Top 10 Pet Insurance Providers 2018

Are you a new pet owner looking to hedge against expensive veterinary procedures? Or maybe your dog or cat is getting older, and you want to get them on a plan before mounting vet costs overwhelm you. Either way, especially with the applications of more advanced and expensive medical tools in the veterinary world, pet insurance is an increasingly good idea. Pet insurance works in very similar ways to regular medical insurance (however it is cheaper). Your pet is evaluated based on a number of factors, and then you are quoted a premium. Some plans cover more than others, and some have higher deductibles while others have very low deductibles. And what insurance you buy will often be determined by what you can afford and what best fits your needs. Our ranking of the top ten best pet insurance companies will help you decide which plan is the best for you. It should be noted that our ranking is a general ranking and so specific companies may be better for people in specific circumstances. So make sure you check out all the options in our ranking of the best pet insurance companies. More information on our ranking methodology can be found at the end of the article, along with answers to a few common questions.

#1. Nationwide

Rating: 18
Nationwide-Best Pet Insurance
Website

Nationwide is one of the pet insurance companies that covers bilateral conditions in dogs and cats. Wellness treatments like vaccinations, flea/heartworm treatments, and spay/neuter procedures, rarely covered by pet insurance, are covered by Nationwide. It’s important to note that unlike most plans, wellness is included on the plan, not simply available at additional cost. The annual deductible for Nationwide’s unlimited pet insurance plan is just $250, and co-pay is just 10%. Nationwide offers some of the broadest coverage of any options in this ranking.

  • Annual or per-incident deductible: Annual
  • Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
  • Customer Satisfaction: 4.5/5 out of 1,856 reviews on consumers advocate
  • Per-condition Payout Limits: No
  • Coverage Types: Unlimited
  • Age Restrictions: No new policies for dogs older than 10.
  • Travel Coverage: National and International travel is covered.
  • Wellness Plan: Yes (included)
  • Bonus Points: 4

#2. FIGO

Rating: 17

FIGO-Best Pet Insurance

Website

Unlike most other top pet insurance providers, FIGO covers all your exam fees associated with any covered condition. FIGO also provides other support for pet owners, including covering some of the cost of lost pet advertising. The unlimited plan will also cover a portion of reward money offered for the pet. FIGO will cover part of the cost of a lost pet that is not found. If your pet dies from a covered illness, FIGO’s unlimited plan will pay for cremation and burial costs up to $250. FIGO also covers bi-lateral conditions (conditions that can occur on both sides of your pet’s body) among the more commonly covered ailments. FIGO has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Fortune, and Entrepreneur.

  • Annual or per-incident deductible: Annual
  • Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
  • Customer Satisfaction: 4.55/5 on Trustpilot out of 208 reviews.
  • Per-condition Payout Limits: No
  • Coverage Types: Limited and Unlimited
  • Age Restrictions: N/A
  • Travel Coverage: Yes
  • Wellness Plan: No
  • Bonus Points: 6

#3. Pets Best

Rating: 17

PetsBest-Top Pet Insurance

Website

Pets Best typically pays claims out in five days or less–quite fast even for top pet insurance providers. There are no upper age limits on pets with Pets Best so you can get covered no matter your dog or cat’s age. Pets Best is veterinarian-owned, meaning the company has an intimate knowledge of pet health from the top down. Pets Best pet insurance offers several coverage options, including options that cover exam costs associated with a covered illness, and a routine care (wellness) coverage option.

  • Annual or per-incident deductible: Annual
  • Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
  • Customer Satisfaction: 4.5/5 on TrustPilot
  • Per-condition Payout Limits: no
  • Coverage Types: High limit and unlimited coverage
  • Age Restrictions: No upper age limits.
  • Travel Coverage: Yes
  • Wellness Plan: Yes
  • Bonus Points: 1

#4. PetFirst

Rating: 16

PetFirst-Top Pet Insurance Company

Website

The fine print of many pet insurance plans states your coverage may be invalidated if you do not meet annual care requirements. PetFirst does not have any annual care requirements, so you don’t have to worry about losing coverage on that technicality. PetFirst covers exam fees associated with covered conditions. Bi-lateral conditions are also covered. PetFirst offers limited plans with annual limits of $2,000, $5,000, and $10,000. Customers may choose between 90%, 80%, and 70% reimbursement options. PetFirst utilizes a per-incident deductible, and you may choose between $50, $100, $250, and $500 deductibles.

