The Best Pet Insurance Companies for 2023

NerdWallet compared some of the biggest names in pet insurance to help you find the best plan for your favorite critter.

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Pet insurance plans reimburse you for some of the vet bills when your animal companion gets injured or sick. Buying the best pet insurance requires careful shopping because the policies aren’t standardized, and the range of options makes it hard to compare plans.

We evaluated pet insurers across the country to find the ones with the best combination of coverage, financial strength, consumer experience and plan options.

Below are the ones we consider to be the best pet insurance companies in the U.S.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure the content on our website is accurate and fair, so you can make financial decisions with confidence and choose the products that work best for you. Here’s the full methodology behind our pet insurance ratings.

The best pet insurance companies at a glance

All of the pet insurance companies below scored at least 4.5 out of 5 stars based on an in-depth comparison of coverage, plan terms and options, consumer experience, financial strength, and discounts.

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How we ranked the best pet insurance companies

NerdWallet’s rating system rewards companies with broad coverage, a variety of ways to customize your plan, a high financial strength rating and a good customer experience. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several pet insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. Check out the pros, cons and unique features for each of the best pet insurance companies below.

Jump to:

Embrace: Best for multiple ways to save

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: Embrace offers its customers many ways to save. You’ll automatically get a 10% discount when you insure more than one pet. Active military members and veterans can get a 5% discount in every state but New York and Tennessee. And for each year that you don’t file any claims, your deductible will drop by $50.

Embrace has a wide range of deductibles and annual coverage limits to choose from. Its standard accident and illness plan includes chiropractic care, acupuncture, physiotherapy and other alternative therapies. It also pays exam fees for covered conditions and reimburses for behavioral treatments as long as a vet provides them.

There’s typically a 180-day waiting period before Embrace will cover a dog’s orthopedic injuries, but you can reduce that to 14 days with a vet exam.

Age restrictions: The minimum age is 6 weeks. Pets up to age 14 are eligible for accident and illness coverage, which can be maintained throughout their lives. If you’re enrolling a pet for the first time at age 15 or above, it’s eligible only for accident coverage.

Plans available: Accident and illness, accident-only, wellness.

Deductible options

$200 to $1,000 annually.

Reimbursement options

70%, 80% or 90%.

Coverage limits

$5,000 to $30,000 per year.

Pros:

  • Deductible goes down each year you don’t file a claim.

  • Standard policies include diagnostic exam fees, behavioral therapies and alternative care.

  • Discounts are available if you insure multiple pets or you’re a member of the military.

Cons:

  • Waiting periods and pre-existing conditions reset if you decide to increase your pet’s coverage.


Figo: Best for a robust mobile app

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: Figo isn’t the only pet insurer with a mobile app, but you can use its Pet Cloud for more than simply filing claims and paying bills. You can also organize your pet’s medical records, live chat with a veterinarian, meet other pet parents and look up nearby dog walkers or groomers.

Figo offers three accident and illness plans, each with a different annual reimbursement maximum ranging from $5,000 to unlimited. Figo’s coverage is comprehensive, including nonroutine dental care, alternative treatments and hereditary conditions. Then you can add even more options such as wellness care and coverage for veterinary exam fees.

Like other pet insurers, Figo won’t cover pre-existing conditions, but it recognizes that some conditions are curable. If your pet hasn’t shown any symptoms or had any treatment for a curable condition over the past 12 months, Figo will cover the problem if it crops up again.

Age restrictions: The minimum age for coverage is 8 weeks. There’s no maximum age limit.

Plans available: Accident and illness, wellness.

Deductible options

$100 to $1,000 annually (not all options available for all pets).

Reimbursement options

70% to 100%.

Coverage limits

$5,000, $10,000 or unlimited.

Pros:

  • Unlimited coverage plan available in most states.

  • Holistic, behavioral and nonroutine dental treatments are covered.

  • 100% reimbursement available.

Cons:

  • Coverage for diagnostic exams costs extra.


