on claims
  • Pricing is generally the best value vs competition (get quotes)
  • Your pet is covered when they travel with you in the United States or Canada
  • High customer satisfaction
  • Easy to submit a claim on the Healthy Paws app for quick claim reimbursement
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Great email response time
  • Good CCL (ACL) coverage
  • Direct deposit or check reimbursement
  • Veterinary exam fee and behavioral therapies are not covered
  • Excludes hip dysplasia in animals enrolled after age 6. There is also a 12 month waiting period.
  • There are age restrictions (if pet is older than 6 you must have vet exam within past 30 days for enrollment or within 15 days of policy issuance)
  • Pets older than 8-years-old are restricted to 60% reimbursement and a $750 annual deductible
  • 15-day waiting period for accident and illness
  • No wellness plan
  • Charges a one-time $25 setup fee

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 Full Review Of Healthy Paws

Pets Best Review

#2

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Pets Best has stepped it up with the items it covers in addition to its low-priced “Accident-Only Plan.” This unique policy allows you to insure against unexpected pet emergencies without charging you monthly for the lower priced (vet exams) or less-likely costs (rehab, chiropractic and acupuncture care).

Pets Best was consistently among the least expensive pet insurance companies when we ran quotes. We’re also impressed with its average claim repayment of 5 days, and it has a 24/7 Pet Helpline, which allows you to speak with a vet expert any time of day.

Its deductibles range from $50 to $1,000, and it offers 2 wellness plans from which to choose. You can truly customize your coverage with Pets Best. Pets Best doesn’t require an exam to set your pet’s health baseline (something Healthy Paws requires).

What kept it from being #1? Pets Best has one of the same underwriters (American Pet Insurance Company or APIC) as Trupanion (another pet insurance company), which is unrated by A.M. Best. We consider this a higher risk factor vs. those who are rated.

However, we can’t dispute Pets Best’s low prices and excellent coverage, which is why we feel it deserves a spot in our top 3.

Pros

Cons

  • No lifetime limits on any plan
  • Great pricing, consistently among the least expensive when we ran quotes
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Multiple forms of customer support: live chat, phone, email, FAQ
  • Typically pays claims in less than 5 days (electronic claim filing and direct deposit options)
  • 5% multi-pet discount
  • No age limits
  • 6-month waiting period for CCL injuries
  • 14-day waiting period for Illness and 3 days for Accident
  • $2 transaction fee (waived if you pay annually or live in Maryland or Alaska)
  • Alternative/holistic therapies are not covered

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, FL, HI and TN and does not apply to accident-only plan or wellness rider). You can also visit our dedicated Pets Best promotions page to discuss current offers.

View Our Full Review Of Pets Best

Figo Review

#3

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Figo is the newest pet insurance company in our comparison. We’re impressed with its coverage details, and it’s the only company in our comparison to offer a 100% reimbursement option. You can submit claims through the app, fax, email or mail.

Should you run into any issues, you can reach Figo by phone, text, live chat, email, fax, Facebook Messenger or Twitter. Its waiting periods are comparable to competitors, although anything regarding the knees has a 6-month waiting period (many others have shorter waiting periods).

It’s not common for a newcomer to enter our top 3 its first year in our reviews, so it speaks volumes that Figo has come out so strong. It has some of the lowest prices, comparable to companies that have been around much longer.

Pros

Cons

  • Annual deductible (not per incident)
  • BBB rating: A
  • Typically pays claims within 5-7 business days
  • Vet exam fees covered for an additional cost
  • App available to support claims via iOS and Android
  • Covers advertising lost pets, canceled vacation due to pet illness, etc.
  • 6-month waiting period for knees (waived if vet exam during first 30 days shows no pre-existing knee conditions)
  • 5-day waiting period for accidents and 14-day for illnesses
  • If there is a knee injury prior to enrollment or during the 6-month waiting period, Figo only covers CCL (ACL) on a second leg if the first leg remains healed for 12 months
  • One-time $9 admin fee + $2/mo or $10/annual fee (waived if ACH setup w/bank)
  • No wellness plan

Coupon Code

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

View Our Full Review Of FIGO

Other Pet Insurance Companies

The companies listed below did not make our top three rankings, but we’ve reviewed them in case you want to learn more. Every pet and every situation is different. You might find an excellent fit for your family below.

Note: We’ve excluded companies with less than 5 full years of nationwide business experience from this ranking so we can provide reliable recommendations.

24PetWatch | AKC | ASPCA/Hartville | Embrace | Nationwide | PetFirst | Petplan | Trupanion

24PetWatch Review

24PetWatch logo

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24PetWatch, founded in 2000, offers pet insurance for dogs as long as you enroll them before the age of 10 years old. In the quotes we ran, 24PetWatch was consistently among the more expensive options (but you get a lot of value for the price so could be worth it).

It also doesn’t offer unlimited claims as an option, which is a feature we’ve come to expect from pet insurance providers. However, one cool thing 24PetWatch does is to provide coverage for chronic conditions if your pet has gone 24 months symptom-free. This is not standard for pet insurance providers.

Pros

Cons

  • Wellness coverage available as an add-on
  • No waiting period for accidents
  • Submit and track claims in real-time online
  • Your pet is covered when they travel with you in the United States or Canada
  • No additional waiting period for ACL, elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia
  • Chronic condition coverage if they go 24 months without symptoms
  • Annual deductible (not per incident)
  • Direct despot or check for reimbursement
  • Cover invoiced amoiunt, including exam fees
  • Limited enrollment age (8 weeks – 10 years) compared to other insurance companies
  • 14-30 day waiting period for illness coverage to kick in
  • If one leg has a CCL (ACL) injury before enrollment, the other leg will not be covered even if there are no prior issues. It’s considered a bilateral condition.
  • No unlimited claims options
  • $2.50 monthly transaction fee
  • Priced on the higher end when we ran quotes

Coupon Code

There are no active 24PetWatch coupon codes at this time.

Read Our Full Review Of 24 Pet Watch

AKC Pet Insurance Review (aka PetPartners)

AKC Pet Insurance logo

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AKC Pet Insurance, a PetPartners brand founded in 2003, doesn’t require vet records or an exam prior to enrollment. It has strict age restrictions and requires an additional fee for coverage of hereditary and congenital conditions, which we expect the average pet insurance plan to include.

It has more limitations compared to other pet insurance providers and only covers hip dysplasia for dogs enrolled prior to their second birthday. For all of these reasons, AKC is not in our top 3.

Pros

Cons

  • No vet records or exam required to enroll
  • Option to add on a wellness plan, exam fee, euthanasia and hereditary condition coverages
  • BBB rating: A+ through PetPartners, Inc. (AKC’s corporate name)
  • Your pet is covered when they travel with you in the United States or Canada
  • 5% multi-pet discount
  • No illness coverage for dogs enrolled after age 9
  • 14-day waiting period for illness, 2 days for accidents
  • Must purchase coverage for inherited/congenital conditions
  • Hip dysplasia and congenital and hereditary conditions are only available for coverage if you enroll your dog at 2-years-old or younger
  • Limits per incident reimbursements over the lifetime of the pet
  • $4 transaction fee, highest in this comparison
  • 6-month waiting period for CCL injuries

Coupon Code

There are not any active AKC Pet Insurance coupon codes at this time.

Read Our Full Review of AKC Pet Insurance

ASPCA Insurance / Hartville Pet Insurance Review

Visit ASPCA Website / Visit Hartville Website

Unfortunately, when looking through the overall features of ASPCA and Hartville pet insurance, we cannot highly recommend either brand.

It’s important to note that C&F Insurance Agency, the administrators of the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program, pays a royalty fee to the ASPCA for the use of its mark through a licensing agreement. C&F Insurance Agency also administers Hartville, which has an identical offering to that of ASPCA pet insurance but is not affiliated with the ASPCA organization.

The company, founded in 1997, has a history of low reimbursements, even under its highest cost plan.

There is an emergency hotline available for claim estimates, which is available during and after normal business hours. You can find out how much of your pet’s treatment will be covered and get an estimate on the payout.

