Thanks to modern medicine, veterinarians can perform once unheard-of operations and procedures to suffering dogs and cats, significantly increasing both their life expectancy and their owner's happiness. However, these latest procedures can come with an expensive price tag.
Tests, examinations, and procedures can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Even a routine examination with vaccinations and preventative tests can cost from $200 to $400 or more. If that hasn't busted your budget, you can only imagine the reality of chemotherapy and hip replacement for a pet in bad shape.
Pet Insurance allows a caring master to continue to enjoy their pet for years to come without facing the financial burden and difficult decision between helping their loved one, or putting it to sleep as a result of cost. A number of pet insurance companies exist today that can greatly relieve the burden of life saving procedures and care. However, these companies all vary in services covered, cost, customer service, and
Before selecting a pet insurance provider you should consider the following:
Coverage. What procedures and services does the plan cover? Is their flexibility in selecting the plan that meets your needs? What services are excluded?
Customer Service. Will someone answer the phone if you call in an emergency? When is the company open for assistance?
Insurance Premiums. How much will your premium be for the pet insurance that best meets your needs?
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Pet Insurance providers available today. We hope this information helps you select the right pet insurance for you and your pet!
Disclosure: We pay our reviewers and we are compensated for our reviews. Click here for details.
Starts at just $10 per month, depending on breed and amount of coverage
When we began our examination of Embrace Pet Insurance, we quickly became impressed with the level of pet insurance they provide. Embrace sets the standard for all pet insurance companies by providing excellent, cost-effective service that meets the needs of most dogs or cats in all 50 states.
Embrace specifically identifies upfront what they will cover and won't cover so that no confusion exists when you submit your claim. Some of the notable coverages include:
Claims paid based on your veterinary bill - not what they think the charge should be
Covers congenital and hereditary conditions
Covers routine and wellness care
Covers specialists charge with no additional fees
Pays claims quickly and with no hassle
The website is very easy to maneuver to find specific information about the cost of pet insurance. You simply enter your pet's name and zip code to get started. Answer a few short questions and a quote instantly appears and shows you a range of monthly premiums. The final cost is dependent on a range of factors including how much annual coverage you want, the amount of deductible, and your per-visit co-pay.
We found their prices very competitive, especially since they actually pay what you're entitled to with no hassle or confusion.
Even better, Embrace is now the first pet insurance company in the industry to offer a diminishing deductible feature with their Healthy Pet Deductible. Each year that you don't receive a claim reimbursement, you receive a $50 credit towards your pet's annual deductible. Over time you could actually shrink your deductible down to $0! This feature alone can save you hundreds of dollars.
We found the customer service team top-notch. In the event that you have any questions with either starting your pet insurance or making a claim, their staff is both knowledgeable and helpful. You may either reach them via email or toll free number.
Overall, Embrace provides excellent pet insurance tailored to meet your specific needs. Premiums are competitively priced and allow for convenient monthly payments. We found a multitude of positive reviews on Embrace as well as numerous reports of hassle-free claim payments. If you're looking for affordable pet insurance for your loved one, Embrace earns our top recommendation.
Pets Best promotes themselves as a customizable pet insurance provider, and we agree. Pet owners can between a variety of deductibles, reimbursement level and more to find what they are looking for. Pets Best also allows customers to obtain insurance today, without a vet check-up, and owners can choose from any pet they like.
Finding a quote at Pets Best is simple with their well functioning website. Owners may choose from a $0, $50, $100, $200, $500, or $1000 deductible plan. As well as a 70%, 80%, 90%, or even 100% reimbursement level. Further customization includes limits on annual coverage and lifetime coverage. Benefit plans include coverage for hereditary coverage and holistic coverage. In our quote we were presented two excellent
options that clearly outlined all aspects of the coverage
as well as a third choice to call Pets Best for additional choices to fit our needs. We were impressed with the low cost of $7.74 for one of the pets we assessed. Accident and Cancer only plans also exist for those that are looking only for coverage or either expensive event. Pets Best also allows customers to pay monthly, quarter, semi annually or annually with the longer term options providing the biggest savings potential.
