2022 Pet Insurance Reviews: The 7th Annual Comprehensive Review
Pet insurance helps you prepare for accidents your pet may have or illnesses it may develop during its lifetime. Depending on your policy, many pet health insurance providers will pay up to 90% of your vet bills for covered conditions or accidents.
At 365 Pet Insurance, we know it can be challenging to find excellent pet insurance coverage at affordable monthly premiums. There are also many other factors to consider, such as multi-pet discounts, mobile apps, lifetime or annual caps, and age limits. On top of this, many pet insurance companies are out there, making it difficult to sort through all the information about each company. To help you out, we’re continuing our annual pet insurance review series, which compares and contrasts pet insurance companies based on customer service, coverage, cost, and much more.
Our comprehensive annual pet insurance review include reviews of the following pet insurance companies:
Our Top Three Pet Insurance Companies Rated
$100 to $1,000
$100 to $500
$200 to $1,000
Average Monthly Cost for Dogs
Average Monthly Cost for Cats
Pet Insurance Companies in Detail
If you’re looking for comprehensive wellness plans, Spot pet insurance offers some of the best available. Spot offers multiple wellness plans: its Gold and Platinum plan. You can expect to pay $9.95 per month for its Gold plan and $24.5 per month for its Platinum plan. Both of these plans offer coverage for routine veterinary care, such as vaccinations, wellness exams, fecal tests, dental cleanings, and much more. We love that Spot pet insurance offers both an Accident and Accident and Illness pet insurance plan so that pet parents have options that will fit into their budgets and goals. Spot’s Accident-only plans start at $10 per month and $16 per month for complete coverage. Typically, you can expect to pay $40 per month for dog insurance and $22 per month for cat insurance on average. However, this premium will fluctuate based on your pet’s age, location, and the coverage options you choose.
We love that Spot is partnered with Cesar Millan, the famous dog trainer, which allows Spot pet insurance to offer excellent comprehensive coverage for behavioral treatments and dog training (which many pet insurance companies don’t provide.) Spot also covers many vet treatments and bills, including surgeries, exam fees, illnesses, dental diseases, prescription medications, microchipping, and much more. It won’t cover pre-existing conditions, breeding costs, or cosmetic procedures. Spot also won’t cover exotic animals.
Overall, we love that Spot has amazing wellness plan options and a variety of plans you can customize to your liking. Spot even offers annual limit coverage choices from $2,500 to unlimited and a wide variety of reimbursement percentages and annual deductible options. Spot also offers a generous 10% multi-pet discount, which is a major plus for pet parents with several pets.
- Offers Accident-only plan
- No upper age limits for signing up, which is great for pet owners with older pets
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Comprehensive coverage for illnesses and accidents
- Offers multiple wellness plans
- Does not cover prescription pet food
- No exotic animal coverage
Lemonade pet insurance is a New York City-based insurance company that offers pet insurance, renters’ insurance, homeowners insurance, and car insurance. It provides a significant 10% bundle discount if you choose to insure yourself with both its homeowners and pet insurance. In addition, you can receive a 5% multi-pet discount for insuring multiple pets through Lemonade. We also like that Lemonade has many options for its clients, including a wide range of deductibles, reimbursement percentages, coverage limits, and even coverage boost add-ons for specific types of treatment, like therapy and acupuncture for your pet. Lemonade will also cover many vet treatments, including emergency care, diagnostic care, medications, and more. It also offers a preventative package for cats, dogs, kittens, and puppies, which helps with routine veterinary care, such as heartworm tests, checkups, vaccines, dental cleanings, and more.
Like most pet insurance companies, Lemonade does not offer exotic animal insurance coverage and only currently insures dogs and cats. It also won’t cover pre-existing conditions, behavioral treatments, elective cosmetic procedures, and dental care. You should also consider that Lemonade only offers coverage in 35 states currently.
