8 Best Pet Insurance Companies for Dogs | 2021

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Finding the right policy for your dog can be challenging with all of the providers on the market. The Home Service Research Team at Better Homes & Gardens has analyzed the best pet insurance companies available, reading each policy’s fine print, gathering sample quotes, and learning about each company’s history and reputation to help you find the right pet insurance provider for your dog. Keep reading to learn how each provider stands out against the competition.

Top Pet Insurance Providers for Dogs

Best Overall: Lemonade

  • Annual limit: $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, or $100,000
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $100, $250, or $500

Our Take

When we compared Lemonade against other pet insurance brands, it received a 94 out of 100 and earned the ‘Best Overall’ rating for its combination of plan customization options, policy coverage, affordability, and hassle-free claims process. Plus, it offers a comprehensive preventative care plan and a coverage add-on for your dog’s physical therapy treatments and vet fees.

While Lemonade is an ideal choice for many dog owners who want an affordable and comprehensive policy, it may not be the best option for those who want coverage for behavioral treatments, since Lemonade doesn’t cover them.

Coverage Highlights

2 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses

Offers accident-only plan

Covers behavioral treatments

A Lemonade policy provides coverage for your dog’s accidents and illnesses, such as injuries, sicknesses, sprains, broken bones, cancer, heart disease, allergies, and hip dysplasia. It also reimburses you for treatments, procedures, or medications related to those conditions. However, Lemonade’s pet insurance does have some exclusions, such as pre-existing conditions; dental care; behavioral treatments; elective procedures, such as tail docking and declawing; experimental treatments; and any conditions caused by neglect.

For extra coverage, you can purchase the Preventative and Wellness Package for covered treatments such as wellness exams, heartworm tests, bloodwork, fecal tests, and three vaccines up to a $295 annual limit. You can also purchase the Extended Accident and Illness Package to add coverage for vet visit fees and physical therapy treatments, such as acupuncture and chiropractic care.

Cost

Lemonade is one of the most affordable pet insurance providers in the industry. Below are some sample quotes from Lemonade for various dog breeds of different ages in Raleigh, North Carolina:

The Preventative and Wellness Package is an extra $14–$18 per month depending on your dog’s breed and age, while the Extended Accident and Illness Package only costs around $3–$8 per month.

Best Benefits: Embrace

  • Annual limit: $5,000, $8,000, $10,000, $15,000, or $30,000
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $200, $300, $500, $750, or $1,000

Our Take

Embrace scored a 93.5 out of 100 in our review of pet insurance companies and stood out for its unique benefits that help pet parents save money on their dog’s policy. Like many other companies, Embrace offers a 10% multi-pet discount, but it also offers a 5% discount for military members, a 10% discount for employees of companies enrolled in Embrace’s benefits program, and the Healthy Pet Deductible benefit.

The Healthy Pet Deductible comes free with your policy and credits you with $50 toward your deductible each year you don’t file a claim. This means your deductible could be as low as $0 after multiple years without filing a claim.

Learn more about the Healthy Pet Deductible benefit, and get a free quote on an Embrace policy by filling out this online form.

Coverage Highlights

2 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses

Offers accident-only plan

Covers behavioral treatments

Embrace covers any medically necessary treatments that result from your dog’s accidents and illnesses, such as surgeries; X-rays; ultrasounds; medical supplies; lab tests; orthopedic treatments; endodontic treatments for dental injuries, such as root canals and crowns; hospitalization; and emergency care.

If you want preventative care for your dog, you can purchase the Wellness Rewards for Routine Care Plan with annual limits of $250, $450, or $650. It covers a range of items, such as routine vet visits, spay or neuter surgery, anal gland expression, and teeth cleanings.

Embrace pet insurance has some coverage exclusions, including pre-existing conditions; cosmetic procedures, such as tail docking and ear cropping; natural supplements; and organ transplants.

Cost

Although the cost of your monthly premium will vary depending on your plan and your dog’s breed and age, here are some sample quotes from Embrace for various dogs located in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Embrace’s preventative care plan comes at a flat rate for each annual limit choice, regardless of the age or breed of your dog: $250 of annual coverage costs $19 per month, $450 of annual coverage costs $36 per month, and the $650 annual limit option costs $53 per month.

