Pet Insurance Reviews 2016 | Vet-Verified Pet Insurance Reviews 2016 | Vet-Verified
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation.

Pet Insurance Reviews

Vet-Verified byDr. Pippa Elliot

Hi, I'm Dr. Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS, a veterinarian with over two decades of experience treating cats and dogs. I've personally researched and reviewed this information to save you time and money. Enjoy the same expert advice that I give to my private veterinary clients, without having to visit or call your vet.

Vet-Verified Pet Insurance Reviews

Shop for insurance the smart way. Researched and reviewed by real veterinarians.

1. Healthy Paws

2. PetsBest

3. Embrace

4. Petplan

5. Pet Premium


There’s no reason to wait around, especially when plans accept puppies and kittens as young as six to eight weeks old. Waiting also increases the risk of your pet developing a condition that would be considered pre-existing and not covered by anyone.

The six companies we picked cover accidents, illnesses and breed-specific conditions in many of their plans. And all received high ratings from our own veterinarians, the Better Business Bureau and thousands of existing customers who are already enrolled.

You can also put the companies side-by-side using our comprehensive comparison chart

You and your pet will soon be on your way to getting the pet health care coverage and peace of mind you deserve.

pet insurance reviews

Finding the Best Protection for Your Pet

Unlike health insurance for Americans these days, health coverage is not mandatory cats and dogs. But even if your pets won’t get penalized on their taxes for not having an active health insurance policy, they can get penalized big time if they happen to get injured or sick and you don’t have the money to pay for their treatment.

Average cost of treatment based on actual claims submitted:

• $3,000 – Ingestion of foreign object, surgery
• $4,025 – Patellar luxation, surgery and pain medications
• $5,100 – Glaucoma, ongoing medications and surgery
• $5,100 – Parvo gastroenteritis, liquid medication
• $5,300 – Cancer treatment, chemotherapy
• $5,400 – Cruciate ligament tear, surgery
• $7,800 – Hip dysplasia, ongoing medications and surgery
• $8,300 – Fever and pneumonia, emergency surgery and hospitalization
• $10,500 – Diabetes, bloodwork and ongoing medications

Pet insurance gives you the peace of mind that you will indeed have the funds to cover unexpected medical treatment costs whenever or wherever they may arise. And the odds of them arising may be higher than you think.

Industry data says one in three pets may need urgent vet care every year – and you have a higher chance of filing an insurance claim on your dog or cat than you do on your home or car.

1 in 3: Number of pets that may need urgent vet care every year

pet health insurance reviews

How Much do Americans Spend on Pet Care?

Pet parents spent an estimated $60.59 billion on their pets in 2015, with about 25 percent of the costs, or an estimated $15.73 billion, going toward vet bills. Routine vet care cost an average of $235 for dogs and $196 for cats in 2015, while surgical vet visits cost dogs an average of $551 and cats an estimated $398.

  • $786: Average annual vet bills for dogs in 2015
  • $594: Average annual vet bills for cats in 2015

That means pet owners can expect to spend between $594 and $786 per year on vet costs alone – and that’s if your dog or cat decides to stick with the average costs. If they end up as the 33 percent of pets that require urgent vet care, or otherwise become ill or injured, vet costs can soar far above the average.


Pet Insurance vs. Savings Account

review of pet insurance

You’ll find plenty of discussions on online forums and articles that mention setting up a savings account for emergency vet care instead of investing in medical insurance. That way you get to keep and control the money, simply dipping into it when and if your pet needs some type of medical care. While the strategy may be great in theory, it can fall flat in reality.

The number one danger is that you won’t have built up enough funds to cover the cost of whatever emergency or illness that comes your way.

Keep in mind your emergency savings fund will only reach the maximum if your pet cooperates by never getting sick or injured. Also keep in mind that going uninsured is playing the odds that your pet will indeed cooperate, avoiding any emergencies or medical mishaps over his entire lifetime.

Trupanion CEO Darryl Rawlings noted about 1 in 10 pet insurance policyholders file a claim every month, with some pet owners being reimbursed 500 to 700 percent more than they’ll end up paying in premiums over the lifetime of their pets. Rawlings also had a few words of wisdom about playing the odds on your pet’s health care coverage:

“If you’re independently wealthy, you can roll the dice,” said Trupanion CEO Darryl Rawlings.

pet insurance consumer reviews


Uh-Oh Puppy Eats Tennis Balls

Let’s say you have a new puppy and you’re going to put $50 each month into your savings account in case of emergency. By the end of the first year, you’ll have $600 on hand.

Now let’s say an emergency hits when he’s 1 year old, like him getting a bit overzealous and eating a batch of tennis balls (true story). Surgery to remove the foreign objects from his stomach can cost around $3,000. Your $600 doesn’t go very far for covering the cost of the operation.

If you had instead paid a monthly premium of $50 (or less) for your puppy, and you had a plan that covered emergencies such as eating tennis balls, your insurance could pick up the bulk of the surgery cost. Many plans let you pick your own deductible and co-pays, which would determine how much of the overall cost the plan would actually cover.

For instance, if you had a $100 deductible and 90 percent reimbursement level, you would be reimbursed $2,600. You’d be responsible for $100 for the deductible as well as 10 percent of the surgery cost, or $300, for a total of $400.

Paying $400 certainly beats paying the full $3,000, especially when it would take five years of $50 monthly investments in your savings account to reach the $3,000 needed for that single surgery.

True, you had to pay a premium every month to get those kinds of benefits. But premiums are something that can be much more easily budgeted into your overall expense plan than a $3,000 unexpected surgery can.

Savings accounts can work great to cover routine vet costs, but they may not measure up when it comes to paying for unforeseen injuries, illnesses or emergencies.


Tips From One Pet Parent to Another

Reviewing and comparing features, benefits and other plan details lets you find the one that best fits your needs and your budget. Basing your decision on price alone can be tricky, since prices vary widely. You need to dig deeper than the price tag to ensure you’re getting a good value for the money.