  • Annual or per-incident deductible: Per-incident
  • Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
  • Customer Satisfaction: 4.5/5 from 188 reviews on google rating.
  • Per-condition Payout Limits: No
  • Coverage Types: Limited
  • Age Restrictions: No
  • Travel Coverage: Yes
  • Wellness Plan: Options
  • Bonus Points: 4

#5. Healthy Paws

Rating: 15

Healthy Paws-Top Ten Pet Insurance Company

Website

Healthy Paws is highly rated across several platforms, including consumers advocate, yelp, Canine Journal, Angie’s List, and Pet Insurance Review. Healthy Paws enjoys a stunning 98% customer approval rating out of 3,787 reviews, making it the #1 pet insurance provider in customer satisfaction. If Healthy Paws included a wellness plan and had no age restrictions, it would rocket to #1 in our pet insurance ranking; so if your pet qualifies for Healthy Paws pet insurance coverage, take that into account.

  • Annual or per-incident deductible: Annual
  • Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
  • Customer Satisfaction: 4.9/5 on Pet Insurance Review
  • Per-condition Payout Limits: No
  • Coverage Types: Unlimited
  • Age Restrictions: Yes
  • Travel Coverage: Yes in U.S.A. and Canada
  • Wellness Plan: No
  • Bonus Points: 3

#6. Petplan

Rating: 14

Petplan-Top Ten Pet Insurance Company

Website

Petplan covers your exam fees for all non-routine care (typically any fees associated with a covered illness). Petplan was established by pet owners who were staggered by a $5,000 vet bill and saw the need for good pet insurance companies. As the pet parent, you have a lot of freedom to design a plan that meets your needs. Both limited and unlimited plans are available. Annual deductibles range from $100 to $1,000, and co-pay ranges from thirty to ten percent.

  • Annual or per-incident deductible: Either
  • Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
  • Customer Satisfaction: 3/5
  • Per-condition Payout Limits: No
  • Coverage Types: Limited and Unlimited
  • Age Restrictions: No
  • Travel Coverage: N/A
  • Wellness Plan: No
  • Bonus Points: 3

#7. Embrace

Rating: 13

Embrace-Best 10 Pet Insurance Companies

Website

Embrace doesn’t exactly offer traditional wellness coverage, but it does offer a wellness rewards plan. This plan functions similarly to a health savings account, and provides reimbursement and rewards for routine care, grooming, and training costs. The plan essentially rewards you with money for being proactive in your pet’s healthcare. Embrace does cover exam fees for vet exams related to covered illnesses. Your pet’s annual deductible will decrease by $50 for each year you don’t receive a claim reimbursement. The diminishing deductible is included in all plans with no extra charge.

  • Annual or per-incident deductible: Annual
  • Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
  • Customer Satisfaction: 3/5
  • Per-condition Payout Limits: No
  • Coverage Types: Limited
  • Age Restrictions: 14 and younger
  • Travel Coverage: N/A
  • Wellness Plan: Yes
  • Bonus Points: 3

#8. Pet Premium

Rating: 12

Pet Premium-Ten Best Pet Insurance Companies

Website

Pet Premium certainly offers the most flexibility when it comes to their limited plans. With their eight tiers of limited coverage, if you decide limited is the right choice for you, they should definitely be on your short list. They also offer unlimited plans, and there is a discount for multiple pets on policy. While the number of reviews didn’t hit our minimum threshold of 100, the average of the 49 reviews was 9.8 on Pet Insurance Reviews. One of the more rare features offered by Pet Premium is a 5% discount on insurance premiums for each pet beyond the first that you insure with the company.

  • Annual or per-incident deductible: Annual
  • Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
  • Customer Satisfaction: Insufficient Data
  • Per-condition Payout Limits: No
  • Coverage Types: 8 Tiers of limited plans, and an unlimited plan.
  • Age Restrictions: N/A
  • Wellness Plan: Yes
  • Bonus Points: 2

#9. Trupanion

Rating: 11

Trupanion-10 Best Pet Insurance Companies

Website

Trupanion does not raise your premiums, drop your coverage, or impose limits and caps when you file claims. The plan covers 90% of cost, leaving customers with just a 10% copay. While there are age restrictions, 14 is quite old for a dog, and that restriction is only in that they will not insure new dogs at 14 or older; your dog can’t age out of a plan. The unlimited pet insurance plan offered by Trupanion allows you to set your own annual deductible between $0 and $1,000 and is one of the only plans in our ranking with the option for a $0 deductible.

  • Annual or per-incident deductible: Lifetime per-incident.
  • Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
  • Customer Satisfaction: 4.6/5
  • Per-condition Payout Limits: No
  • Coverage Types: Unlimited
  • Age Restrictions: Under 14
  • Travel Coverage: Yes
  • Wellness Plan: No
  • Bonus Points: 1

#10. American Kennel Club

Rating: 11

American Kennel Club-Ten Best Pet Insurance Companies

Website

The American Kennel Club offers a 5% discount on the premium of each pet you insure beyond the first. The AKC offers a lot of options, but most are available as riders and add-ons to their core limited plan. There is no unlimited plan offered by the AKC at this time. Despite lacking an unlimited plan potential, customers will be pleased to know the AKC scores very well on customer satisfaction.

