Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

By Noel Dávila and Paul Reynolds
Updated: June 7, 2021 1:42 PM ET | Originally published: June 1, 2021
Best Overall Value
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Our Partner

Check Price
Deductibles

$100, $250, $500

Annual Limits

Unlimited

Accident-only plan available

Yes

Best Budget Coverage
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Our Partner

Check Price
Deductibles

$100-$500

Annual Limits

$3k-$5k

Accident-only plan available

Yes

Best 100% Coverage
Figo Pet Insurance

Our Partner

Check Price
Deductibles

Annual Limits

$5k-Unlimited

Accident-only plan available

No

Best for Competitive Pricing
Pets Best

Our Partner

Check Price
Deductibles

$50-$1k

Annual Limits

$5k-Unlimited

Accident-only plan available

Yes

Exciting Newcomer
Pumpkin

Check Price
Deductibles

$100, $250, $500

Annual Limits

$7-15k for cats, $10-20k for dogs

Accident-only plan available

No

Pet insurance helps pay for your pet’s medical care, with many policies covering up to 90 percent of your vet bill — assuming your pet’s procedure wasn’t excluded from coverage or didn’t surpass your annual expense cap.

Most leading pet insurance companies give pet owners comprehensive coverage at an affordable monthly premium. Yet a study we conducted in March 2021 found that only 25% of pet owners have pet insurance. Shop around, do the research into what pet insurance covers and what pet insurance costs, and then make a well-informed decision about the insurance that’s best suited to care for your pet and your pocket.

Money’s Top Picks for Best Pet Insurance of 2021

Honorable Mentions: 24PetWatch, Hartville, Pet Assure

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
Find Pet Insurance in Your State
Pet insurance offers coverage for accidents, illnesses, injuries, and routine exams, allowing you to properly care for your loyal companion. Click on your state to see how you can protect your four-legged friend!
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
View Rates from Pumpkin




12 Best Pet Insurance Companies Reviews

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad

Healthy Paws Review

Best Overall Value
Pros Cons
No caps on claim payouts No wellness plan or preventative care
Unlimited annual benefits 15-day waiting period for accident and illness
99% of claims processed in 2 days Charges a one-time $25 fee
Submit claims via email, fax, online, or using the Healthy Paws’ mobile app Limits deductibles and reimbursement options for pets over age 6
Visit any licensed veterinarian

Healthy Paws plans start at $15 per month for cats and $20 for dogs, with no limit to how many claims you can make, making it the best value compared to the competition.

Healthy Paws offers one pet insurance plan covering:

  • accidents
  • illnesses
  • surgeries
  • prescription medications
  • hospital stays
  • and emergencies

You can visit any licensed 24-hour emergency animal hospital and see any specialist such as ophthalmologists, radiologists, cardiologists, oncologists for cancer care, and internal medicine experts without a referral. Healthy Paws covers pets aged six and older with a full accident and illness policy with unlimited lifetime coverage. Potential customers should be aware that pets must be at least 8 weeks old and under age 14 at the time of enrollment.

Preventative care such as vaccinations, flea control, heartworm medication, deworming, nail trimming, and grooming are not covered. Neither are parasite control, spaying, and neutering, or dental health.

Age restrictions also apply, with pets older than eight years old restricted to 60% reimbursement and a $750 annual deductible. If your pet is older than six, Healthy Paws requires that your pet have a physical exam within 30 days prior to policy purchase or within the first 15 days of issuing the policy.

Healthy Paws Foundation’s Every Quote Gives Hope Program gives a donation towards a homeless pet’s medical care with every free pet insurance quote.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad

ASPCA Pet Insurance Review

★ Best budget coverage
Pros Cons
No waiting period for preventive care Preventive care riders work on an itemized basis, not an annual limit
Visit any vet – no network required Unlimited coverage is not an option
Affordable monthly premiums 14-day waiting period for accidents and illnesses
Reimburses alternative therapies Not managed by ASPCA itself
Covers microchip implantation
Multi-pet discount of 10% for each additional pet

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers several pet insurance policies underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. There’s no network — you can visit any vet in the U.S. or Canada, and they offer a 24/7 pet telehealth line.

