Best Pet Insurance Plans

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 26, 2023

As a pet owner, you undoubtedly want to provide the best care possible for your furry family member. However, accidents and illnesses can happen, and veterinary bills can quickly add up. That's where pet insurance comes in. In this article, we will explore the various pet insurance options available to ensure you make an informed decision about your pet's healthcare needs.

Though pet insurance policies date back to the year 1890 (and were first used to protect horses and other forms of livestock), the increasing cost of veterinary treatment has seen a resurgence of pet insurance enrollment, particularly from millennial pet owners. But, which pet insurance policy is right for you and how can you determine if you even need pet insurance at all? Use this guide to find out more. And if you'd like to learn more about pet insurance before you start your search, check out this Benzinga resource: What is Pet Insurance? A Complete Guide.

Quick Look: The Best Pet Insurance Plans

The Best Pet Insurance Plans

Benzinga compiled a list of the best pet insurance. Get quotes from the carriers of your choice and compare to see who offers the best premium for your pets!

1. Lemonade Pet Insurance

  • securely through Lemonade Pet Insurance's website
    securely through Lemonade Pet Insurance's website
    Best For:
    Top-rated pet insurance
    Rating:
    Read Review

    Lemonade is currently available in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin,

Lemonade offers easy-to-understand coverage options for dogs and cats. It’s even better for those who already have Lemonade renters or homeowners insurance as you get a discount for bundling your policies. 

Insurance companies keep extra dollars for profit, but Lemonade is unique in that after it pays your claims and its expenses, it gives any remaining premiums to a charity that you choose when you sign up for a policy. You can select charities like the American Red Cross, the Trevor Project, and many pet-centric causes.

The downside to Lemonade pet insurance is that you can only insure dogs and cats (no exotic animals). 

Pros

  • Because Lemonade is so easy to use, you can sign up while performing almost any task
  • Faster claims payment helps protect your personal budget
  • The company focuses on pet-focused charities

Cons

  • While it’s quite easy to purchase coverage, coverage for large or exotic animals is not available
  • There are no brick-and-mortar offices to visit, which is a comfort for some policyholders

2. Wagmo

  • securely through Wagmo's website
    securely through Wagmo's website
    Best For:
    Emergencies
    Rating:

Wagmo is a pet insurance plan that works for both dogs and cats, and while it offers a range of customizable features, its best attributes include:

  • Short, 15-day waiting period
  • Can cover up to 100% of emergency care
  • Robust wellness programs
  • All-online service and support
  • A massive range of emergency coverages
  • A powerful mobile app
  • Mobile claims and reimbursement services

When you use Wagmo, you can go on the website right away and enter all the information for your pet, get a quote, customize that quote to suit your monthly budget and/or reach out to the customer service team for more information. Additionally, you can make adjustments to your coverage at any time, add more pets and enjoy a streamlined process that allows you to tend to your furry family members instead of juggling paperwork.

Pros

  • Short waiting periods work well for older pets, especially those who’ve just been rescued
  • Mobile claims are easy to handle in the vet’s office before you even head home
  • Accessing wellness programs helps pets live longer and happier lives

Cons

  • Pricing for every breed or pet will not necessarily be affordable

3. Pumpkin

  • securely through Pumpkin Pet Insurance's website
    securely through Pumpkin Pet Insurance's website
    Best For:
    Families with multiple pets
    Rating:
    Read Review

    Limitations apply. For terms and conditions, visit pumpkin.care. Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (NPN#19084749) (“Pumpkin”) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance plans underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy, and is not available in all states.

Look no further than Pumpkin for one of the best pet insurances on the market. You can get a traditional pet insurance and optional preventive care coverage. Pumpkin’s site notes that all of Pumpkin Pet Insurance’s policies come with a 90% reimbursement rate. 

Pumpkin offers policies for both dogs and cats and covers a wide range of situations. Your best bet is to get a sample quote, where you can find exclusions clearly laid out. 

Pumpkin’s customer service team can be reached by:

  • Calling 1-866-ARF-MEOW (1‑866‑273‑6369), Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST
  • Emailing help@pumpkin.care

Watch out for Pumpkin’s chat feature — coming soon!