Let’s say you saw a trip from Los Angeles to New York priced at $100 and another priced at $500. While you may instinctively want to book the $100 trip, you have no clue what you’re getting. Perhaps the $500 trip gives you a non-stop flight with caviar whereas the $100 trip gives you a five-day journey, with frequent stops, crammed in the back of a pickup.

A more strategic way to start your comparison is to decide on the type and level of coverage you want for your pet. Coverage options can be loosely broken down into several categories:

Low Coverage Plans

• Usually cover: Accidents only
• May not cover: Any illnesses
Example: May cover treatment for pet hit by car, but not ear infections.

Medium Coverage Plans

• Usually cover: Accidents and many illnesses
• May not cover: Hereditary and congenital conditions
Example: May cover treatment for accidents and ear infections, but not hip dysplasia

High Coverage Plans

• Usually cover: Accidents, illnesses, certain hereditary and congenital conditions
• May not cover: Wellness care
Example: May cover accidents, ear infections and hip dysplasia, but not routine wellness care such as flea, tick and heartworm prevention, spaying or neutering, annual vet visits

Broadest Coverage Plans

• Usually cover: Pretty much everything, including wellness care for routine vet visits
• May not cover: Specific exclusions outlined in policy
Example: May cover the full gamut of treatments as well as routine wellness care

Riders: Wellness care is often offered as an add-on in the form of a rider. You may also find riders for additional coverage for things such as breeding and pregnancy care as well as alternative care and medications when they’re not included in base policy.

Honest Advice:

Read the fine print carefully. Then read it again.

BBB consumer reports pet insurance reviews

What’s Covered

Each policy can vary by state, by your pet’s age, by its coverage on bilateral conditions, by types of treatments covered, by frequency of treatments for the same ailment, and a gamut of other factors. Provided you are receiving care related to a condition that’s covered in your policy, coverage for that care usually extends to:

• Treatment for the condition
• Diagnostic tests
• Surgeries
• Medications

2016 pet insurance reviews

What’s Not Covered

Pre-existing conditions are generally not covered by any pet health insurance plan. Most also do not cover routine dental cleanings, preventative flea or parasite treatments, and specific hereditary and congenital conditions. Carefully check the exclusions portion of your policy for a detailed outline of conditions or ailments that are not covered. And check those exclusions before you sign on the dotted line.

Talk to your vet about common health issues associated with your particular breed of dog or cat, and then get a clear understanding of what’s different between policies to ensure you choose one that covers those issues.

2015 pet insurance reviews

Other Considerations: For those who like to do the math, we’ve gathered a number of factors to consider when researching your options. You’ll notice a huge consideration is the cost of treating an unexpected emergency or illness, which is the primary reason pet insurance exists.

Things to Consider

• Age and type of pet
• Breed and common conditions that come with that particular breed
• Deductible, which is the amount you pay per year or per condition before coverage kicks in
• Reimbursement level, which is the percentage of costs or set amount the insurance company pays for covered treatments
• Premium, which is the monthly cost of keeping your policy active
• Overall cost of premiums over lifetime of pet vs. anticipated vet costs
• Peace of mind your pet will get medical care when needed most
• Cost of treating an unforeseen emergency or illnesses

Unforeseen emergencies or illnesses are the clincher – if they never happen, you may be A-OK without insurance. But if they do, your pet may not be A-OK without insurance.

What Else to Look for

• Schedule of premium increases
• Policy renewal conditions and lifetime coverage options
• Coverage for breed-specific conditions
• Age limitations on enrollment or coverage options
• Limits on certain conditions, either with limits capped on amount of reimbursements per condition or exclusions on things like bilateral conditions, such as hip dysplasia, which can occur on both sides of the body. Some companies will only cover one side of the body with bilateral conditions, leaving you out of luck (and funds) if the condition occurs on the other side of the body down the line.
• Exclusions

pet insurance reviews

When you trim away all the considerations, equations and other extended thought processes that go into the pet insurance decision, it all boils down to the single question below:

Would You Rather:

a. Roll the dice and hope for the best
b. Pay a monthly premium for the peace of mind that comes with knowing lack of coverage won’t make you choose between getting your pet help and putting your pet down?


Some people like living on the edge. We get it. But it’s not something that’s typically recommended when the life of a furry family member is at stake.

If you do say insurance is a go, you’re not only joining over 1 million other folks who already insure their pets, but you’ve already found the most comprehensive resource for pet health!

Article Name
Pet insurance reviews
Pet insurance reviews updated for 2016. Review top plans to find the pet insurance coverage that's right for your dog or cat. Read pet insurance review summaries to get key details about claim payments, reimbursements, exclusions and pre-existing conditions before you enroll in a plan.
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Pet Insurance U
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Hi, I'm Dr. Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS, a veterinarian with over two decades of experience treating cats and dogs. I've personally researched and reviewed this information to save you time and money. Enjoy the same expert advice that I give to my private veterinary clients, without having to visit or call your vet.
  • Ricky

    Wow, I wish I would have had this info when I got insurance for my Bernese Mountain Dog a few years ago. Unfortunately, I ended up with one of those policies that claims to cover accidents, illnesses, and hereditary disorders but when it came time to reimburse me for an actual bill, they gave a list of excuses why my dog was ineligible. Now I can’t switch insurances because all of his conditions are considered pre-existing and won’t be covered. It’s so important for dog owners to know what they’re getting into with pet insurance, especially if they have a breed with lots of issues like mine. Don’t get me wrong, I’d pay any amount of money to keep her healthy, but I got insurance because I though the point of it was to help me with her bills. Will definitely do more homework if I get her a brother or sister. Thanks for the info.

    • Andrea Robinson

      Ricky, that’s a tough situation. I’m sure you’re in agony knowing that you went through all the trouble to do the right thing and then found out that not all insurance companies pay out. 🙁

      • Pet Insurance U

        We agree – it stinks, to put it mildly. That’s why we made sure to research reputations, reviews and all pertinent info relating to pet insurance companies before we’d even review them for our site. It’s also important to check out exclusions on a sample policy before signing on the dotted line. Thanks for comment, Andrea!