MetLife: Best for lots of potential discounts

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: Formerly known as PetFirst, MetLife Pet Insurance offers a variety of ways to save on your policy, depending on where you live and work. First responders, health care workers, veterans, current members of the military and staff at animal care facilities may all be eligible for a discount. You may also save on your policy if your employer offers MetLife pet insurance as a benefit.

MetLife also stands out for its broad coverage, which includes things like hereditary and congenital conditions, alternative therapies, prescription food and dental illnesses. You can customize the plan by adjusting your deductible, reimbursement and coverage amounts and by adding wellness coverage. The plan has no lifetime limits.

MetLife’s claims process isn’t as seamless as it could be. Instead of completing a few quick fields online, you’ll have to download and fill out a form and then send it back through email, text, your online portal, MetLife’s mobile app, fax or mail. However, you can expect a relatively quick payout, with most claims paying out within 10 business days.

Age restrictions: None.

Plans available: Accident and illness, wellness.

Deductible options

$0 to $2,500 per year.

Reimbursement options

50% to 100%, depending on the policy.

Coverage limits

$500 to $25,000 per year. An unlimited option may be available by phone.

Pros:

  • Your deductible may be reduced each year you go without a claim.

  • Accident coverage starts right away, with no waiting period.

  • Holistic and alternative therapies are covered.

Cons:

  • Claims process isn’t as streamlined as some other companies' claims processes are.


Pets Best: Best for flexible and customizable plans

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: If you’re looking for plenty of ways to customize your coverage and price, Pets Best may be a good option. The company has three tiers of accident and illness coverage, plus two wellness add-ons and an accident-only plan. That increases your chances of finding insurance that fits your needs and budget.

For larger expenses, such as surgeries, you can work with Pets Best to pay your vet directly so you don’t have to pay as much yourself upfront.

Pets Best has fairly standard waiting periods: three days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses and six months for cruciate ligament issues.

Age restrictions: The minimum age is 7 weeks. Pets Best has no upper age limit.

Plans available: Accident and illness, accident-only, wellness.

Deductible options

$50 to $1,000 per year.

Reimbursement options

70%, 80% or 90%.

Coverage limits

$5,000 per year to unlimited.

Pros:

  • Lots of options to customize plans.

  • Unlimited coverage options available.

  • Can reimburse your vet directly.

Cons:

  • Includes exam fees and certain therapies only with more expensive plans.

  • Doesn’t cover herbal or holistic treatments.


AKC: Best for pets with pre-existing conditions

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: The American Kennel Club’s pet insurance plans aren’t just for registered purebred dogs. Mixed breeds and even cats can be signed up for the organization’s policies, which include optional add-ons for exam fees, wellness coverage and final expenses. If you do register your new pup for AKC membership, you can get 30 days of free pet insurance.

One thing that sets AKC apart is that it covers pre-existing conditions after a 12-month waiting period in most states. Most other pet insurers will cover only pre-existing conditions that have been fully cured or won’t cover them at all.

However, AKC may not be the best bet if you’re enrolling an older pet. Pets that are 9 years or older when you buy your policy are eligible only for accident coverage. And those signed up past age 2 aren’t eligible for AKC’s optional coverage for hereditary or congenital conditions.

Age restrictions: The minimum enrollment age is 8 weeks for puppies and 10 weeks for kittens. There’s no maximum age, but pets enrolled at age 9 and up are eligible only for accident coverage. However, pets with an existing accident and illness plan may keep that coverage beyond age 9 as long as there are no coverage lapses.

Plans available: Accident and illness, accident-only, wellness.

Deductible options

$100 to $1,000 annually.

Reimbursement options

70%, 80% or 90%.

Coverage limits

Annual limits ranging from $2,500 to unlimited.

Pros:

  • Covers pre-existing conditions after a waiting period.

  • Alternative and behavioral therapies are covered in some states.

  • Discounts for multiple pets or dogs with AKC’s Canine Good Citizen certification.

Cons:

  • You can add coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions only if the pet is under 2 years old at the time of enrollment.

  • 180-day waiting period for cruciate ligament injuries.


