Best Pet Insurance Companies

Unlimited use and low cost give Pet Assure the win

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Pet insurance works similarly 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. However, finding the right provider 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

  • Coverage: 25% discount on medical services from participating vets
  • Starting Price: $9.95 per month
  • Deductibles: N/A
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.

Pros & Cons
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

Overview

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.

Read the full Pet Assure review.

Best for Multiple Pets : ASPCA

The Balance's Rating
4.0

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

  • Coverage: Accident-only, accident, and illness 
  • Starting Price: $9.95 Wellness rider
  • Deductibles: $100 to $500
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.

Pros & Cons
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

Overview

Established in 1866 to foster animal welfare, the ASPCA has been offering health insurance through Hartville Pet Insurance Group since 2005. 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.

Read the full ASPCA review.

Best for Discounts : GEICO

The Balance's Rating
4.0

Geico

Geico 

  • Coverage: Accident-only, accident, and illness 
  • Starting Price: $18.75 Wellness rider
  • Deductibles: $200 to $1,000
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.

Pros & Cons
What We Like
  • Discounts are stackable

  • Wellness rider available

  • 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

Overview

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 up to 25% in discounts, making it the best choice of pet insurance for discounts.

Read the full GEICO pet insurance review.

Best for Routine Care : PetFirst

The Balance's Rating
4.0

PetFirst Pet Insurance

 PetFirst Pet Insurance

  • Coverage: Accident and illness 
  • Starting Price: $17
  • Deductibles: $50+
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.

Pros & Cons
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

Overview

Founded in 2004, PetFirst provides pet insurance for cat and dog owners in the U.S. and strongly commits 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.

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–$100
Behavioral $35–$120
Maintenance $0–$100
Health screens $0–$100

Read the full PetFirst pet insurance review.

Best for Emergencies : Embrace

The Balance's Rating
4.0

Embrace

Embrace

  • Coverage: Accident-only, accident, and illness 
  • Starting Price: Varies
  • Deductibles: $200 to $1,000
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.

Pros & Cons
What We Like
  • Discounts up to 25% available

  • Wellness coverage is available

  • 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

Overview

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.

Read the full Embrace pet insurance review.

Best for Holistic Care : Figo

The Balance's Rating
3.9

Figo

Figo

  • Coverage: Accident and illness 
  • Starting Price: Varies
  • Deductibles: $100 to $750
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 discounts, the company covers acupuncture and chiropractic care.

Pros & Cons
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

Overview

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.

Read the full Figo pet insurance review.

Best for Older Dogs : Hartville

The Balance's Rating
4.0

Hartville Pet Insurance

 Hartville Pet Insurance

  • Coverage: Accident-only, accident, and illness 
  • Starting Price: $9.95 for Basic preventive addition
  • Deductibles: $100 to $500
Why We Chose It

Hartville will never drop or reduce coverage due to a pet’s age or illness.

Pros & Cons
What We Like
  • Accident-only coverage available

  • Accident and illness coverage for pets of any age

  • Unlimited annual coverage limit

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

  • Limited reimbursement for preventive care

Overview

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.

Read the full Hartville pet insurance review.

Best for Chronic Conditions : 24PetWatch

The Balance's Rating
3.9

24PetWatch

24PetWatch

  • Coverage: Accident and illness 
  • Starting Price: Varies
  • Deductibles: $100 to $1,000
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.

Pros & Cons
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

Overview

24PetWatch offers pet insurance policies and wellness plans for cats and dogs, including 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.

Read the full review of 24PetWatch.

Best for Service Members : USAA

The Balance's Rating
4.1

USAA

 USAA

  • Coverage: Accident-only, accident, and illness
  • Starting Price: $18.75 for Wellness Rewards
  • Deductibles: $200 to $1,000
Why We Chose It

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

Pros & Cons
What We Like
  • Discounts stackable up to 25%

  • Wellness coverage available

  • 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

Overview

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. You also get 10% off for insuring multiple pets and a 10% discount if your employer offers Embrace Pet Insurance as a benefit.

Read the USAA pet insurance full review.

Final Verdict

While most pet insurance works 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 processes, and other options to see how they stack up with your budget and your pet’s needs.  

Pet Assure is our top choice for the discounts on most vet bills without making you deal with deductibles, exclusions, and claims. You can focus on taking care of your pet, not wading through a sticky financial situation.

Compare the Best Pet Insurance Companies

Company  Coverage Emergency Coverage Preventative Care Waiting Period Network Size
Pet Assure Best Overall 25% discount on medical services from participating vets Yes No None Thousands
ASPCA Best for Multiple Pets Accident-only, accident, and illness Yes Yes 14 days Any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada
GEICO
Best for Discounts
Accident-only, accident, and illness Yes Yes 2 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses Any licensed vet in the U.S.
PetFirst
Best for Routine Care
Accident and illness Yes Yes 24 hours for accidents, 14 days for illnesses Any licensed vet in the U.S.
Embrace
Best for Emergencies
Accident-only, accident, and illness Yes Yes 48 hours for accidents, 14 days for illnesses Any licensed vet in the U.S.
Figo
Best for Holistics Care
Accident and illness Yes No 3 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses Any licensed vet in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada
Hartville
Best for Older Dogs
Accident-only, accident, and illness Yes Yes 14 days Any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada
24PetWatch
Best for Chronic Conditions
Accident and illness Yes  Yes Next day for accidents, 14 days for illnesses Any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada
USAA
Best for Service Members
Accident-only, accident, and illness Yes  Yes 2 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses Any licensed vet in the U.S.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Pet Insurance and How Does It Work?

Pet insurance can reimburse you for most 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 about 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.        

Methodology

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 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, adding a single covered service or a discount could mean a savings of hundreds of dollars.

Read our full pet insurance review methodology.