Best Pet Insurance Plans with No Reimbursement (2023 Review)

by | 1/23/2023

Jump To: Hard to Pay Vet Bills Even With Pet Insurance | Vet Direct Pay | Best Pet Insurance That Offers Reimbursements | FAQs | Methodology


​Pets, particularly dogs and cats, are playing a much bigger part in the family unit today. Many pet owners even take their family dog with them on vacation, add them to family photos, and care for them as a true member of the family. This is one of a few different reasons why many pet owners are choosing to purchase pet insurance. Having a the best pet insurance policy in place can make a real difference in if the owner can afford to provide their pet with the best possible medical care when needed. One reason pet owners may not consider pet insurance is that it usually handled via a reimbursement model. Pet parents foot the bill, and then submit claims for reimbursement to the pet insurance company.

In our piece on pet insurance in Pennsylvania, we’ll discuss the following pet insurance providers:

    Hard to Pay Vet Bills Even With Pet Insurance?

    Having pet insurance can make a big difference in the kind of medical care you can provide for your pet, but sometimes having pet insurance still isn’t enough. If your pet suffers from a serious accident or illness, the vet bill can quickly run into thousands of dollars. Having pet insurance can help you pay the bill, but there’s still a catch. The pet insurance company will pay the bill minus your co-pay and deductible but only AFTER you’ve paid the vet and submitted the bill to the insurance company for reimbursement.

    Most vets require immediate payment upon receipt of services. Some may even board the pet there until the bill is paid and add boarding fees to the bill. Are you able to pay a possibly large bill and wait for the insurance company to reimburse you? As unfortunate as it is, many pet owners don’t have that kind of cash on hand or that amount of credit on credit cards. There is one solution to this dilemma. The solution is choosing a pet insurance company that offers Vet Direct Pay.

    What is Vet Direct Pay?

    Vet direct pay is a unique and beneficial way to get your vet bill paid immediately and/or directly to the vet. Not every pet insurance company offers this service. Those that do offer this service may ask you if you want to add this provision to your pet insurance policy. This procedure is similar to a third-party agreement in that the vet will typically only agree to vet direct pay if they have the assurance between the insurance company and the pet owner that the service is covered under the policy’s coverage and also that the insurance company will pay immediately.

    How does vet direct pay work? It’s rather simple once the veterinarian agrees to offer vet direct pay. As soon as the animal is treated, the vet makes up the bill and shows it to the pet owner. The pet owner pays his portion, which is generally the deductible and the co-payment amount. Once that’s been paid, the vet faxes or emails the remaining portion of the bill to the insurance company, and the insurance company electronically pays the bill immediately.

    What Companies Offer Vet Direct Pay?

    Vet direct pay is such an innovative and beneficial thing, you would think that all pet insurance companies would be on board, but that’s not necessarily the case. Pet insurance claims using vet direct pay are generally paid very quickly but it can take up to five days. This is generally acceptable with the vet as long as the vet receives assurance from the pet insurance company that they will pay the bill and that the service is covered. For whatever reason, only some companies actually offer vet direct pay.

    Best Pet Insurance That Offers Reimbursements


    Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

    Healthy Paws may not directly advertise that they offer vet direct pay, but they do work directly with the pet owner and vet and inform them if the service is covered or not. If it’s a covered service, they will provide the vet with the assurance of instant payment.

    Trupanion Pet Insurance

    Trupanion is one pet insurance company that does offer vet direct pay. They even advertise that they’ll pay the bill regardless of the total as long as it’s for covered services. They also will pay at any pet hospital in North America. With this provision, you’ll be able to benefit from vet direct pay even if it’s not offered at your local vet.

    Pets Best

    Pets Best offers vet direct pay with all of their policies. They only require a signed copy of the vet’s reimbursement claim along with the pet owner’s claim. You don’t have to actually have vet direct pay until you’re suddenly hit with a large vet bill. As with all insurance claims, you will have to first pay the co-pay, deductible and any parts of the bill that are for uncovered services.

    Companion Protect

    Companion Protect offers its version of vet direct pay, which is called Companion Protect Coverage. They offer this service through any veterinary hospital in the United States. Even if the vet isn’t part of the Vetwork Partner, they will still pay the bill within five days.

    Petplan Petplan also works with veterinarians and agrees to pay them directly for all covered services minus the deductible and co-payment amounts.

    As more and more pet insurance companies at Vet Direct Pay, or whatever their version of no-reimbursement pet insurance is, you can expect to pay less out of pocket for each vet visit.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Insurance with No Reimbursement

    Is buying pet insurance worth it? 

    For most pet owners, pet insurance is absolutely worth it. We never know when our pet could have an unexpected accident or develop an illness, so having a backup plan in place to help pay for your pet’s vet bills is beneficial for most pet parents. Vet bills can quickly add up to hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, which many pet parents don’t have readily available. 

    Having pet insurance protects you financially and gives you peace of mind that you won’t have to say no to recommended treatments to benefit your pet’s health and happiness.

    Does pet insurance only cover dogs and cats? 

    Most pet insurance providers only cover dogs and cats. To date, the only pet insurance provider that covers birds and exotic pets in the United States is Nationwide Insurance. Nationwide can cover your pet pig, lizard, parrot, chinchilla, and other exotic animals. Exotic pets need excellent veterinary care just as much as dogs and cats, so consider looking into a pet insurance plan for them today if you have an exotic pet. 

    How do I get reimbursed for a vet bill?

    Simply take your cat to any licensed veterinarian and submit your claim. Depending on your provider, you can submit your claim through its mobile app, online member center, or through the mail. Then, you’ll wait for your provider to approve the claim. Once approved, it will reimburse you for the allocated amount in your pet insurance policy through direct deposit or check.

    Our Methodology

    Here at 365 Pet Insurance, our research team looks to examine all pet insurance policies and comes up with reviews based on:

    • Coverage
    • Plan options
    • Cost
    • Reputation
    • Customer service
    • Species available
    • Wellness benefits

    We’ve created a 5-star rating system to score pet insurance brands based on a 100-point scale. To develop a list of the best pet insurance plans, we looked into plans, rating coverage, claims handling, reimbursements, deductibles, and limitations.

    Each factor is weighted differently based on the following factors:

      • Monthly Pricing (25 points): How each pet insurance company charges for their plans is a crucial part of the decision-making process of the customer. Affordable rates and comprehensive coverage are the defining characteristics of providing the best pet insurance.
      • Coverage (20 points): We scored companies based on the treatments and procedures they cover. Providers offering broader coverage and more unique treatments received more points.  Pet insurance policies are not offered by all companies for older pets. Providers who have an age limit on the pets they cover were deducted points.
      • Plans (15 points): Pet insurance providers offer accident-and-illness plans, accident-only plans, wellness add-ons, and pet preventive care add-ons, so customers can choose the right plan for their pets. We also factored in costs to achieve the most comprehensible review for your pet’s needs.
      • Customization Options (10 points): You can ensure your pet only gets what they need by customizing your policy. A higher score was earned by providers who offered a greater range of annual limits, deductibles, and reimbursement rates.
      • Customer Service (10 points): We scored companies based on their website accessibility and usability, mobile apps, and grating points to companies with the most customer experience options.
      • Industry Reputation (10 points): We assessed each company’s industry reputation by reviewing up-to-date BBB ratings and accreditation information, as well as their years of experience in the industry.
      • Waiting Periods (10 points): Companies with shorter accident and illness waiting periods scored higher than companies with longer waiting periods.

    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.