Pet insurance is one of those products you don’t think of until you need it. You’re extremely likely to incur at least one expensive vet bill in your pet’s lifetime, and the best pet insurance companies can absorb the majority of a vet bill and protect your pet’s health.
If you’re looking for an affordable pet insurance provider that’s also one of the best pet insurance companies, Lemonade Pet Insurance is your answer. Lemonade’s pet insurance policies are super customizable and have plenty of conveniences to offer the modern pet owner, so you can find one that fits both your needs and budget. Sign up in minutes and get comprehensive coverage for your furry friends for as low as $10 a month.
Overview: Best pet insurance companies
- Our Pick: Lemonade
- Best for affordable catastrophic plans: Embrace
- Best for older pets and 24/7 assistance: Spot
- more options that are also great for pet insurance
Lemonade offers best in class pet insurance product with customizable coverage for accidents and illness. The coverage includes, among others, things like medication, diagnostics, and procedures like emergency care and surgeries. Signing up takes just minutes.
Lemonade Pet Insurance offers comprehensive coverage, industry-leading tech, and strong customer service at a great value. Policies are super customizable, so you can build the right policy for your pet without paying for stuff you don’t need.
- Superb technology-led experience
- Offers some of the best value
- Instant claims payout
- Free access to Chewy’s Connect with a Vet service
- Not available everywhere
- Older pets may not qualify
- No exotic pet insurance
But Lemonade doesn’t just stop there. You can also add a Preventative Care package, which can help cover things like wellness exams, heartworm and fecal testing, bloodwork, vaccines, and more. You can also go above and beyond – and get one or more of their add-ons, including vet visit fees, physical therapy, behavioral conditions, dentail illness, and end-of-life and remembrance.
Plans through Lemonade start as low as $10/month, but you can also qualify for an additional discount if you insure your home through Lemonade as well. In addition, Lemonade offers zero-hassle, super-fast claim payment, combined with award winning service.
Their policies are simple, jargon-free and intuitive, and any leftover money is donated to pet-centric charities you choose.
Embrace is among the few to offer “catastrophic” pet insurance plans with high deductibles but supremely affordable rates.
For about the cost of a Netflix subscription, you can get Accident and Illness protection up to $10,000 with a $1,000 deductible and an 80% reimbursement rate; meaning in a rough year for your pet, you can save $7,200 by paying $180 in premiums. Plus, unlike many competitors, Embrace covers most tests, exams, and x-rays. Diagnosing your pet’s health can cost hundreds on its own, so this is a big money saver.
Embrace deserves kudos for their impressive customer service. My own vet staff has had positive experiences with them, and they hold about 4 stars on ConsumerAffairs, which is no small feat for an insurance provider.
Spot is great because there’s no upper limit for enrollment, so even the most senior of pets can be insured.
Spot, however, does advise to start plans as soon as your pet is 8 weeks old so a pre-existing condition does not develop before insurance kicks in. You can cover accident and/or illness, plus preventative care. There’s also a 10% multi-pet discount for added pets. Prices start as low as $10/mo. for cats & kittens and $16/mo. for dogs & puppies.
Spot plans include VetAccess, providing you with immediate access to assistance 24/7 as part of your dog insurance or cat insurance plan. You can ask questions about your pet’s health, behavior, and just overall wellness at no additional cost.
» MORE: Get a quote from Spot.
There’s a variety of best pet insurance options to consider when finding what’s right for you (and your beloved pet). Read on for some also great options that may prefer for more extensive plans or if you have an exotic pet.
If you don’t mind paying extra for superior coverage, Pumpkin is a solid choice. The provider’s plans always have a high reimbursement rate, and their coverage is exceptionally thorough with an expert customer care team.
Pumpkin offers top of the line pet insurance for pet owners that want the very best for their pets. The goal of the company is to provide pet insurance with a holistic approach. Instead of only waiting for the worst to happen, Pumpkin takes preventative measures to help your pet stay healthy at all times.
