Best Pet Insurance For Dogs Review (Exclusive 2017 Comparison)
You have health insurance for you and your children, right? As a pet owner, doesn’t your beloved four-legged companion deserve some medical love too?
Although there are plenty of pet insurance companies around to compare, health insurance for your dog is something you may overlook. We often don’t think about our dogs getting sick until it happens. Then, we take them to the veterinarian, which racks up huge medical bills in the blink of an eye.
Even if you do opt for insurance, how can you find the best insurance plans for dogs? With so many companies and reviews of pet health insurance for dogs, it can be overwhelming to find the best dog insurance policy for your dog. Fortunately, we're here to help you with this guide to our picks for the top pet insurance for dogs. This pet insurance comparison will tell you everything you need to know...
Top Rated Pet Insurance For Dogs - Comparison Table
Type Of Policy Coverage
What Is Dog Insurance?
Dog insurance is a health insurance plan for your dog. Like insurance for people, you pay a premium to have insurance. Then, when covered vet visits, emergencies, or other situations arise, the insurance company covers a certain amount of the cost. Additionally, you will need to file a claim with the company to get approved for a reimbursement.
Dog health insurance comes in a variety of plan and coverage types from big-name chains as well as smaller, pet-specific insurers. No matter what kind of chronic or pre-existing conditions your dog has or how old they are, there is a pet health insurance plan out there for your pet.
Many pet owners don’t know that it’s possible to buy coverage for your pet’s health in the same way we buy coverage for our health. After all, pets are just as likely to need sudden treatment for illness or another health affliction! This pet insurance review will cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision on which plan is right for you.
What Does Dog Insurance Cover?
Dog insurance coverage differs by plan, so you have to pay attention to the specifics.
Most plans do not cover routine care or examination fees but have a preventative care option you can add-on that will help cover routine check-ups at the vet, medicines, and more aimed at preventing other health issues from developing.
However, dog insurance plans will include partial or full coverage of costs accumulated from accidents or illnesses depending on the type of coverage. Some plans simply offer comprehensive coverage.
This type of coverage usually handles injuries or emergency visits that come from fractured bones, exposure to dangerous or toxic substances, swallowing something, bite wounds, burns, and similar events.
This coverage is for illnesses, including cancer, ear infections, sick stomachs, urinary issues, and more. Some plans also cover dental illnesses.
How Much Do These Veterinarian Bills Usually Cost?
Veterinary care bills, especially those of specialists, can run very high. Here’re just a few of the treatment costs you could have to cover completely out of pocket without pet insurance:
- Cancer - $8,000+
- Car accident - $4,000+
- Kidney failure - $18,000+
- Ear infection - $5,000
- Eating something bad - $5,000+
- Broken leg - $4,000+
As you can see, those bills could rack up quickly. Having a great pet insurance plan can save you from these expenses.
How Does Dog Insurance Work?
Let’s say you have a dog and no dog insurance. Your dog eats a fruit pit in the yard, but you don’t know it. In a few hours, they’re clearly very ill, so you take them to the emergency vet. After some tests and treatment, your dog is recovering, but your bill is over $10,000!
Believe it or not, that happened to the family of a good friend. Their energetic dog just couldn’t help himself and got ahold of the pit without anyone seeing.
Had my friend had pet insurance, anywhere from 50% to 100% of the cost of the emergency vet visits related to this accident would have been covered by the pet insurance provider.
With dog insurance, you pay a monthly premium for a specific amount of coverage. Your plan specifies how payouts and reimbursement for covered care will be handled and should also indicate the co-pay amounts.
What Should I Keep In Mind While Buying Pet Health Insurance?
The thing you need to think about is how much coverage you want to get. When choosing a wellness plan, look carefully at the following:
- Payouts: Is it a specified amount per treatment, or will they pay the actual cost of treatment?
- Starting Period: Is there a lead-in period?
- Co-pay Percentage: How much will they pay; how much do you need to pay?
