If you have a pet, you know how expensive veterinary care can be. In an effort to offset the costs of keeping their pets in excellent health, many pet owners choose to purchase pet insurance for their cats and dogs. There are a lot of different plans out there to compare, so how do you know which is the best pet insurance company to do business with?

Top Pick

Embrace

  • Diminishing deductible (if no claim made in year)
  • Claims are processed and paid promptly
  • Extra reimbursements: grooming, training, etc
  • Optional wellness plan

Rating 4.6

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Our top pick among pet insurance companies is Embrace Pet Insurance. This company offers an illness and accident plan and it also has a separate wellness plan, which can cover routine expenses that are often excluded from similar insurance policies. They cover expenses related to many different illnesses and injuries, and they cover alternative therapies as part of their basic plan.

In This Article

We have looked at many different pet insurance companies, and have compiled a list of our top picks in various categories. We compared features such as the overall value of each company, what they covered, what customers have to say about the coverage, and more. Below, you will find out who we thought were the top 5 pet insurance companies. You can use this information to decide which company’s plan is the best for you and your pet.

The Best Pet Insurance Companies

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallEmbrace Pet Insurance4.6
Runner UpHealthy Paws Pet Insurance4.6
Best for a BudgetPetfirst Pet Insurance4.3
Best for Pre-existing ConditionsPet Assure4.3
Best With Extra RidersTrupanion4.1

Best Overall Pet Insurance Company: Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance Review
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on Embrace Pet Insurance's secured website

Average Customer Rating

4.6

What we like:
Optional wellness plan

Monthly PremiumAs low as $10 for cats and $16 for dogs
Deductible$200, $300, $500, $750, or $1,000
Benefits Limits70%, 80% or 90% of annual costs
Age RestrictionsAs young as 6 weeks and as old as 14 years

Visit the Embrace Pet Insurance website or get a quote for pet insurance


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Our top pick for pet insurance companies is Embrace Pet InsuranceThis is a plan that can cost as little as $10/month for cats and $16/month for dogs, making it one of the best values on the market. For the lower premium cost, you would likely have a high deductible (up to $1,000) and 70 percent coverage of qualifying expenses. On their basic plan, the coverage includes emergency veterinarian services, treatments for cancer and other long-term health issues, prescription medications, the fees associated with surgery, accidental injuries, rehabilitation, and more.

The optional wellness plan will cover things like heartworm preventative, annual/routine vaccinations, grooming at the vet, anal gland expression, hip dysplasia exams, and cremation or burial. This is an annual benefit that you can use however you want.

One nice part of this program is the diminishing deductible: If you don’t receive reimbursement any accident or illness claims in a certain calendar year, your deductible will be $50 lower the next year. This is stackable; if you don’t make claims for three years, for example, your deductible on the fourth year will be $150 less than the one assigned to your plan.

Important Features of Embrace Pet Insurance:

  • Diminishing deductible
  • Optional wellness plan
  • No lifetime limits
  • Quick claim turnaround
  • Covers office visits
  • Covers alternative treatments
  • Offers multiple pet, military, and employee benefit discounts
  • Covers cats and dogs 6 weeks to 14 years

Check out our comprehensive Embrace Pet Insurance Review for more information.

Runner-up Pet Insurance Company: Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review
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on Healthy Paws Pet Insurance's secured website

Average Customer Rating

4.6

What we like:
No annual maximum

Monthly PremiumApproximately $35 for dogs and $25 for cats
Deductible$100, $200, $500, or $750
Benefits Limits70%, 80% or 90% of annual costs
Age RestrictionsAs young as 8 weeks and as old as 14 years

Visit the Healthy Paws Pet Insurance website or get a quote for pet insurance


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Our runner-up when it came to the best pet insurance companies is Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. The average premium is $35/month for dogs and $25/month for cats. The plan is highly customizable, allowing you to choose the deductible and coverage amount that works for you. It can be used for pets as young as 8 weeks old and as old as 14 years.

One of the best features of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance is that there is no annual maximum of benefits paid. If your pet has a serious accident or a health condition like cancer, the plan will continue to pay as long as you’ve met your deductible.

Important Features of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance:

  • Can choose your deductible and coverage
  • Covers pets from 8 weeks to 14 years old
  • Annual deductible
  • Quick claims processing
  • No annual maximum
  • Easy-to-use app

For more details, read our Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review.

