Best Pet Insurance Companies
Pet insurance gives you the peace of mind so you can cover the cost of any unexpected medical treatment that your beloved pet might need.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of pet insurance options available on. It can be difficult to know which policy offers the best coverage for your pet.
Which policy is right for you depends on the type of pet you have, their age, what kind of medical conditions they are predisposed to, or what kind of accidents are most likely to occur, and, of course, your budget.
To help you decide, we have put together a list of the best pet insurance providers on the market, plus what kind of coverage they specialize in.
We have also pulled together a comprehensive guide covering everything you need to know about pet insurance so you can choose the right option for you.
- No upper age limit for pets
- Offers 5% discount for customers who buy insurance online
- All non-routine vet exam fees are covered in all plans
- Pet Insurance that is Hassle-free
- shortest wait periods for accident & illness coverage
- Health coverage for your furry family
Why Do You Need Pet Insurance?
It is not cheap to keep your pet happy and healthy. Medical check-ups, vaccinations, neutering, or castration, and that is just the standard day-to-day things that need to be done. If they get sick, or they are in an accident, the unexpected bills for their care can quickly add up.
Pet insurance is a safety net that ensures you can cover the cost for emergency care and that you can afford the long-term care of your beloved pet if they are diagnosed with a chronic condition.
While pet insurance might not be cheap, it allows you to pay a little today to protect your wallet against the unexpected. Hopefully, you will never need to claim from your pet insurance, but if you do, it can make the difference between being able to give your pet the care they need or not.
What Pet Insurance Should Cover
There is a huge variety of different pet insurance options that cover different things. Which is right for you depends on the type of animal you have, their age, their breed, the conditions they are prone to develop, and what is most important to you.
In general, you can expect the most basic pet insurance to cover emergency treatment in the case of an accident or unexpected illness. For this kind of coverage, you will normally need to pay out for the initial expense, and then seek to be reimbursed by your insurance providers.
Unless you are paying a special premium, you will probably need to pay excess on your claim, which means you will need to pay either a specific amount or a specific percentage of the treatment. Some policies will also have a cap on how much you can claim. You can usually raise that if you pay a higher premium.
Most policies will also have a limit on the illnesses they will cover. No insurer will cover your pet for a pre-existing chronic illness they already have. Some plans will also exclude common hereditary diseases linked to certain breeds. For example, they might not cover Labradors for hip dysplasia. But other insurers will cover these common hereditary issues. Many insurers will also stop covering your animal for certain conditions once they reach a certain age.
This is the basic coverage you can expect from pretty much all good pet insurance policies. There are then a lot of other things you can add on, usually linked to an increase in your premium.
The most common things you might add to your coverage include:
- Cover for the cost of damage to third party property that may have been caused by your pet and any related legal expenses
- Compensation if your pet dies, covering the cost of the animal and funeral fees (there is usually an age limit on this, which means you cannot get it for older pets)
- Compensation if your pet is lost or stolen, providing you with funds to help with the recovery process
- You can get coverage if you fall sick and your pet needs to pass the time in a kennel or cattery
- Dental treatment
- Routine treatments, such as spaying and neutering
- Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or specialist training for behavioral issues
- Preventative and wellness care
Costs linked with pregnancy and birthing are also usually excluded.
Types Of Pet Insurance
While the specific policies offered by different providers will have different names and inclusions, there are generally four different tiers of policies
1. Accident Only Plans, which cover only injuries caused by unexpected accidents, such as being hit by a car or a foreign object becoming lodged in their throat.
2. Accident and Illness Plans, which cover accidents plus illnesses such as digestive issues, allergies, cancer, and so forth. It will depend on the provider whether they cover hereditary illness or not.
This plan usually comes in two tiers:
- Limited-Lifetime Plan, which will stop covering your pet for certain conditions once they reach a certain age.
- Lifetime Plan, a more expensive plan that will cover them for all included illnesses for life.
3. Insurance with Embedded Wellness, which will also cover day-to-day health needs such as vaccinations, flea and tick treatments, dental care, and so forth.
4. Endorsement Plans, which are the more comprehensive plans that include bespoke add-ons.
According to NAPHIA (the North American Pet Health Insurance Association), the standard monthly premium for accident and illness coverage in the United States is $48.78 per month for dogs and $29.16 per month for cats.
How To Choose The Right Pet Insurance
The key to getting the best return on investment from your pet insurance is to pick a plan based on the likely needs of your pet. Start by asking yourself a few questions.
What Is The Breed Of My Pet?
Less important for cats, but this is a very important question for dogs. As a result of the breeding process, many dog breeds are prone to certain diseases.
For example, Bulldogs suffer from various hereditary diseases, such as respiratory diseases, hip dysplasia, eye diseases, and heart issues. Considering the likelihood and severity of these conditions, you will want to look for an insurance company that covers these illnesses.
