If you have a pet that you love, you understand that your furry or fluffy friend isn’t just another piece of property — he or she is a member of your family. Unfortunately, your homeowners insurance won’t cover the potentially devastating costs associated with taking your pet to seek medical care after being diagnosed with a major illness or injury. This can leave you responsible for thousands of dollars in veterinarian bills if your pet needs urgent care.
A pet insurance policy can help you cover the costs of expensive medical bills without breaking the bank. As a pet owner, you have many options for pet insurance, and it’s never been easier to get the coverage that you and your companion need. Our guide to pet insurance options will help you choose the right company.
Pet Insurance Options
As a pet owner, you have dozens of options when it comes to pet insurance policies. Our guide will help you identify the policy features that are most important to you — and to choose an insurance option that fits your needs.
Best for Holistic Care: Spot
Most pet insurance policies extend to emergency medical needs only. This means that, while you’ll have coverage for illnesses like cancer or traumatic injuries, you typically can’t count on standard pet insurance policies to cover things like routine vet bills and supplements.
SPOT is among the only pet insurance policies we’ve seen to offer coverage for alternative and holistic treatments. For example, SPOT’s dog insurance policies cover holistic treatments like hydrotherapy, chiropractic care and low-level laser therapy. The company even provides coverage for behavioral issues (such as anxiety, fur pulling and aggressive licking) and supplements and vitamins required to treat these conditions — as long as your pet doesn’t already show symptoms of them when you sign up for your policy.
You can also add coverage for regular preventive care (like vet checkups) as well for just a few extra dollars per month.
With easy plan options and plenty of benefits included on both cat and dog policies, SPOT is an excellent choice for any pet owner interested in holistic coverage for alternative therapies alongside traditional treatment options.
Best for Annual Deductibles: Pumpkin
Some pet insurance companies like Trupanion include a per-incident deductible that can severely limit the amount of savings you can claim from your pet insurance provider. For example, if you have a per-incident deductible of $100, it means that you’ll need to pay $100 each time that you use your plan — with no limit on the total amount of money you’ll end up paying out-of-pocket. This per-incident deductible comes in addition to any co-insurance percentage that you’re responsible for paying each time your pet needs care.
Pumpkin’s plans include a standard annual deductible in lieu of a per-incident deductible. This means that once your deductible is paid in full, you won’t need to worry about paying for anything outside of your standard coinsurance percentage detailed on your plan’s policy — helping you see exactly what you’ll be responsible for paying. Pumpkin’s plans also provide a number of additional benefits — like coverage for exam fees associated with accidents — that aren’t covered by other providers.
Best for Accident-Only Plans: Progressive
If your pet is in great health or is in their younger years, you may be able to save money on your pet insurance coverage by choosing an accident-only plan from Progressive. As the name suggests, accident-only plans provide limited coverage for traumatic injuries like car accidents and broken bones but don’t extend to chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer. This policy option can help pet owners who have younger animals less likely to develop these conditions in the near future to save money on their immediate coverage needs.
Progressive pet insurance policies can also be beneficial if you already have some kind of insurance policy through the insurer. As among the largest insurance providers in the U.S, Progressive offers a comprehensive set of coverage options for homes, cars, businesses and more. Bundling your pet insurance policy with another policy option from Progressive can help you save even more on both insurance types.
Best for Older Pets: Petplan
Select pet insurance providers may deny coverage based on your pet’s age, as older animals are more likely to develop expensive illnesses that require multiple rounds of treatments. For example, providers like Trupanion and Healthy Paws include specific clauses that allow them to deny your pet coverage if they’re over a certain age. This can make it difficult or prohibitively expensive to insure an older cat or dog.
Unlike some other pet insurance providers, Petplan doesn’t institute any type of policy limit related to your pet’s age, which means that you can get coverage for even senior cats and dogs. Petplan is also among the only pet insurance providers that we’ve seen to offer comprehensive tele-med services for pets. Policyholders can claim up to $1,000 of virtual vet visits with no co-insurance and no deductible — a major benefit as COVID-19 concerns continue to limit in-person veterinary office hours.
Best for No Waiting Periods: Agile Pet Insurance
Most pet insurance plans include a waiting period that must pass from the time that you sign up for your policy from the time that you file your first claim. For example, when you purchase a policy from Trupanion, you’ll need to wait 30 days from your enrollment date until you can use your coverage. When you choose a provider like Healthy Paws or Petplan, you’ll need to wait 15 days. This can make it a bit more difficult to get care fast if your pet suddenly contracts a major illness or is injured.
Agile Pet Insurance policies have no waiting period, which means that you can get coverage as soon as you finish enrolling in your plan and pay your first premium. Agile Pet Insurance’s policies are also surprisingly affordable as well — plans start from just $23 per month, which will easily fit into most pet owners’ budgets.
Best for Dental Protections: Embrace
Like humans, pets can also develop dental illnesses and need emergency dental work — which can get expensive and is excluded from many pet insurance policies. Embrace Pet Insurance offers some of the highest coverage limits for dental care, covering both dental emergencies and chronic dental conditions. Illnesses like periodontal disease, gingivitis, root canals, crowns, oral masses, extractions and more are covered up to $1,000 per year.
If you’re looking for an affordable policy that covers emergencies only, Embrace is also an excellent choice alongside Progressive. Embrace’s emergency-only plans start coverage just 48 hours after you enroll in your plan, which is a significantly shorter waiting period than competitors. Emergency plans also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee — so you can drop your coverage and receive a refund if you decide that Embrace isn’t the right pet insurance provider for your furry friend.
Best for Unlimited Coverage: Pets Best
If you’re searching for a plan that provides the most amount of coverage possible for your pet, be sure to get a quote from Pets Best. Pets Best offers plans that include either unlimited annual or lifetime benefits, which can be very beneficial for homeowners who have an older pet or a pet that might be prone to developing a hereditary condition common among other pets of their breed and age. Pets Best’s plan options also include no upper limit on age, which means that you can get coverage for senior pets without worrying about denial due to their age.
Pets Best also offers a few unique plan benefits as well. You can add optional coverage for exam fees, which are typically excluded from coverage even on comprehensive plans. Pets Best also offers access to a 24/7 pet helpline that connects you with health professionals when you need emergency pet assistance.
Best for Low-Cost Plans: PetFirst
Pet insurance can quickly become expensive, especially when you factor in deductibles, coinsurance percentages and any add-ons you need to include with your policy. If you’re a cat or dog owner shopping on a tight budget, PetFirst might be the best policy provider for you. PetFirst offers insurance for dogs from just $15 per month, while cat owners can get coverage from just $9 per month in most parts of the U.S.
Looking for coverage for an older animal? PetFirst offers specialized policies for senior pets that extend coverage to some of the most common age-related issues cats and dogs might face as they enter their golden years.
Enrolling in Coverage for Your Furry Friend
An important detail to keep in mind as you shop for insurance — all of our favorite pet insurance providers only offer policies for cats and dogs, which is a common exclusion among pet insurance providers. If you need coverage for another type of pet (like a bird, guinea pig or an exotic animal) you’ll need to seek out a policy from a specialized insurance provider.
Nationwide is among the only U.S. pet insurance providers to offer pet insurance plans for exotic pets. Consider getting a quote from Nationwide or a smaller, more localized insurance company if you need coverage for a less common companion.