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Research shows that 1 in 3 pets require emergency veterinary treatment every year, and every six seconds a pet owner is faced with a vet bill of more than $1,000. Pets are a part of the family, but 4 out of 5 pet owners are unable to afford a $5,000 vet bill. This is where pet insurance comes in.
As people spend more money on their pets, purchasing pet insurance is also on the rise. Pet insurance can help cover the veterinary costs for unexpected accidents and illnesses. Take a look at our list for the best pet insurance companies to find one that fits your needs.
Pet insurance typically covers pets for accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Most plans exclude pets with hereditary and congenital conditions or have age requirements for pets to qualify. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plans have coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions and cover pets regardless of health conditions. Its plans also cover hip dysplasia no matter how old your pet is when they are enrolled. ASPCA has no age limits for illness coverage enrollment. This is the age for a pet where illness coverage is no longer available for new enrollments. It also does not require an exam before pet owners get reimbursed for claims.
ASPCA has a 14-day illness and accident waiting period. Pet owners can choose reimbursement from 70% to 90% of covered vet costs. Its plans have an annual deductible and an optional add-on for preventative care with no waiting period. ASPCA also offers a 10% multiple pet discount for each additional pet. ASPCA has been providing pet health insurance since 1997.
Embrace has a feature called the "Healthy Pet Deductible." For every year a pet owner doesn't receive a claim reimbursement, the deductible is reduced the next year by $50. This means if you have a $200 deductible and do not make a claim for four years, then your deductible will be $0. Once you submit a claim, the Healthy Pet Deductible resets. Many pet insurance companies have waiting periods from 14 to 30 days before coverage kicks in. Waiting periods for Embrace are just two days for accidents and 14 days for illnesses. Many insurers also do not cover the cost of a pet's exam fee, but Embrace covers the exam fee for all covered accidents and illnesses.
Another benefit of Embrace is how it defines pre-existing conditions. Many pet insurance companies review the past 24 months or your pet's entire life. Embrace only reviews the last 12 months of a pet's medical history to establish pre-existing conditions. With Embrace, pet owners can choose reimbursement from 70% to 90% of covered vet costs. Its plans have an annual deductible and an optional add-on for preventative care. Embrace also offers a 10% multiple pet discount for each additional pet and a 5% military discount. Embrace has been providing pet health insurance since 2003.
Lemonade is a pet insurance company that uses AI to process claims quickly through its digital app. Lemonade can cover pet owners in seconds and states that claims will be approved in minutes. The insurer also offers renters, homeowners, and car insurance. Pet owners can receive a 10% bundle discount if they use Lemonade's other services and a 5% multi-pet discount. Lemonade's app also has a 4.9 rating on the iTunes App Store and 4.4 on Google Play.
Lemonade is a public benefit corporation. A public benefit corporation is a corporation created to generate social and public good. Its goal is to operate in a responsible manner while making a positive impact. Lemonade donates a portion of profits to meaningful causes customers choose, including animal welfare organizations.
Many pet insurance companies offer a limited selection of coverage options, but Spot Pet Insurance allows pet owners to choose tailored pet policies, the reimbursement percentage they want, the annual limit, as well as the annual deductible. Spot offers an unlimited annual limit, no per incident cap, and no lifetime cap. With this option, there is no cap on the annual or lifetime claim limit after the deductible is met. If pet owners want the maximum level of coverage, then Spot provides policies with 100% coverage option, low deductibles, and a variety of preventive pet insurance options. Spot plans include coverage options for alternative therapy, behavioral training, vitamins, and supplements.
Spot has a 14-day illness and accident waiting period. Its plans have an annual deductible and an optional add-on for preventative care with no waiting period. Spot also offers a 10% multiple pet discount for each additional pet. United States Fire Insurance Company underwrites all Spot Pet Insurance plans and has been providing pet insurance since 2006.
Figo has no lifetime maximum for care. In addition, there is no per-incident cap, meaning there is no maximum for claim payments by condition type. While no plan covers pre-existing conditions, Figo may cover pre-existing conditions considered curable if pets show no signs or symptoms within 12 months of the last treatment. Figo also offers the Figo Pet Cloud app. Pet owners can use the app to connect with other pet owners, find pet parks, pet day care centers and more. Through the app, Figo offers free 24/7 access to a licensed veterinarian to help during emergencies.
Figo has a 14-day illness and one-day accident waiting period. Pet owners can choose reimbursement from 70% to 100% of covered vet costs. Most plans cap coverage at 90%. Its plans have an annual deductible and Figo offers a 10% multiple pet discount for each additional pet. Figo has been providing pet health insurance since 2015.
