10 Insurance Companies Offering Pet Insurance

Comparing Pet Insurance Options

Woman relaxing in bed with her pets. Getty Images/Bromberger Hoover Photography

For most families, no one is more beloved than the family pet. Unfortunately, if your beloved pet becomes ill or suffers an accident, medical costs could be very expensive. Pet insurance may be the protection you need to offset these costs. It can also pay for things such as annual wellness checkups, immunizations, spaying, neutering, and more. Of course, you will have to weigh the cost against the benefits and see if it makes sense for you and your family.

Pet Insurance Policy Features, Benefits and Exclusions

A pet insurance policy is in many ways similar to your own health insurance policy. It covers things like accidents, wellness visits, injuries and illnesses. You may be able to add policy riders that will give you increased coverage for things like vaccinations, X-rays or prescription medications. For very expensive or exotic pets, you may even be able to purchase life and theft insurance. Liability insurance is also an option to consider, which would protect you against expenses and legal liability if your pet bites or harms someone. Many homeowner’s policies provide this coverage but if—for example—you own an aggressive breed of dog, extra protection may be advantageous to you.

Each pet insurance policy is different so it is important to review the features and benefits; what is covered and what is not covered. There will be exclusions, meaning these are services that are not covered.

Exclusions on a pet insurance policy can be for things such as certain surgical procedures, emergency visits, boarding fees or cosmetic procedures. Even if a service or fee is covered, you will first have to take care of the deductible before your pet insurance policy will pay any benefits. Deductibles may be based on a per/accident or per/illness basis or may be on a per policy term basis.

Pets with a pre-existing medical condition or older pets may be excluded from coverage.

Most policies will have a co-pay amount, meaning this is the amount you pay for a service before your insurance company pays out on the claim. If you use a preferred provider, your co-pay amount may be less. There is normally a maximum amount or policy aggregate, meaning that this is the maximum amount your policy will pay out on claims during one policy period.

10 Insurance Companies Offering Pet Insurance

There are many insurance companies offering pet insurance to consider when choosing the best policy options. Here are 10 insurance companies offering pet insurance to get you started when comparing policy benefits, premium amount and optional coverages.

