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Best Pet Insurance Companies for October 2023

Best Pet Insurance

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Updated October 1, 2023

Like so many other current costs of living, veterinarian bills for pets have been spiraling upwards. They increased by 10% in 2022 thanks to vets’ staffing costs, the price of medical supplies, lab-testing fees, and advanced drugs. The average annual cost in 2022 of vet visits for homes with a dog was $362, and $321 for those with a cat, according to an American Veterinary Medical Association report.

If you’re a pet owner—roughly 66% of U.S. households are—buying pet insurance may help defray the costs of healthcare for your furry (or feathered or scaly) friend. It helps to know which pet insurance companies offer the best deals for your wallet and Max, your yellow Labrador, or Bella, your Siamese cat. (Most people own a dog or cat, with fish and birds coming in a distant third and fourth, respectively, according to the  American Veterinary Medical Association.)

Only two states—California and Maine—currently have laws on the books that specifically govern pet insurance. But in 2022, in response to increasing pet ownership and a burgeoning pet insurance marketplace, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) developed a model law to create clear, consistent rules for pet insurance offerings. It spells out consumer protections for things such as rules for pre-existing conditions, disclosures of waiting periods before insurance takes effect, and renewals.

Since only Maine has adopted this model law, it’s more important than ever that you read and understand an insurer’s fine print before you sign up for a policy. We’ve done a lot of the legwork for you here, but keep in mind that things like your dog or cat’s breed and age, and your zip code, will factor into the cost and best pick of pet insurance for you. It’s also important to know what pet insurance companies do and do not cover. In the latter category, generally speaking, are pre-existing conditions, cremation and burial costs, pregnancy and breeding, and cosmetic procedures.

Best pet insurance companies compared 2023

Pet Insurance CompanyBest forPet age restrictionsMax annual coverageReimbursement ratesDeductible choicesMoney-back guarantee
Add-ons to base coverage
Depends on breed
$5,000 to $100,000
70%, 80%, or 90%
$100 to $500 per year
30 days
Family plan—one policy for multiple pets
No upper age limit
$2,000 to $10,000
Up to 90%
$50 to $500 per year
14 days
Covering horses as well as cats and dogs
No upper age limit
$3,000, to $10,000
70%, 80%, or 90%
$100, $250, or $500 per year
30 days
Direct payment to vets
No upper age limit
$5,000 or unlimited
70%, 80%, or 90%
$50 to $1,000
30 days
100% reimbursement rate
No upper age limit
$5,000, $10,000, or unlimited
70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%
$100 to $1,500 per year (depending on pet’s age)
30 days
Covering exotic pets
No upper age limit
$10,000 for Whole Pet plan
50% or 70%
$100 or $250
10 days
Pet owners on a budget
No upper age limit
$5,000, $10,000, or $40,000
70%, 80%, or 90%
$50 to $1,000 in small increments
30 days
Prescription foods and supplements
Upper age limit: 14 years
$0 to $1,000 (in $5 increments), per condition

Our recommendations for best pet insurance company for October 2023

Here is a closer look at each of the pet insurance carriers and what they offer.

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

Although Lemonade has just one plan for both accidents and illness, it has more add-on options than most other companies listed here. The base policy includes diagnostic tests, surgery, injections for covered conditions, prescription medications, and much more. For a fee, you can add extras like vet-visit fees, physical therapy, dental illnesses, therapy for behavioral problems, and end-of-life and remembrance, in addition to several preventative care packages, which can help cover things like wellness exams, routine blood work, vaccines, boosters, and more. There’s even a preventative care package designed specifically for puppies and kittens, which covers more vaccines, more wellness visits, plus spaying/neutering and microchipping. Waiting periods are two days for accidents,14 days for illness and six months for cruciate ligament events. One downside: Lemonade insurance is only sold in 37 states and the District of Columbia. 

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

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

Metlife has been in the insurance business for more than 150 years. In 2019 it brought PetFirst, a pet insurance company in business since 2004, under the MetLife umbrella. It offers one comprehensive accident and illness plan as well as a preventive care plan for services such as dental cleanings, bloodwork, and microchipping for an additional monthly payment. 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.

If you have multiple pets, Metlife is the only insurer that lets you cover up to three of them on one policy with a shared deductible. Deductibles range from a low of $50 to $500 per year, with annual limits of $2,000 to $10,000 and reimbursement rates up to 90%. (Reimbursement rates may be 50% for MetGen underwritten policies and 65% for IAIC underwritten policies.)

Best for covering horses: ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Most pet insurance plans are limited to dogs and cats, but if you own a horse, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, an established, well-known brand, offers plans for accidents and illness. Both types include colic (a common problem for horses), and you can add on preventive care. Its coverage for dogs and cats includes an accident-only plan, its most affordable option. Also available: Complete Coverage, which pays for both accidents and illness—from arthritis and hip dysplasia to behavioral disorders, cancer, and even hereditary conditions that may not show up until later in a pet’s life—as well as alternative therapies like acupuncture and physiotherapy. The waiting period for accident coverage is 14 days. 

