If your pet got sick or needed emergency surgery, would you be able to cover the unexpected expense? It can be a scary question to think about when some procedures can cost several thousand dollars.

I love my dog like others love their children, but I had never thought about accidents or illnesses affecting her until a few years ago.

My co-worker told me about his dog being diagnosed with cancer at seven years old and all the treatments he was doing. I couldn’t believe he was able to afford to do chemo and other treatments as the costs were well over $10,000.

Luckily, he had pet insurance and he was able to give his dog several more pain-free years of life because of this. The chemo and other treatments ended up costing $17,000! But he was only responsible for 10% of the expenses thanks to his amazing pet insurance.

Think about it, everything else in your life is probably already insured. You pay for health insurance, life insurance, home insurance, and auto insurance. Why shouldn’t you do the same with your pet?

Pet insurance is a relatively new type of insurance but it can help you from making costly decisions in the future. Even though I’ve never had to use my coverage (knock on wood!) I’m happy to pay the small fee each month. With pet insurance, you never have to worry about choosing between treatment and your pet’s life. Start protecting your four-legged friends with one of these different insurance plans.

Here is a comprehensive review of the best pet insurance companies in 2018.

1. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation

In my previous story of my co-worker, his insurance was Healthy Paws. Their policies allow you to pay for 70, 80, or 90% of the total veterinary bill once you reach your annual deductible.

The higher the reimbursement level, the more you will pay each month. You can choose between a $100, $250, or $500 per month deductible. The best part about Health Paws pet insurance is that they have no incident or annual limit.

What is Covered?

Their plans are not preventive, so they do not include normal vaccinations, routine exams, heartworm prevention or normal check-ups. Unlike other insurers, they do not offer any type of Wellness plan as an add-on.

For any covered condition, Healthy Paws will cover:

  • Diagnostic tests (X-rays, blood)
  • Hospitalization and treatments while there
  • Surgeries
  • Prescription medications

With Healthy Paws pet insurance, you can also use any licensed vet and submit your qualified expenses online.

Are There Maximum Limits?

There is no maximum limit for the duration of your coverage. If there was $20,000 worth of expenses they would cover their 70, 80, or 90% percentage. A majority of the other pet insurance providers do have caps that will lower your monthly cost but reduce your protection.

This is one of the biggest benefits of Healthy Paws life insurance! 

Are Hereditary and Congenital Conditions Covered?

Any hereditary conditions are eligible for coverage as long as the symptoms occur after enrollment and waiting periods. These conditions could include things like bladder stones, epilepsy, heart disease, cleft palate, or limb deformities.

As a side note, some breeds are prone to hip dysplasia and are covered at no additional cost as long as your pet is under six years old and has no clinical signs or symptoms happen in the first 12 months of coverage.

What Is Not Covered?

  • Exam fees
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Dental care
  • Behavioral treatment
  • Specific pet diets
  • Daycare or boarding
  • Cremation or burial (euthanasia is covered when medically necessary)

The Bottom Line About Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

The company is well established and has been rated #1 for pet insurance in 2016 and 2017. The only downside is that preventative care or routine wellness program is not offered.

As I have this insurance with my dog, I was disappointed to hear that my coverage did increase on my second term despite not having any claims within my original 12-month period.

2. Progressive Pet Insurance

Yes, Flow from Progressive even has insurance for your pet’s medical expenses.

Progressive has two different plans for your cat or dog: Basic Pets Wellness Program and BestBenefit.

BestBenefit Accident and Illness Plans

This is the most comprehensive plan that covers anything related to accidents and illnesses.

These could range from small to large accidents or illnesses including chronic conditions like cancer. This plan also allows treatment for hereditary and congenital conditions. Accidents, hospitalization, surgeries, and after hour emergency visits also covered.

