The Best Pet Insurance Companies 2020

Sarah Badani

Whether you’re traveling abroad or just want to keep them safe and sound at home, your pets rely on you for their health and well-being. This is why pet insurance is so important. From saving you thousands of dollars on vet bills to saving your best friend’s life, the best pet insurance can be a godsend at the right time.

Wondering what pet insurance covers, who it’s for, and how much it costs? Check out our complete guide to this important product to find out exactly how pet insurance works and where to turn to when your dog, cat, bird, turtle, hamster, or other fluffy friend needs help. You can also use this handy chart to compare pet insurance carriers at a glance.

Dogs and cats
Dogs and cats
Dogs and cats
Dogs and cats
Dogs and cats
Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, reptiles, exotic pets
Dogs and cats
Dogs and cats
Dogs and cats
All pets, dogs, cats, birds, monkeys, llamas
Generally between 3 days and 6 months
14 days
14 days
2-14 days
15 days, can be waived
14 days
14 days
Next day-14 days
Next day-14 days
No waiting, can be used immediately
Choose from $50, $100, $200, $250, $500, $1000
70%-90%
Annual
Annual, choose between $200-$1000
Annual or incident
Annual, $250
Choice of $100, $250, and $500
Choice of deductibles ranging from $50-$500
Choice of $0-$1000
No deductibles needed
Choose between 70%, 80%, or 90%
$100-$500
Choice of 70%, 80%, or 90%
Choice of 70%, 80%, or 90%
Choice of 70%, 80%, or 90%
90% or the agreed-upon amount
Choice from 70%, 80%, 90%
Choice of 70%, 80%, or 90%
Choice of 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%, direct deposit
No reimbursements needed
Comprehensive coverage or tailored plans
Customizing your pet’s plan
Pets who may have health issues
Diminishing deductible feature
Flexible payment and plan terms
Flat rate coverage for most incidents
Those who don’t want to pay extra for coverage
Pet owners who want to choose coverage options
Easy online claims and flex terms
Exotic pet owners

The Best Pet Insurance Companies

  • 1

    Pets Best

    Lifetime protection for all your furry friends
    Pets Best
    • Pets CoveredDogs and cats
    • Waiting periodGenerally between 3 days and 6 months
    • DeductibleChoose from $50, $100, $200, $250, $500, $1000

    A member of NAPHIA, PetsBest, is one of the best pet insurance carriers around. It offers comprehensive coverage with all of its plans, including accidents, illnesses, and diagnoses. You'll even get coverage for more advanced things, like cancer treatments, emergency care, hospitalization, and ongoing conditions. PetsBest also offers travel insurance, so you can keep your coverage even while you're away. And you can also include routine care into any plan.

    What’s more, PetsBest understands that your pet is loved regardless of their health status or age. That’s why this carrier covers older pets, hereditary conditions, and even behavioral conditions. Plus, you can see any vet you want.

    Pros
    • Unlimited and lifetime plans available
    • One deductible annually
    • 24/7 pet helpline
    Cons
    • Some waiting periods can be very long
    • No alternative medicine coverage
    Read Pets Best Review
  • 2

    Spot Pet Insurance

    Customizable meet you and your pet’s unique n...
    Spot Pet Insurance
    • Pets CoveredDogs and cats
    • Waiting period14 days
    • Deductible70%-90%

    One of Spot’s major highlights is its flexibility. Its customizable insurance plans provide pet owners, or “pet parents,” as the site calls them, to pick and choose the benefits that best meet their pet’s needs and their own budgets. This is a somewhat rare feature and allows you more control over the amount you spend and the coverage you choose to receive.

    Aside from that, Spot offers competitive rates and reimbursement models. The waiting period is on the longer end of the spectrum, but Spot is underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company, a firm that’s been around for nearly 200 years and has proven itself to be responsive and dependable.

    Spot has enlisted Cesar Millan, a well-respected dog behaviorist, to join its ranks to provide customers with a wealth of free advice and pet-care tips, another feature that many of its members find attractive and helpful.

