Best Pet Insurance in Virginia: Top Companies & Plans (2022 Review)

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Whether they’ve got a Newfoundland in Norfolk or a Maine Coon in Manassas, pet parents across Virginia share one common responsibility — to guarantee their pets’ wellness and longevity by tending to their basic needs and beyond, of which healthcare is an integral part. 

Virginia residents with uninsured pets spend more than $1,500 on veterinary care every year, a figure that doesn’t even account for big-ticket medical emergencies. Enrolling in a proper pet insurance policy is one way to curb predictable vet bills while also bracing your budget for unplanned ones.

To help you sniff out the most compatible coverage for both your pet and your piggy bank, we’ve reviewed five leading providers serving premier pet insurance in Virginia:

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

Best Virginia Pet Insurance Companies & Plans

Provider

Visit Site

Waiting Period

Money-back Guarantee

Maximum Enroll Age

BBB Rating

Spot

Site Link

14 days

Yes

No upper age limit

A

Lemonade

Site Link

14 days for illnesses; 48 hours for accidents

No

14 years old

F

Embrace

Site Link

14 days for illnesses; 48 hours for accidents

Yes

14 years old

A+

Healthy Paws

Site Link

15 days

Yes

14 years old

A-

ASPCA

Site Link

15 days

Yes

No upper age limit

N/A

Pet Insurance Companies in Virginia Reviews

Each of the following providers highlighted in this article only offers insurance for cats and dogs (except for limited equine coverage offered by ASPCA.) If you’re looking to finance an unconventional pet, our guide on the best pet insurance for exotic animals will point you in the right direction.  

Spot

As our top recommended provider, Spot pet insurance offers workable pet healthcare policies, allowing policyholders to customize their coverage around two base plans — one just for emergency injuries and another for both accidents and unexpected illnesses. For an added line of defense, Spot’s elective wellness plans can help cut the costs of preventative vet services like annual checkups, core vaccinations, diagnostic tests, and other routine care expenses. 

Also, with no upper age limit, pets young and old are eligible for a pet insurance plan through Spot. Bear in mind, however, that older pets will incur a higher monthly premium no matter what provider you choose by virtue of the increased medical liability they present. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Coverage option for unlimited annual payouts
  • No age- or breed-based restrictions
  • Multi-pet discount of 10%
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Higher than average premiums
  • Bilateral exclusions may apply

Cost and Customizability

Spot advertises a bottom-line rate of $16 per month for accident-illness coverage, but Virginia pet owners should expect to pay an estimated $30 to $50 per month for dog insurance and $18 to $25 for cat insurance. And depending on your pet’s age and breed, in addition to your city’s ZIP code, your quoted monthly premium could easily exceed these averages. 

Your monthly premium will also be largely based on how you customize your plan. Spot gives its policyholders ample room to create plans as minimalistic or comprehensive as they need with the following customization options:

  • Five annual deductibles
  • Seven annual limits with an unlimited option as the most comprehensive 
  • Three reimbursement rates
  • Two elective preventative care riders — Gold ($9.95 per month) and Platinum ($24.95 per month)

Relevant Inclusions and Exclusions

Spot reimburses a wide range of veterinary services, from general health maintenance to emergency care, so your coverage breadth will ultimately depend on how comprehensive of a plan you build. 

A stand-out feature of Spot policies is its standard inclusion of behavioral therapy, which many competing providers either only offer as an add-on feature or don’t cover at all. Chaired by celeb dog behaviorist Cesar Millan, Spot aims to underscore proper training as a crucial step in preventing potential accidents in the first place.

One exclusion that mostly applies to owners of senior animals is Spot’s restrictions on bilateral conditions, a.k.a health complications that affect both sides of the body. Per Spot’s exclusion clause, if your pet enters into a Spot policy with, say, a history of hip dysplasia in its left side, and it later develops in its right side after your policy is active, Spot won’t cover it.

