Best Pet Insurance Companies of 2021

The best pet insurance companies offer comprehensive coverage options at reasonable prices. Premiums will differ for each pet, depending on their age, breed and the insurance provider. It’s important to get multiple quotes to find the best price on the coverage you want.

In this article

    The best pet insurance companies of 2021

    CompanyAM BestAverage CostSimpleScore
    ASPCA Pet Health InsuranceA$40.734/5
    Blue Bridlen/an/a2.8/5
    EmbraceA+$38.164/5
    Figo Pet InsuranceA-$37.484.3/5
    Healthy PawsA+$43.193/5
    PetFirstA-$34.503.6/5
    NationwideA+$34.483.6/5
    Trupanionn/a$89.753.2/5
    PumpkinA$62.833.4/5
    PetPlanA+$83.513.6/5

    **Suggested accident and illness coverage pricing for three-year-old mixed breed dog in Denver

    ASPCA: Best for older animals

    You should ideally purchase insurance for your pet while they’re still young and before they can develop any lifelong pre-existing conditions. But not all pet owners think of insurance until later in their pet’s life, by which point the options are slim. The ASPCA offers plans for dogs, cats and horses of all ages with a variety of annual benefits and even preventive care coverage. There’s also no extended waiting period for joint conditions. The ASPCA makes it possible to insure an older pet without breaking the bank.

    Blue Bridle Equine Insurance: Best for horses

    Several pet insurers offer policies for horses, but none as robust as Blue Bridle. Four core plans are available that cover mortality, major medical treatment, accident and illness and even liability. There are also optional add-ons to choose from; for example, the mortality policy can be extended while traveling with your horse anywhere in the world. While you’re at it, check out coverage options for the farm equipment you use to care for your horse. As a dedicated equine insurer, Blue Bridle understands horse insurance needs, unlike traditional pet providers.

    Embrace: Best no-deductible option

    Deductibles start at $200 when you first sign up for pet insurance coverage with Embrace. But for every year that you go without filing an injury or illness claim, your deductible will automatically be reduced by $50 thanks to the company’s vanishing deductible program. You might be familiar with vanishing deductibles from auto or home insurance policies; they’re usually offered in the form of a rider that comes at an additional cost each month. Embrace, however, includes this perk with all pet policies for free. It can be frustrating to pay high deductibles when you already have to hand over a monthly premium, so we appreciate Embrace’s built-in vanishing deductible.

    Figo Pet Insurance: Best digital experience

    Since the pet insurance industry is fairly young, many providers have entered the market with advanced digital tools — but Figo takes the cake in overall digital experience. Figo was born out of a tech-forward startup hub where it developed a mobile pet insurance app called the Figo Pet Cloud. The app’s AI claims assistant, Evie, guides pet owners through the claim filing process in minutes; electronic reimbursements are usually made within three to five business days. The Figo Pet Cloud app also includes a 24/7 live veterinary helpline and sends convenient reminders to help you stay on top of your pet’s wellness. Some pet insurers take weeks to reimburse you for veterinary expenses, so Figo’s ultra-fast claim filing technology is nothing short of revolutionary.

    Healthy Paws: Best for low prices

    At first glance, it may appear that Healthy Paws has slightly higher premiums than other providers, but in fact, these prices are among the best value you’ll find for your pet. This is because every Healthy Paws policy has no annual limit. As long as care is needed for a covered injury or illness, the policy will keep paying claims indefinitely. Compare Healthy Paws to competitors and you’ll find that monthly premiums are in the same price range as policies with just $5,000 in annual benefits. Serious injuries and illnesses can easily exceed the annual limit of your pet policy. This is something you’ll never have to worry about with Healthy Paws.

    Nationwide: Best for exotic pets

    From coverage options to budget-friendly pricing, PetFirst is our pick for the best overall pet insurer. The company offers an accident and illness policy with extremely customizable terms and an optional wellness plan that covers preventive care treatments like vaccines and annual checkups. Coverage for injuries begins in less than 24 hours, which many competitors withhold until after a waiting period of anywhere from two to 15 days. Plus, filing claims takes just a few minutes through PetFirst’s convenient online portal. PetFirst has everything we look for in a pet insurer: coverage, convenience, and affordable prices.

    PetFirst: Best overall

    Getting pet insurance is a breeze if you have a dog or cat, but exotic pet owners may have a harder time finding coverage. Nationwide comes to the rescue with policies that cover most household pets: birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians and even some small farm animals. The only caveat is that online quotes aren’t available for exotic pets, so you’ll have to call Nationwide to ask for a personalized quote. Your child’s hamster may have only cost $5 at the pet store, but a tiny broken leg can run in the hundreds at the vet. Nationwide’s exotic pet policy will pick up the bill for just a few dollars per month.

    Trupanion: Best for unlimited lifetime coverage

    Don’t be turned off by Trupanion’s high sticker price. While coverage may seem pricier than competitors at first, the rate you pay when you enroll your pet will never increase due to their age or health. Other insurers may offer low rates at first, but once the pet begins to age, premiums quickly rise many times over. Trupanion is also one of very few carriers to pay veterinarians directly instead of forcing you to pay out of pocket and wait for reimbursement. You might pay more for Trupanion in the first couple of years, but coverage will never become unaffordable as your pet gets older.

    Pumpkin: Best for dental care

    Read through almost any pet insurance plan and you’ll usually see dental care listed as an exclusion. Not with Pumpkin. The company’s standard accident and illness policy includes coverage for the treatment of dental and gum disease, procedures that often require sedating your pet and can cost hundreds of dollars at the vet. This isn’t the only unique coverage that comes with the plan; behavioral problems, hereditary conditions, and prescription food are also eligible for reimbursement, all of which aren’t frequently covered by pet insurance. Dental disease can affect your dog’s health and happiness for the rest of their life, so it’s worth having a plan that covers treatment.

    Petplan: Best customization

    When you purchase pet insurance, you usually get to choose from a range of annual limits, reimbursement rates and deductibles — but some providers offer more options than others. Petplan gives you the ultimate control over your policy with seven annual limits from $2,500 to $25,000, 16 deductibles that start at $250 and go up to $1,000, and reimbursement rates of 70%, 80% or 90%. Use the provider’s instant online quote tool to make adjustments and find a premium that fits into your budget. PetPlan’s flexibility makes it possible for pet owners on any budget to find that sweet spot between coverage and affordability.

    Read: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Aid for Pets

    What does pet insurance cover?

    The coverage included with pet insurance depends on the type of policy you purchase. Standard accident and illness plans cover most injuries and illnesses with some exceptions. Pre-existing conditions and are always listed as exclusions, but some carriers may also limit coverage for other specific ailments. Preventive care isn’t included in standard coverage but can sometimes be purchased as a policy add-on.

    For pet owners who want something more basic, accident-only coverage is available from certain companies and is generally cheaper than an accident and illness plan. Accident-only policies cover injuries like broken bones and ingested foreign objects, but not illnesses.

    No matter which type of policy you choose, veterinary bills for covered treatments are reimbursed at a predetermined percentage up to your policy’s annual limit after you’ve paid your deductible. All three are selected when signing up for coverage.

    How pet insurance works

    When you purchase a pet policy, the insurance company will pay for your pet’s veterinary bills according to the policy terms. Most carriers will ask you to pay the bill in full and submit a claim for reimbursement. The company will evaluate the claim to make sure all administered treatments were for covered conditions and issue payment for the amount you’re owed.

    Pre-existing conditions

    Every pet insurer denies claims for pre-existing conditions. These are defined as any injury or illness that your pet incurred before the policy start date or during a waiting period, which is why it’s best to sign up for coverage early in your pet’s life. A common source of confusion is that conditions can be considered pre-existing as long as your pet simply showed symptoms, even if you don’t receive an official diagnosis until later on.

    Waiting periods

    Pet insurance policies always list defined waiting periods, which is the amount of time between the policy start date and the date on which coverage goes into effect. This is to prevent owners from waiting to purchase insurance until after their pet has developed a condition that needs treatment. Waiting periods are typically around two or three days for injuries and two weeks for illnesses. Orthopedic conditions tend to carry longer waiting periods, sometimes up to six months or a year.

    Wellness coverage

    While preventive care isn’t covered under standard pet insurance, many providers give owners the option to purchase a wellness plan alongside their policy. These plans cover preventive care services that might include wellness exams, vaccines, diagnostic testing, microchipping and more. Some wellness plans include a defined set of treatments every policy period while others simply pay for all preventive care up to an annual limit.

    Is pet insurance worth it?

    Having pet insurance can be a lifesaver if your pet develops a serious condition and needs medical care that you can’t afford. For example, if you purchased a plan with a $200 deductible and 80% reimbursement and your pet incurs a $1,200 emergency vet bill, you’ll only be responsible for $400 of the total amount. There’s no better way to make sure your pet will always have the care they need to live a long and healthy life.

    How much are pet insurance deductibles?

    Pet insurance deductibles depend on the insurance provider. Most companies let you choose from a range of deductibles upon enrollment; the lower the deductible, the more you’ll pay in monthly premiums. Deductibles can be as low as $0 or as high as $1,000, although a more common range is around $200 to $500. The good news is that deductibles are only paid once per year. If your pet develops a chronic condition and needs ongoing care, you won’t need to keep paying the deductible with each vet visit.

    How to choose the best pet insurance for you

    1. Set a budget. Calculate how much you can reasonably afford to pay in pet insurance premiums each month.
    2. Decide what type of coverage you need. Accident-only policies are cheaper but only cover injuries, while accident and illness plans cover both injuries and illnesses. If you want to include preventive care, you’ll need to find a provider that offers wellness plans.
    3. Gather quotes. Ask for pricing from multiple pet insurers to see what type of coverage they offer in your price range. Make sure to find out about any applicable discounts.
    4. Compare coverage. Choose a policy that meets your criteria and fits within your budget while offering favorable terms.

    FAQs

    Pet insurance costs depend on your pet’s age, breed and size as well as the terms you choose. The higher your annual limit and reimbursement rate and the lower your deductible, the more you’ll pay in monthly premiums.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t any pet insurance company that offers coverage for pre-existing conditions. Sign your pet up for insurance as early in life as possible to reduce the chance of a health condition developing before coverage begins. Most providers begin insuring pets as young as eight weeks.

    Although the majority of pet insurance plans are geared towards dogs and cats, there are options for just about any type of animal in your home. Horses, reptiles, birds and exotic pets can all get coverage from certain providers.

    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the pet insurance providers we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

    Reviewed by

    • Aylea Wilkins
      Aylea Wilkins
      Insurance Editor

      Aylea Wilkins is an editor specializing in insurance for The Simple Dollar. After getting a degree in European studies and editing from Brigham Young University, she worked as a writer and editor for a variety of small websites before transitioning to the insurance field.