    Pros
    • Customizable insurance plans
    • Dependable, time-tested customer service
    • Supplemental advice from dog behaviorist Cesar Millan
    Cons
    • Only offers plans for dogs and cats
    • 14 day waiting period
    Read Spot Pet Insurance Review
  • 3
    The most trusted name in animal care today
    ASPCA
    • Pets CoveredDogs and cats
    • Waiting period14 days
    • DeductibleAnnual

    ASPCA is a well-known organization among pet owners. A nationally-acclaimed advocate for all animals, the ASPCA is an obvious choice for best pet insurance provider. It offers a Complete Coverage plan that covers just about anything man’s best friend will ever need, including accidents and illnesses. The ASPCA offers high annual limits, fast reimbursements, and up to 90% coverage on many common procedures.

    You can easily submit claims with the ASPCA handy smartphone app. The app also has other great features, like finding a vet fast, setting up direct deposit, and paying your bill digitally. And as you would expect, ASPCA has a website that’s loaded with useful information and tools for pet owners. The ASPCA partners with a huge nation-wide network of professional veterinarians, so you’re never far away from someone who can help.

    Pros
    • Complete Coverage plan
    • Behavioral and alternative therapies coverage
    • No age limits for illness coverage and all pets eligible
    Cons
    • Breeding costs not covered
    • Only covers dogs and cats
    Read ASPCA Review
  • 4

    EMBRACE

    Get the full coverage your pet deserves for less
    EMBRACE
    • Pets CoveredDogs and cats
    • Waiting period2-14 days
    • DeductibleAnnual, choose between $200-$1000

    Embrace is another good choice if you’re looking for pet insurance. It offers up to 90% back on all covered items, lets you use any vet you want, and provides flexible wellness plans for every type of situation. Embrace also has plans covering the spectrum from kittens and puppies to senior pets for complete lifetime coverage.

    What’s more, Embrace does its best to make things as affordable as possible for pet owners. For one thing, you’ll get reimbursements for preventative care, grooming, and training with no limits. And Embrace has a diminishing deductible feature that makes the cost of pet insurance even more affordable. You’ll get $50 off your annual deductible each year that you don’t make a claim. This is a recurring feature, so it can significantly reduce your insurance costs.

    Pros
    • Diminishing deductible feature
    • Exam fees covered
    • Wellness Rewards program
    Cons
    • Age limited to 14 years for illness coverage
    • No unlimited plans
    Read EMBRACE Review
  • 5

    PetPlan

    Comprehensive pet insurance for everyone
    PetPlan
    • Pets CoveredDogs and cats
    • Waiting period15 days, can be waived
    • DeductibleAnnual or incident

    PetPlan is a comprehensive pet insurance carrier that offers a pretty wide range of coverage, including behavioral therapy and diagnostic testing. It also covers some less frequently covered treatments such as holistic medicine and alternative therapies, like acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic treatments, and homeopathic therapy.

    PetPlan also offers flexible plan options. You can choose your deductible and even the type of deductible. So, you decide whether you pay per condition or annually and how much you are going to pay for each visit. Speaking of flexibility, PetPlan allows pet owners to stick with the vet of their choice as long as they’re licensed in the US or Canada.

    Pros
    • Use any licensed vet within the US or Canada
    • No age limit on illness coverage
    • Behavioral and alternative therapies included
    Cons
    • No preventative care coverage
    • Prescription food is excluded from coverage
    Read PetPlan Review
  • 6

    Nationwide

    Pet insurance for any pet, anywhere, any time
    Nationwide
    • Pets CoveredDogs, cats, birds, rabbits, reptiles, exotic pets
    • Waiting period14 days
    • DeductibleAnnual, $250

    Nationwide is a pet insurance provider that is really trying to make it easy for pet owners to get the coverage their pets (and their wallets) need. It offers a comprehensive plan that covers the basics, like accidents and illnesses, but it also covers exams, wellness, and ongoing diseases that are often not included in coverage.

    Coverage also includes prescriptions and dental surgeries. Plus, Nationwide offers pet owners a tremendous service via its vet helpline. This is a hotline that is manned by professional veterinarians and can be accessed 24/7. Call them up for any pet health questions, urgent care issues, or more.

    Pros
    • All domestic and exotic pets included
    • 24/7 vet helpline
    • Wide coverage in base plan
    Cons
    • Smaller multiple pet discount than most
    • Low age limit for illness coverage
    Read Nationwide Review
  • 7

    Prudent Pet

    All the add-ons you need for complete coverage
    Prudent Pet
    • Pets CoveredDogs and cats
    • Waiting period14 days
    • DeductibleChoice of $100, $250, and $500

    Prudent Pet is making it easier for pet owners to care for their pets properly. To begin with, you don’t have to go to a specific vet. You can stick with the one you are already using and are familiar with as long as they are a licensed veterinarian in the United States or Canada. This includes specialists and emergency care facilities.