Pros

  • Expanded customer service hours offer greater peace of mind
  • Wide range of coverages help pets remain active and owners confident
  • It’s easy to check the exclusions long before you sign on the dotted line

Cons

  • Like most policies, there’s no coverage for pre-existing conditions

4. Chewy Care Plus

  • securely through Chewy Care Plus's website
    securely through Chewy Care Plus's website
    Best For:
    Annual Check Ups
    Rating:

Chewy Care Plus is a robust and comprehensive wellness and insurance plan for cats and dogs. Wellness coverage includes preventative care, routine vet visits, vaccines and assorted medications.

Accident and illness coverage helps your pets when they are sick and need to go to the vet on an emergency basis. This might include sickness, injuries and orthopedic issues. Additionally, your pets might need care for age-related conditions, chronic conditions, digestive issues and more. 

Best for regular checkups, you can get 24/7 customer care and unlimited access to licensed veterinarians. 

Pros

  • Coverage for routine visits allows fosters and charities to protect more pets
  • The policy can help pet owners who’ve noticed their pets tend to be prone to getting sick
  • Because you can easily check the exclusions, you can learn quickly what’s right for your family

Cons

  • While convenient, the platform is not dedicated 100% to pet insurance (as Chewy has a retail component)

5. Spot Pet Insurance

Spot Pet Insurance is a leading pet insurance provider featuring coverage for cats and dogs. Some insurance highlights:

  • Up to 90% reimbursement on eligible vet bills
  • No age cap on coverage
  • Plans start as low as $1 a day* — that’s less than a cup of coffee!

You can customize your coverage and can even add special Spot-On coverage. Coverage options include accidents, behavioral issues, dental disease, illnesses, preventive services and even hereditary and congenital conditions. 

Spot’s claims service is easy. Just visit your vet (don’t forget to give your pet a treat on the way out!), send Spot the bill and get reimbursed. Plus, there’s a 24/7 vet helpline provided by VetConnect.

Take 30 seconds to fetch your free quote now. 

*Rates vary based on plan type, species, breed, age and location

Pros

  • Lack of an age cap helps those with older pets or fosters
  • Sheer range of additional coverages can help pets who had a bad start
  • Coverage for hereditary conditions helps those with frenchies, pugs, Boston terriers, Scottish folds, etc.

Cons

  • Not all plans will cost $1 per day

6. Trupanion

Making vet visits simpler and offering an easy claims process, Trupanion helps you protect your furry family members with several options that include:

  • Simplified claims process
  • Covers congenital conditions
  • Covers diagnostic tests
  • Injuries and illnesses
  • The pet owner assistance package
  • The recovery and complimentary care rider

In addition to these highlights, Trupanion stands out from the crowd because:

  • Trupanion can pay the veterinarian directly at the time of checkout
  • $0 deductibles are available
  • There’s a range of deductibles that help you affect your premiums
  • It’s available in all 50 states—no hangups about your coverage

With the common $200 deductible, Trupanion makes it affordable to meet your deductible and maintain your coverage in an affordable way. If you’re looking for a different kind of pet insurance that’s not like any other carrier on the market, Trupanion is for you.

Pros

  • Coverage for congenital conditions is good for “designer” pets or rare breeds
  • The assistance package helps new pets owners get their bearings
  • Available in all 50 states so that you can take coverage with you if you move

Cons

  • You will need to pay higher premiums for lower deductibles

What is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is an agreement between you and an insurance company that helps you pay the veterinary costs for your pet's medical expenses. Policies usually provide coverage for accidents, illnesses, and preventative care. It is important to note that pet insurance is not the same as human health insurance. Pet insurance operates on a reimbursement system, which means that you are responsible for paying the veterinary bill upfront and then submitting a claim to your insurance provider for reimbursement.

When considering pet insurance, it is important to research the different policies available and understand what they cover. Some policies may only cover accidents, while others may cover accidents, illnesses, and preventative care. It is also important to understand any exclusions or limitations in the policy, such as pre-existing conditions or breed-specific conditions.

Understanding Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is a type of policy that helps cover the cost of veterinary care for your pet. It operates on a reimbursement system, meaning you pay the veterinary bill upfront and then submit a claim to your insurance provider for a partial or full reimbursement. Pet insurance policies can vary widely in terms of their coverage and cost.

How Does Pet Insurance Work? 

