A significant portion of animal ownership expenses is veterinary costs. One trip for a dog can be in the neighborhood of $200+ and can easily be higher if your pet experienced an injury or illness. If your pet needs surgery that can be at least $400+.
Managing the cost of owning your pet and being prepared for any unexpected veterinary emergencies is a good reason to enroll your pet into an insurance plan. Policies are usually low monthly bills, but can pay out up to tens of thousands of dollars in an unexpected veterinary bill. This could be a live-saving operation for your beloved pet.
With so many insurance plans on the market, we wanted to round up the best plan using a scoring system that evaluates what the policy offers, the value, pricing, their customer service and much more. We found these to be the best option from research.
9 Of The Best Pet Insurance Plans For 2021
- Best Overall: Pet Assure
- Best for Routine Care: PetFirst
- Best for Discounts: GEICO
- Best for Emergencies: Embrace
- Best for Multiple Pets: ASPCA
- Best for Holistic Care: Figo
- Bst for Older Dogs: Hartville
- Best for Chronic Conditions: 24PetWatch
- Best for Service Members: USAA
|Dogs, Cats, Exoctics
|$2,000 to $10.000
|$200 to $1,000
|$5,000 to $30,000
|Must be a member
|Must be a member to access
|Must be a member to access
|$200 to $1,000
|$,5000 to $30,000
|$100 to $500
|$5,000 to No Cap
|$100 to $1,000
|$3,000 to $20,000
|$100 to $750
|$5,000 to No Cap
|$100 to $500
|$3,000 to $10,000
Best Overall – Pet Assure
Pet Assure is not under a standard pet insurance umbrella. It has a low cost and the flexibility to make it a top pick for owners of many types of pets.
Pet Assure earns the position of best overall because it offers many of the same benefits as traditional insurance policies and avoids most drawbacks.
Not being constrained by the limitations of insurance regulations, Pet Assure can provide flexible plans that are not subject to annual coverage limitations, deductibles or waiting periods. Most standard insurance policies don\’t include treatments related to accidents, illnesses and preventive care, but this one does.
Pet Assure members simply need to visit a participating vet, present their membership information instead of paying for veterinary costs out of their pocket.
The drawback to this is the Pet Assure network consists of approximately 5,000 vets throughout the entire US. Traditional insurers usually cover bills from any licensed veterinary. Pet Assure only reimburses 25% of the vet costs whereas compared to 70% to 90% offered by standard policies. However, Pet Assure has a lo monthly cost of $11.95 ($8.25 if you pay annually) for one dog and $9.95 ($6.58 if you pay annually) for one cat. This is a fraction of the cost of the average pet insurance premium.
Best For Routine Care – PetFirst
PetFirst has a wellness rider that will give you the best value for routine care of your pet with flexible benefits that you can customize to your average yearly expenditure.
If your pet is current on all their booster shots and never missed one, then you probably want to help cover expensive wellness expenses. PetFirst is probably a great bet. They have a routine care rider that can be added to an accident and illness plan that reimburses for things like checkups, vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, and more. this makes it the best for routine care from those we have reviewed.
PetFirst has five tiers to their wellness plans that are available with yearly benefits starting around $125 and up to $575. Remember that each prevention treatment has their own individual limitation and if you have any unused benefits, they will not carry over to the following year. This makes PetFirst\’s routine care plan a great way to stay accountable and make sure you are staying current on your pet\’s wellness.
We found that the company\’s accident and illness policies are also reasonably priced, starting at $24 monthly. This is because yearly limits are a little lower than competitors with a maximum of $10,000 per year. They do not have an option to purchase an accident-only policy, though. PetFirst says they have a shorter waiting period for accident and illness coverage when compared to its competitors.
Best For Discounts – GEICO
GEICO offers the most pet insurance discounts than their competitors, which includes lower rates for advance paying, multiple pet enrollment, as well as neutering or spaying your dog or cat.
Best For Emergencies – Embrace
If there is an injury, Embrace provides multiple plans that can cover your pet\’s emergency bills at any licensed vet hospital. Benefits for an accident start after only 2 days, which is a shorter waiting period than its competitors.
Emergency veterinary costs are one of the main reasons pet owners carry insurance. In Reviewing Embrace, we found that they offer the best solution for emergencies through its accident-only policies and accident and illness policies. Any licensed vet clinic or hospital can be used to cover your pet\’s emergency expenses for both plans. Additionally, both policies start 2 days after enrollment.
Embrace in 2019, launched their Pet insurance app that offers claims access and coverage management, 24/7 links to pet parent Pet Help Line – this is a big plus if you have a vital pet emergency. This helpline is accessible via phone, chat, and email.
Upon signing up, Embrace will offer a free medical history review to examine your pet\’s records for any potential pre-existing conditions. This will alleviate any surprises and you will be able to back out of coverage if you learn certain treatments could be excluded.
