We all want the very best for our pets, whether it’s picking the best groomer in town, buying the healthiest pet food, or finding the most reputable vet.
But these costs can quickly add up, and no matter how much you love your pet, nothing could possibly prepare you for the event that your furry friend requires thousands of dollars worth of treatment, prescription medication, or emergency surgery.
It’s times like these where having pet insurance could be a major boon for a pet parent. Not only does pet insurance function as a financial fallback plan, but it also gives you peace of mind knowing your pet’s well-being is always protected.
We at Insurify understand you want the best for your pet—and that includes finding the best pet insurance for your best friend. So we’ve compiled a list of the best pet insurance companies currently out there. Have a look and find one that suits your needs!
How to pick the right pet insurance company
Whether you’re a new pet parent looking to insure your pet or seasoned pet owner who has bought pet insurance before, you may benefit from brushing up on some pet insurance terms:
Annual vs. per-incident deductibles
A deductible is an amount you must pay before your pet insurance company steps in to pay for covered expenses. A deductible could be annual or per-incident. For example, if you have a $250 annual deductible, you’d have to spend $250 on a covered expense before your pet insurer steps in to pay its portion.
If you have a $250 per-incident deductible, you’ll have to spend $250 on each covered event before your pet insurer steps in. That means if your cat needs treatment for FIV, you’d have to spend $250 on treatment before your insurance kicks in, and if your cat needs tetanus treatment two months later, you’d have to pay $250 again, before your insurance kicks in.
When you pick your pet insurance deductible, remember, the lower you set your deductible, the higher your monthly premium will be, and vice versa.
Most pet insurance companies use a reimbursement model where you pay for costs upfront, file a claim for those costs, and then get reimbursed. It is rare for a pet insurance company to reimburse 100 percent of the costs. Most times, you can pick a reimbursement rate between 40 percent and 90 percent.
For example, if you have a pet insurance plan where your company has an 80 percent reimbursement rate, for any covered expense, you’d have to first pay for all the costs upfront. Your pet insurance company will then subtract your deductible (if applicable), and later pay you back 80 percent of the remaining bill. Remember, the lower your reimbursement rate, the higher your out-of-pocket costs.
Depending on the age and breed of your pet, your reimbursement options may be limited. And remember, the lower you set your reimbursement rate, the lower your monthly premium will be, and vice versa.
Payout limits are the maximum amount of money your pet insurance company is willing to pay you. These can also be annual or per-incident. An annual payout limit is the maximum amount your pet insurer will pay for covered incidents in a year. A per-incident payout limit is the maximum amount your pet insurer is willing to pay for any one covered event.
This is a significant factor to consider. Plans with low payout limits are usually the cheapest. But if your annual payout limit is $2,000 and your pet needs emergency surgery or treatment that costs $7,000, you would have to pay $5,000 out of your own pocket.
Pet insurance coverage doesn’t start the day you finalize and pay for your policy; it begins after a waiting period. Pet insurance waiting periods refer to the specified amount of time you must wait before your coverage kicks in. So if your pet insurer has a 15-day waiting period for accident and injury coverage, that means you can only file a claim for injuries your pet has sustained 16 days after the date you finalized your policy.
One last thing to keep in mind: no pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is any condition your pet was treated for or showing symptoms for before enrolling in a program or during a waiting period.
Insurify’s Top 10 Pet Insurance Companies
#1 Healthy Paws
As far as pet insurance companies go, Healthy Paws is nearly perfect. It consistently churns out affordable quotes for both dogs and cats, has no payout limits, offers annual deductibles, and has customizable reimbursement rates.
Most pet insurance companies have annual or per-incident limits, meaning the company will only reimburse you up to a predetermined amount per year or per condition. But since Healthy Paws’ doesn’t have payout limits, you never have to worry about your pet’s vet bills running too high—Healthy Paws will reimburse you for covered conditions regardless.
