Best Pet Insurance Companies

Get your pets the care they deserve without emptying your wallet

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Pet insurance works similar to health insurance for people. It can help offset costs or reimburse you for a large portion of your vet bills if your dog or cat becomes sick or injured, giving you the peace of mind of knowing that you can give your pet the care they deserve. Finding the right provider, however, will depend on your pet’s medical history and age as well as your budget.   

The best pet insurance companies provide comprehensive coverage, affordable costs with add-on features, solid customer service, and favorable customer reviews. Here are our top choices to help you find the best coverage for your pets.

Best Pet Insurance Companies for 2021

Best Overall : Pet Assure

The Balance's Rating
4.4

Pet Assure

 Pet Assure

Why We Chose It: Pet Assure may not save you as much as a pet insurance policy, but its low price, lack of waiting times, and unlimited use make it the best overall.

What We Like
  • No deductible, waiting period, or use limits

  • All animals eligible for coverage

  • Covers pre-existing conditions

  • Discounts for multiple animals

What We Don’t Like
  • Not pet insurance

  • Doesn’t cover medications or prescription food

  • No coverage for outsourced or specialist services

  • Limited number of providers by location

Pet Assure was founded in 1995 by a pet owner whose pet insurance denied a $3,000 hip surgery for his dog. The company offers a 25% discount on most vet services regardless of breed, age, or condition making it the best pet coverage overall. Pet Assure receives high ratings from third-party review sites due to its ease of use and excellent customer service.

Pet Assure offers a flat 25% discount on vet medical services, including vaccines, teeth cleaning, checkups, parasite screenings, ER visits, surgeries, and more. Animals of any age and pre-existing conditions are eligible and there’s no limit as to how often you can use your card. Unlike pet insurance which typically only covers cats and dogs, Pet Assure can be used for rabbits, turtles, sugar gliders, horses, farm animals, and even llamas.  

Pet Assure does have a few restrictions, however. Services must be performed in-house by the participating vet and can’t be outsourced to a specialist. Although over 5,000 practices accept Pet Assure, your choice of providers may be limited. Pet Assure also won’t discount medications, prescription food, or non-medical services, like boarding and routine grooming. 

Pet Assure offers monthly or annual pricing based on the size of the animal, how many are covered, and where you live. 

Best for Multiple Pets : ASPCA

The Balance's Rating
4.0

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Why We Chose It: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers a 10% discount for each additional pet you insure.

What We Like
  • Accident-only coverage available

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • 10% discount for each additional pet

  • Flexible billing options

What We Don’t Like
  • No unlimited or zero-deductible options

  • Wellness plan caps at $450

  • Longer reimbursement period

Established in 1866 to foster animal welfare, the ASPCA has been offering health insurance through Crum & Foster Pet Insurance Group since 2006. In addition to affordable policies and an optional wellness rider, the company also offers a 10% discount for each pet you insure, making it the best choice for multiple pets. 

Although ASPCA’s premiums are in line with many other providers, its optional wellness coverage is more affordable than most. Its Basic Preventative Care plan costs just $9.95 per month and has an annual limit of $250. You can also choose the Premium Preventative Care plan for $24.95 per month with an annual limit of $450. 

Use the company’s online quote estimator to find out how much a policy will cost for your pet.

Note that, in addition to offering 10% off each additional pet you insure, ASPCA will refund 100% of your paid premiums if you cancel your policy within 30 days and weren’t reimbursed for any claims.  

Hartville’s consumer ratings are mixed. Although some customers claim that it can take a long time to get reimbursed for claims, others praise the company’s friendly and helpful customer service. Hartville’s policies are underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company which has an A rating from AM Best.     

Best for Discounts : GEICO

The Balance's Rating
4.0

Geico

Geico 

Why We Chose It: GEICO is our choice as the best for discounts because it offers multiple discounts that can be stacked up to take a significant amount off of your premiums.

What We Like
  • Discounts are stackable

  • Generous wellness rider

  • Accident coverage available in 48 hours

What We Don’t Like
  • Policies not administered by GEICO

  • No option to bundle with other GEICO policies

  • Senior pets limited to accident-only coverage

A household name in car insurance, GEICO offers pet insurance for dogs and cats through a partnership with Embrace Pet Insurance. The company offers customizable pet insurance plans and wellness coverage plus the ability to stack multiple discounts, making it the best choice of pet insurance for discounts.