Lemonade offers a great mobile app, which uses artificial intelligence to process your pet insurance claims faster than many pet insurance companies. Due to its app, Lemonade can approve claims within minutes so that you’re never left waiting days or weeks for claim approval. We also like that Lemonade offers affordable pet insurance plans. Currently, its pet insurance plans start at $10 per month, with most dog insurance plans averaging $37 per month and most cat insurance plans costing $15 per month on average. Please keep in mind that your insurance premium with Lemonade will vary based on your pet’s age, location, the coverage you choose, and more. Another unique feature of Lemonade is that it gives back any unused premium money to the charities that policyholders pick. To date, Lemonade has given over 2.3 million dollars to nonprofit organizations through its Giveback program.
- 48-hour waiting period for accidents
- 5% discount for multiple pets, 10% if you bundle your homeowners and pet insurance through Lemonade
- Special preventative care package for puppies and kittens
- Fully online experience
- Offers an easy-to-use mobile app for submitting and tracking pet insurance claims
- Six-month waiting period for cruciate ligament events
- Only available in 36 states
Embrace pet insurance offers some of the most comprehensive coverage in the pet insurance market. Its pet insurance plans cover many conditions, such as breed-specific, chronic, and congenital conditions. It also covers surgery, hospitalization, behavioral therapy, diagnostic tests, prescription medications, prosthetic limbs, mobility aids, and much more. If you are looking for nose to tail coverage for your pet, Embrace is a great pet insurance option.
We also love that Embrace offers a Healthy Pet Deductible, which lowers your deductible by $50 each year that you don’t submit a claim. This is a unique feature to Embrace that we haven’t seen with other pet insurance companies. In addition to this, we like that it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, military discounts, multi-pet discounts, unique coverage, and coverage for curable pre-existing conditions. Embrace pet insurance also has an excellent track record for claim approval, and in 2020, it covered 93% of submitted claims, which is a strong approval percentage.
We also like Embrace’s strong focus on charitable giving. Embrace donates $2 for every policy and matches employee charitable donations. In 2020, Embrace donated $50,000 through its EmbraceCLE Community Challenge.
Embrace pet insurance will not cover exotic animals or pre-existing conditions, which are standard pet insurance exclusions. In addition to this, it won’t cover breeding or pregnancy-related costs, DNA testing, cloning, or elective cosmetic procedures for your pet.
With Embrace, you can expect to pay about $35 per month for dog insurance premiums and $18 per month for cat insurance premiums on average. Embrace also offers a wellness add-on with three tiers that offer varying coverage amounts. Its wellness plans will cost $18.75, $35.42, or $52.09 per month, depending on the tier you choose for your pet. A wellness plan through Embrace will provide you with coverage for routine veterinary care, such as prescription diet food, medicated shampoos, wellness exam fees, vaccinations, regular blood work tests, and much more. If you are looking for an accident and illness plan or wellness plan, Embrace offers some of the most comprehensive coverage on the market.
- Offers unique Healthy Pet Deductible
- Dental care coverage offered
- Cancer medication coverage
- Covers curable pre-existing conditions after 12 months
- Highly comprehensive coverage
- Strict pre-existing conditions policy
- Annual benefit maximums
Healthy Paws pet insurance was founded in 2009 and is underwritten by the A+ rated Chubb Group. It is an excellent choice for pet parents looking for unlimited maximum payouts and a charitable company. Healthy Paws’ Every Quote Gives Hope and Refer A Friend grant programs leads to many donations to nonprofit organizations. We also like that Healthy Paws offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and fast claims processing due to its mobile app.
Healthy Paws offers one pet insurance plan, covering accidents and illnesses, including hereditary conditions, chronic conditions, surgery, cancer, and emergency care costs. It does not offer coverage for exotic animals, only dogs and cats. A major con of Healthy Paws pet insurance is that it doesn’t provide any type of preventative care coverage or a multi-pet discount, which most pet insurance providers do offer. Healthy Paws also doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions or pregnancy-related costs. Keep in mind that Healthy Paws has decreasing reimbursement percentages and increasing deductibles as your pet ages. You also can’t sign your pet up for Healthy Paws after your pet’s 14th birthday.
