W e all want what’s best for our pets. However, any pet owner knows that your lovable, furry companion can cost a pretty penny. Especially when it comes time to take them to the vet.
Pet Insurance has become more and more popular in recent years. The increasing cost of pet care has led to many people looking for pet insurance as a way to protect their animal’s health. Pet insurance can be a great investment for those who are concerned about their best friend’s well-being.
Pet Insurance is a relatively new invention. Before pet insurance, owners of domesticated animals had to pay the vet bill out-of-pocket, not counting the cost of lost income while they are at work and other expenses like food and toys. This very first policy for pets was issued in 1982 and it was specifically designed for dogs that were prone to getting hit by cars.
However, it has been traditionally very hard to get due to the lack of pet insurance providers available. There are plenty of questions that people have about pet insurance, but most importantly – is it worth the money? But many pets are experiencing complications with their health because they are not covered by any kind of health care system.
A recent study found that there are over 8 million households that own at least one dog or cat without any kind of pet insurance coverage.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Choosing pet insurance is a big decision. It’s important to know what your policy does and does not cover.
The policy will list specific conditions that are covered under the policy. This includes accidents or severe illness like cancer or heart failure. It also covers conditions that are not covered by insurance. These things include regularly scheduled vet visits. Conditions are usually only covered if they are chronic, congenital or hereditary.
Pet insurance may also have limits on annual payouts for certain procedures, so it’s important to review the details of your plan before you buy it to make sure it has the coverage you need.
Pet insurance policies can provide coverage for a variety of injuries and illnesses that your pet might face in the future. They do not cover routine vet care or accidents, unless you find a Wellness plan. Most policies provide coverage for illnesses caused by hereditary conditions, chronic conditions, and behavioral problems. Pet insurance can also cover a variety of treatments that may include unexpected emergencies, ongoing treatments such as chemotherapy or physiotherapy, and prescription medications.
One of the limitations of pet insurance is that they do not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, which is also the case with human health insurance. They usually offer coverage for any serious illness or injury that occurs during the policy period
However, there are some exceptions to this rule so be sure to read the fine print before signing up for a plan! If an animal has a genetic or hereditary problem or other kind of chronic health issue that may have led to the disease or condition prior to being acquired, you may be able to find a plan that allows coverage for these conditions.
The best pet insurance companies will cover for accidents, illness, hereditary conditions, and even cancer treatments. Pet insurance can help pet owners take care of their furry friends in the event of an emergency.
The majority of pet insurance companies exclusively cover cats and dogs, but there are some that offer coverage for other animals.
Types of Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is one of the best ways to take care of your pet in case an accident or illness occurs. There are three types of main pet insurance: Accident and Illness Insurance, Wellness Insurance, Exotic Pet Insurance.
Accident insurance covers any injuries that may happen, such as a car crash or a slip and fall. It is a great way to be prepared in case of an accident.
Wellness insurance generally covers more routine issues like exams, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and nail trims. This type of coverage is usually cheaper than dental or major medical coverage for your pet.
Exotic pet insurance is a type of insurance plan that covers pets that aren’t cats or dogs. These include rabbits, ferrets, and chickens. Very few companies offer this type of insurance currently.
How to Buy a Pet Insurance Plan
As a smart consumer, you should ask important questions when choosing a pet insurance company. The next step would be going to the company’s website and request a quote. You may be asked to fill out an application asking information about your pet.
After you get the quote and fill out any pre-existing inquiries, you can pick a plan.
You may even be asked to schedule an appointment with your vet for an exam. You or your vet will need to submit the appropriate paperwork for your pet’s medical history.
Meet the Companies
There are multiple companies available that offer the type of pet insurance you need. Here is a quick list of some of the best pet insurance companies of 2023.
Fetch, formerly known as Petplan, is the preferred pet insurance provider of the American Animal Hospital Association. This means that more than 5,000 veterinarians across the country are recommended by AAHA as a trusted source for animal health care services and products. Their team of veterinarians and pet care experts will help you find affordable coverage. They provide peace of mind that your furry family will receive the best medical care available, covering your dog or cat with no age limits.
The company was renamed in 2011 and is headquartered in Newton Square, PA.
