Personal Finance
Advertiser Disclosure

Best Pet Insurance Companies for July 2024

Best Pet Insurance
iStock

Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more about it.

updated: June 9, 2024

The cost of living has gone up for just about everything—utilities, food, and housing all cost more than they previously did, leaving many people struggling to make ends meet. For those who own pets (which is roughly 66% of U.S. households), the increase in vet costs has also hit them hard.

Luckily, there is another option for pet owners. A pet insurance policy can help offset the costs of vet care for your four-legged friend. But finding the right fit isn’t always easy. We’ve done much of the legwork to help you find the best pet insurance coverage for you and your animal friends.

Featured Partner
Lemonade

Lemonade Pet Insurance

Featured Partner

Lemonade Pet Insurance

Max annual coverage
$5,000 to $100,000
Reimbursement rates
70% to 90%
Deductible choices
$100, $250, $500, or $750
Usual coverage
Diagnostics, injury from accident, cancer, flea and heartworm prevention, allergy medicine, arthritis medicine

Our recommendations for pet insurance companies

Best for pet wellness plan: Embrace

Pet wellness plan
Embrace

Embrace Pet Insurance

Pet wellness plan

Embrace Pet Insurance

Pet age restrictions
Upper age limit: 15 years
Max annual coverage
$5,000 to unlimited
Reimbursement rates
70%, 80%, or 90%
Deductible choices
$200 to $1,000 per year
Money-back guarantee
30 days

Embrace pet insurance covers the usual issues—namely, unexpected illnesses and accidents. But where the company really shines is with its wellness plans designed to keep pets healthy and reduce the likelihood of preventable illness.

Embrace pet insurance offers a flexible pet wellness plan that covers vaccination, spay or neuter surgery, annual wellness exams, preventative medications, grooming, teeth cleaning, training, and even massage therapy. The wellness plan is a reimbursement plan, so you’ll need to submit a claim. You can choose between three annual reimbursement amounts ($250, $450, and $650) to suit your budget and your pet’s anticipated needs. Opting for a wellness plan can help you budget more easily for preventative care, rather than paying a hefty vet bill when you take your pet in for their annual visit.

Additional perks of opting for an Embrace pet insurance pet insurance plan include a wide range of maximum annual coverage amounts (up to unlimited) and deductible choices ranging from $100 to $1,000. These choices make Embrace a good choice for pet owners with various budgets.

Recommended for dogs? Embrace pet insurance is a top pick for dog insurance. It offers dental illness coverage up to $1,000, as well as breed-specific, congenital, and chronic conditions. Like most pet insurance companies, Embrace doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, but it separates curable and incurable conditions to maximize coverage.

Recommended for cats? Embrace pet insurance offers customizable coverage for cats, making it a good choice for cat owners. Less-invasive treatments, such as laser therapy and acupuncture, are included at no extra cost.

Pros:

  • Flexible pet wellness plans that cover annual exams, preventative meds, spay or neuter surgery, and more.
  • Wellness plans have three annual reimbursement amounts.
  • There is a wide range of maximum annual coverage amounts and deductible amounts for accident and injury plans.

Cons:

  • Pets over 14 years aren’t eligible for illness coverage.
  • There is a six-month waiting period for orthopedic conditions.

Best for add-ons to basic coverage: Lemonade Insurance Company

Add-ons to base coverage
Lemonade

Lemonade Pet Insurance

Add-ons to base coverage

Lemonade Pet Insurance

Pet age restrictions
No upper age limit
Max annual coverage
$5,000, $10,000, or unlimited
Reimbursement rates
70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%
Deductible choices
$100 to $1,500 per year (depending on pet’s age)
Money-back guarantee
30 days

Although Lemonade doesn’t offer an accident-only plan, it does have more add-on options than many other pet insurance companies. These options include physical therapy, vet visits, acupuncture, tooth extractions, behavioral conditions, end-of-life and remembrance, and preventive care for adult animals or for puppies and kittens (the latter of which includes microchipping).

By the end of 2024, waiting periods will be 14 days for illness and 30 days for orthopedic conditions—and no waiting period for accidents. (Changes begin with new and renewal policies in Mississippi, New Hampshire, Washington, and Nebraska and will roll out nationally; check your policy for current rules). One downside: Lemonade insurance is only sold in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

The maximum annual coverage ranges from $5,000 to $100,000. Reimbursement rates are 70%, 80%, or 90%, and deductibles range from $100 to $500 annually. A bonus: You can get a 10% discount on your pet insurance if you bundle it with Lemonade’s homeowners, renter’s, or car insurance. You can also get a 5% discount for adding another pet and a 5% discount if you pay your premium annually instead of monthly.

Recommended for dogs? Dog insurance from Lemonade covers annual heartworm testing, fecal testing, and flea/tick and heartworm medication through a wellness plan, making it a great choice for dog owners who want to prevent illness in their pets.

Recommended for cats? Lemonade cat insurance is a good pick thanks to its quick claims process. Lemonade uses artificial intelligence (AI) to approve the majority of claims instantly, so you don’t have to wait days or weeks for reimbursement.

Pros:

  • You can add on a variety of coverage options.
  • You can get a 10% discount on pet insurance if you bundle coverage with homeowners, renters, or car insurance.
  • Many claims can be processed instantly.

Cons:

  • Lemonade pet insurance is only sold in 37 states and the District of Columbia.
  • There is no coverage for alternative or behavioral therapy.

Best for covering horses: ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Covering horses as well as cats and dogs
ASPCA

ASPCA Pet Insurance

Covering horses as well as cats and dogs

ASPCA Pet Insurance

Pet age restrictions
No upper age limit
Max annual coverage
$3,000, to $10,000
Reimbursement rates
70%, 80%, or 90%
Deductible choices
$100, $250, or $500 per year
Money-back guarantee
30 days

Most pet insurance plans are limited to dogs and cats, but it can be harder to find coverage if you own a horse. ASPCA is an established, well-known brand that offers insurance plans for horses, cats, and dogs.

There are two plans available for horses. Both plans cover colic, a common problem for horses, and coverage applies whether the ailment is caused by an accident or an injury. The Colic + Accidents plan also pays for vet bills associated with cuts, hoof abscesses, toxic ingestions, and injuries from trailer accidents, among other things. The Colic + Accidents + Illness plan also covers illnesses such as Cushing’s disease, strangles, cancer, and hereditary conditions.

Coverage for dogs and cats includes an Accident-Only plan and a Complete Coverage plan. The Accident-Only plan covers bite wounds, swallowed objects, broken bones, cuts and lacerations, fractured teeth, and toxic ingestions. This is the most affordable plan, but it’s only designed for emergencies. The Complete Coverage plan also covers ailments like arthritis, hip dysplasia, behavioral disorders, cancer, and even hereditary conditions that may not appear until later in a pet’s life. The plan also covers alternative therapies like acupuncture and physiotherapy. With both plans, the waiting period for accident coverage is 14 days.

ASPCA also offers preventive care add-ons for wellness exams, vaccines, and dental cleanings, though no stand-alone wellness plan exists. Annual deductibles range from $100 to $500, annual coverage limits range from $3,000 to $10,000 (on the low side), and reimbursement rates are 70% to 90%. ASPCA offers insurance in all 50 states and gives a 10% discount when you insure more than one pet.

Recommended for dogs? ASPCA pet insurance is a good choice for dogs. A Complete Coverage plan covers diagnostics, therapies, treatments, and even prescriptions. If your dog swallows a foreign object or develops cancer, ASPCA can help cover the cost of treatment.

Recommended for cats? Cat owners can get complete coverage for their pet from ASPCA. A Complete Coverage plan covers diagnostics, procedures, and hospitalizations, as well as prescriptions. Coverage extends to hereditary conditions such as kidney disease, plus behavioral issues like destructive scratching.

Pros:

  • ASPCA offers comprehensive coverage for horses
  • You can get a 10% discount if you insure multiple pets.
  • Coverage is available in all 50 states.
  • Plans cover microchip implantation.

Cons:

  • Annual coverage limit ranges are on the low side.
  • There is no stand-alone pet wellness plan.
  • It can take up to 30 days to process claims.

Best for puppies and kittens: Fetch

Puppies and kittens
Fetch

Fetch Pet Insurance

Puppies and kittens

Fetch Pet Insurance

Pet age restrictions
Lower age limit: 6 weeks; no upper age limit
Max annual coverage
$5,000, $10,000, or $15,000
Reimbursement rates
70%, 80%, or 90%
Deductible choices
$250, $300, or $500 per year
Money-back guarantee
30 days

Many pet insurance providers won’t cover animals under eight to 12 weeks old, but Fetch offers coverage to puppies and kittens as young as six weeks. In addition, there’s no maximum age limit, so you can cover your pet using Fetch for almost their entire lives.

