Buying pet insurance can seem like a daunting task to many people. In addition to having several companies to choose from, there are multiple levels of coverage and not every insurer handles policy claims in the same manner. Fortunately, a little knowledge on the subject goes a long way. Let’s take a look at the top pet insurance companies so you can make the right choice when it comes time to buy.
Dog Insurance for Puppies
Most pet insurers won’t cover cats or dogs until they are at least 8 weeks old. If you need to buy a policy before your puppy hits that milestone, there are two companies to choose from: Embrace and Nationwide (Aka VPI Pet Insurance).
Beyond their lax age requirements for enrollment, the two companies differ in almost every other respect where their policies are concerned. If you want a policy to cover frequent trips to the vet, Nationwide is your best bet since they don’t have a payout limit, reimbursement is set at 90%, and the deductible options are fairly low: $100 or $250.
However, if you primarily want a policy for use in emergencies, Embrace is a good option. The payout limits range from $5,000 to $15,000, deductible choices go from $200 up to $1,000, and there are three levels of reimbursement: 65%, 80%, or 90%.
Dog Insurance for Senior Canines
Of all the major pet insurers, only three offer coverage for dogs over 14 years old. If you have a senior pet, your choices are limited to PetFirst, PetPlan, and Pets Best. So how do they stack up? Both PetFirst and Pets Best have reimbursement levels of 70, 80, and 90%.
However, only Pets Best has an option to reimburse at 100%. PetPlan has the highest payout limit option of $22,000, PetFirst comes in second with an option of $20,000, and Pets Best comes in last with their highest payout limit topping out at $10,000.
Luckily, all three companies have fairly low deductibles. Pets Best has options that range from zero up to $1,000. PetPlan has two deductibles– either $50 or $200– and PetFirst has deductibles starting at $100 and go up to $2,500. All three insurers offer plans that cover both accidents and illnesses, but only Pets Best has an accident-only policy.
Dog Insurance for Working Canines
Currently, only one insurance company has policies available for working pets and breeding animals: Trupanion. Although there is only one plan available with this company, it offers a lot of coverage.
There is no payout limit, deductibles start at zero and go up to $1,000, and the reimbursement level is set at 90%. Plus, Trupanion also offers additional coverage for costs to recover a lost pet, damage that your pet causes, and costs to bury or cremate your pet if it is killed in an accident.
Dog Insurance for Healthy Pets
If you don’t need a specialized plan based on your pet’s age or job, you have several insurers to choose from: 24PetWatch, AKC, ASPCA, Healthy Paws, and PetPremium. All five companies have plans to cover both accidents and illnesses, insure dogs as early as 8 weeks old, and have deductibles starting at $100.
But, if you’re looking for a high deductible, AKC may be a good choice as they have a $1,000 deductible option. Both 24PetWatch and AKC offer reimbursement limits of 80%, while the other three let you choose to be reimbursed at 70, 80, or 90%. However, Healthy Paws is the only company without a payout limit, although 24PetWatch has a fairly high payout limit of $20,000.
For owners of dog breeds prone to health problems, your best choices are AKC, ASPCA, and PetPremium since these companies offer additional coverage such as preventative care or treatment for hip dysplasia.
Concluding Words on Dog Insurance
As you shop for pet insurance, be sure to read all the fine print and learn as many details about the policy as possible before you buy. Remember that no two dogs are the same and therefore the policy your friend bought for his dog may not be the best plan for yours.
Whether you choose an accident only plan, a policy to help cover the cost of routine wellness checks, or an insurance policy to use in the event of an emergency, you need to make sure that the coverage you expected is there when you need it.