ASPCA: Best for a short, simple waiting period

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: You may know the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for its animal shelters, but it also offers solid pet insurance plans through its insurance partners. Its straightforward waiting period is 14 days for all conditions, including accidents, illnesses and cruciate ligament injuries. (Many companies have waiting periods of six months for knee injuries.)

Other perks: Coverage includes things some other companies exclude, such as prescription food to treat a covered condition, holistic treatments and behavioral therapy. ASPCA doesn’t require medical records or vet exams for enrollment, and you can get a 10% discount if you insure multiple pets.

In addition to cats and dogs, ASPCA also offers pet insurance for horses. 

Age restrictions: The minimum age is 8 weeks. There’s no upper age limit.

Plans available: Accident and illness, accident-only, wellness.

Deductible options

$100, $250 or $500 per year.

Reimbursement options

70%, 80% or 90%.

Coverage limits

Annual limits range from $5,000 to unlimited.

Pros:

  • Covers horses in addition to cats and dogs.

  • Shorter waiting period than most plans for cruciate injuries (14 days).

  • Standard plans cover alternative therapies, behavioral issues and congenital conditions.

Cons:

  • You must call rather than getting an online quote if you’re interested in unlimited annual coverage.


Hartville: Best for a wide range of coverage and plans

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: From its headquarters in Akron, Ohio, Hartville offers pet insurance for cats and dogs across the country. The company’s accident and illness policy covers an array of conditions, ranging from hereditary diseases to behavioral issues. It also covers advanced treatments, such as stem cell therapy, chemotherapy and acupuncture.

If you don’t need coverage for illnesses, you can buy an accident-only plan, which includes exam fees and treatments for covered accidents.

Hartville offers two preventive care plans: basic and prime. You can add these plans to your policy for a monthly fee. The basic package can help pay for services like dental cleaning, vaccinations and blood tests. The prime plan offers higher annual maximums, plus coverage for spaying and neutering.

Age restrictions: The minimum age is 8 weeks. There is no maximum age.

Plans available: Accident and illness, accident-only, wellness.

Deductible options

$100, $250 or $500 per year.

Reimbursement options

70%, 80% or 90%.

Coverage limits

Annual limits from $5,000 to unlimited.

Pros:

  • Unlimited annual coverage option available.

  • Covers some pre-existing conditions as long as they’ve been symptom-free for at least 180 days.

  • Wide range of coverage, including dental illness, hereditary conditions and prescription food to treat a covered condition.

Cons:

  • Doesn't cover herbal supplements.


Nationwide: Best for exotic pets

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: While most companies insure only dogs and cats, Nationwide’s exotic pet plan can cover just about any of your furry, feathered or scaly friends. You’ll have to call to get it though, as online quotes are available only for cats and dogs.

Nationwide has two main plans. Whole Pet covers a range of accidents and illnesses, including hereditary conditions, and reimburses a percentage of your vet bills — up to your annual limit. Major Medical offers less comprehensive coverage and pays a set amount for each condition, regardless of what your vet charges you.

You can supplement your Major Medical plan with wellness coverage or buy a wellness plan on its own. Wellness plans aren’t available in all states or with Whole Pet.

Age restrictions: Depending on the plan, the minimum age may be 8 weeks and the maximum age may be 8 years. Some plans have no minimum or maximum age.

Plans available: Accident and illness, wellness.

Deductible options

$250 per year. Other options may be available if you call the company.

Reimbursement options

50% or 70% for Whole Pet plans. For Major Medical plans, Nationwide sets reimbursement caps for each condition.

Coverage limits

$10,000 per year for Whole Pet plans.

Pros:

  • Insures a much wider range of pets than most companies.

  • Covers holistic and alternative treatments.

  • Some employers offer discounted plans as a benefit.

Cons:

  • Can’t customize deductible or coverage limits online.

  • 12-month waiting period for cruciate ligament injuries.

  • Major Medical plans don’t cover all hereditary conditions.