Best For Multiple Pets – ASPCA
ASPCA will cover dogs and cats, but it offers a 10% discount on multi-pet households, making this insurance the best choice for multiple furry pet households.
You are probably aware that the ASPCA is an animal rights nonprofit, but they have also teamed up with the insurance company Crum & Forster offering pet insurance policies to dow owners and cat owners. With households with multiple pets, the ASPCA offers a 10% discount for each subsequent pet that is signed up together, and that is why it is the best for multiple pet households.
The ASPCA has several different plans available. Dogs and cats can get accident-only and accident plus illness options. Electing optional wellness riders that can cover various types of preventive care is dependent on the species.
Through the ASPCA, getting care for your entire household of pets is very easy. Just visit any licensed vet in the U.S. or Canada and save a copy of the vet bill. Once you have paid it, it only takes a few minutes to take a photo and upload it to the ASPCA\’s free My Pet Insurance app.
The ASPCA pet insurance has a lot of great qualities, but stops short of offering unlimited plans. Annual benefits for an accident and illness can go up to $30,000 for cats and dogs, and there is also an unlimited annual benefit option for those who want the most possible coverage. Each individual treatment does have its own annual limit called scheduled benefits.
Best For Holistic Care – FIGO
Figo is one of the friendliest insurers for pet parents who seek alternative treatments for their furry member like acupuncture and chiropractic care.
Alternative treatments like holistic treatments are quickly gaining speed worldwide in human medication, yet it\’s taken a bit longer for veterinarians to catch up. Consequently, numerous pet insurance firms will not cover any kind of alternate or alternative care. Figo, our champion for the best all-natural treatment, is an exemption. Acupuncture, as well as chiropractic care, are covered, so long as they\’re carried out by a qualified veterinary specialist. Other sorts of alternative treatments are still left out, nevertheless, this is still far better than various other pet insurance companies.
With Figo, acupuncture and chiropractic treatments are covered under the basic accident and illness policy. You\’ll additionally have access to a 24/7 online vet if you have any kind of concerns regarding your pet\’s health.
Figo has a customer service department that is easy to get in touch with across the board. You can get an agent via phone, text, live chat, email and on Twitter. They even have a Figo Pet Cloud app that is also a great way to connect with the community as a whole by sharing your tips and connecting with other great pet owners.
Offering 3 accident and illness plans, Figo covers most treatments and reimburses expenses up to 100%, although none of their plans include an exam fee. Exam fee coverage can be purchased through a rider for an additional amount per month. You must request a quote for pricing.
Best For Older Dogs – Hartville
It does not matter the age of your pet. Hartville will allow them to sign up for a policy. You will pay the same rate for accidents as with younger animals. The best deal for older dogs.
It not uncommon for pet insurers to have age limitations at which a pet can be enrolled in insurance. This is usually somewhere between 8 to 12 years old. If you have been procrastinating insuring your pet until later in life, Hartville will still welcome them wholeheartedly, which makes them the top pick for older dogs. With no maximum age for initial enrollment, your pet\’s age is just one of the determining factors in your initial premium. The other factors include location, breed and species.
Illness coverage is on thing that increases as your pet ages. This does get significantly more expensive as the pet reaches the age of 5. This is due to older pets are just more likely to develop a serious illness with each passing year.
Hartville\’s accident-only policy can be opted for to make sure you are protected against unforeseen circumstances, and you will just pay for illness care out of pocket.
You can request a quote as premiums still are not cheap. Make sure to be aware that accident benefits won\’t begin until 14 days after enrollment, which is a longer waiting period than usual for the industry.
Best For Chronic Conditions – 24PetWatch
Should your pet battle a chronic condition, 24PetWatch has a $20,00 maximum annual limit. This should be more than sufficient to cover the treatment. Many pre-existing conditions are no longer excluded from their coverage after 24 months without any symptoms.
Should your pet be diagnosed with a chronic condition, long-term financial ramifications can be downright crippling, even if you have a pet policy. Insurance policies do exclude conditions that are pre-existing prior to the coverage start date. This can also have an imposition of annual limitations on the services you can receive. 24PetWatch was chosen as the best policy for chronic conditions due to the insurer offers high limits and is willing to forgive certain pre-existing conditions after 24 months of being free of symptoms.
With 24PetWatch\’s ultra-high annual limit of $20,000, this is more than sufficient for the majority of cases, thus giving you enough room to pursue a treatment for even the most serious conditions like cancer. If your pet goes without symptoms for 24 months, the company will also forgive such conditions.
An example would be if your pet had chronic ear infections as a puppy but has not suffered another infection for 2 years, 24PetWatch could cover treatment in spite of a prior history with your pet with the same condition.
