So, you’ve decided to look into dog insurance. Smart move. As much as we love our furry friends, vet care can get pricey. Dog insurance helps ensure you’ve got coverage for those unexpected illnesses or accidents without breaking the bank. But with so many options out there, how do you choose?
We’ve researched to compare some of the top dog insurance companies and plans. We’ll walk you through what each offers, average rates, coverage options, and things to consider based on your dog’s breed and age. You want your four-legged pal to live a long, happy, healthy life. Dog insurance gives you peace of mind that if something comes up needing a vet’s care, you have help covering the costs. Stick with us, and by the end of this article, you’ll be well on your way to getting your dog the right insurance plan for its needs and budget.
Why You Should Consider Dog Insurance
Pet insurance is something every dog owner should consider. You never know when an accident or illness may strike; vet care can cost thousands. Insurance gives you peace of mind that you’ll be able to provide your pup the care they need without going into debt.
The main types of coverage include accident-only, which covers injuries and emergencies, and accident and illness, which also covers surgeries, hospital stays, cancer treatment, and other medical care. Some plans offer additional coverage for prescriptions, specialist care, and alternative therapies. Premiums depend on the breed, age, location, and coverage level you choose.
Comparing the major providers
Top brands like Petplan, Trupanion, Nationwide, and Healthy Paws offer comprehensive coverage with good customer service. However, there are some differences to consider:
- Pricing and deductibles: Petplan and Trupanion tend to be on the higher end, while Nationwide and Healthy Paws are more affordable. Deductibles range from $0 to $1,000 per year.
- Coverage limits: Most cap payouts at $10,000–$30,000 per year. Trupanion has no limits, but premiums are higher.
- Waiting periods: Most require 5–15 days for illnesses and 1-3 days for injuries before coverage kicks in. Petplan and Trupanion waive waiting periods for emergencies.
- Additional benefits: Some offer routine care coverage, lost pet ads, and more. Trupanion includes a rider for hip dysplasia.
- Reimbursement rates: Typically, 70–90% of vet costs are covered after the deductible. Higher rates mean fewer out-of-pocket costs for you.
The bottom line is that any coverage is better than none to spend many happy, healthy years with your devoted friend; compare plans and costs to choose one that suits your demands and price range.
How Dog Insurance Works: The Basics
So how exactly does pet insurance work for your furry friend? The basics are pretty straightforward.
You pay a monthly premium to an insurance company like Petplan, Trupanion, or Embrace, and they help cover the cost of any eligible vet care your dog needs. Accidents, illnesses, surgeries, diagnostic tests, emergency visits, and preventative care are typically covered after you meet your annual deductible.
The amount you pay in premiums and your deductible depends on your chosen plan. You’ll want to consider things like your dog’s age, size, and breed to determine an appropriate level of coverage. More comprehensive plans with lower deductibles will have higher premiums. In contrast, basic plans can keep costs down with a higher deductible.
Once you enroll your dog and pay the first premium, their policy will go into effect after a short waiting period. From there, you take your dog to any vet or emergency clinic. You pay the full bill upfront, then get reimbursed for covered costs by filing a claim with your insurance provider. Most process claims and issue reimbursements quickly, within a week or two.
Keep detailed records of your vet visits, including diagnoses, procedures, lab tests, and costs, to make the claims process easy. Take pictures of receipts and keep copies of vet reports or medical records. The more information you provide upfront, the faster your claim can be processed.
Pet insurance provides invaluable peace of mind knowing you can afford the best care for your dog. The premiums and deductibles increase the overall expense of responsible dog ownership. Still, they also serve to guarantee the happiness and health of your beloved family member.
Compare Dog Insurance: Which Companies Offer the Most Coverage?
You have several alternatives when it comes to dog insurance. Here are a few of the leading businesses and how their coverage stacks up:
Healthy Paws is a highly-rated company that offers unlimited lifetime coverage for accidents and illnesses. They have a simple, customizable plan with 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement options. Healthy Paws covers hereditary and congenital conditions, cancer treatments, and alternative therapies like acupuncture or hydrotherapy. They do not cover routine care or wellness exams, though. Monthly premiums for a mixed-breed dog start around $30.
Petplan is another reputable company that provides comprehensive coverage for dogs. They offer 70% to 90% reimbursement for vet care costs for accidents, illnesses, cancer, chronic conditions, and hereditary diseases. Routine care and wellness benefits can be added for an additional premium. Petplan does not cap payout amounts and covers holistic treatments, prescription medications, and surgeries. Monthly premiums start around $25 for a mixed-breed dog.
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance powered by Crum & Forster provides customizable plans with 70% to 90% reimbursement for vet care costs. Their plans cover diagnostic tests, surgeries, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and alternative therapies. Routine care coverage can be purchased as an add-on. ASPCA has no per-incident, annual or lifetime caps on coverage. Monthly premiums for a 1-year-old Labrador Retriever start around $35.
Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace Pet Insurance offers a variety of plans covering accidents, illnesses, cancer, chronic conditions, and wellness care. They reimburse 70%, 80%, or 90% of vet costs with optional routine care coverage. Their plans have an annual deductible and cap payouts at $15,000 or unlimited. Embrace covers dental illnesses, behavioral treatments, microchipping, and more. Monthly premiums for a mixed-breed dog start around $25.
In conclusion, while many trustworthy businesses exist, Healthy Paws, Petplan, and ASPCA offer some of the finest coverage for the best price to keep your dog friend content and healthy for life. The specific company and plan that is right for you will depend on your dog’s needs and your budget.
Compare Dog Insurance: Which Companies Offer the Cheapest Premiums?
When comparing dog insurance, one of the biggest factors for most owners is the premium—how much you’ll pay each month for coverage. The good news is there are options at a range of price points. Several of the top companies offer plans with relatively affordable premiums.
Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace is consistently ranked as one of the most budget-friendly pet insurance providers. Their basic plans start at around $20 per month. They offer customizable plans to choose a deductible and coverage amount that fits your needs and budget. Embrace reimburses up to 90% of vet bills and covers everything from illnesses and injuries to dental work and behavioral treatments. They do cap payouts at $15,000 per year, so keep that in mind if you have a breed prone to expensive medical issues.
Petplan Pet Insurance
Petplan is another highly-rated, affordable option for dog insurance. Their basic plans start at $20-$30 per month. They offer 70-100% reimbursement for vet care with no annual limits. Petplan covers all accidents, illnesses, cancer treatments, diagnostic testing, surgeries, and more. However, they have some breed-specific exclusions, so check if your dog’s breed is impacted before enrolling.
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
The ASPCA offers dog insurance from around $20-$30 monthly. They reimburse up to 90% of vet costs with no annual or lifetime limits. The ASPCA covers all accidents, illnesses, cancer treatments, diagnostic testing, surgeries, and more. However, their basic plans do not cover routine care like checkups, vaccinations, or dental cleanings. Additional preventative care coverage can be purchased for $10-$15 monthly.
When comparing plans and prices, look closely at coverage limits, exclusions, reimbursement rates, and additional fees. The cheapest premium is sometimes the best if it lacks coverage for pricey medical issues. But with some patience, you can find an affordable dog insurance plan with good coverage and value.
Compare Dog Insurance: Additional Benefits to Look For
When comparing dog insurance plans, look beyond just coverage for vet care and checkups. The additional benefits and perks can greatly impact your overall experience. Here are some of the key extras to consider:
Many plans offer optional wellness coverage for routine care like vaccinations, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, and dental cleanings. While basic plans typically only cover accidents and illnesses, wellness coverage ensures your pup’s essential preventative care is also budgeted for. The exact coverage and limits will vary between companies, so compare carefully.
Prescription drug coverage:
Like human health insurance, most pet insurance plans cover necessary prescription medications. However, the details of what’s covered and reimbursement rates can differ significantly. If your dog takes ongoing medications, especially for chronic conditions, prioritize plans offering solid prescription benefits.
Emergency care coverage:
Emergency vet care for injuries or sudden illnesses is a top concern for any pet parent. Choose an insurance plan that covers emergency services, hospitalization, surgeries, and specialist care. Ideally, it will reimburse 70-90% or more of these often expensive procedures. Emergency care coverage gives you peace of mind in a crisis.
Many companies offer benefits beyond just insurance coverage. Things like:
- 24/7 vet helpline – For guidance on whether emergency care is needed.
- Lost pet assistance – Helps reunite you with a lost dog by alerting local vets, shelters, and animal authorities.
- Training/behavioral benefits – Discounts or credits for professional training, behavioral consultations, or therapy.
- Pet parenting resources – Useful tools like health and lifestyle content libraries, activity trackers, and vet finder maps.
- Premium discounts – For multiple pets, pet parent referrals, enrolling young pets, etc. Every little bit helps!
Comparing the total coverage package, benefits, resources, and costs across providers will help you find a dog insurance plan that suits your needs and your budget. Focusing on these additional perks, not just basic coverage, will ensure your dog gets the most comprehensive care and support.
Compare Dog Insurance: How to Choose a Plan That’s Right for You
Comparing dog insurance plans can be tricky with so many options out there. Here are some key factors to consider to find a plan that suits your needs and budget.
Coverage and Limits
The amount of coverage and any coverage limits can vary significantly between plans. Make sure any plan you consider covers at least emergency vet care and any chronic conditions your dog may have. Additionally, see if the plan has any annual or lifetime limits. Ideally, you want a plan with high limits or no limits on coverage.
Cost and Deductibles
Of course, the cost and deductible are important considerations. Plans with greater deductibles typically have lower monthly premiums and vice versa. Consider how much you can afford to pay for routine care and unexpected vet bills. You could have to accept a greater deductible in return for lower rates if cost is an issue. You may be able to find the ideal balance if your plan allows you to change the deductible.
