Best Pet Insurance In California 2022

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From the redwood forests down to the Baja deserts, no matter where a pet owner lives in California, five-star pet health insurance plans are readily available to help safeguard their pet’s healthcare needs from gnarly veterinary bills. Averaging over $1,500 in annual veterinary costs per pet owner, the Golden State clocks in with the most expensive vet care rates nationwide. But what if we told you that the right pet health insurance plan could cover up to 90% of those out-of-pocket expenses? 

On your journey to finding the best pet insurance plan in California, here are some things to keep at the forefront of your mind:

  • Not all pet insurance companies are created equal, so it’s essential to do a good bit of research before choosing a plan — hence this guide!
  • Prioritize providers with comprehensive coverage options and good reputations
  • Customer satisfaction ratings say a lot about any company. Don’t hesitate to take a look at what a pet insurance provider’s current customer base has to say.

Best Overall

spot pet insurance logo

OUR RATING: 4.9

Most Affordable

Lemonade Pet Insurance Logo

OUR RATING: 4.8

Best for Chronic Conditions

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

OUR RATING: 4.6

Top 6 Best Pet Insurance Companies In California

Responsible pet ownership begins with meeting your pet’s most fundamental needs — and at the heart of those is its health. We don’t doubt that you want to guarantee your four-legged friend will be taken care of if anything unexpected happens. To help you solidify that protection, we’ve compiled the following list of reputable pet insurance companies with services accessible to Californians.

The best thing about these companies is that each offers low monthly premiums, which means you don’t pay much upfront but will have more coverage if an accident or illness occurs. We also picked ones that had excellent customer service reviews, so rest assured they will be there when you need them.

Provider Free Quote Waiting Period Money-back Guarantee Maximum Enroll Age BBB Rating
Spot Visit Site 14 days* Yes No age limit A
Lemonade Visit Site 14 days for illnesses*, 48 hours for accidents  No 14 years old F
Embrace Visit Site 14 days for illnesses*, 48 hours for accidents Yes 14 years old A+
Healthy Paws Visit Site 15 days* Yes 14 years old A-
ASPCA Visit Site 15 days*  Yes No age limit N/A
Prudent Pet Visit Site 5 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses*  Yes No age limit 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. 

#1 Spot Pet Insurance

Spot pet insurance offers competitively flexible solutions to ensure your pet receives the veterinary care it needs, when it’s most required, and at an affordable monthly rate. There’s nothing complicated about using Spot, either. All it takes to receive reimbursement after a visit to your veterinarian is to submit a claim after the visit through the Spot login portal, along with copies of your pet’s medical record and vet service invoice. Keep in mind that Spot does instate a 14-day waiting period for accident-illness coverage, but after that time is up, policyholders have up to 270 days from the date of treatment to file a claim. 

How Much Does Spot Pet Insurance Cost In California?

Spot insurance is underwritten by Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group, which also partners with ASPCA. All policies offered by Spot are extremely customizable, offering six annual limits from $2,500 to an unlimited option, alongside deductibles between $100 and $1,000, and reimbursement rates of 70, 80, and 90%. Spot will also throw in routine care coverage through its Gold and Platinum preventative care riders for an additional charge 

Prospective Spot policyholders should expect to pay around $30-$50 per month for dogs and $18-$25 per month for cats. If you have more than one pet in need of insurance services, Spot will cut you a 10% discount with its multiple pet incentive when you enroll more than one fur baby in any policy. 

What Does Spot Cover?

  • Vet office visit fees
  • Prescription medication
  • End-of-life expenses
  • X-rays
  • Tooth extractions
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Poison control
  • IV fluids 
  • Cancer treatment
  • Blood tests
  • Accidents
  • Emergency care
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization

As with any pet insurance policy, there are a few drawbacks. Spot’s policy doesn’t cover dental services, gland expression, vitamins, experimental treatments, cosmetic procedures, or vet house calls. 

