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9 Best Pet Insurance Companies | 2021

Choosing a pet insurance policy for your furry friend involves a handful of considerations, including plan coverage and monthly pricing. Keep reading to learn about the top pet insurance companies in the industry and what sets them apart from other providers.

By Home Service Research Team

August 12, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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When your pet unexpectedly gets sick or injured, it may need procedures or treatments that cost upward of $1,000. Fortunately, a pet insurance policy can protect your pet in the event of an emergency—and help you avoid paying for expensive vet bills.

The Home Service Research Team at Better Homes & Gardens researched the top providers in the pet insurance industry and compared each company on a variety of factors, including policy coverage, plan customization, affordability, and trustworthiness, to help readers find the best pet insurance policy for their companion.

Top Pet Insurance Providers

Best Overall: Lemonade

  • Annual limit: $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, or $100,000
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $100, $250, or $500

Our Take

Lemonade is a newer company to the insurance world and offers a variety of insurance products, including homeowners insurance and renters insurance. It stood out in our review as the ‘Best Overall’ provider, scoring a 94 out of 100 for its impressive policy coverage, plan customization, affordability, preventative care plan, and mobile app claims process.

This provider is a great option for pet owners looking to get the most out of an affordable policy or those looking for a seamless claims process that doesn’t rely on individual insurance agents or customer service representatives. Instead of using insurance agents, Lemonade has a mobile app that features AI technology to provide customers with a fast, hassle-free claims process.

Get a free pet insurance quote from Lemonade by using this easy online tool.

Coverage Highlights

Waiting periods

2 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses;
6 months for cruciate ligament events

Offers accident-only plan

Offers preventative care

Covers hip dysplasia

✔ (after six months)

Covers behavioral treatments

Lemonade pet insurance covers procedures and treatments related to both accidents and illnesses, such as diagnostic tests, emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, injections, and prescription medications.

Covered conditions include unexpected injuries, broken bones, sprains, infections, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, skin conditions, hip dysplasia, and more.

Lemonade also offers the Preventative package, which covers up to $295 per year for items such as a heartworm test, bloodwork, and three vaccines. The company also offers the Preventative+ package, which includes routine dental cleaning for your pet. You can also purchase optional vet visit fees and physical therapy add-ons to get additional coverage.

Some of Lemonade’s policy exclusions include pre-existing conditions, elective cosmetic surgeries, and behavioral treatments.

Cost

Lemonade offers some of the lowest monthly premiums on the market for accident and illness plans. Its Preventative package is an additional $14–$18 per month for dogs and $10–$12 per month for cats. You can also opt for the vet visit fees and physical therapy add-ons for an additional $3–$8 per month for dogs and cats.

Here are some sample quotes from Lemonade for four-year-old male dogs and cats of various breeds in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Animal

Mixed Dog

Golden Retriever

Beagle

Mixed Cat

Domestic Short-Haired Cat

Plan

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Reimbursement rate

90%

80%

70%

90%

80%

Deductible

$500

$250

$500

$500

$100

Annual limit

$5,000

$20,000

$50,000

$5,000

$100,000

Monthly premium

$19

$28

$18

$11

$16

BEST OVERALL
Lemonade

Best Benefits: Embrace

  • Annual limit: $5,000, $8,000, $10,000, $15,000, or $30,000
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $200, $300, $500, $750, or $1,000

Our Take

Embrace is another top pet insurance company in the industry, scoring a 93.5 out of 100 in our review. It stands out the most for its discounts and benefits offered to customers, including a 10% multi-pet discount, 5% discount for military veterans, and a 10% employee discount for pet parents who work for companies that offer Embrace’s pet insurance benefits.

Embrace also offers the Healthy Pet Deductible benefit that credits each customer with $50 toward their deductible for every year that they don’t file a claim, which can diminish some deductibles to as low as $0 after multiple years. Embrace also offers five customizable deductibles between $200 and $1,000 to help lower your monthly premium.

Request a free quote from Embrace by filling out this simple form.