Healthy Paws offers overall affordable pricing, especially considering its comprehensive accident and illness coverage plan. Dog and puppy insurance starts as low as $20 per month and averages $39 per month. Cat and kitten insurance starts as low as $8 per month and averages $12 per month, which are overall exceptional rates. We also like that Healthy Paws processes claims within 10 days and reimburses you within 24 hours. We recommend using its convenient mobile app for the fastest reimbursement, which allows you to submit and track pet insurance claims. We also like that Healthy Paws offers multiple customization options for your reimbursement percentages and deductibles. Ultimately, Healthy Paws shines when it comes to its unlimited maximum payouts and thorough accident and illness coverage. However, if you’re looking for a wellness plan for your pet, you’ll need to look elsewhere for coverage.
- Underwritten by the Chubb Group, an A+ rated insurer
- No maximum annual or lifetime coverage
- Very charitable, gives to over 300 nonprofit organizations
- Easy-to-use mobile app for submitting and tracking claims
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Does not offer a wellness plan
- New customer fee of $25
ASPCA pet insurance is a partner of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. We like that it offers so many customization options regarding its deductibles, reimbursement rates, annual limits, and more. ASPCA’s member center app is another excellent feature that allows you to easily submit and track your claims, review your policy benefits, pay your bill, and contact ASPCA with questions and concerns.
ASPCA offers both an Accident-only and an Accident and Illness plan, covering many conditions and treatments, including dental diseases, behavioral issues, and hereditary conditions. It also offers coverage for some alternative therapies, such as physical therapy and behavioral problems. Many pet insurance providers don’t cover alternative therapies, which is a massive benefit to ASPCA’s pet insurance plans. Typically, you can expect to pay ASPCA $48.78 per month for dog insurance plans and $29.16 per month for cat insurance plans. It also offers two preventative care options for dogs and cats, offered at $9.95 and $24.95 per month. ASPCA’s preventative care plans provide coverage for things like dental cleanings, wellness exams, deworming, vaccinations, and much more.
We don’t like that ASPCA pet insurance has poorer customer reviews than most of its competition. It also is lacking when it comes to dental coverage. While ASPCA does offer coverage for dental care, its plans cover fewer dental issues than other pet insurance providers that offer dental coverage. In addition, ASPCA won’t cover pre-existing conditions, whelping, pregnancy, and cosmetic procedures, which are typical pet insurance exclusions. It also doesn’t offer coverage for exotic animals.
As a whole, we like that ASPCA offers multiple wellness plan options, a multi-pet discount, and customizable pet insurance options. It’s also a significant benefit that ASPCA does not require an exam before enrollment, which many pet insurance providers require. ASPCA’s Accident-only plan is another pro for pet parents looking for a more affordable pet insurance plan for worst-case scenarios.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Partner of American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Convenient member center app allows you to submit and track claims
- Offers a low-cost accident-only plan
- Covers microchipping
- Does not offer a website chat feature
- Coverage waiting periods are longer than most
Prudent Pet insurance has a fantastic A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and was founded in 2018. It is underwritten by the Markel Insurance Company and offers many customization options for your coverage, including flexible annual deductibles, reimbursement percentages, and a plan with unlimited annual benefits. If you are interested in full coverage for your dog or cat, Prudent Pet offers an incredible Ultimate plan which offers unlimited annual benefits for accidents and illnesses. However, please keep in mind that its Ultimate plan does have limits on specific benefits, including behavioral disorders, advertising & reward for lost pets, boarding kennel fees, mortality benefits, and vacation cancellation.
Prudent also provides wellness package add-ons in three tiers: low, medium, and high coverage. These tiers give pet parents a significant advantage when choosing a wellness plan because they can customize the pricing and coverage to their desires easily. Veterinary exam fee coverage is also available as an optional add-on.
On the other hand, Prudent Pet insurance plans do not cover herbal or natural therapies, cosmetic procedures, prescription diet, and grooming costs. Prudent Pet also doesn’t offer coverage for exotic animals at this time. Prudent Pet does not have a mobile app, which is something to consider if you value the easy convenience of submitting your pet insurance claims through your phone.
Prudent Pet offers pet insurance plans as low as $10 per month for Accident-only pet insurance plans, and it can go as low as $16 per month for its Essential plan. On average, dog insurance plans are $39 per month, and cat insurance plans are $23 per month.
