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If you’re a pet owner, you understand the importance of protecting their health as they are valuable members of the family. However, veterinary services are often expensive, leading many pet owners to choose to purchase pet insurance.
Finding the cheapest pet insurance policy can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with the process and options. In this article, we provide our top choices for the best cheap pet insurance companies on the market.
To create this list, we reviewed a number of providers and evaluated each based on their maximum annual benefit, reimbursement options, deductible and coverage options.
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is essentially a form of health insurance that protects your pet. It covers routine healthcare services, such as annual veterinary checkups, vaccines, and medications. Some pet insurance policies also cover accidents, like car accidents, choking accidents, and burns.
Most pet insurance policies cover dogs and cats only, but there are some policies that cover less common pets, like birds and reptiles. However, pet owners should know that insurance policies are priced based on the type of animal, and in the case of dogs, the dog breed. For instance, a pitbull might cost more to insure than a chihuahua.
How does pet insurance work?
Pet insurance works similarly to your personal health insurance policy. After your pet visits the veterinarian, you’ll submit the invoice to your insurance company. If the service or services are covered by your provider, you will need to pay your deductible, which is an out-of-pocket cost.
After your deductible is paid, you’ll receive the rest of the payment from the insurance company based on your plan’s reimbursement amount. Keep in mind that your insurance company will only cover the cost of your pet’s health services up to the policy’s limit. If the policy limit is $5,000 and your dog needs a $10,000 covered surgery, you will have to pay the remaining $5,000, minus your deductible.
The 4 Best Cheap Pet Insurance Companies
- Embrace: Cheapest overall plan
- Pets Best: Cheapest for reimbursement options
- Trupanion: Cheapest for add-on coverages
- Figo: Cheapest for accident-only coverage
|Maximum Annual Benefit||Reimbursement Amount||Deductible||Exam Fees||Prescription Drugs|
|Embrace||Up to $15,000||Up to 90%||$200 – $1,000||✔||✔|
|Pets Best||Unlimited||Up to 90%||$0||✔||✔|
|Trupanion||Unlimited||Up to 90%||$0 – $1,000||✗||✔|
|Figo||$5,000 – Unlimited||Up to 100%||Varies||✗||✔|
*Data as of 02/04/21
Embrace – Cheapest Overall
Provider Score: 4/5
Of the four providers on our list, Embrace offered the cheapest sample quote. They also offer a diminishing deductible program, which means your deductible will reduce by $50 every year you don’t file a claim.
✓ Best For: People looking for the cheapest insurance option
✗ Not For: People who have pets older than 14 years old
Pets Best – Cheapest for Reimbursement Options
Provider Score: 4/5
Pets Best doesn’t offer the cheapest monthly rates, but they make up for it in their reimbursement options. Pet owners never pay a deductible and can get up to 90% of the cost of services reimbursed, with no annual maximum benefit.
✓ Best For: Pet owners who need to file costly claims
✗ Not For: People who just need basic coverage
Trupanion – Cheapest for Add-on Coverages
Provider Score: 3/5
Our research found that Trupanion is the cheapest option for add-on coverages. Pet owners can get specific coverage for alternative therapies, like acupuncture and chiropractic services. There is also a Pet Owner Assistance Package that offers coverage for things like a reward for lost pets and boarding fees if you are hospitalized.
✓ Best For: People who want coverage above and beyond the basic plan
✗ Not For: People whose pets need prescriptions
Figo – Cheapest for Accident-only Coverage
Provider Score: 3/5
Figo’s pet insurance plans only offer accident and emergency services, but it’s competitively priced. Most plans cost less than $1.50 per day on average and pet owners can choose a deductible that fits their budget.
✓ Best For: People who want coverage for emergency visits
✗ Not For: People who want coverage for wellness visits
Guide to Cheap Pet Insurance
Having pet insurance can save you a significant amount of money. Before you purchase a policy, here are some things you should consider.
Buy Insurance Early
Most pet insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions or accidents that have already happened. You must have an active policy in order to use the benefits. It’s important to get insurance early, before the need to use it arises.
Ask your vet about health risks
As pets get older, they become more susceptible to certain health risks. Talk to your veterinarian about potential health issues that you pet might face in the future. That will help you understand what type of coverage you need in order to be prepared.
Most pet owners pay for their insurance on a monthly basis to avoid paying one large fee. But instead of paying for your insurance monthly, insurance companies will often give policyholders a discount if they pay their premium in full.
Look for discounts
Pet insurance companies provide discount opportunities that can help policyholders lower their premium. As you’re comparing providers, ask about any discounts that you can take advantage of.
Pet Insurance FAQ
Yes, it’s worth it for most pet owners to get insurance. Having insurance can help you pay for routine services, as well as costly accidents or unexpected health issues.
The average cost of pet insurance varies. Premiums are based on the insurance provider, your pet’s age, the breed of your pet, your claims history, and your deductible.
Some pet insurance plans do cover vaccinations for dogs and cats, but not all. If you need to have your pet vaccinated, ask your insurance provider if vaccines are covered.
After your pet visits the veterinarian, you’ll submit the invoice to your insurance company. If the service or services are covered by your provider, you will need to pay your deductible. Then, you will receive the rest of the payment from the insurance company based on your plan’s reimbursement amount.