The Best Pet Insurance For Dogs and Cats: We Look at 5 Top Choices

Even though you are a responsible owner and make an effort to do all of the things right, your pet might still get sick or injured. Sometimes, the costs of treatment may be sky high and you will not be able to pay for them.

In order to prevent this from happening, you need to acquire a pet insurance policy. This will cover for most of the veterinarian fees and some additional costs related to your pet as well.

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healthy paws pet insurance

Healthy Paws

    Trustpilot Rating 5/5
  • Quick Payouts
  • No cap on benefits
  • Great customer service
health paws
embrace pet insurance

Embrace

    TrustPilot 4/5 Rated
  • No lifetime limits
  • Offers wellness rewards
  • Covers wide range of issues
Embrace
truepanion pet insurance

Trupanion

    Trustpilot 5/5 rated
  • Covers wide range of illnesses
  • Offers a variety of plans
  • Pay claims directly to your Vet
Truepanion
pet plan pet insurance

Petplan

    TrustPilot 4/5 Rated
  • Fast claim process
  • Unlimited lifetime coverage
  • Covers prescriptions
Petplan
akc pet insurance

AKC Insurance

    Trust Pilot 3/5 Rated
  • Reliable name
  • Overs variety of plans
  • Highly rated by customers
AKC

Overview of the Top Insurance Providers

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance 

healthy paws pet insurance reviews

When something happens to your pet, the last thing you want to be worried about is dealing with a complicated insurance company.

If you are looking for a pet insurance company with excellent customer service and a guaranteed smooth process, look no further than Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.

They do what other companies do not, like covering an incredibly wide range of conditions and proving they truly care about animals through their charity program. Every time you pay your premium or get a quote, money goes to animals in need.

You are in control as to how much goes into insurance, depending on the plan you choose, either by paying an annual deductible or a percentage of the vet bill. Customers love Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, claiming it goes beyond a regular insurance company.

Pros:
  • Covers a wide range of conditions, fees for alternative care, accidents and illnesses, including hereditary conditions and cancers, with very few exclusions
  • Employees know what they are doing and offer great customer service
  • You have options for payment plans, either multiple deductibles or annualized deductibles
  • You do not have to wait long for the insurance company to come through, as they assure quick claim payouts
  • No cap on benefits or claims
Cons:
  • While almost everything is covered, your annual visits to the vet are not

We rate Healthy Paws Pet Insurance:

Embrace

embrace pet insurance

One of the worst parts that come with working with companies is the long customer service calls and difficult negotiations. However, Embrace pet insurance is known and loved for its excellent customer service record by past and current customers.

It was started by two people with a love for animals, which comes through in their business. They offer an excellent wellness plan, which most of their competitors do not even have, allowing you to be reimbursed for annual vet visits.

They cover a variety of claims, including breed specific claims, cancer/chronic treatments, prescription drugs, alternative therapies and many others.

If you are looking for a company with a great track record of excellent customer service and wellness rewards/plans as well as no lifetime limits, then Embrace is a company to consider.

Pros:
  • Offers wellness rewards and wellness plans, which, depending on your plan, will offer you a reimbursement for your annual vet checkups, including vaccinations
  • Reputably excellent customer service
  • Covers a wide range of issues and claims
  • Assures no lifetime limits
Cons:
  • Does not cover pre-existing conditions, prosthetics and prescription medication is extra
  • Many clients have experienced waiting periods of a few days for accidents and illnesses to be covered and up to six months for orthopedic cases
  • Embrace does not offer coverage for pets who are 14 years old or older

We rate Embrace Pet Insurance:

Trupanion 

trupanion pet insurance review

The most important thing when choosing an insurance company for any purpose is trust. You must trust the people who are taking care of you in the most difficult times and Trupanion understands this.

Once your claim has been approved, the turnaround pay is almost instantaneous. They also offer one of the most expansive coverages out there. They are well loved by their users with a 99% rate of returning customers every month.

When dealing with something as serious as health of a pet, you need to find a company that will make the financial side bearable and Trupanion is known to do this. Even as your pet ages, your rates stay the same.