- Pre-Existing Conditions: Are they included in coverage?
For more information about why you should pay attention to these things, check out this helpful video:
Do I Need To Buy Dog Insurance?
It is not required to have insurance for your dog, but it can be very beneficial. In 2016, it was estimated that owners would spend more than $62 billion on pets, with nearly $16 million of that being spent on veterinary care specifically.
If you can afford to handle a large, out-of-pocket cost for any potential accidents, then you can skip the insurance. If you’d prefer to avoid that, budget the cost of insurance into your plan to keep big vet fee bills from causing you to go into debt.
What Is The Best Pet Insurance Plan For Dogs?
So, what is the best dog insurance company? What should you look for when you want to compare dog insurance reviews and company websites? Well, the answer depends on your dog and his health needs, of course.
But, here are some general things to consider when searching for the best pet insurance plans for dogs:
Your Dog's Age And Breed
Make sure that the health insurance policy will cover your dog’s age. Some pet insurance providers do not provide insurance for puppies, for example. Or, an insurance provider may charge more for an elderly dog. Additionally, some companies may not include certain breeds who are prone to health problems.
Pre-Existing or Chronic Conditions
Many pet insurance companies will not cover a pre-existing condition, such as kidney disease that your vet diagnosed before you signed up for a policy. Additionally, some chronic conditions with continuous medical needs may not be covered. Be prepared to pay more to open an insurance policy that covers any congenital condition.
Preventative Care Coverage
Certain pet insurance companies provide coverage for routine and preventative care. This can include dental exams, spaying and neutering, and wellness care exams. But, some companies don’t provide this coverage.
The best way to learn about a pet insurance company’s customer service is through its customer reviews. Customers are usually very honest about their experiences with a company’s customer service. Therefore, you can gain a lot of insight into a company from their experiences.
Dog Health Insurance By Breed
Want to know what is the recommended insurance provider for your dog? Pick your dog's breed below to go to our review of the top option available for you.
How Much Does Dog Insurance Cost?
Dog health insurance cost ranges depending on the company, the pet, and the region you live in, but you only need to concern yourself with this if you believe you need pet insurance.
Pet health insurance is useful if you want to be able to offset any large, unexpected costs. If you have a dog that randomly eats something bad, or you have a dog who has a bad run-in with another animal, you will be able to save a lot of money on vet bills if you have insurance for your dog.
Deductibles and Reimbursements
A monthly premium may be right within your budget, but does it come at the cost of low reimbursement amounts and sky-high deductibles? Make sure your deductible is something you can afford and that the reimbursement percentage makes sense for you.
Your monthly premium should absolutely fit within your budget. However, some pet insurance companies raise deductibles substantially over time. Contact the company before you purchase a policy to find out its policy for monthly premium costs.
It’s important to complete your own research to narrow down some of the best choices you find. You know your dog better than anyone and you need to find the best insurance plan for him. Additionally, consider speaking with your vet to get his recommendations. He might be able to point you in the best direction for the perfect wellness plan for your dog.
How Does Pet Insurance Save Me Money?
When your dog gets an illness or gets into an accident, your insurance company will cover part or all of the cost of the treatment, depending on the terms of your insurance. This means that you will get reimbursed for the cost of treatment. Some plans also cover preventative visits such as physical exams and various tests, including urinary or fecal tests.
Some insurances have an annual limit to how much they will pay out, and others have a deductible per incident that you must reach before they cover any costs. Depending on how much money you can set aside for a pet emergency, you will want to choose the plan that matches up best with what you can pay.
What Will I Have To Pay Each Month?
The cost depends on the company that you insure through, but on average, you can expect to pay between $5 and $50 per month to have pet insurance coverage...which may sound like a lot but is more than worth it if you face a big vet bill or two.
The rate you pay will depend on what kind of dog you have, how old they are, what company you choose, and how much coverage you want. No matter how much you can pay, you can find a plan that suits what you can afford.