Pros:

  • No upper age limit
  • Multi-pet discount
  • Includes coverage for microchip implantation
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • No preventive care unless purchased separately
  • 14-day waiting period for accident coverage

Learn More: Spot Pet Insurance Review

#2 Lemonade Pet Insurance

Lemonade’s pet insurance services revolve around one fixed accident-illness plan but make up for it with exhaustive latitudes of plan customization as well as some of the lowest monthly premiums on the market. As the first completely online insurance option in the pet industry, Lemonade has cut its enrollment process down to a 90-second experience, making secure coverage convenient and hassle-free for its customers. 

How Much Does Lemonade Pet Insurance Cost In California?

Lemonade advertises plans starting as low as $10 a month, but more realistic coverage averages rates around $15 per month for cats and $37 per month for dogs. While your individual premium is subject to change based on your pet’s age, species, breed, and gender, as well as your ZIP code, Lemonade’s premiums nonetheless fall on the lower end of the gamut compared to other leading providers. Also, money left over from untouched coverage maximums at the end of the year is donated to a nonprofit initiative of each customer’s choice. 

Regarding plan customization, Lemonade policyholders can choose from an array of coverage options, including annual maximums ranging between $5,000 to $100,000 per policy period, as well as deductibles from $100 to $500, and reimbursement rates of 70, 80, and 90%. 

Three incremental add-on plans for wellness coverage are available for an additional $15-$40+ per month for dogs and $10-$34+ per month for cats and kittens. Combined inclusions of all three wellness tiers cover expenses for wellness exams, heartworm and parasite tests, bloodwork, routine vaccines, flea/tick prevention, microchipping, dental cleaning, and spay/neuter procedures.

As a multi-line insurance provider, Lemonade also sells homeowners, renters, auto, and life insurance and offers policyholders an additional 10% off when they bundle their pet insurance with another Lemonade insurance product. Also, while Lemonade isn’t yet available in 15 states, it is up and running in California. 

What Does Lemonade Cover?

  • Blood tests
  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • X-rays
  • Urinalysis
  • Lab Work
  • Ultrasounds
  • Outpatient procedures
  • Specialty care
  • Emergency care
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Medications

What Is NOT Covered?

  • Illness or injury resulting from neglect
  • Elective cosmetic procedures —  ear cropping, tail docking, declawing, etc.
  • Prescription pet food
  • Behavioral training
  • Breeding and pregnancy-related care
  • Cremation and burial

Pros

  • Versatile customization options
  • 10% multi-pet discount
  • Up to $100,000 in annual coverage limits
  • Fully-digital interface and mobile app functions with fast claims processing

Cons:

  • Still new to the pet insurance market
  • Caps enrollment eligibility for dogs 14+ years old
  • No posted money-back guarantee

Learn More: Lemonade Pet Insurance Review

#3 Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace pet insurance was formed in 2003, around the same time as one of its competitors, Petplan. What started as a Wharton Business School project has grown into a leading pet insurance provider, having helped over 100,000 animals receive quality pet insurance coverage since its establishment. In an effort to give back to the community, Embrace will donate $2 to any given charity, pet-related or not, for every policy sold. For its underwriter, Embrace has been working with American Modern Insurance Group since 2012, an AM Best A+ Superior rated insurance carrier.

How Much Does Embrace Pet Insurance Cost In California?

Plans average $30 to $40 per month for dogs and $15 to $20 per month for cats. Remember, rates will vary based on age, gender, and breed. 

As far as savings opportunities go, Embrace offers a 10% multi-pet discount, a 5% military discount, ACH discounts, and a monthly payment discount if you pay yearly rather than every month.

Other highlights of Embrace’s plans include its Embrace-exclusive Wellness Rewards. This non-insurance preventative care plan reimburses pet owners for routine veterinary care, training, and grooming expenses, all within a fixed annual allowance. Below you’ll find how much each tier of Wellness Rewards will run you per month and how they differ in coverage:

  • $18.75/month = $250 allowance per policy year
  • $35.42/month = $450 allowance per policy year
  • $52.09/month = $650 allowance per policy year

As a bonus savings opportunity, Embrace also offers a Healthy Pet Deductible, which reduces your annual deductible by $50 each year that you don’t file a claim.