In addition to covering young animals, Fetch covers exam fees for sick visits and has a waiting period as short as five days for claims, which means you’ll receive claim approval quickly. Fetch also offers up to a 10% discount on premiums for pets adopted from a shelter or rescue, members of AARP, veterans and active military members, and veterinary staff, allowing certain pet owners to save even more on their premiums. Fetch claims its average monthly premiums are $35 for dogs and $20 for cats, which is already relatively affordable even before discounts are applied.

Recommended for dogs? Fetch dog and puppy insurance covers sick visit exam fees, behavioral therapies, and even boarding fees if you’re hospitalized. This makes it a great choice for dog owners.

Recommended for cats? Yes; cat owners who opt for a Fetch insurance plan can get coverage for treatments like acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic, and homeopathic therapies, which can be a great alternative treatment option for your cat.

Pros:

  • Coverage is available for puppies and kittens as young as six weeks.
  • Waiting periods for claims can be as short as five days.
  • Coverage includes boarding fees up to $1,000.
  • There are several discounts available.

Cons:

  • There is no multi-pet discount
  • There is a 15-day waiting period for accidents and illnesses.

Best for direct payment to vets: Pets Best Pet Health Insurance

Direct payment to vets
Pets Best

Pets Best Insurance

Direct payment to vets

Pets Best Insurance

Pet age restrictions
No upper age limit
Max annual coverage
$5,000 or unlimited
Reimbursement rates
70%, 80%, or 90%
Deductible choices
$50 to $1,000
Money-back guarantee
30 days

Pets Best Pet Health Insurance offers pet owners the option of direct reimbursement to vets, so you won’t have to pay a large vet bill and wait for your reimbursement claim to be approved. This can help alleviate concerns about being out of pocket on a big bill after your pet has a medical emergency, so you can focus on helping your furry friend recover. Pets Best has coverage for dogs and cats of all ages, from baby to senior, so you can keep your pet covered under the same provider for the entirety of its life.

Deductibles for Pets Best Pet Health Insurance policies range from $50 to $2,000 in $50 increments. You can choose a maximum annual coverage of $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, or unlimited, allowing you to tailor your policy to your pet’s medical needs. Reimbursement rates can be 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, or 90%. Pets Best also has 24/7 vet support, which can be a comfort for those middle-of-the-night cat or dog emergencies.

Recommended for dogs? Pets Best Pet Health Insurance dog insurance covers vet exam fees, which aren’t always covered by pet insurance. This makes it a great choice for budget-conscious pet owners who want to minimize their out-of-pocket costs.

Recommended for cats? Cat insurance from Pets Best Pet Health Insuranceincludes coverage for hereditary conditions, which isn’t always the case. That makes Pets Best a good choice for cat owners.

Pros:

  • Direct vet reimbursement is available.
  • There is a wide range of available deductibles in $50 increments.
  • Pets Best has an unlimited coverage option.
  • 24/7 vet support is available.

Cons:

  • Pets Best only covers cats and dogs.
  • There is a six-month waiting period for cruciate ligament conditions.
  • The Essential plan doesn’t cover vet exam fees.

Best for 100% reimbursement rate: Figo Pet Insurance

100% reimbursement rate
Figo Pet Insurance

Figo Pet Insurance

100% reimbursement rate

Figo Pet Insurance

Pet age restrictions
No upper age limit
Max annual coverage
$5,000, $10,000, or unlimited
Reimbursement rates
70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%
Deductible choices
$100 to $1,500 per year (depending on pet’s age)
Money-back guarantee
30 days

Figo Pet Insurance offers several reimbursement rates to choose from: 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%. The latter is unusual for pet insurance plans, which makes Figo stand out among its competitors. Figo Pet Insurance also boasts an unlimited annual coverage option (as well as $5,000 and $10,000) and deductibles that range from $100 to $1,500, depending on your pet's age, allowing you to create a more customized plan.

Figo Pet Insurance also offers add-on packages called “powerups” for routine care like vaccines, annual exams, and diagnostic tests. Waiting periods are one day for accidents—better than most other insurers—and 14 days for illness, which is more standard. There is no upper age limit for coverage, though Figo Pet Insurance asks that owners of pets older than eight years follow their vet’s recommendations regarding senior wellness testing. Figo Pet Insurance’s plans cover illness and injuries; there is no option for an accident-only plan.