    • Annual or per-incident deductible: Annual
    • Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
    • Customer Satisfaction: 4.5/5 Consumer Affairs
    • Per-condition Payout Limits: N/A
    • Coverage Types: Limited
    • Age Restrictions:N/A
    • Travel Coverage: Yes (U.S. and Canada)
    • Wellness Plan: Yes
    • Bonus Points: 1

What is the purpose of pet insurance?

Pet insurance is a product designed to help pet owners mitigate the rising costs of veterinary care. As expensive treatments, diagnostic tools, and surgeries become more available, the overall cost of care rises. Our pets become less vulnerable, but our wallets are more vulnerable. Pet insurance is designed to cover unexpected costs. So routine wellness care is often not covered, however there are some companies that provide wellness plans either as add-ons or even just as part of the main insurance plan. It’s up to you to choose limited coverage with caps, or unlimited coverage, depending on what your needs are and what makes the most sense. Most plans are quite flexible, allowing you to adjust the deductible and copay rates. Dogs tend to cost more than cats to insure, and make sure you pay special attention to companies that offer discounts for multiple pet owners who want to insure more than one animal.

Limited vs. Unlimited Coverage: Which is better?

Limited plans tend to range between $2,000 and $25,000. A $10,000 annual plan will pay out a maximum of $10,000 in a single calendar year. Generally speaking, a plan like this will cover all but the most catastrophic events. However one could argue that the weakness of the limited plans is that pet insurance is supposed to provide you with security for the most catastrophic medical events your pet may encounter. Unlimited plans tend to be a bit more expensive, but with unlimited payouts and (usually) annual deductibles, these plans provide the greatest amount of security. In the end, each pet owner will have to evaluate all the factors relevant to their personal circumstances and choose the option that works best for them.

Why is customer satisfaction so important?

What’s worse than the trauma of a beloved pet falling seriously ill or having a bad accident? Dealing with intractable customer service while it’s happening. When considering customer reviews, it’s important to remember that the quality of service the company provides during moments of crisis is incredibly important. We suggest not just looking at the overall ratings of each company, but finding both positive and negative reviews of each to help you evaluate which company you can trust to be there for you and your pet when it counts. In many cases it may be worth considering going for a plan with fewer features if it’s offered by a company with a strong customer service reputation.

Per-condition payout limits and lifetime payout limits: What they are and why they are best avoided.

Per-condition payout limits run counter to the purpose of pet insurance. You buy pet insurance to make sure that costly conditions or accidents are covered. Per-condition payout limits only cover specific conditions or accidents up to a certain dollar amount. The bottom line is that most reputable pet insurance companies don’t employ per-condition limits, and if you are considering a company that does, it should be a red flag.

Lifetime payout limits are also a red flag. What if you have an unlucky pet and you reach a lifetime payout limit? You get dropped from coverage, and all of a sudden your pet is too old for many other plans (as you can expect to reach most lifetime payout limits as the pet gets old). It’s better to go with a plan that won’t punish you for using your pet insurance as it is intended.

Age restrictions and other fine print you should know about.

Age restrictions are somewhat common among pet insurance companies. Generally speaking these restrictions apply to pets who exceed the age limit when applying for coverage. Most plans won’t age your dog out of coverage, but make sure you read all the fine print to confirm that your pet will be covered even if it eventually exceeds the age limit.

Another fine-print clause to be aware of is the wellness clause. Some companies will refuse to cover your pet’s condition if you don’t meet the expected wellness requirements laid out in the plan. If the company you choose might refuse to cover conditions because you missed a routine checkup, it’s important for you to know ahead of time. It may or may not be a deal breaker for you, but either way it’s something all pet owners should look for in their contracts.

Methodology

Annual or per-incident deductible

      • Per-incident: 1 point
      • Annual: 2 points

Better Business Bureau Rating

      • A- to A+: 2 points
      • B- to B+: 1 point

Customer Satisfaction

      • 4.5 to 5: 3 points
      • 3.5 to 4.5: 2 points
      • 2.5 to 3.5: 1 point

Per-condition Payout Limits

      • No: 2 Points
      • Yes: 0 Points

Coverage Types

      • Limited: 1 Point
      • Unlimited 2 Points

Age Restrictions

      • Yes: 0 Points
      • No: 2 Points

Travel Coverage

      • Yes: 1 Point
      • No: 0 Points

Wellness Plan

  • Yes: 2 Points
  • No: 0 Points

MC Staff
December 2018

This concludes our ranking of the best pet insurance providers for 2018.