Since Healthy Paws has an annual deductible rather than a per-incident one, you’ll only have to pay a predetermined amount per year (which you can decide when you customize your policy), before your pet insurance kicks in. Per-incident deductibles, on the other hand, require you to pay a deductible for each condition your pet encounters.
While most pet insurance companies employ a reimbursement model, where you must cover treatment costs upfront and get reimbursed later, Healthy Paws offers to pay your vet directly. This is a pretty great option if you don’t have funds immediately available, or if you’d just rather your insurance company pays its part early. This is quite novel in the pet insurance industry, and very few companies offer this.
The only drawbacks? Healthy Paws pet insurance doesn’t cover routine vet visits, preventative care, spaying/neutering, or dental care and only includes hip dysplasia if you enroll your pet before it turns six. You can also only enroll pets aged 14 and below; once your pet has its 15th birthday, it can no longer be enrolled in a Those are costs you’ll have to cover yourself. But since Healthy Paws’ premiums tend to be on the lower side, you might have a bit of extra space in your budget to pay for those. But if you’d rather have your pet insurance cover those costs, read on to find out about other great options!
Founded in 2013, Figo is pretty new to the pet insurance world. That’s not to say it doesn’t offer top-notch pet insurance policies. In fact, Figo pet insurance was rated the Best Pet Insurance company by Reviews.com four years in a row.
In addition to covering basics like most accidents, injuries, emergencies, hospitalizations, and cancer treatments, Figo also covers vet exam and consultation fees, prescription medication, and even prosthetics. Not all insurance companies are willing to cover these services, which is why Figo is #2 on our list.
Figo offers the Pet Cloud, which is accessible through its mobile app, where you can set up a profile for you and your dog and interact with other pet owners and even set up playdates. Figo’s mobile app is quite advanced and makes online record management very easy, which makes sense considering the company’s target demographic is Millenials living in urban areas.
Figo’s annual payout limits are usually $5,000 or $10,000 unless you get the Ultimate plan, in which case you get unlimited payouts. The $5,000 and $10,000 limits are on the lower side and won’t be much help if your pet has to undergo serious surgeries or needs extensive treatments. Figo’s Ultimate plan isn’t that much more expensive than its other, cheaper plans, so if you have an older pet or a pet that is prone to health issues, you might want to pay a couple of dollars extra for the Ultimate plan.
Figo has adjustable annual deductibles and reimbursement rates (including a 100 percent reimbursement option!), which you can customize to make your monthly premiums higher or lower.
#3 Pets Best
Pets Best offers three pet insurance plans with varying levels of coverage ranging from basic accident and illness coverage to routine upkeep coverage. The Essential Option plan covers just accidents and illnesses, including emergency care costs, Rx medications, specialist care, and lab tests, including MRIs, CAT scans, and X-rays. This is the most basic, cheapest plan Pest Best offers, and it covers cancer treatments as well as hereditary and congenital conditions. If you opt for the Plus or Elite plans for about $10-$20 extra a month, you would also get coverage for exam fees, rehabilitative care, and alternative therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic coverage.
If you decide to upgrade to an Essential Wellness plan or a Best Wellness plan, you would also get coverage for pet upkeep costs like spaying and neutering, vaccinations, wellness exams, microchipping, deworming, and tick prevention. These plans cost between $15 to $30 a month and have annual benefits ranging from $300 to $535. These plans don’t have a deductible and are an add-on to the Essential Option.
Pets Best’s rates are generally quite average compared to other pet insurance companies, but if you opt for the Elite or Plus plans, or add-on wellness plans, your premium will be quite expensive. You can try lowering your Pets Best premium by adjusting the customizable Plus and Elite plans.
Pets Best offers two options for annual payouts: $5,000 or unlimited. While opting for the $5,000 limit will lower your premium by a few dollars a month, you should be prepared to pay for a lot more out-of-pocket costs if your pet needs extensive surgery or treatment. So if you have an older pet or a pet prone to getting sick often, you should probably opt for unlimited annual payouts.
