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11 Best Pet Insurance Companies in 2018

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11 Best Pet Insurance Companies in 2018

If your pet got sick or needed emergency surgery, could you cover the unexpected expense?

Just recently, I found out first hand how important pet insurance is when I was speaking with a co-worker. His dog had been diagnosed with cancer at seven years old and had started receiving treatments. Thanks to pet insurance, he could afford chemotherapy to help his four-legged friend.

You pay for health insurance, life insurance, home insurance, and auto insurance. Why shouldn’t you do the same with your pet? Even though I’ve never had to use my coverage (knock on wood) I’m happy to pay the small fee each month.

With pet insurance, you never have to worry about choosing between a potentially life-saving treatment and your bank account. Start protecting your four-legged friends with one of the best pet insurance companies, which we’ve listed below.

Pet Insurance 101

There are a few things you need to understand before shopping around for the best pet insurance.

The Difference Between Human Insurance and Pet Insurance

First of all, pet insurance isn’t like human insurance. There are different plans that cover different things but ultimately you’ll probably have to have more than one policy if you want 100% coverage. There are a ton of things to consider before deciding the best insurance options.

Things like:

  • Pre-existing conditions. Depending on the condition, this can make a huge impact on the price and your ability to get pet insurance.
  • Age. The older your pet, the more expensive it is to cover them.
  • Type of breed. Some breeds have more hereditary conditions than others, which will make them more expensive to cover.

Best Pet Insurance Companies

Here is a comprehensive review of the best pet insurance companies in 2018.

1. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation

In the story above about my co-worker, his insurance was Healthy Paws. After hearing his experience, this is the company I chose, too. Their policies allow you to be reimbursed for 70%, 80%, or 90% of the total veterinary bill once you reach your annual deductible.

The higher the reimbursement level, the more you will pay each month. You can choose between a $100, $250, or $500 per month deductible. Healthy Paws policies have no incident limits or annual limits on coverage.

Coverage

One downside with Healthy Paws policies is they don’t cover normal vaccinations, routine exams, heartworm prevention or regular check-ups. And unlike other insurers, Healthy Paws does not offer any type of wellness plan as an add-on.

But for any covered condition, Healthy Paws coverage includes:

  • Diagnostic tests (X-rays, blood)
  • Hospitalization and treatments while there
  • Surgeries
  • Prescription medications

You can also use any licensed vet and submit your qualified expenses online.

Are There Maximum Limits?

There is no maximum limit for the duration of your coverage. Even if you have $20,000 worth of expenses, they would still cover 70%, 80%, or 90%. Most other pet insurance providers have caps. These will lower your monthly cost but also reduce your protection. The lack of caps is one of the biggest benefits of Healthy Paws life insurance.

Are Hereditary and Congenital Conditions Covered?

Any hereditary conditions are eligible for coverage as long as the symptoms occur after enrollment and waiting periods. These conditions include things like bladder stones, epilepsy, heart disease, cleft palate or limb deformities.

As a side note, some breeds are prone to hip dysplasia and are covered at no additional cost as long as your pet is under six years old and has no clinical signs or symptoms happen during the initial term.

Not Included in Coverage

  • Exam fees
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Dental care
  • Behavioral treatment
  • Specific pet diets
  • Daycare or boarding
  • Cremation or burial (euthanasia is covered when medically necessary)

The Bottom Line About Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws is a dependable option with no coverage limits, which is why I chose it. Unfortunately, Healthy Paws doesn’t cover preventive care and a routine wellness program is not offered.

As I have this pet insurance, I can say there is one other downside. The second year, the price rose, despite the fact that we didn’t have any claims in the previous 12 months.

2. Progressive Pet Insurance

Yes, Flow from Progressive even has insurance for your pet’s medical expenses.

Progressive has two different plans for your cat or dog: Basic Pets Wellness Program and BestBenefit.

BestBenefit Accident and Illness Plans

This is the more comprehensive plan offered by Progressive. It covers anything related to accidents and illnesses, including chronic conditions like cancer. This plan also allows treatment for hereditary and congenital conditions. Accidents, hospitalization, surgeries, and after-hours emergency visits are also covered.

Accident Only Plan

The Accident Only Plan does not cover anything related to illnesses. Accidents include things like:

  • Broken bones
  • Wounds from being hit by a car
  • Bite wounds
  • Lacerations

Wellness Routine Care Plans

Unlike Healthy Paws, Progressive does offer a wellness plan. This plan is less expensive but has limitations, including vaccinations, annual exams, and flea, tick and heartworm prevention.