- Affordable preventative care
- Digital reminders
- Another monthly bill
- Not available in every state
They also have an optional “Preventative Essentials” pack for $11.95 for cats and $18.95 for dogs monthly that includes vaccines (4 for puppies, 2 for dogs, and 1 for cats), an annual wellness exam, and select lab tests to detect problems early.
If your dog or cat has a lot of expensive needs and you’re concerned about coverage gaps, Pumpkin is a solid provider to cover all of the angles. Plus there are no upper age limits or breed exclusions with Pumpkin, and their online claims are quick and simple.
Pawp offers customers unlimited 24/7 telehealth access via video and text, as well as a $3,000 emergency fund to be used towards one emergency per year.
Unlike the other companies on this list, Pawp is not an insurance company. Instead, they consider themselves an alternative to pet insurance. They won’t even deny you service based on common disqualifying factors like your pets’ age, breed, location, or pre-existing conditions. Since Pawp isn’t insurance, you should sign-up for them knowing that routine care, like vaccinations and flea treatments, for example, will not be covered. Additionally, vets can not prescribe your animal medication over telehealth.
Overall, we’d say one of the most attractive things about Pawp is the price, coming in at only $24 per month for up to six pets living in your household.
» MORE: Try the app from Pawp.
Pet Assure is technically a discount card, not an insurance policy. It costs around $10 per month, and you can take it to any of Pet Assure’s in-network providers and receive an immediate 25% discount on all in-house procedures.
In-house procedures can include routine care, vaccines, emergencies, surgeries, cancer treatment, and more with “absolutely no exclusions” (see a full list at the bottom of their homepage). Most notably, it includes all services resulting from your pet’s pre-existing conditions.
If you’ve already scheduled a $2,000 surgery with one of their providers, you can call ahead to verify that the surgery will be covered by Pet Assure, buy a one-month card for $10, and instantly save $400. Some customers have complained that Pet Assure in-network providers are more expensive, rendering the discount moot, but most of PA’s customers seem happy with their purchase.
» MORE: Learn more from Pet Assure.
Healthy Paws covers cats and dogs, and offers a unique value proposition to owners of older pets: no spending caps. As your pet ages and vet bills rise, it doesn’t matter if you spend $10,000 per year or $30,000; Healthy Paws will payout.
You’ll still be on the hook for your deductible amount and 10% to 30% of the bill depending on your policy terms, but if you never want to choose between saving your pet’s life and saving tens of thousands of dollars, Healthy Paws is a good option.
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a nonprofit that offers pet insurance plans ranging from the essential to the comprehensive. They cover dogs, cats, and horses.
ASPCA’s primary competitive advantage is its generous preventative care plan. Routine visits and vaccines can rack up to ~$300 annually, but for $9.95 per month the ASPCA will cover you for up to $250 of those expenses, so it’s essentially a half-off coupon.
Plus, you can trust the ASPCA to provide rock-solid customer service and truly care for your pet’s health. After all, love and support for our four-legged friends is their mission!
Nationwide is dedicated to providing competitive pet insurance; after all, they even had the foresight to swoop in and snag the domain petinsurance.com.
Nationwide offers excellent rates, customer service, and robust coverage through their three primary plans. The Major Medical plan covers accidents, illness, medication, and some hereditary conditions, while the Pet Wellness plan covers preventative care like exams, vaccines, and flea/heartworm protection. However, you can combine both into their robust Whole Pet with Wellness plan.
Finally, Nationwide is one of the scant few pet insurance providers that covers exotic pets. If you’ve got a bird, reptile, or rodent at home, you can cover their bills through Nationwide.
The options for pet insurance are endless and you may want to exhaust as many as you can in your search. Below are additional pet insurance offers in the competition that you can also compare against our recommended options. We’ve included a quick snapshot of each so feel free to look into them more in any of these are of interest.
Paw Protect’s main claim to fame is that its service is offered without paying vet bills up-front. Every customer is given the option to apply for a $2,000 interest-free line of credit to cover your pet’s vet bills.
This is via a virtual Paytient Visa® card that you can pay down your balance on with your claim reimbursement and repay your out-of-pocket expenses at a pace that suits you, up to 12 months with no added interest. Approval is necessary but they claim there’s no catch and that seems to be the case. Note the card still works even if your condition will not be covered and in that case you would have to pay the full amount back.
