The Best Pet Insurance Companies of February 2022

The Best Pet Insurance Companies of February 2022

The most expensive part of bringing a pet into your home is the unexpected vet bills.

There are a lot of pet owners out there who can save money by purchasing a policy for their pets.

Aside from food, toys, treats, and grooming, pet insurance is a worthwhile investment in the event of a medical emergency, particularly a serious illness or injury.

Chronic illness treatment is expensive, and pet health insurance can help you afford better care for your pet and avoid the heartbreaking decision of having to put your pet down because you can’t afford a $5,000 procedure.

It’s a gamble, as is the case with all forms of insurance. If your pet is in good health, regular veterinary care will cost less than the monthly premiums you pay for pet insurance.

If your best friend is dealt a bad hand, it is comforting to know that you have insurance to cover the costs.

If you’re still unsure if pet insurance is worth the cost, we’ve gone into great detail on how to determine whether or not it’s worth it.

The Best Pet Insurance Companies

Which pet insurance plan provides the best combination of coverage, flexibility, benefits, and positive customer reviews? ‘ Starting with our top pick, we’ve compiled a list of the six best pet insurance companies in 2022.

1. Trupanion

What we love about Trupanion:

  • One-time deductible: Trupanion’s biggest differentiator is its one-time per-condition deductible. If your dog develops diabetes at a young age, once you’ve paid off your deductible, you’ll only pay coinsurance for the rest of his life for that issue.
  • Flexibility: Speaking of deductibles and coinsurance, Trupanion offers flexible deductibles ($0 to $1,000) and a single reimbursement option: 90%.
  • Coverage: The range of what is covered is wide. It includes the basics like accidents, illnesses, medications, hereditary conditions and surgeries, but it also covers supplements and even prosthetic devices. Large-breed issues like hip dysplasia are also covered.
  • Quick (or immediate) payouts: Trupanion is the only pet insurance provider that offers direct vet payments. That means, at the vet or hospital, Trupanion’s software can quickly review the bill and determine what portion it will cover. Unlike with other pet insurance policies, you won’t have to pay out of pocket. Most vets and animal hospitals are set up to accept this process, but if your specific vet is not, Trupanion is still one of the fastest pet insurance providers when it comes to claim reimbursement. Claims are paid out quickly (80% within seven days).
  • Annual premium increases: Trupanion’s annual premium increases are small compared to competitors.
  • Consumer reviews: Finally, Trupanion holds a 9.8 out of 10 on Pet Insurance Review.

What we don’t love about Trupanion:

  • Price: Trupanion isn’t the most expensive insurance option, but it is in the higher tier. However, you can potentially save a lot of money with its per-condition deductible.
  • Designed for younger pets: The per-condition deductible is designed for puppies and kittens. Older dogs and cats won’t benefit as much from a lifetime deductible.
  • Mobile app: When we reviewed Trupanion in 2019, we lamented that it did not have a mobile app. Trupanion has gotten with the times and now offers an app. However, it has lukewarm ratings from actual customers (3.7 stars on the App Store and 3.6 on Google Play). These are, however, based on fewer than 100 reviews at the time of publication.
  • Waiting period: Trupanion has a 30-day waiting period before coverage for illnesses kicks in. (It’s just five days for injuries.)
  • Examination fees not covered: Because Trupanion is meant for emergencies, it does not cover exam fees, which are typically billed when you bring your dog or cat in for accident or illness care. This may surprise some customers, who assume all costs related to accident and illness are covered.

2. Lemonade

What we love about Lemonade:

  • Price: Lemonade is one of the most affordable dog insurance and cat insurance options. Policies start at just $10 a month. While these are basic plans and additional customization could add to the monthly premium, we still find Lemonade to be among the most affordable options even when you opt in to more comprehensive coverage. Plus, Lemonade offers 5% multi-pet discounts, as well as a 5% annual discount and 10% bundle discount.
  • Mobile app: Lemonade is among the most technologically advanced insurance providers on our list. It uses AI to review and approve claims in seconds, and its mobile app carries amazing scores on the App Store and Google Play.
  • Customization: Lemonade is truly customizable. The base plan includes accident and illness coverage for just $10, but you can add on preventative wellness packages that cover things like blood tests, vaccinations, annual exams and even flea or heartworm meds. You can also opt for more comprehensive illness packages.
  • Charitable giving: To operate as a business, Lemonade claims a portion of your monthly premium, but most of it is donated to a charity of your choice. In 2021, Lemonade donated over $2.3 million to nonprofits and $365,000 to animal rights organizations.
  • Quick payouts: Lemonade promises quick payouts; 30% of claims are paid in a matter of seconds.
  • Waiting period: Lemonade has one of the shortest waiting periods for new cats and dogs — just two days for accidents and 14 days for illnesses. Preventative benefits kick in immediately.

What we don’t love about Lemonade:

  • Customization: That’s right — customization can also be a confusing thing. If you’re new to pet insurance policies and aren’t quite sure what you’re doing, you may do better with a company that has one simple policy that gives you just a few options, like deductible and copay. Lemonade may be overwhelming for first-time pet owners seeking insurance.
  • Limited availability: Lemonade is only available in 36 states.
  • Experience: Lemonade is the youngest pet insurance provider on the list. While this isn’t inherently bad, some might prefer to go with a company that has been in the business longer.

3. Healthy Paws

What we love about Healthy Paws:

  • Consumer reviews: Healthy Paws has fantastic customer service and a high score on Pet Insurance Review: a 9.7 out of 10. Based on reviews on petinsurancequotes.com, Healthy Paws has been the number one rated pet health insurance company for more than a decade.
  • Flexibility: Deductibles and reimbursement percentages are flexible; you can choose 70%, 80% or 90% for reimbursements after you’ve hit your deductible, which you can set at $100, $250 or $500.
  • Coverage: Coverage is comprehensive. All the basics are covered, but the plan also includes alternative treatment methods like hydrotherapy, acupuncture and chiropractic services. There are no per-incident, annual or lifetime caps on coverage for accident and illness.
  • Quick payouts: Claims are paid out lightning fast: 99% of Healthy Paws claims are reimbursed within just two business days.

What we don’t love about Healthy Paws:

  • Price: Like Trupanion, Healthy Paws can be on the more expensive side. Monthly premiums for dogs start at more than $30, and premiums for cats are almost $20; these are likely to be much higher if you pick the top benefits and depending on the age and size of your pet.
  • Hip dysplasia: Treatment for hip dysplasia can only be covered if you enroll while your pet is 6 or under. HealthyPaws also has a 12-month waiting period for hip dysplasia coverage on large breeds.
  • Mobile app: While building profiles for individual pets and submitting claims online is super easy with the Healthy Paws platform, its mobile app leaves a lot to be desired and has low scores on both the App Store (2.0 stars) and Google Play (2.5 stars).
  • Examination fees not covered: Because Healthy Paws is meant for emergencies, it does not cover exam fees, which are typically billed when you bring your dog or cat in for accident or illness care. This may surprise some customers, who assume all costs related to accident and illness are covered.
  • Waiting period: Healthy Paws has a moderate waiting period for illness and injury coverage to kick in: 15 days. Competitors are much faster, especially for injuries.

4. Embrace Pet Insurance

What we love about Embrace:

  • Consumer reviews: Embrace fetched a 9.3 rating on Pet Insurance Review.
  • Coverage: Embrace’s accident and illness coverage is extensive. It covers all illnesses and injuries and related expenses, including breed-specific and hereditary conditions, hospitalization and surgery, behavioral therapy, prescription drugs, cancer treatment, rehabilitation and more. It even includes the exam fee for accident and illness visits. You can spring for the optional Wellness Rewards plan as well.
  • Flexibility: With Embrace, you can choose an annual reimbursement limit ($5,000 to $30,000), annual deductible ($200 to $1,000) and reimbursement percentage (70%, 80% or 90%).
  • Price: Compared to our top two options, Embrace is pretty affordable. If you’re looking for a moderate cost plan with great benefits, this just may be it. You can also get a 10% multi-pet discount.
  • Mobile app: The Embrace mobile app is easy to use and has top ratings on the App Store (4.8 stars) and Google Play (also 4.8 stars) at the time of publication.
  • Waiting periods: The 48-hour waiting period for accidents is nice, as is the 14 days for illnesses. The orthopedic waiting period on dog insurance, however, is six months.

What we don’t love about Embrace:

  • Fine print: Don’t get us wrong — Embrace has great coverage. But just a little digging reveals that, for example, the all-inclusive injury and illness coverage, even with a max cap of $30,000 a year, only allows up to $1,000 for dental issues. When at first glance the coverage seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Payouts: If you go with direct deposit, you can get your reimbursement in two days. That’s not bad, but other companies at similar price points are paying out faster (i.e., immediately). Embrace offers top-tier coverage, but slow processes hold it back.
  • Annual limits: We prefer plans with unlimited coverage; while the $30,000 annual limit is affordable and you’re not likely to ever reach that, it would still be nice for an unlimited option.

