Best Pet Insurance

We compared 22 companies and chose the top pet insurance providers

  • Flexible coverage
    Lemonade Pet Insurance
    2.6(293)
  • No maximums
    Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation
    4.8(670)
  • Customer support
    Embrace Pet Insurance
    4.1(1,450)

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    If something were to happen to your pet, do you know how you would cover the bill? No one likes to imagine their furry friend getting ill or having an accidental injury, but it happens, and it can be costly. An emergency vet visit can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Pet insurance helps you pay for the pricey vet visit and ensures you can afford the care your pet needs.

    The best pet insurance plans are reasonably priced and highly rated by customers. They offer multiple coverage options and reimburse costs at licensed vets across the U.S. Here’s how the top companies measure up side by side.

    Our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us. This does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear.

    Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
    • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
    • 4,458,907 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

    Compare our top 5 choices for best pet insurance

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    More details about our top 5 companies

    Veterinary care can get expensive, especially for chronic conditions and accidental injuries. With a pet insurance plan, you can feel covered against unknown health issues and emergencies. Read more about our top choices.

    Best for flexible coverage
    Upper age limit
    Varies
    Deductible
    $100 - $500
    Reimbursement rates
    70% - 90%
    Annual limits
    $5,000 - $50,000

    Lemonade is our top pick for pet insurance because you can customize your dog or cat care plan to fit your needs and budget. There is a mobile app to help you manage your claims, but note that the waiting period for coverage may be longer than some other insurers (two days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses).

    Lemonde’s pet coverage is available in 37 states and Washington, D.C.

    Pet insurance customers are most concerned with a company’s claim process. For its claims servicing, 91% of ConsumerAffairs reviewers were happy or satisfied with how Lemonade handled claims.

    “The staff is caring and always asks about my dog and her well-being and make the claims process smooth,” said Purna from Virginia. “The claims process is also streamlined with the use of mobile app.”

    Plans start around $14 per month and increase based on your level of coverage and other factors. Make sure you review the company policies and plans for any exclusions, such as dental illnesses, preexisting conditions and prescription diets. The company does offer some riders and add-ons that may allow coverage for these.

    Some packages include live, 24/7 vet chats and coverage for genetic conditions. The preventive care package comes with dental care coverage. Bundle and save 10% on your pet insurance when you use Lemonade for other insurance needs.

    Best for no maximums
    Upper age limit
    >14 years
    Deductible
    $100 - $1,000
    Reimbursement rates
    50% - 80%
    Annual limits
    No limit

    Available in all 50 states, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation made our list because it does not have a maximum limit on per-incident, annual or lifetime claim payouts. As long as it is not a preexisting condition, Healthy Paws will cover hip dysplasia, cancer, hospitalization, surgery, chronic conditions, alternative treatments and more.

    Another reason we chose Healthy Paws is due to its commitment to customer service. The company has a reputation for handling claims quickly and efficiently, often within just a few days. This means you won't be left waiting for reimbursement when your pet needs treatment.

    Many of our reviewers have been able to save a lot of money with Healthy Paws due to the no limit on per-incident and annual claims. Kelli from Georgia had to rush her cat to the emergency room due to breathing trouble related to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    “Since then he has had to be hospitalized 5 times while we work to figure out what is causing it and get his medications right. He is finally beginning to get better. We would not have been able to afford the treatment he is getting if it were not for Healthy Paws,” she said. “Submitting a claim is simple and processing the claim is quick. Payment is also issued quickly.”

    Plan prices vary depending on your state but range from around $9 to $25 for cats and $14 to $37 for dogs per month when you select the lowest reimbursement tier and highest deductible. Since you can choose a plan with as low as a 50% reimbursement rate and up to $1,000 deductible (depending on your state), monthly prices can be cheaper than other companies, but you might also pay more out of pocket when there is an emergency.

    Healthy Paws offers a 30-day money-back guarantee in all states except New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

    Best for customer support
    Upper age limit
    15 years for full coverage
    Deductible
    $200 - $1000
    Reimbursement rates
    70% - 90%
    Annual limits
    $5,000 - $30,000

    Embrace Pet Insurance offers “nose-to-tail” coverage for vet emergencies for cats and dogs. You can add on wellness coverage, but it costs more and only covers up to $650 in claims each year. If you don’t make a claim during the year, you will be rewarded with a $50 deductible discount going forward.

    For those with questions, concerns or other customer service needs, Embrace offers long phone hours (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST) as well as email support. Customers can access an online portal for assistance, and the founder of the company has even made his email address available to customers as well.

    Haley from Georgia appreciated that she did not have to worry about the vet bills when her service dog had an emergency. “I’ve been so grateful for the consistently incredibly fast customer service and claim turnaround with Embrace,” she said. “My service dog is the love of my life, I would do anything for her — and having the peace of mind knowing that if an emergency happens, like it did last week, we have a financial safety net.”

    Another customer in Kansas estimates that Embrace has reimbursed about 90% of their claims. “Anytime I have a question regarding my pet insurance, I get to talk to a real person who is genuine about my concerns,” they said.