Pros

Cons

  • Offers optional wellness coverage
  • Conditions which are free of symptoms and treatment for 180 days prior to enrollment aren’t considered pre-existing conditions
  • BBB rating A+ (C&F Insurance Agency, Inc.)
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • $2 transaction fee, if not paying annually
  • 14-day waiting period for illnesses and accidents, including knee and ligament injuries
  • Can’t change/add some items to plan until the next 12 month period begins
  • Low reimbursements reported by customers

Coupon Code

There are no active ASPCA Pet Health Insurance coupon codes at this time.

Read Our Full Review Of ASPCA Pet Insurance

Embrace Review

Embrace logo

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Embrace has great customer support options and a rather good reputation overall. When it comes to monthly premiums, Embrace can be all over the board, so we recommend getting an individual quote for your pet.

Regarding claims, Embrace says it averages 5 business days and pays 40% within 2 business days. Embrace tends to fall a little behind on technology for claims submissions versus the top players in this field.

Tip: If you have USAA, you can get a discount with Embrace.

Pros

Cons

  • No per-incident limits on their claims as they use an annual deductible method of accounting
  • No lifetime limit
  • Offers optional Wellness Rewards
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Pays claims between 5-15 days
  • Up to a 10% max discount for multiple pets
  • $1.00 monthly transaction fee and $25 enrollment fee
  • Requires a 2-day waiting period for accidents (14 days in some states), 14-day waiting period for illness coverage and a 6-month waiting period for orthopedic conditions, but can be reduced to 14 days through its Orthopedic Exam and Waiver Process
  • Only covers pets aged 14 and younger for illness (accident only may be available for ages 15+)
  • If one leg has a CCL (ACL) injury prior to enrollment, the other leg will not be covered even if there are no prior issues. It’s considered a pre-existing condition.
  • No unlimited claims options

Coupon Code

Embrace offers a few different discount options. Spayed or neutered pets get a 5% discount. if you have multiple pets, each one gets 5% off. You can also pay annually and get 5% off. Click here to access any of these discounts.

Read Our Full Review Of Embrace

Nationwide Review

Nationwide logo

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Nationwide Insurance (previously VPI) is one of the most well-known dog health insurance companies. VPI was founded in 1982, and Nationwide acquired and started selling VPI’s pet insurance product in 2015.

The Whole Pet and Whole Pet with Wellness plans are like most pet insurance companies, reimbursing a percentage of your vet bill for covered treatments. In the past, it only offered what it now calls its Major Medical policy, which uses a standard list of prices to determine payback prices for procedures and covered items, regardless of what your vet actually charges you. Major Medical is a cheaper option than the Whole Pet plans.

Nationwide is among the most expensive, and it doesn’t have a reputation for timely reimbursements despite the ability to track claims in real-time online. Unfortunately, Nationwide has a track record of poor customer service and quietly raising monthly premium rates as pets age.

Pros

Cons

  • Track claims in real-time online, and submit them through your smartphone
  • Unlimited claims for Major Medical and Whole Pet with Wellness plans
  • One of the only pet health insurance companies to offer exotic pet insurance
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Wellness plans are not available in all states
  • High number of complaints overall (finding negative reviews is not difficult)
  • 12-month waiting period for CCL (ACL) surgery for Major Medical plan
  • 14-day waiting period for Whole Pet with Wellness and Major Medical plans. 24-hour waiting period for Pet Wellness plan
  • Nationwide BBB page has an alert about fraudulent checks
  • Major Medical Plan has annual limits per condition
  • $2 transaction fee

Coupon Code

There are no active Nationwide Pet Insurance coupon codes at this time.

Read Our Full Review Of Nationwide Pet Insurance

PetFirst Review

PetFirst logo

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PetFirst was founded in 2004. Even though it has been in business for more than a decade, there are not a ton of reviews out there for us to share. It has a short waiting period for accidents (only one day after enrollment).

Other than that, there’s not much that stands out about PetFirst. We suggest you request a quote and read a sample policy to see if PetFirst is a good fit for you and your pup. When we ran our quotes, PetFirst was consistently among the most expensive.