Pros:
  • Covers a variety of illnesses, accidents, specific cases and travel coverage, depending on your plan
  • Offers a variety of plan options, with a wide range of deductibles and permanent prices, even as your pet ages
  • Covers medication and supplement fees, which many competing insurance plans do not
  • They pay claims directly to your vet, assuring extremely fast turnaround
Cons:
  • Pets who are not neutered and/or spayed are not eligible for any plans with Trupanion
  • There is an age cutoff for pets at 14
  • There is a standard enrolment fee, which will add to the plan at the beginning
  • Some waiting periods on accident and illness claims
  • Higher costs than other companies

We rate Trupanion Insurance:

Petplan 

petplan pet insurance

Petplan is one of the most loved pet insurance companies, known for having extremely fast repayment structure. So long as your pet receives its annual vet checkup, your pet is eligible for the plan.

Your pet is assured to be covered for life by people who understand that vets do not like long waiting times. They also make it simple to file claims, even offering an app and customer support live chats.

As a result, everything is wireless and accessible, no matter where you live. Petplan assures stress-free coverage, with a modern approach to pet insurance.

Pros:
  • Extremely fast claim repayment rate
  • Modernized approach to pet insurance, offering a mobile app to file claims and customer support live chat
  • Petplan offers unlimited lifetime coverage, so that even when the payments add up, your pet can receive the care it needs
  • Prescriptions are covered as well and multi-pet discounts are available
Cons:
  • There is a waiting period for new customers
  • You must ensure that you take your pet to the vet every year for its annual check up
  • Premiums are not permanent, which can be difficult if you have a tight budget
  • Not known to have the best customer service, though it is not often needed, as their operations run smoothly

We rate Petplan Insurance:

AKC

 AKC Pet Insurance review.

Regardless of your budget, there is an AKC plan for you. They offer extremely flexible pricing options, ensuring that everybody can afford some form of pet insurance.

They offer different types of plans too, including companion plus, which is an accident/illness coverage and companion select, which is an accident coverage. They have been in business since 2003 and people love their range of customizable plans.

The team behind AKC is reasonable and accommodating and it is a good choice for pet insurance.

Pros:
  • AKC is a recognized and reliable name, which offers you peace of mind
  • They offer a variety of plans and pricing options so that anybody can afford pet insurance or find a plan that suits their needs
Cons:
  • There are many exclusions to a variety of diseases
  • One of their plans excludes dogs over the age of 9
  • AKC still does not offer annual limitations, they only offer per incident limitations

We rate AKC Pet Insurance:

We also reviewed Pets Best - read our full Pets Best Insurance Review

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is a way for you to be able to get reimbursed on different types of costs related to your pet. These costs include veterinarian bills, but some of the policies also provide to pay out if your pet dies, gets lost or stolen, or if it causes injury or property damages to a third party.

That way, if your pet gets sick or injured, is involved in an accident, or causes damages to others, you will be able to provide it with the best possible care. In addition, you will be able to settle the case, without endangering your own financial stability.

Depending on the policy terms, you are also able to get reimbursed for regular veterinarian check-ups and for your pet’s dental care as well.

What is even better is that these types of insurance policies are not limited to cats and dogs only, but you are able to sign them for other types of pets too. For instance, parrots, rabbits, chinchillas, turtles, lizards, snakes and more.

As there are many options to choose from, you should reconsider your needs and the features offered in order to sign for the right policy. That way, you will be able to provide your pet with the care it needs, without having to worry about the costs.

Its Importance

Pet insurance is even more important in light of new discoveries, where many conditions that have been considered to be incurable earlier, are now easily managed.

However, some of the treatments cost a lot of money and that is the turning point, where you are faced with a difficult decision – to save your pet’s life or to save money.

If covered by an adequate insurance policy, you will not have to choose. As a result, your pet will have the chance to fully recover, as you will be reimbursed for the costs of its treatment shortly afterwards.

Save Money

Although it may not be so obvious at first, a pet insurance policy will surely help you save money in the long run. Consider the effect of a one-off cost in case of sudden illness or injury, compared to the lower monthly costs of pet insurance.

If you get the right insurance plan, according to your and your pet’s unique needs, you will be able to save thousands of dollars over the course of your pet’s lifetime, through covering the vet exam fees and fast reimbursements following the therapy.

By paying for your pet insurance, you are actually investing in its future. This is due to the fact that you are ensuring your financial ability to provide your pet with the best possible health care when needed.

