July 13, 2024
10 Best Pet Insurance Companies of October 2022

Pet insurance can help pay for your pet’s medical care, with many policies covering up to 90 percent of your vet bills. Our reviews evaluate the best pet insurance companies to help you identify which best suits your needs.

Should you need more information before diving into the reviews, our guide section explains how pet insurance works, what procedures aren’t typically covered by providers and how to choose the right coverage. We also define key components of your policy such as payment caps, types of coverage and premiums.

Keep reading to learn more about the best pet insurance companies on the market today.

Our Top Picks for Best Pet Insurance of October 2022

  • Healthy Paws – Best for Alternative Therapies
  • ASPCA – Best for Hereditary and Congenital Conditions
  • Spot – Best for Unlimited Coverage
  • Pumpkin – Best for Puppies and Kittens
  • Figo – Best for Reimbursement Options
  • Embrace – Best for Older Pets
  • Pets Best – Best for Treatment of Mobility Issues
  • Lemonade – Best for Fast Claims Processing
  • Trupanion – Best for Direct Payment to Vets
  • Nationwide – Best for Exotic Pets

Honorable Mentions: TrustedPals, Fetch by The Dodo, Metlife Pet Insurance, 24PetWatch, Hartville, Pet Assure, USAA Pet Insurance, GEICO Pet Insurance, Wagmo Prudent Pet and Many Pets

Best Pet Insurance Company Reviews

Why we chose Healthy Paws: Most pet insurance providers exclude alternative therapies from their policies, but Healthy Paws covers treatments like acupuncture chiropractic care, hydrotherapy, physical therapy, laser therapy and massage therapy, as long as it’s prescribed and performed by a licensed veterinarian.

  • No per-incident, annual or lifetime caps
  • Quick claim processing
  • Covers alternative therapy for diagnosed conditions
  • Direct payments available under certain conditions
  • No hip dysplasia coverage for dogs enrolled at six years or older
  • Only a single policy offered
  • No coverage for prescription food
  • Limited coverage options for senior pets
  • Office exams aren’t covered

Healthy Paws offers just one accident and illness policy for cats and dogs. It has no per-incident, annual or lifetime benefit caps, and you can choose a deductible between $100 and $500.

The company provides quick claims processing through its mobile app, and most claims are processed in just two days. It also offers a direct payment option instead of reimbursement if you can’t afford the upfront veterinary bill.

Healthy Paws is best for pets that are enrolled while they’re young, as coverage options are more limited and reimbursement rates less generous for senior pets.

Read full review >>

Why we chose ASPCA: We picked ASPCA as the best pet insurance for congenital or hereditary conditions. Unlike some other companies, it doesn’t withhold coverage for these illnesses if you enroll your pet past a certain age. Your pet will be fully insured (and relatively quickly, too), thanks to the short 14-day waiting period.

  • Standout coverage for hereditary and congenital illnesses
  • No upper age limit for enrollment
  • Curable pre-existing conditions are covered after 180 days
  • Covers stem cell therapy and microchipping
  • Warns that processing may take up to 30 days
  • Monthly payments incur a transaction fee
  • Website is not user friendly

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers accident-only, accident and illness and preventive care for cats and dogs. Riding enthusiasts can also insure their horses, but only in certain states.

ASPCA’s premium rates are some of the most affordable around. The company is also more flexible on certain policy terms than many of its industry counterparts.

While some other companies’ policies set an age limit on coverage for hereditary or congenital conditions, ASPCA guarantees coverage no matter your pet’s age at enrollment, as long as the conditions aren’t pre-diagnosed. Additionally, curable pre-existing conditions are covered, provided your pet is symptom-free for at last 180 days. Other companies may make you wait up to a year.

This insurer also falls short with its lengthy claims processing time. Pet care is expensive, and waiting 30 days for insurance reimbursement isn’t a good selling point, considering some competitors process claims in a matter of days.

Read full review >>

Why we chose Spot: We picked Spot as the best pet insurance for unlimited coverage. It caters especially well to pet parents who want a policy that maximizes peace of mind for their pet’s health. (Of course, such comprehensiveness comes at a cost, since opting for low or no co-payments and a small deductible do tend to drive up the cost of any policy, regardless of the company.) Spot is also a fine choice for older pets, since there is no age limit to its coverage.