Trupanion advertises itself as the world’s only provider to pay the bill in real-time at checkout. It’s a widely used pet insurance option with over 1 million ‘pet parents’ and over a 25 year history.
Trupanion allows you to pick any deductible between $0 and $1,000 with deductibles per condition. The deductibles do not renew annually, meaning once you’ve paid your deductible on a covered illness or injury, that same condition gets 90% coverage for life.
Figo features “powerups,” which are additional upgrades to further customize our their pet insurance plans.
Two current options are for wellness and vet exam fees (for accident and illness visits). Respectively, one lets you stay on top of yearly exams and vaccines with more prevantative coverage, and the latter covers the fees associated with treatment beyond preventative care.
Founded in 2005 in-part by a once practicing veterinarian, Pets Best lets you submit claims with downloaded Android device or iOS apps. You can also have Pets Best pay your vet directly for any claim reimbursement amount following filling out a vet direct pay release form.
Pets Best pet insurance plans for dogs and cats cover accidents, illnesses, surgeries, cancer, and much more. They also offer wellness coverage for routine care, and specialized coverage plans. There’s a pet document center and, like some of the best options we’ve already discussed, there’s a 24/7 pet helpline.
How we chose the best pet insurance companies
As a pet owner, I scoured the internet for the top pet insurance providers I’d personally insure my own pet with. To make this list, providers must have scored above average on most of the following metrics:
- Customer service – does the provider have a proven track record of supporting customers? Do they earn not only industry accolades, but high ratings from actual policyholders on sites like trustpilot.com?
- Premiums – simply put, does the provider offer competitive premiums and good value for the dollar?
- Flexible coverage – does the provider offer a generous amount of options, so you can better tailor your policy to your specific needs without paying for coverage you don’t need?
- A.M. Best Rating – does the provider score at least an (A) rating with A.M. Best, which grades insurance providers based upon their ability and efficiency to pay out claims?
- Innovation and altruism – does the provider innovate ways to lower rates and improve the overall experience of being a policyholder? Moreover, do they give back to charitable causes, improving the lives of animals?
- Nationwide support (in some cases, even international) – finally, and quite simply, does the provider have a broad geographical range of coverage?
Most notably, providers with mixed customer service ratings or hidden coverage gaps did not make the list (and there were several).
Who is pet insurance for?
The annual cost of pet ownership can be expensive. Pet insurance is for pet owners that want to be provided peace of mind and ensure they never have to choose between depleting savings and a pet’s health.
If you’re a pet owner not worried about having to pay a large vet bill, you may decide against pet insurance.
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is health insurance for your pet. Pretty much all pet insurance companies will cover cats and dogs, and many will even cover more exotic pets like birds, mice, ferrets, reptiles, and pigs.
Pet insurance shares much in common with human insurance. Rates vary by risk factor including a pet’s age and pre-existing conditions, and the product exists to help protect you from scary, four- and five-figure vet bills.
What does pet insurance cover?
Pet insurance typically covers the following:
Accidents and emergencies
Back when I was in high school my dog ate the bottom of our family Christmas tree and had an allergic reaction. His total vet bill, including surgery, medication, and monitoring, was well over a grand. My dog didn’t have a job with TSA or the military so we had to foot the bill, but thankfully, my folks had insurance.
While an initial diagnosis can be under $250, any successive treatment can skyrocket the cost of a single emergency visit well past $1,000. The following are common reasons why your pet might have to go in for an emergency visit that are also covered by most insurance policies: allergies, wounds from fights, getting hit by a car or bike, digestive issues, breathing troubles, poisoning from eating the wrong foods, etc.
Aside from emergencies, pet insurance also covers many illnesses resulting from a non-pre existing condition (more on that below).
Common illnesses typically covered by pet insurance include cancer, infections, hyperthyroidism, UTIs, and digestive problems.
Radiation therapy for cancer alone can cost upwards of $10,000 for a pet, so a $40 per month policy during your pet’s sensitive golden years could quickly pay for itself.