    • Harvey Delano

      Yeah, I know what you mean, I had a Bernese a long time ago as a kid, and they are an awesome breed but they have a lot of problems like being prone to allergies, cancer, bloat, and a number of others. I think that people should not just research the insurance carriers, but also (especially) look into the breeders and what kind of rep they have. Meet the parents and the grandparents if at all possible so you can check the general health and temperament (but with Bernese you don’t have to worry too much about that).

      A lot of breeders don’t let you come on to the property and inspect the way they raise the puppies, and that’s a red flag to me. Some breeders just throw the puppies scraps and call it good. That’s just inviting trouble in my opinion.

      Anyway, good luck with your BMD, they are an awesome breed.

      • Pet Insurance U

        Hi Harvey, and thanks for add’l info on the Bernese breed. We wholeheartedly agree with your suggestions to research insurance carriers as well as breeders. Not letting potential pet parents onto the property is absurd – and, as you mentioned, a def. red flag! Thanks again for your comments.

    • Julian Holst

      I have a big dog, too. She’s a St. Bernard mix puppy I got from a neighbor.

      • Pet Insurance U

        Woof woof! We love big dogs!

    • Sissy MacDougall

      So sorry, Ricky. I can identify as I had the same thing happen with one of my older dogs.

      • Pet Insurance U

        Hi Sissy, and boooo! on hearing you had the same situation. Thanks for your input; it helps others to know to be thorough in their research.

    • Pet Insurance U

      Hi Ricky, and man, sorry to hear about the bum deal – but thank you! so much for sharing your experience to help others avoid the same pitfalls. We love your dedication to your Bernese buddy; you def. sound like a fabulous pet parent. Thanks again for your valuable input!

  • Andrea Robinson

    This is fabulous. The whole process of discovering the many insurance companies there are out there, and then going and trying to compare them point by point, is exhausting. I’m sure I’m not the only one who just gave up partway through the process. That was before I’d ever heard of a review site like this.

    When my dog got PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and went blind, I did not have insurance on her and while she did great for several years, I opted to enucleate her eyes as she was in constant risk of running into something that could lacerate them. That was an expensive surgery, as were the dental cleanings and spay/neuter surgeries I had done on all the dogs and cats.

    Later, when she got very old and apparently had developed cancer, I did not have very much money to devote to diagnosis and care. If I were to get a puppy tomorrow, I would definitely get health insurance right away. Starting them young prevents exclusions based on pre-existing conditions.


    • Monica and Willy Hill

      I don’t think most companies provide insurance against dental cleanings and spay or neuter.

      • Pet Insurance U

        Hi Monica and Willy, thanks for comments!
        While coverage for dental cleanings and spay or neuter procedures were not always covered in the past, a couple of plans currently include allowances for both in their wellness coverage options.
        Embrace offers a Wellness Rewards allowance of up to $650 per year, with the option to use some of the funds to cover spay/neuter as well as anesthetic teeth cleaning/dental illness.
        Pets Best has a BestWellness option you can add to policies. It reimburses up to $100 per year for spay/neuter (even though you don’t need that every year!) and up to $100 per year for teeth cleaning.
        Good stuff!

        • Andrea Robinson

          Wow, that’s good to know!

        • Thanks for that…I was actually going to ask about dental cleaning options.

    • Julian Holst

      That’s very sad. I have a puppy but I’m getting insurance on her ASAP!

      • Pet Insurance U

        Good move, Julian!

    • Sissy MacDougall

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Andrea.

    • Pet Insurance U

      Hi Andrea and thanks! for your compliments. We’ve been working hard putting this site together and it’s so awesome to know it’s helping! Wow on your dog going through PRA – and double wow on your devotion to doing the best for her no matter what. You’re one loving pet parent! Also thanks for pointing out importance of getting pet insurance early to prevent pre-existing exclusions. Appreciate your input all around!

      • Andrea Robinson

        Thanks so much – it’s a pleasure. And to me, that dog was worth every ounce of love and care I could pour into her! Glad you guys feel the same way! 😉

        • Pet Insurance U

          We hear ya times a zillion! The love and happiness pets bring are ALWAYS worth everything we can do for them.

      • Jaemes

        thanks for sharing your experience Andrea,was really helpful…when i get a new pet,i’ll also get a pet insurance.

  • Francie Eschenower

    I’ve heard good things about all these companies. Some of the more popular or well-known companies aren’t actually as good when you stack up the ratings. I think it’s perfectly great to do your homework and get a good plan, and also try to find out what the reputation of the company is when it comes to actually paying the claims.

    I hate to mention names, but I don’t see ASPCA on this list, and they carry insurance. See what I’m saying? Just because you’ve heard of the company doesn’t mean that they get a top rating.

    • Pet Insurance U

      Hi Francie and you are so right! Thanks for sharing your insights and letting folks know you can’t choose pet insurance based on big name alone. Insurance companies can actually pay to USE the name of big organizations even if the organization has nothing to do with the insurance.
      We agree that doing your homework is the best route to take. Way to go, Francie!

  • Monica and Willy Hill

    My husband and I are quite happy with Healthy Paws. We’re cat people, and this company is the only company to provide unlimited lifetime benefits with an annual deductible instead of a per-claim deductible, which is where a lot of the companies gouge you. They do not allow pre-existing conditions, though, and you have to know that going in. If you adopt a healthy cat from the shelter or bring in a healthy cat or kitten, you’ll be good though. In the case of the shelter cat, the medical history is unknown so there’s no pre-existing condition. They don’t cover wellness exams like teeth cleaning, but the premiums are so cheap that it’s fine.

    What you really need coverage for are catastrophic events. That’s where it’s going to add up to the thousands. We had a puppy once who had not been vaccinated and we were told that he had been. Saving that puppy from parvo cost us $5,000. That’s why we always get pet insurance now. It’s just peace of mind knowing that you’re not going to have to face the death of your pet due to exorbitant medical bills.

    • Pet Insurance U

      Yikes! on the parvo bill – and double yikes that your puppy was not vaccinated although you were told he was. Sorry to hear of the situation, but glad to hear you were able to save him. Also cool to hear you now opt for pet insurance. You’re right on pointing out insurance is most essential for catastrophic events. Peace of mind is one of our favorite things to have. Great input – thanks!

