Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs (2023)

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You’ve given a precious pup a permanent, loving home. Now it’s time to make sure your new baby lives in comfort, happiness, and health. Rescuing a pet is exciting, heartwarming, and a little nerve-racking – you don’t know about your pet’s past but want to provide it with a wonderful future.

Don’t sweat. We’ve compiled information about pet insurance for a rescue dog so that you can get your buddy’s new life off to the right start. With pet insurance, you’ll be able to pay a predictable monthly fee in exchange for peace of mind should your newly adopted dog develop any health issues you don’t see coming.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • The best pet insurance companies for rescue dogs
  • What to know about pet insurance before rescuing a dog
  • Why pet insurance for rescue dogs is important
  • What to look for in pet insurance coverage for your rescue dog
  • How much rescue dog insurance costs

Best Overall

spot pet insurance logo

OUR RATING: 4.9/5

         ✔️ No Upper age limits

         ✔️ 30-day money-back guarantee

         ✔️ Offers comprehensive wellness plans

Most Affordable

Lemonade Pet Insurance Logo

OUR RATING: 4.8/5

         ✔️  Completely online experience

         ✔️  8-hour wait period for accidents

         ✔️  5% discount for multiple pets

Best for Chronic Conditions

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

OUR RATING: 4.7/5

          ✔️  Fast claims process

          ✔️  30-day money-back guarantee

          ✔️  Unlimited annual and lifetime                                    coverage

 

Our Top 3 Picks: Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs

Spot Lemonade  Embrace
Quote Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site
Our Score 4.9/5 4.8/5 4.7/5
Deductible $100 to $1,000 $100 to $500 $200 to $1,000
Average Monthly Cost for Rescue Dogs $40-$70 $20-$50 $50-$80
Multi-pet Discount 10% 5% 10%
Wellness Add-on Yes Yes Yes
BBB Rating A F A+

What to Know About Pet Insurance Before Getting a Rescue Dog

You need to understand how pet insurance works before purchasing a plan. First, your policy will function the same regardless of whether your dog is from a shelter or a breeder. But, unlike human health insurance, which operates through networks, pet insurance typically works on a reimbursement system.

With a reimbursement plan, you can visit any licensed veterinary clinic for your rescue dog’s care. This is especially important for adopted pets with anxiety, and that need care from a trusted, familiar friend.

You’ll submit a claim to collect reimbursement for your pet’s medical costs. Once your buddy has been diagnosed or treated for a covered item, you’ll log into your pet insurance portal and submit all the medical records and itemized invoices from the vet visit.

Most pet insurance companies allow you to submit claims online or via postal mail, so check for an option that works best for you. You can also opt to receive reimbursement by check or direct deposit.

Why Is Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs Important?

Pet insurance for rescue dogs is important because it can help you choose the best medical care for your pet without creating financial stress.

Let’s say your rescue dog swallows a toy, and you rush it to the emergency vet clinic. Your dog requires major surgery to dislodge the item, bringing your emergency vet bill to $7,000.

Without pet insurance, you’ll have to pay for the entire bill out of pocket. You might even skimp on your pet’s treatment to avoid breaking the bank.

If you have a pet insurance plan with a middle-tier level of coverage – let’s say a $10,000 annual limit, $250 deductible, and 80% reimbursement rate – you’ll get around $5,400 back once you’ve met the deductible.

Pet insurance is crucial for rescue dogs because it helps pet owners make clear-headed decisions about unexpected medical expenses – without forgoing top-notch care for their pets.

What to Look for in Pet Insurance Coverage for Your New Rescue Dog

Discounts

Discounts are a crucial feature to look for when choosing a pet insurance plan. Your rescue pet might be an adult, so your monthly insurance premiums will be higher. You might also want to purchase an add-on preventive care package to get your new buddy’s health off to a strong start.

