How to Choose The Best Pet Insurance for Dogs
Before you buy a dog insurance policy, it’s important to compare all the costs, not just the monthly premiums. Even if the premiums are low, you might end up with a high deductible, low reimbursement level, or a low annual payment limit that could end up costing you more in the long run.
It’s also vital to check that your dog’s insurance plan covers all of the issues you might need. Some dog insurance policies include alternative medicine, some cover routine care like checkups and shots, and some pay for overnight hospital stays and surgery. Think about what your dog might need, and then read our review of the 5 best pet insurance companies for dogs so that you can pick the best dog insurance plan for your pet.
5 Pet Insurance Companies for Dogs
|Biggest Plus||Deductable||Annual Limit|
|Pet's Best||Claims settled in 5 days||From $0||$5,000 to unlimited|
|ASPCA||Covers advanced treatments||$100 to $500||$5,000 to unlimited|
|Embrace||Large range of congenital disorders||$100 to $1,000||$5,000 to $15,000|
|Hartville||Fast and easy applications||$100 to $500||$5,000 to unlimited|
|PetPlan||Paperless claims||$100 to $2,500||$2,500 to unlimited|
Pet’s Best allows you to choose between low-cost, accident-only dog insurance, or comprehensive coverage that includes wellness care, behavioral therapy, and prosthetics. Pet’s Best covers your dog no matter where you are in the world, with a round the clock pre-approval hotline so that you can check that an expensive treatment is included in your dog’s insurance plan before you go through with it. Pet’s Best dog insurance policies are flexible and customizable, so you can tailor your policy to your pocketbook.
- Best for: Fast claims approval within 5 days
- Deductibles: $0 and up
- Reimbursement: 70%-90% of claims
- Annual limits: $5,000 and up
- Monthly costs:
The Pet's Best Accident and Illness plans pays your actual vet bill for unexpected incidents with your dog. With multiple levels of coverage, the plans can be customized to meet your budget and your pup. The EssentialWellness and BestWellness plans pay up to a minimum amount (with BestWellness paying slightly more) for routine care, such as teeth cleaning, flea prevention and microchipping.
Here’s a sample of monthly costs for a 2-year old neutered, medium size, mixed-breed dog with no previous illnesses:
- Coverage: Accidents, illness, injury, rehabilitation, behavioral therapy, alternative treatments, prescription medication, cancer treatments, prosthetics, dental treatment, chronic conditions, hospital stays, specialist care
- What's not covered: Pre exisiting conditions, elective or preventative care such as nail trimming.
- Age limit: 7 weeks and up
- Flexible coverage options
- Visit any vet in the country
- Fast claims processing
- Preventive care costs extra
- Some plans have a low annual limit
- Some exclusions are vague
With ASPCA dog insurance, you can choose between Accident-Only coverage, Preventive Care coverage for wellness treatments, and Complete Coverage for dogs who are always getting into trouble. You can also choose which vet you see anywhere in the country, without sacrificing your insurance repayments, and choose how much to pay by adjusting your deductibles, reimbursement level, and annual coverage limit.
- Best for: ASPCA offers the most advanced diagnostics and treatments, ideal for breeds with a greater risk of congenital disorders
- Deductibles: From $100 to $500
- Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
- Annual limits: From $5,000 up
- Monthly costs: What you'll pay is customized based on your dog and your preferences. Here are some sample monthly costs for a 2-year old neutered, medium size, mixed-breed dog, with no previous illnesses.
|Complete Coverage||Accident Only|
- Coverage: advanced diagnostic tools; accident and illness; behavioral therapy; hereditary conditions; dental treatments; wellness care; cancer treatments; alternative therapies
- What's not covered: Cosmetic procedures, breeding costs, pre-existing conditions.
- Age limit: 8 weeks and up
- Paperless claim processing
- Visit any vet in the country
- Flexible insurance policy options
- Preventive care is an add-on for additional cost
- All deductibles are fairly low – no option for a very high deductible
- No hotline for pre-approval claims
Embrace shows that it cares about your pet and every pet, by supporting animal charities with a portion of every premium. It also provides the best coverage for hereditary and congenital disorders and has the best customer service rating. Like many dog insurance companies, Embrace allows you to choose your deductible, reimbursement level, and annual limit, although it doesn't have an unlimited annual limit option.
