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Pet parents value their pet’s health. One 2020 study found that nearly 90 percent of Millennials would put their animal’s life above theirs, and more than 90 percent care about their pet’s health equally to their own (1). Yet despite our best efforts, it’s impossible to keep our pets from ever getting injured or sick. At some point in their lives, most pets will require lab work, X-rays, medical procedures, or access to medication. 

For many, the fear of having to foot a large vet bill has led them to invest in pet health insurance, but all pet insurance plans aren’t created equal. And while these plans can help offset the costs of expensive care, navigating the pet insurance landscape can be confusing. 

Here, we simplify pet insurance and explore some of the best pet insurance plans to consider. 

What Is Pet Health Insurance?

Pet health insurance is a “safety net” that helps offset the costs of expensive care and procedures associated with unexpected events. Coverages typically include things like: 

  • Accidents
  • Illnesses
  • Hereditary/congenital conditions
  • Emergency care
  • Prescription medications

Pet health insurance operates similarly to insurance for humans. Consumers pay a monthly or annual premium for access to a wide variety of benefits. 

Beyond the monthly premium, consumers may have to meet certain deductibles before their benefits kick-in, and certain procedures may be capped or tied to plan maximums. 

Pet Insurance Plans vs Pet Wellness Plans: What’s the Difference?

While pet insurance plans help offset care costs for unexpected events, pet wellness plans encourage preventative care by covering the costs of routine veterinary visits. Covered procedures/treatments may include: 

  • Routine blood work
  • Wellness exams
  • Select vaccinations
  • Spay/neuter 
  • Parasite prevention
  • Microchipping
  • And more

Unlike pet health insurance, pet wellness plans generally don’t cover costs related to unexpected events, like accidents or illnesses.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

While purchasing a pet health insurance plan is an individual choice, it can be worth it for pet parents seeking peace of mind. 

No pet parent can ever be certain that their pet won’t need medical care. And whether it’s an accident or an unexpected diagnosis, the bottom line is that veterinary care can be very expensive, often to the tune of hundreds or even thousands of dollars per medical episode. 

Most pet parents don’t have an emergency care fund that would be able to cover 100 percent of these costs, and so having an insurance plan that can help offset some of those costs—including costs that pet wellness plans don’t cover—can be valuable. 

How to Compare Pet Insurance Plans

As pet parents start to consider whether pet insurance is right for them, they should ask themselves:

  • How old is your dog or cat, and are they approaching an age where medical care could be on the horizon? 
  • Conversely, if your pet is younger, are there opportunities to insure earlier at a lower cost?
  • Is your dog’s or cat’s breed susceptible to any particular condition, like faulty hips, where insurance may be helpful to offset future anticipated procedures?

As pet parents evaluate their options, they should be mindful of things like:

  • The cost of monthly or annualized premiums, and whether it fits their budget
  • Comparing covered events/procedures/services, and seeking plans specific to their pet’s needs
  • Access to coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • Deductible costs on specific procedures/covered benefits
  • The ability or inability to add multiple pets to a policy
  • If there are any annual out of pocket maximums, and do those out-of-pocket maximums work for your financial situation
  • And whether the insurance offering has a companion pet wellness plan

Best Pet Insurance Plans

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Pet parents have no shortage of plan options and policies to choose from. To help get you started, we’ve rounded up some of the best pet health insurance plans we’ve seen. 

Best Overall Pet Insurance Company

Our pick: Lemonade

Lemonade is a direct-to-consumer insurance company and app with the mission of making it fast and easy to find insurance across a wide spectrum of products, including renters, homeowners, term life, and pet insurance.

Lemonade’s pet insurance policies can start as low as $10 monthly. But like its other offerings, plans are tailored to each individual customer based on their pet’s needs. AI Maya, Lemonade’s playful bot, guides customers through an easy process of getting a policy. She handles everything from collecting information and personalizing coverage to creating quotes and facilitating payments securely.

Lemonade’s coverages for unexpected accidents or illnesses are in line with traditional pet insurance offerings, and include:

  • Diagnostics, like blood tests, X-rays, lab work, MRIs, CT scans, and more
  • Procedures like surgeries, hospitalizations, and outpatient, specialty and emergency care
  • Medication like specialty injections and prescriptions

Lemonade makes it easy to understand the coverages being provided, and the percentages it will pay out on approved claims. Once annually, consumers will have to meet a relatively small deductible (generally ranging from $100-$500 depending on your tailored plan), but Lemonade will cover anywhere between 70-90 percent of vet bills for eligible claims. And while there may be an initial waiting period on first-time claims, the brand makes it a point to pay out approved claims quickly.

Highlights

  • The user experience on Lemonade is seamless. Getting a quote takes minutes, and they break down coverage clearly and concisely.
  • Lemonade’s annual deductibles are relatively low, while the percentage of costs covered by eligible claims is relatively high.
  • Approved claims are paid out quickly.
  • Depending on your plan, Lemonade can offer a high annual maximum coverage. (The policy I quoted for our dog Wally came in at $20,000 of annual coverage!)