Best Pet Insurance for Those on a Budget: Petfirst Pet Insurance

Petfirst Pet Insurance Review
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on Petfirst's secured website

Average Customer Rating

4.3

What we like:
Short waiting periods

Monthly PremiumVaries, from $6 for cats and $12 for dogs
Deductible$50 to $500
Coverage70 to 90 percent
Age RestrictionsMinimum age: 8 weeks
Maximum age: none

Visit the Petfirst website or get a quote for pet insurance


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If you are on a budget, you might consider our top budget pick, which is Petfirst Pet Insurance. Petfirst is a good choice for those watching their bank balances because they have some very low-cost plans. In fact, you can get a plan as low as $6/month for cats and $12/month for dogs. You can choose between high and low deductibles. One feature that makes Petfirst a less expensive plan is the annual maximum. This insurance company will have a set amount that they will pay out per year.

There is also a routine care rider. Because routine care (screenings, vaccines, microchipping, etc.) is not covered under the regular plan, you can purchase a separate rider that will allocate some funds toward these services.

Important Features of Petfirst Pet Insurance:

  • No maximum age limit
  • Routine care rider (optional)
  • Lots of different options for deductibles and annual maximums
  • Two-week claim turnaround
  • No vet exam required to start coverage
  • Short waiting periods

More information can be found in our Petfirst Pet Insurance Review.

Best Pet Insurance Alternative for Pets With Pre-existing Conditions: Pet Assure

Pet Assure Pet Insurance Alternative Review
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on Pet Assure's secured website

Average Customer Rating

4.3

What we like:
No pre-existing condition limitations

Monthly PremiumFrom $8 for cats and $10 for dogs. A multiple pet discount applies.
DeductibleNone
Discount25% of covered services
Age RestrictionsNone

Visit the Pet Assure website or get a quote for their pet insurance alternative


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Traditional pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions. We can recommend Pet Assure, which is a good pet insurance alternative that does offer help for those with pets who have pre-existing conditions. This is not traditional pet insurance. It will not pay your vet or reimburse you for services. Instead, it entitles you to a 25 percent discount on services if you use participating veterinarians.

Anything done in-house at your vet’s office will be covered. This includes treatment for pre-existing conditions. It also will allow you to take the discount for all types of pets: rabbits, hamsters, iguanas, goats, parakeets. The price of the coverage does not depend on your pet’s age or health status. Instead, you will pay one set monthly fee (depending on how many pets you have) and that’s it.

Important Features of Pet Assure:

  • Pay one fee and cover all animals in the house
  • Discount plan: Get 25 percent off with participating vets
  • You must use a vet who accepts the program
  • No deductibles
  • Covers pre-existing conditions
  • No forms to fill out
  • No age limitations

Looking for more details? Check out our Pet Assure Pet Insurance Alternative Review.

Best Pet Insurance With Extra Coverage and Riders: Trupanion Pet Insurance

Trupanion Pet Insurance Review
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on Trupanion's secured website

Average Customer Rating

4.1

What we like:
Direct vet payments

Monthly PremiumAs low as $22 for cats and $36 for dogs
DeductibleCustomizable between $0 and $1,000
Benefits Limits90%
Age RestrictionsAs old as 14 years

Visit the Trupanion website or get a quote for pet insurance


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Trupanion is the top pet insurance with extra coverage and riders that go above and beyond what typical pet insurance policies cover. Like most pet insurance companies, Trupanion covers things like illnesses, injuries, surgeries, and diagnostic testing. It also offers two riders that you might appreciate having.

The Recovery and Complementary Care Rider covers alternative treatments, behavior modification, physical therapy, and more. The Pet Owner Assistance Package will help out by covering boarding if you are hospitalized. It will also cover cremation or burial after an accident as well as liability coverage.

Important Features of Trupanion:

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Riders available for enhanced care
  • No payout limits
  • Covers 90 percent of services after deductible is met
  • Customized deductible
  • Referral program

For more information on Trupanion, check out our Trupanion Pet Insurance Review.

How We Found the Best Pet Insurance Plans

There are many things to consider when evaluating pet insurance plans. To find the best pet insurance companies, we looked at a number of factors, such as annual or monthly premiums, deductibles, benefit limits such as annual and lifetime maximums, exclusions such as pre-existing conditions, age limitations, and waiting periods for coverage.

Annual or Monthly Premiums

Premiums are the amount paid monthly or annually for coverage for your pet. Higher premiums are typically associated with lower deductibles and higher annual or lifetime maximums. In some cases, plans with higher premiums offer more coverage for medications, lab work, and other veterinary care needs.