What doesn’t pet insurance cover?
Below are common expenses that typically aren’t covered by a standard pet insurance policy. Some providers, however, may include them in supplementary insurance.
Spaying and neutering
According to veterinarians, spaying and neutering your pets is the best way to control this population growth. Pet insurance typically does not cover spaying or neutering surgeries since they’re elective, making the process more out of reach.
Your question probably is: Is there any that do? The answer is some major pet insurance companies do cover neutering in basic or as an add-on.
Pre-existing or hereditary conditions
Most insurers won’t cover any ailments your pet had before you purchased coverage, but there are exceptions; Embrace will cover curable preexisting conditions under certain circumstances.
They also may not cover common genetic conditions common within your pet’s breed. For example, bulldogs and mastiffs are prone to experiencing hip dysplasia in later stages of life. Persian cats are prone to polycystic kidney disease, or PKD.
It won’t be fun, but I recommend making a list of hereditary conditions common among your pet’s breed, and asking insurance companies which will and won’t be covered.
If your pet exhibits excessive fighting, digging, barking/meowing, or relieving themselves in the house, you might take them in for a diagnosis to determine if there’s an underlying medical cause.
If there is (i.e. a bladder infection), your insurance will probably cover testing and treatment costs. But if the vet determines that it’s simply a result of poor behavior, your insurance company may not cover diagnostic, training, and therapy costs.
Grooming, dental, and other routine/preventative care
Your pet insurance policy may not cover grooming expenses, dental cleanings and procedures, and regular visits to the vet. But again, there are exceptions, so if these are a big annual expense for you, look for providers offering comprehensive plans and supplemental policies.
What is the cost of pet insurance?
Pet insurance policies can range from $10 to $75 monthly.
A $15 per month plan might include accidents and illness coverage only, a $1,000 deductible, and a $10,000 annual reimbursement limit.
A $75 per month plan might include accident, illness, dental, routine, curable pre-existing conditions, and behavior coverage for a $200 deductible and a $30,000 reimbursement limit.
If you’re like me, I’m not looking to check my dog into the Ritz-Carlton; just get bankruptcy insurance, so I’m grateful that “catastrophic” plans exist to cover just the big stuff.
Most important features of pet insurance
When browsing your pet insurance options, what variables are most important?
You should never purchase an insurance policy, pet, or otherwise, without carefully combing through each line item of coverage. You should also find out what conditions your pet has or is likely to have in their lifetime to ensure you’ll be covered for the most likely and most expensive procedures.
If you’re unable to find details about your coverage, call up your provider and ask. Due diligence during the shopping phase could save you thousands when it counts.
Pet insurance deductibles commonly range from $200 to $1,000. Even a “catastrophic” plan with a $1,000 deductible can be useful, since emergency visits can cost $4,000, and chemo can cost $10,000.
If you’re shopping for comprehensive coverage for a healthy pet, keep in mind that routine care can be as cheap as $300 annually for a cat or dog. Ensure that your deductible doesn’t apply to preventative/routine care, or else you’ll still be paying for it out of pocket.
When securing pet insurance quotes online, you’ll also see some sort of annual limit slider. Annual limits are the maximum amount your provider will pay out in claims each year. Naturally, the lower the limit, the cheaper the monthly premium.
$15,000 is a perfectly safe annual limit for most pets, but if you’re anticipating some extremely expensive vet bills for cancer treatment or multiple surgeries, you may want to raise the limit to $30,000 or insure with Healthy Paws, who has no limits on any policy.
Lastly, like private health insurance companies for humans, pet insurance companies may have provider networks. Before purchasing a new policy, be sure that you can find an in-network provider nearby with:
- Good reviews.
- The right expertise to service your pet’s needs.
Summary: Best pet insurance companies
Don’t wait to think about pet insurance until you need it. Deciding on if you need pet insurance and which is the best option for you shouldn’t be a last minute decision.
For the cost of a Netflix subscription, you can purchase a superb package from our pick for pet insurance, Lemonade. Or, if you can afford a more holistic plan to protect your pet into their golden years, you can purchase an extensive plan from Pumpkin.