How Much Is A Dog Insurance Plan That Includes Check-Ups?
For many companies, adding on preventative care coverage is between $5 and $15 extra dollars a month. The amount of preventative care that you can get with this addition is different depending on the company you are purchasing insurance through.
Preventative care add-ons can cover a wide range of add-ons, which may include:
- Yearly physical exams
- Dental care
- Urinary tests
- Preventative x-rays
- Fecal tests
- Heartworm, flea & tick prevention
How Much Is Pet Insurance For A Dog Who Is Already Sick?
It can be difficult to find coverage for dogs who are already sick with a chronic or hereditary condition, but some plans cover dogs with such pre-existing conditions.
Plans that cover chronic or hereditary conditions will be at the higher end of the monthly costs, usually reaching between $40 and $70 per month.
If your pet’s pre-existing condition requires visits very often or a lot of regular medications, you may want to consider one of these plans to help offset the cost of your pet’s congenital condition.
How Much Is Pet Insurance For A Dog Over 10 Years Old?
A pet insurance policy for a dog over 10 years old will have a higher cost than it would be for a younger dog. Some pet insurance companies offer plans that have no age limits or difference in age charges, but these are quite rare to find.
The cost for a dog over 10 years old will probably be between $15 and $40 per month to get complete coverage. You could get less coverage at a lower price, but you’ll probably want to pay for full coverage for an older dog. Older dogs are more prone to getting ill or facing an accident, so you want to be ready to handle that cost.
Pet insurance can be confusing. Between talk about deductibles, annual limits, and coverage options, it can be hard to know what you’re buying into. A bad company will let you be confused and take your money anyways.
But a good company, like the ones I’ll share below in this pet insurance review, will make sure that you understand everything about the policy you’re getting, every step of the way...
There are dozens of insurance companies for pets who want you to choose them, and we've done the hard work for you to filter out the best from the rest! The best pet insurance company has three main factors: great customer service, customizable coverage plans, and affordable prices.
When you’re investing in a pet insurance policy, you need to be able to understand the policy & coverage that you’re getting and customize it to fit your needs and your budget. The top insurance companies will ensure you can do this.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
Insurance from Healthy Paws is always comprehensive and at an affordable price regardless of your pet's condition.
Their plans cover the general insurance benefits (injuries, illnesses, and emergency care). But they also cover genetic conditions, which is rare among pet insurance companies that prefer to exclude genetic or congenital conditions.
We rate Healthy Paws as the best in terms of customer service, ease of filing a claim, and policy options. Not only does the company offer three annual premium options, but it also provides no cap on benefit coverage.
So, in the case of the unexpected happening to your pet, his medical bills will be covered once you reach your deductible. Choose from $100, $250, or $500 deductible options. Additionally, you can choose your co-pay amount, between 10% and 30%, depending on what you can afford for big expenses and monthly premiums.
An average plan from Healthy Paws ranges from $20 to $100 depending on the breed of dog you own, the type of coverage you want, and a few other factors. Even at this price, I believe that a Healthy Paws pet insurance policy is a great investment for dog owners due to their exceptional coverage.
Keep in mind that once you reach your annual deductible, there is no limit to the benefits you can receive. They also have the best customer service around...
Pets Best provides coverage for most medical needs, like diagnostic and wellness care exams, chronic conditions, and emergency care. You can also pick a plan for specific needs, like routine care or accident coverage only. Additionally, Pets Best doesn’t have any age restrictions for policies.
They offer accident-only coverage, accident and illness coverage, or routine care coverage. You can pick and choose which of these coverage options you want to include in your pet’s insurance plan so that you don’t overpay for services you won’t need.
They offer a wide range of deductibles and reimbursement levels, essentially making your plan customizable to your dog’s needs. Pets Best even covers most pregnancy-related costs, which is difficult to find in many insurance companies.
