Best Pet Insurance Plans

Contributor, Benzinga

Did you know many of our readers end up choosing Lemonade Pet Insurance for their pet insurance coverage?

You probably already know you can purchase health insurance and home insurance, but did you know that you can also purchase a pet insurance plan to help cover Fido or Fluffy’s medical bills as well?

Though pet insurance policies dating 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

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

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). 

get started securely through Lemonade Pet’s website
Disclosure: 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,
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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). 

Best For
  • Those who want to bundle with their home policy
  • Pet owners who prefer to buy and manage their policies online
  • Pet owners who want to customize their pet’s policy
Pros
  • Super customizable so you get everything your pet needs without paying for stuff you won’t use
  • Discount for having Lemonade home or renters insurance
  • Very high cap on annual limits
Cons
  • Only offers coverage for dogs and cats
  • Not available in all states

2. 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

Get started securely through Spot Pet Insurance’s website
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Spot Pet Insurance’s innovative approach provides user-friendly access to customizable coverage. Your dog or cat is covered without completing a medical exam. The policies cover veterinary bills, either partially or in full, when your pet goes in for a check-up or routine vaccination or needs care for injury, chronic illness or prescription coverage. Spot also covers implanting a microchip in your pet. You’ll also get 10% off of each additional pet you insure.

Best For
  • Cats and dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages
  • Insuring multiple pets
  • Customizing an insurance plan
  • Prescription food and supplements
Pros
  • Multiple pet discount
  • Covers prescription food and supplements
  • No upper age limit for coverage enrollment
  • 30-day money-back guarantee*
  • More reimbursement options: 70%, 80% and 90%
Cons
  • Doesn’t cover exotic pets

3. 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.

Get started securely through Trupanion’s website
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Trupanion offers comprehensive pet insurance policies for cats and dogs of all sizes, breeds and ages. The cost of your cat or dog’s policy will depend on its age, breed, gender and the cost of veterinary care where you live. You can expect a 5-day waiting period for injuries and a 30-day waiting period for illnesses.

Best For
  • Cats and dogs of all sizes, breeds and ages
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Illnesses and injuries
Pros
  • Available in all states
  • Covers diagnostic testing
  • Easy claims process
  • Can pay veterinarians directly at checkout
Cons
  • More expensive than most other providers

4. Pumpkin

Look no further than Pumpkin Pet Insurance for the best pet insurance on the market. You can get a wide range of 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 cover a wide range of situations. Your best bet is to get a sample quote, where you can find exclusions clearly laid out in bullets. 

get a quote securely through Pumpkin Pet Insurance’s website
Best For
Families with multiple pets
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Pumpkin Pet Insurance offers traditional pet insurance as well as optional preventive care coverage at an additional cost. While Pumpkin does offer a wide range of coverage options, you’ll notice some limits to be aware of. All Pumpkin Pet Insurance plans have an annual coverage limit and all of its policies come with a high reimbursement rate.

Best For
  • Families with pets who don’t expect their bills to go higher than Pumpkin’s coverage limits
  • Families with multiple pets who can benefit from their discount for each additional pet’s policy
Pros
  • No upper age limit
  • Multiple pet discount
  • An extensive list of covered procedures
Cons
  • Plans only cover cats and dogs — no other pet types

What is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance plans cover veterinary bills, either fully or in part, when a pet goes in for a check-up, is injured or develops a chronic illness and requires prescriptions or medications.

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.

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. 

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.

What to Look for in a Pet Insurance Plan

When choosing a pet insurance provider, you’ll want to consider a few key factors, including:

  • Limits on specific conditions. The best pet insurance providers do not place limitations on how much you can spend on a specific medical condition. After all, if you pay for $20,000 worth of coverage and your dog develops cancer that requires $20,000 worth of treatment, you won’t want a plan that dictates that only $10,000 annually can be spent on cancer treatments. 
  • Benefits models vs. actual veterinary bill reimbursement. You’ll want to choose a pet insurance plan that reimburses you based on the actual amount you’ve spent rather than a schedule of benefits or “usual and customary” benefits, both of which cap the amount of money that you can receive for veterinary care. 
  • Animals that the insurance package does and does not cover. Some insurance providers cover exotic animals, while others limit their coverage to dogs and cats. Your insurance package may also have age limits for enrollment, so be sure to read all the fine print before you sign up. 
  • Prescription drug coverage. Even if you don’t opt for comprehensive pet insurance, you’ll want to make sure that your insurance package covers prescription drug costs at least in part. Painkillers or eye drops can add up over time.

Find Pet Insurance Today

It’s difficult to define which pet insurance provider is “best” because each policy offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks. For example, Nationwide may be the right choice if you have an exotic bird you’d like to cover, but Trupanion is probably a better choice for insuring a new puppy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

How much is pet insurance?

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How much is pet insurance?
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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.

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Q

Is pet insurance worth it?

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Is pet insurance worth it?
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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.

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Q

Does pet insurance cover preexisting conditions?

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Does pet insurance cover preexisting conditions?
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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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