Best Pet Insurance for Exotic Pets (2023 Review)
Jump To: Exotic Pet Insurance At a Glance | Nationwide | Pet Assure | Coverage For Exotic Pets | How Pet Insurance Works | The Importance of Exotic Pet Insurance | Final Thoughts | Methodology
While cats and dogs are the most common pets, animals like parrots, lizards, and iguanas can be just as important to your family. But pet insurance can be hard to come by for these types of nontraditional pets.
Most pet insurance companies typically limit policies online to canines and felines. However, you do have a few options to get affordable pet insurance coverage for another type of pet.
In this article, we’ll go over how to get a pet insurance policy for animals other than a dog or cat – typically referred to as “exotic pets” in the industry. We’ll also break down the costs you’re likely to face and give you pointers on what to look for in an exotic pet insurance policy.
Pet insurance for exotic pets, at a glance
No matter what pet you choose, they will need a health insurance policy to be certain that they weather any illness that may befall them. Believe it or not, there are insurance policies that cover all sorts of exotic pets, including, but not limited to:
|Provider||Waiting Period||Money-back Guarantee||Maximum Enroll Age||BBB Rating|
|Spot||14 days*||Yes||No age limit||A|
|Lemonade||14 days for illnesses*, 48 hours for accidents||No||14 years old||N/A|
|Embrace||14 days for illnesses*, 48 hours for accidents||Yes||14 years old||A+|
|Healthy Paws||15 days*||Yes||14 years old||A-|
|ASPCA||15 days*||Yes||No age limit||N/A|
|Prudent Pet||5 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses*||Yes||No age limit||A+|
|Figo||1 day for injuries, 14 for illness*||Yes||No age limit||B|
|Wagmo||15 days for accidents and illnesses*||No||15 years old||N/A|
|Trupanion||5 days for injuries, 30 days for illnesses*||Yes||14 years old||A+|
*Certain conditions, such as cruciate ligaments or orthopedic conditions, may have longer waiting period times, usually six months to a year. This is common among many pet insurance providers, but most illnesses will be covered after the waiting period listed above.
Nationwide pet insurance for exotic pets
Nationwide offers the best exotic pet insurance option, with specialized policies available for all manner of animals – from iguanas to parakeets. That makes it the only major pet insurance provider that offers traditional policies to animals other than dogs and cats.
Cost of Nationwide for exotic pets
Nationwide offers one pet insurance plan for all types of exotic animals: a comprehensive accident and illness plan. To get a quote on how much your policy could cost, you’ll need to call 1-888-899-4874. The company does not list prices online nor give you the option to fill out a form to get a quote online.
To help you get a better idea of what you might pay, we called to request a few sample quotes for different types of animals. However, the prices we were quoted may be different from what you receive as costs can vary based on where you live.
|Exotic pet||Monthly insurance cost|
What Nationwide covers for exotic pets
Nationwide’s exotic pet insurance plan includes coverage for:
- Inpatient and outpatient treatments for illnesses and new injuries
- Diagnostic testing
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy and rehabilitative services
- Veterinary appointment bills for non-routine treatments
All plans include a $250 deductible per pet as well as a $10,000 annual coverage limit. All plans include a 70% reimbursement rate for approved veterinary care bills.
Pros and cons of Nationwide for exotic pets
- Provides coverage for exotic animals. Exotic pet insurance is hard to come by. Simply offering coverage for animals other than dogs or cats makes Nationwide stand out.
- Affordable pricing. Pricing for many pets is available for less than $20 per month.
- Low deductible. Nationwide’s insurance policy for exotic pets includes a $250 deductible, which most pet owners will be able to fit into their budgets. Competitors may have deductibles as high as $1,000.
- Must call to get a quote. Nationwide does not currently provide online pricing for exotic pet insurance plans.
- No customization options. All of Nationwide’s plans for exotic pets include the same terms with no room to adjust your deductible or reimbursement rates. Many pet insurance providers give you some flexibility when designing a plan for your dog or cat.
- Limited coverage: All exotic pet insurance plans include $10,000 in annual coverage, which may not be enough for some types of rare animals.
Pet Assure for exotic pets
Pet Assure is not traditional pet insurance, but instead gives you access to discounts you can use at participating veterinary offices. Typically, Pet Assure customers are able to save 25% on the cost of routine and emergency veterinary expenses, from exams and teeth cleanings to X-rays and cancer surgery.
Pet Assure offers its services to pet owners with any kind of animal. Dogs and cats qualify, but so do birds, fish, reptiles and other types of pets.
Cost of Pet Assure for exotic pets
Unfortunately, individual pet owners cannot purchase Pet Assure directly, as it’s only offered as an employee benefit. For employees who have access to Pet Assure, coverage is available for less than $10 a month.
What Pet Assure covers for exotic pets
Pet Assure coverage is available for all types of animals — there are absolutely no exclusions, except for human beings. Some examples of items that you can use your discount on include:
- Diagnostic screenings
- Dental cleanings and non-routine dental services
- Cancer care
- Prescription medications
- Inpatient and outpatient physical therapy
All in-house medical services are covered with no exceptions. This includes any needs related to pre-existing conditions. However, only vets who participate in the Pet Assure network will offer the discounts.