Lemonade

As a tech-based pet insurance provider, Lemonade replaces traditionally monotonous insurance operations with an innovative AI-powered business model, offering comprehensive pet healthcare coverage that cuts to the chase at an affordable monthly rate. 

We’d most recommend Lemonade for younger owners with younger pets. Consolidating its entire product into one online platform, Lemonade is an ideal option for Gen-Z and millennial customers looking for a digital alternative to veterinary coverage. Moreover, Lemonade disqualifies pets over the age of 14 from initial enrollment eligibility — occasionally even barring pets under that age from registering based on breed-specific life expectancies. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Enroll online or via the Lemonade mobile app in seconds
  • Get a 10% discount when you bundle your plan with Lemonade homeowners or renters insurance
  • Donates up to 40% of unclaimed money to a charity of your choice every year
  • Up to $100,000 in annual coverage benefits

Cons

  • Requires recent medical records to determine enrollment eligibility
  • Breed-specific upper age limits 

Cost and Customizability

By automating everything from plan management to customer service, Lemonade can support some of the most cost-effective premiums across the pet insurance industry, with policies starting as low as $10 per month. Yet rates in Virginia tend to average out at around $37 per month for dog owners and $15 for cat owners.   

Like other leading pet insurance companies, Lemonade leaves it up to the policyholder to adjust their plan features to align more closely with their budget and coverage goals. Here are the details that Lemonade customers have control over:

  • Three annual deductibles
  • Five annual limits with a maximum of up to $100,000
  • Three reimbursement rates
  • Three add-on wellness plans, one of which is specific to puppies and kittens

Because accident-illness plans are designed to only cover veterinary expenses that arise from unforeseen health crises, Lemonade doesn’t wrap predictable routine care costs for things like dental cleaning, parasite prevention, or annual diagnostic tests into its standard policy. To satisfy that coverage gap, Lemonade offers three tiers of wellness plans for the following additional rates:

  • Basic Preventative package: $15+ per month for dogs, $10+ per month for cats
  • Preventative+ package: $17+ per month for dogs, $12+ per month for cats
  • Puppy/Kitten Preventative package: $40+ per month for puppies, $34+ per month for kittens

Relevant Inclusions and Exclusions

Lemonade not only separates exam fees and physical therapy from its standard coverage but also its wellness packages. Reimbursements for exam fees and physical therapy like acupuncture and chiropractic care are still available, but as stand-alone add-ons, which could leave you with a higher than expected premium if you do decide to tack either of these onto your plan. 

Unlike Spot, Lemonade does not cover treatment or training for behavioral conditions. Lemonade also won’t reimburse any type of dental illness treatment or dental care in general for pets under the age of two. 

Embrace

A business school venture turned pet healthcare alpha, Embrace pet insurance has helped insure over 100,000 cats and dogs since 2003. As the only pet insurance agency in the category to offer vanishing deductibles, Embrace rewards a customer for preemptively investing in their pet’s healthcare by knocking $50 off their annual deductible for every year that they go without filing a claim. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Distinguishes between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions
  • Non-insurance preventative care option
  • Diminishing deductibles program

Cons

  • Upper age limits on accident-illness coverage for pets older than 14 
  • No refunds or rollovers on preventative care stipend
  • $5,000 annual maximum cap on accident-only coverage

Cost and Customizability

Pet parents who enroll with Embrace will have the option to choose from two standard plans — accident-only and accident-illness. As its name suggests, accident-only coverage will reimburse you for vet costs related solely to emergency injuries like broken bones. An accident-illness plan will cover your pet’s treatment for both unexpected injuries and illnesses, including but not limited to surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and specialty care for chronic and congenital conditions. 