In contrast, German Pinschers, English Springer Spaniels, and Australian Cattle Dogs don’t have a lot of hereditary illnesses within their breed, so it may not be worth paying extra to cover these kinds of problems for them.
What Is Your Pet’s Lifestyle?
Do you have a Labrador that enjoys mountain climbing with you or a lapdog that spends most of the day on the couch? Is your cat an indoor cat or are they off crossing busy roads? The amount of accident coverage you need is likely to depend on the lifestyle of your pet.
If they are at a high risk of an accident, you might want coverage that covers the full cost of the treatment. If they are a low risk, you might be able to risk a smaller premium with a capped payout.
Is Your Pet Valuable?
While it is impossible to put a price tag on the life of any beloved pet, some are more “valuable” than others. Did you adopt a dog from the local shelter or did you buy a premium breed for showing breeding?
If it is the former, coverage in the case of their death probably won’t make much difference to you and your grief. In the latter case, that money might be able to help you continue your investment.
This narrows down the type of insurance you need. But how to get the best insurance also means looking at the insurer themselves:
- Look for reviews. Does the provider payout quickly or are they likely to quibble over details to avoid reimbursing you?
- Read the fine print. When you look at the website, coverage may appear like it is all singing and dancing, but always look at the fine print, as the list of exclusions is always lengthy.
- Ask your vet. Your vet will have heard from a lot of their clients about their insurance provider, as it is usually to cover their services. They will be able to tell you about good choices and those you should be steering clear of.
Whatever you do, enroll your pet young. Pet insurance works much the same as medical insurance for humans: the younger you begin paying in, the lower your monthly premiums will be.
Comparison Of Pet Insurances
We have put together a list of the best pet insurance reviews, but which one is right for you depends on the kind of coverage that you need.
Best Pet Insurance
We have named Figo pet insurance as the best overall when you are looking for basic accident and illness insurance.
- They cover animals of all ages.
- They offer comprehensive coverage for accidents and injuries, including surgeries, medications, imaging, veterinary treatments, rehabilitation, and so forth, so you won’t find yourself out of pocket for one essential element of treatment.
- They cover hereditary and chronic conditions, such as hip dysplasia, and also behavioral conditions.
- They provide alternative care, such as chiropractic care and acupuncture, as well as prosthetic and orthotic devices.
- This policy will even cover euthanasia and cremation if required.
You can choose between 100 percent payouts or agree to an excess to save on your monthly premiums. You also have access to a 24-hour vet hotline, and you can engage with them easily using their handy app.
This is a comprehensive insurance plan that covers pretty much everything you might need.
But, while Figo offers award-winning pet insurance, depending on your pet, there may be better options out there.
For example, if you have multiple pets, you may be better off looking at Pet Partners Inc, as they offer a hefty discount if you insure more than one pet with them.
If your main concern is covering routine care rather than accidents and the unexpected, then it is worth looking at PetFirst, which offers policies specifically geared towards this.
If you have adopted an older animal, you will get lower premiums with comprehensive cover with PetPlan. You can read our full PetPlan review here.
If you are dealing with rabbits and snakes rather than dogs or cats, insurance giant Nationwide is better equipped to deal with your specific needs. This type of pet insurance is accepted everywhere.
Basically, to find the right insurer, you need to do your research.
Cheap Is Not Always The Best Option
Whatever coverage you go with, remember that cheap is not always the best option. Cheaper plans generally cover the bare minimum. So, for the sake of saving a few dollars a month, when disaster strikes, you may find that you are not covered for the lifesaving surgery your pet needs.
A pet insurance policy will mean you are in a position to cover unexpected and often hefty bills if your beloved pet is involved in an accident or develops an injury. It can seem like a big expense month to month when they seem happy and healthy, but it can be the difference between life and death in an emergency.
To find the right insurer, consider the kind of coverage your pet actually needs, based on their breed and lifestyle. You should then be able to find an insurer on our list of top 10 insurance companies that can meet your needs without breaking the bank.
If in doubt, consider Figo pet insurance as a top option for covering domestic dogs and cats.
Is It Worth It To Get Pet Insurance?
While pet insurance can seem like a big expense month to month when you aren’t making claims, if your beloved pet is in an accident or falls ill, insurance means you can worry about helping your pet get better rather than how you are going to cover the cost of their treatment.
How Fast Can You Get Pet Insurance?
There is usually a waiting period from when you take out pet insurance until you can start claiming on it. This is usually 24 to 48 hours for accidents and 14 days for illness.
Certain medical conditions can have a waiting period of up to one year. This is to prevent you from taking out insurance to cover an illness you are already aware of.
Do Most Vets Take Pet Insurance?
You can use your pet insurance with most vets as the process is different from your own health insurance. Your insurer does not need to have a relationship with the vet. You pay the fees upfront and then reclaim the money from your insurance provider.