Accident Only Plan

The Accident Only Plan does not cover anything related to illnesses. Accidents could be events like:

  • Broken bones
  • Hit by car
  • Bite wounds
  • Lacerations

Wellness Routine Care Plans

Unlike Healthy Paws, Progressive does offer a wellness plan. This plan is relatively cheap but is limited to vaccinations, annual exams as well as flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives.

The Wellness Routine Care Plan can be added to the BestBenefit or the Accident Only Plan.

What’s Not Covered

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Preventive, elective, and cosmetic procedures
  • Food or prescription food
  • Boarding or grooming

Cost Options

Progressive Pet Insurance has three different plans based on the percentage you want to pay out of pocket. After your deductible is met you can choose from 70, 80, or 90% coverage.

The Bottom Line About Progressive Pet Insurance

It is very similar to Healthy Paws as it has all the same deductible and reimbursement options and no maximum limit. Additionally, it does also offer a wellness plan that you can add on to either plan.

3. USAA Pet Insurance (Issued by Embrace Pet Care)

USAA Pet Insurance has teamed up with Embrace Pet Insurance to make sure your dog or cat is protected at discount rates. If you have served in the military or have a parent who is a USAA member you qualify for USAA pet insurance.

The policy will cover accidents, illness, and routine veterinary care. There isn’t much specific information on the plans online. But, it does say they have a similar model to Healthy Paws and USAA Pet Insurance where you choose the deductible and reimbursement amounts.

Once you submit a claim you are reimbursed within 72 hours of submission.

The Bottom Line About USAA Pet Insurance

I could not give this a thorough review as you need a USAA account to log in and view eligible plans. As it is part of Embrace Pet Care, it seems like a great option for military members. 

4. ASPCA

ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is one of the oldest pet insurers. They offer several plans that allow you to select based on deductibles and a custom reimbursement percentage similar to Healthy Paws and Progressive.  

Complete Coverage

This plan offers everything when your pet is hurt or sick and includes costs of all treatments. This could be hereditary, illness, accidents, and even behavioral issues.

Within this plan, you choose between three deductibles ($500, $250, & $100) as well as reimbursement percentages (70, 80, and 90%). Also, there are different annual limits that will affect your program. They range from $5,000 to unlimited.

Accident Only Coverage

The Accident Only Coverage includes the exam fees, cost of diagnostics, and treatments that are related to accidents. Preventative care coverage is available as well for a small fee each month.

What’s Not Covered

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Breeding costs

The Bottom Line About ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

This is a good plan as they offer accident only and comprehensive insurance as well as a preventative care option. The downsides are that they have annual limits and will fund expenses related to behavioral issues.

5. Pet Health Insurance by Pets Best

Pets Best pet insurance has plans for dogs and cats that cover accidents, illnesses, surgeries, cancer, and other situations. They offer basic wellness plans for routine care and specialized plans for more comprehensive coverage.

As with other providers you choose a 70, 80 or 90% reimbursement and annual deductible from $100-$500.

Here is a breakdown of the different plans offered:

BestBenefit Accident and Illness Plans

This is their most comprehensive pet insurance coverage that pays for your actual vet bill for emergencies and illnesses. They offer several levels of coverage and can be customized to fit your budget.

This plan is very comprehensive and covers so many unique situations that other insurers do not.

Normal Situations Covered

  • Accidents (broken bones, lacerations, foreign object ingestion which might result in surgery)
  • Illnesses (Skin and ear infections, urinary tract infections, cancer, and diabetes)
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions (hip or elbow dysplasia, cherry eye, glaucoma)
  • Most prescription medications 
  • Euthanasia

Unique Situations Covered

  • No age limits (some plans end insurance at ten years old) 
  • You are covered when traveling in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico
  • Prosthetic devices and wheelchairs
  • Coverage even if your pet is not spayed or neutered
  • Behavioral conditions (including medication)
  • Physical rehab (hydrotherapy, cold laser and physical therapy)
  • Acupuncture and chiropractic treatments

Not Included

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Elective and preventive procedures
  • Testing, treatment, and prevention of parasites
  • Herbal or holistic therapies or medications
  • Special diet-related food or supplements

Accident Only Coverage

Pets Best also offers a flat-fee accident only plan for those on a budget. This coverage would include things like snake bites, accidental swallowing, or broken legs.