Dog owners living in Virginia and interested in an Embrace policy will likely pay between $30 to $40 per month, whereas cat owners will pay $15 to $20. Embrace’s monthly rates fall below the pet insurance national average of $50 per month for dogs and $28 for cats, with even more savings possible through a 10% multi-pet discount as well as flexible plan customizations of:

  • Five annual deductibles as low as $200
  • Five annual limits with a maximum of up to $30,000
  • Three reimbursement rates
  • Three wellness stipend levels of $250, $450, or $650 per year

Embrace’s non-insurance Wellness Rewards, which offer a 100% reimbursement rate based on your selected coverage amount, are offered under the following monthly rates:

  • $250 per year for $18.75 per month
  • $450 per year for $35.42 per month
  • $650 per year for $52.09 per month

Relevant Inclusions and Exclusions

Just like every other provider in the pet insurance category, Embrace won’t cover pre-existing conditions — but it does cut policyholders a bit of slack by distinguishing between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions. 

In other words, any pre-existing conditions that can go 180 days without expressed symptoms or veterinary attention may be deemed curable and therefore eligible for coverage by Embrace. By default, pre-existing conditions that are chronic and persistent will be considered incurable and thus ineligible for coverage. 

Healthy Paws

Administering accident-illness coverage through one standard base plan, pet owners who sign up with Healthy Paws pet insurance will have access to unlimited annual payouts and prompt claim turnaround times, but only by relinquishing any preventative care coverage. 

Also, with a 12-month waiting period on all hip dysplasia events, we’d recommend this provider for customers with young to middle-aged pets who feel they can handle predictable costs like routine care on their own but still need support for unanticipated medical expenses. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Automatic unlimited annual maximum payouts for all policyholders
  • Usually processes claims within two business days
  • Donates to 300+ nonprofit animal welfare organizations

Cons

  • No preventative care coverage, not even as an add-on
  • One-time new member fee of $25

Cost and Customizability

It isn’t uncommon for older pets to cost more to insure than younger pets by virtue of the increased liability they pose for needing complex or specialty veterinary care. But, in addition to price, Healthy Paws also bases its coverage customizations on age, with less comprehensive options for pets who enroll after the age of five:

  • Dogs and cats 5 years and below — Three deductibles as low as $100 and three reimbursement rates of up to 90%.
  • Dogs and cats between 6 and 7 years old — Three deductibles as low as $250 and three reimbursement rates of up to 80%.
  • Dogs 8 years and over — Deductibles of $750 or $1,000 and reimbursement rates of 50 or 60%.

Relevant Inclusions and Exclusions

Aside from not offering any preventative care options, Healthy Paws also doesn’t include coverage for behavioral therapy or alternative therapy in its accident-illness policy. And although we think Healthy Paws is a more suitable provider for younger pets as opposed to seniors, Healthy Paws doesn’t cover spay/neuter procedures, so if you’re looking specifically for first-year vet cost support, Healthy Paws might not be able to offer the coverage you need. 

ASPCA

As one of the top equestrian states in the country, ASPCA pet insurance is a popular choice among Virginia residents, offering veterinary coverage for those barn cats or dogs, as well as horses. ASPCA customers can choose between an accident-only policy just for injuries or a more comprehensive accident-illness plan to support costs for things like chronic illnesses, hereditary conditions, behavioral treatment, and more. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Lower deductible options than most of its competitors
  • Includes microchip and exam fee coverage for all ASPCA policyholders
  • Covers congenital and hereditary conditions
  • Two fixed-rate wellness packages for cats, dogs, and horses

Cons

  • Per-item limitations on its elective wellness benefits
  • $2 monthly transaction fee
  • Maximum annual coverage limit is only $10,000

Cost and Customizability

Underwritten by Crum & Forster, the same agency which underwrites Spot, ASPCA pet insurance offers the same rates, base plan structures, and wellness packages as Spot, but with its own options for annual coverage limits and deductibles. Here’s how an ASPCA policy pans out:

  • Three annual deductibles as low as $100
  • Five annual limits with a maximum of $10,000
  • Three reimbursement rates
  • Two elective preventative care riders — Gold ($9.95 per month) and Platinum ($24.95 per month)

Like Spot, an ASPCA policy in Virginia will cost pet owners between $30 to $50 per month for dog insurance and $18 to $25 for cat insurance plus either of the fixed wellness rates if you’d like to nail down preventative care coverage as well. ASPCA also requires a $2 transaction fee for policyholders who opt to pay month-to-month rather than annually. 