  • Deductibles start as low as $100
  • Unlimited annual coverage available
  • Covers alternative therapies such as acupuncture and hydrotherapy
  • No upper age limit
  • Higher-than-average premiums for young pets
  • Limited knee and ligament coverage (bilateral condition policies)
  • No weekend customer service availability

Spot readily allows you to maximize coverage of your pet. It’s among a relatively few companies that provide policies with a full (100%) coverage option, meaning you are not responsible for any co-payment of bills. In addition, the company offers a very low ($100) deductible option, which further reduces your out-of-pocket payments for care.

That said, choosing one or both of a low co-payment and a low deductible will lead to higher premiums for the policy. And Spot’s prices are already higher than the norm for young pets, although the company has no upper age limit for insuring new animals — which may make it a good choice if your furry companions are elderly.

Read full review >>

Why we chose Pumpkin: Pumpkin is our pick as the best pet insurance for puppies and kittens because it offers a lot for comparatively little. It provides extensive insurance and non-insurance preventive care options tailored to junior animals at an affordable price point.

  • No upper age limit
  • Covers prescription food
  • Short (14-day) waiting period for all conditions, including knee and hip dysplasia
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Coverage limits from $10,000 for dogs and $7,000 for cats, up to unlimited options
  • No customizable reimbursement levels

  • Limited (and low) deductible options ($100 to $500, which will likely make policies more expensive)

Pumpkin offers affordable plans with an option to add preventative care packs for young cats and dogs that aren’t included in standard coverage. For example, the company’s puppy preventive care packs include one annual wellness exam fee, four puppy vaccines and one yearly fecal test.

Pumpkin will also refund the cost of up to four vaccines your puppy may have received prior to being insured under the preventive pack, as well as covering lab tests for parasites. However, these add-ons — known as Pumpkin Preventive Essentials — are not available in all states.

Read full review >>

Why we chose Figo: Most competitors only offer up to 90% reimbursement. Figo stands out as the best pet insurance for reimbursement options because pet owners can choose up to 100% reimbursement and avoid copayments entirely.

  • Up to 100% reimbursement
  • No upper age enrollment limit
  • Low deductible options
  • Free 24/7 vet helpline
  • Short (no longer than 3-day) waiting period for injuries and 14 days for illnesses
  • No coverage on hereditary conditions if pet is enrolled after 2nd birthday
  • 6-month waiting period for knee injuries and orthopedic conditions
  • Low payout limits in wellness plan

FIGO offers pet owners the option to reduce their copayment to 0%, thanks to its 100% reimbursement option. (As a rule, the lowest copayment offered by other providers is 10%.) Figo doesn’t enforce annual limits, either, but the company does apply a lifetime maximum – that is, how much it will reimburse over the lifetime of your pet.

Be prepared to pay higher than average premiums for a policy with 0% copay, unlimited payout benefits or both. Other notable drawbacks include Figo’s coverage limitations on hereditary conditions and lack of rider options. Pet owners can purchase additional coverage for vet exam fees, but not for preventative care or wellness.

Figo’s Pet Cloud app features comprehensive mobile support. With the app, you can contact a licensed veterinarian 24/7, manage your pet’s insurance documents and make payments, among other transactions.

Read full review >>

Why we chose Embrace: Aging pets shouldn’t be spared insurance coverage when they need it most – and owners are prepared to pay sharp, age-related increases in premiums to buy a policy. We picked Embrace as the best pet insurance for older pets because it extends comprehensive coverage to pets under 14 years and accident-only coverage to pets 15 years or older.

  • High upper age limit for enrollment
  • Yearly diminishing deductible
  • Covers curable pre-existing conditions
  • High annual reimbursement limit option
  • Only covers dogs and cats
  • No unlimited benefit options
  • Limited wellness benefits
  • Not available in Canada and US territories

Embrace is willing to provide accident and illness coverage to pets of up to 15 years. After that age, you can still purchase coverage, albeit only for accidents. That’s somewhat of a rarity, as other companies generally won’t insure pets of 10 or older in any way.

Embrace doesn’t offer wellness benefits as a separate policy. Instead, pet owners can sign up for the Wellness Rewards plan and contribute a specific amount to cover preventive care expenses. Make sure your annual contributions match the expected level of preventative care, as unused funds don’t rollover for the following year.

Another benefit of Embrace pet insurance is its shrinking deductibles. Every year you don’t receive a claim reimbursement, Embrace will reduce your annual deductible by $50.

All policies come with a 30-day money-back guarantee or a pro-rated refund — if you’ve already filed a claim within that time frame.