ASPCA’s Complete plan covers:

  • accidents
  • illnesses
  • hereditary and congenital conditions, including hip dysplasia
  • and behavioral health issues

They also offer accident-only coverage, and stand out from most pet insurers by providing two different policies for horses: Colic, Accidents, and Illnesses or Colic and Accidents.

All pets can have two different wellness riders added to their policies for preventive care. While exact limits on treatments differ by animal, these riders work on an itemized basis, rather than the more common annual limit for any wellness procedure.

ASPCA monthly premiums are more affordable than most insurers, with annual limits going as low as $3,000. Additionally, you can get a 70 to 90 percent reimbursement for covered costs deposited directly or paid via check.

Somewhat confusingly, the policies aren’t managed by the ASPCA itself, but rather underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company, and produced and administered by C&FInsurance Agency, Inc., a subsidiary of Crum and Forster.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
ADVERTISEMENT

Figo Review

★ Best 100% coverage
Pros Cons
24/7 virtual vet visits and customer service through easy to use app Some policies have lifetime limits of $100,000
Zero network needed across the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico Unlimited policy has an annual $20,000 upper limit in Washington and Massachusetts
Short waiting period of just 3 days for injuries and 14 days for illnesses 6-month waiting period for knee injuries
30-day money-back policy, provided you haven’t filed any claims Doesn’t cover routine or preventative care
May reimburse up to 100% of vet bill

FIGO offers easy online access, robust coverage, and lots of technology with 24/7 access to a live vet.

There are three different plan tiers to choose from, all of which cover hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions. Each policy (click here for a sample policy) has its annual limits, starting at $5,000 up to “unlimited.” Depending on the state and age of the pet, some policies may also have a lifetime limit of $100,000 for the most inexpensive plan.

All of FIGO’s plans cover the same expenses:

  • hospitalizations
  • emergency care
  • diagnostic testing
  • cancer treatments
  • hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions
  • vet examination fees coverage available as a rider

Based on your plan, deductible, and reimbursement choice, you can receive up to 100 percent back of covered procedures — though this will require a higher premium.

You can reach customer service representatives via live chat, text, email, Twitter, and over the phone. The app also sets up reminders for veterinary appointments and even has a Pet Cloud feature to connect with other pet parents and places.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
ADVERTISEMENT

Pets Best Review

★ Best for competitive pricing
Pros Cons
Offers accident-only and wellness plans for a flat rate Doesn’t cover holistic, herbal, or experimental therapies
24-hour helpline staffed by veterinary experts Accident and Illness plan won’t cover prescribed diet, vitamins, or supplements
Very low premiums
Direct reimbursement to your vet, meaning less out-of-pocket for you
Wide range of deductible choices

Pets Best does not have a maximum age limit so you could still get coverage on your aging pet. But, like all insurers, Pets Best won’t cover pre-existing conditions.

Pets Best has three different Accident & Illness policies to choose from (Essential, Plus, or Elite). All plans cover:

  • accidents
  • illnesses
  • cancer treatments
  • hereditary and congenital conditions
  • emergency care
  • behavioral conditions
  • and more

You can also add two different wellness coverages to all three, for your pet’s routine care needs.

Finally, Pets Best allows pet owners flexibility with regards to annual limits, deductibles, and reimbursement levels, which go up to 90 percent.

If you’re on a budget and are ok with more limited protection, consider Pets Best’s 70 percent reimbursement rate, which could cost just $9 a month for an Accident-only policy. Regardless of your choice, monthly fees rarely go over $50 for even the most comprehensive coverage levels.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
ADVERTISEMENT

Pumpkin Review

★ Exciting newcomer in the pet insurance industry
Pros Cons
No upper age limit and breed exclusions Only two annual coverage limits, no additional reimbursement options
14-day waiting period for all conditions Just one year in business
Fast and easy online claims processing
Covers dental illness and optional preventative care coverage

Launched at the end of April 2020, Pumpkin is a relative newcomer. Its plans are provided by Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (a pet insurance agency), and underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company.