Most Inclusive Coverage: Prudent Pet

  • Annual limit: $10,000 or unlimited
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $100, $250, $500, or $1,000

Our Take

Scoring a 93 out of 100, Prudent Pet is one of the best pet insurance companies for dogs with its inclusive coverage and impressive Ultimate plan. In addition to providing comprehensive standard coverage, it includes reimbursement for a few items that other providers don’t offer, such as advertising and reward money for your lost dog, boarding kennel fees, and vacation cancellation fees.

Coverage Highlights

5 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses

Offers accident-only plan

Covers behavioral treatments

While Prudent Pet’s Accident-Only plan covers treatments, procedures, and vet visits from accidents, including broken bones, bite wounds, tooth injuries, and swallowed objects, the Essential and Ultimate plans cover illnesses, such as skin conditions, hip dysplasia, urinary infections, cancer, growths, and digestive illnesses. The Ultimate plan also covers lost pet advertising and reward fees, boarding, behavioral disorders, replacement fees when your dog is lost, mortality costs, and vacation cancellation fees due to sick or injured pets.

You can also add wellness care coverage at three different levels—low, medium, and high—which includes vaccines, fecal exams, microchipping, deworming, wellness exams, and other benefits. Additionally, you can purchase extra coverage for vet exam fees with a separate add-on.

Prudent Pet has a few coverage exclusions, including pre-existing conditions, elective procedures, and organ transplants if not deemed medically necessary or approved by a Prudent Pet representative.

Cost

Here are some sample quotes we received from Prudent Pet for a variety of dog breeds in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Prudent Pet’s Low wellness plan costs $12 per month and comes with $210 of annual coverage. The Medium wellness plan comes with $315 of annual coverage for $20 per month, and the High wellness plan costs $30 per month for $460 of yearly coverage. These are flat rates for all breeds and ages of dogs. The add-on for vet exam fee coverage costs an additional $4–$10 per month, depending on your dog’s information.

Most Inclusive Coverage

Prudent Pet

Best Plan Variety: Spot

  • Annual limit: $2,500, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, or unlimited
  • Reimbursement percentage: $70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $100, $250, $500, $750, or $1,000

Our Take

Spot scored a 91 out of 100 in our review and offers a variety of customizable pet insurance plans. Plan variety and customization can be valuable for controlling your premium and only paying for what your dog needs. Customers can choose between an accident-only plan and an accident and illness plan, six different annual limits, three reimbursement rates, and five deductibles to create a policy that’s right for their pet.

Since Spot allows you to customize your policy to fit your budget and doesn’t have any age limits on coverage, we recommend this provider to owners of older dogs. The plan variety offered can help you find a plan with an affordable premium that would otherwise be higher if you went with another provider.

Get a free quote from Spot using the simple quote form on its website.

Coverage Highlights

14 days for all conditions

Offers accident-only plan

Covers behavioral treatments

Spot’s accident-only plan covers treatments and procedures, such as injuries, swallowed objects, and toxic ingestions, but its accident and illness plan covers vet bills related to both types of conditions, including cancer, hereditary conditions, and other illnesses that require treatment. Both plans also include microchip implantation, which is excluded from many competitors’ policies.

For preventative care options, you can purchase the Gold Plan, which covers dental cleanings, wellness exams, two vaccines, a fecal test, a heartworm test, and deworming up to $250 per year. The Platinum Plan covers everything in the Gold Plan plus spaying or neutering, flea prevention, an additional vaccine, blood tests, urinalysis, and a health certificate up to $450 of coverage per year.

Spot excludes pre-existing conditions; breeding; boarding; anal gland expression; elective procedures, such as claw removal and ear cropping; and a few other items.

Cost

With a policy from Spot, you can lower your monthly premiums by choosing a lower annual limit, but the unlimited coverage limit can add as much as $20–$40 per month to your premium. Below are a few sample quotes from Spot for dogs located in Raleigh, North Carolina:

The monthly prices for Spot’s preventative care options are standard flat rates, regardless of your dog’s breed or age. The Gold Plan is an extra $10 per month and the Platinum Plan is $25 per month.

Best Resources: ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

  • Annual limit: $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, or $10,000
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Deductible options: $100, $250, or $500

Our Take

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance scored an 88 out of 100 in our review and stood out the most for its online resources and mobile app. Dog owners can use the Pet Parent Resources page on the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance website to learn about different health conditions and care tips for various dog breeds. The company’s mobile app allows you to manage your policy, connects you to the ASPCA Poison Control Center during emergencies, and helps you find local vets.