Read full review >>

Why we chose Pets Best: Pets Best has a wide range of coverage options and deductibles, and it offers coverage for pets as young as seven weeks. It’s also one of the few pet insurance companies that cover prosthetic devices and wheelchairs.

  • Covers pets as young as seven weeks with no upper age limit

  • Direct payments available
  • Coverage for prosthetic devices and wheelchairs
  • Wide range of deductibles
  • Parasite treatment not covered
  • Policy upgrades not available until renewal date
  • Bilateral exclusions apply

Pets Best offers accident and illness policies and also sells multiple wellness plans to cover your pet’s routine care.

Most insurers require pets to be at least eight weeks old to enroll, but Pets Best will insure pets at seven weeks. There is no upper age limit, either, so you can get coverage for senior pets.

Insurers don’t always cover treatments for mobility issues, but Pets Best provides coverage for wheelchairs and prosthetic devices when prescribed by a veterinarian to treat a covered accident or illness.

However, Pets Best does have bilateral exclusions. If your pet was previously diagnosed with a condition on one side of its body — such as cataracts in one eye, hip dysplasia or luxating patellas — Pets Best won’t cover the condition if it later affects the other side; it’s considered to be a pre-existing condition.

Read full review >>

Why we chose Lemonade: We picked Lemonade as the best pet insurance for speedy claims. The company uses novel, AI-powered processing, which promises to deliver claims very quickly via the Lemonade app. The ability to direct a part of the company’s profit to a charity of your choice may also appeal to many pet owners.

  • Quick claims processing — in minutes rather than weeks via mobile app

  • Multiple discounts, including for bundling with homeowners insurance, insuring multiple pets and making a single, annual payment
  • A portion of payments go to charities
  • Only available in 36 states

  • Limited information online
  • Must submit past 12 months of medical records along with exam
  • No 30-day “free look” period (standard with many carriers)

Lemonade offers a comprehensive accident and illness policy, and you can further enhance coverage with a preventative care rider for annual checkups, vaccines, and heartworm and parasite screening. A separate rider is also available to cover vet exam fees and alternative treatments like acupuncture.

Lemonade also donates excess premium payments to nonprofits selected by policyholders from a list of partner charities. Lemonade is currently available in 36 states, but you can sign up for updates on its website.

Read full review >>

Why we chose Trupanion: Usually, pet owners have to pay the vet bill in full before receiving reimbursement from pet insurance providers. With Trupanion’s direct payment software, your vet can file a claim in-office and receive payment almost immediately. You needn’t pony up the entire bill and wait for the covered proportion to be reimbursed to you.

  • The company pays vets directly
  • No payout limits for any benefits (per incident, monthly or lifetime)
  • Free 30-day coverage with partnering shelters, breeders or vets
  • Lifetime per condition deductibles
  • Enrollment also available in Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia
  • High premium rates
  • Per-condition deductible
  • No preventive care coverage
  • No multi-pet discounts
  • Only one plan option

Trupanion offers a single insurance plan for cats and dogs. Aside from standard benefits, like diagnostic tests, surgery, hospitalization and prescription medications, coverage also extends to alternative treatments, dental illnesses, prosthetic devices and prescription food.

If your veterinarian uses Trupanion’s direct payment software, you don’t need to file a claim; Trupanion pays the vet directly. Policyholders, then, need not worry about making costly upfront payments or submitting reimbursement claims, which are standard for most of the pet insurance industry.

Trupanion lacks affordability and flexibility – premiums are high and there’s only a single policy option. However, its coverage is comprehensive. If you can afford higher than average premiums, your pet will benefit from 90% reimbursement on all eligible claims and no payout limits per incident, year or lifetime.

Read full review >>

Why we chose Nationwide: We picked Nationwide as the best pet insurance for exotic pets because it offers comprehensive insurance for various unconventional animals. Pet owners can relax knowing up to 90% of their expenses for such animals are covered by a reputable insurer.

  • Coverage for exotic pets, including birds

  • Those with other Nationwide policies save 5% on pet insurance coverage
  • Visit any licensed vet, specialist or emergency care provider anywhere in the world
  • Free 24/7 vet helpline
  • Low 50% reimbursement option
  • Only a single ($250) deductible option available
  • Upper age limit on enrollment
  • Key information on coverage and exclusions is hard to find
  • Limits the amount of reimbursement for common procedures and conditions

Nationwide is the only pet insurance company of its size that offers an Avian and Exotic Pet plan. Most birds, reptiles and small mammals can be covered, including goats and pot-bellied pigs. (However, any animal not explicitly listed on the Nationwide website isn’t eligible, including those listed under venomous or endangered species.)