If you have higher monthly costs and add-on fees, discounts can be an excellent tool to make your pet insurance plan more affordable. Companies like Fetch pet insurance offer discounts specifically for rescue dogs and shelter pets. Other top providers like Spot, Lemonade, and Embrace discount your plan when you enroll multiple pets.

Hereditary Condition Coverage

Hereditary conditions are inherited conditions that don’t exhibit symptoms until later in your pet’s life. Coverage for these items is crucial for rescue pets because you might not have a full picture of your pet’s medical history, breed, or genetic predisposition to certain health conditions.

With pet insurance coverage for hereditary conditions, you’ll get reimbursements for diagnostics and treatments of issues that could unexpectedly develop in your pet.

Customizable Plans

We recommend choosing a plan with customizable rate options. Customizability allows you to personalize your plan with annual deductibles, payout limits, and reimbursement percentages that fit your budget and pet health care needs.

You might feel tempted to select coverage rates that yield the lowest monthly premium. Before doing this, consider the coverage you’ll get for that price. If you select a high deductible/low reimbursement plan, you might never see your coverage. Once you meet your deductible, you’ll get a low percentage of your vet bills back.

To make the most of your rescue pet’s insurance, we recommend selecting middle-tier coverage options for the first few policy periods to get a feel for your new pet’s health needs.

How Will Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Your Pet Insurance Plan?

Pre-existing conditions are often the first exclusion listed by pet insurance providers. A pre-existing condition is an issue your pet has shown symptoms of or been diagnosed with before your pet insurance plan starts.

No pet insurance company will cover your pet’s pre-existing conditions. Some providers like Spot and Embrace have more flexible eligibility policies, but they still won’t cover most pre-existing conditions.

Before enrolling your rescue pet, be sure to have it examined by a veterinary professional to parse out any possible issues. A pet insurance plan might not be worth it for older dogs or those with past health issues if pre-existing condition limitations bar the majority of coverage.

How Much Does Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs Cost?

On average, pet insurance for rescue dogs costs between $40 and $80. Your price will depend on your dog’s breed and the age at enrollment. 

Rescue pets are typically between 5 months and 3 years old at the time of adoption. If your rescue is on the higher end of the age spectrum, you’ll pay more in monthly premiums.

According to the Halifax Humane Society, the Staffordshire Terrier is the most commonly rescued dog breed. To help you understand how much pet insurance for a rescue dog might cost, we’ve retrieved sample quotes* from Spot for a 2-year-old Staffordshire Terrier Mix.

State Estimated Cost
California $78
Florida $63
Indiana $78
New York $91

*For these premiums, we selected a $10,000 annual limit, an 80% reimbursement rate, and a $250 annual deductible.

Best Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs

Now that you’ve brought home your new furry family member, it’s time to choose a pet insurance plan. We’ve compiled reviews of some top pet insurance companies to help you kick-start your research. 

While you’re reading, keep an eye out for plan limitations and exclusions that could cut your coverage short. We’ll focus on coverage for your pet’s unexpected medical costs in the following sections. 

If you want to learn more about preventive care packages for routine items like vaccinations, checkups, and parasite prevention, check out our article on pet wellness plans.

Spot for Rescue Dogs

Spot pet insurance is an excellent option for rescue dogs of all breeds and ages. The provider doesn’t enforce upper age limits so that you can enroll your pet in a plan no matter its age. 

Spot also has a Cured Condition Eligibility policy for pre-existing conditions. Spot will reconsider coverage if your pet’s pre-existing condition is curable and has been symptom- and treatment-free for at least 180 days.

Here are some coverage features and exclusions in Spot’s accident/illness plan:

What’s Covered What’s Not Covered
  • Unexpected accidents and illnesses
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Congenital conditions
  • Chronic issues
  • Alternative therapies
  • Exam fees
  • Microchip implantation
  • Behavioral therapy for:
    • Anxiety 
    • Excessive licking
    • Fur pulling
    • Aggression
    • Destruction 
    • Compulsive behaviors

Spot will cover preventive care if you purchase an add-on package.