You can download the Figo Pet Insurance Cloud app to connect with local pet owners and manage your account and claims. Mobile claims close in an average of 2.6 days, so you can get reimbursed for your pet’s care faster. Finally, if you change your mind about coverage, you have 30 days to get your money back.

Recommended for dogs? Figo Pet Insurance is a good choice for dog owners. It doesn’t place caps on conditions, so you can maximize your coverage if your dog has an expensive accident or develops a serious condition that requires expensive treatment. Not all pet insurance companies offer this.

Recommended for cats? Yes; cat owners who choose Figo Pet Insurance have 24/7 access to licensed vets who can answer their cat health questions and concerns without the need for a physical vet visit. This can save cat owners money for less serious ailments that can be treated at home.

Pros:

  • There is a 100% reimbursement rate option.
  • The Figo Pet Cloud app lets you connect with local pet owners.
  • There is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Cons:

  • There is no accident-only plan available.
  • Vet exams are only covered with a rider.

Best for covering exotic pets: Nationwide Pet Insurance

Covering exotic pets
Nationwide

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Covering exotic pets

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Pet age restrictions
No upper age limit
Max annual coverage
$10,000 for Whole Pet plan
Reimbursement rates
50% or 70%
Deductible choices
$100 or $250
Money-back guarantee
10 days

Nationwide Pet Insurance is the only provider to offer coverage for exotic animals and birds. If you have a pet bird, reptile, ferret, chinchilla, mini pig, goat, guinea pig, rabbit, or turtle, Nationwide has a policy for you. The coverage you receive depends on the type of pet you have.

Small mammals are covered for dehydration, constipation, overgrown teeth, eye infections, bladder infections, and upper respiratory infections, among other illnesses.

Birds are covered for feather picking or feather loss, excessive egg-laying, soft tissue trauma, diarrhea, and runny nose, among other ailments.

Reptiles and amphibians are covered for internal parasites, diarrhea, dehydration, constipation, upper respiratory infections, and soft tissue trauma, to name a few.

There are some exceptions when it comes to coverage. For example, your exotic pet or bird may not be eligible for a policy if it is a venomous or poisonous species, an endangered or threatened species, an animal that requires a permit or license to own, or a hybrid wild/domesticated animal.

The cost of coverage for an exotic pet depends on the type of animal, its medical history, and the coverage chosen, but Nationwide Pet Insurance claims that coverage is usually under $21 per month.

Nationwide Pet Insurance also offers accident, injury, and wellness plans for cats and dogs, with coverage starting at $5 per month for cats and $16 per month for dogs. If you have a more traditional pet and an exotic pet, being able to insure them all under the same provider can make life easier.

Recommended for dogs? Nationwide dog insurance has broad coverage, making it an excellent choice for dog owners. Coverage extends to broken bones, poisoning, heatstroke, animal attacks, and car accidents.

Recommended for cats? Cat insurance from Nationwide is a good pick for pet parents who want broad coverage for their feline friends. Plans cover cat-specific issues such as lily ingestion and torn nails.

Pros:

  • Coverage is offered for a wide range of exotic pets and birds.
  • Coverage is also offered for cats and dogs.
  • Exotic animal coverage is usually less than $21 per month.

Cons:

  • Claims can take up to 30 days to process
  • Most states have a 12-month waiting period for cruciate ligament injuries.

Best for pet owners on a budget: Odie Pet Insurance

Pet owners on a budget
Odie

Odie Pet Insurance

Pet owners on a budget

Odie Pet Insurance

Pet age restrictions
No upper age limit
Max annual coverage
$5,000, $10,000, or $40,000
Reimbursement rates
70%, 80%, or 90%
Deductible choices
$50 to $1,000 in small increments
Money-back guarantee
30 days

Odie Pet Insurance is a relative newcomer to the pet insurance marketplace, launching in 2020. But since then, it has become popular with those who have a limited budget for insurance coverage. Odie has two basic types of plans (accident-only and accident and injury), plus an optional pet wellness add-on, so you can tailor your pet’s coverage to your needs and budget.

