What is the Best Pet Insurance to Get for Dogs

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Imagine you're playing fetch with your pooch, and suddenly…

They land with a thud and a yelp!

And now they're limping.

Or…

Imagine out of the blue your best friend starts vomiting and refuses to eat.

And so the panic starts…

What's wrong?

Should you take them to the vet?

How much is it going to cost?

At such a critical time the only thing you should worry about is the quality of care, not money.

Best Pet Insurance Policies for Dogs

Editor's ChoiceEmbrace Pet Insurance - What is the Best Pet Insurance to Get for Dogs

Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet insurance offers the most comprehensive pet insurance at the best value for money. They are the first insurance company to introduce the “diminishing deductible” where your deductible reduces by $50 for each year you don't claim.

Get a Free Quote

Or head straight to my Comparison Table

And that's why getting health insurance for our dogs is so important.

If you're considering health insurance for your dog, you've got some work to do to pick the right coverage.

That's why I've brought you the most in-depth reviews of three heavy hitters in the pet health insurance world.

But, I love the underdog!  So, I've thrown in a review of a company that's giving traditional pet insurance a run for their money!

So, before you place any bets check out these reviews.  Also, use the handy buyer's guide and comparison table so you can get to grips with like deductibles, exclusions, co-payments, capped payments, riders and waiting periods.

You should definitely check out my comparison chart to see the coverage plans side-by-side.

Use the links below and be magically transported to any section you're interested in.

Quick Navigation Menu

  1. What is the Best Pet Health Coverage to Get for Dogs?
  2. The Bottom Line
  3. Buyer's Guide to Get the Best Health Insurance for Your Dog
  4. Final Conclusion

Pet Health Coverage for Dogs 101 [Infographic]

Facts and stats About Pet Insurance for dogs

What Is the Best Pet Insurance to Get for Dogs – Comparison Table

Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Pet Insurance for Dogs

Embrace Pet Insurance Our Top Pick

Embrace Pet Insurance

  • Coverage: Standard insurance coverage
  • Reimbursement: 70% to 90%
  • Co-Payment: No co-payment
Get a Free Quote
Pet Assure

Pet Assure

  • Coverage: Discount plan
  • Reimbursement: Immediate 25% off vet bill
  • Co-Payment: No co-payment
Get a Free Quote
Pets Best

Pets Best

  • Coverage: Standard insurance coverage
  • Reimbursement: 70% to 90%
  • Co-Payment: No co-payment
Get a Free Quote
Pet Plan

Pet Plan

  • Coverage: Standard insurance coverage
  • Reimbursement: 70% to 90%
  • Co-Payment: Based on deductible
Get a Free Quote

Why Buy Pet Health Insurance for Your Pooch?

Ever heard of the term “economic euthanasia”?

It's when pooch parents are forced to euthanize pets who are seriously injured or ill. Because they are unable to pay thousands of dollars for treatment.

The truth is…

Vets are expensive, whether your dog is insured or not. And if you consider the lifetime in years of a dog, expenses can add up fast, even for a healthy pooch.

But, health insurance coverage means you can pay a little at a time as insurance premiums. To avoid paying a lot all at once if something goes sideways.

If you're like me, you'd do anything to save your dog, then pet health insurance is for you.

Like I mentioned…

If your dog's in trouble you want to be talking about the quality of care. Not about the cost.

What is the Best Pet Insurance to Get for Dogs?

To compare apples with apples when it comes to rates and what's on offer I got quotes for one of my dogs with each company.

It's worth noting here that prices will be different for everyone, and the rates you receive will most likely be different from mine.

Here are the criteria I used…

  • German Shepherd.
  • Male.
  • 4 years old.
  • Neutered
  • NYC zip code.

Embrace Pet Insurance

Editor's ChoiceEmbrace Pet Insurance - What is the Best Pet Insurance to Get for Dogs

Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet insurance offers the most comprehensive pet insurance at the best value for money. They are the first insurance company to introduce the “diminishing deductible” where your deductible reduces by $50 for each year you don't claim.

