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Find the best exotic pet insurance

Compare costs, coverage and reviews

little girl holding chameleon at vets office

There’s no set definition of "exotic pet," but this term often refers to types of birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians or other wild animals brought into a person's home.

Whether you’ve already gotten an exotic pet or you’re just exploring the possibility, it’s smart to look into saving money on your vet bills. Pet insurance or a discount plan can help, but to find the right deal, you’ll need to compare the exotic pet insurance options on the market today.

Compare exotic pet insurance providers

When it comes to pet insurance, dog and cat owners definitely have more options. There aren't nearly as many insurance companies willing to work with exotic pets, and the providers that do cover these animals can feel less than trustworthy. Still, it’s worth seeing if the two providers we discuss below can help you save money while keeping your exotic pet healthy.

Our pick for traditional pet insuranceNationwide Pet Insurance
  • Covers accidents, illnesses, examinations, lab fees, prescriptions, X-rays and hospitalizations
  • Available for most birds and a wide range of exotic pets

The Avian & Exotic Pet Plan from Nationwide provides coverage for most types of birds and exotic animals, including iguanas, sugar gliders and potbellied pigs. Nationwide doesn’t publish costs for its Avian & Exotic Pet Plan online, but its dog and cat policies start at $34 per month.

Nationwide pet insurance covers up to 90% of the cost of eligible vet care for common illnesses and accidents. You’ll also get reimbursement for exams, imaging tests, lab work, hospitalization and even prescription medications. If you’d like help paying for preventive care, you can add that coverage to your policy for an extra charge.

“So far I do not have any major complaints. There are some items I wish they covered, like prescription food and teeth cleaning,” a reviewer in Missouri told us. However, another recent reviewer in New Jersey said that the policy doesn’t cover “common conditions rabbits get,” such as ear mites, and Nationwide Pet Insurance has a low overall satisfaction rating on our site at the time of publishing.

  • Pros
    • No age restrictions or maximum benefit
    • You can visit any veterinarian you want
    • Reimburses up to 90% of vet costs
  • Cons
    • No online quote tool for exotic pet insurance
    • Minimal info about exotic coverage on website
    • Must pay full price for treatment upfront
Our pick for a pet insurance alternativePet Assure
  • Provides discounts on all in-house medical services and procedures
  • Available for every animal you can legally have as a pet

Pet Assure does not actually offer pet insurance, but it can still save you up to 25% on veterinary care with its discount program. You pay a monthly or annual fee to join, and you can then show your ID card to any of the veterinarians in its network for an instant discount. Discounts are available for almost any type of pet, and they apply to the diagnosis and treatment of all injuries and medical conditions, including preexisting issues.

Plan pricing varies based on where you live, but you can check rates for your area on its website without providing any other information. We got quotes for Austin, Texas, to help you compare prices below:

  • A plan for a small animal (like a bird, rabbit or reptile) costs $9.95 per month or $79 per year.
  • A plan for a large animal (like a horse, llama or potbellied pig) costs $11.95 per month or $99 per year.
  • A plan for two to four animals of any size costs $16.95 per month or $149 per year.
  • A plan that covers every pet in your household costs $21.95 per month or $199 per year.

All prices are accurate at the time of publishing.

“Pet Assure is perfect for me and my kitty and bunny. It gives me exactly what I am looking for and what regular pet insurance does not cover,” a reviewerin Connecticut said. “With that said of course you cannot submit a claim because this is a discount card more than anything else. It comes in helpful if your insurance doesn't cover exams or the like.” Pet Assure doesn’t have many reviews on our site, but its overall satisfaction rating might leave something to be desired.

  • Pros
    • Discount applies to preexisting conditions
    • Comes with a 45-day guarantee
    • Thousands of vets in the network
  • Cons
    • Only offers a 25% discount on vet costs
    • Must go to in-network veterinarians
    • Larger pets can cost more

Quick and easy. Get matched with a Pet Insurance partner.

    What is exotic pet insurance?

    Exotic pet insurance is a policy that covers veterinary costs for a wide variety of injuries and medical conditions affecting exotic animals. Depending on your policy, you can get reimbursed for up to 100% of the cost of diagnosing and treating eligible conditions.

    As an alternative to an insurance policy, you can sign up for a discount plan. These plans usually provide up to 25% off your vet expenses. Unlike a traditional insurance policy, the discount program applies to preexisting conditions as well.

    Types of exotic pet insurance

    Most pet insurance policies only cover dogs or cats. However, with an exotic pet insurance plan, you can get coverage for any of a variety of animals, such as:

    • Amphibians
    • Reptiles
    • Mice
    • Rats
    • Hedgehogs
    • Sugar gliders
    • Guinea pigs
    • Rabbits
    • Chinchillas
    • Ferrets
    • Opossums
    • Mini goats
    • Potbellied pigs
    • Birds

    However, you generally cannot get coverage for all animals. Venomous creatures, endangered animals, hybrids and any species that requires a permit are often ineligible. You also cannot insure any exotic animals that are illegal to own.

    What does exotic pet insurance cover?

    An exotic pet insurance policy usually covers the cost of vet care for injuries and illnesses common to the species in question. You can get reimbursed for any exam fees, imaging, lab tests, prescription medications and hospitalization costs incurred as part of diagnosing and treating the condition.

    If you add preventive care coverage to your plan, you can also get reimbursed for routine care, like wellness checks and vaccines.

    In general, pet insurance covers the cost of major veterinary expenses. However, each pet insurance company has its own terms and conditions, so it’s important that you understand exactly what the plan covers before you sign up.

    Exotic animal insurance cost

    Exotic animal insurance costs vary depending on the animal you want to insure. Expect an extra charge if you want to add preventive care to your policy, too.

    If you go with a discount plan instead of insurance, expect to pay roughly $10 to $12 per month for each pet. Savings are often available for enrolling multiple pets or paying yearly.

    When should I purchase exotic pet insurance?

    Insurance for exotic animals works like regular pet insurance, but the costs are usually higher. To get the most value out of your exotic animal insurance, sign up right after purchasing your pet. Since you cannot predict when illnesses or injuries will occur, it can make sense to maintain coverage for the life of your animal.

    Bottom line: Is exotic pet insurance worth it?

    Choices for exotic pet insurance are limited, so it can be hard to find a policy that works with your priorities and budget. We suggest comparing costs and coverage options to find the best exotic pet insurance for your needs.

    With the right plan, you should be able to decrease your veterinary expenses throughout the life of your pet, especially if you sign up when they’re young. Just make sure to read all the fine print and check customer reviews —  many pet insurer complaints are about claims getting denied.

    For related info, read about how purchase protection laws can help protect pet owners.

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    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.