Odie offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you no longer want coverage, you can cancel within that time frame at no charge. As an Odie customer, you’ll also have access to a free 24/7 vet chat feature, allowing you to ask a professional your pet-health questions at any time of the day or night. For example, if your dog ate something weird on a walk, you can chat with a vet to see whether you need to be worried.

Recommended for dogs? Odie can be an affordable option for dog insurance and covers dogs as young as seven weeks, which makes it a good option if you’re adopting a puppy.

Recommended for cats? Cat owners may find affordable coverage for their animals through Odie, which offers coverage for accidents, illnesses, and wellness or preventative care.

Pros:

  • Odie may offer cheaper-than-average premiums.
  • There are multiple policy options to choose from.
  • There are no limits on age or breed.

Cons:

  • There is no option for reimbursement via direct deposit.
  • Dental treatments may not be covered.

Best for a family plan for multiple pets: Metlife All Pets Insurance

family plan for multiple pets
Metlife

Metlife Pet Insurance

family plan for multiple pets

Metlife Pet Insurance

Pet age restrictions
No upper age limit
Max annual coverage
$2,000 to $10,000
Reimbursement rates
Up to 90%
Deductible choices
$50 to $500 per year
Money-back guarantee
14 days

Metlife is a solid option if you have more than one or two pets. The company’s pet insurance plan lets you cover up to three pets on one policy with a shared deductible rather than each pet having a separate deductible. Deductibles range from a low of $50 to $500 per year, with annual limits of $2,000 to $10,000 and reimbursement rates of 70%, 80%, and 90%. If MetGen underwrites your policy, you’ll also have a 50% reimbursement rate option, and plans underwritten by IAIC have a 65% option. There is also a high deductible plan if you know your pet needs significant care in a particular year: $2,500 for the deductible, with an annual limit of $10,000 and a 100% reimbursement rate.

Metlife’s pet insurance plan covers accidents and illnesses, and you can also opt for a preventive care plan that covers dental cleanings, bloodwork, and microchipping. The waiting period for accidents is the best of this group—coverage starts at midnight the day you sign up—while its illness coverage waiting period is a more typical 14 days.

Recommended for dogs? Metlife is a good choice for owners of multiple dogs. While other insurers require you to take out a separate policy for each pet, MetLife allows you to cover up to three pets on one policy with a single deductible.

Recommended for cats? If you have more than one cat, Metlife is a good choice for coverage since you can cover multiple pets under the same policy with a shared deductible.

Pros:

  • You can cover up to three pets on one policy with a shared deductible.
  • A high-deductible plan is available.
  • There is no waiting period for accident coverage.

Cons:

  • Reimbursement rates are lower for MetGen and IAIC underwritten policies.

Best for prescription foods and supplements: Trupanion Pet Insurance

Prescription foods and supplements
Trupanion

Trupanion Pet Insurance

Prescription foods and supplements

Trupanion Pet Insurance

Pet age restrictions
Upper age limit: 14 years
Max annual coverage
Unlimited
Reimbursement rates
90.00%
Deductible choices
$0 to $1,000 (in $5 increments), per condition
Money-back guarantee
30 days

Unlike many pet insurers, Trupanion will cover foods, supplements, and herbal treatments, provided a licensed vet prescribes them for a specific condition. The insurer also offers a rider that covers illness/injuries related to breeding. Also uncommon: Coverage can start at birth, while most other companies begin coverage when dogs or cats are eight weeks old.

Trupanion doesn’t have a maximum annual coverage limit. Instead, the company provides unlimited coverage for vet care for your pet, regardless of age. Certain ailments are excluded from coverage, including pre-existing conditions and preventable conditions. However, several add-on options exist for dental care, behavioral therapy, rehabilitation treatment, and congenital or hereditary conditions.

Trupanion also offers direct vet reimbursement for partner veterinarians. Before coverage kicks in, the waiting period is five days for accidents and 30 days for illness—longer than many other insurers. In addition, there is no add-on option for wellness coverage—Trupanion’s focus is unexpected illness or injury, not expenses that a consumer can plan for, such as vaccinations. There is also no discount for insuring multiple pets. However, Trupanion's perks, including coverage for prescription foods, direct vet reimbursement, and unlimited annual coverage, can outweigh the potential downsides to coverage.

Recommended for dogs? Trupanion is an excellent choice for dog owners who want complete protection against expensive vet bills, thanks to its standard unlimited coverage.