There are also two levels of add-on coverage that pay for such expenses as wellness exams, vaccines, and dental cleanings, but no stand-alone wellness plan. A plus: ASPCA Pet Health Insurance policies cover microchip implantation to help locate a lost dog or cat. 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.

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

Pets Best Pet Health Insurance, started by veterinarian Jack Stephens in 2005, offers pet owners the option of direct reimbursement to vets, which can help reduce the worry of a big bill. The company offers two policies: accident only and accident and illness with three levels of care (Essential, Plus, and Elite, which is the most comprehensive). It also sells two optional plans for routine care such as annual exams, vaccinations, dental cleanings, and more: BestWellness and EssentialWellness, which has higher reimbursement levels.

Deductibles for Pets Best are $50, $100, $200, $250, $500, and $1000. The maximum annual coverage is either $5,000 or unlimited; and reimbursement rates are 70%, 80%, and 90%. Waiting periods are three days for accidents and 14 days for illness. Pets Best Pet Health Insurance also has 24/7 vet support, which can be a comfort for those middle-of-the-night cat or dog emergencies.

Best for 100% reimbursement rate: Figo Pet Insurance

Figo Pet Insurance has been around since 2013, when Rusty Sproat founded it in Chicago. One of Figo’s biggest pluses: It has reimbursement rates of 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100% (this last is unusual for pet insurance plans). That, along with an unlimited annual coverage option (as well as $5,000 and $10,000) and deductibles that range from $100 to $1,500 (depending on the age of your pet—higher amounts are for older pets), lets you come up with a more customized plan. Monthly plan premiums are based on these factors as well as your pet’s species, breed, age, gender, and location. 

Figo 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. And there is no upper age limit for coverage, though be advised that older animals cost more to insure. Also note that Figo’s plans cover both illness and injuries; some other insurers offer accident-only plans.

If you want to connect with local pet owners (and manage your account and claims), consider downloading the Figo Pet Cloud app. Want to change your mind about coverage? You have 30 days to get your money back. Figo plans are available in all 50 states.

Best for covering exotic pets: Nationwide Pet Insurance

If you want coverage for your exotic bird or iguana (or a range of small animals, including ferrets, chinchillas, potbellied pigs, rabbits, and turtles), you may want to turn to Nationwide, a company based in Brea, Calif. Pricing and coverage of exotics depends on the species and the animal’s medical history. It provides Whole Pet, Major Medical, and Wellness plans, although wellness plans are not available in all states). Nationwide offers 10% off when you insure four or more pets. Waiting times are 14 days for all of its plans.

Maximum annual coverage is $10,000 and the reimbursement percentages are limited to 50% and 70%. However, for Major Medical plans there is a set annual cap for each condition. Nationwide recommends enrolling a pet before age eight to get the best coverage options. As the name indicates, insurance is available in all 50 states.

Best for pet owners on a budget: Odie Pet Insurance

A newcomer to the pet insurance marketplace, Odie launched in 2020 and is headquartered in Agoura Hills, Calif. It has accident-and-illness and accident-only plans with lower-than-average premiums for dogs and cats in every state except Alaska. Wellness add-ons for preventive care—a Basic Plan and a Plus Plan, which pays out more for services like spaying and teeth cleaning—are also available. 

Odie’s deductibles range from $50 to $1,000, with many options in between, which can lower your premiums. The trade-off for lower prices: The plans aren’t generally as comprehensive as those of other insurers. Maximum annual coverage depends on your plan and ranges from $5,000 to $40,000, and reimbursement rates are 70%, 80%, and 90%. Odie also has a multi-pet discount of 5% when you enroll more than one pet. Two downsides: While many pet insurers provide electronic reimbursement, Odie’s sends a check through the mail, and there’s no mobile app for account management.  

Best for prescription foods and supplements: Trupanion

Unlike many pet insurers, Trupanion, which was started in Canada in 2000, will cover foods, supplements, and herbal treatments, provided a licensed vet prescribes them for a specific condition. In addition, the insurer offers a rider that covers illness/injuries related to breeding. Also uncommon: Coverage can start at birth (most other companies begin coverage when dogs or cats are eight weeks old). 

There is no maximum annual limit—it is unlimited. The reimbursement rate is 90%, and while there are numerous deductible choices, they are by condition, not by plan. Trupanion also has a direct-to-vets payment feature for partner veterinarians. Waiting periods are five days for accidents and 30 days for illness, which are longer than most other insurers’ waiting times. In addition, there is no wellness option—Trupanion’s focus is unexpected illness or injury, not expenses that a consumer can plan for, like vaccinations—or multi-pet discount.


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.

What is the average cost of pet insurance?

According to North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) statistics, in 2022 the average annual premium for a dog was $640.04 for accident-and-injury insurance and $200.58 for accident-only coverage. Those translate to monthly costs of $53.34 and $16.70, respectively. The average annual premium for a cat in 2022, per NAPHIA, was $387.01 for accident-and-injury insurance and $122.19 for accident-only coverage, or monthly costs of $32.25 and $10.18, respectively. In the U.S. 3.89 million dogs and just under 1 million cats were insured in 2022, according to NAPHIA.

How are pet insurance costs determined?


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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