#4 American Kennel Club
The American Kennel Club is a pretty decent insurance option for your cat or dog. AKC insurance policies are called CompanionCare policies, and they include basic accident, illness, and injury coverage. CompanionCare is quite robust, as it covers things like pet ambulances, cancer treatment, alternative and holistic treatments, hydrotherapy, and even behavioral issues.
AKC doesn’t, however, cover exam fees or hereditary and congenital conditions unless you buy them as separate add-ons. AKC’s prices tend to be on the higher side, and if you opt for any of the add-ons, you can expect a pretty hefty monthly premium that costs about the same as Trupanion.
AKC offers you the option to customize your annual deductible, reimbursement rate, and annual limits so you can set your own monthly premium, or opt for the “basic” option which is cheaper but comes with a $500 incident limit.
Embrace pet insurance is a great option for pet owners looking for insurance options that aren’t too expensive but still have your back in times of need.
Embrace offers its policyholders many benefits, including basics like accident and illness coverage, hereditary conditions, cancer treatments, and chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and allergies.
Embrace policies also cover alternative therapies, behavioral therapy, prosthetics and mobility devices, and even prescription drug coverage in certain states. It’s also one of the few pet health insurance providers that include dental coverage, which could end up costing a bomb without coverage.
While no pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions, Embrace makes a distinction between curable and incurable conditions and will cover the former. A curable pre-existing condition, as defined by Embrace, is any condition for which your pet has remained treatment-free and symptom-free for at least 12 months.
A great benefit of Embrace’s pet insurance is the Healthy Pet Deductible. This works exactly like a vanishing deductible. Through this policy, your deductible decreases by $50 for each year you don’t receive a claim reimbursement. So if you start your policy with a $250 deductible and you don’t file any claims for four years, you won’t have to pay any deductible during your fifth year of coverage. This is a great option for pet parents with young, healthy pets.
While Embrace doesn’t cover routine care and vet costs, it does cover emergency vet visits and specialty vet visits. You can also buy an additional product called Wellness Rewards, which means Embrace will reimburse you for regular vet, training, and grooming costs.
However, Embrace does have annual coverage limits, which you can pick when you enroll in a policy. For example, if you pick a $5,000 limit for your policy, that means that once Embrace has reimbursed you $5,000 for any treatment or surgery your pet needs, it won’t pay for anything else, regardless of whether it’s listed on your policy. This could put you in a pretty tight spot if your pet requires expensive treatments or surgeries. Policy limits range from $2,000 to $15,000.
Embrace also has upper age limits on which pets it’s willing to insure. If your pet is 15 years old or older, it will only be eligible for accident-only coverage. This only applies to new policyholders. If your pet was enrolled for coverage before its 15th birthday, Embrace will provide coverage for the duration of your pet’s life.
Trupanion makes our list because, despite its sky-high prices, it really does have your back when the going gets tough for your pet. Trupanion has absolutely no exclusions concerning illnesses or injuries your pet may face, while most other pet insurers will exclude certain hereditary and congenital conditions.
Trupanion offers unlimited payouts for all plans. This means the company will cover its portion of your pet’s hospital stays, surgeries, and treatments no matter how high the cost is. This is quite a boon because hospital stays and surgeries often end up costing tens of thousands of dollars, and most insurance companies will have a cap on how much they’re willing to pay.
Every Trupanion policy also comes with a 90 percent reimbursement rate that you cannot change or customize. This is both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because this reimbursement rate, coupled with its unlimited payouts, means that no matter how expensive your pet’s treatment is, Trupanion will pay for 90 percent of the cost. It could also be a bad thing because without being able to customize reimbursement, you can’t opt for a lower monthly premium.
The good news is, you can still customize your deductible and adjust your monthly premium accordingly. Remember, a higher deductible means a lower monthly premium. Trupanion offers only per-incident deductibles rather than annual ones, so you must pay a deductible for each illness or injury your pet encounters, before your insurance kicks in. You can take solace in the fact, however, that you only have to pay this deductible once in your pet’s life, and Trupanion will cover the rest.