Relevant Inclusions and Exclusions

No matter how modest your plan customizations are, ASPCA throws in microchip implantation and exam fee coverage for all of its policyholders. Specialty care, alternative therapies, medical boarding, hospitalizations, and funeral expenses are also shared benefits between accident-only and accident-illness. 

ASPCA doesn’t have any exclusions that should catch you off guard, only dismissing coverage for things like controversial cosmetic procedures (ear cropping, tail-docking, declawing, etc.), organ transplants, and non-veterinary services. 

Horse coverage is only provided in Virginia and 11 other states, including California, Texas, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Oklahoma, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin

How Does Pet Insurance Work in Virginia?

Pet health insurance in all states, including Virginia, follows the same reimbursement-based system. Unless your provider offers an elective direct vet payment option, you’ll always be held accountable to cover upfront veterinary costs at the vet visit where your pet receives treatment for its illness or injury. 

Once the vet has been compensated, you’re free to file a claim with your pet insurance provider, where it will enter a review period for approval or denial. Some providers may require more supporting documentation than others. Still, it’s a good idea to have an itemized vet receipt on hand with the date of treatment, your pet’s medical history, and the total cost of services. 

Then, if the accident is deemed eligible for reimbursement, you’ll be paid back for those covered services up to your annual coverage limit and within your reimbursement percentage. 

How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance in Virginia for You

Because it’s not a product that we have day-to-day familiarity with — like a gallon of gas or a cup of coffee — a fair price on pet insurance coverage can be difficult to confidently judge and therefore easy to overpay for if you aren’t careful. 

To help you find a compatible policy, ask yourself the following questions as you shop around:

  1. Does the company have a sound financial reputation?

It’s in your best interest to feel assured that your selected provider can afford to pay out any future claim that you might submit, no matter how expensive (as long as it’s within your annual limit) and within a reasonable window of time. Checking the A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of any insurer’s underwriter will give you a transparent look at its financial condition. 

  1. Is a medical exam required?

Some providers require medical exams to determine enrollment eligibility, whereas others don’t. While this shouldn’t be an end-all-be-all factor in whether you choose one provider over another, a preliminary medical exam is a sign that you’ll receive a premium more tailored to your pet’s actual healthcare needs, rather than being grouped into a risk pool based on the general discretion of a provider. 

  1. Does its customer service follow through?

Don’t just take a company’s word for how connected it is to its customers — test its customer support resources for yourself by getting in touch with a representative with any questions you may have. The best way to get a feel for the company you’ll be investing time and money into is by interacting with it firsthand. Browsing verified customer reviews can also give insight into the customer experience. 

  1. Did you generate a few custom pet insurance quotes?

With so many plans, providers, and prices to choose from, shopping smart for pet insurance requires comparison. So, make sure you get a quote from at least four potential contenders and carefully consider coverage versus cost before making any final decisions. 

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in Virginia?

On average, a standard accident-illness pet insurance policy in Virginia with no riders attached costs between $15 to $25 for cats and $25 to $50 for dogs. 

To further demonstrate how average premiums tend to vary between providers in Virginia, we’ve gone ahead and generated quotes from each of our recommended pet insurance companies, collated in the table below. 

All of the following estimates are based on an alias policyholder with a 2-year-old pet — either a medium mix breed dog or a domestic short-haired kitty — living in Richmond, Virginia, selecting the most popular accident-illness plan customizations as recommended by each provider. Sample wellness costs for our dog and cat insurance quotes chose the most basic add-on available.

