Pet insurance companies provide pet owners peace of mind by enabling them to make decisions about their pet’s medical care based on what’s best for the animal—and not what they have in the bank. They reduce the emotional and financial toll that comes with unexpected medical costs, and can even make routine care more manageable.
But with so many pet insurance providers and plans available in the US, finding the best option can leave you feeling a little like you’re chasing your own tail. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you navigate the world of pet insurance. We’ll cover all the most important considerations as you shop, and take a look at the top players in the industry to help make the best choice for your family.
The 5 Most Important Considerations When Shopping Pet Insurance Companies
If you’re like most pet parents, you want pet insurance so you can give your pet the care he or she needs without being restricted by the expense. But not every pet insurance plan is the same, and what is best for one fur family may not be the best for another. To help you refine your search, here are some of the most important factors to consider:
Every pet insurance provider covers different aspects of care so you’ll want to identify what is most important to you then make sure the provider and plan you select checks those boxes. Here are some types of protection you might want from your pet insurance plan:
- Accidents and injury protection
- Hereditary and congenital disorders
- Chronic conditions
- Behavioral issues
- Prescription medications
- Diagnostic testing
- Routine care
You may want to do some research on your pet’s specific breed to identify any health conditions he or she may be at increased risk of getting, then look for pet insurance that covers care for them.
Many insurance companies have coverage limitations that can be an issue if your pet needs a type of care that is excluded. Some don’t cover animals of certain ages or breeds, while others won’t cover pre-existing conditions, for example. Since these exclusions can be a dealbreaker for some pet owners, it’s critical that you know the limitations of any pet insurance plan you’re considering.
The best insurance plan is one that provides the coverage you need at a price you can afford. But as with human health insurance, there are a few different costs to consider when shopping for the best plan for your budget. Pet insurance requires you to pay a premium, which is basically the price of the policy, as well as a deductible, which is the amount you must spend out-of-pocket per incident or policy term before the insurance coverage kicks in. Some companies may offer higher premiums and lower deductibles, while others may do the opposite. While some pet insurance providers have set payment structures, others offer a level of customization, enabling subscribers to structure their expenses in a way that works for them.
Other cost considerations include the co-payment, which is the portion of the veterinary bills you will be expected to pay; and the annual or lifetime limits, which are the maximum amounts the provider will cover within a year or over your pet’s lifetime.
4) Customer Service
It’s important to know that you can always reach a customer service representative when you have questions about your policy. Make sure the hours and contact options of potential providers work for you.
5) Claims & Reimbursement Timelines
The amount of time you have to file a claim and the average time for reimbursement can vary greatly across providers. Make sure you’re comfortable with these aspects of any plan you choose.
The Best Pet Insurance Companies By Animal
Here’s a look at which providers offer the best coverage for specific animals:
Best Pet Insurance Companies for Dogs
There are several pet insurance plans that offer great coverage and make access to good care easier and more financially feasible for dog owners. Fetch has one of the most comprehensive pet insurance plans for dogs. Plus, they offer up to 90 percent reimbursement, and they give subscribers the freedom to seek care from any vet of their choosing. Pumpkin is another excellent choice because they have a solid selection of coverage options for a wide variety of issues, including rarely covered vet exams, surgeries and dental illnesses. Plus, unlike many other insurance companies, their coverage doesn’t decline with age, and there is no extended waiting period for knee injuries or hip dysplasia. Finally, Wagmo is a great choice since they offer one of the highest reimbursement rates in the industry (up to 100 percent), which means more money back on covered healthcare expenses.
Best Pet Insurance for Cats
Cat insurance tends to be just as comprehensive as dog insurance, but is often much less expensive. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is an excellent pick for cat owners. They offer protection for a wide range of conditions and injuries, and they offer some of the most affordable plans and deductibles. ASPCA also offers an accident-only plan, which is great for indoor cat owners who just want an extra safety net in case of an emergency. Fetch, Embrace Pumpkin and Wagmo are other great choices for cat insurance.
