Table of Contents Hide
- What is Pet Insurance?
- Types of Pet Insurance
- Exactly How Does Pet Insurance Work?
- What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
- What Doesn’t Pet Insurance Cover?
- Best Pet Insurance 2023
- What Age Can a Pet No Longer Get Insurance?
- What is the Average Cost of Pet Insurance?
- How to Choose the Right Pet Insurance Company
- How Soon After Purchase May Pet Insurance be Used?
- Should Vets Recommend Pet Insurance?
- What Type of Insurance Policy is Best for Pets?
- FAQs about Pet Insurance
- How much does pet insurance cost?
- What are some other pet insurance companies?
- Do Pet Insurance Plans Only Cover Cats and Dogs?
- Do Pet Insurance Plans Offer Discounts?
- Related Articles
You may be looking for ways to improve your household’s financial security. With pet insurance, you can protect yourself financially if your pet gets sick and needs expensive medical care.
While pet insurance plans may cover the same things, including injuries and hereditary and congenital conditions, there are differences in benefits, prices, and extras.
The best companies for pet insurance offer full coverage for accidents and illnesses, as well as flexible premiums and deductibles and clear terms. They also provide discounts for insuring multiple pets, some preventive care coverage, and add-on riders for added security.
What is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is a type of health insurance policy for your pet that covers medical bills as well as other charges. The insurance plans are often reimbursement-based, which means you pay for the pet’s vet fees up front and then submit a claim to the insurance company.
Pet insurance can help pay for your pet’s medical care, with many policies covering up to 90% of vet bills. However, the proportion varies depending on the insurer and your preferences. Some policies also have annual or lifetime payment caps, which can mean that some bills aren’t covered at all.
Exclusions and complications may help explain why. According to a March 2021 study of pet ownership, only 25% of pet owners have pet insurance. It can also be hard to find full coverage for your dog or cat at a price you can afford each month.
Shopping around for pet insurance will allow you to make an informed decision that is best for your pet and your budget. to help you save time. We’ve compiled a list of the best pet insurance companies based on your specific needs and priorities.
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Types of Pet Insurance
- Accident and Illness Insurance: These policies cover your pet in the case that they are injured or falls ill.
- Wellness Insurance: Wellness policies generally cover more routine issues like exams, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and nail trims.
- Exotic Pet Insurance: This type of insurance covers pets that aren’t cats or dogs. Very few companies offer this type of insurance.
Most pet insurance policies cover you in the event that your pet is injured or becomes ill. This is sometimes divided into a separate accident or illness plans.
Policies, plans, and riders for wellness are uncommon. Some companies, such as the ASPCA and PetFirst. Provide routine care or preventative care riders, whereas others, such as Nationwide, provide separate wellness insurance policies. One thing to keep an eye out for is that some companies, such as Embrace, provide a wellness rewards program.
When researching different companies that offer wellness add-ons, look to see if the wellness plans are insurance policies or not.
The third type of insurance is intended to protect pets other than cats and dogs, such as birds, reptiles, and small animals. Nationwide is the only company in our rating that has such a policy. Its Avian & Exotic Pet policy includes coverage for accidents, illnesses, and some preventative care, such as exams.
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Exactly How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Most pet insurance policies require policyholders to pay an annual deductible before the policy begins paying for covered veterinary care. After that, you’ll still pay your vet out of pocket and get reimbursed by your pet’s insurance company. If your annual maximum payout is $5,000, for example, the insurance company will issue you reimbursement checks until they reach that amount. The maximum payment for some plans is set arbitrarily high.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
The majority of the pet insurance policies in our rating are intended to cover your cat or dog in the event of an accident or illness, but they are not intended to cover routine veterinary care. This means that if your pet becomes ill or is injured, the policy will pay for some of your veterinary expenses. However, if your pet needs routine care such as vaccinations, dental care, or annual exams, the policy will not cover the costs.
There are a few companies that offer pet insurance policies that cover dental care and other preventative care, such as Nationwide, or riders for main policies, such as PetFirst.
What Doesn’t Pet Insurance Cover?
- Pre-existing conditions
- Lost or stolen pets
- Food and supplements
- Exam fees
- Preventative and elective procedure
- Boarding and kennel fees
- Breeding costs
Best Pet Insurance 2023
Here is the best pet insurance to look out for in 2023:
- Pets Best
- Healthy Paws
Spot makes it simple to maximize coverage for your pet. It is one of the few companies that offer policies with full (100 percent) coverage, which means you are not responsible for any bill co-payments. Furthermore, the company provides a very low ($100) deductible option, which reduces your out-of-pocket payments for care even further.
