Best Pet Insurance Companies
Pet insurance could help you avoid losing tons of money on emergency vet bills, and it can protect you from liability if your pet destroys someone’s property or injures somebody.
Many different companies offer pet insurance with various types of coverage. This article will help pick the right pet insurance policy for you and your pet.
The cost of your coverage will depend on your pet’s age, the pet insurance company you choose, and the type and level of coverage you buy. Your location could also affect coverage.
11 Best Pet Insurance Companies of 2020
Here are the 11 best pet insurance companies of 2020:
- 🏆 Nationwide Pet Insurance: Best Overall
- Embrace Pet Insurance: Best for Emergency Care
- Figo Pet Insurance: Best for Full Coverage
- Pet Assure: Best Pet Discount Club
- Trupanion: Best for Paying Vet Directly
- PetPlan: Best Pet Insurance for Cats
- Healthy Paws: Best for Reimbursements
- Pets Best: Best Pet Insurance for Older Pets
- Progressive Pet Insurance: Best Accident Only Plan
- ASPCA: Best for Multiple Pets
- Petfirst: Best for Preventative Care
Nationwide offers both dog and cat insurance policies. I like Nationwide because pet owners can choose from wellness or medical policies — or they can combine both into a Whole Pet policy.
Or, you could even build your own policy by mixing features from different plans.
Like almost all pet insurance plans you’d pay the vet and then file a claim for reimbursement from the pet insurance company.
With Nationwide you can opt to get reimbursed as a percentage of the amount you paid the vet or as a fixed amount which would be capped depending on the pet’s condition.
Nationwide also offers bird and other exotic animal insurance such as chameleons, snakes, rats, and even mice.
- New chronic condition coverage at no extra fee
- A long list of coverage options
- Flexible plans and reimbursements
- Birds and exotic pet insurance available
Embrace Pet Insurance offers three types of dog and cat insurance plans. You can choose:
- Illness and Accident: Protects you from unexpected expenses.
- Wellness Rewards: Pays for routine check-ups and vaccines.
- Total Care: A comprehensive coverage plan combining accident and wellness coverage.
Embrace covers a large number of vet services and reimburses your vet bills up to 90 percent. This company also lets you choose your own vet — there’s no network of providers to worry about staying within.
- No claim deductible discounts
- Personalized/ flexible plans that fit your budget
- Covers vet exam fees
- Donates $2 per policy to a pet charity
- Behavioral therapy covered
I like Figo Pet Insurance because its policies are so simple and easy to understand. Pet insurance (like all other types of insurance) confuses policyholders all the time. What will the insurance policy cover? Why won’t it cover this procedure?
Figo aims to provide clear and straightforward pet insurance options to the “urban parent.” This pet insurer’s plans cover accidents, injury, and illness – and you can choose one of the three plans based on your budget and needs. There are also different annual limits, annual deductibles, and, of course, monthly payments available.
Figo Pet Insurance does not include wellness and routine procedures, such as vaccinations and spraying — but it is great for any pet parent who wants protection against spending way too much after an illness or accident.
- Figo Pet Cloud – an app that can be used to pay insurance, claims, help, and find the vet
- Customizable and clear plans
- Easy-to-use mobile tools
- Reimbursements up to 100 percent on the most expensive plan
Pet Assure is a veterinary discount plan. It’s not pet insurance. You can enroll your pet in a Pet Assure plan through your employer or as an individual and get a discount card. The card gives you a 25 percent discount every time you visit a participating vet.
Pet Assure is simpler than insurance. No procedures are excluded, no annual limits cap your benefits, and you don’t even have to file a claim. All you have to do is pick the vet from their network, show your Pet Assure card, and you will automatically get the discount.
Since Pet Assure isn’t actually insurance, it’s not regulated by your state.
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- All kinds and ages of animals accepted
- Discount is valid for all services and procedures, including pre-existing conditions
- No waiting period to use the discount
- A wide network of vets
Trupanion is an outlier among pet insurance providers because it can pay your vet directly. Almost every pet insurance plan reimburses you — not your vet. This means you’d have to pay the vet and then wait for reimbursement from your insurance company.
Trupanion does not cap its payouts on covered procedures, illnesses, and accidents. Most other companies place annual or lifetime limits on how much they’ll pay. Because of these generous provisions, expect to pay more in monthly premiums for your coverage.
Trupanion has only one plan option and it pays 90 percent of covered procedures. (You could consider the other 10 percent a copay.) This company does not pay for routine visits to the vet for vaccinations and wellness checks.
- Waiting period of 5 days for accidents and 30 days for illnesses.
- Not available after age 14 or before age 5 weeks.
