Where to Get Pet Health Insurance

By Brad Murrow , last updated December 25, 2011

Based on your pet’s age and health, the best place to start researching pet insurance might be your veterinarian’s office. You can buy pet health insurance online from a number of reputable insurers, but your vet, or even your pet sitter, might have an inside line on the best companies or policies for your needs. They might even be able to get you a discount on your premiums.

American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Of course you’d expect the ASPCA to provide for animals’ well-being by offering a pet health insurance program. The ASPCA gives you four options from which to choose, providing everything from emergency care only to full pet health care, including vet visits and vaccinations, depending on how much you wish to spend.

Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace has no veterinarian network, meaning you can use your own vet to care for your pet. Embrace policies cover all genetic conditions, which some others don’t. The company offers customizable, full-coverage and accident plans, with your choice of optional prescription drug, dental and wellness plans.

Pet Assure

An alternative to pet health insurance, Pet Assure provides guaranteed discounts on any vet service your pet needs, rather than a reimbursement from an insurance company after you pay. Pet health insurance may not cover up to 200 exceptions, while Pet Assure offers you a 25 percent discount on all vet services.

The gamble you take with Pet Assure is that if your pet requires expensive procedures, you’ll only get a 25 percent discount and not the 90 percent reimbursement an insurance policy might offer. If your pet won’t require expensive procedures or regular medications, Pet Assure might save you money by giving you a discount on all visits, medications and procedures combined.

PetFirst Healthcare

PetFirst Healthcare offers simplified coverage that have no per diagnosis limit, and your premiums are not affected by your pet’s breed, age or where you live. You can insure multiple pets under one policy at discounted rates.

Petplan

Petplan boasts the #1 rating by pet parents on the independent review website, www.petinsurancereview.com (based on companies that received at least 250 reviews). Petplan offers Gold, Silver and Bronze plans covering as many as 16 different situations, from medications to vet visits to disease treatment to surgeries and even reward offers for a lost pet.

Pets Best

Pets Best offers you your choice of vet, with no benefits schedule, meaning you won’t have to price shop for the lowest procedures to get reimbursed. The policy does have a per-incident limit that covers any claim, but does not assign a different limit to each possible illness or incident. The company does not drop your pet or reduce coverage as it ages. Pets Best offer three different programs, with different premium levels, deductibles and maximum benefits.

ShelterCare

ShelterCare offers guaranteed acceptance of any pet over eight weeks of age, with no premium increases as your pet ages. The policy does not have defined benefits, limiting your options for treatment, and there is no waiting period for accident coverage. The company offers three different plans for cats and dogs.

Trupanion

Trupanion is another of the major players in the pet health insurance field and is the first to get the endorsement of the American Animal Hospital Association. Trupanion advertises one, simple plan that covers 90 percent of veterinary costs for approved claims, depending on your deductible and whether there is an examination fee. The policy has no payout limits, further protecting your pet.

Veterinary Pet Insurance

VPI has been insuring pets for more than 30 years and is one of the largest pet health insurers worldwide, partnering with the Nationwide insurance company. It the official pet insurance of Pet Sitters International and has 11 vets and more than 60 vet techs on staff to help pet parents with any questions they may have. VPI offers seven different products for dogs, cats, birds, horses and exotic pet covering vet visits, surgeries, chronic and recurring conditions and medication reimbursements.

24PetWatch

24PetWatch is a company that sells microchips that help you recover a lost pet. The company also offers pet health insurance and lets you choose the amount and type of coverage you want for you pet with no maximum annual benefit restrictions. The company offers two different programs, based on your budget and needs.

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