Their accident & illness coverage includes:

  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • surgery
  • prescription meds
  • hospitalization
  • some less common behavioral issues
  • microchip implantation
  • alternative therapy

Dental disease counts as a covered illness as well, (including exams, procedures, and medication) but it will not cover routine dental cleanings. Adding an optional non-insurance preventative care pack to your policy will allow you to get refunded for annual wellness exams, vaccinations, and lab tests for parasites.

Households with multiple pets can apply for Pumpkin’s pet insurance and qualify for a 10% discount for each additional pet. Pumpkin plans also include coverage for older pets who won’t be subject to either reduced coverage or outright denial of coverage due to old age.

Monthly premiums for Pumpkin’s policies will depend on the pet’s age and breed, as well as the deductible and annual limit. For cats, the maximum annual coverage tops out at $15,000, while dogs can be insured for up to $20,000. After the deductible is met — $100, $250, or $500 — Pumpkin will cover 90% of expenses related to accidents and illnesses.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad

Petplan Review

★ Best early coverage
Pros Cons
Coverage from just 6 weeks No preventive care coverage
No sign-up fees For coverage to apply, you must take your dog or cat to the vet within 48 hours of noticing symptoms
VirtualVet visits included No multi-pet discount
Boarding fees reimbursement for up to $1,000
No lifetime or per condition claims limit
Visit any vet

Petplan insures pets beginning at six weeks old for puppies and kittens. When you buy a policy this early, you won’t have to worry much at all about exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Petplan covers some hereditary and congenital conditions if symptoms weren’t present before you bought coverage. Pets age 10 and up are limited to a policy with a $15,000 annual limit, $750 deductible, and 70% reimbursement for covered services.

Comprehensive dental care is covered, including dental injury and disease to all teeth, as well as coverage for chronic and hereditary conditions. Petplan will also reimburse you up to $1,000 for boarding fees if your pet needs to be hospitalized — no copay or deductible required.

Since Petplan doesn’t provide additional coverage, no form of preventive care is covered, including routine & wellness exams, microchipping, vaccinations, and grooming.

Monthly premiums start at $19 for both dog insurance and cat insurance. Annual benefit caps can be set anywhere between $2,500 to unlimited, while deductibles range from $100 to $1,000.

Reimbursement is available for non-standard expenses such as trip cancellations and owner hospitalization, and what the company calls a “reasonable reward” for any ad costs incurred from trying to find a lost pet.

Trupanion Review

★Best for hereditary conditions
Pros Cons
Lifetime per condition deductibles No preventive care coverage
Coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions No discounts
Pet owner assistance package Trupanion only accepts monthly payments
All plans include 90% coverage
24/7 customer service

Trupanion stands out from the field by offering just one policy for dogs and cats, including coverage for hip dysplasia and other hereditary conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and upper respiratory infections.

Monthly premiums start at $59 for dogs and $32 for cats. Trupanion policies cover:

  • new, unidentified issues, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and cough
  • congenital conditions, such as heart disease, cataracts, and nervous system issues
  • for an extra cost, recovery and complementary care for non-clinical procedures, such as acupuncture, behavioral modification, and rehabilitative therapy

There are no set limits for any benefits, (whether per-incident, monthly, or lifetime), and you could even set your deductible at $0. Trupanion also offers a lifetime per condition deductible, where you only pay a deductible if your pet develops a new condition. Once your deductible is paid, your policy pays out at 90% for anything related to that condition for the rest of your pet’s life.

If your veterinarian uses Trupanion’s direct payment software, Trupanion pays the vet directly without you filling out a claim.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad

Embrace Pet Insurance Review

★ Best for dental illnesses
Pros Cons
Accident-only plan available No unlimited benefit options
Emergency care and hospitalization at any licensed clinic Accident and illness only covers pets age 14 and younger
Vet exam fees covered Limited wellness benefits
Optional Wellness Rewards Program
24/7 Pet Health Line
Diminishing deductible

Embrace provides high coverage for dental illnesses: $1,000 per policy year in most states. The company covers extractions, root canals, crowns, gingivitis, and broken, chipped, or fractured teeth.