We like that it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee,10% multi-pet discount, and unlimited 24/7 vet telehealth line with all its policies. As a whole, Prudent Pet’s Ultimate plan is an excellent option for pet owners looking for unlimited annual benefits. We also love that it is highly rated with the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot.
- Offers wellness plans
- Unlimited annual benefit plan available
- 24/7 telehealth chat line gives you access to licensed veterinarians
- Multiple annual limits, reimbursement percentage, and annual deductible options
- Generous 10% multi-pet discount
- Does not offer a mobile app
- Six-month waiting period for knee or ligament issues
Pumpkin pet insurance is underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company and offers many customization options. Its customization options include three annual deductible options and two annual limits. If you’re looking for a high reimbursement rate, you’ll love that all Pumpkin pet insurance plans have a 90% cash back reimbursement rate.
Pumpkin pet insurance plans cover many accidents and illnesses, including diagnostic care, swallowed objects, emergencies, microchipping, parasites, cancer, hip dysplasia, and more. It also covers a handful of extras that many pet insurance providers won’t cover, such as vet exam fees, hereditary conditions, dental illnesses, behavioral issues, virtual vet visit fees, alternative therapies, and prescription food and supplements. Pumpkin pet insurance has specific exclusions like all pet insurance providers, including breeding, cosmetic services, burial, boarding, dental cleanings, and pre-existing conditions.
A significant benefit of Pumpkin is that it offers a Preventive Essential Pack which helps with routine veterinary care costs. This includes coverage for annual wellness exams, regular blood tests, annual vaccinations, lab tests for parasite detection, and more. It will also pay for microchip implantations and prescription supplements for certain conditions. We also like that Pumpkin doesn’t have a longer waiting period for dysplasia conditions, which is typical among many providers.
We don’t love that Pumpkin pet insurance has a low annual limit option of $10,000 or $20,000, which isn’t very high when you consider other companies with annual limits up to $100,000 or even unlimited options. Pumpkin also doesn’t offer coverage for exotic animals at this time. On average, Pumpkin is more expensive per month, likely due to its limited deductible options. You can expect to pay at least $50 on average per month.
Overall, we like that Pumpkin offers some great customization options, comprehensive accident and illness coverage, a 90% reimbursement percentage for all plans, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. It also provides an entirely online experience, which many pet parents may prefer to calling a company directly. Pumpkin pet insurance also doesn’t have an upper age limit, so you can enroll your pet in pet insurance at any point in their life.
- Covers exam fees
- Wellness plan options are available
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No age limits for signing your pet up
- No enrollment exam required
- Limited deductible options (only $100 to $500, which might make your premium more expensive)
- Smaller annual limits
If you’re looking for a pet insurance plan designed to help pet parents with emergency care costs, Pawp pet insurance may be an excellent choice for you. Pawp provides pet parents with $3,000 vet emergency coverage for a $19 a month premium regardless of if you have a dog or cat. Unlike most pet insurance providers, Pawp’s premiums aren’t different based on your location or your pet’s breed, pet’s age, or current health. Pre-existing conditions are also not a concern because Pawp only covers accidents.
Pawp covers vet costs, such as choking, toxic ingestion, life-threatening blockages, and severe external injuries. Unlike other pet insurance providers that offer accident and illness coverage, Pawp is more of an emergency plan that covers the costs of emergency visits. Pawp will not cover veterinary expenses related to diseases or routine veterinary care, like annual checkups, medications, or vaccinations. While Pawp doesn’t offer coverage for illnesses or wellness care like many pet insurance providers, it can be an excellent option for pet parents looking for an affordable pet insurance plan for worst-case scenarios. Please keep in mind that Pawp only offers coverage for dogs and cats at this time.
We also like that Pawp does not have copays or deductibles. Simply submit your claim, and you can be reimbursed for up to $3,000 each year for eligible claims. Not having a deductible is a huge benefit because you don’t have to worry about paying an amount out-of-pocket before your pet insurance provider begins paying for claims.