Many pet owners have difficulty understanding how pet insurance plans work because they think of it as analogous to human health insurance — that is, that the insurance covers the entirety of costs associated with care after a deductible has been reached, less the cost of associated co-pays.

However, pet insurance is classified as a type of property insurance and works basically the same way as auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance; you must cover the costs of care, then you submit a claim to your insurance provider, who then provides reimbursement. 

For very high bills (surgeries or emergency treatments), some veterinarians will allow you to put off payment until the insurance claim is filed, though specific policies for these types of instances vary depending on the veterinarian. Like human health insurance plans, most pet insurance plans require you to reach a certain deductible before they begin to pay out for care, regardless of the fact that pets are classified as property.

There are two main types of pet insurance policies: lifetime and non-lifetime. As its name suggests, lifetime insurance covers ongoing issues that persist throughout a pet’s life; if an issue is claimed in the first year of insurance, it will not be excluded from claims the following year.

Non-lifetime insurance policies cover claims for a single policy year but, upon completion of the policy year, exclude claims previously made. It’s important to note that even lifetime insurance policies place limitations on “per condition” payouts. Some policies may also limit payouts on a “per condition, per year basis.” 

Pet insurance policies also often feature add-on coverage for non-medical expenses, including boarding costs should the pet be found and placed in a pound or shelter, dental coverage, and even costs for a “safe return reward” if a pet runs away or gets lost. These add-ons may be purchased after you enroll or included as a comprehensive coverage package.

Why Pet Insurance is Important

Pet insurance is important for many reasons. Pets can experience unexpected accidents or illnesses, and veterinary bills can quickly add up. Pet insurance can ease the financial burden of unexpected veterinary bills, allowing you to provide your pet with the best medical care possible. It can also give you peace of mind knowing that you can take care of your pet's health needs without financial limitations.

Additionally, pet insurance can provide you with access to a network of veterinary professionals who can help you make informed decisions about your pet's health. Some pet insurance policies offer 24/7 access to veterinary professionals who can answer questions and provide guidance.

Types of Pet Insurance Coverage

There are many types of pet insurance coverage, including:

  • Accident-only coverage: This provides coverage for accidents, such as broken bones or poison ingestion.
  • Illness-only coverage: This provides coverage for illnesses, such as cancer or infections.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This provides coverage for accidents, illnesses, and preventative care, such as vaccinations and dental checkups.

When choosing a pet insurance policy, it is important to consider your pet's specific needs and any potential risks associated with their breed or lifestyle. For example, if you have a dog that is prone to hip dysplasia, you may want to choose a policy that covers this condition. Similarly, if you have a cat that spends a lot of time outdoors, you may want to choose a policy that covers injuries related to outdoor activities.

Overall, pet insurance can provide you with peace of mind and financial protection when it comes to your pet's health. By understanding the different types of coverage available and researching your options, you can choose a policy that meets your needs and the needs of your furry friend.

Who Needs Pet Insurance?

The most important consideration you’ll need to make when deciding whether or not pet insurance is worth it for your pet is breed. Some cat and dog breeds are more prone to illnesses and chronic conditions thanks to years of selective breeding.

This means that there are certain breeds that are more likely to incur higher veterinary bills over the course of their lifetimes, which makes the purchase of pet insurance more worth the cost to the buyer. If you own one of the following dog or cat breeds, you may want to consider enrolling in a pet insurance plan:

  • Pugs and French bulldogs: Most pugs and French bulldogs develop breathing issues thanks to their short snouts, narrow nasal passages and unique head shape. Brachycephalic airway syndrome is the most common of these issues, which can lead to infections and allergic reactions. 
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Cavalier King Charles spaniels tend to develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the walls of the heart become overly thick. 
  • Retrievers and Bernese mountain dogs. Retrievers and Bernese mountain dogs may be loyal and lovable, but they’re also two of the most common victims of histiocytic sarcomas, an incredibly aggressive and fast-acting form of blood cancer. Golden retrievers are the most common victims of this type of cancer, and veterinarians estimate that one in three golden retrievers will develop histiocytic sarcomas.
  • Ragdoll cats. Like golden retrievers, cats from the ragdoll family are often susceptible to histiocytic sarcomas, as well as bladder and kidney infections. 
  • Siamese cats. Siamese cats are known to be susceptible to a host of hereditary diseases, ranging from the mildly innocuous crossed eyes to respiratory issues that cause labored breathing and allergies, as well as multiples types of heart disease and cancers. 
  • Scottish Folds. Scottish Folds are also susceptible to a range of genetic conditions due to how they are bred. Some may suffer from colds and allergies while others may have joint issues.