Basic coverage is under $6 per month for cats and $12 for dogs, covering:

  • alternative therapies
  • rehabilitation
  • behavioral therapy
  • emergency veterinary care
  • specialist care, diagnostic testing (including x-rays and MRIs)
  • hospitalization & surgery
  • prosthetics & mobility devices
  • prescription drug coverage

Routine care like cleaning and annual checkups are not included in the policy but can be reimbursed with a wellness rider. This Optional Wellness Rewards plan offers additional coverage for wellness exams, training, grooming, vaccines, and spaying or neutering. This plan reimburses up to $650 per year.

Another Embrace benefit is its shrinking deductibles. They can be set between $100 and $1,000, and for every year you don’t file a claim, you’ll receive a $50 reduction. If your pet is healthy, your deductible can be reduced down to zero after several consecutive claim reimbursement-free years.

Reimbursements can reach 90 percent, annual benefits are capped at $15,000, and monthly premiums start at $13 for dogs and $9 for cats. All claims can be submitted online, via email, fax, or mobile app.

Pet insurance coverage from USAA and Geico can also be obtained through Embrace:

USAA Pet Insurance Review

USAA offers accident-only or accident and illness policies through Embrace, with an optional wellness rider. Claims and customer service are also handled through Embrace. We didn’t like how sparse USAA’s pet insurance page was, with very little information on policies.

GEICO Pet Insurance Review

While GEICO does offer more discounts than other insurers — including multi-pet, spaying/neutering, and annual pay — it falls short of other companies in other ways. There’s no unlimited annual benefits option, full reimbursement, or $0 deductible.

Nationwide Pet Insurance Review

★ Best for exotic animals
Pros Cons
Lifetime per condition deductibles No plan customization
Current Nationwide members save 5% on a pet insurance policy Limited online services
No age restrictions Policies are more expensive than average
Whole Pet with Wellness has complete preventative care coverage in one plan

Nationwide is the only pet insurance company of its size that offers coverage for exotic animals, including most birds, reptiles, small mammals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits, and even goats and pot-bellied pigs. Exotic animals that fall under venomous or endangered categories and any animal not explicitly listed on their website aren’t eligible.

Plans vary by species, and you might need to call to find out which options are available. Nationwide’s monthly premiums start at $34 for dogs and $18 for cats, and there are three pet insurance plans: Whole Pet with Wellness, Major Medical, and Pet Wellness.

Whole Pet with Wellness includes complete coverage and wellness protection in one plan and 90% coverage on vet bills:

  • accidents and illnesses
  • surgeries and hospitalization
  • prescriptions
  • medical conditions
  • vaccinations
  • hereditary conditions (no waiting period)
  • wellness exams
  • flea/heartworm prevention
  • and more

Major Medical coverage is a more budget-friendly plan for standard medical costs such as accidents and illnesses, surgeries and hospitalization, prescriptions, and chronic conditions. Some hereditary conditions are covered, but only after a 1-year waiting period.

The company offers two types of reimbursement models. The first is based on a percentage of the invoice (up to 90 percent) and has no limits. The second has a benefit schedule and reimbursements are capped at a set amount depending on the condition.

Annual deductibles are set at $250, with all claims filed via snail mail, fax, or email.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
ADVERTISEMENT

PetFirst Review

★ Best for preventive care
Pros Cons
Accident coverage after just 24 hours No accident-only coverage
Extensive coverage and customizable limits Low annual limits
IVDD and cruciate ligament issues are also covered after a 6-month waiting period Preventive care treatments have individual annual limits
Offers a Senior Pet Insurance Plan

PetFirst Pet Insurance’s routine care coverage excels precisely because it defines preventive care so broadly. You could buy a plan to cover your pet’s vaccines, dental care, parasite prevention, spaying and neutering, and even behavioral training.

Riders for routine care can be purchased with annual benefits between $125 and $575. However, each specific treatment carries its own limit per policy term within that total amount.

PetFirst offers three plans, each with a $250 deductible and 80 percent reimbursement rate for covered expenses. Each plan sets a different annual coverage limit, between $2,000 and $10,000.

