A pet health insurance policy can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket veterinary costs, such as emergency surgery and chemotherapy. More generous policies defray vet bills for preventive care as well.
Plus, by limiting the long-term costs of owning an aging or ill pet, pet health insurance reduces the risk of economic euthanasia — the heartbreaking decision to prematurely put down a pet whose care has become a financial burden.
If you’re not yet sure whether this type of coverage is right for you and your pet, review the pros and cons of pet health insurance and familiarize yourself with the distinctions between the three main policy types (coverage options) offered by most of the best pet insurance companies.
Best Pet Health Insurance Companies
These are the best pet insurance companies on the market right now. Each does at least one thing really well, whether it’s offering comprehensive pet wellness plans at reasonable prices or offering coverage for preexisting conditions.
The best pet insurer on this list offers the best value for the greatest number of pet owners, in our estimation.
Unless otherwise noted, all policies below cover cats and dogs only. Contact insurers directly for information about the best pet insurance plans covering other species, including exotic pets.
Best Overall: Fetch by The Dodo
Fetch by The Dodo offers accident-only and accident and illness pet insurance plans underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance Company and AGCS Marine Insurance Company — both of which have A+ financial strength ratings from AM Best.
The accident and illness policy is expansive and generous, with coverage for:
- Specialized chemistry and hematology diagnostics
- Brand-name prescription medications
- Post-illness and -injury rehabilitation,
- Cancer treatments
Additional standard Fetch by The Dodo coverages that aren’t common elsewhere include:
- Alternative and homeopathic therapies
- Periodontal disease
- Behavioral therapies
- Exam fees for sick visits (as opposed to routine well-pet checkups)
- Standard 6-month waiting period for knee-related claims waived with a vet’s certification within the first 30 days of coverage
- Dedicated claims app offers automated claims processing
- Optional vet direct pay (no claims)
- Deductibles range from $250 to $1,000
- Reimbursement between 70% and 90% of covered costs
- Option for unlimited coverage (no annual coverage limit)
Best Bundle Discount: Lemonade Pet Health Insurance
Lemonade is a high-tech insurer with one of the better multipolicy bundle discounts around: 10% off your pet health insurance premium when you bundle it with a Lemonade property insurance policy (renters’ or homeowners’).
That’s an especially attractive incentive when you consider that Lemonade is already very affordable. Premiums start at $10 and rise from there. Plus, Lemonade has an optional wellness package that includes all of the following every year:
- A wellness exam
- A heartworm test
- A panel of fecal tests
- Blood work
- Up to 3 vaccines
- Lemonade is a public benefit corporation that donates to animal welfare organizations like the Animal Humane Society
- Annual coverage limits up to $100,000
- Deductibles range from $100 to $500
- Waiting periods range from 2 days to 6 months, depending on coverage type
Best for Comprehensive Coverage: Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace Pet Health Insurance offers a generous accident and illness policy that covers an unusually broad range of treatments and services:
- Cancer treatments
- Behavioral therapies
- Alternative therapies
- Treatments for congenital and hereditary conditions
- Specialist care
- Prescription drugs*
- Most diagnostics and exam fees, and more
- Dental illness treatment up to $1,000 per year
Some of these coverage areas aren’t standard on competitors’ policies, making Embrace a strong choice for pet owners willing to pay more.
Embrace also offers an optional noninsurance wellness rewards feature for an additional monthly cost. The feature provides up to $650 per year for 100% reimbursement of routine care costs not covered by the primary plan.
Financially, it’s a wash: $1 paid into the wellness rewards feature equates to $1 in reimbursement. But it’s useful for pet owners who don’t trust themselves to set aside sufficient savings on their own.
- Shorten the 6-month orthopedic condition waiting period to 14 days by obtaining a veterinary waiver
- Coverage for new or preexisting conditions related to racing and working
- Shrink your deductible by $50 each year you don’t receive a claim reimbursement (“Healthy Pet Deductible”)
Best for High Coverage Limits: Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws dispenses entirely with annual coverage limits while managing to keep premiums affordable. That’s fantastic news for pet owners who expect to seek lots of care for their furry friends.
Healthy Paws is simple too. It markets just one plan with no lifetime, annual, or per-incident coverage caps. With no optional add-ons to incur premium surcharges, building a Healthy Paws policy is easier than with most pet health insurance providers.
- Deductibles range from $100 to $500
- Reimbursement rates vary from 70% to 90%
- Coverage for most conditions other than preventive and routine care
- Optional vet direct pay and “99% guaranteed” 2-day claims processing headway
- 15-day waiting period for most conditions
- Lifetime coverage if you enroll your pet before age 14
Best for Older Pets: Pumpkin Pet Insurance
Pumpkin Pet Insurance doesn’t impose an age limit for covered pets and has a fairly short waiting period (14 days) for accidents, illnesses, and covered knee and ligament conditions.
These two features alone make it a superior choice for older pets. Throw in an optional preventive care add-on (Preventive Essentials Pack) that subsidizes the cost of routine veterinary care and you’ve got an impressive product for senior dogs and cats.