    Plans average $15 to $20 per month for cats and $30 to $40 per month for dogs. This company is a good fit for large dog breeds because it covers surgeries that veterinarians often recommend for big breeds, such as gastropexy. Embrace reserves its full accident and illness coverage for dogs and cats under 15 years old, but its accident-only policy could be a good option for older dogs.

    As with other providers, take the time to review plan exclusions, claims processing times and waiting periods for injuries and illnesses.

    It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, as well as discounts for military individuals.

    Best for older pets
    Upper age limit
    None
    Deductible
    $100 - $500
    Reimbursement rates
    70% - 90%
    Annual limits
    $3,000 - $10,000

    ASPCA is a good choice for older pets because there is no maximum age limit for coverage. The Complete Coverage plan covers several expenses associated with senior pets, including tooth extractions, end-of-life care, surgery and cancer treatments.

    We also like that with ASPCA, if your pet has a preexisting condition but hasn’t received treatment or shown symptoms for 180 days or more, ASPCA no longer considers it a condition (excluding knee and ligament issues).

    Many ConsumerAffairs reviewers appreciated ASPCA’s claim service and shared the sentiment that processing a claim was quick and easy. One New York customer had no issues getting reimbursed $800 for their dog’s tooth extraction, writing, “Never took longer than two weeks to get paid the 80% reimbursement for my dog's vet bills so I’m very happy with this pet insurance.”

    If you own a horse, dog or cat, you can get coverage with ASPCA. Plans start at $20 per month, and you can visit any vet within the U.S. or Canada. There is an annual limit of $10,000 on care for your pets. Additionally, supplements and vitamins are not covered.

    Best for easy claims process

    Spot Pet Insurance

    Upper age limit
    None
    Deductible
    $100 - $1,000
    Reimbursement rates
    70% - 90%
    Annual limits
    $2,500 - unlimited

    Spot Pet Insurance offers accident and illness coverage for dogs and cats as young as 8 weeks old and comes with a 14-day waiting period for coverage. If you do need to file a claim, you can do so up to 270 days from the date of treatment. There is no need for paper filing; you can quickly file claims and upload your invoice through the member portal. If Spot needs more information, it contacts your vet directly.

    Although it has exclusions for things like preexisting conditions, Spot provides coverage for end-of-life, alternative therapy and behavioral-related health issues, like fur pulling, which some competitor plans do not cover.

    Customers felt like they could rely on Spot to approve their claims without delay. One customer in Florida got a plan for their five-year-old Pomeranian. When a specialist recommended surgery for a colon tumor, Spot covered most of the expenses.

    Amy from Maryland had no issues with Spot either, even when switching insurances. She says, “My 5 yr old dog's insurance was transferred from the original company to Spot Pet Ins, a few months ago. He was in the process of undergoing/recovering from major back surgery for a herniated disc. Spot Pet Ins has been easy to work with and the claims have been processed easily and quickly.”

    You can get customizable coverage, with plans starting at $10 per month for cats and $16 per month for dogs. You have the option to add on a preventive care package starting at $9.99. This extra package includes coverage for dental cleanings, wellness exams and deworming. Additionally, there are no per-incident limits or lifetime caps, and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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      What is pet insurance?

      Pet insurance provides peace of mind for pet owners by helping to manage unexpected veterinary costs. It is a policy that reimburses you for covered veterinary expenses. Depending on the provider, plans can include coverage for accidents, illnesses and wellness care. Like other types of insurance, pet insurance plans typically have annual deductibles, reimbursement rates and benefit caps.

      “The best way to ensure that your pet is adequately covered is to purchase a comprehensive pet health insurance plan when the animal is young and healthy,” said Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, the veterinarian director at the website Senior Tail Waggers. “Pet health insurance does not cover preexisting conditions and may not be helpful in cases where the pet already has medical issues.”

      » MORE: Pet insurance statistics

      What does pet insurance cover?

      Depending on the level of coverage you select, plans can cover accidents, illnesses and chronic conditions. Coverage varies from plan to plan, but here are some things that are typically included:

      • Infections
      • Ear illnesses
      • Eye illnesses
      • Bone fractures or breaks
      • Fleaborne illnesses
      • Foreign body ingestion
      • Lacerations
      • Insect bites

      Most plans are designed to cover unexpected accidents and illnesses for dogs and cats. If you have an exotic pet, such as a guinea pig or a bird, you can look at companies that provide exotic pet insurance.

      » MORE: How many people have pet insurance?

      What does pet insurance not cover?

      Here are some common things not covered:

      • Preexisting conditions
      • Examination fees
      • Preventive care
      • Cosmetic procedures
      • Issues from owner negligence
      • Breeding costs

      Exclusions vary by policy and provider. Basic plans don’t usually cover routine illnesses; they cover only accidents. Comprehensive plans cover illnesses and developed conditions, but usually not routine care.

      » MORE: Millennials prefer pets to children

      Pros and cons of pet insurance

      Pet insurance can offer protection for your beloved furry companions, but like any financial decision, it is not the right choice for everyone.