Pros and cons of Pet Assure for exotic pets
- Affordable: Discount plans from Pet Assure are available for less than $10 a month.
- Wide range of services covered: Pet Assure’s discount plans do not include many exclusions. From routine dental cleaning to surgeries, you can use your discount on every medical service administered in-house at participating offices.
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions: Pet Assure is one of the only pet benefit options that includes support for pre-existing conditions.
- Not available to individuals: Pet Assure is an employer-sponsored benefit, and you’ll need to purchase it through your workplace.
- Not insurance: Pet Assure is a discount plan. It will not reimburse you for any percentage of your veterinary care bills.
- Must see a network veterinarian: Unlike traditional pet insurance, you cannot use Pet Assure at any veterinarian. You need to visit a vet’s office that accepts your discount plan.
What does exotic pet insurance cover?
Exotic pet insurance is largely identical to accident and illness coverage that you’ll find for dogs and cats with other providers. It’s just harder to find. Exotic pet insurance plans cover a range of medically necessary services that your pet might require following a sudden injury or if they get sick and need to see a vet.
Insurance policies for exotic pets can cover the following:
- Veterinary office exam fees
- Diagnostic testing
- Prescription medications
- Inpatient surgeries
- Cancer care and support
- Outpatient office services
Exotic pet liability insurance
Here’s an important note: Exotic pet insurance is not the same as exotic pet liability insurance. When you’re searching for pet insurance, you may come across that second category – but make sure you know what you’re buying before you make a decision.
Exotic pet liability insurance coverage helps compensate you for legal expenses and judgments you incur if someone sues you claiming your pet injured them or damaged their property. Depending on the type of animal you own, some landlords may require that you have exotic pet liability insurance before they will rent to you. This insurance has nothing to do with medical expenses for your pet.
How pet insurance works for exotic pets
Like traditional pet insurance, exotic pet insurance works on a reimbursement model. You’ll pay up-front for the veterinary care your pet needs, but then submit a receipt to your pet insurance company. The provider will then reimburse you for a portion of what you paid, often between 70% and 90%, according to the terms of your policy.
Pet insurance policies hinge on three key features. Be sure to review the following before signing onto coverage.
- Deductible. Your policy’s deductible is the amount of money that you must contribute to your pet’s care costs before your insurance coverage “kicks in” and starts paying for your vet care bills. The higher your deductible, the more you’ll pay out of pocket before your insurance starts to help out.
- Reimbursement rate. Once you meet your deductible, your insurance will reimburse you for veterinary bills incurred at your policy’s stated reimbursement rate. This rate is typically between 70% and 90%. The higher the reimbursement rate, the more financial help you get from your pet insurance provider. You pay the remaining percentage of care costs beyond your reimbursement rate.
- Coverage limits. Most pet insurance policies include a lifetime or annual limit, which is the total amount of money that your insurance provider will pay out to you in a single year or for one pet. The higher the coverage limit, the more financial help you can ultimately receive.
Price is also a significant factor. The more generous the reimbursement rate or coverage limit, for example, the higher cost the policy tends to be. You’ll need to shop around to find your sweet spot.
Why pet insurance for exotic pets is important
Pet insurance can be a financial lifesaver for anyone who would have trouble paying a sudden vet bill. A pet can get sick or injured at any time — and exotic pets may require care from a specialty veterinarian, increasing the cost of each service. When you have a comprehensive exotic pet insurance policy, you get a little peace of mind knowing you’ll have help paying these bills.
Final thoughts: Is exotic pet insurance worth the cost?
If you have an exotic pet, it’s worth considering buying a pet insurance policy – even if they are hard to find. You won’t be able to shop around for the best deal, but Nationwide’s rates are reasonable and its policies can help you afford veterinary care should your exotic pet need it.
Have a dog or cat, too? Here are a few other pet insurance providers to consider.
Pet insurance for cats and dogs is easier to find than exotic pet insurance. If you have dogs or cats to insure as well, consider the following top insurance providers.
- Spot: Best overall
- Lemonade: Most affordable
- ASPCA: Most experienced
- Embrace: Best for deductibles
- Healthy Paws: Best for chronic conditions
- Prudent Pet: Best for dog and cat parents who want basic options
- Figo: Most flexible reimbursement rates
- Wagmo: Best for immediate reimbursement
- Trupanion: Most flexible deductible
To determine the best pet insurance providers, we conduct a detailed analysis of 38 different pet insurance companies operating in the United States and Canada. We put data from each provider through the same rigorous test, examining how each company performs in key areas that are relevant to pet owners. Our seven criteria are then weighted to produce a total score.
- Price: 20%
- Coverage: 20%
- Customer service: 15%
- Reliability: 15%
- Choice: 10%
- Plan features: 10%
- Transparency: 10%
The best pet insurance providers offer coverage for a wide range of conditions at an affordable price. They also feature flexible customer service, a long reputation of excellence, transparent policies and the ability to customize your pet insurance plan to your individual needs. You can read more details about our ratings and review methodology here.