Coverage Highlights

Waiting periods

2 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses

Offers accident-only plan

Offers preventative care

Covers hip dysplasia

✔ (after six months)

Covers behavioral treatments

Embrace offers one accident and illness plan that covers conditions such as excessive vomiting, allergies, chronic conditions, cancer, broken bones, dental trauma, and genetic conditions. It also covers bills from treatments and procedures, such as physical therapy, lab tests, diagnostic procedures, and vet visits.

Embrace also offers the Wellness Rewards for Routine Care for preventative care coverage at $250, $450, or $650 per year. This plan covers a variety of wellness treatments, such as routine vet visits, grooming, blood tests, vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, and microchipping.

The company excludes pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedures, natural supplements, and organ transplants, among a few other items.

Review Embrace’s sample contract for a complete list of coverage and exclusions.

Cost

In general, Embrace offers competitive monthly premiums when compared with other providers, but its policies with higher annual limits are considerably more expensive, so it may not be a good fit for pet owners looking for higher coverage caps.

Its Wellness Rewards for Routine Care plan has three separate annual limit options with the same pricing for all species and breeds: the $250 limit is $19 per month, the $450 limit is $36 per month, and the $650 limit is $53 per month.

Here are some sample quotes we received from Embrace for four-year-old male pets of various species and breeds in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Animal

Mixed Dog

Golden Retriever

Beagle

Mixed Cat

Domestic Short-Haired Cat

Plan

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Reimbursement rate

90%

80%

70%

90%

80%

Deductible

$1,000

$500

$300

$750

$200

Annual limit

$5,000

$10,000

$30,000

$8,000

$30,000

Monthly premium

$23

$57

$71

$18

$37

BEST BENEFITS
Embrace

Most Inclusive Coverage: Prudent Pet

  • Annual limit: $10,000 or unlimited
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $100, $250, $500, or $1,000

Our Take

Prudent Pet scored a 93 out of 100 in our review and is a good pick for pet owners who want comprehensive coverage. In addition to offering an unlimited coverage cap option, Prudent Pet’s Ultimate Plan includes coverage for unique items that other providers don’t cover, such as reward money and advertising for lost pets, boarding kennel fees, replacement costs for lost or stolen pets, mortality costs, and reimbursement vacation cancellation fees due to a sick or injured pet.

Visit Prudent Pet’s website to learn more about its Ultimate Plan coverage and get an instant quote based on your pet’s information.

Coverage Highlights

Waiting periods

5 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses

Offers accident-only plan

Offers preventative care

Covers hip dysplasia

Covers behavioral treatments

Prudent Pet offers three pet insurance plans. The Accident-Only plan covers up to $10,000 per year for unexpected injuries or accidents, such as bite wounds, broken bones, tooth or mouth trauma, and swallowed objects. The Essential plan also has a $10,000 annual limit and covers all of those conditions plus illnesses, such as urinary infections, hip dysplasia, skin conditions, birth defects, cancer, and behavioral disorders.

The Ultimate plan comes with unlimited coverage caps and covers everything in the Accident-Only and Essential plans plus a few extras like advertising for lost pets, boarding kennel fees, and vacation cancellation fees. You can also add wellness coverage for preventative care items such as vaccines, wellness exams, and microchipping for $210, $315, or $460 of total annual coverage.

Prudent Pet excludes a few items from its policy, such as pre-existing conditions, elective procedures, and any treatments not administered or recommended by a licensed vet.

Review Prudent Pet’s sample contract for a complete list of coverage and exclusions.

Cost

Since Prudent Pet offers more comprehensive coverage than many of its competitors, its plan prices are a bit higher. However, the Accident-Only plan is more affordable than the Essential and Ultimate plans and is a great option for pet owners on a budget.

Similar to Embrace, Prudent Pet breaks up its wellness coverage add-on by the included annual limits. The additional costs for these options range from $12–$30 per month for dogs and $8–$20 per month for cats.

