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10 Best Pet Health Insurance Companies 2021 – Plans for Your Dog or Cat


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Depending on its terms, 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 (preventative 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.

Be sure to understand the expected monthly premiums for your pet’s breed and the breaks that could potentially reduce your net insurance costs, like multipet discounts.

If you’re ready to get a policy for your pet, here are the top options to consider.

Best Pet Health Insurance Companies

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.

Each insurer’s premium range is based on the same hypothetical pet: a male 3-year-old mixed breed dog in the middle weight range (the parameters for which vary by insurer). Your pet’s actual premiums will depend on age, breed, gender, species, location, policy type, whether you have a multipet policy, and policy features like deductible and annual coverage limits.

Before settling on a provider, note its AM Best financial strength rating, a key indicator of its capacity to make good on claims.

Carefully compare its strengths, weaknesses, and policy terms with competitors’. And take anonymous online reviews with a grain of salt, as customers who bother to leave digital feedback often have bones to pick.

1. Petplan

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A+ (superior)
  • Deductible: $250 to $1,000
  • Reimbursement Rates: 70% to 90%
  • Annual Coverage Limits: $2,500 to no limit
  • Monthly Premium Range: $25 for cats, $35 for dogs (on average)
  • Optional Vet Direct Pay: Yes
  • Upper Age Limit for Coverage: No
  • Waiting Periods for Coverage: There’s a 15-day waiting period for most covered conditions and procedures. The period is six months for knee-related claims unless you get a waiver.
  • Optional Routine Care Coverage: No
  • Notable For: Coverage for homeopathic and alternative therapies, easy mobile claims filing

XL Specialty Insurance Company and AGCS Marine Insurance Company — both of which have A+ financial strength ratings from AM Best — underwrite Petplan’s pet health insurance policies.

As the AARP’s preferred pet insurance provider, Petplan has an official stamp of approval from one of the world’s largest nonprofit organizations.

Petplan offers accident-only and accident and illness pet insurance plans. The latter is expansive and generous, with coverage for specialized chemistry and hematology diagnostics, brand-name prescription medications, rehabilitation, and cancer treatments.

Additional standard Petplan coverages that aren’t common elsewhere include alternative and homeopathic therapies, periodontal disease, behavioral therapies, and exam fees for sick visits (as opposed to routine well-pet checkups).

And Embrace waives the standard six-month waiting period for knee-related claims with a vet’s certification within the first 30 days of coverage that the covered pet has no preeexisting knee condition.

Petplan doesn’t cover everything. Its most notable omission is routine care coverage, so pet owners for whom that’s essential can write Petplan off early.

On the bright side, a dedicated claims app speeds claims processing, often without direct human interaction.

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2. Lemonade Pet Health Insurance

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: Not rated by A.M. Best, but Lemonade is rated “A” (Exceptional) by Demotech, a financial analysis firm
  • Deductible: $100 to $500
  • Reimbursement Rates: 70% to 90%
  • Annual Coverage Limits: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Monthly Premium Range: $10 and up
  • Optional Vet Direct Pay: No
  • Upper Age Limit for Coverage: Variable, with no terminations to existing policies as pets age
  • Waiting Periods for Coverage: There’s a two-day waiting period for covered accidents, a 15-day waiting period for illnesses, and a six-month waiting period for knee-related claims.
  • Optional Routine Care Coverage: Yes, optional wellness package
  • Notable For: Relatively low premiums, no terminations due to age

Lemonade is a low-cost, technology-enabled insurance solution offering competitive pet health insurance policies with impressively low premiums: just $10 and up.

Lemonade’s policies include many of the same features offered by higher-cost pet insurers, including low deductibles, generous annual coverage limits, and modest waiting periods for most types of coverage.

Its optional wellness package is good as well. This plan covers:

  • A wellness exam
  • A heartworm test
  • A panel of fecal tests
  • Blood work
  • Up to three vaccines

Lemonade also provides care reminders and on-demand medical advice chat. Plus, you can look forward to a 10% premium discount on your pet health insurance policy if your home is also insured with Lemonade.

And Lemonade is a public benefit corporation, meaning it donates a substantial share of its revenue to worthy causes — including animal welfare organizations like the Humane Society of the United States.