      Pros

      • Peace of mind: Pet insurance provides a safety net for unexpected veterinary expenses and accidents.
      • Flexible plans: Many pet insurance providers offer a range of plans with varying coverage levels and options that fit any budget.
      • Possible discounts: Some plans offer discounts for more than one pet or military families.
      • Predictable costs: Instead of facing unpredictable and potentially high veterinary bills, you'll have a better idea of your out-of-pocket costs with insurance.
      • Routine care coverage: Some policies include coverage for routine wellness care, vaccinations and preventive treatments and medicines.

      Cons

      • Exclusions: Many policies have exclusions for preexisting conditions or specific hereditary issues.
      • Waiting period: There might be waiting periods before certain conditions are covered, leaving your pet temporarily unprotected.
      • Coverage limits: Some policies have maximum benefit limits per year, per condition or over the pet's lifetime.
      • Claim process: Filing and waiting for reimbursement can be cumbersome, requiring you to pay upfront and then wait for the insurance company to process your claim.
      • Not all costs covered: Some treatments, alternative therapies, preexisting conditions and certain procedures might be excluded.

      » MORE: 78% of pet owners would consider going into “pet debt”

      How to choose pet insurance

      “When looking at different pet health insurance policies, it is imperative to research what each plan covers, premiums, exclusions, limits and reimbursement policies,” said Dr. Whittenburg. “The process for filing claims and reimbursement should also be clear so that there are no surprises or issues.”

      You need a pet insurance company that will cover your unique pet care needs. These steps will help you discover the best pet insurance for you.

      1. Research plan options: Think about the type of coverage that your pet will need the most. If you’re most worried about paying for expensive wellness care each year, be sure to find plans that cover that.
      2. Consider pet eligibility requirements: You can usually get a policy for your dog or cat as long as they are at least 6 to 8 weeks old. However, some pet insurers have age restrictions, breed exclusions and exam requirements before your pet is eligible for coverage.
      3. Look for discount opportunities: Many companies offer discounts for multiple pets or pet parents who are military members. In some states, you can combine discount opportunities to get up to 25% off your monthly bill.
      4. Ask about the network or provider list: Some pet insurance companies may restrict where you can take your pet for care. If you live in an area with limited options, make sure your plan lets you visit any licensed veterinarian.
      5. Understand specific coverages and exclusions: Read through your policy carefully. You don’t want to go to the vet thinking you’re covered for an expensive bill only to find out you’re on your own.

      If you have an older pet with preexisting conditions, pet insurance might not be the best option for you. Consider starting a pet emergency fund by putting money in a high-yield online savings account you can access in the event of an illness or emergency.

      Pet insurance alternatives

      Not all pets will qualify for pet insurance, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ready in case something happens. If you can’t get pet insurance or are looking for a better option for your budget, try these alternatives to protect your finances.

      • Pawp Emergency Fund: Pawp is a monthly subscription that offers a 24/7 veterinary telehealth service. The monthly prices vary on your animal and needs, but its $19 per-month add-on, Pawp Emergency Fund, allows you to claim $3,000 per year toward an emergency.
      • Pet Assure: Anyone can sign up for Pet Assure, regardless of their pet’s age or existing condition. It isn’t pet insurance but rather a flat 25% discount (that cannot be combined with other discounts). Not all veterinarians have heard of Pet Assure or use it, so do your research before signing up.
      • Create your own emergency fund: You don’t need a special plan to create your own emergency savings fund. If you set aside $25 per week, you will have saved $1,300 in a year — plus interest — if you stash your cash in a high-yield savings account.

      FAQ

      Can I have more than one pet insurance policy?

      Yes, several pet insurance companies will allow you to add multiple pets on one plan and even offer a discount for doing so.

      Can I get coverage for my older pet?

      Many pet insurance providers offer coverage for older pets. However, you might have to pay a higher premium. Some companies do set age limits and restrictions. If there is an age limit, it’s usually between 9 and 15 years.

      How much does pet insurance cost?

      On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $50 per month for a good pet insurance plan. How much you pay varies depending on factors including your location, what type of pet you have, your pet's age and what type of coverage you choose. Accident-only plans are typically cheaper, and any available discounts can lessen the cost. Coverage that includes preventive care typically costs more.

      Is pet insurance worth it?

      Buying pet insurance can be worth it if you're concerned about paying for expensive, nonroutine medical care when your pet is ill or injured. If you’re a first-time pet owner, you might appreciate knowing that you can take your animal to the vet after an accident or illness without paying 100% of the bill out of pocket.

      Methodology

      To choose our top pet insurance providers, we analyzed the 18 most popular pet insurance companies on our site. To ensure we gave a complete picture of the diverse experiences people have with pet insurance, we eliminated any company with less than 50 reviews over the past three years. Additionally, we chose the top five companies with a star rating of 3.5 or higher.

      The ConsumerAffairs Research Team then analyzed recent reviews from verified customers to make recommendations. For example, Spot is our pick for an easy claims process because of the high density of certain recurring phrases (e.g., “easy file claims,” “claims very helpful”) in verified 5-star reviews on our site over the last year.

      Not sure how to choose?

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