Provider

Sample Monthly Cost For Dogs

Sample Monthly Cost For Cats

Sample Monthly Wellness Cost

Spot

$47.58

$24.98

$57.58 for dogs; $34.93 for cats

Lemonade

$24.25

$16.17

$40.25 for dogs; $26.17 for cats

Embrace

$37.07

$20.10

$55.85 for dogs; $38.85 for cats

Healthy Paws

$34.43

$16.11

N/A

ASPCA

$47.58

$24.98

$57.58 for dogs; $34.93 for cats

Final Thoughts

As you’ve seen, pet insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all product. Policy details can vary significantly across different companies, making the right coverage even more painstaking to pinpoint. Because all providers will consider your pet’s age, breed, and location when generating your custom monthly estimate, you’ll receive a premium tailored to the level of risk that your pet presents for the insurer. But for ultra-snug coverage, it’s up to you to understand what is and isn’t covered and how that aligns with your pet’s healthcare needs as well as the boundaries of your budget. 

If none of the companies mentioned in this review feel like a good fit, check out our more comprehensive review of other leading pet insurance providers we’d trust with our pets.

Information for Pet Owners in Virginia

Of the 35.6% of Virginia residents who own a dog, you better believe there are plenty of butts to sniff and woof-worthy adventures to be had in the Old Dominion state. But before stepping out with leash in hand, you need to be aware of a few Virginia state laws and local ordinances designed to keep pets and the people around them safe.

Virginia Pet Laws

  • All domestic dogs and cats in Virginia must receive a rabies vaccination before four months of age. 
  • Virginia follows the “one-bite rule,” meaning dog owners can only be held responsible for injuries to another person or animal caused by their dog if the dog has bitten at least one other person before. If this were the case, the owner would’ve known that the dog was dangerous.
  • Ownership of more than three adult dogs per family in any residential district is illegal unless a proper permit is obtained.
  • Virginia doesn’t uphold any statewide leash laws, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Specific leash laws tend to vary community-to-community. However, most prohibit dog owners from letting their dog off-leash to run “at large.” Be sure to familiarize yourself with local leash laws in your county.

Fun Things to Do With Your Pet in VA

From city-sniffin’ in Richmond to doggy paddling in the Chesapeake Bay, the state of Virginia has endless day trips that your pup will beg to go on. New River Water Trail is a must-see for the outdoorsy type, where their four-legged friends are free to roam off-leash around the state park and in the river. 

The state of Virginia, known for being the site of the first permanent English settlement of the U.S., is chock full of historical sites to explore, many of which allow pets. George Washington’s Mount Vernon permits pups on leashes and even provides water bowls around the property to keep your pooch hydrated, especially during the warmer months. Colonial Williamsburg, the first Capital of England’s original permanent colony, welcomes pets to enjoy the site from a leash and also supports local adoption events through Heritage Humane Society. 

Virginia Pet Resources

Even though pet insurance is a more cost-effective way to offset exorbitant emergency vet bills should they occur, it’s not always a feasible option for everyone. Virginia offers a handful of affordable alternative pet healthcare resources for low-income pet owners, so they can access basic veterinary care if their pets need it without having to worry about making ends meet. 

Check out a few of these low-cost local resources we dug up, from pet food pantries to licensed vets who work on a sliding scale:

  • Helping Hands Virginia — Veterinarians working for this organization work on a sliding scale. They can provide any services that your dog needs and will base the cost of those services on your income.
  • The Peninsula Pet Pantry — A group of locals in Yorktown came together to form this nonprofit organization in 2010 and uses donations to provide pet owners with free food for their dogs and cats.
  • Spay Now — Spay Now believes that every pet owner deserves the right to have their pets spayed and neutered to keep the unwanted pet population down, which is why it offers those services at affordable rates.
  • Virginia Beach SPCA — If you live in or around Virginia Beach, you can use some of the local SPCA resources, including affordable veterinary appointments and treatments.

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.