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3. Embrace Pet Insurance

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A+ (superior)
  • Deductible: $200 to $1,000
  • Reimbursement Rates: 70% to 90%
  • Annual Coverage Limits: $5,000 to $30,000
  • Monthly Premium Range: $15 to $59
  • Optional Vet Direct Pay: Yes
  • Upper Age Limit for Coverage: Yes, 14 years old for accident and illness. No limit for accident-only.
  • Waiting Periods for Coverage: Two days for accident coverage and 14 days for illness. Dogs also have a six-month waiting period for orthopedic conditions that can be reduced by following their Orthopedic Exam and Waiver Process.
  • Optional Routine Care Coverage: Yes, noninsurance Wellness Rewards Plan of up to $650 per year (not available in Rhode Island)
  • Notable For: Coverage for conditions related to racing and working, healthy pet deductible (shrinking deductible during reimbursement-free periods)

Subsidiaries of the American Modern Insurance Group, a lower-profile but financially sound operator, underwrite Embrace’s pet health insurance policies.

Embrace’s standard plan is a generous accident and illness policy that covers cancer treatments, behavioral therapies, alternative therapies, treatments for congenital and hereditary conditions, specialist care, prescription drugs*, diagnostics, exam fees, and more.

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 dental illness coverage, another nonstandard inclusion, up to $1,000 per year.

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.

Embrace has short waiting periods for accidents and illnesses, eliminating concerns about most preexisting conditions. The waiting period for orthopedic conditions, such as hip dysplasia, isn’t bad either: just six months compared with many competitors’ 12 months.

This can also be reduced to as little as 14 days by following their Orthopedic Exam and Waiver process. But full accident and illness coverage isn’t available for pets enrolled after age 14.

Embrace also has some standard policy features often absent from competitors’ policies, including pet insurance coverage for new or preexisting conditions related to racing and working, and shrinking deductibles during reimbursement-free periods, which Embrace calls the “Healthy Pet Deductible.” It reduces your pet insurance plan deductible by $50 each year you don’t receive a claim reimbursement.

The downside of Embrace’s generosity: higher-than-average premiums for most policy configurations.

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4. Pets Best

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A- (excellent)
  • Deductible: $50 to $1,000
  • Reimbursement Rates: 70% to 90%
  • Annual Coverage Limits: Up to $10,000 on the accident-only policy. No limit on the accident and illness or routine care policies.
  • Monthly Premium Range: $7 to $33
  • Optional Vet Direct Pay: Yes
  • Upper Age Limit for Coverage: No
  • Waiting Periods for Coverage: Three days for accident coverage, 14 days for illness coverage
  • Optional Routine Care Coverage: Yes, two tiers. The more generous option offers no-deductible coverage for routine exams, vaccinations, and blood work performed at licensed veterinarian clinics.
  • Notable For: Easy mobile claim filing, no upper age limit on accident and illness plans

Pets Best markets pet health insurance plans underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, which boasts an AM Best financial strength rating of A-.

Like most pet insurance companies, Pets Best offers all three main plan types. The accident-only policy is extremely affordable, but the $10,000 annual coverage limit is insufficient to cover a catastrophic injury fully.

Reimbursement rates fall within the industry-standard range of 70% to 90%, and the deductible range is unusually wide, going as low as $50.

Pets Best allows policyholders to add coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions like glaucoma and hip dysplasia as long as a vet hasn’t already diagnosed those conditions when the policy first takes effect.

And its waiting periods are among the shortest in the industry. Accident coverage kicks in just three days after the policy’s effective date, and illness coverage takes effect after 14 days.

Also, a mobile claims function makes filing a claim as easy as snapping a photo of your invoice.

The optional vet direct-pay feature allows Pets Best to pay vets directly, so you don’t have to float the cost until your claim comes through.

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5. Healthy Paws

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A++ (superior)
  • Deductible: $100 to $500
  • Reimbursement Rates: 70% to 90%
  • Annual Coverage Limits: None
  • Monthly Premium Range: $31 to $66
  • Optional Vet Direct Pay: Yes
  • Upper Age Limit for Coverage: Yes. You must enroll your pet before it turns 14 years old.
  • Waiting Periods for Coverage: 15 days for most conditions
  • Optional Routine Care Coverage: No
  • Notable For: No coverage caps of any kind, rapid claims processing

Healthy Paws’ pet health insurance features plans underwritten by various subsidiaries of the Chubb Group, whose stellar financial strength rating provides priceless peace of mind for anxious policyholders.

Healthy Paws 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.

And Healthy Paws policies are customizable — deductibles range from $100 to $500, and reimbursement rates vary from 70% to 90%.

Healthy Paws policies specifically exclude coverage for neutering, office or exam fees, preventive care, and routine care. Hip dysplasia coverage is only available for animals enrolled before age 6 and isn’t covered if it manifests during the first 12 months of a policy.