Exotic pet owners need to call (844-244-3691) to get a quote or to sign up, but dog and cat insurance is easy to get directly on Nationwide’s website. For these pets, Nationwide offers three accident and illness policy options, along with two wellness care packages.

Read full review >>

Other pet insurance companies we considered

In narrowing down our list, these companies stood out in some respects but didn’t quite match the strengths of our top picks.


  • Covers prescribed behavioral training, therapy, and treatment
  • Includes prescribed drugs, nutritional supplements, and pet food
  • Claims paid in up to ten days, the company says
  • $0 deductible and 100% reimbursement options available
  • Visit any licensed veterinarian within the US
  • Wellness plan has a $750 reimbursement limit
  • 12-month waiting period for ligament and hip dysplasia
  • Enrollment is limited to US residents only

TrustedPals’ policies are underwritten by Zurich, a global insurance company. TrustedPals issues policies to owners of dogs and cats with no upper age limit, and 1% of the company’s profits are donated to pet-related charities.

It offers both accident and illness plans and wellness policies, and there are several discount programs available. In addition to a multiple pet discount, you may also qualify for a discount if you are a military service member or veteran, first responder, veterinary student or if your pet is a service animal.

Bottom line: TrustedPals has a wide range of customization options, allowing you to choose deductibles as low as $0 and annual benefits ranging from $4,000 to unlimited. But the company has a 12-month waiting period before covering treatments for hip dysplasia or ligament conditions and charges fees if you opt to pay your premiums monthly.

Fetch by The Dodo

  • Coverage from just 6 weeks
  • No sign-up fees
  • VirtualVet visits included
  • Boarding fees reimbursement for up to $1,000, if owner is hospitalized
  • No lifetime or per condition claims limit
  • Visit any licensed vet in the US and Canada
  • No preventive care coverage
  • For coverage to apply, you must take your dog or cat to the vet within 48 hours of noticing symptoms
  • No multi-pet discount
  • 6-month waiting period for hip dysplasia and knee injuries
  • Limits older pet coverage

Fetch by The Dodo is one of the few insurers that will enroll pets as young as six weeks, making it a good option for owners of young kittens who often go to their new homes at that age. The company has no upper age limit, and it has multiple deductibles and annual benefit options.

Bottom line: Fetch by The Dodo has the lowest age limit for enrollment of all the companies we looked at, and it has some additional perks and features that can be appealing to pet owners. However, the company doesn’t have a wellness care plan, and there are some strict rules policyholders have to follow to get claims reimbursed.

MetLife Pet Insurance

  • Multiple discounts
  • Accident coverage after just 24 hours
  • Decreasing deductible for every year without a claim
  • Deductibles range from $0 to $2,500
  • Claim processing can take up to 10 days
  • Maximum annual benefit is just $10,000
  • No sample policy or detailed wellness benefits online

MetLife Pet Insurance, previously known as Pet First, offers an easy online application and adjustable coverage options. You can select your maximum benefit amount, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. Deductibles are as low as $0, or as high as $2,500, and you can take advantage of one or more of the discount programs like discounts for healthcare workers, military, veterans and first responders. Employers that provide pet insurance also qualify for a discounted rate, as well as affinity groups and those that work in animal care.

Bottom line: MetLife Pet Insurance policies allow you to adjust your deductible, reimbursement amount and reimbursement percentage to meet your budget, and you can add a wellness rider to offset routine care expenses. But the company takes longer than some of its competitors to reimburse expenses and wellness benefits are not clearly outlined online, which may leave you wondering what you’re actually paying for.


  • No waiting period for accidents
  • Coverage for chronic conditions after 24 months symptom-free
  • Covers invoiced amount, including exam fees
  • Limited enrollment age
  • CCL (ACL) injuries are considered a bilateral condition
  • Only has an 80% reimbursement option
  • No unlimited payout options

24PetWatch offers policies and wellness plans with short waiting periods and low deductibles, but the company didn’t make the cut due to certain policy limitations. There’s only a single (80%) reimbursement option. Also, dogs age out of coverage at ten years and cats at 12. At those ages, it’s difficult to find another company willing to begin coverage, effectively leaving aging pets uninsured. Further, a lack of discounts makes their plans slightly more expensive than the competition.