GEICO also offers an add-on Wellness Rewards for Routine Care plan that reimburses you for most preventative care services (routine veterinary visits, grooming, parasite medications, vaccination, etc.) up to the annual limit you choose: $250, $450, or $650. The wellness add-on plan acts more like an FSA than insurance, as you pay almost your yearly benefit limit in premiums.

GEICO also offers some of the most generous discounts we’ve found so far, including multi-pet, annual pay, and spay/neuter discounts. You can stack these together and save a significant amount. Another discount available is the military discount of 5% that shows up when buying your plan. You can also save $12 if you pay for your policy for the year upfront.

To get an estimate for your plan, use the online quote estimator. 

Customer reviews on third-party sites for Embrace are mixed, with most complaints about exclusions and delays in reimbursements. Happy customers cite the company’s ease of use and fast and friendly customer service.          

Embrace’s pet insurance policies are underwritten by American Modern Insurance Group which has an A+ rating from AM Best.

Best for Routine Care : PetFirst

The Balance's Rating
4.0

PetFirst Pet Insurance

 PetFirst Pet Insurance

Why We Chose It: PetFirst provides affordable pet insurance for dogs and cats plus additional routine care coverage for preventative pet care. Its add-on wellness rider offers five tiers of coverage limits to suit any budget.

What We Like
  • Many options for annual limits

  • Tiered wellness plans

  • Discounts for multiple pets

What We Don’t Like
  • Low annual limits

  • No accident only plan

  • Six-month wait time for some health issues

Founded in 2004, PetFirst provides pet insurance for cat and dog owners in the U.S. and has a strong commitment to supporting humane societies and shelters. The company also offers five wellness plans to meet any budget making it the best choice for routine care. 

PetFirst makes it easy to build a policy online and adjust coverage, deductibles, and reimbursements until you find the plan you want. Its accident and illness policies are accepted at any licensed vet, emergency animal, and specialist in the U.S.

PetFirst also offers a paid Routine Care Coverage rider that can be added to any policy. The company has five plans with set reimbursement per service based on the plan you choose and annual coverage limits of $125, $250, $365, $400, and $575. The company also offers discounts averaging 30% for multiple pets. Also, for every year you go without filing a claim, your deductible diminishes.

To find out how much adding wellness coverage to your plan will cost, you can use the quote builder. The chart below shows how much PetFirst will pay for certain services based on each plan:

Service Coverage Per Policy Term
Wellness exam $15–$75
Vaccinations $25–$100
Prevention: Heartworm test, Microchip ID, flea/tick meds $50–$150
Behavioral $35–$120
Maintenance $0–$20
Health screens $0–$100

PetFirst gets mixed reviews on third-party sites, with customers complaining about poor customer service and sudden increases in premiums. The company’s policies are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company which has an A- rating for financial stability from AM Best.

Best for Emergencies : Embrace

The Balance's Rating
4.0

Embrace

Embrace

Why We Chose It: Embrace offers pet insurance for cats and dogs with transparent pricing and customizable policies that include prescriptions and homeopathic and dental treatments, giving you a wider range of covered treatment options.

What We Like
  • Discounts up to 25% available

  • Generous wellness coverage

  • Offers a vanishing deductible

What We Don’t Like
  • No unlimited or zero-deductible options

  • Wellness plan caps at $650

  • Senior pets limited to accident-only coverage

After receiving capital funding by winning the 2003 Wharton Business Plan Competition, Embrace Pet Insurance sold its first pet insurance policy in 2006. The company offers policies that cover more treatments than most other providers, including prescriptions and homeopathic and dental treatments, so you have more options to treat your pet in emergencies.        

Embrace also offers an additional Wellness Rewards program that lets you set aside a specific budget similar to an FSA for routine wellness and preventative care. Your premium for the year to add this coverage will be nearly as much as your annual benefits limits: $250, $450, $650. However, you should come out around $25 or so dollars ahead a year for buying the coverage. Make sure you don't buy too much wellness coverage though or it will be a net loss for you.

You can get a quote for your policy using the online quote generator.

Embrace also offers a variety of stackable discounts, including 10% for covering two or more pets, 5% for members of the military, and 10% if your employer offers Embrace Pet Insurance as a voluntary benefit.