PetFirst is owned by MetLife, a leading dental, health, and auto insurer.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
ADVERTISEMENT

TrustedPals Review

★ Best customizability
Pros Cons
Covers prescribed behavioral training, therapy, and treatment Wellness plan has a $750 reimbursement limit
Includes prescribed drugs, nutritional supplements, and pet food 12-month waiting period for ligament and hip dysplasia
Claims paid in up to ten days
$0 deductible and 100% reimbursement options available

TrustedPals provides standard coverage for dogs and cats for pets aged 8 weeks and older. There’s no maximum age limit, making it a great option for senior pets. There are no restrictions on chronic illnesses if they begin after the policy effective date.

TrustedPals covers expenses for:

  • vet visits
  • surgeries
  • hospital stays
  • lab work
  • and prescription medications

TrustedPals offers a wellness plan as an add-on, covering yearly vet exams, vaccination, preventive dental cleaning, and spaying or neutering. Your policy will also cover vet-prescribed alternative treatments such as acupuncture and hydrotherapy. See their sample policy to learn more.

Once you apply for a quote, TrustedPals will present four different premium options to choose from. These include annual benefit limits ranging from $4,000 to $15,000, as well as an unlimited benefit option. You can then customize your policy by selecting your deductible (from $0 to $750 per year) and the amount of your reimbursement percentage (from 70% to 100%).

You’ll get the same coverage regardless of the premium paid, as the cost of insurance isn’t tied to benefits. Instead, your premiums will be determined by what type of pet you have (cat or dog), the age of your pet, your location, and how you customize your plan.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
ADVERTISEMENT

Spot Review

★ Best for no caps
Pros Cons
No annual, per incident, or lifetime caps 14-day waiting period for accident coverage
Virtual training with animal behaviorists such as César Millán and Sarah Hodgson No coverage for exotic pets
Visit any vet, emergency clinic, or specialist in the U.S. Curable pre-existing conditions clause doesn’t apply to ligament or knee conditions
Wide range of deductions, annual limits, and reimbursement options Pets must be eight weeks old
Covers virtual and mobile vet visits

Spot is a relatively recent arrival to the pet insurance industry, but has received a lot of attention thanks to its status as the only pet insurer recommended by its Chairman, César Millán, also known as “the dog whisperer.”

Spot offers accident & illness coverage that includes:

  • X-Rays, MRI and CT scans
  • vet treatment
  • surgery and hospitalization
  • prescription food and medication
  • alternative therapies
  • end of life expenses
  • stem cell therapy
  • cancer treatments
  • chronic conditions
  • dental treatment, and more

The company also offers accident-only plans and an optional wellness rider for preventive care. Pre-existing conditions are covered if the pet has been deemed cured and has not shown symptoms during 180 days. This does not include ligament or knee conditions.

While Spot’s coverage is comprehensive, where it really stands out is its flexibility regarding payment structures. There are multiple deduction options available, from $100-$1,000, as well as several annual limits options (starting at $2,500 to $20,000, or unlimited). Likewise, customers can choose between 70%, 80% or 90% reimbursement options.

Similar to ASPCA pet insurance, Spot’s policies are managed by C&F Insurance Agency, Inc., who handles claims, billing and customer service. The policies are underwritten by United States Fire.

Other Companies We Considered

When we were narrowing down our list, a few companies stood out but didn’t quite meet the requirements we’d set for our top ten list.

24PetWatch Review

Pros Cons
No waiting period for accidents Limited enrollment age
Coverage for chronic conditions after 24 months symptom-free CCL (ACL) injuries are considered a bilateral condition
Covers invoiced amount, including exam fees Only has an 80% reimbursement option
No unlimited payout options

While 24PetWatch offers policies and wellness plans with short waiting periods and low deductibles, they didn’t make our list due to its complicated pricing structure and limited policies. Dogs age out at 10 years and cats at 12, as well, when it’s difficult to find another company willing to begin coverage. Further, its few discounts make their plans slightly more expensive than the competition.

Hartville Review

Pros Cons
Unlimited annual coverage limit Costly to start with, prices go up after 5 years old
30-day trial period Preventive care reimbursement is limited
No budget option available

The only company to partner with the ASPCA, Hartville has a long history in the pet insurance industry. Their policies offer excellent coverage, but it comes at a price — expect to pay a minimum of $15 per month per cat and $25 per month per dog. What’s more, once your dog is over 5 years old, illness benefit premiums go up considerably. And individual wellness benefits are capped at a specific annual limit.