However, selecting either a low co-payment or a low deductible will result in higher policy premiums. And Spot’s prices are already higher than the average for young pets, despite the fact that the company has no upper age limit for insuring new animals, which may make it a good choice if your furry companions are elderly.
Pumpkin provides low-cost plans with the option of adding preventative care packs for young cats and dogs that aren’t covered by standard coverage. For example, the puppy preventive care packs offered by the company include one annual wellness exam fee, four puppy vaccines, and one yearly fecal test.
Pumpkin will also reimburse you for up to four vaccines your puppy may have received prior to being insured under the preventive pack, as well as cover parasite lab tests. These add-ons, known as Pumpkin Preventive Essentials, are not, however, available in all states.
Because of its 100 percent reimbursement option, FIGO allows pet owners to reduce their copayments to 0%. (In general, the lowest copayment offered by other providers is 10%.) Figo does not impose annual limits, but it does have a lifetime maximum – that is, how much it will reimburse you over the course of your pet’s life.
Expect to pay higher-than-average premiums for a policy with a 0% copay, unlimited payout benefits, or both. Figo’s coverage limitations on hereditary conditions, as well as the lack of rider options, are also notable drawbacks. Additional coverage for vet exam fees is available, but not for preventative care or wellness.
The Figo Pet Cloud app includes extensive mobile support. You can use the app to contact a licensed veterinarian 24 hours a day, manage your pet’s insurance documents, and make payments, among other things.
Embrace is willing to provide accident and illness coverage for pets up to the age of 15. After that age, you can still buy insurance, but only for accidents. That is somewhat unusual, as most companies will not insure pets over the age of ten in any way.
As a separate policy, Embrace does not provide wellness benefits. Instead, pet owners can enroll in the Wellness Rewards program and contribute a set amount to cover preventive care costs. Because unused funds do not roll over to the following year, make sure your annual contributions correspond to the expected level of preventative care.
Another advantage of Embrace pet insurance is that its deductibles are getting smaller. If you do not receive a claim reimbursement each year, Embrace will reduce your annual deductible by $50.
#5. Pets Best
Pets Best provides accident and illness insurance as well as a variety of wellness plans to cover your pet’s routine care.
Most insurers require pets to be at least eight weeks old before they can be insured, but Pets Best will insure pets as young as seven weeks. There is no upper age limit, so you can get coverage for senior pets as well.
Insurers do not always cover mobility treatments, but Pets Best covers wheelchairs and prosthetic devices when prescribed by a veterinarian to treat a covered accident or illness.
Pets Best, on the other hand, has bilateral exclusions. If your pet has previously been diagnosed with a condition on one side of its body, such as cataracts in one eye, hip dysplasia, or luxating patellas, Pets Best will not cover the condition if it affects the other side later; it is considered a pre-existing condition.
Lemonade provides a comprehensive accident and illness policy that can be supplemented with a preventative care rider for annual checkups, vaccines, and heartworm and parasite screening. There is also a separate rider available to cover vet exam fees and alternative treatments such as acupuncture.
Excess premium payments are also donated to nonprofits chosen by policyholders by Lemonade.
For cats and dogs, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides accident-only, accident and illness, and preventive care. Riding enthusiasts can insure their horses as well, but only in a few states.
The ASPCA’s premium rates are among the most affordable in the industry, and the company is also more flexible on certain policy terms than its competitors.
While other policies limit coverage for hereditary or congenital conditions based on your pet’s age at enrollment, the ASPCA guarantees coverage regardless of your pet’s age at enrollment, as long as the conditions aren’t pre-diagnosed. Curable pre-existing conditions are also covered, as long as your pet has been symptom-free for at least 180 days. Other companies may require you to wait up to a year.
This insurer also falls short in terms of claims processing time. Pet care is costly, and waiting 30 days for insurance reimbursement isn’t a strong selling point when some competitors process claims in a matter of days.
Trupanion provides a single insurance policy for both cats and dogs. In addition to standard benefits such as diagnostic tests, surgery, hospitalization, and prescription medications, coverage includes alternative treatments, dental illnesses, prosthetic devices, and prescription food.
You do not need to file a claim if your veterinarian uses Trupanion’s direct payment software; Trupanion pays the vet directly. Policyholders no longer have to worry about making large upfront payments or submitting reimbursement claims, which are common in the pet insurance industry.
Trupanion is unaffordable and unflexible – premiums are high, and there is only one policy option. Its coverage, on the other hand, is extensive. If you can afford higher-than-average premiums, your pet will receive 90% reimbursement on all eligible claims and there are no payout limits per incident, year, or lifetime.