Claims are accepted online at Pets Best, which greatly expedites the process - and they offer direct deposit of reimbursements for no additional fee. Pets Best does a good job of simply paying their portion without arguing what the actual costs should have been. Pets Best processes most claims within 2 days.
A pet owner can add Best Wellness to their pet insurance, starting at $22 per month. This covers wellness exams, blood tests, heartworm tests, vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, teeth cleaning, spay/neuter and other maintenance-related items. This is a great way to save money in providing a pet the best care possible.
Pets Best clearly outlines what is and is not covered in their plan. It was comforting to see that they do cover hereditary and congenital conditions, cancer procedures, acupuncture, MRI, CAT Scans, X-rays, surgeries and so much more.
Customer service is available via phone, live chat, or email from 7am to 7pm Monday thru Friday, and from 10-2 Saturdays in the event that you have a question regarding your pet insurance or benefits.
Pets Best strives to be up front and clear about what their policies do and do not cover. This contrasts with some other companies, which are not so transparent about their policies. Customer friendly options such as veterinarian choice, online claims filing, direct deposit of payment, and more really made Pets Best stand out from the crowd. If you are comparing quotes and insurance policies, Pets Best is a great option
Pet Premium provides customizable health insurance for your cat or dog and offers a great variety of options that will fit any budget. In addition to a large number of insurance options, the Pet Premium website is loaded with extra information for pet owners. There is a section outlining the pet insurance industry, giving the prospective clients information on how to compare pet insurance options, explaining the benefits
of pet insurance, and providing tips on things to consider when purchasing pet insurance. There is also a large Pet Health section with detailed descriptions of all the common breeds of cats and dogs, grooming tips, links to articles on pet health care, food and nutrition advice, training and exercise tips and information on pet diseases and allergies. There is a lot more of this kind of information with Pet Premium than any of the other pet insurance site we reviewed, so be sure to check out Pet Premium if this
kind of information is important to you.
On to the core product; the pet insurance itself. Pet Premium offers 4 main levels of coverage based on the maximum incident limit per year.
Level 1 will cover up to $2,500 per incident and Levels 2-4 will cover $3,000, $5,000 and $7,000 per incident, respectively. Additionally, Level 1 covers existing conditions and accidents only
Level 2 adds coverage for illnesses
Levels 3 and 4 add coverage for hereditary and congenial problems and also alternative therapies
Within each of these levels the customer can choose between annual deductible of $100, $250 and $500, and reimbursement levels of 70%, 80% or 90%. Obviously choosing a higher deductible and a lower reimbursement percentage yields a less costly insurance premium and vice versa. The lowest coverage we could find, Level 1 with a $500 deductible and 70% reimbursement would cost $9.28 per month, which is competitive with other
pet insurance providers we have reviewed. Depending on the needs of each customer, however, Pet Premium can get quite expensive. In some cases, other pet insurance providers offer higher incident limits at a lower monthly premium, so customers would be wise to compare carefully.
In addition to this insurance, customers can add routine or advanced wellness options for $12 or $26 per month. This covers preventive care such as check-ups, flea and heartworm medication, vaccines, and even dental visits at the higher level of coverage. This is competitive with other preventative add-on coverage we have seen at other pet insurance providers we have reviewed.
Pet Premium has earned an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau due to it being a very new company (Pet Premium opened for business in 2013). The website offers a tremendous amount of information on pets and pet insurance, and the lower levels of coverage are very competitive with other pet insurance providers. Pet Premium's pet insurance plans are worth considering for your pet.
Healthy Paws is Washington based company that is newer to the pet insurance market. They opened shop in 2010 but in a short time have created an easy to use website and are a highly ranked company. The Healthy Paws insurance concept is easy - they offer one insurance program but with varying deductibles and reimbursement percentages that the consumer chooses to best meet their financial needs. Healthy Paws currently holds
a solid A- rating with downgrading from a perfect A+ associated only with business tenure.
The quote process is simple at Healthy Paws. Simply input your dog or cats name, breed, date of birth, zip code and a few additional details to get your instant quote. Next you may alter the plan with a different deductible and reimbursement percentage to either decrease or increase you monthly rate. Scroll down the page to quickly find the details of the insurance plan. Healthy Paws has no caps on coverage and typically
reimburses pet owners within 10 business days.