Pet Assure Review

Pros Cons
45-day money-back guarantee Not pet insurance
Multi-pet discount No coverage for specialist services
Won’t cover prescription food or medication

To be clear, Pet Assure is not pet insurance, but rather a discount plan that offers 25% off on all in-office medical procedures. While the program has participating veterinarians in all states, Puerto Rico and Canada, the number of providers by location is limited. Though we liked their affordable rates and lack of exclusions (pets of all ages are accepted, even with pre-existing conditions), Pet Assure didn’t make our cut because it’s not actually pet insurance. However, it can be a great alternative, provided your vet accepts it.

Pet Insurance Guide

Types of pet insurance plans

When you’re looking to insure your pet, the first thing to do is take a good look at your finances — and how much you’re able and willing to spend in case of an emergency. Each policy type will have different types of coverage and come at a different price point.

Accident-only policies – An accident-only plan may suit you best if your main concern is your cat or dog’s propensity for mishaps. They’re usually more affordable than plans with more coverage.

Accident & Illness policies – These are the all-inclusive plans of pet insurance, covering both accident and illness coverage. They can be expanded to be truly comprehensive by adding wellness coverage, which is usually an add-on rather than an integrated part of the plan.

Comprehensive policies – Some insurers offer truly comprehensive policies that cover everything, from accidents to illnesses to wellness to routine care. Naturally, these plans have the heftiest price tag, but may be worth it for the peace of mind.

Remember that, if you want to evaluate whether an insurer is right for you, it might be a good idea to download one of their online sample policies. Read all its inclusions, exclusions, and restrictions thoroughly, and if you’re comfortable with them, you can then move on to enroll your pet.

How Pet Health Insurance Works

  • Waiting periods: Your insurance coverage won’t pay until you’ve completed a waiting period. Most companies require at least 14 days after enrollment before reimbursing you for a vet visit your pet needs for an illness.
  • Exclusions: Pet insurance policies usually exclude specific conditions in the policy’s language. Be sure to read your policy before buying it so you’ll know how your pet insurance works.
  • Network restrictions: Similarly to human health insurance, not all pet insurers reimburse for services provided by any vet. Some limit coverage to a specific network. We’d recommend the former over the latter, just to make sure you’re covered anywhere in the United States. Some pet insurers will even cover your pet when you’re traveling in Canada or Puerto Rico.

What Increases and Lowers Premium Costs

  • Pre-existing conditions: Pet insurance providers will not reimburse you for conditions your dog, cat, or other pet already had before you bought the pet insurance policy.
  • Preventative care add-ons: You’ll get the best value from an accident or illness coverage plan, but you could add-on coverage for preventative care. Policies that cover routine care and accident or illness care are called comprehensive coverage.
  • Pet’s age: After your dog or cat reaches age 12, your choices for new coverage will diminish significantly. To have the most options, buy a policy before your pet reaches an advanced age.
  • Deductibles: With many plans, you set the deductible, which is the money you must pay before your insurance policy kicks in. Watch out for per-incident deductibles. Per-year deductibles provide a better value.
  • Where you live: Generally speaking, pets that live in urban areas will have higher pet insurance rates, due to higher costs of veterinary care, among other socioeconomic factors. Some states may also have higher costs, such as New York or California.

Additional expenses to keep in mind

  • Reimbursements: You pay for all vet visits and charges and then file for a reimbursement. The best plans typically reimburse 90 percent of a covered expense.
  • Payout caps: Most plans stop reimbursing after you’ve reached your policy’s maximum coverage amount. Most policies have an annual expense cap, but some have caps per incident (illness or injury) or even for the animal’s lifetime. Expect to pay higher premiums for higher caps.

Caring for Your Pet

Veterinary Care and COVID-19

During the coronavirus pandemic, the rise in pet ownership overall has veterinary services in high demand.