Nationwide is the only pet insurance provider of its size to provide an Avian and Exotic Pet plan. Most birds, reptiles, and small mammals, including goats and pot-bellied pigs, can be covered. (However, any animal not explicitly listed on the Nationwide website, including those listed under venomous or endangered species, is ineligible.)
Exotic pet owners must call 844-244-3691 for a quote or enroll, but dog and cat insurance can be obtained directly from Nationwide’s website. Nationwide offers three accident and illness policy options, as well as two wellness care packages, for these pets.
#10. Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws has a single accident and illness policy for both cats and dogs. There are no per-incident, annual, or lifetime benefit caps, and you can select a deductible of $100 to $500.
Healthy Paws’ mobile app allows for quick claim processing, and most claims are processed within two days. If you cannot afford the initial veterinary bill, it also provides a direct payment option rather than reimbursement.
Healthy Paws is best for pets that are enrolled when they are young, as coverage options and reimbursement rates for senior pets are more limited.
What Age Can a Pet No Longer Get Insurance?
Finding pet insurance can be more challenging as your pet ages. If your pet is older than 10, you should shop around for insurance that has a greater maximum age limit, or one that has no age limit at all.
Puppies and dogs often pay $25 monthly for pet insurance that provides yearly coverage of $5,000.
The average annual premium for unlimited coverage on a dog or puppy is $38, and on a cat it’s $35.
What is the Average Cost of Pet Insurance?
A Forbes Advisor poll found that 42% of dog owners who do not have pet insurance and are unlikely to acquire pet insurance in the next three months claimed the primary reason is because they think it is too expensive.
Insurance for pets is similar to human health insurance in that it covers unexpected medical costs and other losses. Most pet insurance policies function on a reimbursement basis, meaning that you will pay for your pet’s veterinary care out of pocket and then file a claim to your insurance provider for payment.
How to Choose the Right Pet Insurance Company
When deciding on an insurance company for your pet’s health insurance, consider the following:
- What type of policy do I need?
- Will it provide coverage for the possible future health conditions of my pet?
- What type of deductible does it come with?
- What are the payout limits?
In our rating, the most common type of policy is for pet accidents and illnesses only. While many people assume that routine care will be covered in a pet insurance plan, as is often the case with human health insurance, this is more of an exception than the rule in pet insurance. Items such as spaying and neutering, microchipping, deworming, vaccinations, and nail trims are unlikely to be covered if you choose an accident-and-injury-only plan.
Following that, you should carefully review which conditions, diagnostic tests, and treatments are covered for your pet. If you have a breed that is predisposed to certain hereditary conditions, such as congenital conditions or hip and elbow dysplasia, see if the company you are considering offers coverage for that. It should be noted that if your pet is currently exhibiting symptoms of a condition or has previously displayed symptoms of a condition, this will be considered a pre-existing condition and will most likely not be covered by any of the companies.
How Soon After Purchase May Pet Insurance be Used?
Accidental and medical coverage often kicks in within 14 days with the majority of pet insurance policies (although some plans can take as long as 30 days).
Should Vets Recommend Pet Insurance?
Unless the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) gives them permission to do so, veterinarians and veterinary nurses shouldn’t make it seem like they promote or recommend a certain insurance.
What Type of Insurance Policy is Best for Pets?
Lifetime coverage is the greatest dog insurance because the coverage limitations do not expire. Protection against chronic or recurrent diseases throughout your dog’s life span is ensured by annual renewal limitations. In terms of insurance, Max Benefit is typically considered to be the next best option.
The younger your pet is when you enroll them, the more valuable their insurance will be—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enroll an older animal or one with a hereditary condition. Even though most insurance plans do not cover wellness visits, which are the most common costs for young pets, the lower premiums at younger ages likely make starting early worthwhile. It’s also a good idea to get a policy as soon as possible because getting new coverage is often far more expensive than keeping an existing one.
FAQs about Pet Insurance
How much does pet insurance cost?
Based on the sample quotes we received for four-year-old animals, we discovered that pet insurance costs typically range between $17 and $50 per month for dogs and $9 to $35 per month for cats.
What are some other pet insurance companies?
While we recommend any of the pet insurance providers listed in this review, there are a few others worth mentioning, including Pets Best and Figo.
Do Pet Insurance Plans Only Cover Cats and Dogs?
No, we have two companies in our rating that offer insurance policies for animals other than cats and dogs. Nationwide has a policy for birds and other exotic pets, and ASPCA Pet Health Insurance has plans for horses.
Do Pet Insurance Plans Offer Discounts?
Yes, many pet insurance providers provide discounts. Many companies offer discounts when you insure multiple pets to help make policies more affordable.
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