This plan does not cover medical issues such as cancer or disease. The accident only plan is $6 per month for cats and $9 per month for dogs — regardless of ages and breeds.

Routine Care

There are also two other plans that you can add on to either of the above plans for an additional fee. The routine coverage pays for regular visits, vaccinations, and teeth cleaning. There is no deductible to meet and coverage begins instantly.

The Bottom Line About Pets Best Pet Insurance

Almost no other plan includes behavioral treatment, physical rehab, acupuncture, and other alternative treatments. They also offer routine care that includes teeth cleaning. The one downside is the annual limits.

6. Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance also offers several plans for your dog and cat pet insurance needs. Every plan comes with “nose-to-tail” coverage to help personalize it to fit your budget and pet needs.

Like other plans, you choose the annual maximum payout, deductible, and reimbursement percentage. Each pet on the policy can have a different deductible, reimbursement rate, and maximum limit.

This is great if you have several pets that are different ages or a cat and dog plus you get a multi-pet discount.

Nose to Tail Accident & Illness Coverage

Like other pet insurers, there is no network and you can take your pet to the vet of your choice. You will need to print your personalized claim form before your appointment and have a staff member at the veterinary practice fill out the claim form where you can fax, email, or upload online.

Here’s what included:

  • Congenital conditions
  • Chronic conditions
  • Cancer treatments 
  • Exam fees
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Diagnostic testing
  • ER and specialist care
  • Hospitalization and surgery
  • Prosthetic limbs and devices including mobility aids
  • Dental Illnesses (up to $1,000 per year — only available in certain states)

Alternative therapies can also be added and optional coverage for take-home prescription medications. This is only available in certain states, please visit their website to make sure yours is included.

Wellness Rewards

The nose to tail coverage covers the bills when your pet is sick or injured but their Wellness Rewards is a flexible, preventative health care plan. This plan will reimburse for grooming, vet, and training needs.

This is very similar to a health savings account (HSA for humans) and will reward you will “free” money for being proactive with your pet’s well-being.

Here are some examples of reimbursable items:

  • Wellness exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Microchipping
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Training (obedience, specialty, behavioral)
  • Grooming (including toenail trimming and medicated shampoos)
  • Flea, tick and heartworm meds
  • Pet activity monitors
  • Massage therapy and acupuncture
  • Cremation or burial costs  

They have three options for the Wellness Rewards reimbursement. Annually you can choose $250, $450 or $650 per policy year.

The $650 option is best for puppies and kittens as their costs are more expensive at a younger age. You can also change your Wellness Rewards each policy year to meet your pet’fs needs.

You also have the option to pay monthly or annually for a discount but the Wellness Rewards is not available for standalone purchase. You must have the full, nose-to-tail coverage to qualify.

What’s Not Covered

  • Routine veterinary care
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • DNA testing or cloning
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Injury from fighting, racing, cruelty or neglect
  • Cosmetic procedures

They also offer a very helpful comparative tool that will allow you to compare their insurance vs. others pet insurers. The other pet insurers include 24PetWatch, AKC Pet Insurance, ASPCA Health Insurance, Banfield, Figo, Healthy Paws, Nationwide, PetFirst, Petplan, Pets Best, and Trupanion.

Unlike many pet insurers, Embrace also has a healthy pet deductible which will lower your annual plan $50 each year you don’t receive a claim reimbursement. This is included with every policy at no additional cost for you!

The Bottom Line About Embrace Pet Insurance

This plan is great because you can customize for your pet and budgets needs without sacrificing anything for your pet. With their comparative tool, healthy pet deductible, and Wellness Rewards this is your best pet insurance option.

