GEICO offers accident and illness insurance with add-on wellness coverage for cats and dogs through Embrace Pet Insurance. Its competitively priced, customizable plans can be combined with a wellness rider that offers more preventative care coverage than most other insurers.
- PROS & CONS
- KEY TAKEAWAYS
Discounts stackable up to 25%
Generous wellness rider
Accident coverage available in 48 hours
Policies not administered by GEICO
No option to bundle with other GEICO policies
Senior pets limited to accident-only coverage
- GEICO offers customizable accident and illness pet insurance with multiple discounts.
- Optional wellness rider includes dental and prescription diet food.
- Some curable pre-existing conditions are covered.
- Multi-pet and healthy pet discounts available, as well as discounts for members of the military.
- Year Founded 1936
- Deductible $200 to $1,000
- Types of Services Available Accident-only insurance, accident and illness insurance
- Additional Features Wellness rider
- Official Website www.geico.com/pet-insurance
Already a household name in car insurance, GEICO has expanded into the pet wellness space, partnering with Embrace to offer dog and cat accident and illness insurance and wellness plans for its customers.
GEICO makes it easy to customize a pet insurance plan to meet your budget and needs. You can choose a deductible as low as $200, annual coverage as high as $30,000, and up to 90% reimbursement for your vet bills. GEICO also offers discounts for multiple pets, military service members, and lower deductibles for healthy pets.
We reviewed GEICO’s pet insurance coverage and exclusions, optional wellness rider, discounts, pricing, reviews, customer service, and more to help you see if it’s right for you.
Company Overview: Customizable and Flexible Pet Insurance
GEICO’s pet insurance is run through Embrace, which originally began as a pet insurance concept in 2003 for the Wharton Business Plan Competition. The company has since grown and partnered with other providers to offer customizable pet insurance plans, wellness coverage, and an easy-to-use online portal and app.
Embrace’s accident and illness insurance reimburses cat and dog owners for up to 90% of their vet bills. It makes it easy to choose your annual coverage limit and deductibles to create a plan that’s right for you.
Whereas pre-existing conditions are excluded from most pet insurance plans, Embrace offers options for curable pre-existing conditions, giving its customers more coverage for their ailing pets. The company also covers both preventive and treatment prescription medications as well as dental care, two areas often excluded in pet insurance.
Customer reviews are mixed, with most customer complaints involving confusion about exclusions or additional information requested by the company. Customers who were happy with Embrace cited the company’s quick approvals, ease of use, and fast and friendly customer service.
Embrace’s pet insurance policies are underwritten by American Modern Insurance Group (a subsidiary of Munich Reinsurance Company), which has an A+ rating for financial stability from AM Best.
Policies Available: Accident and Illness
GEICO offers accident and illness or accident-only insurance through Embrace Pet Insurance.
Accident and Illness
To get a quote, you’ll need to use a simple quote builder that asks you to enter basic info about your cat or dog (breed, gender, age, etc.) and then shows you a plan along with your monthly premium payment. From there you can adjust your coverage based on the following choices:
- Annual coverage limit
- Annual deductible
- Reimbursement for vet bills
Like most pet insurance companies, GEICO’s premium rates are based on several factors, including the type of animal, gender, age, breed, and location. GEICO’s Embrace pet insurance plan also automatically renews every year so you don’t have to requalify.
GEICO’s waiting period is slightly shorter than that of other pet insurers. You only need to wait 48 hours after the effective date of your policy to file a claim for an accident and just 14 days for an illness. There’s a six-month waiting period for orthopedic conditions in dogs, but that can be reduced by getting a simple orthopedic exam within 14 days of your policy’s activation.
With an accident and illness policy, you’ll receive coverage for:
- Cancer treatment including chemotherapy
- Chronic conditions (such as allergies)
- Congenital conditions
- Dental trauma
- Exam fees
- Genetic conditions (such as hip dysplasia)
- Prescription drugs
- Allergy testing
- Alternative therapies (such as acupuncture)
- CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, and ultrasounds
- General, specialist, and emergency care
- Hospitalization and surgery
- Lab tests and biopsies
- Physical therapy (such as hydrotherapy)
Pets over 14 years of age are only eligible for GEICO’s accident-only plan. The policy is non-customizable and comes with a $5,000 annual coverage limit, a $100 deductible that is paid once a year, and a medical bill reimbursement of 90%.