You may also want to consider investing in pet insurance if you have an exotic bird or other animals as a pet, as these types of animals typically need special veterinary care. However, before you sign up for a policy, you’ll want to make sure that your insurance provider of choice ensures exotic animals – many limit coverage to dogs and cats.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Pet Insurance

Choosing the right pet insurance policy for your furry friend can be overwhelming. You want to make sure that you are getting the best coverage for your pet's needs without breaking the bank. Here are some additional factors to consider before making your decision.

Your Pet's Age and Breed

The age and breed of your pet are important factors to consider when choosing a pet insurance policy. For example, older pets often require more medical care, so choosing a comprehensive plan may be the best option. On the other hand, if you have a young and healthy pet, you may be able to get away with a lower coverage plan. Certain breeds may also be more prone to certain health conditions, making specialized coverage necessary. For example, if you have a bulldog, you may want to consider a policy that covers respiratory issues.

Pre-existing Conditions

Many pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. If your pet has a pre-existing condition, you may need to find a policy that covers it or opt for a more expensive comprehensive plan. It's important to note that some policies may consider a condition pre-existing even if it was not diagnosed before you signed up for the policy. Be sure to read the policy carefully to avoid any surprises.

Deductibles and Premiums

Pet insurance policies typically have deductibles and premiums. The deductible is the amount you must pay before the insurance coverage kicks in. The premium is the amount you pay each month or year for your pet's insurance policy. Consider your budget and your pet's healthcare needs when choosing a deductible and premium amount. Keep in mind that a higher deductible usually means a lower premium, but you will have to pay more out of pocket if your pet needs medical care.

Coverage Limits and Exclusions

Be sure to read the fine print of any pet insurance policy you are considering. Some policies have coverage limits or exclusions for certain conditions, such as hereditary problems or behavioral issues. Make sure you understand what is and isn't covered before signing up. For example, some policies may cover cancer treatment but not chemotherapy. Others may cover dental care but only if it is related to an injury.

Choosing the right pet insurance policy can be a daunting task, but taking the time to consider your pet's needs and your budget will help you make the best decision for your furry friend. Remember to read the policy carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear. With the right coverage, you can have peace of mind knowing that your pet will receive the care they need without breaking the bank.

Find Pet Insurance Today

Pet insurance is becoming increasingly popular among pet owners as it provides peace of mind and financial protection for your pet's healthcare needs. With the rising cost of veterinary care, pet insurance can help you avoid unexpected expenses and ensure that your pet receives the best possible care.

When choosing a pet insurance policy, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, you should consider your pet's age, breed, and health needs. Some breeds are more prone to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia in large breed dogs or respiratory issues in flat-faced breeds. Additionally, older pets may require more frequent veterinary care and may be more susceptible to age-related health conditions.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a pet insurance policy is the coverage offered. Some policies may only cover accidents, while others may also cover illnesses and routine care such as vaccinations and wellness exams. It's important to carefully review the policy details to ensure that the coverage meets your needs and fits within your budget.

When comparing pet insurance policies, it's also important to consider the reputation and financial stability of the provider. Look for a provider with a strong track record of paying claims and providing excellent customer service.

In conclusion, pet insurance can be a valuable investment in your pet's health and well-being. By considering your pet's individual needs and comparing policies from different providers, you can find the coverage that is right for you and your furry friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

How much is pet insurance?

A

The cost of pet insurance depends on the provider and the type of coverage you buy, but some pet insurance providers offer coverage for as little as $1 a day.

Q

Is pet insurance worth it?

A

Yes, pet insurance is worth it if you can afford the premium. It can help save thousands of dollars on emergency and preventive care for your beloved pet.

Q

Does pet insurance cover preexisting conditions?

A

Most pet insurance providers do not cover preexisting conditions, though some offer coverage for secondary symptoms resulting from preexisting conditions if the symptom begins occurring after coverage begins.

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About Sarah Horvath

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