Find the Cheapest Pet Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Best pet insurance companies
The best pet insurance companies offer affordable rates, along with add-ons that take care of your pet's specific needs. ValuePenguin compared dog and cat insurance quotes from 14 top companies to find the best insurance for your pet.
Best pet insurance with preventive care coverage: Lemonade
Lemonade has the best pet health insurance for preventive care, along with the most affordable pet insurance rates. Basic pet insurance for dogs costs around $13 per month, while cat owners pay $11 per month, on average.
Lemonade pet insurance coverage options
|One wellness exam|
|One parasite test|
|One heartworm or FeLV/FIV test|
You can also add on coverage for vet visit fees, physical therapy, behavioral conditions, dental illness and post-life expenses.
Lemonade also has the best pet insurance for puppies and kittens.
It offers a package that includes spaying or neutering, microchipping and up to six vaccines or boosters.
However, Lemonade won't cover preexisting conditions. If your pet has had health problems in the past, you may want to consider Spot instead.
Best pet insurance with dental coverage: Embrace
Embrace has the best pet insurance with dental coverage. It covers extractions, gingivitis and root canals for up to $1,000 per year.
Embrace's basic package includes dental coverage. The company doesn't require your pet to have a dental exam before your pet is eligible for dental coverage.
Embrace's accident coverage is very comprehensive — it covers most expenses related to a pet's unexpected injury or illness. Embrace doesn't offer a traditional preventive care plan. Instead, it offers a wellness rewards program that provides money for routine vet expenses, training and grooming. However, it's more of a forced savings plan than a benefit — $250 of wellness rewards will cost you $225 per year.
Coverage from Embrace is more expensive than the average cost of pet insurance, at $46 per month for dogs and $23 per month for cats. The company offers pet owners a few ways to save, including a 10% discount for insuring multiple pets with Embrace and a 5% military discount.
Best insurance for older pets: Figo
Figo is a great option for owners of older pets. That's because Figo will insure pets of any age. In comparison, most insurance companies have maximum age limits for pet health insurance. If your pet has had orthopedic issues, Figo will cover orthopedic expenses if they recovered more than six months ago or have had an orthopedic exam within 30 days.
Pet insurance from Figo is very affordable, at $30 per month for dogs and $13 per month for cats, on average.
The company also offers unlimited annual coverage and 100% reimbursement. That can help owners of elderly pets avoid expensive medical bills.
However, these options will make your insurance rates go up.
Figo offers two wellness programs, along with accident and illness coverage. These programs can help cover the cost of vaccinations, spay or neuter procedures, bloodwork, heartworm prevention and dental cleaning. The reimbursement amount may not be enough to cover your expenses, though. For example, Figo will pay $40 or $75 per year for teeth cleaning, depending on the package you choose.
Best pet insurance for preexisting conditions: Spot
Spot offers the best insurance for pets with a curable preexisting condition. If your pet is sick prior to having pet insurance, most companies won't cover ongoing expenses associated with that illness. That's because it's considered a preexisting condition.
However, some insurance companies will offer your pet coverage for curable conditions after they've been healthy for a set period of time. This is called a waiting period.
Spot has one of the shortest waiting periods for preexisting conditions at 180 days, which is around six months.
At $27 per month, dog insurance from Spot is 30% cheaper than average. Pet insurance for cats costs around $17 per month, which is 6% cheaper than average.
Spot also offers preventive care coverage, which can include wellness exams, dental cleanings, blood tests, vaccines and flea or heartworm prevention.
Best for direct payments: Trupanion
Trupanion is the best option for pet owners who don't have the money to pay large vet bills and wait to be reimbursed by their insurance company. But the company only offers accident and illness protection. That means it's not a great fit for pet owners looking for preventive care coverage.
Trupanion is the only pet insurance company that will pay your vet directly. So you'll only need to pay your deductible if your dog or cat has an emergency.
