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Best Dog and Puppy Insurance Companies

When your dog or puppy gets sick or injured and needs expensive medical care, the vet bill can be staggering.

The high cost of veterinary care forces some dog owners into a terrible choice between going into debt to treat their dog or facing the pain of euthanization.

The best dog and puppy insurance plans can insulate you from this dilemma by reimbursing you up to 90 percent of the cost of medical treatment.

In this post, we’ll discuss the 9 best pet insurance companies for dogs and puppies.

Need Pet Insurance?

FACT: Pet insurance pays up to 90% of vet bills when your pet is sick or injured!

9 Best Dog & Puppy Insurance Companies

  1. Healthy Paws: Best for Simplicity
  2. Figo: Best for Mobile Shoppers
  3. Petplan: Best for Policy Options
  4. Pets Best: Best for Wellness Care
  5. Trupanion: Best for Simple Policies
  6. ASPCA: Best for Transparency
  7. Embrace: Best for Policy Flexibility
  8. Nationwide: Best for Comprehensive Plans
  9. PetFirst: Best for Affordability

Healthy Paws: Best for Simplicity

Healthy Paws provides an excellent insurance option for dog and puppy owners. Plans start at $20 a month and cover illnesses, accidents, surgeries, prescription medicines, hospitalizations, and emergency care.

Healthy Paws’ dog insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions, and these policies do not reimburse you for routine wellness care, such as annual check-ups or vaccinations.

They do provide simple financial protection from unexpected expenses.

  • Annual Deductible: Choose your deductible, which is the amount you’d pay each year out of pocket before your insurance policy helps you out. Lower deductible plans cost more.
  • Reimbursement: You can also set your level of reimbursement, up to 90 percent of covered procedures.
  • Annual spending caps: Unlike many pet insurance plans, Healthy Paws does not cap your reimbursements each year. Once you’ve met your deductible, your insurance policy keeps paying for the rest of the year.
  • Dog age requirements: Puppies age 8 weeks to dog’s age 14 can enroll. If you enroll your dog before age 6, hip dysplasia coverage is included.
  • Network: You choose your own vet; no network requirements from Healthy Paws.
  • Waiting period: 15 days from time of purchase before Healthy Paws pays on a claim.

Learn More: Read our full Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review.

Fetch Rates with Healthy Paws

Figo: Best for Mobile Shoppers

Figo dog insurance is easy to buy and use on your smartphone. The cost of this coverage varies by the breed, age, and gender of your puppy or dog — along with your coverage choices. You could pay as low as $30 or as high as $100 a month.

Figo adapts its policies to your coverage choices. For example, you could buy a plan that reimburses up to 100 percent of covered procedures. Most dog insurance policies reimburse only up to 90 percent.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

Plans with the lowest deductibles and highest coverage limits cost the most in monthly premiums.

  • Annual Deductible: Choose $50, $100, $200, or $500.
  • Reimbursement: Choose 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%.
  • Spending caps: Choose $5,000, $10,000 or Unlimited.
  • Dog age requirements: Puppies age 8 weeks can enroll; Figo has no maximum age limit for dogs.
  • Network: Works at any licensed vet in the U.S., including Puerto Rico.
  • Waiting period: 14 days

Learn More: Read our full Figo Pet Insurance Review.

Fetch Rates with Figo

Petplan: Best for Policy Options

Petplan has a solid puppy and dog insurance program. You can buy coverage with monthly premiums ranging from $20 to $100 a month. Premiums depend on the breed and age of your dog or puppy, your coverage choices, and your location.

Policy details for Petplan aren’t as transparent as the previous providers listed in this post, but Petplan has top-notch financial stability and a wide range of policy options:

  • Annual Deductible: Set your own deductible from $200 to $2,500.
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%.
  • Spending caps: Choose from $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, $25,000 or Unlimited.
  • Age requirements: Puppies 6 weeks or older can enroll; no maximum age limits, but Petplan may limit reimbursements for dogs 10 and older.
  • Network: Works at all licensed vets in Canada and the United States.
  • Waiting period: 15 days

Learn More: Read our full Petplan Insurance Review.