Plan Coverage Includes:
Insurance exclusions include pre-existing conditions, routine care, spay/neuter procedures and office visit fees. You'll also find a 15 day waiting period on accident coverage that is typical with most insurance companies. The quotes pricing at Healthy Paws, runs about middle of the road in comparison to other plans reviewed. We were surprised when we requested a quote for an 8 year old dog and the rate was still affordable.
Healthy Paw Insurance provides helpful customer service representatives to answer your questions should the inevitable occur. With their easy to use website, straightforward coverage and a solid history, Healthy Paws is an excellent choice for your pet insurance needs.
Plans start at $9.95 per month - depending on deductible and breed of animal
Trupanion currently offers pet insurance in Canada and across all 50 states in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Trupanion insures dogs and cats between the ages of 8 weeks and 14 years. You can select the amount of per-incident deductible associated with your pet insurance in order to determine your monthly premium.
Getting a pet insurance quote was simple on the Trupanion website. You simply input your zip code, pet's name, pet age, gender, and breed. Once your quote is generated you will see a cost range. The actual price of your pet insurance can be higher or lower based on the deductible you select, between $0.00 and $1,000. Trupanion also provides a price comparison of other pet insurance providers which can be helpful.
Trupanion has a wide range of covered items including:
Hereditary disorders (i.e. hip dysplasia)
Tests for diagnosis
Chronic or recurring conditions
Meanwhile, some items not included are:
Vet exam fees
Trupanion Pet Insurance offers a convenient online billing system for participating veterinarians. This allows for vets to enter your claim online - you only pay the co-payment instead of waiting for your reimbursement check.
In the event that you have a customer service question, you may call Trupanion 24 hours a day. The representatives were generally helpful and able to answer our questions when we called.
Overall, Trupanion is a trusted pet insurance provider that offers good coverage and protection for both your pet and your bank account.
Some policies start as low as $6.67 per month but vary greatly based on the coverage you select.
Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) allows you to choose your vet as well as your specific coverage to meet your needs. VPI offers six selections to choose from including: Common problems, Panic Moments, Expensive Problems, Routine Care, Additional Care and Enhanced Cancer Care. You may select coverage in all categories or just one - whatever meets your needs.
VPI has a very helpful website with an easy quote process. You simply identify the basics of your dog, your location and then select the coverage you need. Quotes are provided instantly and allow for updates and changes as you determine necessary.
The customer service representatives were very helpful and knowledgeable. You may reach them via email or toll free number between 5 am and 7 pm, 7 days a week.
We found accounts of very happy customers but also a few that complained about the claim process. The complaints centered around VPI disputing the veterinarians charges and only reimbursing at a rate that VPI felt was reasonable. For those that use expensive doctors you may find it beneficial to call VPI first and talk with them about what specific charges they consider reasonable.
We liked many aspects of VPI, including the history of this large pet insurance provider. We would have liked to have seen fewer concerns with claim reimbursement as this is, in the end, what the pet insurance comes down to.
This plan is unique because it is not strictly pet insurance, but rather a pet medical savings plan. You pay a monthly fee in order to receive a discount on veterinary services at select clinics around the nation. If you chose this service you have to select a vet from their network in your area, or convince your veterinarian to join their network.
By going to one of the vets on their network you automatically get a 25% discount on all visits, exams, shots, surgery, in-network hospitalization, and elective procedures such as dental work. Food, flea products, non-medical boarding, grooming, some medications, and outside services such as lab work are at the veterinarian's discretion to discount or not.
There are several advantages to this plan. The first is that you do not have to pay the whole vet bill and then wait to be reimbursed as you do with some other programs. Also, any pet is eligible, regardless of their age or pre-existing conditions. There is an additional safety feature that provides your pet with a specialized ID number and Pet Assures Lost pet recovery number engraved on a tag that you then attach to
your pet's collar.
There are two drawbacks we see to this program. The first is that you are limited in who you can take your pet to. You may or may not find a vet in your area that is in their network. The second is that the 25% you save upfront with this program may not equal the amount you would be reimbursed with the other plans.