However, the company can only make direct payments to vets that use its software. You'll have to choose a vet from the Trupanion website to use the service.
Pet insurance from Trupanion costs twice as much as the overall average, at $90 per month for dogs and $36 per month for cats. That may make it hard for many pet owners to afford.
Best for exotic pets and birds: Nationwide
Owners of reptiles, birds, rabbits and other exotic pets can find pet insurance at Nationwide.
The company has an avian and exotic pet insurance plan. It covers accidents and illnesses, vet exams, prescription medication, X-rays and hospital stays.
Nationwide doesn't offer online quotes for birds and exotic pets. You'll have to speak to an agent over the phone to get a quote.
Nationwide can also be a good choice for dog and cat insurance. It has affordable coverage at $13 per month for cats and $34 per month for dogs, on average. Although this is more expensive than some other insurance companies, Nationwide only offers a $250 deductible. That means you'll pay less out of pocket if your pet gets hurt.
While Nationwide offers a wellness plan, it doesn't cover preexisting conditions or any routine care. Plus, Nationwide doesn't give you the ability to customize your coverage, so you can't raise your annual benefit or deductible.
Pet insurance comparison chart
How do I choose the best pet insurance plan?
When shopping for pet insurance, it's important to compare quotes from multiple companies to find the best plan for your pet.
Before you get quotes, you'll need to decide what type of policy and amount of coverage you need.
You should choose the same coverage levels with each company so you can make an apples-to-apples comparison.
5 pet insurance tips
Get pet insurance sooner, rather than later. Unlike health insurance for humans, pet insurance policies don't cover preexisting conditions. If you wait until your pet gets sick to buy coverage, it may be too late to get a plan that will pay for tests and treatment. And some companies don't offer coverage to older pets.
A plan with both accident and illness coverage is often the best choice financially. These plans cost more per month. But at some point, your pet will probably need medical care for both types of health issues.
Research your pet's breed history to see if there are any genetic conditions or illnesses your pet is likely to develop. Then, confirm the insurance company covers that condition. Some plans will only cover hereditary or congenital diseases if your pet is insured before their second birthday.
Read the fine print to make sure you understand what's covered. Does the policy pay for vet visits, diagnosis and treatment fees and the cost of prescription medications? It's important to compare policies that you're considering because coverage can vary by company.
Understand the plan maximums. Is there a maximum amount the insurance company will pay per year or per incident? Is there a lifetime limit, or does the limit get renewed every year? For example, if your plan has an annual limit of $5,000, but your pet needs a $10,000 surgery, only half would be reimbursed.
What to look for when buying pet insurance
A basic pet health insurance plan will generally include accident and illness coverage. However, many companies give you the option to add on wellness or preventive care coverage for an extra cost.
Accident and illness coverage is a good idea for most pet owners. This is especially true if you're concerned about how you'll pay for unexpected vet bills in the future.
But wellness coverage may not be worth the cost, depending on your pet's needs and the price of vet visits in your area.
To find a plan that offers the right benefits for your pet, it's important to understand what each plan includes and anything that's not covered.
A preexisting condition is an illness or injury that your pet had before your plan coverage started, or before the initial waiting period was over.
Pet insurance plans typically will not cover a preexisting condition. It doesn't matter if a vet hasn't diagnosed your pet yet. It probably won't be covered if symptoms or the condition started before you bought pet insurance. However, some plans will treat any healable or curable disease after a waiting period.
An incident is a broad term that means any medical event. It usually includes vet examinations or office visits, diagnostic materials, treatment plans, medications, hospital stays and follow-up visits.
An accident is typically an unexpected incident that can't be prevented. Pet insurance for accidents can cover emergencies like broken bones, burns, swallowed objects, poisoning and broken teeth.
An illness is any general sickness, disease, infection or medical problem with your pet that isn't an accident. Examples include allergies, diabetes, heart disease, upset stomach, skin bites and cancer.