Pros

Cons

  • Wellness plan option
  • No vet exam required for enrollment
  • Accident coverage begins the day after enrollment
  • BBB rating: A+
  • No transaction or one-time fees
  • 14-day waiting period for illness; 12-month waiting period for CCL surgery
  • If one leg has a CCL (ACL) injury prior to enrollment the other leg will not be covered, even if there are no prior issues. It’s considered a pre-existing condition.
  • Does not cover all non-routine dental treatments
  • Must purchase routine care coverage for behavioral therapy coverage
  • Among the most expensive

Coupon Code

There are not any active PetFirst coupon codes at this time.

Petplan Review

PetPlan

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Petplan offers unlimited annual coverage but the main thing keeping it from our top spots is its higher prices for similar coverage. The quotes we ran indicate that in most cases you can get unlimited annual coverage from Healthy Paws, Pets Best and Figo for a less expensive monthly premium. However, we still think Petplan offers some of the best coverage and is worth getting a quote from to see if it works for you.

Petplan has a great claim repayment reputation and allows 30 days for claim repayment but averages 5-7 days. The company covers exam fees and has a shorter waiting period for hip dysplasia at only 15 days.

In addition, Petplan’s policy has coverage for travel cancellations due to life-threatening pet injury or illness, as well as coverage for advertising expenses related to a lost pet. In some cases, it even offers reimbursement for the cost of your pet if they’re never found.

Petplan offers discounts on your premiums if you don’t file a claim for a period of time, rewarding you for keeping your pet safe and healthy. It has an annual coverage limit of $2,500 to unlimited, annual deductibles of $250 to $1,000 and 70%, 80% or 90% reimbursement rates. There may be even more options available to you through the call center at this number: 800-237-1123 (our exclusive 5% discount will be honored for this phone call as well).

Pros

Cons

  • Offers a 5% discount for users purchasing their insurance plan online
  • Covers advertising lost pets, losing your pet, canceled vacation due to pet illness, etc.
  • No lifetime or per condition claims limit
  • BBB rating: A+ (under its incorporated name, Fetch, Inc.)
  • Typically pays claims within 5-7 days, although it allows up to 30 days
  • App available to support claims via iOS and Android
  • Covers exam fees for sick visits ($50-$250 on average)
  • No claims credit (2% discount for each consecutive 12-month policy period without a claim, up to 10% max discount)
  • Complaints from existing customers of premium increases being drastically higher than competitors
  • For coverage to apply, you must take your dog to the vet within 48 hours of noticing symptoms of an illness or injury
  • Several policyholders complain that Petplan delays payment on claims (often due to a short upfront waiting period as a new customer) and requires an invoice from your vet
  • Dogs must have annual health and dental checkups to qualify for coverage. Failure to do so may mean your dog won’t get insurance coverage until that checkup is done.
  • Only covers CCL (ACL) on a second leg if the first leg remains healed for 12 months (if your pet received treatment for a cruciate or soft tissue injury to one knee before policy inception, then the other knee is automatically excluded)
  • Customers state (and our sample quotes show) that it’s more expensive than Healthy Paws for unlimited annual coverage
  • No wellness plan
  • $3 credit card processing fee for monthly and quarterly payments

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 Full Review Of Petplan

Trupanion Review

Trupanion Pet Insurance Logo

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Trupanion’s deductibles are per condition and lifetime, meaning that once it’s paid, you never pay the deductible again for that condition. However, it also means that if your pet is sick or injured multiple times in one year, you may be paying a lot in deductibles. Trupanion is on the expensive side for similar coverage compared to our top 3 picks in the quotes we ran.

Pros

Cons

  • 90% reimbursement with no payout limits
  • Offers optional benefits for additional expenses that cover acupuncture, physical therapy, hydrotherapy and behavioral modification training and therapy
  • Hip dysplasia has no age restrictions
  • BBB rating: A+
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Pet is covered in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico
  • More expensive
  • One time $35 administration fee
  • Policies have 5-day waiting period for injuries and 30-day waiting period for illnesses
  • Allows up to a 20% increase on premiums from year to year (based on the state you live in)
  • Pets are not eligible for enrollment after their 14th birthday
  • No wellness plan
  • Doesn’t cover exam fees

Coupon Code

There are not any active Trupanion coupon codes at this time.

Read Our Full Review Of Trupanion

Get Your Money Back

Dogs are quick and sneaky, and there are times when they get into trouble when you turn your back. That’s exactly what Atlas did, but fortunately, his parents had dog insurance for him. Atlas was able to get the care he needed, and his parents didn’t go broke.

