7 Best Pet Insurance Plans 2021 • List • Benzinga

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Want to jump straight to the answer? The best pet insurance provider for most people is definitely Lemonade Pet Insurance.

If you have pets, you know how much your furry friends mean to you — they’re members of your family, and they deserve to be protected like one. Purchasing a pet insurance plan can help you pay for any emergency care needs your pet runs into. With so many plans available on the market, we’ve compared some of the largest pet insurance providers to help you choose coverage. 

What is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is a type of protection that you can purchase to help protect you against the high costs that can come with veterinary bills. Though a relatively new concept, there are many insurance startups that are now offering pet insurance plans. Most policies limit coverage to dogs and cats, but select insurance providers do offer coverage for exotic pets (like reptiles and parrots).

Pet insurance does not work in the same way as health insurance, despite the fact that you’ll use it for your pet’s medical emergencies. Instead, you’ll first take your pet to the veterinarian, receive treatment and pay for the treatment at your point of service. After you’ve received and covered the cost of treatment, your veterinarian will provide you with an itemized bill that you’ll submit to your pet insurance provider. Your insurance provider will look at your policy and refund you the amount owed, usually in the form of a direct deposit or a check in the mail.

Like other types of insurance policies, pet insurance plans come with a deductible that you must meet before your insurance begins to cover the costs of treatment you receive. Most insurance providers also include a per-incident copay that is due every time you use your coverage. The amount of money that you’re refunded with your plan will vary depending on your policy’s reimbursement percentage. Average reimbursement percentages for pet insurance plans range from 50% of your bill to 100% of your bill, less your deductible and copay. 

What Should Pet Insurance Traditionally Cover?

Though pet insurance policies vary from provider to provider, most plans include coverage for: 

  • Traumatic accidents
  • Illnesses
  • Chronic conditions
  • Prescription medications
  • Hospitalization and surgery expenses
  • Cancer

Select plans also include wellness coverage, which extends your insurance to include coverage for things like annual checkups and preventative flea and tick treatments. 

What Does Pet Insurance Traditionally not Cover?

Some things that are likely to be excluded on your pet insurance policy include: 

  • Dental care
  • Elective surgeries (like declawing)
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Congenital defects
  • Expenses associated with breeding and pregnancy

Now that you understand the basics of how pet insurance works and what’s covered, let’s take a look at a few options you have for insuring your pets.

Starting Rate

Depends on plan & pet

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

1. Lemonade Pet Insurance

Lemonade offers customizable pet insurance plans 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
  • Available in all 50 states
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Covers routine visits and emergency care
Cons
  • Too many plan restrictions

2. Nationwide

Formerly known as VPI, Nationwide is one of the largest providers of pet insurance in the country. For dogs and cats, Nationwide offers 3 policy options.

  • Major Medical: Nationwide’s Major Medical plan offers you a balance of affordability and coverage. Some examples of covered illnesses and injuries on this plan include surgeries and hospitalizations for traumatic injuries or chronic conditions, exams and X-rays, prescriptions and some hereditary conditions.
  • Whole Pet: If you’re looking for the most comprehensive pet insurance plan, consider Nationwide’s Whole Pet plan. The Whole Pet plan includes coverage for everything on the Major Medical plan, plus additional coverage for illnesses and injuries with a capped benefit maximum on the Major Medical plan.

For example, while the Major Medical plan only offers partial coverage for elbow dysplasia and no coverage for separation anxiety, the Whole Pet plan includes full coverage for both of these conditions. There is also no waiting period for hereditary conditions on the Whole Pet plan. The drawback of this plan is that it’s significantly more expensive than Major Medical coverage — we were quoted a monthly rate of $63 to $103 for a 3-year-old golden retriever depending on our reimbursement level.

  • Pet Wellness: If you’re looking for an insurance plan to help you cover regular, recurring veterinary needs, Nationwide’s Pet Wellness plan might be right for you. This plan includes coverage for routine care needs that aren’t covered on other plans, including annual physicals and parasite prevention treatments.

The Major Medical plan comes with a per-condition benefit limit that controls how much money you’ll get from your insurance depending on the type of condition, regardless of actual treatment cost. These limits vary by condition, so be sure to review limits and compare them to common conditions that your breed of pet suffers from. Whole Pet plans include a percentage reimbursement varying between 50% and 90%.

Pros
  • Available in all states
  • Covers diagnostic testing
  • Easy claims process
Cons
  • More expensive than most other providers
  • No mobile app

3. Trupanion

Trupanion is one of the only pet insurance providers that pays your veterinarian directly instead of requiring policyholders to file and submit a claim after they’ve received treatment. This can be a major benefit for pet owners who don’t have enough money in their emergency savings to cover the cost of a major veterinary bill upfront while they wait for reimbursement.

Unlike Nationwide, Trupanion offers a single dog insurance policy and a single cat insurance policy. Both policies include coverage for:

  • Illnesses and injuries
  • Breed-specific conditions
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Surgeries
  • Hospital stays
  • Medications
  • Veterinary supplements
  • Prosthetic devices and carts

You can also choose to add optional coverage for breeding expenses, boarding costs, final expenses, rehabilitative therapies and more for an additional monthly fee. All Trupanion insurance options include 90% reimbursement for covered claims. Policies include a 5-day waiting period for injuries and a 30-day waiting period for illnesses.  

Trupanion’s insurance coverage is more expensive than Nationwide’s. We received a quote of $183 a month for a 3-year-old golden retriever on a $0 deductible plan and a $60.48 a month price point for a $700 deductible plan. 

Starting Rate

$15 for cats, $30 for dogs per month

Best For

Training and Grooming

Pros
  • Has a deductible feature included in the Embrace Plan at no additional cost
  • Covers dogs and cats
  • Coverage for exams
  • Rewards program
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • Comprehensive plans only for animals at the ages of 1 to 14
  • Plans don’t cover preexisting conditions of pets
  • No unlimited claims options

4. Embrace

Embrace offers a unique pet insurance plan for both dogs and cats. Embrace’s Accident and Illness plan for dogs includes coverage for the following:

  • Illnesses and traumatic injuries
  • Hospitalization and surgery
  • Emergency and specialty care
  • Breed-specific and hereditary conditions in purebred pets
  • Congenital conditions
  • Chronic conditions
  • Cancer treatment
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Prescription drugs
  • Select alternative therapies and rehabilitation

Insurance policies for cats include the following coverages:

  • Exams and consultation fees
  • Cancer treatments
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Emergency room and specialist care
  • Surgery and hospitalization
  • Alternative therapies and rehabilitation
  • Dental illness up to $1,000 per year
  • Prescription medications

In addition, you can choose to add wellness coverage to either insurance plan that includes coverage for routine care needs. Coverages vary for dogs and cats, and include things like teeth cleaning and annual wellness checkups.

Embrace offers a number of ways that you can customize your policy to balance care needs and cost. You can choose your own deductible between $200 and $1,000 — choosing a larger deductible allows you to pay a lower monthly premium. You can also select between 70%, 80% and 90% reimbursements. Finally, you can select an annual maximum between $5,000 and $30,000. We received a quote of $43.31 a month for a 3-year-old golden retriever with a $10,000 annual maximum, a $500 deductible and 80% reimbursement. 

Starting Rate

Averages $20/month

Best For

Online Vet Visits

Pros
  • Wide range of coverages
  • Coverage for dental illnesses and cancer treatments
  • Online claims submission services
Cons
  • Only available for dogs and cats
  • No coverage for pre-existing conditions

5. Petplan

Petplan offers a single pet insurance policy for cats and dogs. Both plans include coverage for:

  • Accidental injuries and illnesses
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Veterinary exam fees
  • Prescription medications
  • Imaging and ultrasound tests
  • Cancer treatments
  • Nonroutine dental treatments
  • Surgery and rehabilitation
  • Holistic therapies
  • Referrals to specialists recommended by your primary care veterinarian

Petplan is also one of the only pet insurance providers we’ve seen to offer $1,000 in coverage for COVID-19-related illness (for example, if you must be hospitalized and need to board your pet).

With Petplan, you can choose between a $500, $300 and $250 deductible and a reimbursement percentage of 70%, 80% and 90%. You can select an annual benefit cap of $5,000, $15,000 or unlimited. We received a quote of $61.87 per month for a 3-year-old golden retriever with a $15,000 annual benefit limit, a $300 deductible and 80% reimbursement. 

6. Wagmo 

Wagmo offers both an illness and injury plan and a wellness plan. The illness and injury plan includes coverage for:

  • Prescription medications (50% reimbursement, no matter plan details)
  • Emergency visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Surgeries
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • CT scans
  • Laboratory tests
  • Cancer treatment
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions
  • Prosthetics and orthopedics
  • Hip dysplasia
  • End of life care (euthanasia)
  • Pet ambulance

Wagmo also offers 3 unique wellness plans with varying levels of care. The company’s most popular plan, the Classic Plan, includes an annual coverage limit of $650 and covers things like vaccinations, 1 fecal test a year and 1 wellness visit each year. This plan also includes a $100 benefit for flea, tick and heartworm treatment as well as a $100 allowance for grooming.

Wagmo allows you to select a reimbursement percentage of 90% or 100% and a deductible of $1,000, $500 and $250. All plans include an annual limit of $20,000, a $10,000 per-incident limit and a $100,000 lifetime maximum. We received a quote of $53.98 for a 3-year-old golden retriever for an injury and illness plan with 90% reimbursements and a $500 annual deductible. 

7. Pawp

Pawp is not a pet insurance plan provider. However, it can offer an affordable alternative for pet parents whose pets consistently have small health needs or for new pet owners who are still navigating treatments and illnesses. For $19 a month, you’ll receive access to digital vet visits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This can help you determine which problems require a visit to the vet and which can be handled more affordably at home. Your Pawp membership also includes access to a once-annual emergency fund of up to $3,000 if your pet finds itself in a life or death situation that requires immediate medical attention. 

Benzinga’s Best Pet Insurance Carriers

If you’re exploring pet insurance options for your four-legged friend, consider a few of our favorite plan providers below.

Searching for Pet Coverage

Though pet insurance can be expensive, there are plenty of options available to you. We recommend getting a quote from multiple pet insurance providers before you choose which plan is right for you. Most pet insurance providers allow you to get a quote online in as little as 2 minutes, making it easier than ever before to know all of your options.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What pet insurance do vets recommend?

1

What pet insurance do vets recommend?

asked

Sarah Horvath

1

Your vet may provide you with a pet insurance policy recommendation if they know your pet or have experience with a particular insurance provider. However, most veterinarians recommend a plan that includes coverage for accidents and illnesses and that easily fits within your budget.

Answer Link

answered

Benzinga

What does pet insurance actually cover?

1

What does pet insurance actually cover?

asked

Sarah Horvath

1

Pet insurance usually covers emergency care, surgical needs, hospitalization, treatments for injuries and illnesses and prescription medications. Select plans also include coverage for routine care.

Answer Link

answered

Benzinga

1

asked

Sarah Horvath

SPOT works hard to earn your trust with a clear explanation of benefits and responsive associates ready to answer your questions. SPOT even sends “get well” notes for your pets and provides access to telehealth resources.


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