Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Written by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

Dr Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years experience in companion animal practice. In 1987 she graduated from the University of Glasgow, with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. A love of the sea meant accepting her first job in the port town of Portsmouth, England. A fter working in private practice for two years, her next position was as a vet at the People’...

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Reviewed by Dr. Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS
Veterinarian Dr. Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2021

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Pet Insurance U receives compensation from the third parties included on this site. This includes payment for clicks from our site to insurance providers’ sites and quote requests generated. Our rankings and reviews are not affected by payments from the insurance companies. The compensation we receive allows the site to be free and regularly updated. Our goal is to review every pet insurance provider, but not all companies are listed on the site.

And many of the companies we review do not pay us anything. We simply rate, compare and review their plan because we feel it will be valuable to you. Our reviews are guaranteed to be unbiased, professional and advertising compensation does not influence rankings.

We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about pet insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything pet insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by pet insurance experts.

If you are looking to enroll in a new pet insurance company or want to change providers, there are many decisions to make.

You have to find the best plan.

And then once you enroll, you are going to choose the right deductible, reimbursement level, benefit levels and more.

One of the most important decisions to make is the coverage for your pet.

There are a few different coverage options that are available with comprehensive pet insurance being the best and most popular coverage available.

yellow Labrador at the vet sitting on the exam table

And here’s why!

What is Comprehensive Pet Insurance Coverage

Comprehensive pet insurance (also known as accident and illness insurance) is the broadest in scope and covers almost any accident or illness that might occur with your pet.

And the treatment, testing, and diagnosis that goes with it.

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

Comprehensive pet care coverage will include the treatment of broken bones or paws, cancer, ear infections, diabetes, and numerous other conditions.

In fact, our glossary of the different cat and dog health problems should all be covered under a comprehensive policy.

As long as the condition isn’t pre-existing.

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Benefits of Comprehensive Coverage

There are many benefits that come with enrolling in a comprehensive pet insurance policy.

After all, it has the widest range of coverage.

Continuous Coverage

Comprehensive medical coverage will offer continued coverage for your pet.

If your dog or cat develops a long term illness, like cancer, diabetes or even an ear infection that needs continuous treatment, a good comprehensive policy will cover the care.

And the testing, diagnosis, and medication that is needed for that specific illness or condition.

Hereditary, Chronic & Congenital Conditions

Any good comprehensive pet insurance policy will cover all hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions.

Some will have it as an additional rider or cost, but the best plans like Healthy Paws covers all these conditions as long as they aren’t pre-existing.

There are certain breeds of dogs and cats that are pre-disposed to specific hereditary and congenital and even chronic conditions.

If your cat or dog is one of those breeds, make sure to get coverage before the condition occurs.

Real Cost Savings from PetFirst Clients


PetFirst saved his parents


A happy energetic Luna one morning couldn’t hold her food down. After months of multiple costly vet visits to specialists and an endoscopy, the problem was discovered and fixed. Luna put 22 pounds back on in no time and her parents were grateful for having PetFirst by their side to pay the bills.

Diagnostic Testing

All testing from MRI’s, radiography, ultrasounds, blood tests and more are covered under comprehensive pet insurance.

Emergency Vet Visit

If your dog or cat is hurt or has a serious injury over the weekend or after hours, you want to know that your bill will be covered by any veterinarian or vet hospital in the United States.

In fact, most comprehensive policies allow you to visit any vet hospital when you travel or are on vacation.

Specialists Care

If your dog or cat needs to see a cardiologist or any type of specialist, this treatment and visit should be covered.


Surgery of any kind from an injured paw to a dental injury can get very expensive and will be covered under a good, solid plan.

Hospital Stay

Just like emergency care, any hospital visit or overnight stay will be covered.

Prescription Medication

Most comprehensive pet insurance policies will cover prescriptions and something to look out for when enrolling in a policy.

Some companies will even cover up to 50 % of the prescribed food.

Alternative Therapy

Some of the best pet insurance companies include alternative therapies such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture and even chiropractic work.

Alternative therapy is great for older pets or those who don’t respond well to other types of medical treatment.

If this is important to you, make sure to choose a pet insurance company that includes it.

Embrace and Healthy Paws include alternative therapy in all of their plans.

What Comprehensive Coverage Does Not Include

A comprehensive pet insurance plan does not include any pre-existing condition as mentioned above or any wellness plan.

A wellness plan is used generally for vet visits and preventative care procedures.

This is an additional cost and must be added on to any pet insurance policy.

Dental work is not covered under a comprehensive plan unless it is associated with an accident or illness.

Dental pet insurance is structured differently and usually part of a wellness plan.

Real Cost Savings from PetFirst Clients


PetFirst saved his parents


Artemis was a beautiful and friendly cat to all who were willing to pet him. Unfortunately, he developed feline diabetes which required regular vet visits and medications that his Mother could not otherwise afford on her fixed income. Having PetFirst insurance, she called and discussed the problem with a friendly PetFirst agent. To her surprise, she found out that Artemis’ ongoing required vet visits and medication would be covered by his PetFirst insurance. Artemis was able to live out the rest of his life with proper medical care and medicines thanks to PetFirst insurance.

Summing Up Comprehensive Pet Insurance

You can see why a comprehensive pet insurance policy is the way to go because it covers practically everything your pet might encounter.

Each pet insurance company is different, but most will cover all of the above and even more!

Figure out what is the most important treatment that you might want for your pet and make sure the policy covers at least that care and more.

Sure, a comprehensive policy might be more expensive than an accident only plan (which covers much less and really no illnesses), but at least you know that your pet will always be covered.

If you are looking for some great pet insurance providers with a good comprehensive policy, our top 10 pet insurance companies of 2019 is a great place to start.


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, And Unsolicited Dog Advice

5 Training Commands to Save Your Dog’s Life

The Ultimate Guide to Safe Foods for Dogs

Dog Health Problems

Dog Breeds


Cat Health Problems

Cat Breeds


Pet insurance is similar to other insurances but does have some major differences as compared to your health insurance. Below you will find a definitive list of frequently asked pet insurance questions to help in your decision.


What is Pet Insurance

Types of Pet Insurance Coverage

Comprehensive Pet Insurance Explained

Accident Only Pet Insurance

Pet Wellness Plans

Insurance vs. Wellness Pet Insurance Plans

Is Pet Dental Insurance Worth the Extra Cost

How does Pet Insurance work

Best Pet Insurance Plans with Shortest Waiting Periods

Pet Insurance Deductibles

Pet Insurance Coverage Exclusions and Limits

Pet Insurance Reimbursements

Pet Insurance Benefit Limits Explained

How to Make a Claim on your Pet Insurance

Is my Pet too Old for Pet Insurance Coverage

Top Reasons to Purchase Pet Insurance

How much does Pet Insurance Cost

Is Pet Insurance Worth It

Compare Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance for Multiple Pets

Pet Insurance that Covers Spaying and Neutering

Does Pet Insurance Cover Shots

Pet Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions