Pets are family. With the amount of care and love we have for our pets, some may take the extra step and invest in their health and safety. To make optimal pet care affordable, most owners need health insurance for their dog or cat. But reviewing and comparing coverage plans is quite the project. To assist owners with their research, Study Finds consulted expert websites to find the best pet insurance.
A recent study shows the majority of millennials (58%) and Generation Z (70%) prefers “fur babies” over actual babies. And seven out of ten pet owners even prioritize their pet’s well-being over their own! For bigger medical issues, 60 percent of millennials are “very” or “extremely” confident in their ability to afford life-saving treatment for their pets. For those who can’t, one in four said they would sell their car if it meant saving their furry friend. Opting to purchase pet insurance might be the way to go to ease the worries about our fuzzy family members.
Having a pet is a big time and money commitment in itself. Vet costs, especially unexpected ones, can quickly add up, and one-third of pet parents end up exceeding their budget by at least $500 whenever they take their pet to the vet. But despite the high medical costs, many pet owners know very little about the options they have to insure their pets and manage the financial expense of caring for an aging companion.
This may be less surprising if you consider that most Americans know little about health insurance in general: more than half state they are “completely lost.” Only 15% claimed to understand health insurance. Safe to say it’s a complex topic.
To avoid you feeling lost, StudyFinds reviewed expert opinions on ten related websites and put together a list with the top five best pet insurance companies. Do you have a company to add to the list? Please let us know in the comments.
The List: Best Pet Insurance Companies, According To Experts
Most experts recommended Embrace Pet Insurance. Forbes rates it five out of five stars and named it best for “superior benefits” like unlimited annual coverage and a “‘diminishing deductible’ that reduces the deductible by $50 for every year you don’t have a claim paid.”
For Forbes, “Embrace’s pet insurance plan earned the highest score for coverage benefits among the plans we evaluated. This plan covers vet exam fees and access to a 24/7 pet health line.”
NerdWallet also gives Embrace five stars and points out that “big-name insurers Allstate, Geico, and USAA use Embrace as their go-to pet insurance provider.” Further, “the standard Embrace plan reimburses up to 90% of your vet expenses for a wide variety of conditions and treatments. You can easily customize the plan to include a deductible, reimbursement amount, and annual limit you feel comfortable with.”
According to Betterpet, Embrace is the best option for older pets as it “accepts dogs age 15 and older for new policies, unlike other providers with age limits.” The insurer also “offers high coverage for dental illnesses and injuries, which is rare to find in pet insurance.” To boot, Betterpet mentions glowing customer service reviews for the company.
Also frequently recommended, Figo reimburses “up to 100% […] on covered procedures,” per Betterpet. The insurer accommodates frequent travelers: “There’s no network needed throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Customers can reach customer service reps 24/7 via live chat, text, email, Twitter, or phone call.”
In addition to a potential 100% reimbursement, Figo “also offers unlimited annual benefits and a range of useful add-ons to make your plan truly comprehensive, such as liability coverage for damages or injuries your pet causes”, says MarketWatch.
Money lists “no upper age enrollment limit” and “free 24/7 vet helpline” as further benefits. Along with the attractive option of no copayment, “Figo doesn’t enforce annual limits, either,” Money writes. However, “the company does apply a lifetime maximum – that is, how much it will reimburse over the lifetime of your pet.”
Reviewers like Spot for potentially unlimited coverage and being highly customizable. “Spot gives you lots of ways to adjust your benefits levels so that you can fit pet insurance into your budget,” writes Forbes, pointing out that this insurance “is the same plan offered by ASPCA but with different choices for annual limits and deductibles.”
BestMoney notes that multi-pet households can save with Spot: “If you have multiple pets, Spot Pet Insurance offers a 10% discount for every additional pet for which you buy coverage.” Interestingly, this insurer also “covers alternative therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic care, and rehabilitative therapy, plus some dental and behavioral treatments,” adds The Dog People.
As for unlimited coverage, “Spot readily allows you to maximize coverage of your pet. It’s among a relatively few companies that provide policies with a full (100%) coverage option, meaning you are not responsible for any co-payment of bills,” mentions Money. Of course, this benefit comes at the price of a higher premium!
Yes, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers pet insurance! If you have trouble finding someone to insure your pet, ASPCA is coming to the rescue: “Many pet insurance companies exclude pets with hereditary and congenital conditions or have age requirements for dogs to qualify. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plans have coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions and cover dogs regardless of health conditions,” says The Ascent.
The Ascent also adds that claim processing is slow (up to 30 days), but coverage is extensive and even horses can be insured. For cats and dogs, “policies […] include accident and illness coverage, as well as coverage for hereditary and congenital issues, behavioral issues, and alternative therapies (something not all pet insurance companies will cover),” plus coverage for prescription medications and microchipping.
Good to know: “While some other pet insurers limit older animals to accident-only coverage, ASPCA’s accident and illness plan is available to all cats and dogs with no maximum age. ASPCA also offers a similar plan for horses that includes illnesses, accidents, and colic, or abdominal pain,” according to NerdWallet. ASPCA also offers a multi-pet discount.
Another frequently mentioned pet insurer among experts is Trupanion. According to U.S. News, the insurer’s “noteworthy features include no limits on coverage and a per-incident deductible.”
U.S. News also mentions, “Trupanion’s medical pet insurance plan covers congenital and breed-specific conditions when symptoms were not present before the coverage began or during the policy’s waiting period. With no coverage limits, pet owners don’t have to worry about hitting a limit for covered conditions.”
According to Betterpet, Trupanion is the best insurance for pets with chronic conditions. “This includes coverage for hip dysplasia and other hereditary conditions like diabetes, thyroid disease, upper respiratory infections, and more.” Another notable benefit is that the insurer “pays your vet directly, so there’s no waiting for claims to be reimbursed.”
Honorary mention: Lemonade
Lemonade pet insurance is a great option for pets on a budget. U.S. News refers to Lemonade as “the least expensive company on average in our rating.” According to MarketWatch, Lemonade further “offers a $100,000 optional annual coverage limit, which is higher than many competitors.” And Betterpet says it’s the most user-friendly pet insurer. Unfortunately, coverage is not available in 15 states, which is why this insurer didn’t make the list.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.