Pet Insurance : Cost & Coverage Comparisons

<< 1 of 18 Pic >>

Fido just leaped for a frisbee, and now he’s limping. What’s wrong with him? Do I need to take him to the vet? How much will it cost? This is why pet insurance is so critical. In a time of panic, you should be worrying about the health of your dog, not the number in your bank account.

We rate the biggest names in the pet health insurance industry based on our own research and provide you with a summary of what each company offers, as well as pros and cons for each. Feel free to click on the “Read Review” text below the company name in the table below to go straight to its review.

Pet Insurance Cost & Coverage Comparison Tables

Our coverage comparison is relatively straightforward, but pricing comparisons can get complicated. Why? Pricing quotes are unique because they’re based on each pet’s age, breed, geographic location and several other factors.

For this reason, we encourage you to get quotes from multiple companies before deciding on a pet insurance provider. We’ve made this easy for you by creating a quote widget that will pull price quotes from top pet insurance companies when you fill out one short form with your pet’s details.

Get Free Pet Insurance Quotes

Get My Quotes!By entering your pet’s specific characteristics you can get a better understanding of the coverage he or she needs. We’ve compiled a couple of comparison tables that address cost and coverage issues:

*You should expect annual increases on your premiums from any pet insurance company. These rates and increases will vary based on your location, changes in vet costs and more.

Healthy Paws Review

Healthy Paws continues to impress us with its unlimited benefits with no per-incident, annual or lifetime caps. This company also has far fewer coverage exclusions compared to many competitors, so it appears that Healthy Paws is less likely to deny your claim.

You can also customize your out-of-pocket expense risk by adjusting your policy’s reimbursement rate (70%, 80% or 90%) and deductible ($100, $250, $500 or $750) when you sign up. There are some restrictions on the reimbursement and annual deductible amounts for pets, depending on the age when they’re enrolled.

Healthy Paws has excellent customer service reviews. Check out the comment section in our Healthy Paws individual review. It’s filled with real customer accounts.

What’s missing with Healthy Paws? It doesn’t offer a wellness plan to cover annual vet visits, which is an increasingly popular feature among pet parents.

Overall, we think Healthy Paws is the best-bet for pet insurance. It has some of the best coverage and at one of the least expensive monthly premiums. If you do run into any hiccups, we’re sure you’ll get the help you need with its excellent customer service.

ProsCons
Annual deductible (not per incident)
Unlimited lifetime coverage so no annual or per incident limits on claims
Pricing is generally the best value vs competition (get quotes)Your pet is covered when they travel with you in the United States or CanadaHigh customer satisfactionEasy to submit a claim on the Healthy Paws app for quick claim reimbursementBBB rating: A+Great email response timeGood CCL (ACL) coverageDirect deposit or check reimbursement
Veterinary exam fee and behavioral therapies are not coveredExcludes hip dysplasia in animals enrolled after age 6. There is also a 12 month waiting period.There are age restrictions (if pet is older than 6 you must have vet exam within past 30 days for enrollment or within 15 days of policy issuance)Pets older than 8-years-old are restricted to 60% reimbursement and a $750 annual deductible15-day waiting period for accident and illnessNo wellness planCharges a one-time $25 setup fee

Pets Best Review

Pets Best has stepped it up with the items it covers in addition to its low-priced “Accident-Only Plan.” This unique policy allows you to insure against unexpected pet emergencies without charging you monthly for the lower priced (vet exams) or less-likely costs (rehab, chiropractic and acupuncture care).

Pets Best was consistently among the least expensive pet insurance companies when we ran quotes. We’re also impressed with its average claim repayment of 5 days, and it has a 24/7 Pet Helpline, which allows you to speak with a vet expert any time of day.

Its deductibles range from $50 to $1,000, and it offers 2 wellness plans from which to choose. You can truly customize your coverage with Pets Best. Pets Best doesn’t require an exam to set your pet’s health baseline (something Healthy Paws requires).

