5 Best Pet Insurance Companies (February 2024)
Pet insurance can help you significantly offset the cost of your pet’s health care needs, and there are plenty of well-rated pet insurers to choose from today. If you’ve started doing the research, you’ve likely seen that most offer a similar accident-and-illness plan with standard coverages and exclusions.
But there are some key differences that make certain pet insurance providers stand out and may make an insurer a better fit for your pet’s needs. We at the This Old House Reviews Team analyzed coverage, cost, downsides, and unique perks across leading pet insurance providers, scoring them on key metrics to help you make the best choice. See our top five picks for best pet insurance companies below.
Who Are the Best Pet Insurance Companies?
How Do Top Pet Insurance Providers Compare?
*Sample quotes are for 4-year-old, mixed-breed male dogs in Raleigh, North Carolina using a $250 deductible, $5,000 annual limit, and 80% reimbursement rate. Healthy Paws doesn’t have an option to customize your annual coverage limit, so this quote is for unlimited coverage.
How Do Other Pet Insurance Providers Compare?
While the providers below didn’t make our top five, we feel they deserve honorable mention. See how they compare coverage and cost below.
*Sample quotes are for 4-year-old, mixed-breed, male dogs in Raleigh, North Carolina using a $250 deductible, $5,000 annual limit, and 80% reimbursement rate.
How Much Is Pet Insurance?
The average cost of pet insurance for dogs across our top five providers is $43.62 per month. The average monthly premium for cats across these providers is $18.02. Lemonade, Spot, and ASPCA have the lowest pricing out of our top five providers.
Pet insurance premiums are calculated based on your location and your pet’s age, breed, gender, and species. Metropolitan areas typically have higher premiums, as do older pets, male pets, and dogs.
If saving money is your priority, check out our review of cheapest pet insurance companies.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Learn the basics pet owners should know before selecting a pet insurance plan.
There are three types of pet insurance plans: accident-and-illness, accident-only, and wellness. Accident-and-illness plans are standard across providers, but some also offer an accident-only option. Wellness plans can be added to a base plan for an additional monthly fee to help cover the cost of preventive veterinary care, such as annual checkups and vaccinations. Many providers also offer optional add-ons you can purchase for extra coverage.
Most pet insurance providers do have minimum and maximum age limits. The most common minimum to enroll is 8 weeks and the typical maximum is 14 years. Not all providers have limits.
Some providers offer discounts if you bundle plans, enroll multiple pets, are a wholesale retailer member, or have served in the military. These discounts are usually listed on their website.
A preexisting condition is any illness, injury, or other health-related issue your pet showed signs of or received treatment for prior to enrolling in a pet insurance plan. No provider covers preexisting conditions, but some make exceptions for conditions that have not shown symptoms or received treatment for a certain period prior to enrollment, often 12–18 months.
The majority of pet insurance companies do not use vet networks, so you can visit any licensed vet you want.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
The coverage you get depends on the plan you select. All providers have an accident-and-illness plan that typically covers accidents such as:
- Bite wounds
- Broken bones
- Ingested objects or toxins
Commonly covered illnesses include:
- Chronic conditions
- Congenital conditions
- Dental illness
- Digestive illnesses
- Eye and ear infections
- Heart disease
- Hereditary conditions
- Hip dysplasia
You can use your standard pet insurance coverage to pay for all or the partial cost of vet treatments such as blood tests, emergency care, hospitalization, prescription medications, specialty care, surgery, ultrasounds, and X-rays.
If you choose to add wellness coverage to your policy, you can use it to offset the cost of preventive routine care, such as:
- Annual wellness exams
- Dental cleanings
- Spaying or neutering
Pet insurance does not cover:
- Any condition resulting from intentional neglect or abuse by you or a member of your household
- Any treatment not performed by a licensed veterinarian
- Breeding or whelping
- Cosmetic procedures, such as tail clipping or declawing, unless medically necessary
- Preexisting conditions
Learn more about what pet insurance covers.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Once you enroll in a pet insurance plan, there will be a waiting period until your coverage kicks in—usually no longer than 15 days for most providers. After the waiting period is over, you can file a claim for your pet’s veterinary bills. When you take your pet to any licensed vet office, you’ll pay the bill out of pocket, then go online or on your mobile app to file a claim for the amount you were charged. Your provider will reimburse you via direct deposit or mailed check, usually within a couple of weeks after the claim is processed.
Keep in mind you’ll have to meet your pet insurance deductible before you’ll start receiving reimbursements. If you choose a higher deductible, you’ll have a lower monthly premium, but you’ll be responsible for paying more out of pocket up-front. If you choose a lower deductible, you’ll pay less out of pocket up-front but will have a higher premium.
The annual limit you choose also affects how much you’ll be reimbursed. For example, if you choose a $5,000 annual limit, once you’ve been reimbursed $5,000, your provider won’t reimburse you any further, even if you continue submitting claims. Some providers offer unlimited coverage, meaning there’s no payout cap, though this option sometimes increases your premium.
You’ll also get to choose your reimbursement rate, which is usually 70%–100%. The higher the rate, the higher the premium, but you’ll also be reimbursed more. For example, if you choose a 90% reimbursement level, your provider will reimburse you 90% of the vet bill you filed a claim for.
Learn more about how pet insurance works.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It for Your Pet?
Having pet insurance is an important part of being a pet owner. Unless you’re prepared to pay for all of your pet’s vet expenses out of pocket, a pet insurance plan helps you significantly reduce the cost of your pet’s health care needs, sometimes even footing 100% of the bill.
Don’t forget to research providers carefully before committing to ensure you get the right coverage for your pet at the right price for your budget. We recommend pet insurance companies Lemonade, Spot, and Embrace for their comprehensive coverage, customer satisfaction, and service, though it’s worth checking out any provider on this list.
FAQs About Pet Insurance
Is pet insurance worth it?
We surveyed 1,000 pet owners in the U.S. about their pets’ vet costs. About 40% of our respondents stated they would have to use a credit card to pay for their pet’s unexpected emergencies, and about 9% said they don’t know how they’d pay for it. If you’re anything like those pet parents, you could benefit from purchasing a pet insurance policy so you’re not left with a costly, unexpected bill and not enough funds to cover it.
What type of dog insurance is best?
Lemonade, Spot, Embrace, Healthy Paws, and ASPCA all top our list of best pet insurance companies, though there are many quality providers to choose from. We recommend getting your dog an accident-and-illness plan plus wellness coverage.
How much should you spend on pet insurance for a dog?
You should be able to find quality accident-and-illness coverage for a dog for $20–$50 per month. Cat insurance monthly premiums typically range $10–$30.
How do I choose the right pet insurance?
Always read providers’ coverage policies and exclusions, including fine print about waiting periods, age limits, and payout caps. You should compare sample pet insurance quotes as well. Choose the provider that best covers your pet’s health needs at a price you can afford without overextending your budget.
What is a disadvantage of pet insurance?
A disadvantage of pet insurance is that it adds another payment to your monthly bills. However, it does provide peace of mind knowing that if your pet suddenly develops an illness or has an accident you won’t be responsible for paying the vet bill all on your own.
The This Old House Reviews team is dedicated to thorough, in-depth reviews of each product or service that we detail in our content. Determined to build trust with our readers through transparency, accuracy, and accountability, we’ve built a detailed rating system to score pet insurance brands. Included in this methodology are the following six factors with their respective scoring weights:
- Coverage (25)
- Plan options (20)
- Monthly cost (20)
- Company reputation (15)
- Customer service (10)
- Species eligibility (10)
Our researchers keep all data in each company’s score up to date, making any changes to our content when necessary to provide our readers with the most accurate information on relevant metrics, such as plan options, customer service, reputation, and monthly cost.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at firstname.lastname@example.org.