A chronic condition is a medical condition that requires ongoing care. Allergies, cancer and hip dysplasia are some examples of chronic issues.
Certain breeds are predisposed to specific kinds of illnesses, called hereditary conditions. Plans may not cover hereditary conditions for your pet's breed. And you may have to pay an extra deductible if the condition is covered.
Some insurance plans will even exclude associated or secondary diseases related to hereditary issues.
For example, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and German shepherds tend to develop epilepsy more often than other breeds. So an insurance company might not cover issues related to it.
A congenital condition is a defect or unique condition that your pet is born with. For example, congenital kidney disease, or familial renal disease, is common in shih tzus.
Alternative or holistic therapy
Alternative or holistic therapy can include chiropractic treatments or acupuncture. Some plans will cover any kind of care recommended by a vet. But others exclude these alternative treatments.
Wellness care is anything that generally keeps your pet from developing a health condition, like routine and preventive care. Wellness treatments typically include vaccines, dental care and treatment for fleas, ticks and heartworms. Pet insurance companies usually offer this as an optional add-on or include it in their premium packages.
Sometimes, the number of items excluded under insurance plans is bigger than the list of items covered. Common exclusions are declawing, accidents or injuries caused by pet owners, and administrative fees related to vet visits.
Most plans have a waiting period before you can start getting benefits. It is typically around 14 days.
How much pet insurance coverage do I need?
To decide how much pet insurance you need, you need to consider how much insurance you can afford on a monthly basis and how much you can afford to pay if your pet has an emergency. The more pet insurance protection you have, the more you'll pay for coverage.
The amount you'll be reimbursed after a vet visit depends on three main factors.
Your deductible is the amount you'll pay the vet before your insurance benefits kick in. It's common for your deductible to be anywhere from $100 to $1,000. A lower deductible will lead to a higher monthly insurance payment. But it's important to choose a deductible that you're comfortable paying if your pet has an accident.
Your reimbursement percentage is the portion of your pet's medical bill that the insurance company will cover after you pay your deductible. Most insurance companies will pay for 70% to 90% of the remaining bill. A higher reimbursement percentage equals a higher monthly rate.
Your maximum coverage limit is the highest amount the insurance company will pay for pet medical expenses over the course of a year. In many cases, the lowest annual maximum you can choose is $5,000, while the highest is unlimited. Higher maximum coverage limits will lead to more expensive pet insurance.
Most companies offer lots of options when it comes to deductibles, reimbursement percentages and coverage limits. If you're comparing pet insurance quotes online, it's easy to choose different coverage limits and see how they change your monthly rate. Doing this can help you make a decision about the right level of coverage for you and your pet.
It's also important to look at the specific coverage options offered by each company. Some pet insurance companies don't cover preexisting or hereditary conditions, such as hip dysplasia. The best pet insurance companies offer add-ons that you can use to make sure your pet's specific needs are taken care of. These add-ons are also called endorsements.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best pet insurance?
Does pet insurance cover only cats and dogs?
Many pet insurance companies only cover cats and dogs. But it is possible to get coverage for other animals like birds, rabbits, reptiles and exotic pets. For example, Nationwide offers an avian and exotic pet policy. It covers accidents and illnesses, hospitalization, vet exams, medication and more.
Is it worth shopping around for pet insurance?
Pet owners should always compare insurance companies to find the best price and policy for their pet. Some companies are much more expensive than others. For example, Lemonade offers dog insurance for around $13 per month, while a policy from Trupanion costs $90 per month.
But the coverage offered by each company is also different. It's important to find a policy that offers the right coverage for your pet.
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To find the best pet insurance, we gathered quotes from 14 of the largest pet insurance companies that offer online quotes. Rates are for a male dog and a female cat, both 4 years old.
Quotes are for basic accident and illness coverage and include the following limits:
- $500 deductible
- $5,000 maximum annual coverage limit
- 80% reimbursement percentage