A unique feature to Pawp is that you must make a telehealth video call so that its vet can confirm that it’s an emergency. Then, Pawp will activate the funds for the treatment and pay the vet directly. This means you are never out of the money and waiting to be reimbursed for your claim, which is a significant benefit. Overall, we like that Pawp is a more affordable option for emergency care and offers telehealth visits with licensed vets so that you can immediately ask questions about your pet’s health.
- Strong focus on telehealth
- More affordable plan for emergency pet care
- Pre-existing conditions don’t affect your coverage
- Consistent, affordable monthly premium that is the same regardless of your pet’s age, breed, and other factors
- No deductibles or copays
- $3,000 annual maximum limit
- No coverage for illnesses or preventative care
Founded in 2003, Petplan pet insurance is underwritten by XL Speciality Insurance Company and administered by Fetch Insurance Services, LLC. At this time, Petplan does not cover exotic animals and only offers coverage for dogs and cats. Petplan has over 250,000 pet parents enrolled in Canada and the United States, demonstrating a lot of trust in Petplan’s coverage. We also love that it is backed and trusted by the North Shore Animal League of America, the Humane Society, and Ontario SPCA.
Petplan offers an Accident and Illness pet insurance plan with customization options, including multiple deductibles, reimbursement percentages, and annual payout options. We love that Petplan has an unlimited option for its annual limit, which is excellent for pet parents looking for peace of mind. Another significant benefit of Petplan is its incredible discounts. It offers both a 10% off shelter and rescue discount and a military discount to help pet parents save money. As a result of this discount, Petplan is one of the best choices for parents who rescue their pets.
Petplan offers affordable pet insurance at around $35 per month for dogs and $25 per month for cats. Petplan’s policies include coverage for accidents and illnesses, including coverage for diagnostic tests, virtual vet visits, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, behavioral therapy, surgeries, chiropractic care, and much more. Petplan will not cover any wellness or routine care costs, pre-existing conditions, and cosmetic procedures. All of its plans have a 15-day waiting period for both accidents and illnesses, which is longer than some providers.
We love that Petplan offers comprehensive coverage for many treatments and vet costs, including some alternative therapies, behavioral therapy, and breed-specific conditions. Its dental coverage is also more extensive than many pet insurance providers. Petplan’s many discounts are another notable benefit, as well as its unlimited annual payout option. We also love that PetPlan has a convenient mobile app, which allows you to quickly submit a claim by simply taking a photo of your vet bill and submitting it through the app.
- Military discount of 10%
- Shelter and rescue adoptions get 10%
- Offers unlimited annual limit option
- Many reimbursement percentage options available
- Covers cancer treatment
- No wellness plan options
- Few deductible customization options
Bivvy pet insurance is known for its affordable coverage that is only $14 a month for dogs and cats. Bivvy advertises itself as simple and inexpensive protection for pet parents. Rather than choosing from many pet insurance plans and customization options, it offers one simple Accident and Illness plan at an affordable rate. Its application process takes less than five minutes, and approvals are immediate. Your monthly premium will not vary based on your pet’s age, gender, size, or breed. Unlike many pet insurance providers, your monthly premium will stay the same as your pet ages, regardless of how many claims you make, which is a significant advantage.
Bivvy also offers a wellness plan called its Bivvy Wellness Care plan, which provides coverage for preventative or routine care, such as vaccinations, wellness exams, microchipping, urinalysis, deworming, and more. For only $9 more per month, you can have this wellness package added to give your pet more comprehensive coverage. Bivvy’s Accident and Illness plan covers costs like X-rays, ultrasounds, emergency care, orthodontic treatment, cancer, chronic conditions, and more. Exclusions include pre-existing conditions, spay/neuter procedures, cosmetic surgery, dental care, grooming, boarding costs, air ambulances, and non-emergency ground ambulances.
Bivvy’s maximum annual limit is $2,000 per pet and the maximum lifetime limit is $25,000. Bivvy has a 14-day waiting period for accidents and a 30-day waiting period for illnesses. However, these waiting periods are longer than some pet insurance providers, which may be as short as 48 hours. Bivvy also has an automatic $100 deductible for each veterinary visit. Bivvy’s reimbursement rate is 50%, so after you pay $100 towards your pet’s visit, then it will reimburse you for 50% of the remaining balance.