What kept it from being #1? Pets Best has one of the same underwriters (American Pet Insurance Company or APIC) as Trupanion (another pet insurance company), which is unrated by A.M. Best. We consider this a higher risk factor vs. those who are rated.

However, we can’t dispute Pets Best’s low prices and excellent coverage, which is why we feel it deserves a spot in our top 3.

ProsCons
No lifetime limits on any planGreat pricing, consistently among the least expensive when we ran quotesBBB rating: A+Multiple forms of customer support: live chat, phone, email, FAQTypically pays claims in less than 5 days (electronic claim filing and direct deposit options)5% multi-pet discountNo age limits6-month waiting period for CCL injuries14-day waiting period for Illness and 3 days for Accident$2 transaction fee (waived if you pay annually or live in Maryland or Alaska)Alternative/holistic therapies are not covered

Figo Review

Figo is the newest pet insurance company in our comparison. We’re impressed with its coverage details, and it’s the only company in our comparison to offer a 100% reimbursement option. You can submit claims through the app, fax, email or mail.

Should you run into any issues, you can reach Figo by phone, text, live chat, email, fax, Facebook Messenger or Twitter. Its waiting periods are comparable to competitors, although anything regarding the knees has a 6-month waiting period (many others have shorter waiting periods).

It’s not common for a newcomer to enter our top 3 its first year in our reviews, so it speaks volumes that Figo has come out so strong. It has some of the lowest prices, comparable to companies that have been around much longer.

ProsCons
Annual deductible (not per incident)BBB rating: ATypically pays claims within 5-7 business daysVet exam fees covered for an additional costApp available to support claims via iOS and AndroidCovers advertising lost pets, canceled vacation due to pet illness, etc.6-month waiting period for knees (waived if vet exam during first 30 days shows no pre-existing knee conditions)5-day waiting period for accidents and 14-day for illnessesIf there is a knee injury prior to enrollment or during the 6-month waiting period, Figo only covers CCL (ACL) on a second leg if the first leg remains healed for 12 monthsOne-time $9 admin fee + $2/mo or $10/annual fee (waived if ACH setup w/bank)No wellness plan

Other Pet Insurance Companies

The companies listed below did not make our top three rankings, but we’ve reviewed them in case you want to learn more. Every pet and every situation is different. You might find an excellent fit for your family below.

Note: We’ve excluded companies with less than 5 full years of nationwide business experience from this ranking so we can provide reliable recommendations.

24PetWatch Review

24PetWatch, founded in 2000, offers pet insurance for dogs as long as you enroll them before the age of 10 years old. In the quotes we ran, 24PetWatch was consistently among the more expensive options.

It also doesn’t offer unlimited claims as an option, which is a feature we’ve come to expect from pet insurance providers. However, one cool thing 24PetWatch does is to provide coverage for chronic conditions if your pet has gone 24 months symptom-free. This is not standard for pet insurance providers.

ProsCons
Wellness coverage available as an add-onNo waiting period for accidentsSubmit and track claims in real-time onlineYour pet is covered when they travel with you in the United States or CanadaNo additional waiting period for ACL, elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasiaChronic condition coverage if they go 24 months without symptomsLimited enrollment age (8 weeks – 10 years) compared to other insurance companies14-30 day waiting period for illness coverage to kick inMany consumer complaints about the poor claims process (long time to get paid, lost claims, etc.)Several customer complaints about overall bad customer serviceIf one leg has a CCL (ACL) injury before enrollment, the other leg will not be covered even if there are no prior issues. It’s considered a pre-existing condition.No unlimited claims options$2.50 monthly transaction feePriced on the higher end when we ran quotesNot BBB accredited

ASPCA Insurance / Hartville Pet Insurance Review

Unfortunately, when looking through the overall features of ASPCA and Hartville pet insurance, we cannot highly recommend either brand.