While this plan adds value to an aging pet or one with pre-existing conditions that would otherwise make it uninsurable, we prefer the higher ranked providers for most pet's insurance coverage needs.
Plans start at $10.95 to $70.00 and up - monthly premium is dependant on coverage selection
24 Pet Watch, a subsidiary of Pethealth, provides pet insurance for cats and dogs in the US (excluding Alaska). 24 Pet Watch challenges the consumer with some lacking website functionality and less user friendly options than those companies ranked higher.
To obtain a quote from 24 Pet Watch you must input pet name, state, breed, date of birth, gender and the contact name and number of your veterinarian. Once you submit your request you'll find approximately sever to eight different insurance plan options ranging in coverage amounts. Unfortunately, when we clicked on the different descriptions of the each level of insurance no information was available. We did find the
details of those insurance options in another location on the website with some brief details. Most plans came with a $100 and $200 deductible for illness and we couldn't determine what was not covered by the insurance.
Pet Insurance costs were more costly at 24 Pet Watch. All of the plans require a hefty deductible and would only cover a percentage of the remaining cost. The monthly premiums range between $20 - $70 and up which was more expensive than most of the plans we compared on different breeds.
24 Pet Watch failed to wow us with an awkward website and missing important plan details. Many of the insurance options were expensive in premiums and didn't offer as much coverage as those ranked higher. If you are looking for quality pet insurance we recommend you look at a higher ranked company.
How Pet Insurance Can Save You Money
If you asked every pet lover you encountered in a day how they feel about their pets, they’d likely tell you they view them as family members, not pets. As such, most pet owners want their furry family members to live long and healthy lives.
One of the best ways to make sure that happens is by investing in a pet insurance policy.
Like their human counterparts, animals can get sick or be involved in accidents which can cause severe injury. They also need routine preventative healthcare in order to stay healthy – all of which can cost a pretty penny. Pet insurance plans are designed to help shoulder the burden of these costs, helping pet owners to have the choice in caring for their pet, versus euthanasia due to insufficient funding to
pay for necessary medical procedures.
Currently, only one percent of the U.S. pet population – just under 3 million animals – is insured. However, industry trends indicate that pet health insurance policies are growing in popularity in the U.S., with an anticipated increase of up to 10 percent within the next five years.
The first official pet healthcare policy was sold in Britain in 1947. Britain trails only Sweden in the number of pet owners who provide insurance for their pets. Dogs are the most-insured pet, followed by cats and small exotic animals. While it is sold under the name “healthcare insurance,” pet health insurance is actually under the insurance umbrella for property. According to insurance laws, pets are seen
as property, so the insurance policy which covers them is similar to that for any other property owned by an individual.
Most pet owners understand that cost for care, as well as the likelihood that the pet will suffer from certain diseases and conditions, significantly increases as the pet ages. However, not many pet owners have stopped to ask themselves what they would do if their pet suffered a serious or unexpected injury. Average cost for mending a broken leg, for instance, can run between $2,000 and $5,000 without insurance
coverage. Dogs, which are known for eating and swallowing items which can be harmful, may need emergency surgery to remove the item and repair any internal damage that may have been caused. That kind of procedure can cost up to $3,000. Many pet owners cannot afford such high up-front costs and most veterinarians require payment in full at the time of the procedure. That leaves many pet owners struggling with what to do for their pet when they can’t afford the procedure that could help them.
Other conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, are on the rise in the pet population. One out of every 400 dogs and cats will be diagnosed with diabetes at some point in their lives. With the advent of medical procedures and interventions not previously available to our pets, many are living longer, which increases their chances of developing age-related conditions and injuries. Take for instance, a pet which
develops diabetes. That animal would require insulin injections, much as its human counterpart diagnosed with the same condition would need. Monthly costs between insulin and the syringes needed to administer it can cost a couple hundred dollars. Then there is the glucose monitoring system required to keep track of your pet’s insulin levels. Animal-specific monitors such as AlphaTrak can cost $200 by the time you purchase the monitor, the lancets and the testing strips.
Most pet policies cover these issues and many more, making them a good investment for pet owners. With a variety of plans from which to choose, pet owners can find one that is not only affordable to them, but which also covers their pet’s annual medical needs.
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