Decide Which Pet Health Insurance Company Is Best For You

The number of pet insurance companies to choose from is overwhelming, for sure. Most of the time, people choose to go with the largest, most well-known company, so they don’t have to compare the companies themselves. If you decide to do the research yourself, consider these factors:

  1. Your biggest concern as a pet parent should be the reputation of a pet insurance provider as offering the coverage you need at a price you can afford. Getting a pet insurance policy is useless if it doesn’t cover what you expect it to cover or if you can’t afford the monthly premium. Remember, although cost is important, it’s not the most crucial factor. Your pet’s protection and coverage in the case of an emergency is your number one priority so be sure to make your decision with the long term in mind.
  2. After you narrow your search down based on these requirements, the next step is to decide what type of coverage you want for your dog and which additional perks may be negotiable to lower your costs. If you’d like to learn more about terms you should know regarding insurance for dogs, reference our terminology info.

Picking a pet insurance plan is a personal choice, and no one knows what your dog needs better than you. Take the time to make an informed decision, and know that in the long run, it’ll be worth having the added protection. Check out our pet insurance winner’s guide for more on our top 3, and don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments below.

Which factor is most important to you when choosing a pet insurance company?

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.

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

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

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

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Beatrice Greenberg
I’m not much for posting on social medial but the events of today with our pet insurance company, PetPlan, have compelled me to share my most recent horror story with this company. I received an e-mail quoting me the rates for Mattie’s insurance starting in August. Her coverage currently consist of a $100 deductible per illness and unlimited coverage of 90% of her vet bills. To date we have been reimbursed about $36,000 for the year and have been able to give Mattie the best medical care possible while paying $3,207 in premiums to PetPlan. The policy they are offering for next year limits coverage to $15,000, has a $750 deductible per Illness and only reimburses 70%. While the premium cost goes down to $774.56 per year, this in no way compensates for the drastic change in benefits. Just using the three conditions she is currently being treated for, the increase in cost for $15,000 in coverage is $5,250 more than the costs under the prior year. I have had a long conversation with a customer service rep to try to understand this change as no person would accept such changes in their health care policy. I was told that pets are treated as property, thus, as your car ages your insurance benefits go down and your premiums go down. I hope you see how absurd this policy is – pets that age don’t depreciate in value and insurance companies should not be permitted to lessen the coverage as they age so they can die rather then pay out benefits when most needed. I asked the right questions when singed up with this company and was assured that I would continue to have good coverage as my pet aged. There should be more transparency in the purchasing of pet insurance so that we can have a better idea of what a carrier will do with premiums and costs as a pet ages.
Need help...
Hi Kimberly, I’m researching insurance for my 6-month yorkie and narrowed down my choices to Healthy Paws (based on their excellent customer ratings and reasonable premiums) and Petplan. I was ultimately leaning towards Petplan because of its exam fee coverage and the relatively comprehensive dental coverage (since Yorkies are known for their dental issues) whereas Healthy Paws offered neither. Then I came across this article from NBC News about premium increases throughout pets’ lives and was blown away by the projected increase in Petplan’s premiums. Now I feel I’m back to square one. I know how difficult it is to switch insurance companies in the middle (pre-existing conditions, etc.) so I want to get it right the first time. Your analysis in this article is extremely helpful, but any further insight would be extremely helpful. Thanks!!
Scott
Pet insurance in general is known to be a gamble, but Nationwide has perfected the claim denial game. I am a physician, so I know a thing or two about medicine and can speak the language. Our Boston came to us with diarrhea when he was about two years old. At age 6, he went through a spell of not eating and lost some weight. He never got a formal diagnosis from the vet, and eventually just started eating normally again. We filed a claim and it was denied due to “pre-existing condition.” They said his anorexia was the SAME as his diarrhea years earlier. Then they went so far as to provide a long list of vague and general “diagnoses” that they would never cover in his lifetime. I repeatedly asked them for medical evidence to support their assertions that his transient condition had anything to do with the long list of “conditions” they were refusing to cover in the future. Needless to say, we’ve cancelled our policy and are giving another company a try.
Undecided
Hi. I am looking for Pet Insurance for my 2 year old pure bred standard poodle. He is healthy & happy. He had a slight seizure which I think is a side effect of flea medication. What would be the best insurance for us? I had VPI (which is now Nationwide) w/my previous dogs. I had a good experience with them. They covered well visits and one of the dog’s epilepsy. If this is a condition, which company will cover?
Barbara Murray
Buyer beware! Petplan interprets “pre-existing” conditions to include aspects that are often seen in normal, healthy animals. My dog had light tartar on her teeth, with NO indication of disease or problems, but that was the basis for denying a claim over 5 years later, involving a loose tooth, periodontal disease and the need for 8 extractions. Even the Amer. Vet Dental College says that tartar above the gumline does not cause periodontal disease. Even a year later after holding the policy, my dog had no evidence of dental or periodontal disease, yet the recent claim was denied because of a pre-existing condition. Company representatives say the policy does not require a medical condition to exist to be pre-existing, but merely a “clinical sign”- which they define as “changes in your pets normal healthy state”. No disease or medical condition, but it can preclude coverage 5 years later. Premiums have nearly doubled in the 5 years of coverage (now over $1500/year), even with only one small claim. Their ability phrase things in an oblique manner that nobody is likely to catch allows them to deny claims easily. That, on top of using terms in an unconventional way (e.g. a “clinical sign” does not mean that it is a sign of illness— merelly whatever they decide) leaves the buyer at tremendous risk. Unless you read the policy over with a fine tooth comb and know your animal has no indications of any problem at all before buying the policy, and as long as you don’t mind huge premium increases, this is not a good policy for you.
Sarah Smith
My husband bought me a beautiful terrier, but the breeder mentioned to him that this terrier’s mother had a lot of health concerns. I would really like to look into pet insurance so I can provide for her if her health deteriorates. Your advice to read reviews so I can find a reputable pet insurance provider is really helpful.
Keith
I am still having a hard time deciding on a company I have been back an forth With NationWide being pricey, while other like Embrace and Best Pet have been way lower in cost. So which is really the best that pays out without issue and not having to chase them to pay it? The one that has less issue and better service with customers all round?
Jana
This breakdown is incredibly helpful–thank you.