Although ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is a great choice for dog owners who want to learn more about their pet and stay connected to their policy, it may not be a good option for those who want higher annual coverage limits, since its options max out at $10,000.

Coverage Highlights

14 days for all conditions

Offers accident-only plan

Covers behavioral treatments

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance’s Complete Coverage Plan covers accidents and illnesses such as hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, broken bones, and cancer. Some examples of covered treatments include alternative therapy, MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, prescription medications prescribed by a veterinarian, prescription pet foods to treat a covered condition, supplements to treat a covered condition, surgery, and hospitalization.

You can also purchase preventative care with your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance policy. The Basic Plan includes dental cleaning, a wellness exam, deworming, two vaccines, a fecal test, and a heartworm test for a total of $250 of coverage per year. The Prime Plan covers everything in the Basic Plan plus neutering, flea prevention, a blood test, urinalysis, an extra vaccine, and a health certificate.

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance excludes pre-existing conditions; breeding; pregnancy; elective procedures, such as claw removal and ear cropping; and anal sac (gland) expression, among a few other exclusions.

Cost

Here are a few sample quotes from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance for different dog breeds in Raleigh, North Carolina:

When you request a free quote from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, you’ll have the option to choose one of the preventative care plans. For all dog breeds, the Basic Plan costs $10 per month and the Prime Plan costs $25 per month.

Best Resources

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Most Trustworthy: Healthy Paws

  • Annual limit: Unlimited
  • Reimbursement percentage: 70% or 80%
  • Deductible options: $250 or $500

Our Take

Healthy Paws scored an 84.5 out of 100 in our review and is the most trustworthy provider with more than 11 years of experience in the industry, an A rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), unlimited coverage caps, and a reliable claims center that reimburses most claims within two days.*

Although we recommend this provider to pet owners who want reliable coverage in one simple plan, it may not be best for dog owners looking for preventative care, since it doesn’t offer that option. It also has a waiting period of 15 days for accidents and illness, which is longer than most competitors.

Use this easy online tool to get a free quote from Healthy Paws and compare prices with other top competitors.

*BBB information is accurate as of July 30, 2021.

Coverage Highlights

15 days for accidents and illnesses

Offers accident-only plan

Covers behavioral treatments

Healthy Paws provides coverage for medically necessary veterinary treatments recommended by your vet for your pet’s injuries, illnesses, or unexpected accidents. None of its policies have dollar-amount limits per incident, annually, or for the lifetime of your pet, so you’ll be reimbursed for the agreed percentage of vet bills without ever reaching a coverage cap.

Healthy Paws policies have some coverage exclusions, such as pre-existing conditions; spaying or neutering; vaccinations; preventative care; elective procedures, such as microchipping and ear cleaning; and breeding.

Cost

Although Healthy Paws’ accident and illness plan is customizable for most dogs, we found that it locks in reimbursement rates and deductibles for some breeds over five years old. Here are some sample quotes from Healthy Paws for a variety of dog breeds in Raleigh, North Carolina:

To help you find the most affordable plan for your dog, Healthy Paws has an online quote tool that uniquely recommends other pet insurance providers when the monthly premiums for your dog’s breed and age are higher than competitors.

Most Trustworthy

Healthy Paws

Best for Multiple Pets: Pawp

  • Annual limit: $3,000
  • Reimbursement percentage: 100%
  • Deductible options: No deductible

Our Take

Pawp isn’t a traditional pet insurance provider; instead, it offers a membership that comes with a $3,000 emergency fund and 24/7 access to a virtual vet clinic. It scored an 82.5 out of 100 in our review, and we recommend it to people with multiple dogs, since one membership can cover up to six pets.

Pawp may not be the best choice for dog owners who want preventative care options and coverage for non-emergency veterinary treatments, since the $3,000 emergency fund can only be used for life-threatening emergencies.

Coverage Highlights

14 days for all conditions

Offers accident-only plan

Covers behavioral treatments

With a Pawp membership, you receive 24/7 access to licensed vets and pet professionals via phone, text, online chat, or video call through Pawp’s user-friendly mobile app. Additionally, the $3,000 emergency fund covers one emergency vet visit per year for one of up to six dogs.