Fetch Rates with Petplan

Pets Best: Best for Wellness Care

Pets Best is the first provider on this list that offers wellness plans as well as accident and illness insurance for your dog or puppy. You could choose whether to buy Wellness coverage, Accident coverage, or both.

Wellness care can pay for annual check-ups, vaccinations, heartworm medications, and some diagnostic tests. However, since these expenses aren’t unexpected, many pet owners prefer planning ahead and paying out of pocket rather than paying higher dog insurance premiums.

  • Annual Deductible: $50, $100, $200, $250, $500, or $1,000.
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Spending caps: $5,000 or Unlimited
  • Age requirements: Puppies as young as 7 weeks can enroll; no upper age limits.
  • Network: Works at any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Waiting period: 3 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses

Learn More: Read our full Pets Best Insurance Review.

Fetch Rates with Pets Best

Trupanion: Best for Simple Policies

With Trupanion dog insurance, you could buy a plan with no deductible and no annual caps on expenses. In theory, the insurance would pay 90% of your entire vet bill after your dog’s accident or illness.

Trupanion makes dog insurance seem simple. Naturally, premiums trend higher on this kind of coverage, and Trupanion charges a $35 sign-up fee that most other providers don’t require.

Before signing up, make sure you’ve read the policy’s exclusions carefully. Several policyholders have reported Trupanion’s coverage doesn’t seem as simple once you file a claim. Trupanion could define your puppy or dog’s condition as pre-existing and deny your claim.

  • Annual Deductible: $0 to $1,000
  • Reimbursement: 90%
  • Spending caps: Unlimited
  • Age requirements: Max age for a dog is 14 years; no minimum age requirement stated.
  • Network: No network requirements; reimburses licensed vets.
  • Waiting period: 5 days for accidents; 30 days for illnesses; 6 months for hip dysplasia or cruciate ligaments.

Learn More: Read our full Trupanion Review.

ASPCA: Best for Transparency

ASPCA, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, offers a simple and effective dog insurance plan. You could add on preventive care to your policy, but accident and illness coverage gives you the best value.

In the competitive and confusing world of insurance, ASPCA provides a simple and transparent approach. Plus, you could get a 10 percent discount on additional dogs (or cats).

  • Annual Deductible: $100, $150, or $250
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Spending caps: $3,000 to Unlimited.
  • Age requirements: No age requirements.
  • Network: Works at any licensed vet.
  • Waiting period: 14 days

Learn More: Read our full PetPremium Insurance Review.

Fetch Rates with PetPremium

Embrace: Best for Policy Flexibility

Embrace also offers a wellness plan to help you plan for routine vet visits. The value of dog insurance comes in its ability to help you through unexpected illnesses or accidents.

Embrace excels with its accident coverage. Its policies would pay after only a 2-day waiting period. You would be charged a $25 enrollment fee, however.

  • Annual Deductible: $200, $300, $500, $750, or $1,000
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Spending caps: $5,000 to Unlimited
  • Age requirements: Max age 14; no minimum age limit.
  • Network: Reimburses for any licensed vet.
  • Waiting period: 2 days for accidents; 15 days for illnesses.

Learn More: Read our full Embrace Pet Insurance Review.

Fetch Rates with Embrace

Nationwide: Best for Comprehensive Plans

Nationwide builds wellness care into its accident and illness policies. This reputable home and auto insurer excels with pet coverage for pet parents who want comprehensive plans.

Nationwide’s dog insurance premiums tend to come in higher than Healthy Paws or Figo, but neither of those companies offers a wellness package.

  • Annual Deductible: $0 to $1,000
  • Reimbursement: 90%
  • Annual spending caps: $10,000
  • Age requirements: Max age 10 years for full coverage.
  • Network: Reimburses for visits to any licensed vet.
  • Waiting period: 14 days for accidents and illnesses; 1-day waiting period for wellness coverage.

Learn More: Read our full Nationwide Pet Insurance Review.

Fetch Rates with Nationwide

PetFirst: Best for Affordability

MetLife Insurance underwrites policies for PetFirst, one of the oldest pet insurance companies in the U.S. Many dog owners find PetFirst has the lowest premiums with dog and puppy coverage beginning at $9 a month.