Fetch offers one comprehensive plan that includes what other pet insurance companies charge extra for or don't cover at all. The plan includes comprehensive dental, breed-specific conditions, and holistic care. Many insurers do not pay for exam fees. Fetch covers the complete sick visit, including exam fees -- saving on average $50-$250 per appointment. Fetch's holistic coverage includes physical therapy, acupuncture, homeopathic, hydrotherapy, and chiropractic care all at no extra charge. Even supplements are covered as long as the pet's vet recommends them for a covered condition. Since Fetch has only one comprehensive plan that covers many services, the monthly premium might be higher than other pet insurers. It doesn't have a cheaper coverage option for accidents and illnesses only, and it also doesn't cover routine and preventive care.
Fetch offers a patent-pending technology that provides tailored insights and recommendations on a pet's future health. It also sends a topical, monthly newsletter designed to help pet owners take action and improve their pet's happiness. Waiting periods vary state to state but they are no longer than 15 days. Fetch offers discounts up to 10% for members of the military, AARP members, support pets, and vets and their employees.
Many pet insurance companies cover the most common pets, such as dogs and cats. Nationwide also offers an Avian & Exotic Pet Plan that covers birds, rabbits, reptiles, and other exotic pets. The exotic pet insurance plan covers accidents and illnesses as well as examinations, lab fees, prescriptions, X-rays, hospitalization, and more.
Nationwide offers two kinds of reimbursement. Its Whole Pet plan reimburses a percentage of what pet owners pay their veterinarian and its Major Medical plan and Pet Wellness plan reimburse owners according to a benefit schedule. The reimbursement is capped at a set amount for each condition or service. Nationwide has a 14-day illness and accident waiting period. Its plans have an annual deductible and an optional add-on for preventative care with a 24-hour waiting period. Nationwide offers a 5% multiple pet discount for the second and third pet, and 10% for the fourth and subsequent pet. Nationwide has been offering services since 1925.
Most pet insurance companies are on a reimbursement basis. Pet owners will have to pay the vet bill out of pocket and wait to get reimbursed from the pet insurance company. Trupanion pays veterinarians directly, which means pet owners pay less out of pocket. Trupanion's software technology allows the veterinarian to file the claim in-office. Pet owners do not have to submit claims themselves and get to just wait for approval and disbursement. They just need to pay their portion of the vet bill and Trupanion deals directly with the vet. Trupanion states that it can work with every hospital across North America.
Trupanion has no payout caps or limits, and unlike many other pet insurers, it does not automatically increase premiums every year due to pets aging. Trupanion also has flexible deductibles and hundreds of pricing options, including a $0 deductible. As opposed to annual deductibles that pet owners have to pay every year with most pet insurers, Trupanion's deductible is a condition-based, lifetime deductible that pet owners pay only once per issue and all its complications. Trupanion has a five-day waiting period for injuries and a 30-day waiting period for illnesses. Trupanion reimburses 90% of covered veterinary costs that arise from a pet getting sick or injured. The insurer has been providing pet health insurance since 1998.
Healthy Paws offers a single pet insurance plan that covers new accidents and illnesses, including injuries, cancer, genetic conditions, alternative, and emergency care. Unlike some pet insurance plans, the Healthy Paws plan has no maximum limits on payouts; no per incident, annual, or lifetime caps. Healthy Paws doesn't require claim forms. Pet owners need to just take a photo of their vet bill and submit it through the mobile app or the online Healthy Paws customer center.
Healthy Paws pet insurance plan includes coverage for alternative medicine, like acupuncture, hydrotherapy, herbal, massage, laser therapy, chiropractic, and homeopathy. The plan covers a holistic approach to the treatment of illnesses, looking at all aspects of a pet's life, including diet and lifestyle, to find and effectively treat the root causes of a problem. Healthy Paws has a 15-day illness and accident waiting period. For pets enrolled before the age of six, there is a 12-month waiting period for hip dysplasia. Pet owners can be reimbursed up to 90% of their vet bills. Healthy Paws has been providing pet health insurance since 2009.
Pets Best states that it offers pet insurance policies with customizable coverages and rates based on your budget. It offers a free 24/7 Pet Helpline where you can talk to veterinary experts who can answer your questions. This service has no limits on usage during your policy term, so as long as you are a customer you'll have access to it. One of the biggest perks is that Pets Best offers Vet Direct Pay, where it pays your vet directly. Most insurers require you to pay out of pocket and will reimburse you for veterinary care costs.