The chart below features the sample quotes we received from Prudent Pet for four-year-old male pets located in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Animal

Mixed Dog

Golden Retriever

Beagle

Mixed Cat

Domestic Short-Haired Cat

Plan

Essential plan

Ultimate plan

Accident-Only plan

Essential plan

Ultimate plan

Reimbursement rate

90%

80%

70%

90%

80%

Deductible

$1,000

$500

$250

$500

$100

Annual limit

$10,000

Unlimited

$10,000

$10,000

Unlimited

Monthly premium

$31

$79

$21

$31

$57

MOST INCLUSIVE COVERAGE
Prudent Pet

Best Plan Variety: Spot

  • Annual limit: $2,500, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, or unlimited
  • Reimbursement percentage: $70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $100, $250, $500, $750, or $1,000

Our Take

Spot scored a 91 out of 100 in our review, standing out for its plan variety and customization. Because Spot doesn’t have an age limit on coverage, we recommend this provider to those with older pets. Older pets typically cost more to insure than younger pets, but Spot can make pet insurance affordable by raising your deductible or lowering your annual limit and reimbursement rate.

Get a free quote for your pet and see how you can customize your policy by using Spot’s free online quote tool.

Coverage Highlights

Waiting periods

14 days for all conditions

Offers accident-only plan

Offers preventative care

Covers hip dysplasia

Covers behavioral treatments

Spot covers treatments for accidents and illnesses, such as diagnostic procedures, surgery, hospitalization, tooth extractions, and cancer treatments. It also covers behavioral treatments, supplements, poison control consultation fees, and microchip implantation. Spot doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions; breeding; cosmetic surgeries, such as tail docking and claw removal; anal gland expression; boarding; grooming; and a few other items.

For preventative care, Spot offers the Gold Plan, which includes up to $250 of annual coverage on benefits like wellness exams, vaccines, dental cleanings, and deworming. It also offers the Platinum Plan for $450 of annual coverage on those items, plus urinalysis, blood tests, flea prevention, and a health certificate.

Review Spot’s sample contract for a complete list of coverage and exclusions.

Cost

With extensive plan customization comes the opportunity to receive low monthly premiums. For example, an accident-only plan from Spot with a $2,500 annual limit, $1,000 deductible, and 70% reimbursement could cost less than $11 per month for many breeds. However, Spot policies with unlimited coverage are pretty expensive when compared with other providers and can cost over $100 per month, depending on your pet’s age and breed.

Additionally, the Gold Plan costs $10 per month and the Platinum Plan costs $25 per month for both cats and dogs.

Here are a few sample quotes for four-year-old male dogs and cats in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Animal

Mixed Dog

Golden Retriever

Beagle

Mixed Cat

Domestic Short-Haired Cat

Plan

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident-only

Accident and illness

Accident-only

Reimbursement rate

90%

80%

70%

90%

80%

Deductible

$1,000

$500

$250

$750

$100

Annual limit

$2,500

$10,000

Unlimited

Unlimited

$10,000

Monthly premium

$22

$69

$50

$31

$31

BEST PLAN VARIETY
Spot

Best Resources: ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

  • Annual limit: $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, or $10,000
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $100, $250, or $500

Our Take

Scoring an 88 out of 100 in our review, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is known for its helpful online resources for pet parents. Its website and mobile app offer in-depth tools for pet owners to help them learn more about their pet’s breed and potential health issues, find a local vet, and get in touch with the ASPCA Poison Control Center during an emergency.

In addition to its online resources, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance offers a variety of plan customization options and inclusive policy coverage. However, this provider may not be the best fit for pet parents looking for higher annual coverage limits, since the options max out at $10,000.

Get a free quote from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance by filling out this easy online form.

Coverage Highlights

Waiting periods

14 days for all conditions

Offers accident-only plan

Offers preventative care

Covers hip dysplasia

Covers behavioral treatments

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance offers the Complete Coverage plan, which includes treatments, procedures, and vet visits related to both accidents and illnesses, such as cancer, tooth extractions, and hip dysplasia. Covered treatments include diagnostic procedures, prescription medications, surgery, hospitalization, prescription pet foods, and microchip implantation.

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance’s policy doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions that occur before or during the 14-day waiting period for accidents or illnesses. It also excludes anal gland expression; elective procedures, such as claw removal and ear cropping; grooming; breeding; and a few additional items.

Review ASPCA Pet Health Insurance’s sample policy for a complete list of coverage and exclusions.

This provider also offers preventative care options that are almost identical to Spot’s wellness plans. The Basic Plan comes with a $250 annual limit for treatments like dental cleanings, wellness exams, deworming, and heartworm tests. The Prime Plan includes up to $450 of annual coverage for everything in the Basic Plan, plus a few additions like blood tests and urinalysis.