Otherwise, the list of covered conditions and procedures is expansive. Average premiums are higher than on bare-bones competitor policies, but you get the coverage you pay for.

Healthy Paws touts its ability to process claims faster, on average, than most competitors. If you don’t opt into the optional vet direct-pay feature, there’s a 99% chance they’ll pay your claim within two days, according to Healthy Paws.

There’s one notable downside: The age limit to enroll is 14 years. But once you enroll your animal, they’re covered for life.

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6. Pumpkin Pet Insurance

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)
  • Deductible: $100 to $500
  • Reimbursement Rates: 90%
  • Annual Coverage Limits: $7,000 or $15,000 for cats and $10,000 or $20,000 for dogs
  • Monthly Premium Range: Starting at $20
  • Optional Vet Direct Pay: Yes
  • Upper Age Limit for Coverage: No
  • Waiting Periods for Coverage: 14 days for accidents, illnesses, and covered knee and ligament conditions
  • Optional Routine Care Coverage: Yes, Preventive Essentials Pack (a noninsurance product)
  • Notable For: High standard reimbursement rate, no upper age limit for coverage

Pumpkin offers two budget-saving products for dog and cat owners: a generous, 50-state medical insurance policy that’s underwritten by United States Fire Insurance and an optional preventive care add-on (Preventive Essentials Pack) that subsidizes the cost of routine veterinary care.

Pumpkin‘s insurance plan is reasonably priced, given the generous deductible range and high reimbursement rate for all plan holders, making for a very low copay. The 10% multipet discount is a nice help for repeat pet parents as well.

Its biggest drawback is the annual coverage limit: $7,000 for cats and $10,000 for dogs, though Pumpkin’s own data suggests that the overwhelming majority of pet owners won’t exceed those thresholds.

In terms of pricing and coverage, the Preventive Essentials Pack (a preventative care product) is one of the better noninsurance add-ons for pet owners.

For a fraction of the annual cost of Pumpkin’s insurance plan, Preventive Essentials members get full refunds for one wellness visit per year, one to four vaccines per year (depending on pet type and age), an annual fecal screen, and (for dogs over six months only) one diagnostic blood test per year.

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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.


7. Trupanion

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: Not rated
  • Deductible: $0 to $1,000 lifetime deductible for each condition
  • Reimbursement Rates: 90%
  • Annual Coverage Limits: No
  • Monthly Premium Range: $47 to $139
  • Optional Vet Direct Pay: Yes
  • Upper Age Limit for Coverage: Yes, 14 years old
  • Waiting Periods for Coverage: Five days for accidents and 30 days for illnesses
  • Optional Routine Care Coverage: No
  • Notable For: High standard reimbursement rate, lifetime deductible with no insurance coverage limits

Seattle-based insurer American Pet Insurance Company underwrites Trupanion’s pet health insurance policies. American Pet Insurance Company lacks an AM Best financial strength rating, which could give prospective policyholders pause. But there’s no evidence the omission has impacted Trupanion’s capacity to pay claims.

However, there is evidence Trupanion is popular with pet owners. An easy-to-understand product can’t hurt.

Trupanion has just one pet health insurance policy: a comprehensive coverage accident and illness policy that reimburses 90% of covered costs for treatments related to accidents, nonhereditary illnesses, hereditary and congenital conditions, and nonspecific illnesses with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or tenderness

The policy comes with a customizable lifetime deductible for each condition. Once you’ve paid that, Trupanion reimburses 90% of all covered costs associated with that condition.

Other than the deductible, coverage is unlimited, with no lifetime, annual, or per-pet caps.

Trupanion’s claims and payment processes stand out as well. The direct-pay option compensates vets directly, often within minutes of receiving a claim, and Trupanion always bases the payout on the actual bill, which isn’t always the case with pet health insurers.

Some insurers base payouts on benefit schedules with reimbursement caps for each covered procedure. If the procedure costs much more than the reimbursement cap, the policyholder faces a much higher out-of-pocket payment than their policy’s reimbursement rate would suggest.

Like Petplan, Trupanion pointedly avoids routine care coverage, so it’s not suitable for pet owners seeking to offset well-pet exam fees and vaccinations.