Embrace also features a vanishing deductible that lowers your annual deductible by $50 for every year you go without a claim. You can also save $12 by paying your premiums upfront for the year.

Customer reviews for Embrace are mixed, with complaints typically involving confusion with exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Pleased customers praise the company’s fast claims and friendly customer service. Embrace’s pet insurance policies are underwritten by American Modern Insurance Group which has an A+ rating from AM Best.

Best for Holistic Care : Figo

The Balance's Rating
3.9

Figo

Figo

Why We Chose It: Figo combines pet insurance with technology to create an easy-to-use platform and community resources for pet owners. Although it doesn't offer wellness plans or discounts, the company covers acupuncture and chiropractic care.

What We Like
  • 24/7 online access to vets

  • Social app for pet owners

  • Short waiting periods

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

What We Don’t Like
  • Rider required to cover exams

  • No accident-only policy

  • No wellness plan available

Figo was founded in 2015 and leverages technology to build an online network that lets pet owners find one another, discover pet services, and access veterinarians online at any time. Where other companies stick to FDA-approved treatments, Figo offers coverage for acupuncture and chiropractic care, making it our choice as the best for holistic care.

Although Figo doesn’t offer coverage for routine and preventive care, its generous accident and illness policies include coverage for prescriptions, specialists, behavioral treatments, and even euthanasia and cremation. Best of all, the company will reimburse you for acupuncture and chiropractic treatments performed by a licensed veterinarian. 

Figo also offers a social platform you can use to chat, share photos, and plan pet playdates with other pet owners. The app can also locate pet parks, pet daycare, hikes and trails, pet-friendly restaurants, dog walkers, and more. 

Visit the website to get an online estimated quote for your policy.

Figo gets high marks on most third-party review sites with customers lauding the company’s fast claims process and excellent customer service. The few complaints involve the company raising premiums for aging pets, a practice common with pet insurers.     

Figo’s policies are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (AM Best rating of A-), Markel American Insurance Company (AM Best rating of A), and Markel Insurance Company (AM Best rating of A).

Best for Older Dogs : Hartville

The Balance's Rating
4.0

Hartville Pet Insurance

 Hartville Pet Insurance

Why We Chose It: Hartville will never drop or reduce coverage due to a pet’s age or illness.

What We Like
  • Accident-only coverage available

  • Unlimited annual coverage limit

  • Accident and illness coverage for pets of any age

What We Don’t Like
  • Steep premiums for older pets

  • Limited reimbursement for preventive care

Founded in 1997, Hartville Pet Insurance is the only pet insurer to partner with the ASPCA. Unlike other companies that have age limits or force older pets into an accident-only policy, Hartville will never drop your coverage due to age or illness making it the best choice for older pets.  

In addition to pet insurance, Hartville offers optional wellness plans that offer fixed reimbursement for certain preventative pet care services. You can choose between the Basic Preventative Care plan with $250 in annual coverage or the Premium Preventative Care plan with $450 in annual coverage. Use the online quote generator to get an estimated cost for your policy.

Although Hartville covers animals of any age, you will see your premiums rise and your pet gets older. Hartville does cover end-of-life expenses and offers a 10% discount for each additional pet you insure.

Hartville’s consumer ratings are mixed, with some customers complaining of unclear policy exclusions and slow reimbursement payouts. Conversely, satisfied customers praised Hartville’s fast claims and customer service. Hartville’s pet insurance policies are underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company which has an A rating from AM Best.

Best for Chronic Conditions : 24PetWatch

The Balance's Rating
3.9

24PetWatch

24PetWatch

Why We Chose It: 24PetWatch provides pet insurance with optional preventative care coverage for cats and dogs and it offers continual coverage for chronic conditions.

What We Like
  • Next-day accident coverage

  • Short waiting periods

  • Lost pet recovery subscription available

  • Covers trip cancellation and boarding fees

What We Don’t Like
  • Complicated pricing plans

  • Pets can age out of coverage

  • Limited reimbursement for preventive care

24PetWatch offers pet insurance policies and wellness plans for cats and dogs that include reimbursement for boarding and lost pet recovery fees. The company also offers continual coverage for chronic conditions making it our choice as the best insurance for chronic conditions.     

