When it comes to pets, they need a lot of care, and as a pet owner, you’re probably used to picking up food and regularly getting your pet checkups at the vet. But if you’re looking for ways to cut back financially while still providing the best care possible for your pet, a pet insurance policy might be right for you.
Pet insurance can help you save money on routine vet visits and everyday preventive care. The policies also cover emergencies to help ease the financial burden when your pet gets a little too curious, and you’re left with the vet bill. Pet insurance can help you have peace of mind knowing any accidents or injuries that might occur are covered. Here are the best pet insurance companies.
The 9 Best Pet Insurance Plans of 2020
- Nationwide: Our Pick for an Overall Rating
- Healthy Paws: Our Pick for Overall Value
- ASPCA: Our Pick for Multiple Pets
- Embrace Pet Insurance: Our Pick for Emergencies
- PetFirst Pet Insurance: Our Pick for Routine Care
- Trupanion: Our Pick for Hereditary Conditions
- PetsBest: Our Pick for Older Dogs
- PetPlan: Our Pick for Older Cats
- Pet Assure: Our Pick for Exotic Animals
Our Pick for Overall Rating: Nationwide
Nationwide’s pet insurance has a long list of benefits. The company’s comprehensive plans start at $35 a month and allow you to use the vet of your choice. The Major Medical plan covers prescriptions, surgeries, some hereditary conditions, and more, while the Pet Wellness plan is geared for vaccinations, flea and heartworm prevention, and wellness exams. Need more coverage? The Whole Pet with Wellness plan has all the features of both plans. Not all pet insurance companies cover routine care, so this is an area where Nationwide has the advantage.
Another perk of Nationwide? Exotic pets are welcome. The company is willing to insure birds, chameleons, snakes, lizards, and mice. Nationwide also lets you choose whether to get reimbursed with a specific capped amount or with a percentage of the amount you paid. Reviewers say claims are managed quickly and reimbursements are prompt; mobile claims are available, too, so you can quickly file from your phone no matter where you are. Nationwide prides itself on offering the broadest coverage available anywhere.
Our Pick for Overall Value: Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws pet insurance & foundation is a standout for its overall value. The insurance company offers four annual deductibles at $100, $250, $500, or $750, with no cap on any of its claims. Premium prices are generally lower when compared to other companies—monthly costs start at just $25 for dogs and $15 for cats—plus, Healthy Paws doesn’t have yearly limits. After you’ve met that annual deductible, any and all policy-covered incidents that occur during the rest of the year will be paid. Healthy Paws reimburses up to 90% of vet bills for unexpected accidents or illnesses. With Healthy Paws, you can use any licensed vet and the coverage will not decrease as your pet grows older.
Out of many comparable companies, Healthy Paws is the only one that offers no limits on any plan, including no per-incident, annual, or lifetime caps on payouts. Healthy Paws also covers alternative care and doesn’t limit hereditary or congenital conditions. Overall, Healthy Paws delivers an excellent value for the money, with several different levels of care at an affordable price.
Our Pick for Multiple Pets: ASPCA
Do you have more than one pet that needs insurance? ASPCA Pet Insurance offers a 10% discount for multiple pets. With ASPCA’s plan, you can list all of your pets under one policy, saving you time and money since there's only one premium for all of your pets.
The Complete Coverage plan covers accidents, illnesses, hereditary conditions, and behavioral issues for all the animals in your household and can be used at any vet in the U.S. or Canada. You’re also welcome to add on to this base plan with preventive care including vaccines and heartworm treatment so all of your pets can stay healthy.
Register just one pet with the company first, and then you can log into your account and add any additional pets from there. The 10% multiple pet discount will apply to every extra pet after the highest premium pet. ASPCA has processed over 1.6 million claims in the 20-plus years since its inception in 2006, and is a great choice for all families, but especially for families with multiple pets. You can call ASPCA Pet Insurance for a quote to customize your plan based on your finances.
Our Pick for Emergencies: Embrace Pet Insurance
Whether it’s an eager dog running into the road or a curious cat chewing on a dangerous plant, accidents happen—and that’s where a catastrophic insurance plan, which is geared specifically for emergency issues, can save you some money and stress. Embrace Pet Insurance offers a catastrophic pet insurance plan with a deductible of up to $1,000 plus $15,000 in coverage each year (with no per-incident limits). The month-to-month cost is very affordable, and in case of an emergency, you’ll be covered with Embrace.
What else does Embrace do right? A lot. Claims are addressed quickly and efficiently, and centers for after-hour treatment are included in emergency care coverage. Plus, the customer service and care are top-notch—when one customer’s cat passed away, they received a handwritten note of condolences from the Embrace Pet Insurance staff. Embrace also covers chronic conditions, behavioral therapy, diagnostic testing, and more. You can even add onto the company’s Wellness Rewards care plan to get reimbursed on your pet’s routine care and prevent emergencies before they happen. You can request a quote through Embrace's website.
Our Pick for Routine Care: PetFirst Pet Insurance
Dental cleanings, vaccines, and spaying and neutering are all part of the routine care that your pet needs to stay healthy — it can get expensive, averaging $235 a year for dogs and $196 for cats. While not all pet insurance companies will reimburse you for routine expenses, PetFirst Pet Insurance has routine wellness care that applies to all of these needs and more. Getting reimbursed on your pet’s routine wellness will lower costs overall across your pet’s lifetime. Plus, PetFirst Insurance coverage can be applied at any vet, specialist, or emergency clinic in the U.S.
The company offers three separate routine care options that you can add onto your coverage. Depending on what you choose, your plan will include some combination of routine examinations, vaccines, teeth cleaning, microchipping, preventive treatment for parasites, spaying and neutering, and behavior training.