The company offers a variety of plans that are tailored to different needs with a limit of up to $15,000 annually. They offer coverage for accidents and illnesses, as well as behavioral treatments.
Fetch Pet Insurance is a pet care company that specializes in affordable pet insurance for dogs and cats. In addition to the standard coverage options, Fetch also offers less-expensive plans for pet owners who are on a budget. For example, there is a $5 per month plan that offers coverage for accidents and physical injuries but excludes behavioral issues. This plan is perfect for people who have healthy pets with no severe illnesses.
In order to file a claim for an illness that occurred more than 15 days ago, medical records are required. You don’t need this for enrollment.
Fetch’s “Telehealth” service can provide coverage for telephone consultations for an immediate lifesaving emergency.
2. Healthy Paws
In 2009, they started as Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation. They are also a non-profit company and have been providing pet insurance since then. The founders wanted to make sure that pet owners could afford quality care for their pets. Healthy Paws help rescue organizations by donating proceeds from products to animal charities and animal shelters.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance is an affordable pet insurance plan with an annual deductible. The plan covers most accident and illnesses with no payout limits. You can even lower your premiums by raising your deductible or lowering reimbursement.
Healthy Paws is unique in that it covers alternative care such as chiropractic care or acupuncture.
If your dog or cat has specific conditions associated with the breed, you can find that included in their policy with no limitations or caps on coverage.
The company doesn’t cover wellness expenses associated with examinations, vaccinations, or behavioral issues. There’s also a one-time membership fee of a low $25 cost.
3.Embrace Pet Insurance
The Embrace Pet Insurance got started in 2003 after winning a competition at the Wharton School of Business. They sold their first policy in 2006. Their policies are usually cheaper than competitors to make pet insurance more affordable. They also offer many unique features unlike other companies.
If your pet had a serious condition in the past and remains symptom fee for a year, Embrace will cover the condition if it reoccurs. Other than that, there is no coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The companies also offer a diminishing deductible if you don’t file a claim.
Their Wellness Rewards plan covers products like grooming despite the fact that they don’t actually have wellness coverage. There are no refunds for wellness plans if funds aren’t used within a year.
Embrace doesn’t always focus on the pets. Their policies can also cover veterinary exam fees which definitely sets them apart from the competition.
Plans include annual limits and new full coverage plans are only offered to dogs and cats younger than 14 years old.
4. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance gets its name from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. However, the company actually administers its insurance from The Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance has no official affiliation with the ASPCA
ASPCA doesn’t just cover dogs and cats, they are also known to cover horses too. This is a unique trait for a pet insurance company. They don’t offer any coverage for any other livestock or exotics.
They offer coverages for illnesses and accidents along with accident-only coverage for dogs and cats with adjustable annual deductibles. They also cover behavioral issues.
If your pet has a pre-existing condition, they can get covered if symptoms don’t show again for 180. This is a much faster period than most other competitors.
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance also covers more than just basic vet visits, including prescription medications, diagnostic tests, dental care, and even acupuncture treatments. Although, the dental treatments don’t cover as many conditions as some of the competitors.
It also takes a long time to process claims. The light at the end of the tunnel is that most customers, once accepted, get to choose their own deductibles, reimbursement percentage and limits.
The company was founded in 2000 and started selling their pet insurance in 2007. They are an avid supporter of charitable pet organizations.
Want direct payment for vet expenses? Trupanion pays its customers who use participating vets by paying directly to the veterinary office without needing a claim.
Trupanion has only one plan with multiple plan options including alternative care. There are no payout limits and no annual deductibles. The Pet Owner Assistance package is included. It pays for pet damages to property, boarding fees, and lost pet rewards.
There is even a referral program that will reward you $25 for every friend that you refer to the company.
Along with the Pet Owner Assistance package, Trupanion also pays for alternative care needs such as acupuncture and chiropractor care. There’s also a Complementary Care coverage option for treatments involving rehabilitation. This is completely optional.
Like most other companies on this list, there are no wellness coverages and no multi-pet discounts. There is also a one-time new customer fee of $35.
Figo was founded in 2013 so it’s a relatively new company. Figo is a very technology-based company that uses AI claims handlers and apps. Figo utilizes their Pet Cloud app for multiple purposes.