    Second, Prudent Pet gives you the ability to pick your plan, so you're not paying for things that don't interest you. Choose from accident and illness or accident-only plans, and then include either prime or basic preventive add-ons. Basic preventative includes things like dental cleanings, wellness exams, and deworming. Meanwhile, the prime preventative care plan has options like heartworm prevention and blood tests.

    Pros
    • Direct deposit or check
    • Unlimited plan
    • Flexible add-ons so you pay for what you want
    Cons
    • Preventative care doesn’t come included
    • Cosmetic procedures not included
    Read Prudent Pet Review
  • 8

    PetFirst

    Convenient à la carte pet insurance plans
    PetFirst
    • Pets CoveredDogs and cats
    • Waiting periodNext day-14 days
    • DeductibleChoice of deductibles ranging from $50-$500

    PetFirst lets pet owners shop à la carte for their pet insurance plans. There's the base plan, and then you can add to it the coverage you want, like preventative care, behavioral issues, and prescription food. PetFirst's basic plan covers a lot, including exams fees, diagnoses, x-rays, and hospitalization. The basic plan also covers things like alternative medicine and dental coverage.

    PetFirst coverage extends across the United States, so you can travel with your pet freely across the country. And to make things a little more affordable, PetFirst offers a wellness discount for every year your dog or cat remains claim-free. There’s also a multiple pet discount and an annual bill pay discount. What’s more, PetFirst lets you enroll any dog or cat that is 8 weeks or older. No discrimination against older pets.

    Pros
    • No upper age limit
    • Lots of optional add-ons for plans
    • Discount for multiple pets
    Cons
    • Per incident deductible
    • Prescription food is capped at $250 annually
    Read PetFirst Review
  • 9

    PetPlacePetInsurance.com

    Affordable pet insurance and easy claims
    PetPlacePetInsurance.com
    • Pets CoveredDogs and cats
    • Waiting periodNext day-14 days
    • DeductibleChoice of $0-$1000

    PetPlace is the new kid on the block, but it comes with an impressive backing. It’s underwritten by the Independence American Insurance Company, an A.M. Best A- rating insurer. Beyond that, PetPlace has a solid offering for owners of dogs and cats of every age and range.

    PetPlace also excels when it comes to giving you options. You’ll get to choose between a whole slew of plans from accident and illness to routine care, accident-only, and vaccinations. There are several others you can discuss directly with the insurer. PetPlace also has pretty fast coverage, sometimes even as soon as the next day. The deductibles are your choice, ranging from $0 to $1000, and the reimbursement is also flexible (ranging from 70%-100%).

    Pros
    • Online claims process & direct deposit
    • Up to 100% coverage
    • Underwriting by Independence American Insurance Company
    Cons
    • New to the industry
    • Not a lot of info online
    Read PetPlacePetInsurance.com Review
  • 10

    PetAssure

    Discounted prices on pet insurance procedures
    PetAssure
    • Pets CoveredAll pets, dogs, cats, birds, monkeys, llamas
    • Waiting periodNo waiting, can be used immediately
    • DeductibleNo deductibles needed

    PetAssure is a different type of medical insurance for your pets. Rather than having you pay the vet directly, submit a claim to the insurance provider, and receive a percentage of the bill back, PetAssure cuts out a lot of those complicated steps. You go to one of the participating veterinarians and show them your PetAssure card. The vet will automatically discount their services for you as a PetAssure member. Then you pay the discounted price, and all is well. As we said, it's a lot less complicated than the alternative.

    Aside from the ease of use, the beauty of PetAssure is that it covers all pet medical expenses, from A to Z. Whatever you’re having done will be covered, including wellness visits, allergy treatments, dental cleanings and exams, diabetes management, emergency care, hospitalization, routine care, spaying and neutering, surgeries, and more. It’s the most comprehensive coverage you’ll find anywhere.

    Pros
    • No need to submit claims
    • Covers all types of pets
    • Covers all pet medical procedures and visits
    Cons
    • Have to work with a vet within the network
    • Non-medical services like food are not covered
    Read PetAssure Review

What is Pet Insurance and How Does it Work?