But PetFirst uses a per-incident deductible model, which has grown more unusual in recent years. This wouldn’t be a huge deal if your dog had multiple problems stemming from the same accident or illness in a given year.

But if your dog has two separate accidents in the same year, you’d pay more out of pocket to access your coverage.

  • Per Incident Deductible: $50, $100, $250, $500
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Spending caps: $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000
  • Age requirements: No age limits
  • Network: All licensed vets in U.S. and Canada
  • Waiting period: 1 day for accidents; 14 days for illnesses; 1 year for cruciate ligament issues.

Learn More: Read our full PetFirst Pet Insurance Review.

Fetch Rates with PetFirst

How Does Pet Health Insurance Work?

Whether you’re a dog lover, a cat lover, or if you have an exotic pet roaming your home, pet health insurance can protect you from unexpected veterinary expenses.

In exchange for a monthly premium, paid to your pet insurer, you can get help paying the vet bill.

This sounds a lot like human medical insurance, but pet health insurance is unique. As you shop, know this:

  • Payouts Go to You: Your dog insurer will not pay your vet directly. Instead, your policy will pay you back part of the money you spent at the vet. You’d still owe money at the time of your visit to the vet.
  • Pre-Existing Conditions Aren’t Covered: If your dog already has a medical condition when you buy your pet insurance policy, don’t expect your insurer to reimburse vet fees for that condition.
  • Premiums Increase Over Time: Each year, your dog insurance premiums for the same dog and the same policy will likely increase.
  • Older Pets May Not Get Covered: As you’ve seen above, many leading insurers won’t sell you a policy after your dog reaches a certain age, often 14. You can keep coverage as your dog ages as long as you buy it sooner rather than later.
  • Congenital Conditions Are Often Excluded: Since some breeds are prone to specific problems, dog insurance policies can exclude these hereditary conditions from their coverage. Read your policy carefully to find out for sure whether vet care for your dog’s hereditary conditions would be covered.
  • Prescription Medications Should Be Covered: Most leading plans cover your dog’s prescription medications, which can be very expensive after a surgery or accident.
  • Waiting Periods Are Common: Human dental insurance policies have waiting periods, so you may already be familiar with this aspect of pet insurance. Even the best pet insurance plans require some sort of waiting period, which is normally longer for illnesses than for accidents.

Real Cost Savings from Healthy Paws Clients

Samson

Healthy Paws saved his parents

$4,310

Samson tore his ACL in a lively game of fetch. After surgery and rehab, Samson is back to his playful self and never turns down a game of fetch!

Is Dog Insurance Worth It?

As you can see, dog insurance has its limitations. As pet parents, we have to decide whether it’s worth it to spend $30, $60, or $90 in monthly premiums for insurance coverage that has its limits.

Dog insurance is worth it when your policy pays you back a huge chunk of money you didn’t plan to spend. Any insurance, regardless of its coverage options, should provide this service: insulation from the unexpected expenses that can wreck your monthly budget.

That’s why accident and illness insurance coverage provides the best dog insurance value. Since you can plan ahead for wellness visits and vaccinations, these exam fees are not unexpected expenses.

If you’d rather use a dog or puppy insurance program to cover all your pet needs, that’s fine. Wellness or comprehensive coverage can help you pay the vet bill, and these plans can pay off when your dog needs heartworm care, or you want a full battery of diagnostic tests.

But buying accident and illness coverage almost always makes pet insurance worth it, especially if you choose one of the leading companies above, particularly Healthy Paws Pet Insurance or Figo.

The payouts won’t come in time to prevent you from spending money out of pocket, but they will reimburse most of your unexpected expenses.

How Much Does Dog & Puppy Insurance Cost?

The cost of your dog or puppy’s pet insurance depends a lot on your dog’s breed, age, gender, and location. Location matters because vets in some areas charge higher rates than vets in other regions.

You probably can’t control your location or your existing dog’s breed, gender, and age. However, you can build a coverage plan that addresses your specific needs and save money on monthly premiums.