The Pet Cloud app is a smart pet health insurance app. It saves you time and money by taking care of all the hassles for you. You can compare rates, get virtual vet consultations, deal with the AI claim handlers, find other pet owners in your area, and so much more.
Using technology also allows for a quicker claim process with a money back guarantee which sets it apart from the competitors. The modern technology may be a turn off for some who want to talk directly to a person.
Figo provides three main plans for its customers; the Essential plan, Preferred Plan, and Ultimate Plan. These plans provide coverage depending on the customers annual deductible limit. The annual benefits range from $5,000-unlimited depending on the type of plan.
Their optional coverages include a wellness plan and coverage that covers fees for vet exams related to accidents and injury. These are extra costs.
They also charge more for cats than dogs which is an unusual trait for most other pet insurances.
PetFirst was founded in 2004 and was recently purchased by MetLife in 2020. They provide coverage for accidents and injuries for your cat or dog with customizable plans.
PetFirst gives you multiple ways to help save money including discounts for multiple pets and $25 decrease in your deductible if you don’t file a claim for a year. There is also no upper age limit for pets, but they must be at least 8 weeks old to apply. The downside to this is that your premium will increase as you pet ages.
Although PetFirst doesn’t offer any wellness plan, they do have wellness rider options for an additional fee. These options include spaying and neutering, dental, and routine visits.
With their customizable plans, you can choose your deductible and annual limit per year. You can even customize the percentage of your plan’s expenses. This will affect your monthly premium. If you do happen to choose paying you plan monthly, you’ll be charged a small $3 fee.
There is also an extended waiting period on breed specific conditions such as hip dysplasia. It will be deemed as a pre-existing condition if it shows up during this waiting period.
8. Pets Best
Pets Best Insurance is a pet insurance company founded in 2005 by a veterinarian Jack Stephens. In 1981, Dr. Jack Stephens founded the first pet insurance company in North America because he knew that it could be difficult to provide medical care for pets when unexpected health challenges arise. In 2019 Pets Best was bought by a financial services company named Synchrony.
The company is committed to protecting pets and their families from unforeseen accidents and illnesses, and provides clients with affordable rates for comprehensive coverage. Their coverage is one of the best in the U.S.
Pets Best policies and plans are among the best due to its extensive wellness coverage, customizable plans and no age limit.
Pets Best main plan offers three levels; Essential, Plus, and Elite which adds upgraded benefits to each level. You must file a quote in order to find more information on each level, but we do know that there are no rehabilitation coverages until you get to the Elite level.
There are also two additional wellness plan add-ons called EssentialWellness and BestWellness. These options cover products like exam fees, microchipping, and deworming.
You also never have to worry about choosing a different vet as all licensed veterinary clinics in the U.S. are covered with Pets Best. You can even choose a vet in Canada and Puerto Rico.
Nationwide is known by its customers to sell a variety of insurance including life and homeowners. What you may not know is that they also sell pet insurance. In fact, they are the first to offer pet insurance in the U.S. Their first policy was sold back in 1926 but didn’t get into pet insurance until 2009. Since then, they’ve become a dependable company for pet insurance.
Their decision to sell pet insurance is an attempt to keep up with other big names in the industry like Geico.
They are the only company on the list that covers all types of pets. This includes birds, reptiles, rats, tortoises and other exotic pets. They even cover wellness.
Not only that, but you also have the freedom to choose any vet in the U.S. that you want as long as they are licensed
Sounds too good to be true? While Nationwide does offer a lot more than the other competitors, they are a little more expensive.
Nationwide offers multiple plans to choose from including Major Medical, and Avian & Exotic Pets. The main pet insurance plan covers routine and preventative care. You can even make a separate purchase of accident and illness insurance among other wellness plans including Whole Pet with Wellness. The only real downside is that their plans don’t accommodate breed-specific injuries such as hip dysplasia.
While there are multiple options to choose from, the premium rates for these plans tend to be on the high side.
Find What You Were Looking For?
Each company offers their own unique spin on pet insurance. As the customer it is your job to compare and choose the right company that offers what you need for your pet.