Finding the best pet insurance for your needs can be difficult. But it's a necessity for any pet owners looking to insulate themselves against the potential for the high vet costs that can be associated with pet ownership.

How exactly does pet insurance work? It covers reimbursement of veterinary expenses for your dog, cat, horse, snake such as a cobra, or other animals. The policy typically covers up to 90% of usual and customary veterinary expenses, including treatment as a result of ongoing conditions or accidents. Illnesses, hereditary and congenital conditions, alternative therapies, behavioral treatments, and other assorted wellness options are also available. Annual deductibles range between $100 and $500.

Best Price: PetPlan

PetPlan pet insurance offers coverage for both dogs and cats. The monthly cost, depending on your plan choice, will be between $8 - $60. Annual payout limits for their bronze, silver, and golds plans are $8,000, $12,000, and $20,000 respectively. Pets must be at least 6 weeks old to enroll in the program with no upper age limit. Pros of the company include quick payments, reliable customer service, and the coverage options they have available. One con about the company is that some customers have reported hidden exclusions to coverage that they were not made aware of. PetPlan is near the middle of the pack when is comes to ratings. They offer good coverage and for the price they ask and should be considered when choosing a pet insurance company. Learn more

Top Rated: Healthy Paws

Healthy Paws pet insurance has coverage available for both dogs and cats. Depending on the plan you select your monthly cost will be between $15 - $90. They also have no payout limits for individual accidents and the lifetime of your coverage. Your pet must be at least 8 weeks old and under 14 years old to be covered by the plan for both dogs and cats. Pros of the company include excellent claims service, friendly customer service, and limited bureaucracy to get through. Healthy Paws is consistently rated the highest by customers for the level of care and professionalism they provide. They also get big marks for having unlimited benefits with their policies. Learn more

Best for Overall Coverage: Embrace

Embrace pet insurance has coverage available for both dogs and cats. They have several plans that include annual payout limits of $2,000, $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000 respectively with a lifetime limit of $50,000. Pets must be at least 8 weeks old to enroll but once accepted they will be covered for life. Age limits to enroll for dogs include 9 years for mixed and 7 years for purebred. Age limits to enroll for cats include 11 years old for mixed and 9 years old for purebreds. Pros of the company include quick claims processing and exceptional customer service. One con of the company seems to be confusion when it comes to paperwork submitted by the customer. Overall Embrace is a solid company that routinely gets high marks among reviewers. Choosing one of their plans for your pet would not be a bad investment. Learn more

Lots of Choices: PetPremium

Newcomer PetPremium wows customers with a myriad of coverage options. Underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company, they have four plan levels available to fit a variety of pet health needs and human budgets. At each increasing level, additional types of treatments and conditions are covered and the per-incident cap increases. PetPremium has no lifetime coverage limits and at all plan levels customers may select their deductible and percent of expenses covered. Learn more

Best for Customer Satisfaction: Trupanion

Trupanion pet insurance offers coverage for both dogs and cats. Their monthly cost is between $12 - $90 depending on the policy you select. There are no per incident limits, annual limits, or lifetime limits on the coverage. You also have the ability to select the amount of the deductible ranging from $0 - $1,000. Pets must be between 8 weeks and 14 years old to enroll but once accepted they will remained covered for the rest of their life. Trupanion is often praised for its claim response time and personal care when talking to customers. One con is that it can be somewhat more expensive than other carriers. Overall the company is a solid choice that should be there for you for you when you need them. Learn more

Good Basic Coverage: ASPCA

ASPCA pet insurance has four plans available that each cover 90% of covered charges. The plans are called level 1 - 4 and their incident limits are $2,500, $3,000, $5,000, and $7,000 respectively with annual deductibles between $100 - $500. Plans are however only available for dogs and cats. To be eligible pets must be between 8 weeks old and 13 years for dogs/15 years for cats. Once covered they will remain that way regardless of how old they get. One pro of the company includes the ease of submitting claims for your pet. However common complaints of the company include paying late, dropped plans, and refusing to cover expenses without explanation. ASPCA Pet Insurance has consistently been rated one of the lowest pet insurance companies out there. You are better off choosing someone else. Learn more

Most Established: VPI

Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) has three basic plans. They include Comprehensive ($25-$35/month), Economical ($19-$27/month), and Emergency ($10-$11/month). Their prices vary on where you live, your deductible amount, plan type, pet species, size, and age. VPI is also the oldest and largest pet insurance company in the U.S. covering dogs, cats, birds, and exotics for medical problems and conditions. Depending on the plan you select your annual payout limit is $14,000, $9,000, or $7,000 and your deductible is either $1,000, $500, $250, or $100. To be eligible for coverage your pet must be between 6 weeks and 10 years of age but once pet is enrolled, they will remain insured no matter how old they get. Common pros of the company include their decent customer service and the amount of coverage they offer. Cons include some customers reporting their plans being dropped for unknown reasons. Compared to other companies VPI is below average. For the same amount of money you pay you can get better service and coverage from others in the field. Learn more

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