- 10% multipet discount for qualifying additional pets
- 90% reimbursement rate for all policies
- $100 to $500 deductible
- Annual coverage limit up to $20,000 for dogs
- Preventive Essentials includes 1 free wellness visit per year, 1 to 4 vaccines per year (depending on pet type and age), an annual fecal screen, and one diagnostic blood test per year for dogs over 6 months
Pumpkin Advertiser Disclosure: Pumpkin Pet Insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. Waiting periods, annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit limits and exclusions may apply. For full terms, visit pumpkin.care/insurancepolicy. Products, discounts, and rates may vary and are subject to change. Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (“Pumpkin”) (NPN #19084749) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance is underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company, a Crum & Forster Company (NAIC #21113, Morristown, NJ) and produced by Pumpkin. Pumpkin Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy. It is offered as an optional add-on non-insurance benefit. Pumpkin is responsible for the product and administration. Pumpkin Preventive Essentials is not available in all states. For full terms, visit pumpkin.care/customeragreement.
Best for Emergencies: Figo Pet Insurance
Figo offers three pet health insurance plans. All are accident and illness policies covering emergency services, hereditary and chronic conditions, diagnostics, hospitalization, and cancer.
No Figo plan offers routine care coverage, spaying or neutering, any treatments related to breeding, or complications from fecal ingestion. Optional veterinary exam fee coverage is available for a small additional fee. Otherwise, you must pay exam fees for emergency and illness examinations out of pocket.
What really sets Figo apart is the potential for full reimbursement of covered costs — a rarity in the pet health insurance world — and no annual coverage limit. In an emergency, these features provide valuable peace of mind.
- Deductibles range from $100 to $750
- Potential for very low premiums
- Policies come with Pet Cloud, a mobile app built for active pet parents — featuring appointment reminders, digital document storage for veterinary records and receipts, and a maps feature highlighting pet-friendly places in your area
Best for Low Deductibles: ASPCA Pet Insurance
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plans are endorsed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, one of the country’s leading animal charities. You know you’re getting a superior product when you shop here.
A name-brand endorsement isn’t the only reason to pick up an ASPCA plan, of course. One of the standout benefits here is the option to choose a very low deductible without skyrocketing your premium. You can go as low as $100.
- Choose from accident-only, accident and illness, and routine care coverage
- No upper age limit for any coverages
- Mobile-friendly website and claims interface
- Optional vet direct pay feature
- Option for no annual coverage limit
- 70% to 90% reimbursement rate
Methodology: How We Select the Best Pet Insurance Companies
We use several key factors to evaluate pet health insurance companies and narrow our list of the best providers. Here’s what they are and how they influence our ranking decisions.
Policy premiums depend on a variety of factors, some of which you can’t control. Older pets and pets with known health issues cost more to insure than young pets who’ve been spayed or neutered and don’t have any significant health issues.
That said, some pet health insurance companies are known as more budget-friendly than others. All other things being equal, we prefer insurers whose premium ranges begin as low as possible.
Accident-only pet health insurance policies typically cover conditions directly related to accidental injuries, such as broken bones, wounds, foreign bodies in the digestive tract, and blunt-force trauma. They’re relatively inexpensive because they exclude many medical issues.
Accident and illness plans add coverage for illnesses and chronic issues not directly related to accidental injuries. These include potentially costly health issues like metabolic disorders, heartworm, and cancer. Accordingly, accident and illness plans are relatively expensive.
We prefer pet insurance companies that offer both options and one more: optional wellness plans that help reduce the cost of preventive care.
Covered Treatments and Add-ons
The broad policy type — accident-only or accident and illness — is a good proxy for breadth of coverage. Policies that also include wellness plans cover an even wider range of treatments and procedures.
Still, you’ll want to study your policy’s fine print and make sure it doesn’t exclude important treatments that you expect your pet to need at some point. All else being equal, we prefer policies that cast as wide a net as possible, even if that means charging slightly higher premiums.
Reimbursement Percentages and Limits
Most pet health insurance policies reimburse between 60% and 90% of covered costs, leaving the policyholder to pay the difference out of pocket. You can choose your reimbursement percentage, though a higher percentage also means a higher premium.
Separately, providers may cap total annual reimbursement. Lower annual caps mean lower premiums but can create significant financial burdens for policyholders whose pets need a lot of care.
We’re fans of providers with wide-ranging reimbursement percentages — all the way up to 100%, where available — and the option to choose a high or unlimited annual cap.
Most pet health insurance providers offer multiple deductible options, from very low ($100 or $200) to very high (over $1,000).
The more flexibility you have on the deductible front, the greater freedom you’ll have to right-size your premium. Accordingly, we prefer companies that offer lots of choice here.
