Best Pet Insurance for Dogs (2024)

With extensive coverage options and no caps on insurance payouts, Trupanion is one of the best pet insurance companies for dogs.

Jamie Johnson
Written byJamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson
  • 6 years experience in personal finance writing

  • Featured on Credit Karma and Insider

Jamie is a meticulous researcher who has published 2,000+ personal finance articles. Her expertise is trusted by major brands like Bankrate and Rocket Mortgage.

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Ashley Cox
Edited byAshley Cox
Headshot of Managing Editor Ashley Cox
Ashley CoxSenior Managing Editor
  • 7+ years in content creation and management

  • 5+ years in insurance and personal finance content

Ashley is a seasoned personal finance editor who’s produced a variety of digital content, including insurance, credit cards, mortgages, and consumer lending products.

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Mark Friedlander
Reviewed byMark Friedlander
Mark Friedlander
Mark FriedlanderDirector, Corporate Communications, Triple-I
  • Corporate communications director for Insurance Information Institute

  • 20+ years in insurance and communications

As Director, Corporate Communications for Triple-I, Mark serves as the non-profit’s national spokesperson, sharing information and education on a wide array of insurance issues.

Updated June 30, 2024

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Dogs are the most common pets in the country. In fact, around 49 million U.S. households have one or more dogs.[1] Owning a dog comes with both routine and unexpected expenses. Pet insurance minimizes the financial burden you can face if your dog becomes ill or needs surgery or veterinary care.[2]

Accident-only pet insurance policies for dogs cost an average of $17 per month, and accident and illness policies cost an average of $56 per month, according to data from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA). The cost to insure your dog could be more depending on factors like your dog’s age, breed, and health condition.

With so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know which pet insurance company is best for you. Here’s what you should know about how pet insurance works, as well as the five best pet insurance options for your pup.

Quick Facts
  • Figo, Pets Best, and Trupanion are three of the best and cheapest pet insurance companies for dogs.

  • Similar to human health insurance, pet insurance can have a deductible that you must pay out of pocket before the insurance begins to pay.

  • Pet insurance typically includes coverage for accidents and unexpected illnesses, while a pet wellness plan can help with the cost of preventive care, including annual wellness exams.

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Best pet insurance for dogs

When it comes to pet insurance, you have many different options to choose from to help pay your eligible vet bills. Accident-only plans cover things like cuts, broken bones, swallowed objects, and other accident-related costs. Accident and illness plans cost a bit more but extend coverage to treatment for illnesses like cancer, arthritis, ear infections, and some hereditary conditions.

Many pet insurance companies offer wellness plans as add-on coverage to help offset costs for routine vet visits, vaccines, and parasite prevention.

The best pet insurance plan for you depends on your pet’s health status, age, and breed. Here are the five best pet insurance companies available, based on Insurify’s research.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly QuoteBest For
Spot$70Unlimited coverage
Trupanion$63Fast reimbursement
Lemonade$54Puppies
Pets Best$33Routine care coverage
Figo$32Pre-existing conditions

Spot: Best for unlimited coverage

  • Average monthly quote: $70

Spot offers accident-only pet insurance plans and accident and illness plans. If you choose the accident and illness plan, you’ll receive coverage for your dog’s vet exam fees, dental illnesses, and alternative therapies, like acupuncture. Spot has an unlimited annual plan and doesn’t have per-incident or lifetime caps on coverage.

Pros
  • Annual unlimited coverage option

  • Covers some care other pet insurers don’t, like alternative therapies

  • You can visit any licensed vet in the U.S.

Cons
  • Doesn’t offer as many discounts as other insurers

  • Requires a 14-day waiting period for coverage

  • Your premiums will increase as your pet ages

Trupanion: Best for fast reimbursement

  • Average monthly quote: $63

Trupanion provides coverage for all dog breeds. The company provides extensive coverage that includes hereditary conditions, unidentified issues, and congenital issues developed before birth. Trupanion doesn’t have caps on insurance payouts, and the company pays your claims for vet bills as soon as you submit them.

Pros
  • No caps on insurance payouts

  • Won’t raise your premiums as your pet ages

  • Instant claim payouts

Cons
  • Doesn’t pay for exam fees

  • Doesn’t offer a wellness plan add-on

  • More expensive than some other insurers

Lemonade: Best for puppies

  • Average monthly quote: $54

Lemonade is the best option for puppy insurance, thanks to the company’s preventative care package. This plan covers procedures like spaying and neutering, microchipping, and certain vaccines and boosters. And you can use coverage for visits at any licensed veterinarian office in the United States.