  • Harvey Delano

    I think it makes sense to get something that has the full coverage of heredity and congenital conditions. When you get a dog or cat, you never know what you’re going to be facing in terms of health. It makes total sense to me to get the accident coverage, because we all know that if your pet gets out for some reason and goes off to have some fun, it could be a life-threatening situation. But I also think that pets suffer long-term diseases just like humans do, like they get diabetes, they get senile, they get a lot of things that we people get, and if they had good nutrition as a puppy/kitten, they could live a really long life.

    So to me, I’d rather pay a little more and get the full coverage than take a chance. Of course it’s up to everyone what they want to do. I knew a cat lady in the neighborhood that had like, 25 cats she was feeding. And I doubt if she could afford insurance on any of them.

    • Pet Insurance U

      Hi Harvey, and we, too, like the idea of full coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions as the top-notch option for the most comprehensive policies. But we also think accident-only policies can be useful if budgets are really tight and folks want at least some kind of coverage.
      We def. agree that pets can suffer long-term diseases similar to humans – and that good nutrition, a loving home and plenty of TLC can help immensely! Sounds like your house would have all of the above. Thanks for comments!

  • Julian Holst

    I wanted to share my experience with this site. I’ve always heard how good Embrace is, and I clicked on the “Read Detailed Reviews” above. I was blown away by how easy it was to get a quote for my new puppy (“Fuzzy Puppy” — the cutest dog ever!).

    It’s really easy, no pressure or nosy salespeople sticking their heads into my business.

    • Pet Insurance U

      Yaay! Glad you found everything so easy to access and get a quote. We’re also all for researching and making decisions based on what you find – not what salespeople try to push you into buying. Thanks for your ongoing input, Julian!

  • Charisse Cappello

    Wow, I am just blown away by the completeness of these comparisons. First of all, they’re really easy to read and navigate. Secondly, I’ve been shopping around all over the place and I was just about to give up and just take my chances!

    I need to bear in mind all the risks a dog would take in the normal course of a year with me. I’m very active and love fly ball, Frisbee, agility, and running. I really like the hydro-therapy, because I’ve seen it used on other dogs with back injuries, which are so hard to treat normally. But I’ve seen dogs who were almost completely lame get restored using the hydro-therapy with a qualified therapist. And it takes a long time, so I was pleased to see that Healthy Paws not only allows for this kind of therapy (and others), but does not have a lifetime cap or something where you’re on your own after x number of treatments.

    I’ve got to search through the others, but I’m so pleased because I’m finally being introduced to insurance companies I never knew about before, and I’m really optimistic, so thank you to Pet Insurance U!

    • Pet Insurance U

      Hi Charisse and thank you! for your compliments. Glad to hear you found helpful info on pet insurance before you were about to give up and take your chances! We, too, are big fans of alternative therapies and the amazing healing benefits.
      You are VERY welcome for the info – it’s exactly the reason we exist. So glad it helped. And have fun with your pooch and all your activities.

  • Sissy MacDougall

    This is a really beneficial site for comparing the top 6 companies. I really like them all! I’m going to have to read through each description more carefully, because I think I would be happy with any of them. I guess that’s why they’re all so highly rated. Thank you so much, because I was really starting to lose hope. The plans I’ve heard of through other sources weren’t nearly as good as these!

    • Pet Insurance U

      Hi Sissy and cool deal! on finding info that can help you out. We dug deep into pet insurance companies, making sure we’d only review and feature those we would actually choose for our own pets. All are good, you’re right! Final decision rests on one that best suits YOUR exact needs with coverage options and cost. Good luck!

  • Winona Petit

    I can’t wait to read all these reviews. Don’t have time now, but really want to get into this. This is the first really good review site I’ve seen on pet insurance, so thank you!

    • Pet Insurance U

      Winona – thanks! for your kind words – and you’re welcome for the info. So excellent to know we’re helping folks out as the site was intended. Happy reading!

  • Kzoodad

    uh, having recently paid for a sick cat, I really wish we would have had some sort of insurance to offset the bills. Luckily we were able to afford the needed treatment, and with the exception of some special cat food, he is back to normal. Now too find the plan that works best for me. Thanks.

  • Wow.. this information is CLUTCH!! Ok.. so only pet lovers will understand how awesome this information truly is.. as I didn’t grow up with pets.. yet always loved large breed dogs.. and as I became an adult I started adding German Shepherds to my family.. The first was my first child while I was still in college.. I ended up giving her away to an amazing family before she turned 7 months.. yet my second I added to my family as a single mom.. I had my human child and my German Shepherd child.. lol..

    Yet did not understand anything about pet insurance or coverage. I kept all her vet appointments and paid out of pocket for everything.. which worked out really well until she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 3, to be more specific April 2006. I simply could not come up with the money in order to cover the chemo.. so I had to allow the vets to send her on to glory.. Talk about heart breaking.. I was devastated.. I will never forget my Trinity.. she was love..

    So it took me quite a while to get to a point where I could add another family member.. Yet in 2012 we brought home Diamond.. another German Shepherd. I made a decision up front that I would have some sort of coverage on her.. and chose a plan at my vets.. none of which are listed here.. yet I’m very excited to have come across this information as I believe we may be adding another member to the family in the near future.. we simply love dogs around these parts.. and after reviewing this site.. especially the Nationwide as I already have Home and Auto with them.. I wonder if there may even be another discount, if I bundle.. hmmm.. something to find out.. Thanks so much again for this vital information.. keep smiling

  • Pet insurance is a good investment, just as home, life and auto insurance is. My daughter has a large breed dog, and had a scare when he was only two months old. She hadn’t bought insurance coverage yet and paid out-of-pocket for some intensive treatment. Her puppy is now healthy as he can be, but her bank account suffered. She now has pet insurance, as she knows how quickly an animal’s health can be compromised.

    I would also like to make a comment on the infographics – easy to read and follow. Much easier than blocks and blocks of text. Well done!

  • Martyna P.