For complete coverage, look for a plan that includes not just accident and illness coverage but also wellness care, hereditary and congenital conditions, dental care, and alternative treatments. Wellness coverage helps pay for routine vet care like vaccinations, checkups, and flea/tick/heartworm prevention. All plans don’t offer dental and alternative coverage but can be worthwhile.
Network and Claims
Find out which vets and clinics accept the insurance plan and how claims are processed. Larger networks with vets in your area are best. For claims, look for a simple direct pay or reimbursement model. Direct pay means the insurance company pays your vet directly. Reimbursement means you pay the bill and get reimbursed by the insurance company. Faster reimbursement, usually within a week, is preferred.
Comparing multiple pet insurance companies and plans in detail may require time and patience. Still, it will ensure you find affordable, high-quality coverage for your canine companion. Making the best decision for your needs and budget will be facilitated by concentrating on these important elements.
Also Read: Can dogs eat chicken nuggets?
The Best Dog Insurance Companies of 2020-2023
You have several excellent options when finding the best pet insurance for your dog. Here are some of the top companies offering dog insurance in 2020:
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
Healthy Paws is a popular choice for dog owners, offering comprehensive accident and illness coverage for your pup. They have no coverage limits and a simple price structure. All their plans cover vet exam fees, surgeries, treatments, and hospital stays. They don’t cover routine care or pre-existing conditions. Monthly premiums range from $40 to $200, depending on your dog’s age, size, and breed.
Petplan Pet Insurance
Petplan offers customizable plans to get the right coverage for your needs and budget. Their basic plans cover accidents and illnesses, while their higher tiers include vet exam fees, vaccinations, spay/neuter, and more. They do have coverage limits, but most are quite high. Petplan does not exclude pre-existing conditions as long as your dog has gone 12 months without symptoms.
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
Through ASPCA, you can get affordable pet insurance for illness and accident coverage and routine and preventative care. Their plans have an annual limit of $10,000. Monthly premiums range from $16 to $60, depending on your chosen coverage level. The ASPCA donates part of your premiums back to help homeless pets. They do exclude pre-existing conditions.
Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace offers comprehensive pet insurance plans covering accidents, illnesses, vet exam fees, dental care, and more. Their plans have an annual limit of $15,000. A nice perk is that Embrace does not exclude pre-existing conditions for dogs under 2. They also provide a Healthy Pet Deductible, so you only have to meet your deductible once per year, not for each new condition.
Nationwide Pet Insurance
One of the biggest pet insurance companies, Nationwide, offers a variety of dog coverage at reasonable pricing. Their basic plans cover accidents and illnesses, while higher tiers include vet exam fees, vaccinations, dental care, and more. They offer a 10% discount if you bundle pet insurance with another policy like home or auto.
Dog Insurance FAQs: Common Questions Answered
Pet insurance plans for dogs typically cover major medical expenses like surgeries, hospital stays, diagnostics, and prescription medications. But with so many options, how do you choose the right plan for your pup? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about dog insurance to help you decide.
What does dog insurance cover?
The basics covered in most plans include:
- Accidents and illnesses: Things like torn ligaments, digestive issues, allergic reactions, etc. Some plans cover chronic conditions too.
- Surgeries: Necessary procedures like fixing broken bones or removing tumors.
- Hospitalization: If your dog needs to stay overnight at an emergency vet or specialty clinic.
- Diagnostics: X-rays, blood tests, MRIs, and other procedures to diagnose a condition.
- Prescriptions: To help pay for medications your vet prescribes.
Does it cover routine care?
Routine care like annual checkups, vaccinations, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, and grooming are typically not covered. Some plans offer routine care coverage as an add-on option for an additional premium.
How much does dog insurance cost?
The cost depends on several factors like your dog’s breed, age, location, and coverage levels. On average, plans cost between $20 to $70 per month. Accident-only plans tend to be on the lower end of that range, while comprehensive plans are on the higher end. Some preventive care add-ons can cost $15-30 extra per month.
When should I enroll my dog in an insurance plan?
The sooner, the better. Enrolling your dog while they’re young and healthy is best to get the best rates before any conditions develop. Most plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions, so those issues won’t be covered if you wait until your dog is older or sick.
Does dog insurance have a waiting period?
Yes, most plans have around two weeks to 30 days before coverage kicks in. This prevents people from enrolling right when their dog needs expensive treatment. Be sure to consider the waiting period when deciding on a plan.
We hope this overview of frequently asked questions helps clarify what dog insurance covers and what you can expect. Comparing plans from multiple companies is the best way to find one that suits your needs and budget. With the right coverage in place, you’ll know that any big medical bills for your furry friend will be taken care of.
So there you have it, a rundown of some of the top pet insurance providers and plans for your canine companion. While it can feel overwhelming with so many options, the good news is you really can’t go wrong. Any plan is better than no plan when it comes to being prepared for unexpected vet costs. You know your dog and budget best. The comfort that comes from knowing they are covered in the event of any future medical emergencies or problems is something your pet buddy would value. We wish you both many more joyful and healthy years to come!