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8. Figo Pet Insurance

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A- (excellent)
  • Deductible: $100 to $750
  • Reimbursement Rates: 70% to 100%
  • Annual Coverage Limits: $5,000 to no limit
  • Monthly Premium Range: $10 to $35
  • Optional Vet Direct Pay: No
  • Upper Age Limit for Coverage: No
  • Waiting Periods for Coverage: Three days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and 12 months for certain knee-related conditions
  • Optional Routine Care Coverage: No
  • Notable For: Up to 100% reimbursement rate, robust mobile app called Pet Cloud

Independence American Insurance Company, PetsBest’s underwriter, underwrites all three of Figo’s 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, policyholders must pay exam fees for emergency and illness examinations out of pocket.

The most significant difference between Figo’s three policies is the annual coverage limit: $5,000 on the base policy, $10,000 on the midpriced policy, and unlimited on the premium policy.

Deductibles range from $100 to $750, and reimbursement rates range from 70% to 100%, making Figo one of the few pet health insurers to offer full reimbursement for covered care.

Despite Figo’s generosity, premiums come in lower than many competitors’. For many pet owners, Figo’s biggest drawback is its lack of a vet direct-pay option.

Figo pairs its pet insurance offerings with Pet Cloud, a mobile app built for active pet parents.

In addition to features like appointment reminders and digital document storage for veterinary records and receipts, Pet Cloud has social features like a secure messaging portal where users can interact with other Figo pet owners. Its Explore feature is a lot like Google Maps but with all the pet-unfriendly places stripped out.

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9. PetPremium

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A (excellent)
  • Deductible: $100 to $500
  • Reimbursement Rates: 70% to 90%
  • Annual Coverage Limits: $2,500 to no limit
  • Monthly Premium Range: $16 to $88
  • Optional Vet Direct Pay: No
  • Upper Age Limit for Coverage: No
  • Waiting Periods for Coverage: No wait for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and six months for ligament-related conditions
  • Optional Routine Care Coverage: Yes
  • Notable For: Low deductibles, coverage for behavioral and alternative therapies, no wait for accident coverage

The United States Fire Insurance Company underwrites PetPremium’s two pet health insurance plans.

As a low-profile, no-frills insurer with an old-school claims process that often requires human interaction, PetPremium is a solid choice for pet owners who prioritize low premiums over policy add-ons and high-tech claims processes — though the most generous policies aren’t super-cheap.

PetPremium’s accident-only policy excludes coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions, illnesses, and behavioral therapies. The Total Coverage plan does provide coverage in those categories.

Both policy types can be customized to reimburse up to 90% of covered expenses up to annual limits ranging from $2,500 to unlimited, less annual deductibles ranging from $100 to $500.

Optional routine care coverage is available on both policies for an additional premium.

Though its website is mobile-friendly enough, PetPremium doesn’t have a dedicated mobile claims app. The best way to submit a claim is by email. You can check its progress from your online account dashboard.

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10. ASPCA Pet Insurance

  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A (excellent)
  • Deductible: $100 to $500
  • Reimbursement Rates: 70% to 90%
  • Annual Coverage Limits: $3,000 to no limit
  • Monthly Premium Range: $26 to $92
  • Optional Vet Direct Pay: Yes
  • Upper Age Limit for Coverage: No
  • Waiting Periods for Coverage: 15 days for all covered conditions
  • Optional Routine Care Coverage: Yes
  • Notable For: Easy to use on a mobile device, endorsed by the ASPCA

As with PetPremium, the United States Fire Insurance Company underwrites the ASPCA pet health insurance plans. The difference: As the name implies, ASPCA’s plans are endorsed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, one of the country’s leading animal charities.

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance has three plan types: accident-only, accident and illness, and routine care (also known as wellness coverage and available as an add-on to either policy). Deductibles, reimbursement rates, and coverage limits are equivalent for each plan, and you can customize them within the permitted ranges.

Coverage for all eligible treatments and conditions begins on the 15th day after the policy’s effective date. There’s no upper age limit for any coverages, making ASPCA Pet Health Insurance a strong choice for older pets.

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance has an above-average user interface. The website is exceptionally user-friendly and welcoming, with customized quote buttons bearing your pet’s name (if you’ve given it) and large, bright fonts that show up well on mobile devices.

The positive vibes extend to the claims experience thanks to an optional vet direct-pay feature that takes payment responsibility out of policyholders’ hands.

On the other hand, ASPCA premiums are higher than bargain insurers like Figo.

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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.


Final Word

Pet owners have no shortage of cat and dog insurance options to defray veterinary care costs.

Each of these companies markets pet health insurance policies that can subsidize or entirely offset pet health care expenses, controlling the long-term cost of pet ownership and reducing the likelihood of economic euthanasia.

All of these cat and dog insurance companies deserve your business. But your choice of provider and policy is yours alone to make.

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