Pros
  • Offers a preventative care package for puppies

  • Known for processing claims quickly

  • Offers a 5% multi-pet discount if you purchase dog and cat insurance together

Cons
  • Only available in 22 states and the District of Columbia

  • Costs extra for acupuncture or chiropractic care

  • Six-month waiting period for coverage of cruciate ligaments

Pets Best: Best for routine care coverage

  • Average monthly quote: $33

When you sign up for Pets Best, you can choose between accident-only coverage and accident and illness coverage. You also have the option to add routine care coverage, which pays for annual checkups and routine vaccinations. The company’s claims process is fairly simple, and you can sign up for direct deposit to receive your reimbursements faster.

Pros
  • You can choose an accident-only plan to save money

  • Can reimburse your vet directly

  • Routine care available for annual checkups and vaccinations

Cons
  • Rates increase as your dog ages

  • Doesn’t cover food or supplements

  • Doesn’t cover alternative therapies

Figo: Best for pre-existing conditions

  • Average monthly quote: $32

Figo is one of the only pet insurance companies that may offer coverage for curable pre-existing conditions. To qualify, pets must be symptom-free within 12 months of treatment. Figo is also one of the few pet insurers that offer a 100% reimbursement option.

Pros
  • May cover curable pre-existing conditions

  • No per-incident caps

  • Up to 100% reimbursement on certain plans

Cons
  • Doesn’t offer an accident-only plan

  • Coverage for exam fees available at an added cost

  • Six-month waiting period for orthopedic problems, like hip dysplasia

  • To identify the best pet insurance companies for dogs, Insurify’s writers and editors sought sample quotes from each insurer for a medium-sized 2-year-old male mixed-breed dog living in Hartford, Connecticut. Quotes were for accident and illness coverage with 80% reimbursement, a $500 deductible, and $5,000 or more in annual coverage. 

    We also researched each pet insurance company’s available coverage options, deductible options, discounts, pets covered, waiting period, and customer reviews.

How pet insurance works

Pet insurance provides financial support for routine and emergency care so your dog can always receive the care it needs. Most pet insurance providers offer accident and illness and accident-only protection, and some let you pay extra for routine care, dental procedures, exam fees, alternative therapies, and more.

You should always review policy details to understand what your coverage includes before purchasing. In particular, you’ll want to pay attention to the following factors:

  • Waiting periods: Nearly all pet insurance policies come with mandatory waiting periods, often 14 days or more. Once the waiting period is up, your pet’s coverage will apply to all eligible claims.

  • Deductibles: A deductible is the amount you have to spend out of pocket when you file a claim before your coverage kicks in. The lower you set your deductible, the more you’ll pay for monthly premiums.

  • Reimbursement rate: Once you meet your deductible, your insurance company will pay a certain percentage of all eligible claims. Most pet insurance plans will reimburse between 60% and 100% of eligible costs.

  • Payout limits: Some insurance companies have an annual limit, so you’ll want to understand these limits. Payout caps are typically either per condition or per year.

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How to buy pet insurance

Buying pet insurance is fairly easy, and most pet insurance companies let you sign up online. Here are the steps you need to take to buy pet insurance.

1. Compare pet insurance quotes

Start by comparing quotes from at least three different pet insurance companies. You can receive free quotes online, and you’ll see what your coverage includes, how much the plan costs, and what your out-of-pocket expenses will be.

It’s also a good idea to read the reviews of any companies you’re considering. Online reviews will help you see what kind of experiences other customers have had with that company.

2. Find the best coverage for you

The plan that’s best for you will depend on your pet, your budget, and the level of coverage you need. You should think about how much coverage you want and the type of deductible you’re willing to pay. Make sure to read the policy terms closely to understand what it does and doesn’t cover.

You should also find out how the claims process works, as well as how the company will reimburse you for any approved claims. For example, can you sign up for direct deposit? Or will the company reimburse your vet directly?

See More: Best Multi-Pet Insurance

See More: Best Multi-Pet Insurance

3. Purchase the policy

Once you’ve found the right company and plan, you can usually purchase the policy on the company’s website. You’ll enter your personal information, as well as details about your dog, and you can pay for your monthly or annual premium online.

What pet insurance for dogs covers

Your dog’s exact coverage will vary depending on the company and policy you choose, but here are the services pet insurance commonly covers:

What pet insurance for dogs doesn’t cover

Like most types of insurance, pet coverage has a number of common exclusions. You should always familiarize yourself with your pet’s policy to understand what it includes.