- Foreign body ingestion
- Hit by car
- Torn cruciate ligament
- Cuts & lacerations
- Prescription drugs for covered conditions
Other Add-Ons: Wellness Plan
GEICO also offers an add-on Wellness Rewards for Routine Care plan from Embrace that reimburses you for the cost of many preventative care services up to the annual limit you choose: $250, $450, or $650.
GEICO’s Wellness Rewards acts more as a flexible spending account (FSA) than insurance, requiring you to pay the annual limit you choose, minus a $25 reward, divided by 12. For example, if you choose $450 of coverage, you’ll pay $35.42 each month.
Your Wellness Rewards coverage can be increased anytime and requires a one-time back-payment for all months to the start of the existing policy. In other words, if you upgrade your policy in June but your original policy started in March, you will have to pay the difference in the two policies for those three months.
Unused funds in your Wellness Rewards account are non-refundable and don’t roll over to the next year, so we recommend getting only the coverage you think you’ll use.
Wellness Rewards for Routine Care coverage includes:
- Routine veterinary visits
- Flea, tick, and heartworm medications
- Fecal and routine blood tests
- Medicated shampoos
- Spay/neuter surgery
- Routine chiropractic care
- Massage and acupuncture
- Teeth cleaning
- Prescription diet food
- Training classes
- Toenail trimming
- Anal gland expression
- Pet activity monitors
- Cremation or burial
Your Wellness Rewards balance is non-refundable and won’t roll over at the end of the year, so be careful to choose the amount you think you’ll actually use.
Unique Features: Prescription Coverage
GEICO’s accident and illness insurance will also reimburse you for FDA-approved and Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia-included drugs prescribed for treating covered accidents and illnesses.
You can purchase these types of medications through your GEICO plan:
- Allergy medication
- Insulin and supplies
- Eye and ear drops
- Oral chemotherapy
- Pain relievers
- Anxiety medication
These are in addition to the prescriptions eligible for reimbursement by the Wellness Rewards option.
Unique Features: Dental Coverage
GEICO offers coverage for both dental accidents and dental illnesses, which is rare among pet insurers. Dental accidents are covered up to your policy limit, and dental illnesses are covered up to $1,000 per policy year.
Dental services covered include:
- Broken, chipped, and fractured teeth
- Root canals & crowns
- Periodontal disease
Plan Exclusions: Incurable Pre-Existing Conditions
While most pet insurance plans won’t cover pre-existing conditions, Embrace distinguishes between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions. In short, some curable pre-existing conditions may be covered if your pet goes 12 months symptom- and treatment-free.
GEICO will cover some curable pre-existing conditions if your pet goes 12 months symptom- and treatment-free.
Examples of curable pre-existing conditions:
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary tract/bladder infections
- Vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal disorders
If your cat or dog has been diagnosed with or shown signs or symptoms of these conditions or other curable conditions identified by the company prior to enrollment, treatment for these and related conditions will be excluded for 12 months from the date of the last episode.
However, if your cat or dog has been diagnosed with or shown signs or symptoms of the following conditions prior to enrollment, treatment for these and related conditions will be permanently excluded under your policy:
- Orthopedic conditions, illnesses, or injuries on the opposite side of a prior injury
- Lipomas or skin lumps
- Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
- Urinary or bladder crystals or blockages
- Other chronic conditions
In addition to the excluded pre-existing medical conditions, the accident and illness insurance also will not cover:
- Breeding, whelping, and pregnancy
- Injury caused deliberately by you or any other person or pet residing in your home
- Injury or illness resulting from fighting, racing, cruelty, or neglect
- Cosmetic procedures
- DNA testing or cloning
- Stem cell therapy not deemed medically necessary
- Avian flu
The accident-only insurance policy also comes with exclusions:
- Breed-specific and genetic conditions
- Congenital conditions
- Chronic conditions
- Dental illness
Cost: Competitive Rates With Multiple Discounts
GEICO’s pet insurance rates are competitive with most other providers. We used Embrace’s online quote estimator and created two plans.