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Breeding costs
  • Cosmetic procedures

On average, Spot pet insurance costs $40-$70 for rescue dogs. These rates will vary depending on your pet’s age and breed at enrollment. 

When you enroll in a Spot plan, you can mix and match the following rates for personalized coverage:

Annual benefit limit – $2,500, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, unlimited.

Reimbursement percentage – 70%, 80%, 90%.

Annual deductible – $100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000.

Pros:

  • Highly customizable plans with unlimited payout option
  • Preventive care add-on packages
  • Flexible pre-existing condition policy

Cons:

  • Higher monthly premiums
  • No prescription pet food coverage

Check out our Spot pet insurance review for more information.

Lemonade for Rescue Dogs

Lemonade provides accident/illness coverage at competitive rates. We like that Lemonade offers discounts when you enroll multiple pets and when you opt to pay annually. This feature, along with its user-friendly online platform, makes it an excellent choice for new pet owners.

Lemonade’s accident/illness coverage reimburses you for many veterinary costs you might encounter with a rescue dog. 

What’s Covered What’s Not Covered
  • Unexpected injuries and illnesses
  • Blood testing and urinalysis
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Outpatient care and hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Emergency care
  • Prescription medications

Lemonade will cover the following items if you purchase an add-on package:

 

  • Preventive care
  • Exam fees
  • Physical therapy
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Dental illness care
  • Breeding costs
  • Behavioral training
  • Elective procedures
  • Spay/neuter for dogs over two

For rescue dog insurance, Lemonade costs around $20-$50 per month. You can combine the following rates for a personalized monthly price:

Annual benefit limit – $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, $100,000. 

Reimbursement percentage – 70%, 80%, 90%.

Annual deductible – $100, $250, $500.

Pros:

  • Competitively affordable monthly premiums
  • Preventive care add-on packages
  • Discounts when you bundle with other Lemonade services

Cons:

  • Low BBB rating
  • No dental illness coverage

Find out more in our Lemonade pet insurance review.

Embrace for Rescue Dogs

Embrace offers accident/illness coverage for dogs up to 14 years old. If your dog is over 15 at enrollment, you can select an accident-only plan.

We like Embrace’s exclusive Healthy Pet Deductible program, which reduces your deductible by $50 for every year you go without submitting a claim.

Like Spot, Embrace also has a flexible pre-existing condition policy. Embrace will consider coverage if your dog’s pre-existing condition has been symptom- and treatment-free for at least 12 consecutive months before your pet insurance policy started. 

Embrace pet insurance covers the following items for your dog’s healthcare:

What’s Covered What’s Not Covered
  • Unexpected accidents and illnesses
  • Cancer treatment
  • Chronic conditions
  • Congenital conditions
  • Dental injuries
  • Exam fees
  • Genetic conditions
  • Prescription medications
  • Complementary therapies
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Hospitalization and surgery
  • Physical therapy

You can purchase a Wellness Rewards package for reimbursements on preventive care items.

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Alternative therapies
  • Boarding costs
  • Prescription pet food
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Canine DNA testing
  • Breeding costs

Embrace’s rescue dog insurance typically costs $50-$80 per month. These costs will vary greatly depending on your dog’s breed and age, as well as which coverage rates you select.

With Embrace, you can choose from the following options:

Annual benefit limit – $5,000, $8,000, $10,000, $15,000, $30,000. 

Reimbursement percentage – 70%, 80%, 90%.

Annual deductible – $200, $300, $500, $750, $1,000.

Pros:

  • Healthy Pet Deductible program
  • Flexible pre-existing condition policy
  • Wellness Rewards for routine veterinary care

Cons:

  • Higher monthly premiums
  • No unlimited annual benefit option

For more information, read our Embrace pet insurance review.