It’s important to note that C&F Insurance Agency, the administrators of the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program, pays a royalty fee to the ASPCA for the use of its mark through a licensing agreement. C&F Insurance Agency also administers Hartville, which has an identical offering to that of ASPCA pet insurance but is not affiliated with the ASPCA organization.

The company, founded in 1997, has a history of low reimbursements, even under its highest cost plan.

There is an emergency hotline available for claim estimates, which is available during and after normal business hours. You can find out how much of your pet’s treatment will be covered and get an estimate on the payout.

ProsCons
Offers optional wellness coverageConditions which are free of symptoms and treatment for 180 days prior to enrollment aren’t considered pre-existing conditionsBBB rating A+ (C&F Insurance Agency, Inc.)30-day money back guarantee$2 transaction fee, if not paying annually14-day waiting period for illnesses and accidents, including knee and ligament injuriesCan’t change/add some items to plan until the next 12 month period beginsLow reimbursements reported by customers

Nationwide Review

Nationwide Insurance (previously VPI) is one of the most well-known dog health insurance companies. VPI was founded in 1982, and Nationwide acquired and started selling VPI’s pet insurance product in 2015.

The Whole Pet and Whole Pet with Wellness plans are like most pet insurance companies, reimbursing a percentage of your vet bill for covered treatments. In the past, it only offered what it now calls its Major Medical policy, which uses a standard list of prices to determine payback prices for procedures and covered items, regardless of what your vet actually charges you. Major Medical is a cheaper option than the Whole Pet plans.

Nationwide is among the most expensive, and it doesn’t have a reputation for timely reimbursements despite the ability to track claims in real-time online. Unfortunately, Nationwide has a track record of poor customer service and quietly raising monthly premium rates as pets age.

ProsCons
Track claims in real-time online, and submit them through your smartphoneUnlimited claims for Major Medical and Whole Pet with Wellness plansOne of the only pet health insurance companies to offer exotic pet insuranceBBB rating: A+Wellness plans are not available in all statesHigh number of complaints overall (finding negative reviews is not difficult)12-month waiting period for CCL (ACL) surgery for Major Medical plan14-day waiting period for Whole Pet with Wellness and Major Medical plans. 24-hour waiting period for Pet Wellness planNationwide BBB page has an alert about fraudulent checksMajor Medical Plan has annual limits per condition$2 transaction fee

PetFirst Review

PetFirst logo

PetFirst was founded in 2004. Even though it has been in business for more than a decade, there are not a ton of reviews out there for us to share. It has a short waiting period for accidents (only one day after enrollment).

Other than that, there’s not much that stands out about PetFirst. We suggest you request a quote and read a sample policy to see if PetFirst is a good fit for you and your pup. When we ran our quotes, PetFirst was consistently among the most expensive.

ProsCons
Wellness plan optionNo vet exam required for enrollmentAccident coverage begins the day after enrollmentBBB rating: A+No transaction or one-time fees14-day waiting period for illness; 12-month waiting period for CCL surgeryIf one leg has a CCL (ACL) injury prior to enrollment the other leg will not be covered, even if there are no prior issues. It’s considered a pre-existing condition.Does not cover all non-routine dental treatmentsMust purchase routine care coverage for behavioral therapy coverageAmong the most expensive

Petplan Review

PetPlan

Petplan offers unlimited annual coverage but the main thing keeping it from our top spots is its higher prices for similar coverage. The quotes we ran indicate that in most cases you can get unlimited annual coverage from Healthy Paws, Pets Best and Figo for a less expensive monthly premium. However, we still think Petplan offers some of the best coverage and is worth getting a quote from to see if it works for you.

Petplan has a great claim repayment reputation and allows 30 days for claim repayment but averages 5-7 days. The company covers exam fees and has a shorter waiting period for hip dysplasia at only 15 days.

In addition, Petplan’s policy has coverage for travel cancellations due to life-threatening pet injury or illness, as well as coverage for advertising expenses related to a lost pet. In some cases, it even offers reimbursement for the cost of your pet if they’re never found.

