Pet Insurance: What You Need to Know

September 8, 2021

September is National Pet Health Insurance Month. Many of us know how stressful expenses are when something unexpected arises with our pets if we are not prepared. Pet insurance is a great way to help mitigate the financial impact of coverage for your pet, just as you cover a dependent in your family. This guest post article reviews what you need to know about Pet Insurance and the top dog insurance companies in the U.S. While this list isn’t comprehensive of all existing options, it will help give you an idea of what you can expect with pet insurance, as well as provide you with tips about insurance you may not have known.


We love our dogs unconditionally and consider them to be more than just our pets — they’re full-fledged family members. So naturally, we want to care for and protect them to the best of our abilities. Luckily, some excellent pet insurance companies are available to help us keep our best friends safe and healthy.

The market size of the pet insurance industry in the U.S. is approximately $2 billion. By comparison, the UK’s pet insurance industry is worth $1 billion, and the Canadian pet industry is worth only $595 million. Read on to find out what you need to know before choosing an insurance policy for your family.

Why Pet Insurance Is Important

Depending on your dog’s condition, a typical vet visit usually ranges between $100 and $300. If your dog is older and their health is compromised, these visits can become quite expensive. Fortunately, pet insurance can help cover veterinary costs and keep us protected against any unforeseen incidents.

What It Does and Doesn’t Cover

Some pet insurance companies offer accident-only plans, while others cover both accidents and illnesses. An accident-only option is specific to accidents, meaning that if your dog gets sick, you will bear the burden of payment. However, a plan covering both scenarios gives the peace of mind that your beloved companion is fully protected.

It’s also important to consider that not all pet policies cover long-term or pre-existing conditions like arthritis. Sadly, arthritis can occur in dogs of all ages. According to statistics, 80% of dogs are symptomatic by age 8, and 20% can show signs of arthritis in their first year of life.

Since our best friends can be at higher risks of developing this joint disease, it is important to be extra careful when purchasing insurance. If you are unsure of your dog’s risk for developing joint disease, you can take this arthritis quiz to help find out.

Also note that coverages of certain types of treatment may also vary among plans. For example, some policies will cover alternative behavioral treatments, exam fees, or routine care; others won’t. Vaccination, spaying, neutering, or teeth cleaning can also be purchased as additional coverage, but not all companies offer this option.

Another thing to consider when searching for the best dog insurance company is your pet’s age. Older dogs tend to have more health issues and, therefore, will be more costly to insure.

Top Dog Insurance Companies in the US

Here are currently some of the most popular pet insurance companies in the US. Most of them cover illnesses and accidents, and some even offer add-ons for wellness and routine care.

Healthy Paws

This company was rated the best in 2020. They offer cat and dog insurance plans and comprehensive coverage for:

  • Illnesses and accidents
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions
  • Cancer
  • Chronic conditions
  • Alternative care and more.
There are no maximum annual or lifetime payouts, and most claims are processed within two days.

Healthy Paws pet health insurance is found here.

Pets Best

This company offers unlimited annual plans for cats and dogs, accident coverage for all breeds and ages, routine care coverage, personalized service, and fast online claims. In addition, they have flexible benefit plans that allow customers to customize annual limits, reimbursement levels, and the annual deductible.

Pets Best is also among the highest-rated pet insurance companies. They even offer a 24-hour vet hotline at no additional charge.

Pet Best pet insurance is found here.

Embrace Pet Insurance

The insurance coverage at Embrace Pet Insurance includes:

  • All injuries and illnesses
  • Hospitalization and surgery
  • Congenital conditions
  • Cancer treatment
  • Vet exam fees and more.


The company offers add-on routine care plans that include wellness exams, training, grooming, and vaccines. Furthermore, Embrace Pet Insurance will evaluate pre-existing conditions and cover curable diseases after the pet is symptom-free for 12 months.

Embrace pet insurance is found here.

Figo

This company offers three insurance plans for cats and dogs that cover injuries and illnesses. They can provide coverage for visits to licensed veterinary practices, specialists, or emergency hospitals in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Figo also has an app (Pet Cloud) where customers can submit vet bills, connect with other pet owners, and get 24-hour veterinarian advice.

Although they boast many great policy options, they are also quite transparent and quick to let us know they don’t cover the following procedures:

  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Most parasites
  • Pet cloning and cloned pets
  • Experimental procedures
  • Pregnancy and giving birth
  • Pre-existing condition

Figo pet insurance is found here.

Pet First

Pet First is one of the only companies that offer discounts on deductibles — $25 for each year without a claim. They also offer discounts for purchasing a policy online, insuring multiple pets, and to all animal care employees. In addition, complete coverage is available at any age of the pet. However, it’s worth mentioning that Pet First had the lowest rating out of all five of the pet insurance companies presented here.

Pet First insurance is found here.

Top Claims


According to Veterinary Practice News, it’s not surprising that arthritis in our pets is one of the top insurance claims. Nationwide Insurance recently released their findings that the #1 dog condition which accounted for the most amount of veterinary expenses was arthritis in dogs. Many of the diseases Nationwide covered were associated with obesity in pets, with more than $90 million in veterinary expenses. The results for top dog ailments are:

  1. Arthritis
  2. Bladder/urinary tract disease
  3. Soft tissue trauma
  4. Torn ligaments in the knee
  5. Liver disease
  6. Low thyroid hormones
  7. Diseased disc in the spine
  8. Diabetes
  9. Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  10. Heart failure

Of course, the natural ingredients in Glyde Mobility Chews help address the joint issues seen in ailments 1, 4 and 7. Once these joint issues take place in your dog, you need a powerful joint supplement to help the healing process and prevent further damage.
When your pet becomes ill, it’s more than just their health issues that can cause us to worry. However, with the right pet insurance plan, you can have the peace of mind to focus on your pet’s needs and not the potential financial burden of emergency and veterinary care. Choose a policy that offers your pet’s best protection and help for when they need it most.

This article was submitted by guest columnist Terry Stancheva, Founder at PawsomeAdvice.com. Tery is a traveling adventurist, yoga enthusiast, and a proud mom of her dog, Bella. She is the Founder at PawsomeAdvice where she has a team of animal lovers, our passion for pets unites us in delivering professional advice to pet owners.

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