They are very affordable - without adding on routine coverage, their plans typically average around $40. With routine care coverage added on, this will cost you either $16 or $26 more per month to assist with regular care costs, such as regular vet tests & visits. I believe the routine care coverage is a great add-on, but not all owners need this assistance.
Not only do they cover a lot of conditions that other companies do not, but they also have great customer service that will help you get the plan you want. Since their plans are very customizable, you can get the exact coverage you want within your budget. If you give them a call, they’ll help you choose and customize a plan to fit your needs.
Go Pet Plan
PetPlan is the best choice for you if you’re looking for the most customizable plan for your dog. You choose your deductible, reimbursement, and optional coverages, like behavior therapies.
PetPlan covers hereditary and congenital health issues, such as hip dysplasia, which other companies do not cover. The company also provides coverage for chronic conditions that were not diagnosed during your initial waiting period. Customer reviews rate Pet Plan’s customer service as one of the best they’ve encountered, with quick resolutions to questions and problems.
Pet insurance from Go Pet Plan comes in three levels (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) depending on the amount of coverage you want to have for your pet. You can also customize the plan to have additional benefits you feel that your pet may need.
If you choose top level coverage, you could receive up to $15,000 in coverage benefits for a year after reaching your $250 deductible. That will usually cost between $40 and $80 per month, though you can lower this price by adjusting how much coverage you wish to receive.
With Go Pet Plan, you know that your dog is covered. All accidents, illnesses, cancer, and more are included in most policies. They also have very few exclusions written into their policies, which is great for pet owners who want to keep things simple.
Trupanion makes insurance for your dog simple, with one comprehensive plan with a customizable deductible. You can choose your deductible, between $0 and $1000. Then, Trupanion takes care of the rest.
The company covers 90% of medical costs after you reach your deductible and pay veterinary exam fees. Additionally, Trupanion has no caps on your coverage, so you’ll receive this reimbursement for the lifetime of your policy. The company offers optional, additional benefits packages that cover things like alternative care, boarding fees, and property damage caused by your dog.
Plans from Trupanion run from $30 to over $100 on average, but it depends on your breed, your deductible selection, and how much coverage you want to have. The customization options from Trupanion, however, are much more limited than the other top brands, so it can be harder to find the price you want.
Still, Trupanion offers solid coverage with good customer service. Depending on your needs, they might be the perfect brand for you.
Embrace Pet Insurance
You can get a personalized policy for your dog with Embrace Pet Insurance, including deductibles and reimbursement amounts. Basic plans cover chronic and genetic conditions, cancer treatment, injuries, illnesses, and more...
Customers can also purchase additional coverages for their dogs. Wellness Rewards, for example, includes coverage for flea, tick, and heartworm medication, grooming, behavior sessions, and more. Or, opt for prescription medication coverage if your dog has severe allergies or other conditions that require ongoing medications.
Embrace processes its claims within 15 days, so it’s one of the fastest companies for claims processing.
While they are slightly more expensive than other brands, they are still a great company with good coverage for all kinds of pets. Plans purchased from Embrace average between $40 and $90 per month.
One thing to love about Embrace is that they do not limit the amount of coverage that can go towards certain hereditary or chronic conditions. This means that even if your dog ends up with a condition and needs treatment for the rest of their lives, there is no lifetime limitation on how much you will receive for these treatments.
Embrace also has multiple customizable coverage options that you can adjust to fit your needs and your budget.
Conclusion: Pet Insurance Reviews For Dogs
The top rated pet insurance for dogs can save you money and headaches by providing your dog with access to excellent medical care. Additionally, you’ll feel better knowing he is protected and you can get help for medical costs without being stuck with the entire vet bill.
Ensure that you complete your own research on the companies to find the perfect fit for you and your dog. Check that his breed, age, conditions, and any health needs are covered. Furthermore, look into what your monthly premiums entail to make sure there are no surprises in the future. This pet insurance comparison should give you a great starting point!