But when should you take your pet to the vet? Before running out to visit your pet care provider, consider the following:

Urgent Care vs. Routine Check-Ups

It is generally recommended that elective procedures be postponed as long as possible so that veterinary offices can avoid a higher number of patients. However, urgent matters such as accidents, respiratory problems, and poisonings require immediate medical attention.

Depending on the hospital, it might be operating in-person or with curbside service, making it important to be prepared for either scenario. If an emergency trip is warranted, make sure to adhere to CDC guidelines regarding masks and social distancing.

Many health providers also present alternatives for non-urgent yet essential procedures, such as booster shots, vaccinations, and physical therapy.

Telemedicine

Some vets might opt for a telemedicine alternative, using a video chat to observe the patient and provide medical advice without having direct physical contact. This can serve various purposes, such as postoperative follow-ups or visual confirmation to determine whether a case is urgent or non-urgent.

Can My Pet Get Coronavirus?

Although there have been animal cases and deaths related to COVID-19, the CDC states there is no evidence that pets can significantly spread the virus and animal-to-human transmission is highly unlikely.

Nonetheless, extra precautions should be taken if you have either received a positive test or suspect being infected. The general rule is to treat your pet as you would a person, maintaining distance whenever possible and wearing a face covering to avoid transmission. If possible, have another person take care of the pet while you’re infected. Although the chances of spreading the virus are extremely low, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Caring for Your Pet in the Social Distancing Era

Aside from the aforementioned veterinary care, there are other measures you can take as a pet owner to keep them healthy and happy.

Make sure to have enough prescriptions such as heartworm, parasite, flea, and tick medicine, as well as any maintenance drugs.

Stock up on food. To avoid unnecessary visits to the pet store or supermarket, consider online services that deliver the food directly to your door.

Work on your mental and physical health. Pets pick up on their owners’ feelings, which means that your anxiety can also affect them, especially now that people are spending more time at home. By taking care of yourself and other household members, pets can feel more at ease with the unusual amount of human contact.

Exercise your pet as much as you can. Although stay-at-home ordinances and self-isolation protocols can limit the time you spend with your pet outside, there are other ways to keep them active, such as playing fetch, basic training techniques, and food puzzle activities. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the outdoors, take them for a walk following safety precautions.

Pet Insurance FAQs

Is pet insurance worth it?

Knowing whether pet insurance will pay off for you depends on your needs and your pet’s health care needs. Before trying to enroll your pet in a plan, consider its costs vs. its potential benefits. Any kind of insurance provides a service that’s not measured as a dollar amount — giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t be facing expensive vet bills all on your own.

How much is pet insurance?

Pricing your pet insurance premium will depend on many factors, including 1) your pet’s type, gender, and breed; 2) your pet’s age; 3) your location; 4) coverage types; 5) deductible and reimbursement level. The more expensive it is where you live, whether it’s California or New York City, the more expensive your pet insurance will be.

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance is a policy that comes with a monthly premium. With pet insurance, if your pet is sick or injured, you pay the bill upfront and submit a claim for reimbursement. You can take your pet to a licensed veterinarian and then submit a claim to get reimbursed for issues that are covered under your pet insurance plan.

What does pet insurance cover?

It depends on the specific plan. Standard pet health insurance will cover most accidents and injuries. Still, you can also buy a policy that covers only routine vet visits for checkups and vaccinations, usually called wellness plans. “Things like ultrasounds, blood tests, or procedures such as MRIs or CAT scans — they’re now available [for pets],” said Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Kennel Club.

What is the best pet insurance?

The best pet insurance for you will depend on a combination of different elements, mainly your budget and your pet's needs.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
Pets are an essential part of the family.
Pumpkin Pet Insurance covers your pet from head to paw—for a lifetime.
Get Started

How We Found the Best Pet Insurance Companies

To thoroughly assess the top pet insurance companies and find the best, we researched several different policy aspects that make these providers stand out, and spoke to veterinary doctors who have spent time in the field. We looked at pet insurance costs, including average rates, flexibility with premiums and deductibles, and any potential limits on payments to policyholders. We also compared and evaluated coverage options while closely reviewing the claims processes for all the companies we featured. Finally, we sought out pet insurers that offered multiple ways to contact customer service agents.

Summary of Money’s Best Pet Insurance Companies of May 2021