7. American Modern

American Modern Pet Insurance is written by American Modern Home Insurance and has a variety of different plans for your dog or cat.

What Is Covered

With American Modern, you can design a plan based on your needs. This could include accidents, illnesses, breed-specific conditions, and alternative therapies or rehab. Optional coverage could include wellness and routine care, dental, medications and vet exam fees.

What Isn’t Covered

Any cosmetic, elective or preventative procedures are not covered by insurance. These could include tail docking, ear cropping, de-worming, and declawing.

Pregnancies and burial costs are also not covered. Lastly, pre-existing conditions are also not covered but you can still get coverage for other hereditary conditions.

Pet Insurance Discounts

American Modern Pet Insurance also offers discounts for:

  • Enrolling multiple pets
  • Choosing to pay annually vs. monthly
  • Getting your pet spayed or neutered
  • Being a full-time military member
  • Enrolling a service animal
  • Signing up with your company and employee discount

8. Pet Premium Pet Insurance

Pet Premium Pet Insurance is another plan that covers dogs and cats. They have two main plans for your pet insurance needs.

Accidents-Only Coverage Plan

  • Reimbursement Percentage: 70, 80 or 90%
  • Annual Limit: $2,500 to Unlimited
  • Annual Deductible: $100, $250 or $500  

This plan covers ongoing conditions, accidents, alternative therapies, and preventative care options for an additional fee.

Total Coverage Plan

  • Reimbursement Percentage: 70, 80 or 90%
  • Annual Limit: $2,500 to Unlimited
  • Annual Deductible: $100, $250 or $500

This plan has all of the accidents only plan as well as illness, hereditary or congenital conditions, and behavioral treatments. Preventative care is also available at a separate cost.

Preventative Care Options

Pet Premium has a great preventative care option with three different packages. In my research, I haven’t found any other provider with this comprehensive of a preventative plan.

  • Basic Plan ($9.95 per month) — $250 per year
  • Standard Plan ($14.95 per month) — $350 per year
  • Prime Plan ($24.95 per month) — $500 per year

Each plan is paid monthly and will dictate how much you are reimbursed per year. For example, the basic plan $9.95 per month or $119.40 annually. If you had $250 in care (i.e. Wellness exam, dental cleaning, vaccines) you are only responsible for the $119.40 and Pet Premium will cover the rest.

9. VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance)

Veterinary Pet Insurance is offered through Nationwide and has several plans that make it easy to choose insurance for your dog or cat. They also have separate insurance plans for exotic pets and birds.

One of the benefits of Nationwide is that your coverage remains the same every year. You are not penalized if your pet gets sick or hurt. How come auto or home insurance companies can’t be like this?

Here are Nationwide’s VPI pet insurance packages:

Whole Pet With Wellness (Percentage of Invoice)

This plan will cover a percentage of the overall treatment cost similar to Healthy Paws and other insurers mentioned. Unlike Healthy Paws, Nationwide does not limit your coverage to just uncommon things like surgery, accidents, hospitalization or treatment. This plan also includes:

  • Exam fees
  • Vaccinations
  • Surgeries or hospitalization
  • Chronic conditions
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Wellness (annual checkups, heartworm, flea, and other vaccinations)

Major Medical (Benefit Schedule)

With this plan, reimbursements are capped at a set amount for each condition regardless of the total cost. This plan offers everything as the Whole Pet With Wellness plan except the wellness package.

Pet Wellness

This is Nationwide’s most basic package but still includes wellness exams, tests, flea and heartworm prevention as well as normal vaccinations.

Costs

The cost of VPI can vary significantly depending on the plan and if you add on the routine wellness package.

The Bottom Line About VPI

This is another good option but be careful when choosing plans with caps and it was much more expensive than other providers.

10. 24PetWatch

24PetWatch has pet insurance and pet protection services for your four-legged friends. Their pet protection services also include microchipping and several membership options.