Another drawback is that like Healthy Paws, Trupanion won’t pay for regular vet visits, check-ups, exam fees, vaccinations, and other preventative care like spaying/neutering and heartworm prevention. This could be a deal-breaker for some, but you could always purchase additional coverage for those specific services.
Nationwide provides both dog and cat insurance and is the only prominent pet insurer currently offering exotic pet insurance. Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), which Nationwide acquired in 2014, has written pet insurance policies for almost 40 years and has built up quite a good reputation for quality insurance policies for affordable prices.
Nationwide presents you with three pet insurance coverage options when you ask for a quote, starting from least expensive to most expensive: the major medical plan, the major medical with wellness plan, and the whole pet with wellness plan. The major medical plan covers most accidents and illnesses, including cancer treatment, but it only includes partial coverage for certain hereditary conditions your pet may face. The major medical with wellness plan covers everything the major medical plan does, while also offering coverage for preventative treatments like vaccinations, blood work check-ups, and flea/heartworm prevention. The whole pet with wellness plan is Nationwide’s most premium offering. It includes the same coverage as major medical with wellness, in addition to hereditary and congenital diseases, behavioral treatments, diets and supplements, alternative therapy, and even spaying/neutering.
In addition to these plans, Nationwide also offers a separate cat insurance plan called the Feline Select Plan, which best serves cat owners who want more of a bare-bones coverage that isn’t too expensive. This plan covers accidents, surgeries, prescriptions, vet visits, and chronic conditions. This doesn’t usually show up on Nationwide’s online quoting flow, so you may have to call its customer service line at 1 (800) 874-0651 to get this plan. Nationwide caps the annual benefit for this plan at $9,000.
Most Nationwide plans have a $250 annual deductible and a reimbursement rate you can adjust to either increase or decrease your monthly insurance premiums.
Most Nationwide policies have quite low annual payout limits, except for the whole pet with wellness plan, which has unlimited yearly payouts. This could be a problem if your pet ever needs surgery or treatment since those costs could amount to tens of thousands of dollars.
Nationwide is a pretty good option for pet parents with young pets that don’t get sick very often, and pet parents with exotic pets like pot-bellied pigs or iguanas. It may not be the best option, however, for pet parents with older pets or pets that may require extensive surgeries or treatment.
Petfirst offers policyholders plenty of benefits that are quite uncommon in the pet insurance industry while keeping its rates quite affordable. Policies include basics like most accidents and illnesses, along with alternative therapies, holistic care, and even diagnostic tests and exam fees—which most pet insurance providers don’t cover.
You could also purchase routine wellness care coverage for your pet for a couple of dollars extra. This coverage would mean Petfirst can help offset some of the day-to-day costs of having a pet, like annual vet exams, routine tests, vaccines, teeth cleaning, microchipping, preventative treatments, spaying/neutering, and even behavior training. Of course, this rider is meant to help offset costs, so it only allows for partial coverage up to amounts ranging from $125 to $575, depending on how high you want your monthly rate to be.
Petfirst reimbursement rates, deductibles, and annual payout limits are all customizable, which is great for those of you who want to set your monthly premiums higher or lower. Petfirst does seem to require a couple of dollars as down payment since the first monthly payment is typically $2 to $3 higher than the following monthly payments, but nothing that would break the bank!
Additionally, Petfirst offers a vanishing deductible, much like Embrace does. So for every year you go without filing a claim with Petfirst, your deductible decreases by $25.
Petfirst also doesn’t discriminate against older pets, as it doesn’t have a lower age limit and affords the same policies for all pets regardless of their age.