24PetWatch offers much more generous waiting periods than most other pet insurers, requiring you to wait just 24 hours to make an accident claim and 14 days for illnesses. The company also offers coverage for the common illnesses on the third day following enrollment:

  • Ear and eye illnesses
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Mange/mites/ringworm
  • Parvovirus/feline panleukopenia
  • Tick-borne and heartworm diseases

As noted, 24PetWatch offers continual coverage for chronic conditions that result from an accident or illness provided they are not pre-existing or occur during your waiting period. Chronic conditions are covered up to your policy’s maximum annual payout each year.

24PetWatch also offers optional wellness care coverage that reimburses you for preventative pet care: a Routine plan with $200 in annual coverage and an Advanced plan with $400 in annual coverage. Both offer fixed reimbursement rates for certain wellness services.  

Like many of the other companies, you can get an estimated quote using the online quote generator.

24PetWatch gets average ratings on many customer review sites. Complaints typically involve difficulty canceling their policies and being enrolled for a free trial without knowledge after adopting a pet from a shelter. Positive reviews tend to focus on the company’s fast and easy claim process and excellent customer service.      

24PetWatch’s pet insurance policies are underwritten by Crum & Forster, a property and casualty insurer with an A rating from AM Best.

Best for Service Members : USAA

The Balance's Rating
4.1

USAA

 USAA

Why We Chose It: USAA offers pet insurance to its members through Embrace Pet Insurance with discounts up to 25% and additional wellness coverage.

What We Like
  • Discounts stackable up to 25%

  • Generous wellness rider

  • Accident coverage available in 48 hours

What We Don’t Like
  • Policies not administered by USAA

  • Only available to members of the military and their families

  • No option to bundle with other USAA policies

USAA is best known for partnering with companies to offer discounts on banking, insurance, and investment solutions for military families. Through its partnership with Embrace Pet Insurance, USAA offers its members pet insurance and routine care coverage at 15% off Embrace’s normal premiums. If you have multiple pets or are current or former military you stack discounts for up to 25% in total savings.

Use the online quote generator to get an estimate of how much a policy for your pet will cost. 

USAA also offers a Wellness Rewards program that acts a bit like a flexible spending account (FSA), the yearly premiums you'll pay will nearly total the annual benefit limit. However, you will come out a bit ahead by purchasing this coverage vs just saving as long as you don't purchase too much of it. The limits available are $250, $450, and $650.

Embrace gets mixed reviews from third-party sites. While some customers complain that the company has too many plans exclusions, others praise its fast and friendly customer service and claims process. Embrace’s policies are underwritten by American Modern Insurance Group which has an A+ rating from AM Best.

Final Verdict

While most pet insurance works in pretty much the same way, it can be hard to choose a policy. You’ll need to carefully review all of the costs, exclusions, reimbursement process, and other options to see how they stack up with your budget and your pet’s needs.  

Based on our methodology, Pet Assure is our top choice for the discounts on most vet bills without making you deal with deductibles, exclusions, and claims.

Compare Providers

Pet Insurance Why We Picked It Notable Features
Pet Assure Best Overall 25% discount on most vet bills with no claims needed
ASPCA Best for Multiple Pets 10% discount for each pet insured
GEICO Best for Discounts Multiple stackable discounts
PetFirst Best for Routine Care Tiered wellness plans to suit any budget
Embrace Best for Emergencies Coverage for prescriptions, homeopathy, and dental
Figo Best for Holistic Care Policies cover acupuncture and chiropractic treatments
Hartville Best for Older Dogs Accident and illness coverage for pets of any age
24PetWatch Best for Chronic Conditions Three-day waiting period for common illnesses
USAA Best for Service Members 15% off pet insurance for USAA members and up to 25% in total discounts possible

Pet Insurance vs. Dog Life Insurance

While pet insurance can help you cover the cost of vet bills in an emergency, pet life insurance can help pay for funeral expenses, such as burial or cremation, when your pet dies.

Keep in mind that most cat and dog life insurance will only cover accidental death or death caused by sudden illness. Most also exclude coverage for pets with hereditary or preexisting conditions or that die of old age. In most cases, you're better off purchasing a pet insurance rider that covers death expenses. 

FAQs

What Is Pet Insurance and How Does It Work?

Pet insurance can reimburse you for the majority of your vet bills if your dog or cat suffers a sudden illness or accident. Most companies require you to pay your bills out of your pocket until your annual deductible is met before your coverage kicks in. This can be anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on the provider and policy you choose. In general, the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly payment will be.