Healthy Paws for Rescue Dogs

The Healthy Paws Foundation donates to rescue groups and animal shelters each time someone retrieves an online quote. Since 2009, the foundation has given nearly $2 million to animals in need. If you want to help other pets like your precious rescue, Healthy Paws might be the right pet insurance agency for you.

We think Healthy Paws is a great choice for pet parents with younger rescue dogs. The provider includes unlimited lifetime payout on all plans, so you’ll never run out of coverage. Healthy Paws does, however, enforce upper age limits and limit coverage by age, so it’s not the best option for older pets.

Here are some of Healthy Paws’ accident/illness coverage and exclusions:

What’s Covered What’s Not Covered
  • Unexpected injuries and illnesses
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Chronic conditions
  • Cancer treatment
  • Diagnostic testing
  • X-rays and ultrasounds
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Prescription medications
  • Emergency veterinary care
  • Specialty care
  • Alternative treatments
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Exam fees
  • Preventative care
  • Spay/neuter procedures
  • Dental illness

On average, Healthy Paws costs $40-$60 per month for rescue dogs. Your rates will depend on your dog’s breed, age, and location.

Healthy Paws limits plan customization depending on your dog’s age and breed. We recommend retrieving a free online quote to see your pet’s rates. 

A 2-year-old mixed breed dog has the following options for coverage:

Annual limit – Always unlimited.

Reimbursement percentage – 70%, 80%, 90%.

Annual deductible – $100, $250, $500.

Pros:

  • Unlimited lifetime payout on all plans
  • Quick claim processing
  • Dedication to animal welfare

Cons:

  • No preventive care add-ons
  • Plan customizability limited by age

Read more in our Healthy Paws pet insurance review.

ASPCA for Rescue Dogs

ASPCA pet health insurance provides accident/illness coverage with no breed restrictions or upper age limits. The company is also a partner of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is dedicated to creating a better world for vulnerable pets.

ASPCA’s accident/illness coverage includes the following items and exclusions:

What’s Covered What’s Not Covered
  • Unexpected accidents and illnesses
  • Exam fees
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Chemotherapy
  • Stem-cell therapy
  • Alternative treatments
  • Microchip implantation
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Congenital conditions
  • Behavioral issues
  • Digestive issues
  • Hospitalization and surgery 
  • Emergency care

You can purchase ASPCA’s add-on wellness plan for preventive care coverage.

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Breeding costs

ASPCA pet insurance for rescue dogs typically costs $50-$80 per month, depending on the rates you select. Your premiums will also vary by your dog’s age, breed, and location.

You can mix and match the following rates when building your ASPCA plan:

Annual benefit limit – $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000. 

Reimbursement percentage – 70%, 80%, 90%.

Annual deductible – $100, $250, $500.

Pros:

  • Partner of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • Microchip implantation coverage with all plans
  • No upper age limits

Cons:

  • $10,000 annual coverage maximum
  • Poor customer reviews

Check out our ASPCA pet insurance review to find out more.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article helps you find the best pet insurance for rescue dogs. While your new buddy is getting accustomed to its delightful new home, you can get used to the idea of comprehensive pet healthcare coverage. 

With the right plan, you won’t have to worry about your rescue dog’s veterinary needs putting a dent in your savings. You can rest assured knowing your precious pal is covered from wet nose to wagging tail.

Our Methodology

The 365 Pet Insurance research team looks at all pet insurance policies and comes up with our reviews based on coverage, plan options, cost, reputation, customer service, and species eligibility. We’ve also created a rating system to score pet insurance brands.

We’ve consulted with pet experts and dug into plans to develop what we think are the best overall plans, complete with ratings on coverage, how they handle claims, reimbursements, deductibles, limits, and more.

To make our list, pet insurance companies must have:

  • A variety of plan options
  • Affordable monthly rates

Our team revisits each company’s information at the end of every month to make updates and ensure the information is as accurate as possible.