The Wellness Routine Care Plan is allowed as an add-on to the BestBenefit and the Accident Only Plan.

Not Included in Coverage

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Preventive, elective, and cosmetic procedures
  • Food, including prescription food
  • Boarding and grooming

Cost Options

Progressive Pet Insurance has three different plans that differ based on the percentage you want to pay out of pocket. After your deductible is met, you can choose your coverage limit (70%, 80% or 90%).

The Bottom Line About Progressive Pet Insurance

It is very similar to Healthy Paws, as it has all the same deductible and reimbursement options and no maximum limit. Additionally, it does also offer a wellness plan that you can add on to either plan.

3. USAA Pet Insurance (Issued by Embrace Pet Care)

USAA has teamed up with Embrace Pet Care to give customers great coverage at special discount rates because of their relationship with the military. If you have served in the military or have a relative who is a USAA member you may qualify for USAA Pet Insurance. It’s a great deal for people who have served in the military.

The policy will cover accidents, illnesses and routine veterinary care. There isn’t much specific information on the plans online. But, the website does say they have a model that’s similar to Healthy Paws where you choose the deductible and reimbursement amounts.

All claims are typically processed within 72 hours of submission.

The Bottom Line About USAA Pet Insurance

I could not give this as thorough a review as the other insurers because need a USAA account to log in and view eligible plans. But since it is part of Embrace Pet Care, it seems like a great option for military members.

4. ASPCA

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is issued by Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group is one of the oldest pet insurers. They partnered with the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals more than 20 years ago to provide pet insurance under the well-known ASPCA name.

The company offers several plans that you can choose based on deductibles and a custom reimbursement percentage that’s similar to Healthy Paws and Progressive.

Complete Coverage

ASPCA has a very comprehensive pet insurance plan that covers hereditary issues, illness, accidents, and even behavioral issues.

Within this plan, you choose between three deductibles ($500, $250, and $100) as well as reimbursement percentages (70%, 80% and 90%). Also, there are different annual limits that will affect your coverage. They range from $5,000 to unlimited.

Accident Only Coverage

The Accident Only Coverage includes exam fees, diagnostics and treatments that are related to accidents. Preventive care coverage is available as well for a small fee each month.

Not Included in Coverage

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Breeding costs
  • Behavioral issues

The Bottom Line About ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

You get lots of choices with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. It offers accident-only and comprehensive insurance, as well as a preventive care option. The downsides are that they have annual limits and will not fund expenses related to behavioral issues.

5. Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance also offers several plans that promise “nose-to-tail” coverage for your dog or cat. As with other plans, you choose the annual maximum payout, deductible and reimbursement percentage. Each pet on the policy can have a different deductible, reimbursement rate and maximum limit.

This is great if you have several pets that are different ages. You can use this plan with all of your cats and dogs to receive a multi-pet discount.

Nose to Tail Accident & Illness Coverage

Like other pet insurers, there is no network, meaning you can take your pet to the vet of your choice. You will need to print your personalized claim form before your appointment. Once you arrive, have a staff member at the veterinary practice fill out the claim form. You can then send it in by email or fax, or upload it online.

Here’s what included:

  • Congenital conditions
  • Chronic conditions
  • Cancer treatments
  • Exam fees
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Diagnostic testing
  • ER and specialist care
  • Hospitalization and surgery
  • Prosthetic limbs and devices, including mobility aids
  • Dental illnesses (up to $1,000 per year — only available in certain states)

Alternative therapies are covered, and optional coverage is available for take-home prescription medications. This is only available in certain states, so please visit the Embrace Pet Insurance website to make sure yours is included.

Wellness Rewards

Wellness Rewards is a flexible, preventive health care plan that you can add. It will reimburse you for grooming, vet and training needs.

The program rewards you with “free” money for being proactive about your pet’s well-being.

There are three options for Wellness Rewards reimbursement. You can choose $250, $450 or $650 per policy year limits.

The $650 option is best for puppies and kittens, since their costs tend to be more expensive. You can also change your Wellness Rewards limit each policy year to meet your pet’s needs.

Unfortunately, the Wellness Rewards program is not available for standalone purchase. You must have the full, nose-to-tail coverage to qualify.

Not Included in Coverage

  • Routine veterinary care
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • DNA testing or cloning
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Injury from fighting, racing, cruelty or neglect
  • Cosmetic procedures

They also offer a very helpful comparative tool that will allow you to compare Embrace with others pet insurers. The other pet insurers include:

  • 24PetWatch
  • AKC Pet Insurance
  • ASPCA Health Insurance
  • Figo
  • Healthy Paws
  • Nationwide
  • PetFirst
  • Petplan
  • Pets Best
  • Trupanion

Unlike many pet insurers, Embrace also has a healthy pet deductible, which will lower your annual plan fee by $50 each year that you don’t receive a claim reimbursement.