PetFirst processes claims in less than two weeks and is known for its top-notch customer service. Routine care coverage can be added to whatever PetFirst Insurance policy you have. You can get a free quote through Pet First Insurance's website.
Our Pick for Hereditary Conditions: Trupanion
Finding pet insurance that covers hereditary conditions can be a big deal. Many insurance companies maintain the position that hereditary or congenital conditions are technically pre-existing, because they’ve been present in the dog’s body since birth. For example, hip dysplasia is an example of a hereditary—and potentially expensive—condition that’s found in many large breeds of dog. Other insurance companies, though, will cover hereditary conditions provided those conditions weren’t noticed or diagnosed before your policy began.
Trupanion is one of those companies, covering both hereditary conditions and congenital conditions, in addition to covering the usual illnesses and accidents. The insurance company offers one easy plan that can give you peace of mind no matter what comes up. And if Trupanion isn’t sure whether a condition is considered pre-existing, they’ll work with your vet to analyze medical records and figure it out. Trupanion reimburses at 90% and never imposes payout limits. You can request a quote through Trupanion's website.
Our Pick for Older Dogs: PetsBest
Finding pet insurance for older animals can be difficult since senior pets are more likely to need vet care—most insurance companies won’t accept dogs who are over the age of 12 and have similar restrictions for cats. But PetsBest is different. This company has no upper age limit, so your dog can enroll in a plan no matter their age. While rates do go up depending on your pet's age, the peace of mind of being insured is worth it.
PetsBest plans cover emergencies, cancer, illnesses, and other situations that your senior dog may encounter. PetsBest even offers an add-on pet wellness plan that helps cover routine care such as vaccinations—this is an option that most pet insurance companies don’t offer, and it can be extremely beneficial as you focus on preventative care with your older dog. The customer service at PetsBest is also friendly and helpful, ready to walk you through any process you need help with via phone.
Deductibles run from zero to $1,000, and PetsBest plans offer 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement. Plans for dogs start at $9 per month for accident-only coverage, while plans for comprehensive accident and illness end up costing around $35 and $58 per month.
Our Pick for Older Cats: PetPlan
Policies for older dogs can be much more expensive than those for younger ones, but with cats, your premium will most likely stay affordable no matter your feline’s age. PetPlan has no upper age limit, offering “coverage for all nine lives” and accepting any cat aged six weeks old or older. Available in the U.S. and Canada, PetPlan pledges to never cancel your cat’s policy due to age.
PetPlan covers your pet's congenital, hereditary, and chronic conditions, but doesn’t treat pre-existing conditions, or cover routine visits like teeth cleaning, or wellness. However, this is par for the course with most pet insurance companies—and you can be assured that your senior cat will be covered up to 90% if any new injuries or illnesses crop up after enrolling in a plan.
On average, PetPlan customers save $50 to $250 on each vet visit for injury or illness. Claims are typically paid in one to two weeks, and with the clean interface of the PetPlan app, it’s easy to file your claim, track its progress, and get reimbursed. You can request a quote from Pet Plan's website to suit your needs.
Our Pick for Exotic Animals: Pet Assure
If you have an exotic pet, you may have trouble finding a pet insurance company that will cover it since most pet insurance companies only cover dogs and cats. Pet Assure, however, does, covering birds, fish, pocket pets, amphibians, reptiles, monkeys, large cats, and kangaroos in its definition of exotic pets. And if you have a dog or a cat too, those pets can be covered right alongside your more “exotic” ones.
Pet Assure is technically a discount program and not an insurance plan—you pay a monthly fee and then receive discounted services instead of getting reimbursed. These services include any in-house medical services and procedures ranging from dental cleanings to emergency care and surgical procedures. Unlike many pet insurance companies, Pet Assure covers wellness care and pre-existing conditions, plus, there are no waiting periods, deductibles, or age limits. You can request a quote through the company's website.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Pet insurance is essentially a form of health insurance for your furry friend that helps you save money on vet bills. As a pet owner, you pay a monthly premium. When medical costs come up, you’ll pay your veterinarian and then file a claim with your pet insurance company to get a reimbursement.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Pet insurance covers unexpected accidents, illnesses, or injuries, for example, if you think your dog eating something he shouldn’t, or your cat is diagnosed with cancer. A few pet insurance plans also cover routine wellness care, like yearly check-ups or grooming. Pet insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions (conditions that presented themselves before your insurance coverage began).
Is Pet Insurance Expensive?
Overall, pet insurance is not very expensive, although your month-to-month cost depends on the specific premium you choose. According to Value Penguin, most pet owners will pay around $30 to $50 a month; premiums might range as low as $10 for some plans, or be more than $100 for others.
Is Pet Insurance Tax-Deductible?
Pet insurance is not tax-deductible unless your pet is a certified service animal. According to H&R Block, if you have a physical disability and own a service animal (not a therapy or emotional support animal), you can write-off medical expenses for that animal on your taxes. Otherwise, deductions regarding medical expenses for pets are not allowed.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
This answer will vary from person to person. For routine wellness care, pet insurance is likely not worth the cost. But for unexpected accidents or injuries, pet insurance can be 100% worth it. The peace of mind an insurance premium provides for pet owners is priceless.
How We Chose the Best Pet Insurance Companies
The companies listed in this article were chosen after a lot of careful research. We considered the average price of each pet insurance company, selecting services that offered several flexible options when it came to monthly premiums. We read dozens of customer reviews of each company, looking for stellar customer service and fast reimbursements. Finally, we made sure that most of the companies would work with any veterinarian and would cover a majority of hereditary and congenital conditions.