Policy discounts can significantly reduce premium costs, perhaps by enough to make you rethink your deductible or reimbursement percentage choice. Depending on the insurer, you might qualify for:
- Multipet discounts
- Employee discounts if you work for a partner organization
- Policy bundle discounts if you have more than one insurance policy with the provider
- Claim-free discounts, sometimes delivered via an annual reduction to your deductible
- Military discounts
Most pet health insurance policies have waiting periods before full coverage kicks in. These can vary by condition or treatment, but 14 days is common. All else being equal, we prefer insurers that offer shorter waiting periods.
Most pet health insurance policies won’t insure pets older than 14 years or younger than a few weeks or months. Some are friendlier to older pets, allowing 15-year-olds (and sometimes even older pets) to get coverage.
The pet health insurance industry is increasingly moving toward an automatic reimbursement model, though many old-fashioned holdouts remain. All else being equal, we prefer insurers that don’t require manual claims submission.
Pet Health Insurance FAQs
You have questions about pet health insurance. We have answers.
What Is Pet Health Insurance?
Pet health insurance is technically a type of property insurance — though most of us don’t like to think of our pets in the same way we think of furniture or securities accounts.
Pet health insurance benefit schedules specify what percentage of covered services they reimburse. Usually, this range falls between 60% and 90%, but some policies provide 100% reimbursement in certain cases.
Depending on the terms of the policy, pet health insurance may cover emergency or interventional care (such as cancer care) only, or provide coverage for routine services like vaccinations and checkups as well.
How Much Does Pet Health Insurance Cost?
Pet health insurance costs are a function of out-of-pocket expenses for care and the monthly or annual premiums paid to keep the policy in effect.
The difference between the reimbursement rate and the total cost of care is effectively the policyholder’s copay — the out-of-pocket cost of care. You only incur this expense if you seek medical care for your pet.
The premium is the baseline cost of carrying insurance. You pay that cost whether you use the policy or not, and it’s likely to rise over time as your pet ages. Your pet’s actual premiums will depend on factors like:
- Geographic location
- Policy type
- Whether you have a multipet policy
- Your policy’s deductible
- Your policy’s annual coverage limits
What Is a Pet Wellness Plan?
A pet wellness plan is an insurance-like product that reimburses certain costs related to routine care, such as veterinary checkups and immunizations. Some wellness plans also reimburse more costly procedures that are considered routine, such as spaying and neutering.
Many pet insurance companies offer pet wellness plans as optional add-ons to medical pet insurance policies. Less commonly, they’re offered as standalone policies for pet owners who don’t want medical pet insurance. In either case, they carry a separate premium that may be combined with a medical pet insurance premium when the two policies coexist.
How Do You File a Pet Insurance Claim?
It depends on your insurer.
If your insurer requires you to formally submit a claim to get reimbursed, you’ll need to fill out a claim form — probably online — and possibly talk to a company representative.
After submitting your claim, you should receive reimbursement for covered costs. The actual amount you receive is subject to your policy’s deductible, coverage amounts, and other factors.
Some insurers work with veterinarians to automatically reimburse covered expenses without the need for a formal claims process on the policyholder’s end. If that’s the case, you may simply need to present your insurance card at the vet’s office and they’ll take care of the rest. You’ll still be liable for out-of-pocket expenses, such as your deductible.
Top Pet Health Insurance Alternatives
Pet health insurance isn’t the only option cost-conscious pet owners have to reduce veterinary costs.
Though superficially similar to pet health insurance, veterinary discount plans offer a clear and — in some ways, at least — superior alternative to traditional insurance policies.
Among other advantages, veterinary discount plans are easier to parse and use than traditional insurance.
For example, PetAssure, a leading veterinary discount plan provider, promises a flat, across-the-board discount (25%) on all medical care provided by veterinary staff: vet visits for well and sick pets, dental cleaning and diagnostics, emergency care and hospitalization, spaying and neutering, other surgical procedures, care for serious illnesses like cancer, and much more.
Other pet health providers apply the concierge medicine model (direct primary care) to our furry friends.
The leader in this space is Pawp, a “digital clinic for pets” that provides 24/7 access to licensed vets, an emergency protection fund worth $3,000, and coverage for up to six pets, among other perks — all for just $19 per month.
How to Choose the Best Pet Health Insurance Company
First and foremost, take anonymous online reviews about pet health insurance providers with a grain of salt. Customers who bother to leave digital feedback often have bones to pick — they’ve had negative experiences that may not be representative of the typical customer’s.
Next, note each provider’s A.M. Best financial strength rating. This is a key indicator of an insurer’s capacity to make good on claims. If a particular provider isn’t rated by A.M. Best, look for alternative financial strength metrics from reputable rating agencies.
Next, consider the factors most important to your choice of pet insurance company. If you’re not sure where to start, review the Methodology section above.
For many pet owners, the choice comes down to how much care they expect to seek for their pet and when they prefer care- and insurance-related costs to accrue. If you’re willing to take a chance on higher out-of-pocket costs when your pet needs care, a low-premium, high-deductible policy is probably a better fit. If you expect your pet to require a lot of care and want to pay less out of pocket, a high-premium, low-deductible policy makes more sense — bonus points if it covers routine care.