  1. Healthypaws: Healthypaws Pet Insurance & Foundation was founded in 2009 and offers a comprehensive accident and illness pet insurance policy. The policy provides coverage for accidents, illnesses, cancer, emergency, care, genetic conditions and alternative care for dogs and cats. There are no limits on claims. Healthypaws has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau. It has also been voted best pet insurance company in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 by petinsurancereview.com, Consumersadvocate.org and PetInsuranceQuotes.com. There are unlimited lifetime benefits and no claim caps. Pre-existing conditions and preventative care are excluded from coverage.
  1. Trupanion: Trupanion pet insurance provides cat and dog insurance with unlimited payouts with no caps on coverage. There is a 90 percent payout for covered procedures and services, leaving you to pay the 10 percent co-pay directly to the veterinarian. You can choose your own deductible from $0 to $1,000, allowing you to find a plan that works with your budget. Pre-existing conditions, wellness exams and preventive care are excluded. Trupanion is “A+” rated with the Better Business Bureau.
  2. Nationwide: Nationwide was one of the first U.S. insurers to offer pet insurance. There are three different pet plans available through Nationwide: Whole Pet: 90 percent back on veterinary bills. Covers exams, lab tests, X-rays, prescriptions, surgeries; hospitalization, chronic and hereditary conditions (with no waiting period) and wellness exams. Coverage begins at $64/month; Major Medical: Covers most common medical costs including exams, lab tests, X-rays, prescriptions, surgeries, hospitalization, chronic conditions, hereditary conditions (waiting period applies). Coverage begins at $34/month; Pet Wellness: This plans coverage yearly checkups, wellness exams, flea and heartworm prevention and vaccinations. Coverage begins at $17/month.
  1. PetPlan: Pet insurance through PetPlan is available in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. PetPlan is a UK company but expanded into the U.S. in 2003. Its U.S. operations are headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. The company has been in business for over 35 years. You can customize a plan to fit your needs. Accidents, injuries, exam fees, imaging, diagnostic treatments, medications, cancer treatments, dental treatments, surgery and alternative therapies are all included in the standard coverage plan. You can add optional coverage for behavioral therapies, theft, boarding kennel fees, death from illness or injury and vacation cancellation.
  2. Embrace:  Accident and illness insurance through Embrace covers accidents and illnesses including genetic conditions, dental trauma, cancer treatments and prescription drugs. Pre-existing conditions are excluded from coverage. Pet insurance covering accidents and illnesses has a 14-day waiting period and your pet must have visited a veterinarian within the last 12 months. For new pets, you are allowed to take your pet to the vet during the waiting period and still be eligible for coverage. Discounts are available for spaying and neutering, paying your policy in full and for insuring multiple pets. (GEICO offers pet insurance through its partnership with Embrace Pet Insurance.)
  3. Pets Best: Pet insurance from Pets Best provides coverage for illnesses, accidents, prescription medications, hospitalization, cancer treatments, surgeries, MRS, X-ray, CT Scans and more. Once you meet your deductible, you will be reimbursed for all covered veterinary services. You must submit a copy of your invoice and a claim online. Most claims are processed within two business days. Exclusions include pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedure, boarding, grooming, food, supplements and vitamins. (Progressive offers pet insurance through its partnership with Pets Best.)
  4. PetFirst: PetFirst was founded in 2004 and provides coverage for dogs and cats. You can customize a policy to fit your specific pet care needs. There no age or breed restrictions. Options for routine care including routine exams, vaccines and teeth cleaning are available. There is a discount for insuring multiple pets. Petfirst has three popular coverage plans including the Lifetime 5,000 plan offering accident and illness coverage, no age restrictions, no per-incident limits, with a $5,000 annual limit. Premiums begin at $37/month. The Lifetime 10,000 plan provides the identical coverage options with a $10,000 annual limit; along with the Lifetime 20,000 plan with $20,000 annual limit.
  5. AKC Pet Insurance: AKC Pet Insurance is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and was founded in 2003. One great thing about AKC is that it covers treatment from any veterinarian. There are no age exclusions and you have 180 days from the time of accident or service to file claims. Coverage is provided and all fees covered for flea, tick and heartworm protection. You can also get a discount if you cover more than one pet.
  6. PetPremium: PetPremium insurance for cats and dogs is underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. There are three plans available beginning at only $10/month. Discounts are available for multiple pets and you can add a wellness package to cover preventive care services. The Level 1 plan covers accidents only with a $2,500 incident limit with a reimbursement amount of up to 90 percent; the Level 2 plan covers accidents and illnesses with a $3,000 incident limit and a reimbursement of up to 90 percent; and the Level 3 plan covers accidents and illnesses with up to 90 percent reimbursement.
  7. Pet Assure: Pet Assure began in 1995 and offers coverage with no exclusions for types of pet or type of medical service needed. It 's not really pet insurance but rather a veterinary discount plan. The unique things about Pet Assure are that it is not just for cats and dogs but also covers most other animals. There are also no annual limits. You receive a 25 percent discount for using a network veterinarian. No deductibles are applicable and there are also no waiting periods or co-pays with Pet Assure. This is not traditional pet insurance but may be worth considering especially if you have a pet that might be excluded through a standard pet insurance policy.

Is Pet Insurance Right for You?

When deciding if you should purchase a pet insurance policy there are several factors to take into consideration such as the age and current health of your pet, the type of breed and whether or not this breed is susceptible to certain conditions or diseases and what type of environment you live in—for instance, will your pet be exposed to factors that could cause accidents or health problems like other dangerous animals or heavy traffic areas? Weighing all these factors, you will then have to determine if the cost of the policy makes sense to protect you against any of these expenses.

If you do decide that Pet Insurance may be the best option for you and your pet, you can find out which companies are financially stable through insurance rating organizations such as A.M. Best and which ones have the best customer service ratings through consumer organizations such as J.D. Power & Associates as well as checking out how the company handles complaints with the Better Business Bureau.