5. Figo

What we love about Figo:

  • Technology: Figo is one of the younger pet insurance providers on this list, but its association with Google’s Tech Hub Network means advanced technology (paperless claims process through online portal and mobile app) as part of the claims process. This technology also includes the Pet Cloud for easy records access, lost pet finder with geolocation, vaccine reminders and more.
  • Unlimited benefits: You can choose unlimited annual benefits, but for a cheaper premium, you can also opt for $5,000 or $10,000 of coverage. While those will cover most medical expenses in a year, they might not cover full cancer treatment. If you are using your pet’s health insurance as a just-in-case option for big things like cancer, we recommend unlimited benefits. Another plus: There are no lifetime maximums.
  • Flexibility: Deductibles and reimbursement are flexible. Choose from $100 to $750 for your annual deductible, and select 70%, 80%, 90% or even 100% for claims reimbursement.
  • Coverage: In addition to typical coverage, Figo covers exam fees related to illnesses and accidents for an added fee (called a Powerup). Other Powerups include wellness coverage and the Extra Care Pack. There are no exclusions for hip dysplasia.
  • Waiting period: The waiting period for the policy to kick in is generally short, though it does vary by state.
  • Live vet access: Figo customers get 24/7 access to licensed veterinarians, whom they can contact for questions during emergencies.

What we don’t love about Figo:

  • Too new: The company is young, so we still need some time to determine how reliable it is. For instance, a few years back, Twitter users raged when premiums grew by 50% year over year.
  • Price: Speaking of premiums, they tend to be high for Figo.
  • Waning features: Figo used to offer more features for a set price; these are now no longer offered or have been baked into the Powerups.

6. MetLife Pet Insurance (formerly known as PetFirst)

What we love about MetLife:

  • Waiting period: MetLife has one of the shortest waiting periods in the industry. Accident coverage kicks in at midnight EST (less than 24 hours after enacting the policy); illness coverage does, however, take 14 days. A unique coverage offered by MetLife Pet Insurance is for periodontal disease. Here’s why taking care of your pet’s teeth is important.
  • Coverage: Policy limits range from $2,000 to $10,000 per year, but even with cancer, it is unlikely you will reach the higher end. Chronic issues, like cancer and hip dysplasia, are covered for a lifetime, as long as you are under your annual maximum.
  • Flexibility: Deductibles and reimbursements are flexible. Choose from $50 to $500 for your annual deductible and 70%, 80% or 90% for claims reimbursement.
  • Price: Though premiums are higher now under the MetLife umbrella than when the company was known as PetFirst, they’re still lower than competitors like Healthy Pets and Trupanion. The cheapest plans ($2,000 annual limit) are not helpful in true emergencies, however, which quickly surpass $2,000.

What we don’t love about MetLife:

  • Consumer reviews: MetLife Pet Insurance scores lower with consumers than others on our list.
  • Slow payouts: Claims can take longer to be paid out; approximately 80% are paid out within 10 days. Compared to others on our list, this is an unreasonably long payout. You can receive the reimbursement by check or direct deposit.
  • Low annual limits: That MetLife Pet Insurance even offers a $2,000 annual limit is frustrating. That is not likely to help those who truly need insurance in true emergencies. There’s not a lot of value there for someone who may struggle to pay the monthly premium as it is.

Honorable Mentions

While these didn’t make our top picks, we tip our hat to other leading insurance providers:

  • Nationwide Pet Insurance: Best pet insurance for birds and lizards
  • ASPCA Pet Health Insurance: Best for multi-pet discounts
  • Pet Assure: Best for pet owners on a budget

How to Choose a Pet Insurance Plan

With so many options on the market today, deciding on pet insurance can be a daunting task.

With ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, I’ve previously insured multiple dogs (and was very pleased), and now my two dogs are covered by Healthy Paws (still satisfied).

As part of my research, I consulted a number of pet insurance review websites and received multiple quotes.

To get the best price for your pet’s insurance policy, compare multiple options that offer the coverage, flexibility, and other benefits your pet needs.

Make a comparison of these to find the cheapest option that meets your requirements.

What are the most important things to look for in a pet insurance provider? In terms of coverage, here are some of the best:

Coverage

What does the best pet insurance cover? Choose only from plans that offer comprehensive coverage, and find an insurer that covers specific conditions that are common in your pet’s breed. A good, comprehensive insurance plan should meet all the requirements listed below:

  • Find a plan that broadly covers accidents and illnesses. This includes injuries like a fractured leg and illnesses like bronchitis.
  • Find pet insurance coverage that includes chronic conditions (like diabetes or hypothyroidism), congenital conditions (birth defects) and hereditary conditions (genetic disorders).
  • Because the true value of insurance lies in its capacity to make expensive treatments for life-threatening illnesses affordable, find a policy that covers cancer treatment.
  • The best pet insurance companies will also cover lab tests and blood work; surgery; prescription medications; X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and other imaging services; and even rehabilitation, like after a broken leg.
  • Animal hospitals tend to be more expensive than a regular veterinary office (much like an emergency room compared to the doctor’s office). Only consider pet insurance plans that cover emergency visits.
  • Look for plans with high maximum annual limits or, preferably, no annual limits.

If you have an elderly dog or cat who has already developed serious issues, you may want to decline pet insurance.

Unfortunately, the older cats and dogs get, the less sense it makes to purchase insurance for them, as costs will be too high and you will likely not see a positive return on investment.

A Note on Pre-Existing Conditions

Preexisting conditions are not covered by any pet insurance policies at this time. The sooner you insure your pet, the better off you will be.

In the first few days after bringing home a rescued puppy or kitten, make insurance for your new pet a top priority.

It’s best to stick with your current insurance policy if your pet has developed a number of health issues. Changing pet insurance policies will be more difficult if the new policy considers these conditions to be preexisting conditions.

Coverage You May Be Able to Skip

Is there a particular area of coverage that isn’t worth it? Medical care is covered. Dental cleanings, vaccinations, and regular checkups are typically included in wellness plans.

For an additional monthly fee, many policies allow you to add wellness coverage to your policy. As an alternative, save the $20 or so a month you would have spent on insurance and use it to pay for your annual wellness visits.

Deductibles

There are a wide range of flexible deductible options available in the best pet insurance plans. Plan premiums are lower for those with higher deductibles, just as they are for human health insurance.

To set itself apart from the pack’s other plans, Trupanion only requires you to pay the deductible once during the course of your dog’s lifetime. This means that if your dog has a chronic issue, you will only have to pay it once before receiving coverage.

For dogs with known health issues, such as hypothyroidism, which necessitates frequent blood tests and medication, this would be an ideal solution.

In contrast, if you have a pet with a wide range of unrelated health issues, this plan would not be ideal because you would have to meet a deductible for each of them.

Deductibles on some insurance plans are predetermined. It’s nice to have a choice, even if it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is amiss.

To save on monthly premiums, choose the highest deductible you’re comfortable paying. In the event that your dogs require urgent surgery or cancer treatment, you can fall back on their insurance as a “just-in-case” safety net.

A $500 vet bill every now and then isn’t a big deal if you can afford it, but you can rest easy knowing you’ll have help if disaster strikes and your vet bills soar far beyond your budget.

Benefits

It’s just like deductibles: the best pet insurance providers will allow you to choose the reimbursement option that best suits your needs.

After you’ve met your deductible, your insurance company will reimburse you for the rest of your expenses. The remainder of the premium, referred to as “coinsurance,” is still your financial responsibility.

Premiums drop as the reimbursement amount decreases. The most well-known companies in the pet insurance market typically provide options for reimbursement ranging from 70% to 100%. (though the cost of the latter can be exorbitant). We only considered companies that reimbursed at least 70% of the cost of a pet’s care.

Suppose you have a $500 deductible, $300 of which has already been met. It also comes with a 70% refund. You take your dog to the vet for a stomach ailment that costs you $400 in testing and treatment. To cover your deductible, you’ll have to pay $200.

Your insurance will pay $140 (70 percent) of the remaining $200, leaving you with a $60 bill. Because your deductible has been met, any future illnesses or injuries should also be covered at 70%.

Premiums

How much does pet insurance cost, then? With so many variables at play, it’s impossible to tell which insurance company is offering the best price for your pet’s coverage. Because of their higher risk of injury and illness, dogs’ insurance premiums can range anywhere from 50 to 60 percent higher than those of cats.

Cat and dog accidents and illnesses Pet health insurance costs $50 per month and $28 per month, respectively.

The deductible and reimbursement amounts you choose will have an impact on your premiums, as will the type of coverage you choose.

The average premiums for the top-rated pet insurance policies have been examined, and this has influenced our selection of the best pet insurance providers.

Multi-pet discounts are available from some pet insurers, like ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.

Consumer Reviews

You should always be wary of insurance company customer reviews, but they can be extremely useful. Consumer Affairs and other similar websites let you browse hundreds of reviews of policies, while Pet Insurance Review’s website rates companies on a scale of 1 to 10, based on customer ratings.

Plans for Lizards, Birds and More

Finally, think about what kind of animal you’d like to get insurance for. Pet insurance policies for birds, lizards, and rodents are only available through Nationwide, whereas most companies only cover dogs and cats.

Nationwide may not be the best insurer overall, but it excels when it comes to offering coverage for a wide variety of animals.

One Alternative to Pet Health Insurance

Starting a savings account for pet emergencies and depositing the equivalent of a monthly premium into it may ease the financial burden of pet insurance.

You’ll be able to rely on that money in the event of an emergency, but you’ll also have accrued interest on it.

Having a pet for a short period of time means that you may not have enough money saved up to cover the costs if she develops a serious illness or is injured.

There are several options for pet parents who don’t have pet health insurance and need to pay for emergency veterinary care.

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