Things to Consider

  • Lemonade requires pets on the policy to provide medical records from the recent 12 months  before coverage is paid out for the year.
  • Lemonade’s policies do not cover pre-existing conditions.

Best Pet Health Sharing Plan

Our pick: Eusoh

Eusoh is neither a traditional pet insurance nor a pet wellness plan—it’s a community health sharing plan that collects a subscription fee and expense-share contributions instead of a monthly premium. 

Pet parents can expect to pay a $17 monthly membership fee, plus up to $48 a month in expense-share contributions. The maximum pet parents will pay each month is $65, but in some months, it could be far less. Additionally, pet parents can expect to be responsible for about 20 percent of their vet bills on average, an annual deductible of $250, and a maximum yearly reimbursement of $8,500. 

Eusoh’s coverages blend traditional pet wellness plans and some events covered by insurance, and include: 

  • Injuries
  • Illnesses
  • Annual check-ups
  • Cancer
  • Hereditary/congenital conditions
  • Surgeries
  • Prescribed medications
  • Alternative treatments
  • Wellness care

Some exclusions apply, mainly around pre-existing conditions and other standard insurance exclusions like food, grooming, dental cleaning, and select medications.

Highlights: 

  • Membership to a community of fellow pet lovers
  • Simple and easy claims process 
  • A maximum monthly expense of $65
  • Freedom to choose your own veterinarian
  • Low annual out-of-pocket costs
  • High-quality customer service

Things to Consider: 

  • 30-day waiting period before filing any claims

Best Pet Insurance for Emergencies

Our pick: Embrace

Embrace offers a simple and straightforward “Accident and Illness” plan for pets up to 14 years old (and an accident-only plan for pets 15+). Covered accidents, illnesses, and conditions span nearly everything (except pre-existing conditions) and include: 

  • Dental illnesses
  • Breed-specific congenital and genetic conditions
  • Cancer
  • Chronic conditions (long-term illnesses or injuries like arthritis), with no “per-condition limits”
  • Preventable conditions (like Lyme disease, parasites, etc.)
  • Orthopedic conditions

Covered treatments run the gamut, ranging from surgery and hospitalizations to specialist care to prescription drugs and nearly everything in between. 

Pricing wise, Embrace is competitive, with deductibles ranging on average from $200-$750, and annual monthly premiums accordingly ranging from $30 and up. Like other competitors in the category, Embrace covers between 70-90 percent of the costs on filed claims. 

Where Embrace stands apart is in some of the services and perks the brand offers, like its 24/7 help line for those in emergency situations and its “vanishing deductible” program that knocks dollars off your deductible for each year you don’t file a claim. 

Additionally, Embrace’s two-day waiting period to access benefits is one of the shorter waiting periods available, making the insurance a top choice for pet parents in need of a quick solve. 

Highlights: 

  • Smooth quote request process
  • Short waiting period for accidents
  • Vanishing deductible perks and 24/7 emergency helpline
  • Wide variety of covered accidents/illnesses and corresponding treatments

Things to Consider: 

  • In order to access a multi-pet discount, pets should be signed up at the same time (one-time 10 percent discount) 

Best Affordable Pet Insurance

Our pick: 24PetWatch

24PetWatch offers pet insurance for both dogs and cats and leans its hat on being the flexible and affordable pet insurance option for everyday pet parents. It covers: 

  • Exam and diagnostic fees
  • Hospitalizations and surgeries
  • Physical and rehabilitative therapies
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions
  • Lab tests, X-Rays, ultrasounds
  • Medications

24Pet Watch also provides coverage on a per-incident basis without a deductible or co-insurance for a variety of needs, including boarding kennel fees, trip cancellation, additional living expenses, and lost pet recovery costs. 

24Pet Watch is available across four different pricing tiers, each separated by the annual limits on reimbursed expenses it will pay: 

  • Extra Plan: Up to $3,000 in annual coverage, with deductible options of $100 or $250
  • Classic Plan: Up to $5,000 in annual coverage, with deductible options of $100, $250, or $500
  • Super Plan: Up to $10,000 in annual coverage, with deductible options of $100, $250, $500, or $1,000
  • Champion Plan: Up to $20,000 in annual coverage, with deductible options of $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 

These annual limits and coverage tiers, combined with the chosen deductible, impact the individualized monthly premiums 24Pet Watch offers. 

Highlights: 

  • Variety of coverage tiers offers flexibility
  • Extensive coverage of accidents and illnesses
  • Simple quote process

Things to Consider: 

  • Pricing tiers are slightly higher priced when compared to coverage limits.
  • No coverage for pre-existing conditions. 

Best Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Condition

Our pick: Pet Assure

Pet Assure is more of a discount plan associated with a veterinary network than an insurance provider, but the plans it offers pet parents are worth consideration, especially if you find yourself nearby a local in-network provider.