Pumpkin: Best for generous plans for all dogs and cats

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: Pumpkin keeps things simple with a single accident and injury plan that automatically reimburses 90% of vet expenses for all pets, with no upper age limits. You can choose among three annual coverage limits and add a preventive care package if you’d like. Coverage for accidents and injuries kicks in after 14 days, even for hip and knee issues.

The company covers dental illnesses, behavioral issues, vet exam fees for covered conditions and alternative therapies, all without an extra charge.

You can file claims online through Pumpkin’s web portal. The company offers a 10% discount if you enroll more than one pet.

Age restrictions: The minimum age is 8 weeks. There’s no maximum age limit.

Plans available: Accident and illness, wellness.

Deductible options

$100, $250 or $500 per year.

Reimbursement options

90%.

Coverage limits

$10,000 or $20,000 per year, or unlimited, for dogs; $7,000 or $15,000 per year, or unlimited, for cats.

Pros:

  • 10% multipet discount.

  • Reimbursement rate of 90% on all plans.

  • 14-day waiting period for all conditions, including cruciate ligament injuries and hip dysplasia.

Cons:

  • No mobile app.


Spot: Best for broad coverage

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: Spot’s pet insurance plans are comprehensive, covering alternative treatments, behavioral therapies, dental illness, microchip implantation and diets prescribed to treat a covered condition.

The company offers a variety of ways to customize your policy, including many annual coverage limits to choose from. There’s even an unlimited option.

Its easy-to-understand waiting period is 14 days for everything, including both accidents and illnesses, with no exception for cruciate ligament issues. The company offers a 10% multipet discount.

Age restrictions: The minimum age is 8 weeks. There’s no upper age limit.

Plans available: Accident and illness, accident-only, wellness.

Deductible options

$100 to $1,000 per year.

Reimbursement options

70%, 80% or 90%.

Coverage limits

$2,500 per year to unlimited.

Pros:

  • Unlimited coverage available.

  • Waiting period is only 14 days for all accidents and illnesses, including cruciate ligament issues.

  • Plans cover exam fees, alternative therapies and behavioral treatments.

Cons:

  • Poorly rated mobile app.

  • Doesn’t offer an option to pay your vet directly.


Trupanion: Best for pets that may develop chronic conditions

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Why we picked it: In most states, Trupanion handles deductibles differently than most other pet insurance companies. Instead of charging a given deductible each year, it charges deductibles per condition — and once you’ve met each one, you won’t have to pay it again during your pet’s lifetime.

That could save you money if your pet develops a chronic condition that requires extended treatment. Once you’ve paid the deductible once, you won’t have to pay it year after year. Trupanion reimburses 90% of expenses once you’ve met the deductible, and it has no annual or lifetime coverage limits.

In Florida, where Trupanion is testing a new type of plan, there are no deductibles. You can choose your own reimbursement rate between 50% and 90%.

Trupanion doesn’t offer a wellness plan and charges extra for acupuncture, physical therapy and behavioral treatments (except in Florida, where some of these therapies are included). You can also pay more for a Pet Owner Assistance package. This covers things like a reward for a lost pet, boarding fees if you’re hospitalized and trip cancellation costs if you have to rush home for a pet emergency.

Age restrictions: There’s no minimum age. The maximum age is 13 years.

Plans available: Accident and illness.

Deductible options

In most states, $0 to $1,000 lifetime deductible per condition. In Florida, plans have no deductibles.

Reimbursement options

90% in most states. In Florida, you can select any percentage between 50% and 90%.

Coverage limits

Unlimited in all states.

Pros:

  • May be able to pay your vet directly.

  • Unlimited coverage for all pets.

  • Doesn’t automatically raise premiums as your pet ages.

Cons:

  • Rehab, acupuncture, behavioral modification and other complementary treatments cost extra in every state except Florida.


How much is pet insurance?

Pet insurance costs about $584 per year for a dog and $343 per year for a cat, on average, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association

North American Pet Health Insurance Association. Pet Insurance in North America: State of the Industry 2022.
. That figure is for accident and illness coverage. Accident-only policies are significantly cheaper, at $239 per year for dogs and $130 per year for cats.