Bottom line: 24PetWatch covers veterinary fees, and offers a $500 per incident benefit for expenses like boarding kennel fees, lost pet reward, additional living expenses and travel cancellation fees. But its lack of choice in reimbursement level, shortage of discounts and age limitations meant it didn’t quite match our picks.


  • Unlimited annual coverage limit
  • 30-day trial period
  • Enrollment is available for US, US territories and Canada
  • Costly to start with, prices go up after 5 years old
  • Preventive care reimbursement is limited
  • No budget option available

Hartville’s policies offer excellent coverage, but it comes at a price — expect to pay around $40 per month for a mixed-breed puppy and $22 per month for a mixed kitten. Accident-only coverage seems to be an affordable alternative, and even then, premiums start around $30 for a puppy. Once your dog is over five years old, illness benefit premiums go up considerably, as well.

Hartville also advertises an unlimited annual benefit payout, but the option is not available through online enrollment. You’ll have to call 1-800-799-5852 for further information.

Bottom line: Hartville’s Complete Coverage plan covers behavioral issues and microchip implantation on top of standard accident and illness benefits. Also, full coverage is effective after 14 days, without any additional pre-condition waiting periods. But the company’s policies are pricey.

Pet Assure

  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Multi-pet discount
  • Not pet insurance
  • No coverage for specialist services
  • Won’t cover prescription food or medication

To be clear, Pet Assure is not pet insurance but rather a discount plan that offers 25% off on all in-office medical procedures. While the program has participating veterinarians in all states, Puerto Rico and Canada, the number of providers by location is limited.

Bottom line: Pet Assure is an affordable alternative that bridges potential gaps in your existing policy, provided your vet accepts it. But the company’s offering didn’t make the cut because it’s not pet insurance.

USAA Pet Insurance

  • Membership and multi-pet discount 
  • Submit claims 24/7
  • Insurance is provided by Embrace
  • Visit any licensed vet in the US
  • Limited policy information
  • No online chat support
  • Requires USAA membership

USAA offers accident-only or accident and illness policies through Embrace, one of our top picks, and has an optional wellness rider. Claims and customer service are also handled through Embrace. By purchasing through USAA, members can access up to a 25% discount on pet insurance.

We didn’t like how sparse USAA’s pet insurance page was, with very little information on policies. If you want more information, it’s best to go directly to Embrace’s webpage.

Bottom line: USAA might be worth considering for military families. But it didn’t make it to our shortlist because you must be a military member or family to buy coverage.

GEICO Pet Insurance

  • Multiple discounts
  • Insurance is provided by Embrace
  • Limited information on website 
  • No online support– only phone

Pet owners that apply for insurance through GEICO will be redirected to Embrace’s webpage. However, GEICO’s policy doesn’t include the customary Embrace options for unlimited annual benefits, full reimbursement, or a $0 deductible.

Bottom line: Although GEICO offers more discounts than other insurers – including multi-pet, spaying/neutering, and annual pay – it falls short of other companies in other ways.


  • 100% reimbursement available
  • Reimbursement by direct deposit, Venmo or PayPal
  • 15-day waiting period
  • Covers prescription medicine, albeit at only 50%
  • Covers ambulance transportation
  • Lifetime and per incident limits
  • 30-day waiting period for cancer treatment
  • No coverage for hip dysplasia in dogs 6 years or older

Wagmo pet insurance offers one pet insurance plan for accidents and illnesses. The policy has fixed lifetime and per-incident limits, set at $100,000 and $10,000, respectively. In contrast, most companies we reviewed let pet owners choose their preferred annual coverage limit (sometimes up to “unlimited”) and forgo any per-incident caps.

We liked Wagmo’s streamlined claims process – pet owners can upload a picture of the invoice or receipt on a mobile, and once the claim is processed, the company sends reimbursement via direct deposit, Venmo or Paypal.

Bottom line: While we liked certain benefits both in the preventive care plan and the insurance policy – such as ambulance coverage, dental benefits and comprehensive grooming– we found that Wagmo’s pet insurance lacked flexibility.

Prudent Pet

  • Offers an unlimited annual benefit option
  • No upper age limit for enrollment
  • 24/7 chat with licensed veterinarians
  • Multi-pet discount
  • 5-day waiting period for accident coverage
  • No 100% reimbursement alternative
  • 6-month waiting period for knee and joint issues
  • Limited coverage for prescription food
  • Coverage for exam fees is an add-on

Prudent Pet sells two accident & illness policies (Essential and Unlimited), an accident-only plan and a preventive care add-on. Coverage benefits and premium costs are comparable to other providers — Essential coverage for a 1-year old Cocker Spaniel costs $42 a month, with 70% reimbursement and a $500 deductible.

Prudent Pet’s wellness add-on is also on par with other preventive care packages — coverage applies to basics like dental cleaning, spaying/neutering, routine exams, vaccinations, microchipping and deworming. Reimbursement for each procedure is capped at a set dollar amount but you can choose from three reimbursement levels: low, medium and high.

Bottom line: Prudent Pet’s insurance offering is comparable to other providers in our top picks. Coverage and exclusions are industry standard, deductible and reimbursement amounts are customizable, and you can add comprehensive preventive care. That said, Prudent Pet didn’t make our top list because other providers in a similar price range and coverage level offer shorter waiting periods and cover vet examination fees at no additional cost.

Many Pets

  • No annual or lifetime payout caps
  • Covers vet exam fees and consultations
  • 15-day waiting period with option to waive
  • Option to choose $0 deductible and 100% reimbursement
  • No policy discounts
  • Enrollment is currently limited to 37 states
  • No coverage for hip dysplasia in pets over 6 years old
  • Policy is automatically canceled within 10 days of missed payment
  • Wellness plan is not as comprehensive as others

Many Pets offers a single accident and illness policy, with an optional wellness add-on. The policy covers vet exam fees, medication, treatment, surgery, hospitalization, euthanasia and cremation.

With Many Pets, you can waive the 15-day waiting period if your pet was previously insured by another provider and the policy was in effect at least 24 hours before the new policy’s activation date.

At $27/month, Many Pet’s sample quote for a 1-year old cocker spaniel is also one of the most affordable options available. You can also add a wellness plan, but it’s not as comprehensive as others – no cover for fecal and blood tests, spaying/neutering or microchipping.

Bottom line: Many Pets’ accident and illness coverage is comparable to other affordable insurance providers on our list. However, our top picks still have a slight advantage with better preventative care plans, nationwide coverage and policy discounts, such as multi-pet.

Pet Insurance Guide

In this section, we go into the particulars of pet insurance, so you know what to expect from most policies. We explain what it is, how much it costs, plan types and tips to choose the right insurer.

Table of contents:

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is a type of indemnity insurance that covers pet medical expenses related to accidents and illnesses. Most companies primarily offer dog and cat insurance — some providers do extend coverage to exotic pets like birds and reptiles, but it accounts for less than 1% of U.S policies, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).

A significant difference between pet insurance coverage and your own health insurance is that preventive pet care is sold separately. This includes expenses like vaccines, parasite prevention, dental cleanings and microchipping.

Generally, there are no network restrictions with pet insurance — coverage applies to any licensed vet or specialist nationwide. Some providers extend coverage to Canada and overseas territories like Puerto Rico, as well.

Types of pet insurance plans

When you’re looking to insure your pet, the first thing to do is take a good look at your finances — and how much you’re able and willing to spend in case of an emergency. Pet insurance policies vary in their coverage and, of course, premiums. Understanding the various types of policy, and what each offers, is crucial for understanding how to buy pet insurance.

  • Accident-only policies – An accident-only plan may suit you best if your main concern is your cat or dog’s propensity for mishaps (such as poisonings, broken bones, bloating). They’re usually more affordable than plans with more expansive coverage.
  • Accident & Illness policies – These are the popular, all-inclusive pet insurance plans, covering both accident and illness coverage. They can be expanded to be truly comprehensive by buying wellness coverage, which is usually an add-on rather than an integrated part of the plan.
  • Comprehensive policies – Some insurers offer comprehensive policies covering everything, from accidents to illnesses to wellness and routine care. For example, they may cover the cost of dental care, chiropractic care, spaying, vaccinations, behavioral therapy and more. Naturally, these plans have the heftiest price tag but might be worth it to you for the peace of mind they provide.

If you want to evaluate whether an insurer is right for you, it’s a good idea to download its sample policy, which is usually available on the company website.

Read all its inclusions, exclusions, and restrictions thoroughly. If you’re comfortable with them, and they’re competitive with those of other companies, move on to enroll your pet.

How does pet health insurance work?

Pet insurance essentially works by reimbursing your pet’s eligible medical expenses. However, there are additional limitations fleshed out in the policy’s fine print:

  • Waiting periods – Your insurance won’t pay for care until a waiting period has elapsed. Most companies require at least 14 days after enrollment before they will reimburse you for a vet visit due to illness.
  • Exclusions – The language of pet insurance policies usually excludes some specific conditions. Read the policy carefully before buying, so you’ll know what is and isn’t covered.
  • Network restrictions – Unlike health insurance for humans, pet insurance generally doesn’t have a restricted or preferred network of providers, although some insurers may limit certain coverage to specific vets. There may, however, be geographic restrictions; for example, your pet may not be covered if you travel to Canada or Puerto Rico.

How much is pet insurance?

Generally, cat insurance is more affordable than dog insurance. The average monthly cost of pet insurance with accident and illness coverage is about $50 for dogs and $30 for cats. But the exact amount you’ll spend to insure your pet will vary, and not only by the insurer you choose.

Pet insurance costs vary widely based on several factors, including the pet’s breed, whether its male or female, age, location, and your chosen coverage options and deductible.

  • Pre-existing conditions – Pet insurance providers will not reimburse you for conditions your dog, cat, or other pet already had before you bought the pet insurance policy.
  • Preventative care add-ons – You’ll get the best value from an accident or illness coverage plan, but you could add coverage for preventative care. Policies that cover both routine care and accident or illness care are called comprehensive coverage.
  • Pet’s age – Premiums increase with age, and do so sharply for very old animals. In addition, after your dog or cat reaches age of 10 or 12, your choices in insurers will diminish significantly.
  • Deductibles – With many plans, you set the deductible, which is the money you must pay before your insurance policy kicks in. But in addition to setting the amount of the deductible, make sure you also understand its type. An annual deductible for all care is common, but some instead (or in addition) impose per-incident or per-condition deductibles.
  • Where you live – Generally speaking, pets that live in urban areas (particularly on the coast) will have higher pet insurance rates due to higher costs of veterinary care, among other socioeconomic factors. States with especially high vets’ costs — and hence premiums — include New York or California.

If you’re on a tight budget and need a policy with more affordable premiums, take a look at our best cheap pet insurance page.

Additional expenses to keep in mind

The price of pet insurance is not limited to premium payments and it’s likely you’ll have to cover out-of-pocket expenses, even after insurance coverage kicks in. Consider the following when budgeting for your pet’s insurance coverage:

  • Reimbursements – You pay for all vet visits and charges and then file for a reimbursement. Plans typically reimburse 70% to 90% of covered expenses.
  • Payout caps – Most plans stop reimbursing after you’ve reached your policy’s maximum coverage amount. Most policies have an annual expense cap, but some have caps per incident (illness or injury) or even for the animal’s lifetime. Expect to pay higher premiums for higher caps.

How to choose the best pet insurance for you

Pet insurance coverage varies per state and policy terms may change annually. As policies are not a one-size-fits-all, NAPHIA’s Pet Insurance Buying Guide suggests that you:

  • Consider what your pet needs over its lifetime, whether in general or breed-specific
  • Pick coverage levels suitable for common procedures and breed-specific conditions
  • Pick payout caps that work with the average cost of treatment in your area
  • Look for the shortest waiting periods
  • Take a close look at policy terms on chronic, hereditary and pre-existing conditions
  • Compare costs: premiums, copayment and reimbursement percentages

When it comes to premiums, there’s not much you can do about your pet’s breed and age, but you can tweak coverage levels to fit your budget. To choose coverage levels, consider how these affect premiums:

  • Payout caps – are often set as annual limits, choosing the highest number or the unlimited option increases premiums. To pick the right payout limit, it’s a good idea to check the average cost of vet treatment in your area, especially those that are breed-specific and those considered “worst case scenarios”.
  • Reimbursement percentage – A low reimbursement percentage means you’ll pay less in premiums. However, this also means you’ll have a higher copayment.
  • Deductibles – The higher the deductible, be it annual or per-incident, the lower your policy’s premium will be. If your pet remains healthy, this strategy will save you money, but you’ll pay more out of pocket if anything unexpected happens.