I saw in your full review of Healthy Paws that pets eight years and older are restricted to 60% reimbursement. Does Figo have age-related reimbursement restrictions?

Lisa
Figo raised our monthly premium significantly after the first year, even with no claims, from $40.72 to $56.08. The dog is only 3 years old.
Mary
Same thing happened to me with my two year old dog.
Laura
I think that when you write this in the future, you should take into account the rating on other sites such as yelp. For example, you give Trupanion an honorable mention, but it has a 2 star rating on yelp, and the reviews are horrific. Healthy Paws has a good rating there, but seems to be going downhill since they were acquired by a larger company last year. It would help to know percentage of denied claims, and annual premium rate increases. I was looking for a plan for my mixed breed manx kitten, but I’m really skeptical that these policies will cover genetic conditions despite their aggressive marketing. I’d be very interested to see a comparison to just putting $50 a month into a savings account.
Dayna
I had my puppy on Trupanion but the lack of exam fees being covered was a deal breaker for me, as vets in our area typically charge $50 or more per visit. I did like the per incident deductible, but the premiums were really high even for $750 deductibles. Your #1 pick Healthy Paws has the same limitation. I hesitated to use Pets Best as their pricing goes up as dog the gets older, but I like that I have the flexibility to adjust deductible or pay out percentages to lower the cost as she gets older. So we are going to put her on Pets Best. Pet Plan was more expensive than Pets Best, and they had higher deductibles.
Roberta
Ive had Trupanion for my 2 dogs for 5 years. Each year the monthly rate has increased by a few dollars. Last month it went up $12, mind you I have NEVER made a claim, my dogs were just puppies when I enrolled them. I called inquiring about the substantial increase and they told me it was because of the age of my dogs, now 5 and 6 years old. I had to drop them at that. I’m now seeing that other pet insurance with more coverage is cheaper then what I’ve been paying. Lesson learned, do your research.
Yolanda Lennie Mejia
I cannot thank Healthy Paws enough for being there for our dog Kiki and my family when we need them. Kiki was diagnosed with Cushing syndrome and had a mass in her adrenal gland. Kiki underwent surgery to take out the mass which turned out to be cancerous. unfortunately, Kiki developed pancreatitis and kidney failure a couple of weeks later and was hospitalized several times. She lost appetite and lost a lot of weight and had to have a feeding tube inserted in her neck in order to help her get better. While we worried about Kiki’s health, we are thankful that we have a pet insurance to take care of the financial side. Whenever I see or talk to people and coworkers who have pets, I advocate that they get pet insurance for the sake of their pet and themselves. I encouraged my sister, my son and other friends to get Healthy Paws pet insurance and they thanked me because Healthy Paws was there for them as well in time of their need.

As for me, Kiki’s medical expenses are over $10,000.00 now. Healthy paws processed our claims always immediately.
their Customer Care even reached out to check on Kiki’s condition. Is that GREAT or what? Thank you, Health Paws for being there for us. You are the GREATEST!

Jonah
FIgo offers the most generous coverage. Figo is also one of the most affordable. Here’s my experience so far:

I have had several dogs in my life. My last dog costs me a bundle in vet bills. So for my next dog, I wanted a pet insurance with generous coverage, one that is affordable, and one that was convenient. I narrowed my choices to FIgo and Healthy Paws. Both were similiar however, if you closely, FIgo offered more. FIgo covered vet exam fees, holistic and alternative medicine, shorter waiting periods, and overall more convenience. The major convenience with Figo is that with FIgo you can text them if you had a question, and they would reply back in minutes. Furthermore, although both FIgo and Healthy Paws had phone apps, Figo phone apps covered more than just claims processing. Best of all, Figo was a bit more affordable. So far, so good. I filed 3 three claims. The first claim took about 8 days, but the second and third claims with processed in less than 6 days. Figo should be ranked soon.. Figo has what I wanted: Generous Coverage, Phone App that covered paperless processing, Affordablility, and Exceptional Customer Serivice. I am glad I chose Figo. Figo although unranked i think beat the top 3 ranked here for exceptional coverage. Hope Figo is ranked soon.

Dayna
Figo’s premiums in my area were higher than Trupanions and Healthy Paws and they wanted an additional $8 per month to cover exam fees.
Tamara Dunn
Pets Best does not cover pregnancy or anything to do with breeding.

Out of curiosity, why wasn’t Nationwide Whole Pet with Wellness reviewed? It appears all levels of other company plans were included, but the only plan shown to be offered by Nationwide is their Major Medical… which is a stupid plan, but their Whole Pet with Wellness is significantly more comprehensive than the 3 top plans mentioned and is competitive in price. One of our dogs was diagnosed with a chronic condition and they’ve paid for her prescription diet, her meds, acupuncture for pain and all of her medical care, including office visits, CAT scans, ultrasound and xrays. They covered our other dog’s laproscopic spay and a dental with nine extractions on the pug mix we inherited. Is this an independent review or was it sponsored by any of the insurance companies? I ask because all of these reviews promote the top three, but only review Nationwide’s Major Medical. We would have had to euthanize our dog, who is now doing very well, if it weren’t for this plan and I find it disappointing none of the reviews ever mentions it.

Nationwide Whole Pet vs. the top 3:
Flea & Tick – Covered
Heartworm Prevention – Covered
Heartworm testing, vaccines, titres – Covered
Fecal exams – Covered
Deworming – Covered
Spay/Neutered – Covered
Acupuncture – Covered
Chiropractic – Covered
Cold Laser – Covered
Rehabilitation – Covered
Therapeutic Diets – Covered
Prescribed Neutriceuticals – Covered
All major medical, emergency and wellness, other than pre-existing conditions – Covered

Our monthly cost for these plans ranges from $58 to $109 a month based on the age of our dogs at sign up. We’ve used this plan for all 9 of our family dogs since spring 2016 when we switched them to this from Trupanion. We’ve had a LOT of claims, I process at least 1 to 2 claims a month on one dog or another, and so far none have been turned down. They do take longer to pay out, more like 2 to 3 weeks before you get the check, longer for extensive medical bills, but that’s not a bad trade off for the extensiveness of the coverage. They also won’t insure puppies on this plan, they have to be 1 year of age, a recent change… but other than that we’ve been pretty happy with the coverage.

