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Pet Insurance Reviews

If you have a pet, you know how expensive it can be to keep it healthy and happy. Veterinary can be more expensive than visiting your own doctor in some states, and one serious illness or injury can run into thousands of dollars. Pet owners are increasingly investing in pet health insurance to cover these unexpected costs. Keep in mind that pet insurance does NOT cover well care and routine veterinarian visits such as vitamins or regular flea and tick treatments. 

Monthly and annual premiums make it easy to budget for the additional cost of pet insurance while protecting you from much larger expenses if your pet is sick or is injured. It makes keeping a pet more affordable in the long run and gives you peace of mind. The trauma of a sick pet is magnified if you can’t afford needed medical care. Pet insurance solves both these problems.

Pet insurance works a lot like health insurance. You pay a premium and, in exchange, certain medical tests, treatments, and procedures are paid for when needed. You will generally need to pay upfront for treatment, then turn in the receipts to your pet insurance provider for reimbursement.

Comparing Pet Insurance Coverage

There are dozens of pet insurance companies on the market. Like shopping for your own health insurance, it can get confusing. This is complicated by the fact that the cost varies depending on the dog’s breed, size, and age. There are a few essential features you should consider when comparing policies:

  • Does the policy cover pre-existing conditions? Most do not.
  • What are the deductibles and co-pays? Many offer several options on a sliding scale.
  • Is there a lifetime cap on coverage? If so, what is it?
  • Are diagnostic tests covered?
  • Are there exclusions for specific illnesses?
  • Are there exclusions for chronic or hereditary conditions?
  • Are holistic or homeopathic treatments covered?
  • What is the premium rate and will it go up over time?

When considering whether pet insurance is right for you, factor in the total cost against what a single emergency or illness might cost you for your pet.

Our Top Pet Insurance Picks

After looking at dozens of pet insurance plans, we’ve chosen three excellent plans that work for any budget, each offering a unique advantage.

Petplan

Petplan covers dogs and cats of all ages and doesn’t exclude chronic conditions such as arthritis or hereditary conditions that are breed-specific. They offer tiered plans ranging from basic to ones that cover for travel expenses and boarding fees if your pet becomes sick on vacation. Petplan is highly rated for customer service and its comprehensive coverage, making it the preferred pet insurance of AARP and the American Animal Hospital Association. Coverage is flexible, with options that can be customized for everything from homeopathic treatments to exam fees. 

Pros

  • Covers all ages and breeds
  • No exclusions for chronic conditions
  • Extra coverage available 
  • Standard plan includes exams, cancer, and dental coverage
  • Annual coverage ranges from $2,500 to $25,000
  • Deductibles range from $100 to $1,000
  • Reimbursement for expenses ranges from 70% to 90% 
  • Alternative and behavioral therapies are covered
  • Prescription coverage
  • 24/7 phone support

Cons

  • Petplan only covers dogs and cats
  • Some plans can be pricey

Final Thought: If you’re looking for the broadest coverage and lots of options for your dog or cat, Petplan is what you’re looking for.

5 Stars

Pets Best

This pet insurance offers three levels of coverage, Essential, Plus, and Elite, which cover illnesses, injuries, and emergency care. They also cover hereditary conditions that aren’t pre-existing at the time the policy is purchased. Prescription coverage is also included, which is unusual. Plus and Elite also cover exam fees, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatments. There are additional tiers of coverage for wellness visits if you pay an additional premium. The Pets Best mobile app makes it easy to file claims and get quick reimbursement.

Pros

  • Covers all ages and breeds
  • No exclusions for hereditary or chronic conditions
  • Deductibles range from $100 to $1,000
  • Reimbursement for expenses ranges from 70% to 90% 
  • Extra coverage available 
  • Three levels of coverage, with unlimited coverage for Elite tier
  • Best Wellness option for well care available for an additional charge
  • The mobile app makes it easy to file claims online for quick reimbursement
  • Alternative and behavioral therapies are covered
  • Prescription coverage 
  • 24/7 phone support

Cons

  • Holistic or homeopathic treatments aren’t covered
  • Annual coverage caps at $5,000 for Essential and Plus
  • Only covers dogs and cats

Final Thought: Pets Best insurance features excellent coverage and an easy-to-use mobile app if you want to be reimbursed quickly.

4.8 Stars

Healthy Paws

There isn’t as much choice with Healthy Paws pet insurance, but the coverage itself is high-quality. Your pet will be protected in the event of an accident, injury, or illness, including congenital and most hereditary conditions. Alternative care is covered as well as rehabilitation, but there is no dental coverage option. The benefits are unlimited over the lifetime of your dog or cat with no caps. Their mobile app makes it easy to file your claims. They do not offer a wellness option for an additional cost. While the coverage is excellent, it does end at age 13.99, so if your pet is elderly, he or she may not be able to get coverage.

Pros

  • Covers all ages and breeds
  • No exclusions for hereditary or chronic conditions
  • Alternative therapies are covered
  • Deductibles range from $100 to $500
  • Reimbursement for expenses ranges from 70% to 90% 
  • Unlimited coverage for the life of your pet
  • Mobile app for easy claims filing
  • Offers a variety of discounts, including AAA and AMAC

Cons

  • Behavioral therapy isn’t covered
  • The upper age limit of 13.99 for enrollment
  • 15 day waiting period for accidents and illnesses
  • No coverage for hip dysplasia if your pet is older than six years when enrolled.

Final Thought: The coverage with Healthy Paws is excellent and has no caps but may not be a good fit for certain breeds or older pets.

4.6 Stars

Our Top Pick

Petplan offers superior flexibility and coverage for the widest variety of treatments. Pet owners give this company consistently positive reviews for exceptional customer service and support. Their pricing models mean you can find a plan for almost any budget. The coverage extras such as coverage for travel if your pet is injured while you’re on vacation make this a standout pet insurance plan.

Highly Rated

Pets Best insurance is favored by pet owners who like the three coverage levels and the availability of unlimited covered with the Elite option. The ability to pick and choose whether you want coverage for certain expenses also earns high marks. Their mobile app has the most intuitive layout of the many pet insurance options we tested.

Great Value

The Healthy Paws plan is surprisingly affordable, particularly considering there are no lifetime caps on what is covered. The reasonable price is a huge selling point provided you don’t own a dog breed prone to hip dysplasia or an older pet.

Summary

As with any form of insurance, it’s critical to do some comparison shopping before you commit. With pet insurance, it comes down to what you want covered versus what you can afford monthly. Do some research to find out what illnesses are common and their prevalence in your pet’s breed before looking at insurance to help you narrow things down.

Bonus Tip: If you can’t afford a monthly premium right now, consider applying for Care Credit. This credit card is designed specifically to be used to cover veterinarian and medical expenses. It offers between six and 24 months interest-free credit depending on the amount charged. For emergency medical expenses, it can be a literal lifesaver. It also provides cashback rewards that can be used to pay down your balance. 

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