Be Prepared

Even if you have done everything in your power to get in touch with a responsible breeder, there is always a chance that your pet will get sick in some point of time.

Also, even if you keep your pet indoors and commit to an excellent health routine - making sure it eats balanced, nutritional meals and has enough exercise - your pet might still get injured or develop conditions that you are not able to prevent.

This is why it is best for you not to gamble with the odds, but to find the right pet insurance policy and be prepared. That way, you will be able to get adequate help for your pet when the time comes.

On top of saving you money, it will provide you with the security that helps reduce the stress associated with an unexpected illness or injury of your precious pet as well.

What Pet Insurance Covers

As we have previously mentioned, the most common costs that pet insurance covers are the costs of vet fees. However, most pet insurance policies have additional options of covering some other expenses, such as animal death, missing pet cover, third-party liability and more. Here's some frequently asked questions about pet insurance

Vet Fees

Most commonly, pet insurance policies cover the reimbursement for costs of veterinarian consultations, various examinations and tests, x-rays, MRI scans, medications, bandages, some types of surgeries and hospitalization.

Sometimes, given that mouth problems are common for many animals, dental costs may also be covered with the basic pet insurance policy. Some of the policies offer to cover for costs of alternative medical treatments, such as massage, acupuncture and homeopathy as well.

Animal Death

Some pet insurance policies will cover the market purchase value of the animal, should it die from illness or accident. This is especially useful for owners who have invested large sums of money to purchase an animal with an excellent pedigree.

That being said, in some cases, you might be reimbursed for costs of euthanasia, cremation, or burial as well.

Missing Pet

If your pet is missing, some of the policies offer to cover for costs of the actions needed in order for it to be found. These include putting up posters and paying the finder an adequate reward.

Third Party Liability

If your pet injures someone or damages a third party’s property, you will be held responsible for all of the costs. In those cases, it would be useful to be covered by a pet insurance policy offering this feature.

Holiday Cover

As your pet is allowed to travel with you to certain countries without the need for quarantine, it may be convenient to extend the pet insurance cover abroad.

On top of this, if your pet gets lost or is involved in an accident during the holiday, resulting in you cutting the trip short, the insurance company may agree to cover for the expenses that cannot be recovered.

Common Exclusions

Insurance companies offer different types of policies that you may want to be covered, but they are all limited by the terms and conditions, or ‘rules.’ You must note that insurance policies do not cover all of the costs of treatments and that can depend on the insurer.

However, you are still able to review these common exclusions and use it as your guideline before enrolling to a policy.

Pre-Existing Illness or Injury

A pre-existing medical condition is a disease or injury that occurred before you have taken out an insurance policy, which means any treatments and veterinary bills are not covered.

Pre-existing conditions are classified into two categories: chronic conditions and historic conditions. Chronic conditions are illnesses that are going under a treatment, while historic conditions are the ones that your pet once had but no longer suffer.

Although this happens to most insurance companies, some pet parents say that some policies include pre-existing illnesses or injuries. Bilateral conditions are also often not covered by insurance policies.

Waiting Period

Once the insurance policy is released, the insurer will not cover your treatments right away. It is due to what is called the ‘cooling off’ period. You are unable to claim for treatments during this time and will have to wait until the future.

For some companies, it only takes 14 days and your policy is valid to be claimed, but this can vary from one provider to another. For instance, for some, it is not until 30 days or 6 months until your treatments are covered.

Pregnancy and Giving Birth

Usually, treatment for pregnancy and giving birth is not covered by insurance providers. This is because animals that are not de-sexed tend to have a higher risk of developing healthcare conditions related to their sex organ.

Your pet may also be too aggressive towards other animals and this adds to the risks that you may encounter. The offsprings are also not covered by the insurance policy.

Abuse

If your dog required medical attention and was proven to have been a victim of a malicious act, or seriously neglected, treatments will usually not be covered.

In addition, acquired diseases that have known vaccines like hepatitis, parvovirus, canine cough and deworming tablets are all excluded in the policy.

Regular Treatments and Remedies

It is said that 85% of dogs four years and older suffer from dental issues, which might have been prevented by teeth and gum maintenance. Unfortunately, this is barred from most of the policies because it falls in the category of preventative treatments. What about pet insurance for older dogs?

