Pet Insurance Reviews: The Down-and-Dirty

As a consumer, pet lover and fiscal genius, you want pet insurance coverage that provides not only a low monthly rate, but also great value for what you get. You are looking for a broad plan that covers everything from acupuncture to vaccines and has enough room in case disaster strikes. We consulted with pet experts and dug into plans to come up with what we think is the best overall plan, complete with ratings on coverage, how they handle claims, reimbursements, deductibles, limits and more.

We reviewed over 25 pet insurance companies, looked at all of their policies, did sample quotes and reviewed ratings on other review platforms. We consulted with vets, pet parents and policyholders to see what their experience was with the various companies.

We encourage you to read through these reviews to see what we’ve come up with.

Cost Comparison

A note on pricing: rates will vary depending on where you live, your pets’ age and breed. Additionally, your pet policy premium will likely increase as your pet ages, to account for additional care your pet might need as they get older and increasing vet costs in your area.

Should you choose based on cost alone? We say no – there is a lot that goes into a quote and sometimes the cheapest initial quote may not end up being the lowest cost overall with rate hikes and overall payouts. We try to focus on coverage and value – after all, we would like to actually see your pets covered in case of accident or illness, even if the monthly premium is a little higher.

The 2020 Best Overall

Pets Best

Pets Best

Limits, reimbursements and claims are the best areas with our top plan for 2019, Pets Best, at a score of 4.8 out of 5. One of the best plans for older pups and cats, Pets Best has no upper age limits. One of the only companies started and run by a veterinarian, you can know that Pets Best truly has the animal’s best interests in mind. You can appreciate a high standard of care, and know that when you shell out money to help your pet get well, Pets Best will do its best to get that money back to you as quickly as possible, often reimbursing in as quickly as FIVE days!

Pets Best has some of the most comprehensive coverage out there, with accident only plans, accident and illness plans and routine care coverage to make sure your pet gets all they care they need.

They even have optional Vet Direct Pay for participating vets, meaning you won’t have to pay out of pocket minus your deductible and coinsurance.

 

Pros
No upper age limits
Vet direct pay
Exam fee coverage
24/7 pet helpline
Free direct deposit
Unlimited annual plans
Great customer ratings

Best Innovator

Figo Pet Insurance

Figo

While some companies have apps and member portals, there is one that has a Pet Cloud, and that one is Figo. For technology, Figo takes the cake. With Figo’s Pet Cloud, you can store information about your pet in one location and use it for reminders of important appointments, or to have all of their records with you in case of emergency. Most emergency vets surveyed said they would love to have access to all of a pet’s records in an emergency. Since most times, emergency care happens after normal business hours, the Figo Pet Cloud would provide a solution to all of these problems that no other insurer can provide.

Figo is one of the newer pet insurance companies on the market, but they are constantly listening to customer feedback and improving. A couple of changes have recently occurred: they have brought claims management in-house, allowing for 50% of claims to be processed within 24 hours. Additionally, they have partnered with a new insurance underwriter, the Independence American Insurance Company (IAIC) offered in 95% of the United States.

We like their Ultimate plan for the high annual benefits ($20,000), strong coverage, and high chiropractic and acupuncture limit ($1,000), but we feel like you also get good value out of their Preferred plan, which is slightly cheaper and has a $10,000 annual limit. However, if you have a breed which is prone to chronic conditions, you may want to consider the Ultimate to avoid having more out-of-pocket expenses for around $5-$10 a month.

 

Pros
No per incident cap on claims
Lifetime maximum benefit of at least $100,000
No upper age limits
Exam fee add-on available
Rehabilitation therapies add-on
Can waive waiting period with exam

Cons to note: Still no Wellness, but they hope to add this soon. Stay tuned!

Runners Up

Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace

Where Embrace really excels is in its coverage of your youngest furry friends. They offer a diminishing deductible, which they call their ‘Healthy Pet Deductible.’ Every year that you don’t make a claim, you save $50 off your deductible. That can be a great savings over the life of your pet if you enroll early and while your pet is still healthy. And if you need to enlist the help of your policy in the event of accident or illness, Embrace is there with nose-to-tail accident and illness coverage, covering exam fees, surgery, alternative therapies, rehab, and much more to help your pet get back to their healthy self.

 

Pros
Covers chronic conditions
Wellness coverage option
Exam fees are covered
Physical therapy is covered
High annual limits

 

 

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws

Coming in at a 4.4-out-of-5 rating, Healthy Paws ranked well in all categories, excelling in coverage, limits and claims. Healthy Paws ranks the best for pets with chronic conditions, since they have no lifetime limits on their policies. Their mobile app allows for easy and quick claim processing, and they don’t have claim limits, meaning your animal is covered with the best treatment possible through a licensed veterinarian. Healthy Paws also scored well in customer service and has rave reviews from happy pet owners across the web.

Healthy Paws has moved down our list due to a few concerns: We have a hard time getting any communication from this company, and we are concerned that will reflect on our website visitors. Some recent Yelp and Google reviews are also concerning, and we have heard on a number of occasions that the premium has risen significantly, to the point that pet parents can’t afford the monthly payment anymore. This makes it hard to switch companies, as once you have had pet insurance and filed a claim, your pet now has a pre-existing condition if you want to switch to any other companies.

Healthy Paws is also not available to Washington residents, and that is their home state. We’ll keep you updated when we learn more.

 

Pros

One plan equals no guesswork

No lifetime limits

Mobile app for claims processing

Direct deposit of claims

 

Cons to note: Recent consumer reviews state they have been having difficulty getting ahold of customer service and that claims are taking a long time. We have also experienced difficulty in reaching Healthy Paws, so we take that into account in our review.

Best for Pets that Aren’t Dogs or Cats

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Nationwide

Have a chinchilla? A hedgehog? Any kind of exotic pet can be covered by Nationwide, where that is not the case with most other pet insurers. While most pet insurers only cover dogs and cats, Nationwide covers most exotic animals. This is good news for people who want some broad coverage for avian and exotic pets, although these plans are paid on a benefit schedule and not necessarily reimbursed on an ‘actual costs’ basis, they are still the best (and only) choice for pets that are not a dog or a cat.

 

Pros

Can bundle with other insurance products

Only insurer that covers exotic pets

Strong record of claims payouts

Wellness plan

Oldest pet insurance company (was Veterinary Pet Insurance)

 

Best Industry Shakeup

Trupanion Pet Insurance

Trupanion

While most (95%) of the pet insurance industry operates off of claims and reimbursements, Trupanion is here to shake things up with a real-time dashboard for claim approval, and a promise to pay with veterinarians that allows you to take your pet to a vet approved in the Trupanion program and have them treated with little or no out-of-pocket cost to you. This is revolutionary and is sure to shake up the pet insurance industry as more people flock to a plan that pays up front, not days or weeks later.

However, they are no longer the only company with Vet Direct Pay, since PetsBest has started to bring more vets on board.

Trupanion also does not offer wellness coverage, on purpose. They state that most customers do not get the true value out of the wellness coverage, so they prefer to offer a more comprehensive accident and injury plan.

On first glance, the premium may look more costly than some others, but it’s important to note that many insurance companies raise premiums quite frequently, sometimes for no apparent reason (such as claims filed or age of pet).

 

Pros

90% claim coverage

One simple plan to choose from

Comprehensive coverage

Quick claim payouts

Lots of vet endorsements

 

Petplan Insurance Review

Petplan

And don’t forget about Petplan. They boast a long history, since they started in the UK, and were brought over to the U.S. by a husband-and-wife team – a true family business! We love Petplan because they cover quite a bit in every policy – accidents, illnesses, hereditary and chronic conditions, and veterinary exam fees. Now, you don’t have to let cost get in the way of your pet getting the care they need. Policyholders love Petplan because they pay claims easily and quickly, and they have great breed coverage. Go Petplan!

PetPartners Review

PetPartners

A late addition to our 2018 list, PetPartners made it on our ‘Best Of’ list due to their two options for Wellness care for dogs and cats. Their schedule of benefits and Defender and DefenderPlus add-ons, plus their highly customizable plans with a wide variety of deductibles makes this an easy add to our reviews. Get a quote from PetPartners and have fun building your plan. Make sure to customize your Incident Limit – the monthly money you’d save wouldn’t even out should something happen.

Did you know?

Pet Insurance is for emergencies – that’s it. While you can find plans that cover some routine care, and you can purchase riders or add-ons that cover routine exams, vaccinations and spay and neuter, most things that are commonplace for your pet are not usually covered.

So, the question becomes – are you prepared to care for your pet if disaster strikes? In the past, veterinarians were faced with the hard choice of putting down animals that had otherwise curable ailments because they didn’t have the medical technology to fix them and their owners simply didn’t have the money to provide the care. Now, with advancements in medical care, the technology is there. Animals can receive major surgery, anesthesia, chemotherapy, prosthetics and much more, and now their humans have the burden of shouldering the cost. If your four-legged friend got a major disease or was in an accident, and you were told their life could be saved if only you could pay, would you do it? Most people would if they could, however, only four percent of pet owners have pet insurance coverage today.

Pre-existing Conditions

You can’t find a pet insurance policy that handles pre-existing conditions, and the reviews are mixed on who is the best with them once your pet actually needs care. From our point of view, the best thing to do is get pet insurance as soon as you get a pet, and the earlier in their life, the better. While some blogs and news articles advise people to start a pet savings account, most likely, you won’t have near enough saved to avoid financial ruin if your pet gets really sick. It’s better to have peace of mind by paying $15-$40 a month since they were young, than to not have the money if something happens. Illness and accident are certainly not reserved to older animals, and things can show up as a pre-existing condition later on if you don’t get your pet on a policy right away. Conversely, get your pet covered with a pet insurance policy right when you get them, and you can get bills for tons of really intensive medical work covered up to 90%.

Look for value over price

Don’t just get roped into the cheapest monthly premium. There are accident-only plans or plans with tons of exclusions that may look really cheap but really don’t cover a thing, where for $10 or $15 more a month you can get coverage that is really comprehensive. Get a few quotes and work out the value over the life of your plan and your pet before simply settling on a monthly rate. This doesn’t mean you need the most expensive plan either but use your best judgment, so you end up with a plan that really works for you and your pet family.

Cost Explained

A note on pricing: rates will vary depending on where you live, your pets’ age and breed. Additionally, your pet policy premium will likely increase as your pet ages, to account for additional care your pet might need as they get older and increasing vet costs in your area.

Should you choose based on cost alone? We say no – there is a lot that goes into a quote and sometimes the cheapest initial quote may not end up being the lowest cost overall with rate hikes and overall payouts. We try to focus on coverage and value – after all, we would like to actually see your pets covered in case of accident or illness, even if the monthly premium is a little higher.