While choosing a plan with a lower premium means you’ll be paying less each month, you could end up paying more for veterinary care over your pet’s lifetime due to higher deductibles and lower maximum benefits. We looked at pet insurance plans that offer various coverage levels with varying deductibles and benefit maximums that allow pet owners to customize a plan that’s within their budget and meets their needs, as well as those that offer good coverage with reasonable monthly or annual premiums.

Deductibles

A lower deductible means you’ll pay less out-of-pocket before your pet’s insurance plan starts to cover your pet’s veterinary care needs. We looked for pet insurance plans that allow pet parents to choose a deductible. These plans make it possible for pet parents to determine the out-of-pocket costs they can afford if their pet is sick or injured.

Some pet insurance plans have per-condition deductibles, rather than a general yearly deductible, which can be beneficial for pets who have just a few illnesses or health conditions over the course of their lifetime. Of course, it’s impossible to predict what health conditions your pet will have, so these plans tend to have less-predictable costs compared to plans with a consistent annual deductible.

Benefit Limits

Most pet insurance plans have maximum benefit limits, either a maximum benefit per year or a maximum lifetime benefit. Pet insurance plans with higher annual or lifetime maximum benefits offer more peace of mind for pet owners that their pet will be covered even in the case of a condition that’s expensive to treat. Some pet insurance plans have no maximum benefit limits, ensuring coverage for eligible conditions and veterinary services regardless of the amount of previous claims reimbursements.

Coverage Exclusions

We also looked at coverage exclusions when evaluating the best pet insurance plans. All pet insurance plans have some exclusions, such as examination fees, lab services, specialty veterinary services, prescription foods and medications. Some won’t enroll new pets over a certain age, and most don’t cover pre-existing conditions, although some plans cover pre-existing conditions if they’ve been treatment- and symptom-free for one year. Examination fees and lab services are also common exclusions.

We looked for pet insurance plans without significant exclusions beyond what’s common with most plans. Some pet insurance companies offer extra reimbursements for services like grooming and training that aren’t covered under pet insurance plans, which we considered a major plus when comparing plans.

Waiting Periods for Coverage

Most pet insurance plans have a waiting period from a few days to a few weeks before coverage begins. Some plans have varying waiting periods for different types of veterinary needs, such as a 12-month waiting period for certain significant injuries. We looked for plans with short waiting periods for most injuries, illnesses, and conditions.

How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance Company for You

Choosing the best pet insurance company comes down to several key criteria. Here are three things that you should consider when making your decision.

Look at Monthly Premiums

Many people looking at pet insurance are on a budget: After all, the goal of pet insurance is to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses when it comes to your pet’s care. This means that one of your first concerns might be the premiums that you pay each month for your coverage.

The way that premiums are figured often depends in part on how much the insurance will pay for qualifying expenses. A plan that pays a large percentage (usually 90 percent) of costs and has a low deductible will understandably cost more each month than a plan that covers a smaller percentage (often 70 percent) and has a high deductible. You will need to find the balance that works for you. Other factors that go into determining your premiums include your pet’s breed, age, and size.

Look at What’s Covered

Every pet insurance plan has a list of what is covered. Even more important, each should have a list of what is not covered. Most plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. Some might not cover hereditary conditions or certain types of injuries. Many will not cover pregnancy and gestation, and most won’t cover general wellness services (examinations, vaccines, spay/neuter surgery, etc.) without a rider. It is important to look over the list of what is and is not covered so you don’t purchase a plan that won’t cover what you need it to.

Look at Coverage and Deductible

Each pet insurance company works a bit differently, but most will cover somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of qualifying expenses. In some cases, you can choose your coverage amount. A higher percentage covered will result in higher monthly premiums.

A deductible is the amount you need to pay for services before the insurance begins to cover their percentage. Some plans have an annual deductible (that you pay per year), while others will have a per-incident or per-condition deductible (that you pay for each issue that your pet has). You will need to decide which deductible model will work best for your pet.

The Final Verdict

In the end, the type of pet insurance you purchase will depend on your pet’s specific needs as well as your overall financial situation. We feel that Embrace Pet Insurance offers the best overall value, but you might find that another company works better for your personal circumstances. Our best advice is to carefully consider pricing, what’s covered (including what isn’t covered), and what percentage each plan will pay toward services that your pet is likely to need, then make a decision from there.

Looking for more information about pet insurance? You might want to read How Does Pet Insurance Work? and Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

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