Here are some common pet insurance exclusions:

  • Pre-existing conditions

  • Grooming services

  • Hereditary disorders, such as hip dysplasia

  • Wellness exams and preventative care

  • Anything not outlined in your plan

How much pet insurance for dogs costs

The average cost of pet insurance varies based on how much coverage you want for your dog. Insurance for dogs typically costs more than it does for cats. On average, an accident and illness policy for a dog costs $676 annually, or $56 per month. If you choose an accident-only plan for your dog, you’ll pay an average of $204 annually, or a monthly premium of around $17.[4]

The following factors affect the cost of pet insurance:

  • Your location

  • Your dog’s breed

  • Your dog’s age

  • Your dog’s health status

  • Your coverage

  • Your insurance company

Keep Reading: Cheap Pet Insurance

Keep Reading: Cheap Pet Insurance

Common dog insurance claims

Below are five of the most common medical conditions seen in dogs, according to NAPHIA’s State of the Industry Report:

  • Gastrointestinal issues: These can include things like diarrhea and vomiting.

  • Skin conditions: These can include infections, allergies, masses, or dermatitis.

  • Urinary tract infections: Urinary tract infections or kidney and bladder issues are also common medical ailments in dogs.

  • Otitis externa: Ear infections are another common problem for dogs.

  • Behavioral conditions: Behavioral issues in dogs can include anxiety and neurological problems.

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Most expensive claims

Many factors affect the cost of pet insurance and pet insurance claims, including your dog’s breed, age, and location.

The table below shows the top six most expensive pet insurance claims paid in North America in 2023, according to NAPHIA’s State of the Industry Report:

BreedAgeIllnessClaim Amount Paid
Golden retriever6Lymphoma$51,133
Bernese mountain dog8Mitral valve regurgitation$50,000
Black and tan coonhound4Vomiting$46,900
Standard poodle4Anemia$44,395
Labrador retriever mix3Pneumonia$43,714
French bulldog6Corneal ulcer$43,389

Pet insurance for dogs FAQs

Here’s some additional information for pet owners who want to find the best price for coverage that meets their dogs’ needs.

  • What’s the cheapest pet insurance for dogs?

    Accident coverage is the cheapest type of pet insurance for dogs, though its coverage isn’t as extensive as an accident and illness plan. Figo and Pets Best offer the cheapest pet insurance coverage overall, based on the pet insurance companies that Insurify researched.

  • What are the types of pet insurance?

    The three main types of pet insurance are accident only, accident and illness, and add-on wellness coverage. The best policy for you will depend on your dog’s age, breed, and health status.

  • Does pet insurance cover dental?

    Some plans offer dental coverage for dogs, though you may have to pay extra. If you have an accident-only policy, you’ll receive coverage for dental emergencies but not routine dental care.

  • Does pet insurance cover spaying and neutering?

    Most pet insurance plans don’t cover spaying and neutering since it’s an elective procedure. But some companies, like Lemonade, offer a preventative care plan for puppies that includes spaying and neutering.

  • Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

    No. Pet insurance typically doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. But some companies may cover a pre-existing condition if your pet has been symptom- and treatment-free for a certain period of time.

Sources

  1. United States Census Bureau. "American Housing Survey: 2021 Household Pets."
  2. American Animal Hospital Association. "How Does Pet Insurance Work?."
Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson

Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based personal finance writer whose work has been featured on several of the top finance and business sites in the country, including Insider, Credit Karma, Bankrate, Rocket Mortgage, Fox Business, Quicken Loans, and The Balance. For the past six years, she's dedicated more than 10,000 hours of research and writing to more than 2,000 articles about personal finance topics.

Ashley Cox
Edited byAshley CoxSenior Managing Editor
Headshot of Managing Editor Ashley Cox
Ashley CoxSenior Managing Editor
  • 7+ years in content creation and management

  • 5+ years in insurance and personal finance content

Ashley is a seasoned personal finance editor who’s produced a variety of digital content, including insurance, credit cards, mortgages, and consumer lending products.

Featured in

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Mark Friedlander
Reviewed byMark FriedlanderDirector, Corporate Communications, Triple-I
Mark Friedlander
Mark FriedlanderDirector, Corporate Communications, Triple-I
  • Corporate communications director for Insurance Information Institute

  • 20+ years in insurance and communications

As Director, Corporate Communications for Triple-I, Mark serves as the non-profit’s national spokesperson, sharing information and education on a wide array of insurance issues.