Embrace offers comprehensive accident and illness policies, with no annual or lifetime limits. Its plans include coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions, alternative therapies and rehabilitation. Its deductible options range from $0 to $1,000 and it pays vets directly.
Insurance can help you avoid the heartbreaking decision to put down a pet because you can’t afford treatment. Shop around for the best value in pet health coverage by comparing quotes and exclusions.
Trupanion offers one plan that covers 90% of actual veterinary costs once the deductible for each condition has been paid, with no annual coverage limits. Its policies cover a broad range of services, including hospitalization, surgery, and prescription medications. In addition to basic coverage, the company also covers alternative treatments, supplements, herbs, prosthetics, and orthotics. Unlike other pet insurance providers, Trupanion pays its share of the vet bill directly to your veterinarian electronically, so you don’t have to pay and then wait for a reimbursement check.
In our review of the best pet insurance companies, Trupanion was rated highly for its customer service and quick response times. Many customers describe their experience with the company as “impressive,” “outstanding,” and even life-changing. However, the company’s higher premiums may not be affordable for some pets.
The company’s deductible policy is also unique. Rather than setting a standard deductible, Trupanion sets a lifetime deductible for each condition. For example, if your pet suffers from chronic skin allergies, you will have to meet the $250 deductible once. However, once that deductible is met, the company will cover 90% of your pet’s allergy treatment for the rest of its life.
Like most other pet insurers, Trupanion’s plans exclude preexisting conditions, which are illnesses or injuries that existed before your policy went into effect. It also has a five-day waiting period for accidents and 30 days for illness coverage (unless you live in Florida, where the company has a 12-day waiting period). The company will waive these waiting periods if your pet gets an Exam Day Offer from an eligible vet, breeder, or adoption agency. However, these waivers don’t apply to recurring illnesses or injuries that are related to a preexisting condition.
Figo is a good choice for pet parents seeking numerous add-on and plan customization options. However, Figo is not ideal for pet owners who want to limit annual benefit limits as it does not offer budget-friendly choices. Figo also only covers dogs and cats, not bunnies, lizards and other animals, so pets that aren’t in the canine or feline family must find a different provider.
Among the best things about Figo is its short waiting periods for accident and illness coverage. Pet owners can get their policies to kick in within a day for accidents and 14 days for illnesses. Figo also offers a wide range of coverage tiers, with deductible and reimbursement rates to choose from. For example, Figo’s plans with $5,000 maximum benefits can cost less than $15 per month for cats and $10 per month for dogs, while plans with unlimited annual benefits start at $13 per month for cats and $14 for dogs.
Another plus for Figo is its strong online presence, including its seamless website and innovative app that connects pet parents across the country. Its app enables pet owners to contact a licensed veterinarian 24/7, manage their insurance documents and make payments, among other things. Figo also has excellent customer support that’s available via phone or live chat.
The only downside to Figo is its restrictive coverage for hereditary conditions, which isn’t covered by any of its plans unless the pet owner opts for HereditaryPlus. Its policies also exclude certain procedures, like hernia repairs and gastrointestinal tract issues, that many other providers cover as part of standard coverage. Moreover, Figo’s optional exam fee coverage is a separate rider, while other providers include it as part of their base policy.
3. Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws is one of the few pet insurance providers that offers unlimited annual payout limits, as well as no per-incident or lifetime coverage caps. It also has a fairly simple claim process and a 24/7 pet telehealth helpline. The company is underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company and has been around for more than a decade, giving it more experience than many newer pet insurers.
The company’s one-plan model makes it easy to understand and compare, and the policies come with a few customization options. You can choose your deductible and reimbursement rate, and Healthy Paws will reimburse you based on the actual vet bill rather than what they think it should cost.
It’s worth noting that Healthy Paws doesn’t offer a wellness add-on, which means its policy won’t cover preventative care like vaccinations and dental cleanings. And it has a 15-day waiting period for accidents and illnesses, which is more than some competitors.
Other benefits of Healthy Paws include no age limits for claims, flexible annual deductible choices, and a variety of reimbursement rates including 70%, 80%, or 90%. You can also get a free quote online to see how much the policy will cost for your particular pets.
However, Healthy Paws isn’t as competitive as our number-one pick Spot when it comes to discounts. It doesn’t offer multi-pet, breeder, or military discounts. And it doesn’t distinguish between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions, so it will deny claims for some treatments that would otherwise be covered if your pet had been cured of the condition before enrolling in its plan. It also doesn’t cover hip dysplasia for pets enrolled after age six.
Embrace offers a full spectrum of accident and illness coverage with customizable deductibles and annual maximums (including an unlimited policy). It also provides add-ons to cover routine care costs such as exam fees, pet dental cleanings, spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and parasite screening.
The insurer’s transparency report is a welcome feature, and its policy review process is relatively quick and easy—though it does require a full medical history from your vet. Nevertheless, Embrace’s affordable premiums and excellent customer service help it stand out from the pack as a top pet insurance provider.
A pet owner should consider buying pet insurance for two main reasons: to protect against unforeseen expenses and to ensure that their pet receives the best possible care should an illness or injury occur. High-quality pet insurance can save owners from having to make the heartbreaking choice of putting down their beloved pet because they can’t afford necessary care.
Choosing the right plan requires careful consideration of coverage options and premiums. Typically, pet insurance policies work by reimbursing pet parents after they pay the annual deductible for vet visits and treatments. For instance, if your pet needs surgery or a procedure such as an MRI, the insurer will reimburse you for 70% or 80% of the bill after you meet your annual deductible.
Keep in mind, though, that most pet health insurance plans don’t cover preventative care, such as annual checkups or vaccinations. For those items, you’re better off saving for them or looking into a wellness add-on for your pet.
5. Pet’s Best
Pet’s Best offers a range of options for pet owners, including a choice of accident-only or accident and illness plans as well as an optional wellness plan. Plans can be customized to the annual limits, deductible, and reimbursement rate chosen by the pet owner, while direct vet payment is available for all policies. Pet’s Best also offers a mobile app and 24/7 access to veterinary experts through their telehealth helpline included in the cost of every policy.
Pets Best has one of the shortest waiting periods for claims: three days for accidents and 14 for illnesses (0 days in Maine). The company does not offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, so pet owners will want to consider other companies if their dog or cat has any underlying health issues before enrolling with this provider.
The company’s website provides a wealth of educational resources for pet parents, with blog articles and comprehensive guides. Its online quote tool is easy to use, while the Pets Best mobile app makes it quick and convenient to check on a claim at any time.
When submitting claims, Pets Best advises that it may take up to 39 to 45 days for a claim to be reimbursed. This is significantly longer than many competitors, and can be frustrating for pet owners who need to pay out-of-pocket for a large medical bill and then wait for a refund from their insurer.
As with all pet insurance providers, Pets Best excludes treatments for parasites, which include fleas, ticks, heartworms, giardia, and hookworms. These are routine treatments recommended by your veterinarian and included in most preventive care guidelines, so this is a notable exclusion for pet owners.