The Bottom Line About Embrace Pet Insurance

This plan is great because you can customize it for your pet and budget. With their comparative tool, healthy pet deductible, and Wellness Rewards, this may be your best pet insurance option.

6. American Modern

American Modern Pet Insurance is written by American Modern Home Insurance and has a variety of different plans for your dog or cat.

Coverage

With American Modern, you can design a plan based on your needs. It can include accidents, illnesses, breed-specific conditions, and alternative therapies or rehab. Optional coverage could include wellness and routine care, dental, medications and vet exam fees.

Not Included in Coverage

No cosmetic, elective or preventive procedures are covered by insurance. These type of services are usually things like tail docking, ear cropping, de-worming, and declawing.

Pregnancies and burial costs are also not covered. Lastly, pre-existing conditions are not covered but you can still get coverage for other hereditary conditions.

Pet Insurance Discounts

American Modern Pet Insurance also offers discounts for:

  • Enrolling multiple pets
  • Choosing to pay annually vs. monthly
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Being a full-time military member
  • Enrolling a service animal
  • Signing up with your company and employee discount

7. Pet Premium Pet Insurance

Pet Premium insurance has two main plans for your pet insurance needs.

Accidents-Only Coverage Plan

  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80% or 90%
  • Annual limit: from $2,500 to unlimited
  • Annual deductible: $100, $250 or $500

This plan covers ongoing conditions, accidents, alternative therapies, and preventive care options for an additional fee.

Total Coverage Plan

  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80% or 90%
  • Annual Limit: from $2,500 to unlimited
  • Annual deductible: $100, $250 or $500

This plan covers everything the Accidents-Only plan covers, as well as illness, hereditary or congenital conditions, and behavioral treatments. All preventive care is a separate cost.

Preventive Care Options

Pet Premium has a great preventative care option with three different packages. In my research, I haven’t found any other provider with this comprehensive of a preventive plan.

  • Basic Plan ($9.95 per month) — $250 per year
  • Standard Plan ($14.95 per month) — $350 per year
  • Prime Plan ($24.95 per month) — $500 per year

All three of these plans are monthly and factor into the overall cost. For example, the basic plan is $9.95 per month or $119.40 annually. You are only responsible for the $119.40 and Pet Premium will cover the rest.

This is one of the most noteworthy pet insurance providers on the list. I certainly recommend learning more about all the options available.

8. VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance)

Veterinary Pet Insurance is offered through Nationwide and has several plans that make it easy to choose insurance for your dog or cat. Even exotic pets and birds are included!

One of the benefits of Nationwide is that your coverage remains the same every year, regardless of any sickness or injury claims that were made. If only home and auto insurance policies were like this!

Here are Nationwide’s VPI pet insurance packages:

Whole Pet With Wellness (Percentage of Invoice)

This plan will cover a percentage of the overall treatment cost, similar to Healthy Paws and other insurers mentioned. Unlike Healthy Paws, Nationwide does not limit your coverage to just uncommon things like surgery, accidents, hospitalization or treatment.

Here’s what is included:

  • Exam fees
  • Vaccinations
  • Surgeries or hospitalization
  • Chronic conditions
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Wellness (annual checkups, heartworm, flea, and other vaccinations)

Major Medical (Benefit Schedule)

All reimbursements are capped at a set amount for each condition, regardless of the total cost. This plan offers everything the Whole Pet With Wellness plan offers, except the wellness package.

Pet Wellness

This is Nationwide’s most basic package but still includes wellness exams, tests, flea and heartworm prevention, as well as normal vaccinations.

Costs

The cost of VPI can vary significantly depending on the plan and if you add on the routine wellness package.

The Bottom Line About VPI

This is another good option but not the best. The price is relatively high when compared with other providers.

9. 24PetWatch

24PetWatch has pet insurance and pet protection services for your four-legged friends. Their pet protection services also include microchipping and several membership options.

They have five main pet insurance plans for cats and dogs. Your pet is eligible after it’s 8 weeks old and up to 10 years old.

You are responsible for a 20% co-pay and they cover the other 80%. Unlike other plans, you can’t choose a 70% or 90% reimbursement option.