Overall, we like that Bivvy offers a very affordable pet insurance plan for accidents and illnesses, as well as a wellness plan add-on. It’s also a major benefit that pet parents don’t have to worry about an enrollment exam, and the application process takes less than five minutes. We don’t love that Bivvy only has a 50% reimbursement rate, which is significantly less than many other pet insurance providers. As a whole, Bivvy may be a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable, worst-case scenario pet insurance to protect your pet in the case of emergencies.
- Affordable monthly rate
- No enrollment exam required
- Easy application process
- Comprehensive coverage for accidents and illnesses
- Offers Bivvy Wellness Care for preventative care
- Very low annual limit
- No dental or spay/neuter coverage
How To Choose A Pet Insurance Provider For Your Pet
Pet insurance is a personal choice, and there is no wrong answer. With so many pet insurance providers on the market, it can be challenging to know which pet insurance provider to choose. To help you out, we’ve compiled the following information to help you select a great pet insurance provider for you and your pet.
Insurance For Dogs
Dog insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that your furry friend is covered if it develops an illness or has an accident. Choosing a pet insurance policy can be tricky, though, due to the many choices out there.
Important things to consider when looking for dog insurance coverage include:
- Major injuries
- Accidents (especially if you have a puppy or mischievous dog)
- Emergency care
- Diagnostic testing
- Wellness care (for routine exams, vaccinations, prescription food, and more)
- Dental care
- Alternative treatments (think acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage treatments)
Another essential factor to consider is how soon the coverage will kick in. Certain providers have longer waiting periods of several weeks, while others will begin coverage within 48 hours. We also recommend considering coverage for hip dysplasia and orthopedic conditions because these are often on an extended waiting period of six months to a year. If your dog’s breed is especially prone to these conditions, we recommend looking into a pet insurance company that covers this condition faster so that you can rest easy knowing your dog is protected.
If you have a puppy, we recommend looking into puppy insurance and puppy-specific wellness plans, which often have additional coverage for extra wellness exams, puppy vaccinations, spaying and neutering, microchipping, and more. While it may seem pointless to have puppy insurance for a healthy young dog, puppies are more accident-prone. They can still develop chronic illnesses and conditions considered pre-existing if you sign up for pet insurance later on. Pre-existing conditions are not covered by pet insurance, so the sooner you sign your dog up for a pet insurance plan, the better.
Insurance For Cats
Cat insurance is a financial safety net for your cat should it have an accident or develop an illness. Kittens can be naughty, and accident coverage is essential to protect yourself financially should your kitten need emergency care. Deciding which cat insurance plan to go with can be complicated, though.
Here are a few things we recommend looking for when it comes to picking cat insurance coverage out:
- Emergency care
- Dental coverage
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
- Feline Leukemia Virus
- Chronic conditions (diabetes, thyroid disorders, etc.)
- Wellness coverage (wellness exams, vaccinations, deworming, and more)
- Spaying and neutering
We recommend looking at when the coverage for your cat insurance plan will kick in because different plans will have waiting periods. The sooner your coverage kicks in, the less time you’ll have to worry about your cat having an accident or developing an illness that will be considered a pre-existing condition until your pet insurance coverage has started.
If you have a kitten, we strongly recommend signing it up for a pet insurance plan now. Many companies even offer kitten pet insurance plans or kitten preventative wellness plans, which will give you extra routine care coverage. Kitten preventative wellness plans will often include extra allowances for wellness exams, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, microchipping, and more.
Insurance For Exotics
Exotic animal pet insurance is still rare. Currently, we are only aware of one pet insurance provider, Nationwide, that provides coverage for exotic animals. To learn more about exotic animal coverage, read our piece on Pet Insurance for Birds and Exotic Pets here.
What Should You Look For In A Pet Insurance Provider?
Pet insurance is a highly personal choice for you and your pet. We recommend considering many factors, including available discounts, communication with the pet insurance company, and coverage types.