- Best for: Pure-breed dogs that are prone to congenital disorders
- Deductibles: From $100 to $1,000
- Reimbursement: 70%, 80% or 90%
- Annual limits: $3,000 to $30,000
- Monthly costs: Prices are customized. Here is a sample of the monthly costs for a 2-year old neutered, medium size, mixed-breed dog with no previous illnesses.
|Accident and Illness||Wellness Coverage|
- Coverage: Accidents, illnesses, injuries, exam fees
- What's not covered: Routine vet care, pre-exisiting conditions, breeding and pregnancy, injury caused deliberately by someone in your home, cosmetic procedures, DNA testing.
- Age limit: 14 years
- Customized puppy insurance as well as adult dog insurance
- Visit any vet or specialist in the country
- Discounts for multiple pets, veterans, and dogs who are neutered or spayed
- Dogs over 14 can’t take out a new insurance policy (but existing policies can be renewed)
- Policies don’t include preventive care
- Annual limit is fairly low
With Hartville, you can decide if you want to pay for complete dog insurance that includes advanced diagnostics, hereditary conditions, and behavioral issues, or keep the costs down with an accident-only plan. There’s also an optional add-on to cover preventive care. Hartville lets you set your deductible, reimbursement level, and annual limit, so you can control how much you’ll pay and when you’ll pay it.
- Best for: Dog owners who want a simple and fast online dog insurance process
- Deductibles: $100, $250, $5,000
- Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, 90%
- Annual limits: $5,000 to unlimited
- Monthly costs: Sample monthly costs for a 2-year old neutered, medium size, mixed-breed dog with no previous illnesses:
|Accident Only||Complete Coverage|
- Coverage: Hereditary diseases, illnesses, injuries, accidental harm, preventive care, behavioral therapy, alternative treatments, exam fees.
- What's not covered: Pre-existing conditions
- Age limit: From 8 weeks
- Annual limit can be unlimited
- Covers the most advanced diagnostic processes
- Easy online insurance process
- Preventive care is an add-on for extra cost
- 14-day waiting period before coverage begins
Although PetPlan’s dog insurance policy costs can be high, there are many discounts available. For example, you’ll get 5% off for buying dog insurance online, 10% off if you’re a veteran, and 10% off if you’re buying the policy through your employer. PetPlan's policies justify the cost – and you can adjust the deductible, reimbursement amount, and annual limit for your dog insurance plan until it fits your budget. Petplan offers comprehensive coverage that won’t be withdrawn as your dog gets older.
- Best for: Easy claims process that’s completely paperless
- Deductibles: $100 - $2,500
- Reimbursement: 70%-90%
- Annual limits: $2,500 plus
- Monthly costs: Sample monthly costs for a 2-year old neutered, medium size, mixed-breed dog, with no previous illnesses: $23.79
- Coverage: Hereditary and congenital disorders, accidents, illness, diagnostics, specialist surgery, rehabilitation, dental treatment, exam fees, alternative therapies, cancer treatment, prescription medication.
- What's not covered: Wellness and routine care, pre-exisiting conditions.
- Age limit: From 6 months, but dogs aged over 6 years will need a vet exam within 30 days of becoming insured
- Easy paperless claims process
- Visit any vet or specialist in the country
- High annual limits
- Does not include wellness care
- No coverage for behavioral therapy
- Older dogs need a veterinary exam
So, is Dog Insurance Worth it?
The best dog insurance is the one that covers all your dog might need. If you have a curious young dog who keeps poking his nose into everything, you’ll need complete coverage. If you have a pure-breed, you’ll want to make sure that any hereditary diseases are included. If you have a calm lapdog who prefer to sleep most of the time, you might not need more than emergency accident-only coverage. The choice is yours. Dog insurance is vital to make sure that you can always afford to keep your canine companion in the best of health. Whether you choose comprehensive insurance coverage or an accident-only policy for emergencies, dog insurance is a critical part of your doggy equipment. Read reviews of the top dog insurance companies and compare your options.