Cost

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance’s Complete Coverage plan can be a bit more expensive than the accident and illness plans offered by competitors, depending on your pet’s age and breed and your chosen annual limit. Plans with a $10,000 annual limit have significantly higher monthly premiums than plans with a lower annual limit.

Here are sample quotes we received from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance for four-year-old male pets in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Animal

Mixed Dog

Golden Retriever

Beagle

Mixed Cat

Domestic Short-Haired Cat

Plan

Complete Coverage

Complete Coverage

Complete Coverage

Complete Coverage

Complete Coverage

Reimbursement rate

90%

80%

70%

90%

80%

Deductible

$500

$250

$500

$500

$100

Annual limit

$3,000

$4,000

$7,000

$3,000

$10,000

Monthly premium

$35

$60

$44

$19

$48

For preventative care, the Basic Plan with $250 of annual coverage costs an extra $10 per month, and the Prime Plan with $450 of annual coverage costs $25 per month.

BEST RESOURCES
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Best Healthy Pet Credit: Petplan

  • Annual limit: $5,000, $15,000, or unlimited
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $250, $300, or $500

Our Take

Petplan offers a unique 15% discount for each 12-month period you go without filing a claim when you renew your policy. If you go 24 months without filing a claim on your dog or cat, that discount extends to 30% off your renewal. Petplan also offers impressive accident and illness coverage and scored an 88 out of 100 in our review of top pet insurance companies.

Use this online tool to get a free quote from Petplan.

Coverage Highlights

Waiting periods

15 days for accidents and illnesses

Offers accident-only plan

Offers preventative care

Covers hip dysplasia

✔ (after six months)

Covers behavioral treatments

Petplan’s accident and illness plan comes with coverage for conditions like dental trauma, cancer, hereditary conditions, chronic conditions, general illnesses, and behavioral disorders. It covers exam fees during your pet’s sick visit in addition to diagnostic tests, surgeries, hospitalizations, rehabilitation, and holistic therapies like chiropractic care, acupuncture, and homeopathic therapy.

It can also reimburse you up to $1,000 for advertising and reward money for finding a lost pet, pet replacement costs if you don’t find your pet or it’s been stolen, boarding fees if you need someone to take care of your pet while you’re hospitalized for more than four days, and vacation cancellation fees.

Petplan doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions that occur before or during the policy’s 15-day waiting period, elective procedures, any preventative or wellness care, issues related to pregnancy or breeding, prescription foods, and a few other items.

Review Petplan’s sample contract for a complete list of coverage and exclusions.

Cost

Since you can customize your premium by choosing from three reimbursement rates, annual limits, and deductibles, Petplan’s pricing will vary depending on your choices in addition to your pet’s species, breed, age, and location. Here are some sample quotes we received for four-year-old animals in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Animal

Mixed Dog

Golden Retriever

Beagle

Mixed Cat

Domestic Short-Haired Cat

Plan

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Reimbursement rate

80%

90%

70%

80%

90%

Deductible

$500

$250

$300

$300

$500

Annual limit

Unlimited

$5,000

$15,000

$15,000

$5,000

Monthly premium

$45

$66

$48

$25

$20

BEST HEALTHY PET CREDIT
Petplan

Most Trustworthy: Healthy Paws

  • Annual limit: Unlimited
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70% or 80%
  • Deductible options: $250 or $500

Our Take

Healthy Paws scored an 84.5 out of 100 in our review, losing points for its minimal plan customization options and lack of preventative care but gaining points for its trustworthiness and unlimited coverage limit. It’s been a provider in the pet insurance industry for more than 11 years with the purpose of providing an easy way for pet owners to pay for their pet’s health.

It has an A rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and claims to process most claims within two days, so you can rest assured knowing that you’ll be reimbursed quickly after a pet emergency.*

Use this online quote tool to get a free quote from Healthy Paws.

*BBB information is accurate as of July 28, 2021.

