How We Rank and Review Pet Insurance Companies
At 365 Pet Insurance, nothing is more important than trust. The pet insurance provider you choose can have a major impact on both your pet’s health and your wallet, so it’s vital that you have accurate, up-to-date and relevant information on the different policies you’re considering. That’s why we take our rating and review process so seriously.
To determine the best pet insurance providers, we conduct an in-depth analysis of 38 different pet insurance companies operating in the United States and Canada. We gather data from each company from publicly available marketing materials, sample policy contracts and interviews with company representatives. This information is regularly updated to reflect any changes in what’s offered.
We put the data from each provider through the same rigorous test, examining how each company performs in key areas that are relevant to pet owners.
The best pet insurance providers will offer coverage for a wide range of conditions for an affordable price. They’ll also feature flexible customer service, a long reputation of excellence, transparent policies and wide ranges of choices to customize your pet insurance plan to your family.
Inside our methodology
Our ratings and review process gives providers the ability to achieve a maximum score of 100 points across seven major criteria. Each area has its own weighting to reflect its importance to you, the pet owner and consumer. The seven criteria are:
- Price: 20%
- Coverage: 20%
- Customer service: 15%
- Reliability: 15%
- Choice: 10%
- Plan features: 10%
- Transparency: 10%
We consider multiple factors in each category to come up with a final score for each provider. Next, we’ll go through some of the elements we look for in a pet insurance provider.
Price isn’t everything when it comes to pet insurance, but it is a major consideration. To gather pricing data, we request quotes for both dog and cat insurance. To make sure location doesn’t skew this data, we request each quote using a Raleigh, North Carolina, ZIP code. We also maintain consistency in the breeds of dog and cat. For dog insurance, we use a 4-year-old labrador retriever, one of the most common breeds in the U.S. For cat insurance, we quote policies for a 4-year-old ragdoll cat, again one of the most common breeds in the country.
Because there’s so much variation in the terms of pet insurance policies, we examine pricing in several different ways. We look at pricing for the entry-level plan at each company, as well as pricing in several different common reimbursement rates, deductibles, and coverage limit combinations. This allows us to make better apples-to-apples comparisons. Companies with the lowest prices in standard policy configurations receive the highest scores in this area.
Our coverage criteria evaluates whether each pet insurance provider offers to reimburse pet owners for veterinary charges related to common conditions. Companies earn full points if the conditions are covered under the provider’s standard plans, and partial credit if the conditions are covered as an add-on item.
We pay particularly close attention to the following conditions and procedures:
- Cured pre-existing conditions
- Behavior problems
- Chronic conditions
- Hereditary/congenital conditions
- Diagnostic tests
- Injury rehab
- Bilateral conditions
- Prescription food
Our customer service rating evaluates how easy it is to work with each pet insurance provider. Top scorers in this coverage area will have multiple ways to contact the company, quick response times, easy-to-use mobile applications to manage your policy, and enough information readily available for you to answer common questions yourself.
Reliability encompasses trust signals that help you to feel confident in a pet insurance provider. These include the number of years a company has been in business, how many states its services are available in, and quality online reviews and ratings with agencies like the Better Business Bureau. The top pet insurance companies will have a long track record of excellent service and a history of responding appropriately to any customer complaints.
Choice refers to your ability to customize your pet insurance plan to your individual needs. A one-size-fits-all approach may be fine for some pet insurance customers, but the more choices a provider offers the easier it is to find a policy that works well for you.
Companies earning the highest ratings in this category will have a range of annual coverage limits, reimbursement rates and deductibles for you to choose from, allowing you to tailor your policy to your monthly budget and comfort level. Top companies will also offer accident-only plans and wellness-only plans for pet owners who want them.
The plan features category covers useful, convenient benefits that the best pet insurance companies provide. These include things like 24/7 veterinary advice phone lines and virtual vet visits. Top scorers will also have short waiting periods before coverage kicks in and adequate wellness benefits.
This category evaluates how easy each pet insurance provider makes it to fully understand your pet insurance policy before you buy it. The best pet insurance companies make sample contracts readily available to potential customers, so there are no surprises when you go to file a claim down the line. Top scorers also make it easy to get a price quote, helping you when you’re shopping around for a policy.
Our Ratings Process in Action
To show you how our ratings process works, we’ll walk you through how one particular provider – Pets Best – was evaluated.
First, we obtain rate quotes for a labrador retriever dog and ragdoll cat. The price we were quoted for an entry-level pet insurance plan for the retriever was $13.15 per month, while it came in at just $5.60 cents for the cat. We also examined the cost of plans with unlimited annual coverage, a 90% reimbursement rate and a $100 deductible. This cost was $66.91 per month for the dog and $28.52 for the cat. In both cases, these prices were among the lowest of all 38 providers we examined – yielding Pets Best the maximum number of points in the price category.
Next, we evaluated the coverage Pets Best policies provide. The provider covers cured pre-existing conditions, hereditary conditions and prescription medications, but it does not cover supplements and only covers standard exam fees if you buy optional add-on coverage. This meant that PetsBest did not receive the maximum score in the coverage category – but it did receive 17.5 out of a possible 20 points, one of the highest scores among the providers we evaluated.
Pets Best offers a range of deductibles, coverage limits and reimbursement rates, and also offers an accident-only plan. This meant it scored very well in the “Choice” category. However, the company does not have a wellness-only plan, so it lost a few points here.
The company’s plan features are also near the top of the industry. The company offers a 24/7 vet helpline, one of the biggest factors in the “Plan Features” review area. We also looked at its waiting period – 3 days for accidents and 14 days for illnesses – and scored it highly. However, the provider does not have virtual vet visits, so it failed to earn a point there.
Next, we examined its customer service. The company offers both a phone and email customer service line, making it easy for pet owners to contact their provider. It also has an easy-to-use mobile app, earning it additional points. However, the company does not have a multi-pet discount, so it failed to earn a point in that sub-category.
Finally, the company earned the highest possible marks in both the “Reliability” and “Transparency” categories. We determined that Pets Best makes it easy for potential customers to get rate quotes and examine sample contracts online. The company also has nearly two decades of experience in the industry, an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and thousands of (mostly positive) TrustPilot reviews. It’s also available in all 50 states.
Once the category totals were added up, Pets Best earned a total of 93.5 out of a total of 100 points.
Our ratings and review process is conducted by experienced journalists and data experts who are well-versed in collecting and analyzing corporate information. Then, our rankings and recommendations are written by a team of pet insurance experts who uphold high editorial standards.
365 Pet Insurance may earn a commission if you use one of our links to ultimately purchase a policy. These arrangements may affect the order in which companies are presented on individual pages. However, they do not affect our rating process or editorial decisions.