Once you’ve paid off your deductible, your insurance will reimburse you for between 70% to 90% of any future vet visits for an accident or illness, as long as the service is covered under your policy. Most providers also have an annual limit of what they will pay out in claims, typically between $5,000 to $30,000 or more.   

Although pet insurance only covers the cost of vet services for accidents and illnesses, many providers also offer a paid add-on rider that will reimburse you for the cost of common preventive and routine care, like annual vaccines and checkups.          

When Should You Get Pet Insurance?

The best time to purchase pet insurance is when your cat is still a kitten or your dog is still a puppy. Rates are much lower for younger animals, and some providers won’t cover or just offer limited coverage for older pets. As your pet ages, it’s also more likely to develop a pre-existing condition which will make it ineligible for pet insurance.     

How Much Does Pet Insurance Typically Cost? 

The price of pet insurance varies by the type, age, and breed of the pet as well as where you live. It will also change based on what deductible, annual coverage limit, and reimbursement percentage you chose.

With that said, the cost to insure a two-year-old dog with a $15,000 annual coverage limit, 80% reimbursement, and a $500 deductible could be around $30 per month. Adding a wellness rider for preventive care coverage can bring this total to between $45 and $100 per month.    

Can I Insure a Pet with a Pre-Existing Medical Condition? 

Nearly every pet insurance company will deny coverage for any accident or illness resulting from a pre-existing condition. Your pet can still be covered for other types of accidents or illnesses, however.

A handful of pet insurance providers will cover accidents and illnesses resulting from what it considers “curable” pre-existing conditions. These are usually defined by strict rules regarding how long a pet must be free from signs or symptoms of that condition to be eligible.    

How Does Age Affect Pet Insurance Coverage? 

Age typically determines how much you’ll be paying for your coverage. In general, the older your pet, the higher your monthly premium.

Older pets can also develop pre-existing conditions, making them ineligible for coverage if they become sick or hurt due to their condition. Finally, many providers won’t even offer policies or will offer policies with limited coverage for pets 10 years or older.    

What Does Pet Insurance Typically Include? 

Pet insurance reimburses you for the cost of medically necessary vet services resulting from an accident or illness. This typically includes exams, office visits, prescriptions, diagnostic testing, specialists, limited dental work, emergency services, surgery, imaging, hospitalization, cancer treatments, and more.

Some companies require that you purchase an add-on rider to be reimbursed for exam fees and office visits while others offer coverage for additional dental work, prescription food, and holistic care and treatments.       

What Does Pet Insurance Typically Exclude?

Pet insurance will not cover accidents and illnesses resulting from pre-existing conditions. Most will also exclude services that are not medically necessary, including cosmetic and elective procedures, breeding, grooming, spaying or neutering, and preventive and wellness care, like vaccines, teeth cleanings, and parasite treatments.

Pet insurance also won’t reimburse you for the cost of accidents or illnesses resulting from abuse, neglect, intentional fighting, or natural and manmade disasters.     

How Do I Choose the Best Pet Insurance Company?

Choosing the best pet insurance requires estimating how much coverage you would need to cover the vet bills if your pet becomes sick or injured. While there’s no way to predict the future, you can assess your coverage needs based on your lifestyle and your pet’s activities.

Pets with quieter indoor lifestyles are less prone to accidents or illnesses and thus can get by with a more affordable high-deductible policy. Outdoor dogs that belong to active owners might find themselves at the vet a few times a year, making a lower-deductible policy more desirable. Finally, pet owners with multiple animals will want to consider a provider with good preventive care to help head-off potential future health problems.        

How We Chose the Best Pet Insurance Companies

We looked at nearly two dozen pet insurance companies for this review. Providers that let customers customize their policies to meet their budget and needs were at the top of our list. We also made sure to pick companies that offered comprehensive coverage with no glaring omissions or that offered affordable riders to cover those gaps.

We also looked at companies that offered quick and easy claims service since no one wants to jump through hoops or wait months to get reimbursed. Alongside this concern, we carefully combed through customer reviews to get a real picture of the type of claims and customer service each truly offered.

Finally, we looked at the types of discounts and add-on coverage each company offered. Sometimes the addition of a single covered service or a discount could mean a savings of hundreds of dollars.

You can read our full methodology for a complete description of how we reviewed each company.