Rather than covering specific accidents and illnesses, Pawp claims that its $3,000 emergency fund can be used for any emergency, as long as it’s verified by a Pawp vet over video chat within four hours of the incident. The emergency fund won’t cover any preventative care treatments, breeding or pregnancy issues, diagnostic procedures, or other conditions that aren’t considered life-threatening.

Cost

A Pawp membership costs $19 per month. This price includes coverage for up to six pets, but keep in mind that the $3,000 emergency fund will cover only one emergency per year. Unlike other pet insurance policies, Pawp doesn’t require you to pay any deductibles, and it can pay most vets directly for 100% of the bill. Typically, pet insurance requires you to pay for an emergency upfront, then submit an invoice to the provider during the claim for reimbursement.

Best for Multiple Pets

Pawp

Best Standard Policy: Pumpkin

  • Annual limit: $10,000 or $20,000
  • Reimbursement percentage: 90%
  • Deductible options: $100, $250, or $500

Our Take

Scoring an 82 out of 100 in our review, Pumpkin offers an impressive standard plan and a preventative care add-on for dogs with 100% reimbursement for a few wellness treatments. We recommend Pumpkin’s preventative care option to pet owners with puppies, since it covers four vaccines for disease prevention for puppies under six months old.

Coverage Highlights

14 days for all conditions

Offers accident-only plan

Covers behavioral treatments

Pumpkin reimburses policyholders for 90% of their vet bills for most treatments and procedures related to both accidents and illnesses, including diagnostic tests; medical supplies, such as bandages and casts; surgery; hospitalization; tooth extractions; and prescription medications prescribed by a veterinarian. It also covers a few other items that some other providers don’t, such as supplements to treat a covered condition, alternative therapy when performed by a veterinarian, microchip implantation, and behavioral treatments.

Pumpkin offers one wellness care plan option called the Preventative Essential Pack. It covers a full refund of one blood test for heartworm and tick disease; one fecal test for roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms; two vaccines (four for puppies under six months old); and one annual wellness exam or check-up.

Pumpkin’s policy excludes breeding; boarding; anal gland expression; cosmetic and elective procedures, such as claw removal and ear cropping; organ transplants; and a few additional items.

Cost

Since Pumpkin’s policy always comes with a 90% reimbursement, the monthly premiums for many dog breeds are often over $100. If you’re looking for lower monthly rates, consider choosing a provider like Lemonade or Embrace since they let you choose an 80% or 70% reimbursement rate to help lower premiums.

Here are some sample quotes from Pumpkin for dogs of various breeds in Raleigh, North Carolina:

Pumpkin’s Preventative Essentials Pack costs $19 per month for dogs of any breed and age.

Best Standard Plan

Pumpkin

Verdict and Recommendation

Insuring your dog or puppy with a pet insurance policy can help cover treatments and procedures during an emergency and save you money on expensive vet bills. Prices for policies will vary depending on your location and your dog’s age and breed, so get a free quote from a few different providers to compare pricing.Although each of the companies in this review offers policies for dogs of all breeds and ages, we recommend Lemonade for its plan customizability, affordable premiums, and comprehensive policy coverage. However, Lemonade isn’t available in all states, including Florida, Louisiana, and Massachusetts, so consider Embrace or Prudent Pet if Lemonade doesn’t cover dogs in your area.

Common Pet Insurance Terms

Here are some common pet insurance terms that you’ll come across when shopping for a policy:

  • Deductible: This is the amount you owe during a claim before you get reimbursed for your dog’s vet bill. For example, if your reimbursement amount during a claim is $900 but your annual deductible is $500, you’ll receive $400 when the claim is finalized.
  • Annual limit: This is the amount your provider agrees to pay for a year of coverage. If the total amount you claim goes above this amount, you’ll owe the rest out of pocket. For example, if you have an annual limit of $5,000 and your vet bill is $5,500, you won’t be reimbursed for the extra $500.
  • Reimbursement rate: Also considered co-insurance, this is the percentage of each vet bill that you’ll be reimbursed. For instance, if your policy’s reimbursement is 80% and your vet bill costs $500, your provider will pay you $400 for the reimbursement, but you’ll have to pay $100 out of pocket.
  • Preventative care: This optional coverage pays for vet visits and wellness treatments, such as annual exams, vaccinations, and bloodwork. Standard pet insurance policies don’t include preventative care unless you add it on for an extra fee, and some providers, such as Healthy Paws and Pawp, don’t offer it as an option at all.
  • Waiting period: This is the amount of time you have to wait between signing up for the policy and beginning coverage. For example, if you signed up for a policy with a 14-day waiting period for accidents and your dog gets injured the day after you sign up, the provider won’t cover any treatments or procedures related to that incident.
  • Premium: This is the amount you owe per month to keep your policy. Your quoted premium is based on a number of factors, such as your chosen annual limit, deductible, reimbursement rate, location, and dog’s breed and age.