Accident and illness insurance for a mixed-breed, medium-sized (31–50 lbs.), three-year-old, female dog with $15,000 coverage, a $500 deductible, and 80% reimbursement came to $38.23 per month. Wellness Rewards added an extra $18.75 per month for $250 of coverage, for a total of $56.98 per month.
Accident and illness for a domestic longhair, one-year-old, male cat with $15,000 coverage, a $500 deductible, and 80% reimbursement came to $18.72 per month. Wellness Rewards added an extra $18.75 per month for $250 of wellness coverage, for a total of $37.47 per month.
Your rates will increase or decrease based on variables like the amount of coverage, the age of your pet, reimbursement percentage, and the deductible. You can use the calculator tool to adjust the coverage and create a plan that fits your budget.
GEICO also offers a 10% discount for covering two or more pets, a 10% discount if your employer offers Embrace Pet Insurance as a voluntary benefit, and a 5% discount for active and previous military members. These discounts are stackable in many states up to a maximum of 25%.
You can also save $12 if you pay for your policy for the year upfront. GEICO also offers a healthy pet discount, reducing your annual deductible by $50 each year you don’t receive an accident or illness claim reimbursement.
Customer Service: Phone, Mail, Chat, and 24/7 Help Line
GEICO handles all pet insurance support and claims through Embrace. You can file or check the status of a claim or change coverage using the online member portal or the Embrace mobile app day or night. Claims can also be filed by email, fax, or mail.
Customer service is available by email or phone Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST. You also get 24/7 access to a help hotline for pet emergencies and general pet health questions.
Embrace processes accident and illness claims in 10 to 15 days and Wellness Rewards claims in five business days or less. The company typically confirms receipt of a claim within two business days.
Competition: GEICO Pet Insurance vs. Nationwide
We compared GEICO’s pet insurance against Nationwide’s, another large-scale insurance company. Nationwide offers combined accident and illness insurance with a built-in wellness plan, unlike GEICO which only offers wellness coverage as an add-on.
Both also include wellness coverage not commonly found in other pet insurance plans, like nail trimming and dental services. However, Nationwide doesn’t let you customize your coverage on every plan, locking you into a set deductible and reimbursement instead.
In the end, both insurers stack up pretty evenly in terms of price and coverage. We recommend you request quotes from both companies and compare their cost and coverage to see which is right for you.
|Animals Covered||Dogs and cats||Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, small mammals|
|Example Cost||$77.00 to insure a 3-year-old, medium-sized dog with 90% reimbursement, $30,000 annual coverage, a $300 deductible, and $250 in wellness coverage||$73.18 to insure a 3-year-old, medium-sized dog with 90% reimbursement, no annual coverage limit, and a $250 deductible|
|Coverage Type||Accident-only, accident and illness, wellness||Accident and illness, accident and illness with wellness, wellness|
|Waiting Period||Accidents: Two days Illnesses: 14 days||Accidents: 14 days Illnesses: 14 days|
|Network Size||Any licensed vet||Any licensed vet in the world|
Based on our methodology, GEICO offers affordable, customizable accident and illness pet insurance with a generous optional wellness rider through its partnership with Embrace Pet insurance. We liked its stackable discounts, as well as its mobile app and online portal that let you file and check on claims and change coverage details with ease.
We’d like to see a GEICO-offered bundled insurance package rather than sending customers to the Embrace website. We also don’t know what to make of the mixed reviews, which range from completely satisfied customers and others feeling scammed.
Overall, GEICO’s clear breakdown of coverage and exclusions, unique curable pre-existing condition exemptions, and coverage of dental services along with the wellness rider make it a great choice for nose-to-tail dog and cat insurance. We recommend starting with modest coverage to test out its service and then upgrade when (or if) you need.
AM Best. "Munich Reinsurance Company." Accessed June 23, 2021.