Find the Best Pet Insurance - NerdWallet

Find the Best Pet Insurance

Find the Best Pet Insurance

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

Pet insurance covers reimbursement of veterinary expenses for your dog, cat, horse, snake 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. Coverage for illnesses, hereditary and congenital conditions, alternative therapies, behavioral treatments, and other assorted wellness care is also available. Annual deductibles range between $100 and $500.

PetPlan: Best price

PetPlan logo

PetPlan pet insurance offers coverage for both dogs and cats. The monthly cost, depending on your plan choice, will be between $8 and $60. Annual payout limits for its bronze, silver and gold 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 it has 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 it comes to ratings.

Healthy Paws: Top rated

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 and $90. It also has 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 highest by customers for the level of care and professionalism it provides. It also gets big marks for having unlimited benefits with its policies.

Embrace: Best for overall coverage

Embrace Pet Insurance has coverage available for both dogs and cats. It has several plans, with annual payout limits of $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000, depending on the plan you choose, and 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 breeds and 7 years for purebreds. Age limits to enroll for cats are 11 years old for mixed breeds 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.

PetPremium: Best for a variety of choices

PetPremium wows customers with a ton of coverage options. It’s underwritten by the U.S. Fire Insurance Company, and has 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.

Trupanion: Best for customer satisfaction

Trupanion pet insurance offers coverage for both dogs and cats. Its monthly cost is between $12 and $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 to $1,000. Pets must be between 8 weeks and 14 years old to enroll, but once accepted they will remained covered for 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.

ASPCA: Good basic coverage

ASPCA has four plans available that each cover 90% of covered charges. The plans are called level 1 to 4 and their incident limits are $2,500, $3,000, $5,000 and $7,000, respectively, with annual deductibles between $100 and $500. Plans are only available for dogs and cats. To be eligible, pets must be between 8 weeks old and 13 years for dogs or 15 years for cats. Once covered, they will remain covered for life. One pro of the company is the ease of submitting claims for your pet. Common complaints include paying late, dropping plans and refusing to cover expenses without explanation. ASPCA has consistently been one of the lowest-rated pet insurance companies out there.

Nationwide: Most established

Nationwide, whose pet coverage was previously known as Veterinary Pet Insurance, has three basic plans:

  • Wellness (starting at $12 a month for cats and $17 for dogs) covers basics like vaccinations, and flea and heartworm prevention.
  • Major Medical (starting at $19 for cats and $34 for dogs) covers accidents and illnesses, chronic conditions and some hereditary conditions.
  • Whole Pet (starting at $35 for cats and $64 for dogs) covers both wellness and major medical, with 90% reimbursement of veterinary bills.

Nationwide 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 enrolled, your pet will remain insured for life. Common pros of the company include its decent customer service and the amount of coverage it offers. Cons include some customers reporting their plans being dropped for unknown reasons.


Image via iStock.

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