Factors That Impact Pet Insurance Costs

The cost of your pet insurance policy will depend on a variety of factors, including your dog’s breed and age and where you live. Here are a few additional factors that will affect your policy pricing:

  • Customization: You can control your quoted premium to some extent by customizing your annual limit, deductible, and reimbursement rate based on the options provided by your pet insurance company. For example, a policy with a low annual limit of $3,000 per year, a high deductible of $1,000, and a 70% reimbursement rate would come out to a lower monthly rate compared to a policy with a higher annual limit, lower deductible, and higher reimbursement percentage.
  • Breed and age: Your dog’s breed and age can significantly affect the policy’s premium, since some dogs are more susceptible to certain diseases. For example, bulldogs and golden retrievers can be more expensive to insure since they’re known to suffer from hip dysplasia. Getting a quote from multiple providers is a good way to find the most affordable policy for your dog’s specific breed and age.
  • Discounts: You can lower the premium on your dog’s policy by looking for discounts. Most providers offer a 10% discount for adding multiple pets to a policy. Lemonade offers a unique 10% discount for bundling your pet insurance policy with renters insurance or home insurance, and Embrace offers a 5% discount for pet owners who are active military members. Note: The Embrace discount is not offered in New York or Tennessee.

Pet Insurance Rating Methodology

Before choosing a pet insurance provider to protect the health of your furry companion, consider factors such as policy coverage, plan customization, and customer experience. To save our readers’ time, we spent hours researching pet insurance companies and rated each company’s overall performance on a variety of metrics.

Here’s a breakdown of each review factor and how much we weighted them:

We scored providers on the total coverage they offer with each policy in addition to their annual coverage limits, treatments, procedures, conditions, and the types of coverage plans available.

We scored companies on their pricing for both dogs and cats, with the most affordable companies receiving the most points in this category.

We scored companies based on how many options they provide to customers to help them customize their plans and premiums. Companies with more deductibles, reimbursement rates, annual limits, and add-on options scored higher than those with fewer options.

We rated each company’s trustworthiness based on their ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), years of experience, and available money-back guarantees.

This factor is scored based on the resources provided by each pet insurance company. Providers that offer a mobile app, 24/7 vet helpline, customer chat service, online portal for claims and account management, and an easy online quote tool received more points than providers without these resources.

Each company has a dedicated waiting period for accidents, illnesses, and orthopedic conditions that starts when you sign up for your policy. Companies with shorter waiting periods scored higher in this category, since they provide faster service than companies with long waiting periods.

We scored companies on each eligible species they cover, such as dogs, cats, and exotic animals, and awarded points to companies that didn’t have an age limit on pets.

Our research process involves an analysis of each company’s policies, including the following:

  • Reviewing the fine print in each contract
  • Reading more than 100 customer reviews for each provider to learn about common praises and complaints from existing customers
  • Requesting a quote from each company to compare monthly premiums for various species and breeds of pets
  • Simulating the customer experience, including the initial website visit, sign-up, and claims filing
  • Diving into the history of each company to learn about its reputation and experience

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Insurance

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance operates differently than normal health insurance. While your health insurance provider receives a bill from your doctor and pays it after you pay your deductible, your pet insurance provider communicates directly with you for reimbursement after you’ve paid the vet out of pocket.

Can pet insurance also cover cats?

How much does pet insurance for dogs cost?

Younger dogs that are small or a mixed breed tend to be the most affordable to insure, with premiums starting as low as $10 per month. Older purebred dogs are more expensive to insure since they’re more susceptible to certain health conditions and accidents. Insuring your dog at an early age is the best way to get an affordable premium and guarantee any future conditions are covered by the policy.

Keep in mind that you can lower your pet insurance premiums by choosing a higher deductible, lower annual limit, and lower reimbursement rate when customizing your policy during the quote process.