Here are the five plans available:

Essential Plan

  • Policy Term Payout (Illness & Accidents): $1,500
  • Deductible: $100

Extra Plan

  • Policy Term Payout (Illness & Accidents): $3,000
  • Deductible: $100 or $250

Classic Plan

  • Policy Term Payout (Illness & Accidents): $5,000
  • Deductible: $100, $250 or $500

Super Plan

  • Policy Term Payout (Illness & Accidents): $10,000
  • Deductible: $100, $250, $500 or $1,000

Champion Plan

  • Policy Term Payout (Illness & Accidents): $20,000
  • Deductible: $100, $250, $500 or $1,000

Wellness Coverage

They also have a wellness coverage package for routine stuff. This is included in all plans for a small monthly fee of $10. It certainly seems like a good investment in my opinion.

The Advanced Wellness plan starts at $25 per month and offers more comprehensive benefits, including dental cleanings and flea medications.

The Bottom Line About 24PetWatch

The reimbursement option and limits are a major downside. Therefore, I’m not a huge proponent of this pet insurance. Not to mention, they are more expensive than most.

10. AKC Pet Insurance

Finally, the last insurance option is AKC Pet Insurance. The American Kennel Club offers pet insurance only for dogs and cats. Their two main plans are the Companion Select and the Companion Plus plans.

The deductibles range from $100 to $1,000 monthly. The per-incident reimbursement limits range from $1,500 to $5,000 per incident. The annual reimbursement limits range from $3,000 to $16,000. And there is no percentage based reimbursement as other insurers.

Companion Select Plan

This is the accident coverage only plan. Some of the most common examples include lab tests, surgery, hospitalization, and euthanasia.

Companion Plus Plan

This plan includes everything the Companion Select plan does, as well as illnesses and cancer. Also, for an additional fee, you can add on an Inherited Plus plan.

Wellness Coverage

The Wellness Coverage plan is extensive. It covers routine exams, microchipping, deworming, fleas, and other issues.

There are two wellness options; the Defender and Defender Plus. Also, there are no wait periods for the Wellness coverage, which is a huge plus.

The Bottom Line About AKC Pet Insurance

This plan seems expensive compared with others. It has incident-level limits, annual maximums, and high deductibles, unlike most plans.

How to Choose Your Pet Insurance Company

A lot of pet insurers have come and gone over the years. Pick one that is stable, experienced and is cost-effective for your family.

Never buy a plan based solely on price, even if it seems like a good idea. Start by looking at these big factors:

Determine Your Budget

First of all, what are you willing to pay each month to protect your pet’s health? Rather than thinking of it as an expense, think of it as protecting your best friend.

Most plans range from $30 to $40 per month, which is roughly only one dollar per day. If you love your pet as I do, it’s a great investment.

Don’t let your budget keep you from getting the pet insurance you need. Check out these creative side hustles to start earning more money right now!

Compare Pet Insurance Plans

Make sure to check with a few different providers. The process only takes a few minutes for each provider. You’ll get an instant quote delivered to your email inbox.

Choose Your Reimbursement

Another big decision is figuring out if you want 70%, 80% or 90% reimbursement. This is probably one of the biggest factors in choosing.

Only you will know the best option based on your pet’s past medical history, age, and other factors. Factor this with your deductible to choose a plan that works for you and your pet.

Pet Insurance FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about pet insurance plans and companies.

How does pet insurance work?

Almost all of the plans on this list reimburse you for the cost of your veterinary bill. After you pay the initial cost, you’ll get an itemized receipt and submit it to the pet insurance company. Claims are processed differently for each company. I recommend finding a company that gets claims paid out sooner rather than later!

How does cat insurance work?

While most of the figures on the pet insurance websites mentioned dogs, it seems like almost all of the plans are the same for cats. It’s probably best to check with each provider and get a quick quote to compare them as well.

How much does pet insurance cost?

It’s not a hard figure as it depends on your pets age, breed, and any pre-existing conditions. As a result, I recommend getting free quotes from three to five companies and comparing them side by side.

Can I get puppy insurance?

While it seems like you should, most of these insurance providers don’t offer puppy insurance. Almost all puppies require more vet visits for shots, which means it isn’t a great idea for these providers to offer this service. Because of this, I recommend finding a low priced and reliable vet until you can get insurance.

Get Pet Insurance Now

If you don’t have pet insurance, I recommend getting some quotes from these providers.

Take action by visiting a few sites and find a plan that works for your budget and pet. The peace of mind you will have from pet insurance is a relief. I’d argue it’s equal to protecting your car or home. This seems like one of the easiest bills to pay each month.

I love my fur babies!

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