Recommended for cats? Like dog owners, cat owners will appreciate the standard unlimited coverage Trupanion’s cat insurance offers, so they’ll never have to worry about meeting an annual maximum limit when their cat is ill or injured.

Pros:

  • Coverage is available for prescription foods, supplements, and herbal treatments.
  • Direct vet reimbursement is available.
  • Unlimited annual coverage is standard.

Cons:

  • Waiting periods are relatively long for illness.
  • There is no discount for insuring multiple pets.

Insurance companyBest forPet age restrictionsMax annual coverageReimbursement ratesDeductible choicesMoney-back guarantee
Embrace Pet Insurance
Pet wellness plan
Upper age limit: 15 years for illness coverage
$5,000 to unlimited
70%, 80%, or 90%
$100 to $1,000 per year
30 days
Lemonade Pet Insurance
Add-ons to basic coverage
Upper age limit: 14 years
$5,000 to $100,000
70%, 80%, or 90%
$100 to $500 per year
30 days
ASPCA Pet Insurance
Covering horses as well as cats and dogs
No upper age limit
$2,500 to unlimited
70%, 80%, or 90%
$100, $250, or $500 per year
30 days
Fetch Pet Insurance
Puppies and kittens
Lower age limit: 6 weeks; no upper age limit
$5,000, $10,000, or unlimited
70%, 80%, or 90%
$300, $500, or $700 per year
30 days
Pets Best Insurance
Direct payment to vets
No upper age limit
$2,500, $5,000, $10,000, or unlimited
50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, or 90%
$50 to $2,000 in $50 increments
30 days
Metlife Pet Insurance
Family plan for multiple pets
No upper age limit
$2,000, $5,000, or $10,000
50%, 65%, 70%, 80%, or 90%
$50 to $750 or up to $2,500 per year
Not specified
Trupanion Pet Insurance
Prescription foods and supplements
Upper age limit: 14 years
Unlimited
90.00%
$0 to $1,000, per condition
30 days
Odie Pet Insurance
Pet owners on a budget
No upper age limit
$10,000 or $40,000
Up to 90%
$250 or $500
30 days
Nationwide Pet Insurance
Covering exotic pets
No upper age limit
$7,500
50%, 70%, or 90%
$250
Not specified
Figo Pet Insurance
100% reimbursement rate
No upper age limit
$5,000, $10,000, or unlimited
70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%
$100, $250, $500, or $750 per year
30 days

Best Pet Insurance for Dogs

Based on our analysis above, we recommend Pets Best and Lemonade for dog insurance. Pets Best has direct vet reimbursement, which means you don’t need to pay your dog’s vet bill and file a reimbursement claim. Lemonade’s preventative care packages for dogs cover heartworm tests, flea/tick and heartworm medication, and even routine dental cleanings to keep your dog healthy. And MetLife has a 0-day waiting period for accidents, so your dog will be covered immediately should the worst happen.

CompanyAverage monthly premium for dogsCoverage amountCustomizationsAccident waiting periodPay vet directly?
$25.03
$2,500, $5,000, $10,000, or unlimited
Wellness plan
3 days
Yes
$25.70
$5,000 to $100,000
Wellness plan
2 days
No

Best Pet Insurance for Cats

Based on our analysis above, we recommend Figo, Pets Best, and Embrace for cat insurance. Figo offers low-cost coverage for cats, making it ideally suited for those on a limited budget. Pets Best offers direct-to-vet payments, so you won’t need to wait for reimbursement after a vet visit with your cat. And Embrace offers additional coverage for exam fees and prescription drugs, which can be especially valuable to owners of older cats.

CompanyAverage monthly premium for catsCoverage amountCustomizationsAccident waiting periodPay vet directly?
$9.94
$5,000, $10,000, or unlimited
Wellness plan
1 day
No
$16
$2,500, $5,000, $10,000, or unlimited
Wellness plan
3 days
Yes
$23.74
$5,000 to unlimited
Exam fees, prescription drugs
2 days
No

Methodology

TIME Stamped is dedicated to providing consumers with thorough reviews of pet insurance companies. We scanned news sources and the data that companies provide to glean plan options, deductions, and limits in order to make sure users have the information they need to make the right decisions for their pets and their families.

How to select the best pet insurance company for you

First, look into the coverage options that are available. These include accidents and injuries, illnesses, hereditary and congenital disorders, chronic conditions, behavioral problems, prescription medications, surgery and hospitalizations, and diagnostic testing. It’s important to know your breed’s specific health risks and look for a plan that offers coverage for the ones that your pet may be more likely to experience over its lifetime.