George Mack
AVOID NATIONWIDE!!!
They pay on virtually no claims. The amount they take out is ridiculous, and you have to fight with them on every claim. Eventually they give and reverse decision if you threaten to cancel, but that is about the best way to get them to do what they advertise.
jim
You have Figo as a negative 14-day illness waiting period, 5 days for accidents but health paws you don’t have in negative its 15 day illness waiting period and 15 day accident waiting period whice by my account is worse
Nancy
I’m also looking to replace PetPlan because of the price jump. I found when getting online quotes for my 3 pets, that your top pick Healthy Paws has a downside that is a deal-breaker for me. My 10-year-old cat (who is in perfect health) is only eligible for a plan that covers 60% (instead of 80%) and has a $750 annual deductible! You might want to mention that, and not just that they require a checkup for older pets 30 days prior (which wouldn’t be a problem). Also, I noticed in your coverage comparison that Trupanion is checked for covering alternative therapies, but that’s only if you pay an addition fee. I’m considering Pets Best, but still undecided.
Thank you.
Patrick
How often do you guys update your pet insurance reviews? Will new rankings be coming out Jan 1 2018?
Amy
Thank you for this in-depth article! You’ve helped me pick out the best policy for my fur baby.
Kathleen
It would be interesting to know how much the plans go up every year or which company is worse about price hikes . How much do these plans go up after your dog reaches older age? What companies offer the option to pay annually or pay annually for a discount? How long have these company been in buisness?
Carlos
Thank you for this excellent summary. There is a lot of information on pet insurance on the internet and putting it all together as you have done is very helpful. The summary of benefits, the analysis of pros and cons, and the comments from users are all excellent features. Following Petplans recent 100% increase of premiums for my two 10-year old dogs I wanted to switch insurance companies if possible and your article helped me to quickly assess my options and make a decision. And I appreciate the 10% discount on Healthy Paws I was able to receive by signing up through your website! Thank you, thank you!
barbsra sturtevant
Trupanion looks for ways to deny or chsrge deductibles on every claim. Your dog can have cancer and yet it will keep charging deductibles as different diagnosis if your animal has 2 or 3 different types even when continuing carevis the sane for all (continuing chemo or holistic rx or radiation for example). They want to not reimburse you.
Penny
Per the site, “Pets Best offers two tiers of routine care that can be added to one of our BestBenefit plans for additional premium at the time you enroll, within 30 days of enrolling, or at your annual renewal. Benefits are available to you the day after you enroll so you can start using your routine care plan as soon as your policy goes into effect.”
maldav
Another con for PetPlan is its systems security. Even when not requested, the PetPlan system sends to customers e-mail messages that contain their usernames and passwords in clear text, i.e. unencrypted. In addition, PetPlan customer service representatives have access to and can view customers’ account passwords, which conflicts with standard security practices. The practical implication is an unauthorized person could gain access to information about you and your pet. Fortunately, PetPlan does not store customers’ charge card information in the My Account section.
Keyai - Petplan Community Manager
Hi Maldav, we’ve made necessary changes to no longer allow for usernames and passwords to be passed via email in clear text. Your concerns were valid and we listened.
Mother Sunshine
Healthy Paws is not all-inclusive as they advertise. Pay close attention to the fine print. My dog had a knee injury 11 days into the policy and Healthy Paws wouldn’t cover any of it because the 15-day waiting period had not yet ended. Even though he had surgery after the waiting period, they wouldn’t cover it because “clinical signs or symptoms of the condition treated were noted in his medical records as being present during the waiting period”. They wouldn’t even cover the consultation because they don’t cover that either. They only cover the cost of the veterinary treatment (not the cost of the vet consult or anything other than the actual “treatment”) “related to an accident, illness or injury where the clinical signs or symptoms were first present after the enrollment date and waiting periods”. They require you to submit all previous vet records including doctor’s notes from birth to present. If there is any sign whatsoever that your pet had the problem before the policy, they will not cover it. And if they do, they only cover a part of it. Don’t waste your money and jump through hoops, like I did, for nothing.