What Does Embrace Cover?

  • Consultation and exam fees
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Emergency 
  • Specialty care
  • Surgery 
  • Cancer treatments
  • Hospitalization
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Follow-up care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Prosthetic limbs
  • Dental illness up to $1,000/year 
  • Prescription medications 
  • Breed-specific issues
  • Congenital illness
  • Chronic conditions

What Is NOT Covered?

Embrace’s list of what isn’t covered is far shorter than the vast majority of competing providers’ plans. Pregnancy, pre-existing conditions, treatment for deliberate injury or neglect, cosmetic procedures, DNA testing, stem cell therapy, and avian flu aren’t covered under Embrace’s policies. Embrace also only offers dog and cat insurance, therefore excluding any exotic pet needs from coverage.

Pros:

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Diminishing deductibles
  • Wellness Rewards Program
  • Average five-day reimbursement turnaround time

Cons:

  • Required exam within the past year
  • $25 enrollment fee
  • Upper age limits on accident-illness
  • Narrower annual maximums compared to others

Learn More: Embrace Pet Insurance Review

#4 Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Originally founded in 2009 as a nonprofit dedicated to assisting pet parents with financial obligations related to their animals’ healthcare — although Healthy Paws has since shifted in its business initiatives — its grant programs have donated over 1.6 million dollars to shelters and rescues. 

Underwritten by the Chubb Group companies, Healthy Paws offers coverage for accidents, illnesses, cancer, emergency care, congenital conditions, dental care, and alternative care such as acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments in its base plans. 

How Much Does Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Cost In California?

A few noteworthy features include a 30-day money-back guarantee, automatic unlimited annual maximums for all policy levels, impressively customizable coverage, and the inclusion of breed-specific conditions like hip dysplasia. On average, Healthy Paws policyholders pay $39 per month for dogs and $12 per month for cats. 

What Does Healthy Paws Cover?

  • Prescription medication
  • End-of-life expenses
  • X-rays
  • Tooth extractions
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Poison control
  • IV fluids 
  • Cancer treatment
  • Blood tests
  • Accidents
  • Emergency care
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization

What Is NOT Covered?

In terms of exclusions, some things that you’ll still need to pay for out of pocket if you choose to go with Healthy Paws include pre-existing conditions, examination fees, total preventative care, behavioral treatment, specialty pet diets, and non-FDA treatment or supplements. Healthy Paws does not offer wellness coverage whatsoever — not even in the form of an add-on — so if keeping up with routine care costs is a must for you, we’d advise looking for a policy elsewhere. 

Pros:

  • Covers breed-specific conditions
  • No limits on coverage for any policy
  • Good BBB rating
  • Fast claim repayment

Cons:

  • New member fee of $25
  • No preventive care options
  • No multi-pet discounts

Learn More: Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review

#5 ASPCA Pet Insurance

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was the first humane society established in North America and remains one of the world’s largest animal welfare organizations. ASPCA’s pet insurance is provided by Hartville Pet Insurance Group, which has been in operation since 2006 as one of the most established and prominent pet insurance providers in the United States. The company even boasts a customer satisfaction score of 9.5/10 on Trustpilot.

How Much Does ASPCA Pet Insurance Cost In California?

ASPCA offers three plan levels, including an accident-only plan at the very minimum. Deductibles start at $100 for cats and dogs, and there is a 14-day waiting period for accidents and illnesses after initial enrollment. Add-on wellness care plans are available to keep you ahead of the game with your pet’s routine and preventative healthcare needs. On average, ASPCA policyholders pay $48 per month for dogs and $29 per month for cats.  

What Does ASPCA Cover?