Your own cost will vary depending on factors such as: 

  • Where you live. Pet insurance companies take the cost of vet care in your area into account when pricing your policy.

  • Your pet’s age. Because older animals are more likely to have health problems, their premiums are generally higher.

  • Your pet’s breed. Certain breeds are more prone to health issues. For example, bulldogs and Boston terriers often develop breathing problems, while German shepherds and other large breeds are more likely than others to get hip dysplasia. These potential problems may be reflected in the cost of your pet insurance plan.

  • Your deductibles, coinsurance and coverage limits. The more you’re willing to pay out of pocket for your pet’s care, the lower your pet insurance premium will be. For instance, choosing a $100 deductible instead of a $500 one means your plan will start reimbursing you sooner for your pet’s care, but it’ll cost you more in premiums.

How to compare pet insurance companies

The costs and types of pet insurance plans vary by company, so consider options from several providers before choosing. Here are some tips for buying pet insurance.

1. Check whether your pet is eligible

Puppies and kittens often must be a minimum of 6 to 10 weeks old to be insured, depending on the company. Senior pets may not be eligible for first-time enrollment with some companies, or they may qualify for accident coverage only. Once the pet is enrolled, though, most plans will offer coverage for life as long as you continue paying the premiums.

2. Decide how much coverage you want

Most pet insurance plans cap the amount they pay out per year, although some have no annual limit. Only you can decide the amount that gives you reasonable peace of mind for paying vet bills.

If your dog or cat is relatively healthy, you might go years without paying for anything but routine care. But an unexpected surgery or serious illness could add up to thousands of dollars in expenses.

3. Understand reimbursements and deductibles

Most pet insurance plans reimburse you for a percentage of your vet bill. You can generally choose a reimbursement level, such as 70%, 80% or 90%, when you buy the plan.

Other plans pay what the insurance company deems a standard fee for a given treatment, which might be less than what your vet charges. You’d be responsible for the remainder.

Most plans also have a deductible — the dollar amount you pay out of pocket before the policy pays. You can usually choose from a range of deductibles, such as $100, $250 or more. Some plans apply deductibles to each injury or illness that’s treated. Most have you pay the deductible every year.

Generally, the lower your out-of-pocket costs are, the more you’ll pay for coverage. A lower deductible and higher reimbursement rate can lead to a higher premium, while a higher deductible and lower reimbursement rate can mean a lower premium.

4. Look for exclusions and waiting periods

Most plans include short waiting periods after you purchase the policy for general accident and illness coverage, such as 14 days. Treatment during the waiting period is not covered.

Some plans include longer waiting periods for coverage of certain conditions, such as cruciate ligament injuries, a common orthopedic problem for dogs. The cruciate ligaments help stabilize the knee; when injured, it can make it difficult for a dog to walk.

Meanwhile, some plans don’t cover certain conditions, such as hip dysplasia, or certain expenses, such as exam fees when your pet is injured or sick. In some cases, you may need to pay more for this coverage.

5. Examine extra costs

Some pet insurance companies offer coverage for routine services such as well visits and vaccinations. While this may sound tempting, do the math to determine whether it’s worth the extra cost. Compare the annual wellness insurance premium with the amount you’d pay each year on your own for services covered under the plan. Read the details, because the items covered for “wellness” vary by pet insurance company.

6. Compare quotes

The cost of insurance varies by carrier and the amount of coverage. Some pet insurers offer discounts; you might be able to save money by insuring more than one pet, for example. But a discount doesn’t guarantee the plan is the best deal.

The only way to find the best insurance for your pet is to dig into the details and get quotes for several plans. Make sure you’re making a fair comparison, with similar coverage amounts, deductibles and reimbursement limits.

Understand the plan before you buy, so when your beloved pet is sick as a dog, you will know what the insurance covers and won’t be taken by surprise.

Methodology

NerdWallet’s pet insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, coverage, plan options, discounts and more. Our “consumer experience” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale. See our full pet insurance methodology.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

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