Coverage Highlights

Waiting periods

15 days for accidents and illnesses

Offers accident-only plan

Offers preventative care

Covers hip dysplasia

✔ (after 12 months)

Covers behavioral treatments

Healthy Paws is one of the few pet insurance providers to offer policies with no per-incident, annual, or lifetime coverage caps. Its policies cover accidents and illnesses, including cancer treatments, diagnostic procedures, prescription medications, and treatments for chronic, hereditary, and congenital conditions.

Healthy Paws doesn’t cover any pre-existing conditions; preventative care; spaying or neutering; anal gland expression; microchipping; elective procedures, such as ear dropping and tail docking; boarding; therapy; breeding; and a few other treatments.

Review Healthy Paws’ sample contract for a complete list of coverage and exclusions.

Cost

Here are some sample quotes we received from Healthy Paws for four-year-old male animals in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Animal

Mixed Dog

Golden Retriever

Beagle

Mixed Cat

Domestic Short-Haired Cat

Plan

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Reimbursement rate

80%

80%

70%

80%

70%

Deductible

$500

$250

$500

$500

$250

Annual limit

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Monthly premium

$37

$64

$36

$18

$18

To stay transparent with prospective customers, Healthy Paws has an online quote tool that doubles as a price comparison tool and shows you other providers’ plans and pricing if it determines that your quoted price is too high.

MOST TRUSTWORTHY
Healthy Paws

Best for Multiple Pets: Pawp

  • Annual limit: $3,000
  • Reimbursement percentage: 100%
  • Deductible options: No deductible

Our Take

If you have multiple pets, Pawp may be a good pet insurance option as it can cover emergencies for up to six pets. The company scored an 82.5 out of 100 in our review, losing points for not offering preventative care and only having one low coverage limit. However, it received points for its 24/7 online vet clinic and multi-pet coverage membership.

Rather than providing a standard pet insurance policy like other companies, Pawp offers a membership to its digital clinic. Although great for pet parents with multiple pets looking for 100% coverage on emergencies, it may not be the best choice for those looking for a standard pet insurance policy with more extensive coverage on accidents and illnesses.

Get started with your Pawp membership by filling out this simple online form.

Coverage Highlights

Waiting periods

14 days for all conditions

Offers accident-only plan

Offers preventative care

Covers hip dysplasia

Covers behavioral treatments

Purchasing a Pawp membership gives you access to a virtual 24/7 pet clinic with licensed veterinarians and pet professionals who can be contacted through calls, texts, online chats, or live video on the Pawp mobile app. It also provides you with an annual $3,000 emergency fund that goes toward a qualifying vet bill with no required deductible and a 100% reimbursement.

This emergency fund covers life-threatening accidents or illnesses that are deemed an emergency by a Pawp vet. These conditions could include toxic ingestions, choking, and injuries and must be evaluated by an official Pawp virtual vet over video chat within four hours of the incident for your pet to qualify for coverage.

Pawp’s emergency fund coverage excludes pre-existing conditions unless they’re related to the emergency, non life-threatening emergencies, preventative care, breeding or pregnancy issues, and diagnostic procedures.

For a complete list of exclusions, review Pawp’s emergency fund rules and regulations.

Cost

Since Pawp doesn’t provide a typical pet insurance policy, its cost structure is much different than those of other companies. Rather than charging customers based on the age or breed of their pet, it charges a flat rate of $19 per month for each membership. This amount covers up to six pets.

BEST FOR MULTIPLE PETS
Pawp

Best Standard Plan: Pumpkin

  • Annual limit: $10,000 or $20,000 for dogs; $7,000 or $15,000 for cats
  • Reimbursement percentage: 90%
  • Deductible options: $100, $250, or $500

Our Take

Scoring an 82 out of 100 in our review, Pumpkin primarily lost points for providing higher premiums and having fewer plan customizability options than other providers. However, we were impressed with Pumpkin’s standard accident and illness plan, which is a good option for those looking for a basic policy that comes with a 90% reimbursement rate. Not to mention, you can add unique preventative care benefits that don’t cap at a certain amount like other companies’ wellness plans.

Although premiums from this provider are generally more expensive than other providers, we received low rates in our sample quotes for cats. If you’re a cat owner, we recommend getting a free quote from Pumpkin to see how low your monthly premiums could be based on your cat’s age and breed.

Visit Pumpkin’s website to get a free quote by answering a few questions about your furry friend.