Pet insurance is a service for pet owners seeking a financial safety net in case their animal gets sick or injured and requires expensive veterinary treatment. Owners of dogs, cats, and, in some cases, exotic pets, pay a monthly premium for this service, with costs varying based on the age and breed of the animal, what medical costs are covered under the policy, what annual or per-procedure deductible the policy includes, and what percentage of treatment the customer will be reimbursed for by the company.

Pet insurance prices are specific to the animal in question and the type of coverage you want, so the signup process begins with you providing information on the provider's website about the species, breed, age, and basic medical history of your pet. You will then get a quote which you can adjust by changing your deductible, reimbursement percentage, annual limit, and coverage plan if the provider has a tiered pricing system.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

The extent of your pet insurance policy's coverage will depend on the provider and plan that you choose. When choosing a plan, the coverage you may look for includes:

  • Preventative/wellness care

  • Hereditary conditions

  • Unexpected illnesses and injuries

  • Dental care

  • Diagnostic tests

  • Surgeries

  • Hospitalization

  • Medication

  • Supplements or prescription food

  • Behavioral therapy

As a pet owner, you've likely found that the most common costs you have for your animals, particularly young pets, are their routine exams. While some insurers, such as Pets Best, cover exam costs, others do not. With some insurers, you may have to opt for a more expensive monthly premium to get them included. While such preventative treatment is a common expense, it's worthwhile to do the math and see if it actually saves you any money. The money you have to add to your monthly premium may be more than your out-of-pocket cost for 1 or 2 annual checkups, depending on the insurance provider and its fees.

It is very rare for any pet insurance provider to cover pre-existing conditions. However, some providers, such as ASPCA, will cover conditions that have been cured and have shown no symptoms for at least 180 days.

While these are things that you should insist that your plan cover, there are some other things that you’ll likely have to live without. In addition to not covering pre-existing conditions, it is common practice for insurers to exclude cosmetic procedures, like ear cropping or claw removal, as well as breeding costs.

What are the Costs of Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance costs vary widely and depend on many factors, including:

  • Breed

  • Age

  • Health

  • Deductible

  • Annual limit

  • Reimbursement level

  • Coverage level

To put it simply, the younger and healthier your pet is, the cheaper a premium you’ll pay. The more you pay, the higher your annual limit and range of coverage will be.

In addition, the amount of deductible you’re willing to pay, your reimbursement level and the amount of your annual limit will also affect your monthly payment. So it is important to understand what these terms mean:

Deductible

This is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before the insurance kicks in.

Reimbursement

The insurer does not pay you back 100% of the cost of a covered procedure. It will generally pay you back somewhere between 70%-90% of the cost.

Annual Limit

This is the maximum amount that the insurer will pay for treatment in a given year.

How to Choose Pet Insurance

Here are some things to consider as you choose pet insurance plans and consider quotes:

  • Compare providers to find the one with plans that suit your pet's personality and your wallet

  • Research coverage options so you'll understand exactly what you're paying for

  • Consider what reimbursement speed and level of customer service you'd prefer

  • Consider your pets unique medical needs and expenses

If your pet is part of a breed that has a greater risk for a particular medical issue, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a provider, such as Embrace, that covers breed-specific and genetic conditions. If you have a purebred pet, research the breed to see if there are any conditions you should know about.

An unexpected illness or injury that requires diagnostic tests, surgeries, overnight hospitalization, and medication can cost more than many pet owners can afford. It's worthwhile to invest in a plan that covers these costs and prevents a situation in which you are forced to euthanize your pet because you can't afford treatment. As unpleasant as it is to think about, this should be your number one concern when choosing a pet insurance provider. Emergency care gets costly, quickly, and pet insurance should cover most of the bill.

Which Pet Insurance is Best for You?

Insuring your pet is a smart move that can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars. It is essential to choose a reliable insurer that you know will pay your claim when the time comes. While it’s best to insure your pets while they’re young, it’s never too late to sign your furry friends up for a policy that will make sure they are cared for in the event of an unexpected accident or illness.

Your pets deserve pet insurance that will cover all their medical needs as they age, and you deserve the peace of mind of knowing you can afford any procedure they may require. See our in-depth reviews of the leading pet insurance providers to learn more about policies, plans, deductibles, and more.

Sarah Badani
Sarah Badani has extensive research and review experience in the finance industry. With a degree in psychology and education, she brings a level of depth and understanding to her writing along with her own flavor to spice up each topic in a unique and inviting way.