  • Cancer treatments
  • Microchipping
  • End of life expenses
  • IV fluids and medications
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Prescription foods
  • Supplements for specific conditions
  • Tooth extractions
  • Exams
  • Medical supplies

What Is NOT Covered?

A few notable exclusions of ASPCA policies include aesthetic dental procedures and cleanings, boarding, grooming, pre-existing conditions, and hereditary or breed-specific conditions.

Pros

  • Covers exam fees
  • No extensive waiting periods for orthopedic events or cruciate ligaments 
  • Covers microchipping implantations
  • 24/7 helpline 

Cons:

  • Maximum coverage limit of only $10,000
  • Can take up to 30 days for reimbursement turnaround
  • Won’t cover breed-specific conditions

Learn More: ASPCA Pet Insurance Review

#6 Prudent Pet Insurance

Prudent Pet was established in 2018, making it one of the few newer pet insurers on the market, alongside Lemonade. Prudent Pet offers several base plan options for pet owners, including accident-only and more comprehensive variations. Prudent Pet is underwritten by the Markel Insurance Company, which holds an “A” financial stability rating from AM Best. 

Priding itself on making policies transparent and easy to understand, Prudent Pet offers 70, 80, or 90% reimbursement rates with an annual deductible of $100-$1,000. Coverage limits start at $10,000 and reach an unlimited option if you choose to go with the highest tier policy. 

How Much Does Prudent Pet Insurance Cost In California?

Prudent Pet premiums start at $10 per month, with an average of $39 per month for dogs and $23 per month for cats. Prudent also offers optional add-on wellness plans starting at $7.95 per month for cats and $11.95 per month for dogs.

What Does Prudent Pet Cover?

  • Cancer and treatments
  • Bite wounds
  • Broken Bones
  • Emergency care
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Congenital defects
  • Eye, ear, and skin conditions
  • Urinary infections
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Hip dysplasia

What Is NOT Covered?

Now for the bad news: Prudent Pet, unfortunately, has a pretty long list of exclusions, including but not limited to prescription food, organ transplants, non-emergency dental, intervertebral disc disease, and knee disorders.

Pros

  • Five-day waiting period for accident coverage
  • 10% multi-pet discount
  • No upper age limits
  • No in-network requirements

Cons:

  • Fixed annual coverage caps per policy level
  • High amount of exclusions
  • No mobile app

Learn More: Prudent Pet Insurance Review

How Does Pet Insurance Work in California?

Like in all states, pet insurance in California is paid via reimbursement rather than operating through your vet in the way human healthcare does. When you bring your pet in for treatment, you’ll pay the doctor directly and then submit an invoice for reimbursement. Your personal plan customizations will determine just how much you’ll receive once your provided vet bills have been audited and authorized. Here’s how each of those customizations factor into your total reimbursement amount:

  • Your annual payout maximum is the total compensation paid out in a policy year for all claims submitted. 
  • A deductible is the amount you’re accountable for before your company starts paying you back. Be prepared to pay this out of pocket.
  • Your reimbursement percentage is the proportion of money you’ll receive in reimbursement form after your claim has been filed and approved. These rates range between 50 and 90%.

How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance in California for You

Different pet insurance policies aren’t apples to apples. It’s tough to assess each plan’s potential value because of coverage, exclusions, and pricing variations. Comparison is still, however, possible; just tedious. 

Here’s how to pick a pet insurance provider that will accommodate your budget while providing you with peace of mind that your pet will be covered in the event of any possible emergency health scare: 

Type of Plan

Do you want a policy that goes above and beyond every time, or do you want to save money by purchasing an accident-only policy that won’t reimburse for pet illnesses? Or perhaps something in between? Comprehensive pet insurance policies that cover a wide range of health concerns and, as well as wellness, are generally the most expensive. Still, it may be worthwhile if you want total coverage. 