Coverages blend both traditional insurance for accidents and illnesses, as well as coverages usually associated with pet wellness plans, and include: 

  • Dental cleanings
  • Dental exams and X-rays
  • Spays and neuters
  • Routine care and vaccines
  • Cancer care
  • Hospitalization
  • Wellness visits
  • Surgical procedures
  • Emergency care 
  • Tumor removal
  • Ultrasounds
  • And more

Pet Assure offers a variety of pricing tiers that can be billed monthly or on an annualized basis: 

  • Single Cat: $9.95 monthly or $79 once annually
  • Single Dog: $11.95 monthly or $99 once annually 
  • Family (for 2-4 animals): $16.95 monthly or $149 once annually
  • Unlimited (for every pet in household): $21.95 monthly or $199 once annually

Once you have your ID card, all covered treatments will receive a blanket 25 percent discount per procedure. There are no exclusions based on age, breed, or type of pet, and every in-house medical service is discounted. Pre-existing and hereditary conditions are also covered. 

What’s not covered are routine non-medical services, such as grooming and boarding, or outsourced services such as blood work sent to a lab or an outside specialist. 

Highlights: 

  • Low monthly/annual price point
  • Wide variety of covered services, including wellness and accidents/illnesses
  • No annual reimbursement limits or deductibles
  • Covers treatments associated with pre-existing conditions
  • No waiting periods

Things to Consider: 

  • Coverages limited to in-network veterinarians, which number about 5,600 across all 50 states
  • Prescription medications aren’t covered
  • Only covers 25 percent of treatment costs

Best Pet Insurance for Older Pets

Our pick: Pumpkin

Pumpkin logo

Pumpkin is a pet care company on a mission to alleviate the financial barriers that often keep pets from getting the care they need. Like others in the space, Pumpkin offers the traditional coverages for accidents/illnesses, including but not limited to: 

  • Diagnostics
  • Prescription medications
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Cancer treatments
  • Surgery and specialized care
  • And more

From a pricing perspective, Pumpkin is differentiated in that its reimbursement rate is a universal 90 percent “fur all,” with annual limits on reimbursed expenses capped at either $10,000 or $20,000 for dogs and $7,000 or $15,000 for cats. This reimbursement rate correlates to slightly higher monthly premiums, depending on the deductible you choose ($100, $250, or $500). 

Where Pumpkin separates itself from others is in its compassion for senior pets in need of an insurance offering. Pumpkin makes it a point to share that it does not put upper age limits on pets seeking coverage. Additionally, Pumpkin does not charge its deductible on a “per condition” basis each time your pet has a new accident or illness. 

Highlights:

  • No upper age limits on pets
  • 90 percent universal coverage reimbursement
  • Simple sign-up and quote process

Things to Consider: 

  • No coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • Higher monthly premiums due to the 90 percent reimbursement rate

Best Pet Insurance for Multiple Pets

Our pick: ASPCA

Pet parents probably think of the ASPCA purely as the animal rights non-profit, but it launched its own pet health insurance.

The ASPCA’s plan offers annual reimbursements ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, deductible choices of $100, $250, and $500, and reimbursement coverage on procedures ranging from 70-90 percent. 

The ASPCA’s plan covers many of the same things that traditional insurance providers offer, including: 

  • Accidents
  • Dental disease
  • Behavioral issues
  • Illnesses
  • Hereditary conditions
  • And more

What sets the ASPCA plan apart is its multi-pet discount, which offers policyholders a 10 percent discount off the base premium per pet added to the plan. 

Highlights: 

  • Multi-pet discount (10 percent off per pet)
  • Flexibility in choosing your veterinarian

Things to Consider: 

  • Longer waiting period to process a claim (14-16 business days on average)
  • Not directly administered by the ASPCA (administered by its partner Crum & Forster)

Best Pet Insurance for Holistic Pet Care

Our pick: Figo

Figo offers a variety of pet insurance products on a tiered basis that’s differentiated by the annual coverage limits available ($5,000, $10,000 and Unlimited) with a variety of choices on deductible, from $100 up to $750.  

Figo’s accident and illness policy provides most of the standard coverages found from other insurers, including: 

  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Laboratory and diagnostic testing
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions
  • Chronic conditions
  • Cancer treatments

Where Figo really stands out is that in its accident and illness coverage, it covers acupuncture and chiropractic services, which makes it easier for pet parents seeking alternative or holistic treatments. 

In addition to its coverages, Figo offers other perks for its policyholders, including access to 24/7 virtual vet visits and a 30-day money back guarantee. 

Highlights: 

  • Extensive access to holistic treatments, like acupuncture and chiropractors
  • 24/7 virtual vet visits
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • High-quality customer service

Things to Consider: 

  • Exam fees aren’t covered in base plan
  • May have specific waiting periods for covered conditions
  • Does not cover preventative care or pre-existing conditions

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