- Add-on coverage available for hip dysplasia.
- Payout limits on pets that have not been spayed or neutered.
Petplan offers pet injury, accident, and illness insurance for cats and dogs. This coverage includes exams, diagnostic tests, treatment plans, and medication.
Petplan does not offer routine and wellness care and treatment for pre-existing conditions. They also do not have age limits and can insure your pet as soon as they are six weeks old.
- Covers exam fees
- A wide selection of benefits
- No age limits.
Millennial Money readers receive a special 10% off discount when purchasing a plan through our link.
Healthy Paws offers insurance policies for cats and dogs. This insurance can cover accidents, illnesses, chronic conditions, emergency care, and alternative treatments. Healthy Paws does not offer a wellness plan, so vaccination and preventative care are not covered.
If you are looking for an unlimited plan, Healthy Paws might be the best choice for you, since this company does not place annual or lifetime payout limits on its policies.
- Covers up 90 percent of the bill for covered expenses.
- No limits for payouts — annual, lifetime, or per incident.
- Fast claim processing, usually only two days.
Pets Best pet health insurance offers flexible accident and illness coverage plans. Shoppers on a tight budget can go for accident coverage only, but this will not cover treatment for illnesses.
If you choose the accident and illness plan, you can also add on more coverages such as exam fees and physical rehabilitation. Wellness coverage is also another available option if you’d like help paying for vaccines and pet dental care.
- Budget-friendly rates for accident-only coverage
- Optional wellness plan
- 24/7 pet helpline
Progressive Pet Insurance
Well-known insurer Progressive gives customers three pet insurance plan options:
- BestBenefit Accident & Illness: This unusually comprehensive plan can reimburse you for a wide variety of pet accidents and illnesses, from minor skin conditions to serious diagnoses such as diabetes. This plan can also help pay if your pet breaks a bone or swallows something he or she shouldn’t have eaten. This plan can even pay for prosthetics and behavioral therapy.
- Accident Only: This plan resembles catastrophic health insurance. It’s inexpensive, it doesn’t help pay for preventive care or sick visits, but it can kick in and save you money if your pet has an injury and needs major surgery.
- Wellness Care: This kind of insurance helps cover routine check-ups, some diagnostic tests, and most vaccines. It doesn’t pay for illnesses or accidents.
The BestBenefit Accident & Illness plan covers a wide variety of situations but you’ll also pay higher monthly premiums. You’ll also receive a maximum of $5,000 in coverage each year which limits the plan’s effectiveness. If you’d like coverage this comprehensive but have concerns about the premiums, consider choosing a higher deductible.
Progressive allows deductibles as high as $1,000 or as low as $50. Higher deductibles mean you pay more before your pet care coverage kicks in, but you’ll save on premiums.
Keep in mind your claims will be handled by a different company, Pets Best, which partners with Progressive for pet insurance. Pets Best has an A+ A.M. Best rating.
This association partners with the U.S. Fire Insurance Company (which has an A rating from A.M. Best) to offer this coverage for dogs and cats.
Pet parents can get Medical or Wellness coverage with no network requirements for vets or extra charges for out-of-state vet visits.
ASPCA’s plans stand out because shoppers can customize policies:
- You could adjust annual spending caps to save money on premiums or select an unlimited expense plan.
- You can also choose how much your policy will reimburse for covered expenses, from 70 percent to 90 percent.
- And, of course, you can set your deductible — in ASPCA’s case you can set the deductible between $100 and $500.
Naturally, pet owners who choose better coverage will pay higher monthly premiums.
ASPCA also has modern tools — apps for filing a claim, direct deposit when you get reimbursed for a covered expense, and a web portal to monitor your coverage — which makes dealing with the company easier.
Petfirst has created one of the more inclusive pet insurance plans I’ve seen. Coverage begins after only 24 hours, and your pet won’t need a medical exam to activate care coverage.
Petfirst also has no maximum age for your pet to enroll which is also unusual. You can also get a discount for every year you don’t file a claim or a multi-pet discount.
This kind of coverage tends to cost more than less-inclusive coverage. You can save some by choosing a lower annual spending cap for your policy. Petfirst offers caps of $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000.
Annual deductibles also range from $50 to $500 with higher deductibles creating some savings on premiums.
Is coverage this inclusive too good to be true? Customers give mixed reviews about Petfirst’s claims process on sites like TrustPilot and Consumers Advocate.
What Does Pet Insurance Actually Cover?
How much help can you really expect from a pet insurance company? The answer depends a lot on the company you choose and the coverage options you buy.
Here are a few of the most common coverage options:
- Wellness coverage: This will include vaccination and regular check-ups. The best plans cover screenings, diagnostic tests, and treatment for routine conditions like heartworm.
- Illness coverage: Covers vet expenses that result from illnesses, though not if your pet already has the illness when you buy the policy.
- Accidental injury and death coverage: This will cover treatment after an injury caused by an accident; you could also get coverage to reimburse for burial expenses.
Wellness coverage is mostly optional, and not all insurance companies offer it. Illness and injury coverage is usually flexible and can have optional add ons.
Note that most insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions. If your pet has one, the best route to take is a discount card, where you can pay an annual fee to get a fixed discount for all services and treatments, including for pre-existing conditions.
Many policies also exclude hereditary conditions and congenital conditions. If you’re worried about a specific condition, be sure to read your policy completely before buying the policy.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Most pet insurance works like this:
- You buy a policy and pay its monthly insurance premiums.
- When your pet gets sick or injured you visit a participating vet. The best pet insurance plans let you choose your own vet.
- The vet provides the treatment your pet needs and bills you. You pay the bill.
- You file a claim and get reimbursed according to your plan’s guidelines.
The best pet insurance plans cover 90 percent of your vet expenses, have high annual spending maximums and low annual deductibles.
No plan covers pre-existing conditions. Your best bet would be a vet discount plan. Most plans won’t cover older pets. Age 12 or 14 will typically be the cut-off age.
But the best plans excel with illness coverage — cancer treatments, hereditary conditions, and congenital conditions, for example. You should be able to add-on extra coverage for physical therapy and behavioral health.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
The North American Pet Health Insurance Association says pet insurance costs more for dogs than for cats. Here are this year’s average monthly premium prices for pet insurance:
- Accident Only Care for a Dog: $16 a month
- Accident Only Care for a Cat: $12 a month
- Illness and Accident Care for a Dog: $47 a month
- Illness and Accident Care for a Cat: $30 a month
The pet insurance companies on my list above have competitive premiums and annual benefits. When you want more complete coverage, you’ll pay higher-than-average costs.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
A lot of pet owners ask this question: “Is pet insurance worth it?” Yes, pet insurance can be worthwhile. Paying $20 a month, for example, could save you thousands of dollars if your pet had an unexpected illness or injury.
Pets need emergency medical care in the United States every day, and the cost of veterinary care and prescription medications increases almost every year. Many pet owners want some kind of insulation from these costs — but they also don’t want to sacrifice veterinary care if their pets need it.
Before pet insurance became widely available, pet owners often had to decide whether to go hundreds or thousands of dollars into debt or decline care and hope for the best. Pet insurance plans can offer a third option.
So unless you have an extra few thousand dollars in your account just in case your pet needs emergency care, pet insurance is probably a good idea.
All that being said, you can go without a wellness plan. Your dog or cat’s annual visit to the vet should not create unexpected expenses. You could plan ahead for these visits and have the money ready. One possible exception to this rule would be pet owners who get every preventative care measure the vet recommends. In that case you may find value in a wellness plan.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It for an Indoor Cat?
Pet parents often wonder if they need pet insurance coverage for indoor pets. Many choose not to buy coverage because there seems to be a lower risk of accidents.
That might be true. If your cat stays indoors all the time, he or she might be exposed to less danger – both for injury and infections.
But illnesses are not contagious but can be genetic or breed-specific. So getting insurance for your indoor cat could still be a smart move.
Maybe you could skip the injury and accident coverage if your cat is not too active, and if there are no dangers at your home.
What’s The Best Pet Insurance For Dogs?
All pet insurance companies on my list offer dog insurance. When choosing the best company for you and your dog, you should look at a few plans, get quotes and compare them, and then pick a plan to meet your pet’s needs and your budget.
Healthy Paws pet insurance is rated high by many dog owners as the best choice when it comes to insuring your four-legged friend. It covers both illness and accidents except for pre-existing conditions.
Healthy Paws also covers alternative care and has no limits on payouts. The waiting period after you sign the policy is only 15 days. This company has also eliminated claims paperwork. You just need to take a picture of the vet bill and upload it through Healthy Paws’ mobile app.
Find Pet Insurance That Works for You (and your pet!)
Pet insurance could save you a lot of money and headaches. With an average pet insurance cost of $1 a day, it seems like a no-brainer for a lot of pet owners who want some insulation against the unexpected costs of owning a pet.
Plus, most pet insurance companies offer much more than reimbursements for the vet bills. Extras might include a pet helpline or user-friendly app which allows you to access policy details on the go.
If your pet is part of the family, pet insurance can protect your family budget from the ever-increasing cost of vet care.