Coverage Highlights

Waiting periods

14 days for all conditions

Offers accident-only plan

Offers preventative care

Covers hip dysplasia

Covers behavioral treatments

Pumpkin’s accident and illness policy provides extensive coverage for pets and covers a few items that aren’t typically covered by many other providers, such as prescription pet foods, microchip implantation, alternative therapy, and dental cleanings if they’re necessary to treat a covered condition.

Pumpkin excludes coverage for any pre-existing conditions that arise before or during the waiting period; cosmetic or elective procedures, such as claw removal and ear cropping; breeding; boarding; anal gland expresison; and a few other items.

Review Pumpkin’s sample contract for a complete list of coverage and exclusions.

In addition to Pumpkin’s accident and illness plan, it provides a wellness care add-on called the Preventative Essentials Pack. This optional add-on includes standard coverage for dogs and cats. For dogs, it covers a blood test, an annual wellness exam, two vaccines, and a fecal test. For cats, it covers a fecal test, one vaccine, and an annual wellness exam. The Preventative Essentials Pack doesn’t cap at a certain amount and covers the entire bill for each treatment.

Cost

Since all of Pumpkin’s policies come with a 90% reimbursement rate and comprehensive coverage, its premiums can be significantly higher than many competitors’ premiums, so it may not be the best option for pet owners on a budget. The following sample quotes are for four-year-old male pets located in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Animal

Mixed Dog

Golden Retriever

Beagle

Mixed Cat

Domestic Short-Haired Cat

Plan

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Accident and illness

Reimbursement rate

90%

90%

90%

90%

90%

Deductible

$500

$250

$100

$500

$250

Annual limit

$10,000

$10,000

$20,000

$7,000

$15,000

Monthly premium

$58

$107

$131

$27

$46

Additionally, the Preventative Essentials Pack costs $12 per month for cats and $19 per month for dogs.

Verdict and Recommendation

Pet insurance can protect your pet in the event of an emergency and prevent you from having to pay expensive vet bills out of pocket. We recommend purchasing a policy for your dog or cat as early as possible to ensure any conditions they develop or injuries they suffer in the future are covered. Although we found Lemonade to be the best pet insurance provider in the industry due to its customizable plan options, comprehensive coverage, and simple claims process, it doesn’t offer coverage in all states. The provider also caps coverage on pets that are more than 15 years old. If you want to find an insurer that covers older pets in all 50 states, we recommend Embrace or Prudent Pet.

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How Pet Insurance Works

Pet insurance works a bit differently than health insurance. When you visit the doctor, you provide your insurance information during the visit. The doctor will then bill your health insurance provider and may charge you a co-pay based on your policy.

With pet insurance, you pay out of pocket during a vet visit and then get reimbursed by your pet insurance provider after the visit.

Here are some terms that will help you understand how pet insurance works:

  • Annual limit: This is the total amount your policy will cover within a year. If your vet bills exceed the annual limit, you’ll have to pay the remaining costs out of pocket without any reimbursement from your pet insurance provider.
  • Reimbursement rate: This is the percentage of the vet bill that you receive back when filing a claim. For example, if your vet bill is $1,000 and your pet insurance plan’s reimbursement rate is 90%, you’ll receive $900 from your provider, assuming you’ve already paid your deductible.
  • Annual deductible: This is the amount you owe during a claim before your coverage kicks in. For example, if your pet insurance policy has a $500 deductible and you filed a claim for a $900 reimbursement on a vet bill, you’ll only receive $400 after paying the $500 deductible.
  • Pre-existing conditions: No pet insurance provider covers conditions that exist before the policy coverage begins. For instance, if you purchase a pet insurance policy while your dog has a broken leg, any treatments or procedures related to that injury will not be covered by your policy.
  • Waiting period: This is the period between signing up for your policy and the effective coverage date. After purchasing a policy, your pet’s accidents or illnesses won’t be covered until the dedicated waiting period is over. In general, most providers have a 14-day waiting period, but some providers, such as Lemonade and Embrace, have waiting periods that are as short as two days.

Factors To Consider When Buying Pet Insurance

Since each pet insurance provider offers different plans and unique benefits, consider the following factors to help you narrow down your search:

  • Preventative care: If you’re looking to purchase preventive or wellness coverage for annual vet visits, vaccinations, or blood tests, consider providers that offer this coverage, such as Lemonade, Prudent Pet, and ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.
  • Discounts: Most providers offer 10% discounts for adding multiple pets to your pet insurance policy, and some offer other unique options to help you save money. For example, Embrace offers a 5% military discount in most states, excluding New York and Tennessee, and Lemonade offers a 10% discount for bundling a pet insurance policy with renters or homeowners insurance.
  • Pet age and breed: Some providers, including Lemonade and Healthy Paws, don’t offer policies for pets older than 15 years of age. Additionally, premiums for older pets and pure breeds can be more expensive, so you may want to consider providers with multiple plan customization options, such as Embrace or Spot, to help lower your monthly rate.
  • Premiums: The premium that you’re quoted is the monthly fee you pay to keep your policy. For the most accurate estimate, we recommend getting a quote from a few different providers, since pricing will vary based on your pet’s breed, age, and location.

Pet Insurance Rating Methodology

Before choosing a pet insurance provider to protect the health of your furry companion, consider factors such as policy coverage, plan customization, and customer experience. To save our readers’ time, we spent hours researching pet insurance companies and rated each company’s overall performance on a variety of metrics.

Here’s a breakdown of each review factor and how much we weighted them:

Factor

Points

Description

Policy coverage

25

We scored providers on the total coverage they offer with each policy in addition to their annual coverage limits, treatments, procedures, conditions, and the types of coverage plans available.

Monthly premiums

20

We scored companies on their pricing for both dogs and cats, with the most affordable companies receiving the most points in this category.

Plan customization

15

We scored companies based on how many options they provide to customers to help them customize their plans and premiums. Companies with more deductibles, reimbursement rates, annual limits, and add-on options scored higher than those with fewer options.

Trustworthiness

15

We rated each company’s trustworthiness based on their ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), years of experience, and available money-back guarantees.

Customer experience

10

This factor is scored based on the resources provided by each pet insurance company. Providers that offer a mobile app, 24/7 vet helpline, customer chat service, online portal for claims and account management, and an easy online quote tool received more points than providers without these resources.

Waiting period

10

Each company has a dedicated waiting period for accidents, illnesses, and orthopedic conditions that starts when you sign up for your policy. Companies with shorter waiting periods scored higher in this category, since they provide faster service than companies with long waiting periods.

Eligibility

5

We scored companies on each eligible species they cover, such as dogs, cats, and exotic animals, and awarded points to companies that didn’t have an age limit on pets.

Our research process involves an analysis of each company’s policies, including the following:

  • Reviewing the fine print in each contract
  • Reading more than 100 customer reviews for each provider to learn about common praises and complaints from existing customers
  • Requesting a quote from each company to compare monthly premiums for various species and breeds of pets
  • Simulating the customer experience, including the initial website visit, sign-up, and claims filing
  • Diving into the history of each company to learn about its reputation and experience

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Insurance

How much does pet insurance cost?

The cost of pet insurance can range from $10–$150 per month and will ultimately depend on your pet’s species, breed, age, and location. In general, younger pets are less expensive to insure than older pets, since they’re less likely to have health issues. Additionally, dog and cat breeds that are susceptible to various conditions, such as hip dysplasia or kidney problems, will likely incur a higher premium. The best way to compare pet insurance prices is to request a free quote from multiple providers.

Is pet insurance worth it?

In researching the pet insurance industry, we surveyed 1,000 dog and cat owners nationwide about their experiences with their pet’s veterinary bills and overall health care. We found that around 75% of our respondents have paid more than $200 for a vet bill for their pet’s emergency treatment, with around 20% paying more than $1,000.

If you want peace of mind that your pet will receive emergency care when an accident occurs and don’t want to worry about paying for expensive vet bills, pet insurance may be worth it.

What is the best pet insurance for dogs?

Although all of these providers offer impressive pet insurance policies for dogs, we recommend Lemonade as our top choice, since it offers affordable plans for hundreds of pure breeds and mixes, comprehensive preventative care solutions for dogs, and plan customizability.

https://www.bhg.com/pets/best-pet-insurance/

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