However, Petfirst’s annual limits are quite low, ranging between only $2,000 to $10,000. That means, depending on the plan you pick, Petfirst will only pay a maximum of $2,000 to $10,000 per year for covered conditions, minus your deductible. While this should be enough to cover minor procedures, this would pay for only a fraction of expenses if your pet requires serious surgeries or long-term treatment. Also remember, Petfirst deductibles are per-incident rather than annual, so you must pay a deductible for each covered condition before insurance kicks in.
The ASPCA has a centuries-long track record of protecting animals and fighting for animal rights (it was founded in 1866!). But in addition to its well-known rescue, adoption, and charity services, the ASPCA also provides pet insurance for dogs and cats.
The ASPCA’s pet insurance policies are quite typical—they include most accidents, illnesses, hereditary, and congenital conditions. The ASPCA allows you to customize your annual deductible, with the lowest being $100 and the highest being $500. This is preferable to a per-incident deductible, where you’d have to pay a deductible for each procedure or treatment before insurance kicks in.
You can also customize your annual payout limit, and options range from $5,000 to $20,000, with unlimited payout options also available. These are pretty good payout limits for smaller procedures, but remember, pet surgeries and treatments could end up costing tens of thousands of dollars.
The company doesn’t cover preventative care like vaccines, screenings, and annual wellness exams. Like other pet insurers, ASPCA’s pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions or cosmetic procedures.
The ASPCA also has age limits for pets they’re willing to cover. Your dog must be covered by an ASPCA insurance policy for at least a year before it turns 13, and your cat must have coverage for a year before it turns 15. As long as your pet satisfies these conditions, it should be eligible for ASPCA pet insurance.
Petplan offers one comprehensive plan with three different price variations ranging from “most affordable” to “most reimbursement.”
While the “most affordable” option is quite attractive and covers most accidents and illnesses, cancer treatments, non-routine dental procedures, and even alternative treatments, the maximum annual payout is only $5,000.
Petplan does give you the option to customize your annual payout limits, annual deductible, and reimbursement rate so you can set your monthly premium higher or lower depending on what you can afford and how much coverage you need.
Petplan doesn’t have any age-based restrictions on how old your dog or cat has to be to enroll for coverage, and it also covers curable pre-existing conditions (subject to waiting periods), but it doesn’t have any coverage options for routine veterinary care. Petplan’s quotes were also consistently higher than competitors, even for minimal coverage.
Looking to compare pet insurance side-by-side? Maybe this will help:
Sample pet insurance quotes: Compare prices
To help you understand how our top 10 pet insurance companies price their policies, Insurify’s data team ran pet insurance quotes for some common dog and cat personas. Check out the quotes below:
Also consider: Wagmo
Most pet insurance companies don’t offer coverage for routine pet upkeep costs like vet visits, grooming, vaccinations, and flea/heartworm prevention. The companies that do cover these costs often require you to upgrade to a wellness plan that is significantly higher than your base coverage.
This is where companies like Wagmo step in. Wagmo isn’t an insurance company. Instead, it helps pet parents pay for routine pet care costs, just like the ones described above.
You’d still have to buy pet insurance, but it may be cheaper to buy a Wagmo plan that would reimburse you for routine upkeep costs rather than pay out-of-pocket or pay exorbitant monthly premiums to upgrade to a plan with wellness coverage.
You should consider doing a cost-benefit analysis of all your options before deciding whether to pay your routine upkeep costs out-of-pocket, upgrade your insurance to a wellness plan, or buy a Wagmo plan that works alongside your pet insurance.
Speaking of Insurance…
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Best Pet Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best pet insurance company?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors: what kind of pet you have, what breed it is, how old it is, where you live, and of course, what you can afford. According to Insurify, Healthy Paws is the best pet insurance available for most pet parents. But just because Healthy Paws works for most pet parents, doesn't necessarily mean it's the best option for you. Which is why you should always compare before you buy!
What other insurance products does Insurify offer?
Insurify offers a comparison experience for auto, home, and renters insurance. This means that instead of going to several insurance websites to find quotes, you can just answer a few short questions and compare up to 20 insurance companies all in one place!