    Thanks for such useful information! You summed up everything well. I wish I had bought an insurance for my dog. She’s 15 years old now so there’s no use in buying it now (I don’t think I even can, can I?), but she has been through few operations, some of which I could have predicted (like for example, she had her teeth removed – she’s a poodle, their teeth are prone to various diseases). Looking back, it would have been better to buy an insurance, for saving a lot of money and for a peace of mind.

  • Claire

    The second I rented my first apartment I got my first pet without having any pet insurance – to be honest, I didn’t even think this existed. Fast forward a couple of months and my Lisa is suffering from a complete hormonal imbalance after her spaying surgery. And I mean it, she urinated in her sleep, started gaining weight, had trouble sitting in one place. After two years and thousands and thousands spent, she finally started to feel better. I had to change two couches, a mattress, and to get rid of all the carpets. Now I’m planning on getting a new dog and you can bet I’ll have insurance this time. Healthy Paws seems like a good option and they’re fairly priced too.

  • Riana

    It’s harder to pick an insurance plan for my pet than it was for me haha! This will be my first pet and I have to admit those numbers scared me a bit… I know vet bills tend to be a bit over the top but this is getting ridiculous…

  • Adriana

    So happy I found this! My daughter wants a Husky and after making sure we can take good care of it we decided to go along and find her perfect dog. One thing though… Sorry if this sounds dumb but do you happen to know if these insurances apply to pets that are adopted? We plan to visit our local shelters and let her choose the one she likes most.

  • Just Dan

    I read your reviews and my wife thinks we should go with PetsBest. Our cat died last year after living 13 years like a king, with no health issues whatsoever. Our Boxer, on the other hand, had it all, from minor skin rashes to a severe food allergy, we were at the vet almost every week until he sadly passed away. We don’t regret taking care of him, he was a member of our family, but I’d like to prevent some of these expenses with our new dog.

  • Alexa Cress

    I would never have thought about Pet insurance to be honest, but really how is it any different than having insurance on a person or valuable. I find it extremely interesting how you’ve compared the different types of plans and specifically pointing out what exactly insurance covers depending on your situation. I’ve heard of way too many stories of my friends pet’s getting sick and it’s come down to a decision of paying for their health care or going on vacation. More than likely you’re going to choose your pet because they are your family which means they need to be protected.
    When I get my next pet I will be sure to refer back to their article!

  • Wow! SO much information in this post but beautifully put together. Although long, it was definitely worth the read. The info graph was very cute.

    I wish that I had all of this information several years ago when we first got our dog. He does not have insurance but is a senior dog. Over the years he has been to the vet for many accidents including breaking his foot! At one point we thought he would lose it but luckily he did not. That treatment was a bit costly. And a few years ago he was scratched by a family cat in his eye. He is now blind in the eye. My poor baby!

    I will not make the mistake of not having insurance for my future pets. Thanks for all the great info!

  • It surely makes sense to have insurance doesn’t it. There are some big figures there. Many people have health insurance, so if you love your pet…. Saving in the bank was mentioned, but insurance is alot more sensible. I was very surprised by the amount spent on pet health care .. $60.59 billion !!!

  • Anastacia

    We recently adopted a cat and I had no idea how much vet visits could cost! I was hesitant to get a pet insurance policy, but this post had some pretty compelling information… Especially when you compared a savings account and an insurance policy side-by-side.

  • Justina Roberts

    Thank you so much, when my family decided to get a dog ten years ago, we realized it was a responsibility to take on. We did not realize how expensive it could be, obviously worth every penny, but when we were struggling when both head of households were laid off at the same time it would’ve been much easier to make an insurance payment than pay for emergency treatment. Now that we’ve added 3(!) more dogs to our home (since our first, Sadie), we have made the decision to get pet insurance. I’m sure we are not the only ones who expected to only spend $ on wellness exams, but I’m glad we now know our options.

  • Jerome

    Honestly this is perfect , exactly the information i needed , i have a german shephard 3 months old now and i love him , really simple and easy way to get your puppy insured!

  • Leo

    Hi, we were planning to have a Persian cat in our home but were quite hesitant about how we will handle its diet or health/illness issues. We came upon some views on internet about Persian cat that it is susceptible to chronic illnesses and genetic health issues. This makes us bit worry as it can affect pet’s life as well as our bank account too.

    We find pet insurance U quite helpful in this matter. Easy payment plans and good coverage policy makes our decision bit faster. When it comes to medical care for pets, low-cost isn’t always a good thing. We must think about overall coverage. Pet Insurance U has better & comprehensive insurance plans. Reimbursement & deductibles are explained rather straightforwardly.

    It’s quite easy to compare multiple plans and decide. It’s explained quite fairly that what’s covered and what’s not.

    We found Embrace Pet Insurance plan good for our cat. It covers Accidents, Illnesses, Genetic Conditions, Chronic Conditions, and Dental Trauma & Cancer Treatment including Chemotherapy. The embrace plan has a percentage method of reimbursement that is good for our pet as we will receive a percentage of the amount that we have paid to our vet.

    This will give us peace of mind, knowing in advance that our wooly friend is shielded against any unexpected health problems.

  • I just read an article the other day discussing CPR techniques to use with your dog. It made me realize that at ANY time, anything can happen to your pet.

    You never know. While I completely understand not wanting to invest in something that may or may not be necessary, you really never know.

    I think just about every breed has its genetic conditions. Sometimes, they can show up early in life.

    In fact, my family had bought a puppy from a respectable breeder and only six months later, his hip began to deteriorate. This resulted in surgery – and no one saw it coming.

    I feel pet insurance is one of those expenses that ought to be factored in when you consider bringing a pet into your home. The peace of mind, if nothing else, justifies the cost.

  • Graysse

    A dog owner and lover like me and many many others are in need of pet insurance and I wish more people knew about this!!! Our Pets are part of the family too and they also need a back up plan for that rainy day. I’m grateful for Petinsurance U for this lovely initiative because it saved my Dogs life!!! We’ve had him for about 5 years and thanks to ‘Petsbest’ we have our dog for many more years to come.