Next, make sure you know what the exclusions and limitations are in terms of how a policy can be used. Pay attention to what is spelled out regarding pre-existing conditions, breed-specific exclusions, age limitations, waiting periods, maximum benefit amounts, and deductibles and copayments. Some of these also factor into the cost of insurance, and affordability is key. Check the premium rate, the deductibles, annual limits, and available discounts (such as for multi-pet enrollment or policy bundles).

Look for good customer service too, including hours of operation, contact options (phone, email, chat), availability of customer service reps, the window of time to file a claim, filing methods, average time for claim reimbursement, and the ability to track claims online. Pawlicy Advisor, the American Animal Hospital Association membership preferred business provider for pet insurance, has a comparison tool that allows you to analyze top insurance company plans, taking into account your pet’s age, location, and breed-related needs.

More on pet insurance

What is the average cost of pet insurance?

According to North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) statistics, in 2023 the average annual premium for a dog was $675.61 for accident-and-injury insurance and $204.16 for accident-only coverage. Those translate to monthly costs of $56.30 and $17.01, respectively. The average annual premium for a cat in 2023, per NAPHIA, was $383.30 for accident-and-injury insurance and $116.11 for accident-only coverage, or monthly costs of $31.94 and $9.68, respectively. In the U.S. 4.45 million dogs and 1.21 million cats were insured in 2023, according to NAPHIA.

How are pet insurance costs determined?

Age

Younger pets are much less expensive to insure than older ones, which are prone to health issues. Plus, treating aging pets is more expensive. Also, for most pet insurance, as your pet ages, your premiums will rise.

Species

Prices will vary depending on what species you are insuring, whether a dog, a cat, a horse, or an exotic pet. Dogs, for instance, tend to be more expensive to insure than cats because cats generally have fewer health issues.

Breed

Breeds have varying susceptibility to health problems; these are factored into the cost of insurance. For instance, golden and labrador retrievers tend to develop hip dysplasia, and short-snouted breeds like bulldogs are at greater risk of having breathing problems, dental disease, and other health issues.

Where you live

Your premiums are determined, in part, by where you live. If your location has a higher cost of living and higher vet fees, your premiums will be more expensive.

Type of plan

The type of plan factors into the cost of your pet’s insurance. Accident-only plans generally cost less than accident-and-illness plans.

Deductibles and reimbursement rates

The deductible and reimbursement rate of the plan you choose will affect your premiums. If you have a low deductible, your premiums will be higher since insurance will kick in sooner. Just the opposite is true if your deductible is high—your premiums will be lower, but you’ll also have to pay more up front before your insurance pays a claim. As for the reimbursement rate you choose, a low reimbursement rate will keep your premiums lower, and a high one will make premiums higher.

Benefit limits

Policies that are unlimited or have higher benefit limits are usually more expensive than those with lower benefit limits.

TIME Stamp: Look for adequate, affordable insurance with good customer service

The best pet insurance for you will provide adequate coverage for your pet, have good customer service, and above all, be affordable.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is pet insurance worth it?

Pets are often beloved members of a family and their well-being needs to be taken into consideration so that they can live long and healthy lives. Pet insurance can provide you with peace of mind when it comes to paying for treatment for an illness or injury to your animal. Veterinary care can be expensive, and insurance is a way to help you cover those costs.

How does the reimbursement process work?

When your pet has been treated for an illness or injury, your vet will provide a bill that you must pay and then submit to the insurance company. Some companies allow you to do this online or via an app. Subsequently, you will be reimbursed—either by direct deposit or by mailed check—according to the plan and reimbursement schedule you have purchased.

Can I choose my own veterinarian?

Most insurance companies allow you to choose your own veterinarian, as long as they are licensed. However, if the insurance company has a direct-to-vet payment option that you plan to use, you may be required to use one of its vet partners who has its software.

Are there waiting periods before coverage begins?

Yes, all plans have a waiting period before coverage begins. The waiting periods tend to be different for accident-only plans versus accident-and-illness (or illness) plans, with the period usually being shorter for the former and longer for the latter. A typical waiting period is 14 days, but some injuries and conditions, like hip dysplasia, have waiting periods of six months or even longer.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

1.2493.0+1.69.0