We strongly suggest looking into pet insurance providers that offer a multi-pet discount if you have multiple pets. Many providers have discounts for pet parents that insure multiple pets with them. This discount is typically between five to 10% off your total insurance, which is a significant saving, especially over the course of your pets’ lifetimes.
We also recommend considering your preferred communication method and claim submission process. Some pet insurance providers offer convenient and easy-to-use mobile apps which allow you to easily snap a photo of your vet bill and submit your claim through the app. Other pet insurance providers may require you to submit your claim online or mail it to them. Some pet insurance companies also offer online chat features, 24/7 telehealth lines with instant access to a veterinarian, and an entirely online interface. If you prefer speaking to someone on the phone, we recommend double-checking that a provider offers this communication method because some companies have completely online interfaces. In short, we recommend you stop and consider your preferred communication methods and how you would prefer to submit claims.
If you’re looking for nose to tail coverage, consider looking for a comprehensive accident and illness plan with unlimited annual coverage. This will ensure that you don’t get cut off from reimbursement if your pet develops a chronic illness, such as cancer or hip dysplasia, often requiring extensive, long-term, and expensive treatments. Otherwise, you may consider an accident-only or worst-case scenario plan, which will be less expensive, but provide your pet with coverage for medical emergencies.
What Should You Avoid?
Start by thinking about what types of coverage are absolutely necessary for you. For example, dental care is an important but often overlooked coverage type that can save pet parents a lot of money. You may also really want preventative care coverage, especially if you have a kitten or puppy, so take care to find a pet insurance company that offers a wellness plan since some providers don’t offer routine care coverage.
We recommend factoring in the cost of a pet insurance plan but not making your choice on price alone because price doesn’t always equal value. Ten dollars or $15 more per month can give you significantly more coverage and save you more money throughout the year.
You should avoid a higher monthly premium if you are on a tight budget. If you would prefer to pay a little more monthly but be reimbursed sooner in the year, look for a plan with a lower deductible so that your pet insurance provider will start reimbursing you sooner.
Keep in mind that a cheaper pet insurance plan may lack coverage and have many more exclusions than more expensive plans. However, you may not need the most expensive plan either. Look for a plan that fits your budget and has coverage for what you value most for your pet.
How Much Money Can You Save With Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is an added monthly cost. This can make pet parents stop and wonder if pet insurance is worth it and how much money they can actually save with pet insurance.
In 2020, the average dog insurance annual premium was $218 for accident-only coverage and $594 for accident and illness coverage. On average, cat premiums were reported to be 40% less than dog insurance, which is about $340 per year for an accident and illness policy.
While pet insurance may cost pet parents several hundred dollars per year, it can save them thousands of dollars in emergency care for accidents or chronic care if their pets develop an illness. For example, if your dog is hit by a car, it can easily cost over $10,000 between the treatments, diagnostic testing, and hospital stay that your dog will likely need to recover. Pet insurance reimbursement rates are typically between 60 to 90%, which would save you $6,000 to $9,000 in veterinary bills. Considering only 39% of Americans can pay for a $1,000 emergency expense without going into debt or taking out a loan, the financial safety net pet insurance provides can be significant.
Some financial advisors recommend creating an emergency fund for veterinary expenses. However, chronic care for illnesses like cancer or diabetes, or significant surgeries, such as hip dysplasia surgery or removal of a foreign body from your pet’s stomach, can easily cost many thousands of dollars. In particular, chronic illnesses can cost thousands of dollars each year, quickly draining an emergency fund. Pet insurance will continue to reimburse you for covered costs. Some companies even offer unlimited annual and lifetime limits, which means that your pet will never be denied reimbursement for a covered treatment.
Pet insurance can be a small monthly cost that saves you thousands of dollars over your pet’s lifetime. It can provide you with peace of mind that your emergency fund won’t run out, and you’ll always be able to provide your pet with excellent veterinary care.
We hope today’s pet insurance reviews gave you a foundation for things you should look for and avoid in a pet insurance plan. There are so many options available on the pet insurance market, so we recommend sitting down and reviewing what factors are most important to you, your family, and your pet. No matter what plan you choose, you’re taking a critical, thoughtful step for your pet’s health and your future finances to ensure that you’re not blindsided by sudden emergency costs that could put you into debt.