  • Starla Brunson

    I will admit, that I am one of those people who has felt like pet insurance was a waste of time. I’m already mad that I put in so much money for auto insurance and never need or see anything from the money I put into it. But I have changed and realized that I want my two babies covered incase I do run into a situation where I need the help in funding a vet visit. This site has made it easier for me to compare the different companies. Now I have about five different ones that seems great and not sure which one I want for sure. Any suggestions? I have two pomskys (Pomeranian and husky mix)

  • Calum

    I bought my first dog this year – a Scottish Terrier named Spike. Pet insurance was recommended by the shelter where I purchased Spike. After reading some information online it is quite easy to be overwhelmed by all the jargon and terminology when looking for an insurer.

    I wanted to say how useful I found this info-graphic, it clearly outlines the pros and cons of insurance. After receiving several quotes (and reading the small print!), I decided to choose one of the listed insurers and feel safe in the comfort that Spike is insured should anything happen to him.

  • Pet Insurance U


  • Ghem Pantollano

    One of the things to consider when having a pet is to get “Pet Insurance”. I got some knowledge on how to have a pet insurance and the benefits or advantages of it. Thanks for sharing your article. 🙂

  • Joy M

    I’ve been led to this site because a dear friend of mine had a terrible situation where she had saved quite a bit of money and then her dear dog, Leddy became very ill. Her savings, although robust were used up pretty quickly and she could not get insurance when Leddy needed it the most. She ended up borrowing money from friends and family, and even took out a short loan to get Leddy the care that she needed. It was a terrible burden that she needed extra financial help while also dealing with Leddy’s failing health. I have two poodles, Lucy and Ricky. Right now, they are happy and healthy now but I want to make sure that I have enough pet health coverage to ensure that if something comes up, we will be well-prepared and covered. I’m so thankful that I found this site and will be encouraging more of my friends to check it out as well.

  • lovely mcarthur

    The content is very informative! Thanks for helping pet owners like me to realized how helpful insurance is for the health of my pet and for my pocket as well.

  • Stella

    I can’t believe that some plans have exclusions on things like only covering one side of the body for bilateral conditions. We recently adopted a Golden Retriever puppy, and I’ve heard they are prone to hip dysplasia, which as mentioned above, could occur on both sides of the body. This is definitely something to consider as I shop for pet insurance. Thanks for helping me know what to look for in a plan!

  • Marie

    I had never thought about premium increases or breed restrictions when it came to buying pet insurance. I’m so glad I came across this website. The comparisons have enough detail that I’m able to quickly check to see if the plan covers what I need, but not so much information that it feels overwhelming. Thank you for making my life easier!

  • Clea

    This website is a wealth of information when it comes to choosing the right plan! I had no idea what to look for when shopping for pet insurance, but this has helped so much! My husband and I are discussing getting a dog for our little girl, but are not too keen on trying to train a puppy right now. We are looking at plans that do not have age restrictions, and are really considering the breed we want and any common issues associated with those breeds.

  • Ujjal Karmakar

    The insurance policy is really good. The insurance regarding pet is a awesome idea in which we can ensure pet’s safety. Policies including treatment for the condition, diagnostic tests, surgeries, medications etc. are fantastic. I think some others benefits should include with the policy like dental cleanings, spay, neuter.

  • I am really glad that there is pet insurance for animals now. Now, animals can live longer(compared to ten+ years ago). It is truly amazing how there are different procedures that are done these days to save a pet’s life.
    It’s all in the name of love. And, that is beautiful. In addition, I see that there are even plans that accept puppies and kittens as young as six to eight weeks old! Wow! That is great! Furthermore, I had no idea that 60.59 billion dollars was spent overall on pets last year! Wow! Additionally, I noticed that pet insurance has changed for the best in recent years.
    There are deductibles now! Next, it is true that a pet can get “penalized” when a pet owner does not have the money to pay for their pet’s treatment.
    When this usually happens, the pet usually dies. And, that is so sad. One of my sisters lost her dog several years ago because of this very reason. She let her dog out one day to roam and play.
    Within a few hours, her dog either was found, or returned home bleeding due to someone injuring him, causing him to bleed a lot. As a result, I heard about it and took him to the animal hospital. You know, maybe there should be pet ambulances.
    I just now thought about this! Anyway, I sure didn’t have the one thousand and some dollars that was required to save her pet’s life.
    Furthermore, my family and I had hopes that there would be some type of program through the SPCA or something, where animals could get treatment/surgeries for free, if and when a pet owner cannot pay for emergencies such as this, especially when there is no pet insurance.

  • I can assure you it is going to be a good value for your money. Knowing all the insurances they offer, my personal favourites being Nationwide and Embrace. They’ve helped me out when my Yorkies had been on predicament and had covered even the most basic veterinary needs. I am extremely happy that I stumbled upon their insurance offers. I’ll give them 10/10 for their excellent service.

  • Alright, that’s definitely one of the coolest infographics I’ve ever seen. Very nice! Want to say thanks again for providing comprehensive information in an easy-to-navigate place. I thought finding pet insurance was going to be a pain, but you’ve broken it all down quite nicely. This is a great service you’re providing to pet owners.

  • Alyssa Williams

    I’m so happy that I found this extremely helpful and detailed page that helps me sift through all of the necessary information that I need in order to make an informed and educated decision about pet insurance. I was initially thinking that I could wait a little while before getting insurance but after reading this article, I realize that the sooner I get insurance, the better. After all, accidents don’t happen when it’s convenient and being able to pay extra expenses when they come up will seriously give me some peace of mind (both to care for my pet and not feel overwhelmed by vet bills). A few years ago, I had a friend who had an older pet that had to have surgery after swallowing a small toy so I could totally relate to the “tennis ball” scenario. After all was said and done, the costs were triple of what my friend expected and caused a hardship that took a few months to climb out of. Most of us don’t have a few thousand dollars laying around, earmarked for pet emergencies so pet insurance provides the coverage needed, just in case.

    I’ll have to decide which type of coverage makes that most sense for my family. It has to fit into the budget and also give me some reasonable relief, in case of some kind of trauma. As the article suggests, I’ll be reading the fine print very carefully. I know that I’ll need to pay close attention to renewal conditions as well as any caps and/or limitations that the company may put in place (that may not be in my best interest).

    I’m not the type of person that wants to just roll the dice and see what happens so I’ll definitely be carefully checking out some of these plans to see which is the best fit for us!

  • Louise Butler

    Thank you so much for this informative post on pet insurance. I had no idea that the cost of pet medical care was so high! I have been trying to choose an insurance policy for my new blue russian kitten but was struggling to find the information I needed. This post was invaluable to me. I’m so happy and grateful that you took the time to write it. I would have thought that a basic plan would have been adequate for my needs but after reading your post, I am going to pay for a premium insurance plan for my kitten so I’ll never have to deal with any extreme out-of-pocket expenses for her.

  • My dog was recently attacked by a stray dog and had to have 25 stitches in her hind leg. With multiple visits because of her removing the stitches and numerous shots and medications, the total cost was just under $500. Insurance paid 90% and I have $100 deductible so this one accident already justifies the cost of insurance.

  • Jane

    I appreciate that this page is so thorough. I’ve never had pet insurance before, but I’ve been considering it for my cats after incurring a lot of expenses with my dog before she passed away. I’m impressed that the top rated company here, Healthy Paws, has such affordable rates. Do you know if Healthy Paws (or any other companies) offer a discount if you insure multiple pets?

  • Kendra Justine

    This post really provides a good basis of what to look for in pet insurance policies. There are many things to consider when you are searching for a policy for your pet. I had insurance for my German Shepherd years ago, but every time I would take him to the vet, I had to pay a lot out pocket. The premium was low, but the deductible was high. After reading this I now know what to look out for when choosing a policy. I really like the chart too, it makes it easy to weigh the benefits of having pet insurance. Thanks for this!

  • Martyna P.

    It still seems like rolling a dice to me, you can also buy an insurance and your animal could be fine it’s whole life… Still, I think it’s a very rare thing. Animals are living things and just like humans – get sick, get into accidents, etc. I regret not buying an insurance for my dog. Once she had an accident and her ribs got broken. I had to pay for the operation quite a large sum of money. Now, she’s got cancer, but I have absolutely no money for the operation. Even though I love her, she’s an old dog so I guess I can put up with it… But seriously people, I recommend you buying an insurance. You will seriously save money with that.
    On a side note, great article! Very informative, I learned a lot.

  • Eric Baker

    I must say that Healthy Paws is far and away the best plan I have had for my cat. Most pet insurance plans I looked at did not cover her hereditary condition (a skin issue that can sometimes cause her pain). Since it was pre-existing other plans claimed that they would be unable to cover her. Thanks to Healthy Paws I was able to have her condition fully treated giving me total peace of mind. As an added bonus I no longer have to worry about bringing her to the vet for her treatment as I know she’s fully covered.

  • Amy H.

    I had no idea this kind of insurance was available. I always thought it was a scam that wouldn’t actually pay off. My dog got in a scuffle a few months ago and ended up with infected cuts on her face. It ended up costing over $1500, which I definitely did not have earmarked for emergency dog care. It’s basically inevitable that your dog will go its entire life without needing SOME kind of costly care– so insurance seems like a worthy investment. Thanks for breaking down the options!

  • comment_blog

    First of all i must bookmark this page, because it expose many information on pet insurance.
    I have been looking for the best pet insurance to lay my hand on for my pet. Even if i get this information sometimes last week, it would have save me from money spend on my dog which pass through surgery.
    But am so grateful for this information and i credit Pet Insurance U for this writeup.

  • Kristina

    I have been owning a pet since always, but to be honest I have never heard about pet insurance before until I found this website and honestly I am really happy that I did. This website is very useful for me as a pet owner, I have read the entire article very carefully and decided to make some research about pet insurance, it sounds like a good thing to me because the health of my pets are very important to me and you never know what kind of health issue the pet will face in a future. Thank you for the useful information.

  • asmaa303

    Thanks so much for achieve peace of mind and assurance on my pet.

  • Jessica Edwards

    Oh that is really good to know Julian. I am going to have a look at Embrace. I never used to think about things like unexpected vet and ER visits and it was always a struggle to pay for them when these situations arose. Pet insurance makes a lot of good sense to me and I definitely need to learn more.

  • Sandy Arora

    For me pet insurance delivers peace of mind. Having pet insurance allows me to choose treatments for my ailing or injured pet based on the best medical option available and not restricted based on family finances. So it ultimately prevents me dipping into the family’s emergency fund. Most pet insurance policies reimburse up to 80% of costs after deductibles. So if you have a pet, you should go for insurance and I always read latest reviews on this website before buying any insurance. So that I don’t make wrong decisions while buying it.

  • Carlie Stevenson, PhD

    Wow, I was just here to click on all the comparative breakdowns of what the various insurance companies have to offer, but the infographic was so awesome it became the main event. I think I learned more about budgeting pet insurance than I ever knew before. And it was very clear and easy to read.

    I’ve got to give kudos to Dr. Pippa Elliot for this fascinating article that explains so clearly, from a vet’s point of view, exactly why it’s important to be prepared. Rather than face the chance of having to euthanize your pet or let him suffer, why not be prepared? I can tell you two simple reasons for getting the insurance. I took in a rescue puppy and he came down with parvo! It cost me $5,000 to save him, but I couldn’t bear to let him go.

    A friend of mine had a dog who ate the dust ruffle right off her bed! This is a true story. Now, who would suspect a dog of eating the bedding right off the bed? So these pets are wonderful, but they do some crazy, life-threatening things from time to time. And if you need an emergency vet in the middle of the night, it can cost way more than $3,000.

  • I can’t be more thankful I have found a site like this that has done all the research for me and has given me a lot of things to think about that I would of never thought of considering before. I am about to buy my second puppy after having to put my previous one down because we did not have health insurance and the bills were getting really expensive.

    Now I see the value in having insurance for my pet and I love the variety of things it covers for dogs. I am still in the process of deciding which insurance is the best one for me and my Rottweiler Doberman.

    I love that it is so affordable compared to what it would cost me if my dog was to become sick again and all the expenses that become really costly if you weren’t to have insurance for your pet.

    Thank you to the Team at Pet Insurance for providing me with such great information and things to consider. I love reading everyone’s reviews on here which re-assures me on my decision to take out pet insurance.

  • Fran

    Really great detailed report. I always look for reviews before purchasing anything nowadays, and that includes insurance. Not only does the quote have to be right but also the customer service. Afterall, you want to be able to talk with someone on the phone abut your claim, and ultimately know you will get paid out!

    I tell everyone, if you love your pet and want to do right by them, have them insured. I have seen far too many people not have it and not be able to get the dog the healthcare it needs and deserves.

  • AdreAnna Sommer

    A couple years ago, our family dog was taken to the vet for his routine check up. After running his annual tests, we received bad news. They found something in his stomach that shouldn’t have been there. Not only were we worried, but we were stressed for the bill that was to come afterward. The bill totaled to over $10,000!!! Luckily, we had pet insurance and were put at ease when we were reimbursed. Many pet owners do not realize how important their animals health is or should be and ignore their wellness until something serious happens because of how expensive the vet can be. A lot of owners forget or do not know that there is pet insurance. Pet insurance is a great thing to have if you own an animal. Most insurance companies reimburse or cover your vet bill up to 80% and unlike human insurance that may require certain doctors or hospitals, the owner will choose where they want to go.

  • Sharlee16

    I bought a puppy my senior year of college, expecting that having a dog wouldn’t be too much of an expense. I believed that until a horrible pink blob, that looked like a tumour, popped out of her eye. Turns out she had a cherry eye–which is not a cheap surgery to correct. The cheapest quote I got was $700, the most was $1200. It’s a common occurrence in dogs, and my vet told me there was a good possibility the cherry eye could pop back out, or it would happen in the other eye. I don’t know about you but I can’t afford to pay for 2 expensive surgeries. It was a horrible ordeal, and I had to borrow money to pay for the surgery. That was humiliating.

    After only having my dog for a year and already having shelled out over $3,000, pet insurance is a big relief for me. I chose the pet premium plan, and know I’m covered if Lilo gets another cherry eye. Now I have learned a big lesson, pets are expensive, and just because I’m not in the ideal financial position doesn’t mean my dog has to suffer for it. Pet Premium offers a plan for $9 a month. That’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

  • George Chiang

    Healthy Paws Insurance is a pure RIPOFF! I’ve been paying this policy religiously for two pets for several years. They’ve made thousands off of me. When one of my pets needed surgery, I had to fork out thousands. The process took a ridiculously long time and I was only reimbursed less than 15% of what I had to spend. So if I had to spend $10,000, I was reimbursed less than $1500. This charge couldn’t be included. That charge can’t be included! I worked hard for the money I paid to them to make sure my pets were covered. And when a crisis hit, I feel like I was really taken advantage of. Not happy! Stay away unless you want to be taken for a fool!

  • Joe Cannonball

    I’m glad that you say upfront that pre-existing conditions are generally not covered by any pet health insurance plan, because I’m sick of companies that act shady when they don’t explicitly mention upfront that pre-existing conditions cannot be insured (but only after the fact.) Our cat Bruce is getting old now, and the last thing I need is to go thousands of dollars in debt to cover an expensive operation for our beloved cat. Thanks for this valuable service.

  • Andrea Andino

    Wow! After reading this article it really makes me rethink the pet insurance bit more. I guess lower coverage plan probably is a safe bet if you own a cat, and if you have very active pets and more than one a pretty good idea to get the broadest coverage. Seems embrace is good after reading reviews, etc. A lot to think about if you have more than one pet.

    • Nate Collins

      Yes, we came to that conclusion too, Embrace looks perfect for us

  • Erin Floyd Smith

    Wow, this article is informative! When you adopt a little one, it’s so hard to know all the things you need to keep in mind for their well-being. While, information about specific insurance plans is great. I like being able to hear what other people think of the plans.

  • Fathan

    OMG, I am just shock from all of these comparisons. They’re really easy to read and understand.

    Before this I have a cat that really easy to get infections because it allergic to many things, I have a spent a lot of money to cure him. But of course it not that matter because it worth it. But with this insurance I can cover and save my money more.

    I’ve got to search through the others, but I’m so pleased because I’m finally being introduced to insurance companies I never knew about before, and I’m really optimistic, so thank you to Pet Insurance U!

  • Nate Collins

    This article is comprehensive and helpful. We adopted a puppy about a month ago, a very playful pup…I can’t imagine him sick and unable to run around. We’re looking into getting him a medium healthcare coverage plan in case of unexpected medical treatment costs. It’s been tricky getting the right info to pick the best provider, I’m so delighted to find all the info I needed in this blog. We’ll consider Embrace. Thanks a lot

  • Melissa Alyse

    What an extensive overview– we didn’t have pet insurance with our first dog & we very fortunate that we didn’t have any vet emergencies & that he had a great life until he passed away from old age but with our new pup it seems like a risk we shouldn’t take…

    I wouldn’t want him to develop a pre-existing condition & not be covered by insurance. I’m grateful for all the information in this article. It’s going to make choosing a company to go with a lot easier!

  • Lady Tracey

    Paws you are doing great. I was amazed
    when I read through the numerous policies covered by Health Paws. It gave me a
    respite on different health issues of all the dog breeds I have. I can get my
    dog covered even on hereditary and congenital conditions peculiar to specific
    breeds. And above all, Healthy Paws
    policies premium are low. This is really a good one for me and my dogs.

  • Jaemes

    woa!!! a wonderful and really beneficial article. Wish i came across this earlier, would have been a lot more helpful to my friend that lost his dog “Sammy” a while back. He was struggling with paying treatment bills and other routine checks for Sammy due to financial issues. I guess having a pet is easy but taking care,is quite challenging. With all the comments i have seen here,i can conclude that having a pet insurance gives ease of mind on the pet’s health and helps in so many ways. Thanks a lot for the review…cheers

Pet Insurance Reviews

Pet Insurance Reviews

Vet-Verified Pet Insurance Reviews Shop for insurance the smart way. Researched and reviewed by real veterinarians. 1. Healthy Paws Healthy Paws Review Read full ...


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