Best Pet Insurance for Exotic Pets
If you have exotic pets like birds, ferrets or guinea pigs, your pet insurance options may be a little more limited. But Nationwide Bird & Exotic Pet Insurance is a great option. It covers accidents, illnesses, exams, prescriptions, X-rays and more for a broad range of exotic animals.
Comprehensive List of Pet Insurance Companies
Here’s a list of some of some of the highest rated pet insurance providers on the market today:
Offering comprehensive coverage for both dogs and cats, plus flexible payment options that enable subscribers to customize a plan to fit their budgets, Fetch is a popular pick among pet parents. The company offers direct deposit for fast reimbursement and an easy-to-use app, which includes details about your plan and real-time insight into claim status. And, subscribers can choose their own vet and still get reimbursed for care.
There’s a reason Pumpkin was voted “Best Pet Insurance for Comprehensive Coverage” in 2021 by BusinessInsider.com: The company offers robust plans that include coverage for conditions that many other plans exclude, plus no breed or upper age restrictions. They offer a 90 percent reimbursement rate for all pets aged eight weeks and up, an array of annual deductible options, and unlimited maximum annual payout. Pumpkin also offers a multi-pet discount for those with a few furry friends in need of coverage.
Embrace offers up to 90 percent reimbursement plus unlimited maximum annual payout. They also offer customizable coverage focused on treatment and prevention, dental illness coverage, and coverage for breed-specific and curable pre-existing conditions. Claims processing is fast, and is managed through a convenient mobile app, and 24/7 pet Telehealth support is provided.
Lemonade is a top-rated insurance provider offering renters, homeowners, car, pet and life products insurance throughout the U.S. and Europe. They offer comprehensive coverage that includes procedures like neutering, microchipping and flea medication. They offer multi-pet discounts, and subscribers can choose their own veterinarian—all licensed vets in the U.S. are covered.
5) ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
Offering an impressive range of coverage, a competitive price point, a multi-pet discount plus accident-only and preventative care options, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is an excellent choice for any pet parent. And, given its high ratings on multiple customer review sites, it’s clear that existing subscribers agree.
Wagmo offers some of the most affordable plans and some of the highest reimbursement rates in the industry. In addition to robust coverage, subscribers enjoy customizable payment options, convenient and fast claim reimbursements via a variety of payment platforms, plus multi-pet discounts for owners with more than one pet.
7) MetLife Pet Insurance
MetLife offers a variety of affordable pet insurance plans with a wide range of annual reimbursement limits, rates and deductibles. Subscribers can expand their coverage with optional preventative care add-ons. Reimbursement is very fast—most claims are processed within 10 days, and subscribers can manage their plans via a convenient app and online portal.
Chewy’s insurance plans include coverage for several aspects of care that aren’t always covered, like check-ups and vaccines. Customers appreciate that they have no payout limits, they offer 24/7 customer care, and they do direct payments. Chewy also gives subscribers access to their convenient “Connect with a Vet” Telehealth service.
Pet Health Insurance Companies and Veterinary Support
The bond between a vet and a pet is important. Unlike other pet insurance providers that provide a list of approved vets you must choose from if you want reimbursement for care, companies like Fetch and Lemonade let you choose your own vet.
Pet Insurance Companies that Cover Pre-Existing Conditions
One of the biggest challenges pet owners face is finding insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. Pumpkin and Embrace both offer coverage for conditions, breeds and ages most other pet insurance plans don’t. However, because there are limitations and exclusions with every pet insurance plan, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with these prior to committing to either plan.
Top Pet Insurance Companies Reviews and Ratings
While the aforementioned companies are among the highest-rated pet insurance companies, it’s essential to do your due diligence, and read in-depth and unbiased reviews from top sites like Consumer Rating before making a decision. The best plan for you is the one that meets your pet’s unique needs, and doing your research to ensure the plan you’re considering does exactly that is imperative.