Pets Best allows you to easily submit claims through its Android and iOS apps. Currently the app is rated 4.7 out of 5 on iTunes and 4.7 on Google Play.
Pets Best Accident and Illness plans cover periodontal disease and other dental issues if your pet meets certain conditions. It also covers endodontic treatment as well as extractions.
The Pets Best premier routine care plan, EssentialWellness, offers teeth cleaning up to $150.
According to a survey, the top reason pet owners buy pet insurance is that they want to make decisions about their pet's healthcare without worrying about whether they can afford the procedure. Pet insurance is for pet owners who want an insurance policy that will help offset veterinary bills and create a financial safety net should their pet become unexpectedly sick or injured.
Emergency treatment for pets can be expensive. The average cost of emergency veterinary surgery for dogs and cats can run $1,500 to $5,000. Those who are financially secure and able to pay for high medical care costs for their pet may not need pet insurance. Pet owners worried about the rising cost of pet care and need help covering high and unexpected vet bills should consider a pet insurance policy.
The cost of pet insurance depends on many variables, such as the type of pet, breed, sex, age, location, annual coverage limit, and the deductible. Average premium costs can vary from $20 to $50 a month.
Wellness coverage typically costs $20-$25 per month and is rolled into comprehensive coverage policies. For most pet owners, the cost of a wellness policy is what they would pay out of pocket anyway, so it may not be worth getting a standalone wellness plan.
Pet insurance is worth the cost if you can afford the premium, you can't afford a high and unexpected vet bill, and your pet will benefit from the coverage. For older pets with many health issues, the premium amount may not be worth it since pre-existing conditions aren't covered. Due to new veterinary advancements, pets now have access to better diagnostics and treatments. Unfortunately, they come at a high cost.
Pet owners can expect to spend $20,000 to $55,000 to care for a dog and $15,000 to $46,000 for a cat, over their lifetimes. These amounts are equal to a down payment for a house and the cost of a car. Getting the right pet insurance policy can help cover these costs.
Most plans cover up to 90% of the vet bill. If a plan can cover $1,800 of a $2,000 emergency vet bill, imagine how much it could save over the pet's life. Plans also cover prescription medication, which can be expensive over the long run. Many of the best pet insurance companies also offer tailored insights and recommendations so pet owners can improve the health and happiness of their pets.
Pet insurance is similar to health insurance for humans. They both include annual premiums, deductibles, annual limits, and copays. Different pet insurance companies offer different options, so pet owners may have to do some research to find out what the best pet insurance for their pet is.
Depending on the plan, pet insurance policies can cover:
There are three types of pet insurance coverage: accident only, accident and illness, and wellness. Each level determines the type of care covered as well as the cost.
Although most insurers offer the three types of coverage, each plan will have differences within each plan, so it is important to shop around to compare plans.
Different pet insurance companies will offer different kinds of coverage for a pet's medical care. Insurance companies offer additional coverage options, such as emergency treatment overseas and liability coverage for injuries caused by a pet. In addition to the different endorsements that pet owners can add to the policy, pet owners have other ways to customize their plans:
While a basic accident and illness pet health insurance policy will cover pet owners for unexpected vet bills, adding preventative care to a plan can help with expenses they are already paying for.
If pet owners are already paying more than the cost of a preventative care rider for their pet's ongoing healthcare, adding the endorsement can keep their pets healthier. Common items covered under a preventative care or wellness plan include an annual physical exam, fecal or internal parasite test, heartworm test, blood test, vaccines, flea/tick medication, routine dental cleaning, and more.
When shopping around for the best pet insurance company, pet owners should consider what kind of medical expenses their pet already faces, and what kinds of injuries and illnesses are worth getting insurance coverage for.
Some pet owners may decide an accident-only plan is best for them, while others may want to make sure they get comprehensive coverage that includes items such as vaccinations. This can help prevent their pet from developing an illness. It is also important to consider additional costs like vet visit fees and physical therapy, which are not included in basic accident and illness coverage.
|Offer||Best For||Next Steps|
|Great For: Best for pets with hereditary and health conditions|
|Great For: Best for low deductibles and short waiting period|
|Great For: Best for fast claims processing|
|Great For: Best for customizable coverage choices|
|Great For: Best for unlimited annual benefits and access to 24/7 live vet|
|Great For: Best for comprehensive coverage|
|Great For: Best for birds and exotic pets|
|Great For: Best for direct payment to veterinarians|
|Great For: Best for alternative medicine for pets|
|Great For: Best for 24/7 Pet Helpline|
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