Your choices include:

  • Comprehensive protection: This generally covers accidents and injuries as well as severe or chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hereditary disorders, diagnostic testing, operations, and alternative therapies. Routine care such as regular veterinary checkups and vaccinations is sometimes also thrown in, but not always.
  • Accident and illness coverage: This coverage generally covers vet expenses for accidents and illnesses, including common ailments, genetic disorders, and severe illnesses. You won’t be reimbursed for routine veterinary checkups, flea prevention, or vaccinations, but you can purchase a wellness package to gain complete protection.
  • Accident-only: This sort of coverage covers vet expenses only if your pet gets hurt in an accident. You’ll remain responsible for illness-related medical expenses.

Keep an Eye Out For Discounts

Many companies also provide savings for policyholders from multi-pet households who enroll more than one furry family member at a time. Usually, this is a discount of 10% per annual policy period, although some providers will only offer 5% off. Some insurance companies also provide a pet spay/neuter discount as a way to encourage owners to have their pets fixed for the sake of preventing unwanted pregnancies and reproductive cancers. You may often save money if you pay your annual premium all at once. Lastly, several providers sponsor 10% discounts for active-duty service members and veterans.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in California?

The most expensive yearly cost for dog and cat veterinary care is in California. Thankfully, pet insurance can cover up to 90% of those fees, depending on your policy and plan. In California, the cost of living varies from city to city, and therefore so do vet costs. San Diego is the most expensive, followed by San Francisco, Los Angeles, Redding, and Sacramento.

For a 3-year-old mixed breed dog weighing 21 to 70 pounds, Figo Pet Insurance quotes for $14,000 yearly coverage, $250 per year deductible, and 80% reimbursement for three years. Your free quote will change if you have a puppy, an old dog, a purebred, or a big dog.

City Monthly Cost
Los Angeles $46.04
San Diego $57.50
San Francisco $47.54
Redding $39.28
Sacramento $33.49

 

Provider Sample Monthly Cost For Dogs Sample Monthly Cost For Cats Sample Monthly Wellness Cost
Spot Average $30-$50/month Average $18-$25/month Starting at $9.95
Lemonade Average $37/month  Average $15/month 

Cats start at $10

Dogs start at $15

Embrace Average $30-$40/month Average $15-$20/month Start at $18.75/month
Healthy Paws Average $39/month Average $12/month N/A
ASPCA $48.78  $29.16 $9.95 (basic), $24.95 (prime)
Prudent Pet Average $39/month Average $23/month Cats start at $7.95 and dogs at $11.95

 

Final Thoughts

Finding a pet insurance company that you can trust and rely on is the main objective when comparing different providers. With so many options out there, it’s hard to know which one will offer the best coverage at a price point that works for your budget. That’s why we put together this list of factors to consider when comparing different plans from various companies in California. We hope this information helps as you search for the perfect plan for yourself and your furry friend! 

Information for Pet Owners in California

Now that you know all about pet insurance and why it’s a great idea, let’s run through other info that can help you and your four-legged pal live an extraordinary life in California.

California Pet Laws

Here are a few pet-related laws that you should know about, which the state of California has implemented to keep animals safe and happy:

  • Dogs must have a rabies vaccine
  • Animal fighting is illegal
  • Spay/neuter certificates must be given at the time of adoption
  • Dogs must be licensed
  • Some laws dictate breeding
  • It is a crime to abandon any pet
  • Pet stores may only sell rescues
  • Pets fall under the same laws as children in divorce cases

Fun Things to Do With Your Pet in CA

California is a great state with lots to do. But where should you take your pet when it is time for some fun? Here are some of the best things to do with your pet while living in California:

  • Visit a Dog Beach: Fiesta Island Park, Rosie’s Dog Beach, Baker Beach, Carmel Beach, and Huntington Dog Beach are just a few
  • Visit Big Bear Lake
  • Stop by the San Pasqual Winery
  • Hike Runyon Canyon
  • Visit Dolores Park in San Francisco

California Pet Resources

Here are some great resources to know about if you are a pet owner in California:

Our Methodology

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.