They have five main pet insurance plans for cats and dogs. Your pet must be aged between 8 weeks and can enroll under 10 years old.

You are responsible for 20% co-pay and they cover the other 80%. Unlike other plans, you can’t choose a 70% or 90% reimbursement option.

Here are the five plans available:

Essential Plan

  • Policy Term Payout (Illness & Accidents): $1,500
  • Deductible: $100

Extra Plan

  • Policy Term Payout (Illness & Accidents): $3,000
  • Deductible: $100 or $250

Classic Plan

  • Policy Term Payout (Illness & Accidents): $5,000
  • Deductible: $100, $250 or $500

Super Plan

  • Policy Term Payout (Illness & Accidents): $10,000
  • Deductible: $100, $250, $500 or $1,000

Champion Plan

  • Policy Term Payout (Illness & Accidents): $20,000
  • Deductible: $100, $250, $500 or $1,000

Wellness Coverage

They also have a wellness coverage that can be added to the extra, classic, super, and champion policies for a small monthly cost. The Routine Wellness plan starts at $10 per month and is good for exams and regular treatments.

The Advanced Wellness starts at $25 per month and offers more comprehensive benefits including dental cleanings and flea medications.

The Bottom Line About 24PetWatch

While they do have wellness plans, the 80% only reimbursement option and maximum limits are a downside. Plus, they are more expensive than the majority of other plans.

11. AKC Pet Insurance

The American Kennel Club offers pet insurance for only dogs and cats. Their two main plans are the Companion Select and the Companion Plus plans.

The deductibles range from $100 to $1,000 monthly. The incident-level ranges from $1,500 to $5,000 and the annual level from $3,000 to $16,000. There is no percentage based reimbursement as other insurers.

Companion Select Plan

This is the accident coverage only plan. Some of the most common examples of what is covered include:

  • Lab tests
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalizations
  • Prescribed medications
  • Extractions of permanent teeth
  • Euthanasia

Companion Plus Plan

This plan includes everything from the Companion Select as well as illnesses and cancer coverage. For an additional fee, you can also add on the Inherited Plus plan for congenital and inherited conditions such as diabetes and osteoarthritis.

Wellness Coverage

The Wellness Coverage plan will help with routine exams, microchip, deworming, flea or tick prevention, spay or neuter, and a variety of other common issues. They have two options; the Defender and Defender Plus. There are no wait periods for the Wellness coverage and the policy can be canceled at any time.

The Bottom Line About AKC Pet Insurance

This plan seems expensive compared to others and has incident levels, annual maximums, and high deductibles, unlike most plans.

Choose Your Pet Insurance Carefully

A lot of pet insurers have come and gone, make sure you pick one that has stability, experience, and cost-effective for your family. Don’t buy a cheap plan just because of the price if you barely get anything in return. When choosing pet insurance make sure you evaluate the following:

Determine Your Budget

What are you willing to pay each month? Most plans range from $30-$40 per month which is roughly only one dollar per day! If you love your pet like I do it is more than worth the cost even if you don’t use it knowing you are protected against accidents or illnesses. If you’re tight on funds or need to make some extra money check out these creative side hustles to start earning more money right now!

Compare Pet Insurance Plans

I recommend comparing at least 3-4 insurance providers before choosing your pet insurance plan. The process takes a few minutes for each one and will give you the quote instantly.

Choose Your Reimbursement

Do you want 70, 80 or 90% reimbursement? Only you will know what is best based on your pet’s past medical history, age, and other factors. Factor this with your deductible to choose a plan that works for you and your pet.

Get Pet Insurance Now

If you don’t have pet insurance get started now! Take action by visiting 3-4 sites and find a plan that works for your budget and pet.

The piece of mind you have will from pet insurance is as good, if not better, than what you get from your auto or home insurance. Don’t risk it. Sign up for a pet insurance plan today.

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