Petplan offers discounts on your premiums if you don’t file a claim for a period of time, rewarding you for keeping your pet safe and healthy. It has an annual coverage limit of $2,500 to unlimited, annual deductibles of $250 to $1,000 and 70%, 80% or 90% reimbursement rates. There may be even more options available to you through the call center at this number: 800-237-1123 (our exclusive 5% discount will be honored for this phone call as well).

ProsCons
Offers a 5% discount for users purchasing their insurance plan onlineCovers advertising lost pets, losing your pet, canceled vacation due to pet illness, etc.No lifetime or per condition claims limitBBB rating: A+ (under its incorporated name, Fetch, Inc.)Typically pays claims within 5-7 days, although it allows up to 30 daysApp available to support claims via iOS and AndroidCovers exam fees for sick visits ($50-$250 on average)No claims credit (2% discount for each consecutive 12-month policy period without a claim, up to 10% max discount)Complaints from existing customers of premium increases being drastically higher than competitorsFor coverage to apply, you must take your dog to the vet within 48 hours of noticing symptoms of an illness or injurySeveral policyholders complain that Petplan delays payment on claims (often due to a short upfront waiting period as a new customer) and requires an invoice from your vetDogs must have annual health and dental checkups to qualify for coverage. Failure to do so may mean your dog won’t get insurance coverage until that checkup is done.Only covers CCL (ACL) on a second leg if the first leg remains healed for 12 months (if your pet received treatment for a cruciate or soft tissue injury to one knee before policy inception, then the other knee is automatically excluded)Customers state (and our sample quotes show) that it’s more expensive than Healthy Paws for unlimited annual coverageNo wellness plan$3 credit card processing fee for monthly and quarterly payments

Trupanion Review

Trupanion’s deductibles are per condition and lifetime, meaning that once it’s paid, you never pay the deductible again for that condition. However, it also means that if your pet is sick or injured multiple times in one year, you may be paying a lot in deductibles. Trupanion is on the expensive side for similar coverage compared to our top 3 picks in the quotes we ran.

ProsCons
90% reimbursement with no payout limitsOffers optional benefits for additional expenses that cover acupuncture, physical therapy, hydrotherapy and behavioral modification training and therapyHip dysplasia has no age restrictionsBBB rating: A+30-day money back guaranteePet is covered in the U.S., Canada and Puerto RicoMore expensive
One time $35 administration feePolicies have 5-day waiting period for injuries and 30-day waiting period for illnessesAllows up to a 20% increase on premiums from year to year (based on the state you live in)Pets are not eligible for enrollment after their 14th birthdayNo wellness planDoesn’t cover exam fees

Get Your Money Back

Dogs are quick and sneaky, and there are times when they get into trouble when you turn your back. That’s exactly what Atlas did, but fortunately, his parents had dog insurance for him. Atlas was able to get the care he needed, and his parents didn’t go broke.

Decide Which Pet Health Insurance Company Is Best For You

The number of pet insurance companies to choose from is overwhelming, for sure. Most of the time, people choose to go with the largest, most well-known company, so they don’t have to compare the companies themselves. If you decide to do the research yourself, consider these factors:

  1. Your biggest concern as a pet parent should be the reputation of a pet insurance provider as offering the coverage you need at a price you can afford. Getting a pet insurance policy is useless if it doesn’t cover what you expect it to cover or if you can’t afford the monthly premium. Remember, although cost is important, it’s not the most crucial factor. Your pet’s protection and coverage in the case of an emergency is your number one priority so be sure to make your decision with the long term in mind.
  2. After you narrow your search down based on these requirements, the next step is to decide what type of coverage you want for your dog and which additional perks may be negotiable to lower your costs. If you’d like to learn more about terms you should know regarding insurance for dogs,

Picking a pet insurance plan is a personal choice, and no one knows what your dog needs better than you. Take the time to make an informed decision, and know that in the long run, it’ll be worth having the added protection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *