Whether you enjoy taking your dog on a summer stroll through Los Angeles or a hike through one of the nine national parks in California, there are plenty of dangers that could threaten your pet’s health. Pet insurance can help ensure your furry friend gets the veterinary care it needs without affecting your savings account or running up your credit card bill.
Compare the Best Pet Insurance Plans in California
We at the Guides Home Team have researched the best pet insurance companies in California and compared them on factors such as customer care, customization options and covered treatments to help guide your decision on the best policy for you.
How Much is Pet Insurance in California?
Your pet insurance policy’s monthly cost will vary depending on your pet’s age, species and breed, in addition to your chosen customization options. For instance, choosing a higher deductible will lower your monthly premium. Similarly, you’ll pay less monthly for a lower annual coverage limit.
Best Pet Insurance Companies in California in 2023
Here are the 9 top providers of pet insurance in California:
Lemonade: Most Affordable Plans
To learn more: Lemonade Pet Insurance Review
To learn more: Spot Pet Insurance Review
Embrace: Our Pick for Savings
To learn more: Embrace Pet Insurance Review
Healthy Paws: Our Pick for Unlimited Coverage
To learn more: Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review
Figo: Most Flexible Reimbursement Rates
To learn more: Figo Pet Insurance Review
Wagmo: Most Wellness Plan Options
To learn more: Wagmo Pet Insurance Review
Trupanion: Most Flexible Deductible
To learn more: Trupanion Pet Insurance review
Fetch by The Dodo: Our Pick for Therapy Coverage
To learn more: Fetch Pet Insurance review
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance: Most Experienced
To learn more: ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Review
The Bottom Line: Which is the Best Pet Insurance Company in California?
There are a few things you should consider to help you decide on which of these California pet insurance companies is best for you and your pet.
According to our 2021 survey of 1,000 pet owners, 45% felt a pet insurance policy should cost less than $25 monthly. If you fall into that category and are looking for the most affordable policy, you should check out Lemonade for its affordable prices or explore Embrace and its unique savings opportunities.
On the other hand, if choosing a provider with unlimited coverage options is more important to you, you might lean toward Fetch, Trupanion, Spot or Healthy Paws.
Since pricing varies depending on your pet’s age, species and breed, we recommend getting quotes from at least three companies to make your own comparison.
How To Choose the Right Pet Insurance Plan in CA
There are a few things to remember when choosing the pet insurance provider that will work best for your needs. You’ll want to consider items like the conditions of the plan, your ability to customize coverage, and what other pet owners are saying about the company. Important factors include:
- Coverage: Check which providers’ plans cover the treatments, procedures, etc., your pet will likely need based on its breed, age and conditions. If preventive coverage is important to you, make sure there’s the option to pair that add-on with your plan. You should also verify that the coverage limit is high enough to meet your pet’s needs.
- Fine print: Familiarize yourself with each provider’s specific terms and conditions, such as pet age limits, waiting periods, preexisting conditions and required terms for enrollment.
- Customization: Many providers offer the option of customizing your monthly premium by adjusting your coverage limit, deductible and reimbursement rate. Some companies allow for more adjustments to your policy than others, so if you need personalized rates and coverage, you’ll want to select a provider with more flexibility.
- Customer satisfaction: Look at what customers say online about each provider. To further your research, call and speak with a representative about their service and any questions you have.
Types of Pet Insurance Plans
Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that you’ll be covered for expensive veterinary bills related to common but unexpected pet accidents and illnesses. Here are the different types of pet insurance plans offered by pet insurance companies:
- Accident-only plans: These plans cover only vet bills and other accident-related costs, such as broken bones, bite wounds, cuts, sprains, injuries, swallowed or lodged objects and toxic ingestions. Since this plan is limited to accidents, it’s typically cheaper than other, more comprehensive options.
- Preventive care add-ons: Preventive care is any medical treatment or service designed to prevent future illness, such as vaccinations, flea or heartworm treatments, bloodwork and exams. Since preventive care is not covered under standard pet insurance policies, supplementing a wellness care add-on could help reduce your pay for these services.
According to one of Hepper’s pet experts, veterinarian and behaviorist Paola Cuevas, “Having a wellness package is highly recommended as it promotes being up to date with vaccines and parasite prevention. Having these regular veterinary visits is a great way to prevent any future issues and early detect developing conditions before it’s too late.”
- Accident and illness plan: Every pet insurance provider that we reviewed offers these plans, and they cover accidents, illnesses and other conditions, typically including congenital conditions, genetic conditions, behavioral disorders, cancer, general illness, diabetes, heart conditions and more. Although more expensive than accident-only plans, these are recommended for pet parents who want the most inclusive coverage on most unexpected health conditions that arise in their pet.
You’ll also be able to customize your pet insurance plan’s coverage and pricing by choosing an annual deductible, a reimbursement rate and an annual coverage limit. Your annual deductible is the amount you owe during a claim before you’re reimbursed for the vet bill. Your reimbursement rate is the percentage of the vet bill your provider agrees to pay. Your annual coverage limit is the total amount your provider agrees to pay out in claims through one year of coverage.
Watch the video below to learn more about what pet insurance plans are.
Consumer Protection Law for Pet Insurance Buyers in California
State laws offer protections for pet insurance buyers in California. Specifically, California law requires pet insurance companies to disclose the following:
- If the policy excludes any coverages, including, but not limited to:
- Preexisting conditions
- Hereditary disorders
- Congenital anomalies or disorders
- Chronic conditions
- Any “other” exclusions
- Policy provisions that limit coverage through any of the following:
- A waiting or affiliation period
- A deductible
- An annual or lifetime policy limit
- Whether the company reduces coverage or increases premiums based on your claim history
While we’ve extensively researched the coverages and exclusions of each provider in this review, we encourage you to look over all coverages, limitations and exclusions before purchasing pet insurance.
Methodology: Our System for Ranking the Best Pet Insurance Companies in California
Our review of pet insurance companies is based on in-depth industry research that includes reading hundreds of customer reviews, scoping quote and purchasing processes by secret shopping, speaking to representatives on the phone to assess the customer service experience, and surveying 1,000 dog and cat owners nationwide to determine the most important elements of pet insurance coverage.
We scored each provider on a 100-point scale based on those elements. We then divided this final score by 20 to calculate an overall star rating out of 5.0 stars.
Here are more details about each factor and how it’s weighted:
- Monthly pricing (25 points): The best pet insurance companies combine comprehensive coverage and plan options with affordable rates.
- Plans (15 points): The top pet insurance companies offer accident-and-illness plans, accident-only plans and wellness or preventive care add-ons to give customers the option to choose a plan that’s best for their pet.
- Covered treatments (15 points): We scored companies based on the treatments and procedures they cover. Companies with a breadth of included treatments and unique coverages received more points than providers with more standard or general policies.
- Customization options (10 points): Providers with more annual-limit, deductible and reimbursement-rate options earned the highest scores.
- Customer care (10 points): We scored companies on their website accessibility and overall usability, customer service availability, mobile apps (if any), money-back guarantees and veterinarian telehealth options, awarding points to the insurers with more customer experience offerings.
- Industry reputation (10 points): We reviewed up-to-date ratings and accreditation information from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and scored companies on their years of industry experience and state availability.
- Waiting periods (10 points): Companies with shorter accident, illness and orthopedic waiting periods between the sign-up and coverage start date scored higher than companies with longer waiting periods.
- Eligible age (5 points): Some companies don’t offer policies for pets that are over a certain age. We deducted points from providers that have age limits for covered pets.
We use our rating system to compare and contrast each company against key factors to help us determine the best pet insurance companies in the industry. To learn more, read our full pet insurance methodology for reviewing and scoring providers.
Jessica Wimmer is a veteran writer and content producer with experience in the home, pet insurance and tech industries. She’s a Pushcart Prize nominee and Write Well Award winner who has been published in Deep South magazine, The Dead Mule Journal of Southern Literature and the Deep Water Literary Journal. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English and had a previous life as an English teacher.
Amanda Lutz has been working as an editor, writer and content strategist for almost a decade. In that time, she has contributed to over 15 highly regarded publications covering home services and wellness, focusing on insurance products, lawn care and pest control. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys riding her Vespa around East Nashville, remodeling her 1960s home and songwriting at her grandmother’s piano.