However, there can be some red tape to get around. One is if your pet has not seen a veterinarian within the past 12 months of when you started coverage. A vet exam is required within the first month of enrollment to check for any possible pre-existing conditions. Age limits are also a factor. The maximum age limits of 10 years for dogs and 12 years for cats at initial enrollment. Lastly, premiums are higher than the norm. But 24PetWatch is still a great option for pets with chronic conditions since the accident or illness plans include treatment for hereditary and congenital conditions, as well as, a bunch of other coverages: exam and diagnostic fees, hospitalization and surgeries, physical and rehabilitative therapies, lab testing, X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, ultrasounds, prescription medications and food and alternative or holistic treatments.
This provider is the go-to provider for all types of insurance, and their pet policies are no exception. 25% discount off their premiums for qualifying pet parents.
When facing relocation and deployments, military families have unique needs. Since 1922, USAA has served service members and their families with various types of insurance policies, including pet insurance. Pet owners in the military can take their cat or dog to any licensed veterinarian in the world wherever they are stationed. This is why USAA is chosen as the best pet insurer for service members.
Having several pet plans to choose from are administered via Embrace, which includes accident-only coverage, illness and accident, and wellness benefits. Pricing is available via an online quote on their site page. Eligible members can qualify for between 15% to 25% discount based on our military status. Upon signup, a free medical history will be evaluated by an insurance professional to look at any pre-existing conditions. If an exclusion in the future arises, you will have 30 days to opt out of your coverage and request a refund.
Even having as many benefits in having USAA pet insurance, there are some drawbacks. Claims do take up to 15 business days to be processed and paid (average of 5 days to process and up to 10 days for a check to arrive vial mail). Some of the reason for this is due to the policies are administered by Embrace as the third-party pet insurer. Also, USAA does not cover pet policies with unlimited annual benefits. They are applying a yearly cap. The cap amount will depend on which plan you select.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pet insurance is a policy that will help protect you financially in the unexpected event of veterinary expenses. Each month a premium is paid to the insurance company for coverage. Should your pet get injured or sick, you submit the veterinary bill to the insurance company for full or partial payment according to your insurance plan. Your plan cold have a deductible that needs to be paid before the insurance company starts to cover costs. After that, eligible vet costs will be covered up to your policy\’s annual limit.
Pet insurance is a policy that will help protect you financially in the unexpected event of veterinary expenses. Each month a premium is paid to the insurance company for coverage. Should your pet become injured or sick, you submit the veterinary bill to the insurance company for full or partial payment according to your insurance plan. Your plan could have a deductible that needs to be paid before the insurance company starts to cover costs. After that, eligible vet costs will be covered up to your policy\’s annual limit.
In a recent interview with Dr. Doug Kenney, a retired veterinarian and moderator of the Your Pet Insurance Guide blog, he said \”Pet health insurance is technically property and casualty (P&C) insurance and not in the health insurance category. Despite this, it is health insurance. The current model is reimbursement insurance. You pay the veterinarian, file a claim and the insurance company will reimburse you an amount minus the deductible and copay and any uncovered expenses.\”
Depending on the plan you choose, pet insurance covers different types of treatments. Accident-only policies only pay for bills that result from an injury, for example, if your pet is hit by a car or ingests a foreign object. Accident and illness policies cover these injuries in addition to most illnesses, from common viruses to serious diseases like cancer.
There are some insurers who give pet parents the option to add on wellness coverage. This pays for some or all of your pet’s preventive care costs like vaccinations and annual checkups. Without a wellness rider, however, these treatments generally aren’t covered by a standard policy.
In most cases, it is not. An exception that may occur is if you rely on a guide dog or service animal for a disability. According to the IRS, the costs of feeding and caring for a legitimate service animal fall under tax-deductible expenses, which can include an insurance policy that helps pay for veterinary expenses. This rule doesn\’t apply to emotional support animals though.
That is a tough question. It is very hard to say if pet insurance will pay for itself because of an unpredictable future. In a perfect world, your pet should not suffer any major illnesses or injuries that would require an extensive vet care. However, with all insurance, paying a nominal fee to be covered will eliminate the risk of needing to pay thousands in the unlikely event that a critical emergency happens. Many pet owners consider it is worth the cost knowing they’ll never face a time that they can’t afford a life-saving procedure for their beloved four-legged family member.
It should also be noted that pet insurance isn\’t a one-size-fits-all type of insurance. Make sure you choose the pet insurance company and policy that fits the best needs of the pet, what the owner wants and the available budget for the pet\’s health expenses.
An example could be that your pet gets hit by a car and you rush it to the nearest vet hospital. After an emergency surgery, your total bill comes to $2,500. If you don\’t have pet insurance, you would have to pay the full amount out of your pocket. In the event you have insurance and had a mid-tier policy with a $500 deductible and an 90% rate of reimbursement, you\’d only be responsible for approximately $900 out of your pocket.