No pet parent should ever have to worry about turning down critical veterinary care for their pet. Take the first step today to protect yourself and your pet in the future by signing up for a pet insurance policy.
Did you know?
Pet Insurance was designed for emergencies – that’s it. Now, 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, even getting coverage for things like euthanasia, chiropractic care, MRI, and more.
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 with otherwise curable ailments because they didn’t have the medical technology to fix them, and their owners 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 4% of pet owners have pet insurance coverage today.
You can’t find a pet insurance policy that covers pre-existing conditions, and the reviews are mixed on who is the best with them once your pet 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 its life, the better. While some blogs and news articles advise people to start a pet savings account, you most likely won’t have near enough savings to avoid financial ruin if your pet gets sick. It’s better to have peace of mind by paying a monthly rate since your pet was young than not having the money if something happens.
Illness and accident are certainly not reserved for 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%.
For New Pet Owners
We can’t stress this enough – get a pet insurance policy in place before you set foot in a veterinarian’s office with your new pet. Once you get a policy, go ahead and see the vet as soon as your waiting period is over. With a new pet, any and everything your vet diagnoses or observes goes into their file and could become a pre-existing condition, which will eliminate those things from coverage.
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 cheap but don’t cover a thing, where for $10 or $15 more a month, you can get comprehensive coverage. 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 works for you and your pet family.
A note on pricing: rates will vary depending on where you live, your pet’s age, and breed. Additionally, your pet policy premium will likely increase as your pet ages to account for additional care your pet needs 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 see your pets covered in case of accident or illness, even if the monthly premium is a little higher.
Even the policy’s underwriter can change, raising or lowering the costs.
Other Terms Defined
- Deductible – the higher the deductible, the lower your monthly rate, but the more you’ll have to shell out each time your pet visits the vet. If you have a higher-cost animal, this may be the way to go. You will need to reach your deductible before your pet insurance company starts contributing to your vet costs, but you’ll still need to submit all claims so your vet visits can count toward your deductible.
- Coinsurance/Copay – Most companies cover between 70-90% of the bill after you have reached your deductible. One company, Figo, has a 100% reimbursement option, but you will pay a higher monthly premium to get this.
- Annual limit – An annual limit is the maximum amount an insurer will pay toward your animal’s costs in a given year. Some companies make it look like you are getting good value.
- Exclusions – These are things that are not included in your coverage. For example, a plan may cover prescription food for a covered health condition, such as allergies, but it may exclude prescription food for weight loss.
- Incidents – An incident is the condition causing you to seek veterinary care. This can be a one-time situation, like a car accident that causes injury to your pet, or it can be ongoing, like cancer.
- Pre-existing conditions – Every major pet insurer excludes pre-existing conditions. What is considered a pre-existing condition may vary depending on the company. Some companies require you to get a veterinary exam within 30 days of signing up for the policy, while others request that you have had a vet exam within the last year. These are to eliminate what could be considered a pre-existing issue. For example, if your pet has a limp, but you have never had them checked out, the company wants to make sure it’s not liable to treat that limp since whatever caused it existed before you paid for insurance.
- Schedule of Benefits – A Schedule of Benefits is slightly different from insurance, where the vet and the insurer agree on payment. With a Schedule of Benefits, there is already an agreed-upon amount that will be paid for a given service, regardless of the actual cost. As an example, you may see these types of benefits as a part of Wellness plans, where a company will pay a max of $100 or $150 per year for vaccinations.
Frequently Asked Questions
If my pet has a pre-existing condition, am I out of luck?
Should you still get pet insurance if your pet has a pre-existing condition? Our answer is yes – just because your pet has pre-existing allergies doesn’t preclude them from getting in an accident or having another illness at some point in their life.
Why do rates rise over time?
Insurance rates rise over time as your pet grows older because it typically needs more healthcare as a pet ages.
You can read more FAQs on our Pet Insurance FAQ page.
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.
Additional Pet Insurance Reviews
- Care Credit
- Prudent Pet
- VCA CareClub
- Liberty Mutual
- State Farm
- Felix Insurance
- Trusted Pals