  • Reimbursement Level: The higher your reimbursement level, the higher your premiums, in most cases. If an 80% reimbursement rate would provide enough protection for your wallet, you could save on premiums month to month by buying such a plan. To translate this into human insurance terms, you’d be getting a 20% copay. Most plans max out with a 90% reimbursement (10% copay).
  • Deductible Level: Lower deductibles cause higher premiums. That’s just the way pet insurance works. Pet care coverage with a $1,000 deductible, for example, will cost a lot less than coverage with a $100 deductible. But make sure you can afford to pay your deductible before buying coverage. We recommend saving and setting aside your deductibles if you can’t come up with them quickly.
  • Level of Coverage: Complete coverage, which could help you pay wellness, accident, and illness-related vet bills, will cost more. The best pet insurance plans cover health care costs related to accidents and illnesses but let you add in wellness coverage for an extra fee if you want it.
  • Exclusions: Some policies exclude chronic conditions or don’t pay for expensive services such as physical therapy, cancer treatments, or joint care. Typically, a discount pet insurance plan has more exclusions you should be aware of before buying in.

The most basic medical care for your dog could cost only $9 or $10 a month in premiums. You could also spend $100 a month with some insurance providers for the most elaborate levels of care.

The best pet insurance plan for you will insulate your wallet enough to make the cost of the premiums worthwhile.

Bonus Idea: Pet Assure Discount Club

If the thought of analyzing dog insurance policies feels too overwhelming, but you’d still like some help lowering vet care expenses, consider Pet Assure.

This discount club bypasses all the usual insurance hurdles — waiting periods, wellness vs. illness plans, the entire claims process — and provides a flat discount when you visit the vet.

Pet owners can get the discount on exam fees, procedures, vaccinations, and any other aspect of your pet’s health care.

But only vets who participate in the Pet Assure program will extend the discount to you, so check with your vet before buying in.

Where to Buy Dog Insurance

Unlike human insurance, getting dog or puppy insurance is simple. Pet owners can buy coverage from any of the providers above online. Some of the best pet insurance companies perform better than others online.

For example, Figo’s mobile app makes buying coverage and filing a claim a seamless process on your smartphone. Healthy Paws has an easy-to-use website, too.

Most pet insurance plans no longer require an introductory health exam for your dog before you can sign on. This lowers the bar for admission into a plan even more.

However, any insurer may check behind you to make sure your dog hasn’t already been treated for this condition prior to your buying the pet insurance plan. If it turns out your dog has already been treated for a chronic condition, your insurer may consider it pre-existing and not reimburse your expenses.

If getting health care for your dog hinges upon whether or not your pet insurance plan will pay out afterward, we recommend checking with your insurer in advance to find out whether your specific situation will get coverage.

Real Cost Savings from Healthy Paws Clients

Artemis

Healthy Paws saved his parents

$2,194

Artemis had a severe ear infection and needed to visit both the regular vet and a specialist, multiple times. After medication and a few follow-up visits, she recovered well and is now doing great!

So What’s the Best Pet Insurance Company?

If you’ve read this far, you already know there’s no easy answer to this question. There are so many variables — coverage options, your dog’s age and breed, your location. Each pet parent has different needs and requires a different kind of coverage.

But the best pet insurance plan should fit your budget and also provide adequate protection against unexpected vet expenses. As your pet ages, the likelihood of a huge vet bill increases every year.

Even if you can’t afford a comprehensive plan, an accident and illness dog insurance plan can definitely pay off.

 

Other articles you may find helpful: 

 

Is Exotic Pet Insurance Necessary? 

The Best Pet Insurance By State 

What Is Pet Insurance?

Fun Facts, Dog FAQ’s, And Unsolicited Dog Advice

5 Training Commands to Save Your Dog’s Life

The Ultimate Guide to Safe Foods for Dogs

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Dog Breeds

CAT FAQ’s

Cat Health Problems

Cat Breeds

 

We have many dog-related additional resources to help with finding the best pet insurance companies or the top insurance for dogs and puppies. We have a great section to help you train your dog with an extensive list of articles about frequently asked dog questions. Don’t miss out on our look at safe and healthy foods for your dog or puppy in our ‘Can my dog eat’ section. Last you may find our dog breed and related common dog health problems articles very helpful. 

 

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