Whether you live in Houston, San Antonio, or another city in the Lone Star State, a pet insurance policy can prevent you from worrying about finances to get your pet necessary medical care. These policies help to cover expensive vet bills in the event of an accident or illness, allowing you to focus on your pet’s well-being.
The This Old House Reviews team put in hours of research to measure insurers on key metrics, such as customer service, reputation, policy coverage, and affordability, to reveal the best pet insurance companies.
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Compare the Top Pet Insurance Brands in Texas
We always recommend getting your own quotes to compare exact prices and coverage details in your area.
What Is Pet Insurance?
Navigating pet insurance can feel confusing with all its terminology and different coverage options. Below is a video we created to explain how pet insurance helps cover the cost of your furry friend’s veterinary treatments.
How Does Pet Insurance Work
Most pet insurance companies require you to pay your vet bill out of pocket before leaving the vet office. You then submit a claim with your provider for the bill. Once approved, you’ll receive reimbursement via direct deposit or a mailed check, usually within a couple weeks. You’ll only receive reimbursement if the vet bill is related to vet treatments your policy covers, so be sure to read the terms carefully before enrolling.
You need to understand a few variables regarding how much you’ll pay, how much you’ll be reimbursed, and when your policy will and won’t help you cover pet insurance costs. Your location as well as your pet’s breed and age will determine your monthly premium. You’ll also need to be familiar with these coverage factors to understand how pet insurance works:
- Annual limit: This is the total amount your pet insurance provider will reimburse you per year. For instance, if your annual coverage limit is $5,000 and your pet needs treatment that totals $6,000 for the year, your insurance will only cover the first $5,000 worth of claims. You’ll be responsible for the remaining $1,000 once you’ve hit your limit.
- Deductible: Your pet insurance deductible is the amount you have to spend out of pocket before you can file a claim. If you choose a low deductible, such as $250, that’s how much you’ll have to pay before you can begin filing claims for reimbursement. The lower your deductible, the higher your monthly premium will be and vice versa.
- Reimbursement rate: This refers to the percentage of each claim your provider will reimburse you for. Most providers have reimbursement rates ranging from 70%–100%. If you file a claim for a $1,000 vet bill, you’ll only be reimbursed $700 if you have a 70% reimbursement rate. The higher the reimbursement rate, the higher your premium will be.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover
Exact coverage among providers varies, but most companies cover the same core accidents and illnesses. They typically cover the following accidents:
- ACL ruptures
- Bite wounds
- Broken bones
- Swallowed objects
- Toxic ingestions
Common illness coverage includes the following:
- Blood disorders
- Ear infections
- Eye disorders
- Heart disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Skin conditions
- Urinary tract infections
In general, coverage applies to the following services:
- Accidents and injuries
- Behavioral treatments
- Chronic illnesses
- Common illnesses
- Emergency care
- Hereditary conditions
- Holistic and alternative therapies
- Lab testing
- Routine wellness care
- Specialist care
What Is Excluded From Pet Insurance?
No pet insurer covers everything. It’s important to read policy terms carefully before committing to a plan to make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t covered. The most common complaint among pet insurance customers is claim denial. Usually, this is due to not reading what their policy excludes before submitting a claim or enrolling in the plan.
Here are the most common pet insurance exclusions:
- Accidents or injuries resulting from negligence, such as abuse
- Elective or cosmetic procedures
- Experimental procedures
- Preexisting conditions
- Treatments not performed by a licensed veterinarian
Preexisting conditions are any accident, injury, or illness your pet showed symptoms of or received vet care for prior to your policy start date. Some providers make allowances for issues your pet hasn’t shown symptoms for within a certain time period prior to enrollment.
Standard accident-and-illness plans also don’t cover the following:
- Annual wellness checkups
- Breeding and pregnancy care
- Burial or cremation costs
- Dental cleanings
- Nutritional supplements
You’ll need to purchase a wellness plan to receive coverage for these services. Some providers’ wellness plans only cover some items on this list.
Types of Pet Insurance Plans
There are a few plans to choose from when signing up for pet insurance. Some companies have all three options, and some may only offer one.
- Accident-and-illness plan: This is the most common type of plan. Accident-and-illness coverage reimburses costs for diagnostic testing, emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, ultrasounds, X-rays, and more related to injuries and illnesses.
- Accident-only plan: This type of plan covers only accident-related medical costs. You’ll save money on your premium, but you won’t be covered if your pet gets sick.
- Wellness plan: Not all providers offer wellness plans. These are add-ons to help cover the cost of preventive vet care, such as annual checkups, grooming, and vaccinations. You can combine a wellness plan with your base plan for an additional monthly fee.
How Much Is Pet Insurance in Texas?
These top-rated providers offer affordable pet insurance policies in Texas, but your quoted premiums will vary depending on a number of factors, such as location and breed.
Based on our research, we found premiums for standard accident and illness policies to average around $20–$60 per month for dogs and $10–$30 per month for cats.
Pet insurance companies typically use the following factors to determine costs:
- Breed: The breed of your dog or cat can have a significant impact on your quoted premium. For example, larger purebred dogs can be more susceptible to illness and disease and cost more to insure. Small mixed breeds are typically the cheapest to insure.
- Age: Older dogs or cats can be more costly to insure since they’re more likely to experience injuries or illnesses. Consider insuring your animals at a young age, since most providers don’t increase annual premiums based solely on age.
- Location: You may have to pay more for pet insurance depending on where you live in Texas, since many carriers base premiums on the estimated cost of local vets. For example, our quotes in Houston and Dallas were around $5–$10 higher per month than our sample quotes in San Antonio, Texas. Getting a few of your own quotes can give you a better idea of how your ZIP code affects your premium.
- Discounts: Another tip for pet owners is to look for discounts from providers to lower costs. For example, Lemonade offers a discount for bundling a pet insurance policy with its homeowners insurance. Other providers, such as Prudent Pet and Embrace, offer discounts for adding more pets to your policy, making policies more affordable for those who have large pet families.
- Customization: Choosing higher annual deductibles in addition to lower reimbursement rates and annual limits can help decrease your premium. However, these choices can result in being under-covered during a claim with higher out-of-pocket costs.
How Much Are Dog and Cat Owners Spending?
Here are the average pet insurance premiums for dogs and cats across top pet insurers.
*Averages are for 4-year-old, mixed-breed, male dogs and cats in Texas using a $5,000 annual limit, $250 deductible, and 80% reimbursement rate.
Cost of Pet Insurance by Breed
*Sample quotes are based on Lemonade accident-and-illness plans for 4-year-old male pets in Houston, Texas using a $5,000 annual limit, $250 deductible, and 80% reimbursement rate.
Most pet insurers provide coverage in Texas. Since pet insurance premiums vary by ZIP code, we looked at the average monthly cost of an accident-and-illness plan from our top-rated provider, Lemonade, for some of Texas’ most populated cities.
*These quotes are for 4-year-old, mixed-breed, male dogs.
We read more than 100 reviews for each of our top providers to gauge customers’ experiences. Here’s a selection of reviews from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot:
“Claim submission couldn’t be easier! The app is very intuitive and easy to work with. And my claim got approved in 5 seconds! Amazing!” —Mike via Trustpilot, Lemonade customer
“Spot Insurance saved my life and my pocket as well. They have the most complete, comprehensive and adaptive to your needs plans. They will take care of you and your furry friend as if it was their own.” —Mariana B. via BBB, Spot customer
“They are everything they claim to be. I have a policy I can rely on [to] understand all costs and no hidden fees. It’s refreshing to find a company, any company, that is honest and clear. In addition the support team is AAAAAA. We made an excellent choice when we decided to go with Embrace.” —Lonnee S. via BBB, Embrace customer
“Our little Maltese had a herniated disc in his neck and needed surgery right before Christmas. Thank goodness we had Healthy Paws insurance. They paid 80% of the $5000 bill within 2 days.” —Shauna G. via Trustpilot, Healthy Paws customer
Texas Pet Laws
Texas has several laws to help protect pets. Some laws apply to the entire state, while others are city-specific. Be sure to research the laws in your area. Here are some of the most common pet laws Texas residents should be aware of.
Texas Pet Laws
Dogs cannot be left outside for extended periods without suitable shelter, food, and water. The dog must have a collar that fits safely and comfortably, and it cannot be restrained using a chain.
Austin Pet Laws
- Dogs must be on a leash in public spaces unless the space is designated as leash-free.
- Dogs are not allowed off leash even on private property unless they are indoors or contained inside a fence or other barrier.
- Kittens and puppies that don’t have microchips and all necessary vaccinations may not be sold.
Dallas Pet Laws
- A single-family home with more than half an acre of land is allowed to have a total of eight animals.
- A single-family home with half an acre or less of land is allowed to have a maximum of six animals.
- Pet owners living in an apartment or duplex are allowed to have a maximum of four animals.
All animals must be licensed with the city of Dallas and vaccinated for rabies.
Houston Pet Laws
- All pets must be microchipped.
- Apartment residents can have no more than two pets.
- Private homes can have no more than four pets.
Houston also requires pet stores to deter the use of puppy mills and reduce the number of stray dogs.
San Antonio Pet Laws
- All dogs and cats must be licensed annually.
- No pets are allowed outside the home without a leash. Pets must stay on public “right-of-way” areas, not on private property.
- No more than eight animals are permitted in one home within city limits.
- Retail pet sales are banned. This is to encourage shelter adoptions and reduce euthanizing healthy pets.
Why Trust Us
The This Old House Reviews Team has researched pet insurance providers and standard practices, read hundreds of customers reviews, and spoken with veterinary experts to understand what’s expected, what’s disappointing, and what’s exemplary in the pet insurance industry. We created our own methodology, listed below, to rank companies based on aspects such as BBB rating, coverage, cost, availability, customization options, and more. Each of our reviews are written and fact-checked to provide readers with helpful and accurate information.
- 18 pet insurance companies
- Hundreds of customer reviews
- Hundreds of sample quotes
The This Old House Reviews Team has spent more than 100 hours researching pet insurance companies to make our assessments.
Whether you’re looking for pet insurance for dogs or pet insurance for cats, choosing the best pet insurance company in Texas is important to ensure your pet is protected at all times.
For the best overall coverage, affordability, and unique features, we recommend Lemonade. However, Spot might be your best bet for a customized plan. You may also be drawn to Embrace for its flexible range of deductibles. Each of the providers in this review has unique features and benefits. To get the best policy for your pet’s needs, be sure to compare quotes from multiple providers.
Our Rating Methodology
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.