Check-ups, vaccinations, spaying, castration, flea, worm and tick treatments, grooming and claw clipping, de-sexing and even ambulance costs are all not covered unless the situation seriously requires medical treatment.

While insurance policies are varied, comprehensive policies cover routine care, while illness and injury policies don’t.

Artificial Limb Implant and Organ Transplant

For artificial limb implant, the procedure is always covered, but the cost of the limb itself is usually charged to you. Organ transplant, on the other hand, is risky.

Compared to human transplantation of organs, it may be hard for some animals to find a source and because of this, procedures might not be covered.

The terms and conditions applied is based on what type of insurance policy the company offers. It is best to refer and understand carefully the Product Disclosure Statement and choose what is best to apply for.

Types of Policies

If you are wondering how the inclusion and exclusion of certain conditions work in insurance policies, you have to know that there are different types. However, the terms and conditions vary from different companies.

Lifetime Cover Pet Insurance

A lifetime cover insurance sounds convincing and relieving. As from the name itself, your pet is insured for its entire lifetime. You are able to decide if it is going to be per condition per year, where a maximum limit for each condition your pet has is set.

For example, let’s say that your dog has diabetes and a skin condition at the same time; there will be a specific coverage for the diabetes and another one for the latter. You are also able to choose the annual cover, where an overall limit includes all of the ongoing conditions.

Both of these are automatically reset for the next years, unless the policy is cancelled.

Non-Lifetime Cover Pet Insurance

This type of insurance may exclude certain conditions once you have reached your claim limits and could be time-limited only. The per condition pet insurance in this policy may be compared to the per condition per year of the lifetime cover insurance.

The difference is that in here, once you hit the limit, it will not reset, even if you renew your policy. A time-limited, per condition cover has a fixed sum for a specific condition and is only available for a limited time, usually 12 months.

Even if you have not used up the entire amount covered, the condition will still be excluded after a year.

Accident-Only Pet Insurance Policy

Covering only one condition and then excludes all of the other illnesses, the accident-only pet insurance policy is the cheapest among the others.

There will be a fixed amount of funds to be used exclusively if your pet has injuries inflicted from an accident and requires medical treatment.

Factors to Consider

By purchasing an insurance policy, the terms and conditions will surely be explained thoroughly by the provider. However, here are some factors that you need to consider before obtaining one.

Your Pet’s Species

Different species of animals have their distinct characteristics and with the help of your veterinarian, you have to know what kind of medical treatment your pet needs or will need in the future.

Your Pet’s Breed

Dogs, for example, have different kinds of breeds. As a result, they develop different kinds of medical conditions based on the breed’s characteristics, health endurance and lifespan. By referring to this, you will save yourself a lot of time choosing which type of policy you need.

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Can Your Financial Resources Keep Pace?

At some point, you need to reflect and ask yourself if you are able to save and keep some funds especially for the insurance policy of your pet. Because there are several exclusions, you should not forget to save up for unexpected medical situations and sums you have to meet.

Can You Obtain Funds for Vet Care Routine?

For most of the insurance policies, vet care routines are excluded and all the costs are paid by the pet parent. That is why knowing what kind of vet care your pet actually needs by considering previous medical issues is important.

The Cost of Treatment

By being aware of your pet’s medical condition in the first place, you will be able to estimate how much it will take for the treatment. Then, you will be able to decide the limits of your insurance policy. Read our article to see if pet insurance is worth it

What Isn’t Covered

This factor is crucial; you have to consider and clearly understand the exclusions written in your Product Disclosure Statement and expect the costs of treatment that will be charged to you to avoid getting a sudden blow.

How Long the Cooling Off Period Is

Some medical exclusions occur only because you are still sitting on the waiting period. It is important that you are informed whether you are able to finally claim your policy, or still have to wait several days or weeks.

Conclusion

Being insured when it comes to medical situations is something to fall back on, but it is always best to learn which is which in every circumstance before you decide to commit on things like an insurance policy.

Understanding the factors to consider and matching it up with a specific type of policy is a practical and smart move. Different insurance companies have different terms and conditions, so having a wide range of choices is an advantage.

Some insurers may sound good but try to consider the downside of every offer and try to work it out with them for the sake of your pet.

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