Don’t forget to apply any available discounts to reduce your monthly payment. Common discounts include:

  • Multipet discount – discounted rates for each additional pet you enroll with the same provider
  • Annual pay discount – lower rates if you pay for the policy annually instead of monthly
  • Spay/neuter discount – reduced premium if you spay/neuter your pet upon enrollment
  • Military discounts – discounts for active and former members of the armed forces
  • Group discounts at work – lower rates for employer-provided pet insurance
  • Bundle discounts – discounted rate for bundling with homeowners or renters insurance under the same provider

The majority of companies honor a money-back guarantee in eligible states — also called a “cooling off” or “free look” period. Pet owners are entitled to cancellation with a full refund up to 30 days after enrollment, provided they haven’t received payment or submitted a claim.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Pet owners may wonder whether paying for pet insurance is actually worth it, especially considering how much having a pet costs.

Pet insurance is worth the cost if:

  • You can afford the premium payments
  • You can’t afford the full amount of costly, unexpected vet bills
  • You can afford to pay a portion (typically 20-30%) of costly bills
  • Your pet is young and healthy overall when you enroll

Older pets with multiple pre-existing conditions are unlikely to reap the benefits of insurance. Premiums will be very expensive, and any condition or illness prior to enrollment won’t be covered. This is an advantage to enrolling your companion at a young age.

Latest News on Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is just one of many expenses to consider when getting a new pet. What about the non-negotiables like food, vet care and household items? How to Budget for a New Dog can help you organize your finances, so you know what to expect as initial and recurrent pet care expenses start to line up.

Discount-hunting and comparison shopping takes time so it’s best to know which expenses are worth the effort and which aren’t. 5 Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Pets identifies areas where you can actually save a little such as medications, wellness plans and off-brand products.

The food section at a local pet store — much like your grocery store’s cereal aisle — may induce a sort of choice overload. There are just too many options: dry food, wet food, grain-free, affordable, expensive; the list goes on. Our Best Dog Food and Best Cat Food reviews can help simplify the choice.

If you’ve got enough yard space, Sniffspot — a service that connects landowners with pet parents that want extra space for their dog to run in — is a way to make extra money and meet all sorts of dogs. Check out Got a Backyard? You Can Make Thousands a Month by Letting Dogs Come Play in It, where we interview the founder and explain how exactly Sniffspot works.

Pet Insurance FAQs

How much is pet insurance?

Pricing your pet insurance premium will depend on many factors: 1) your pet’s type, sex, and breed; 2) your pet’s age; 3) your location; 4) coverage types; 5) deductible and reimbursement level. The more expensive it is where you live, whether it’s California or New York City, the more expensive your pet insurance will be. Find more information about each factor in our subsection how much is pet insurance.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Knowing whether pet insurance will pay off for you depends on your needs and your pet’s health care needs. Before trying to enroll your pet in a plan, consider the circumstances listed in our pet insurance guide and whether they match your situation. Any pet insurance coverage provides a service that’s not measured as a dollar amount — giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t be facing expensive vet bills all on your own.

What does pet insurance cover?

It depends on the specific plan. Standard pet health insurance will cover most accidents and injuries. Still, you can also buy a policy that covers only accidents or only routine vet visits for checkups and vaccinations, usually called wellness plans. “Things like ultrasounds, blood tests or procedures such as MRIs or CAT scans — they’re now available [for pets],” said Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Kennel Club.

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance is a policy that comes with a monthly premium. With pet insurance, if your pet is sick or injured, you pay the bill up front and submit a claim for reimbursement. You can take your pet to a licensed veterinarian and then submit a claim to get reimbursed for issues that are covered under your pet insurance plan. Review our pet insurance guide to learn more about how pet insurance works.

What is the best pet insurance?

The best pet insurance for you will depend on a combination of different elements, mainly your budget and your pet’s needs. Check out our best pet insurance reviews to find the right one.

How We Found the Best Pet Insurance Companies

We evaluated each pet insurer by looking at:

  • Plan and coverage options
  • Cost and available discounts
  • Annual reimbursement limits
  • Policy exclusions and restrictions
  • Wellness benefits
  • Customer service options and claims processes
  • Customer reviews
  • Third-party ratings from websites like TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau

Summary of Money’s Best Pet Insurance Companies of October 2022

  • Healthy Paws – Best for Alternative Therapies
  • ASPCA – Best for Hereditary and Congenital Conditions
  • Spot – Best for Unlimited Coverage
  • Pumpkin – Best for Puppies and Kittens
  • Figo – Best for Reimbursement Options
  • Embrace – Best for Older Pets
  • Pets Best – Best for Treatment of Mobility Issues
  • Lemonade – Best for Fast Claims Processing
  • Trupanion – Best for Direct Payment to Vets
  • Nationwide – Best for Exotic Pets