Get a Free Quote

Embrace Pet Insurance Quick Fire Summary

  • Embrace offers the benefit of a Diminishing Deductible. That means each year you remain claim-free, your deductible will reduce by $50 the following year.
  • Embrace also has a Curable Conditions policy, which will pay claims on curable conditions if they have been symptom and treatment free from 12 months.
  • Clients may be eligible for Extra Reimbursements for additional expenses like training, grooming, and other extras that most insurance companies do not cover.
  • Once your pooch reaches the upper age limit for joining, they will not lose their coverage for their lifetime, as long as you continue paying the premiums.
  • Most claims are settled within 15 days, which is acceptable as the industry standard.
Embrace Pet Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Offers a Diminishing Deductible.
  • Has a Curable Conditions policy.
  • Eligiability for Extra Reimbursments usually not covered.
  • Cover guaranteed for life regardless of age.
  • Most claims processed in 15 days or less.

Cons
  • Bilateral Injury Policy.
  • Upper age limit for joining.

Get a Free Quote

Embrace Pet Insurance Detailed Review

The main product that Embrace offers is a comprehensive accident and illness policy. There is also an optional wellness plan.

If your dog has shown symptoms of or been diagnosed with certain diseases they can only be covered by an accident plan.

The accident policy is not for healthy dogs.

Coverage for your dog is guaranteed for his life, as long as you continue to pay the monthly premiums on time.

Which means Embrace will not drop your pet’s coverage as they age. This is a great feature and gives you security as your pooch ages.

Pricing

Pricing depends on many factors. These include:

  1. Your pet’s age
  2. Whether they are purebred
  3. Whether they are spayed/neutered
  4. The amount of your deductible
  5. The limits of your coverage
  6. Whether you choose a prescription plan
  7. Whether you choose a wellness plan (which covers vaccinations and proactive health care)

I priced Embrace for my 4-year-old neutered German Shepherd. And I was offered three variations – See examples below.

Example of Embrace PEt Insurance for My Dog

One Bone Package:

  • $23.66 per month.
  • Cover amount: $10 000.
  • Deductible: $750.
  • Reimbursement: 80%.
  • Optional RX Coverage: Yes.
  • Wellness Rewards: No.

Two Bone Package (Recommended):

  • $36.62 per month.
  • Cover amount: $10 000.
  • Deductible: $500.
  • Reimbursement: 80%
  • Optional RX Cover: Yes.
  • Wellness Rewards: No.

Three Bone Package:

  • $54.62 per month.
  • Cover amount: $10 000.
  • Deductible: $500.
  • Reimbursement: 80%
  • Optional RX Coverage: Yes.
  • Wellness Rewards: $250.

The nice thing with Embrace is you can create custom coverage for your dog too.

So, I experimented with this and got the following quotes for my Male GSD who's 4 years old.

Examples of Embrace Pet Insurance Custom Quote

Custom Quote One

  • Premium is: $10.23 per month.
  • Cover amount: $5000.
  • Deductible: $1000.
  • Reimbursement: 70%.
  • Wellness Plan: $0.

Custom Quote Two

  • Premium is: $126.33 per month.
  • Cover amount: $15000.
  • Deductible: $200.
  • Reimbursement: 90%.
  • Wellness Plan: $650.

There is no co-pay when you visit the vet. But clients do pay for all services rendered upfront. And then initiate the claims process to receive reimbursement from Embrace.

Deductible

The deductible is the amount that you will pay for your dog’s health care before Embrace kicks in.

As you can see from my experimentation with custom quotes, the higher the deductible, the lower the monthly cost will be.

Your deductible amount with Embrace is per year, not per incident. This is another important feature. Because having a deductible per incident is going to hit your pocket hard.

Let's say that you have a $500 deductible. After you've paid the first 500 bucks coverage kicks in and everything else is covered at the reimbursement level you choose.

Wellness Rewards

The Embrace Wellness Rewards is like a savings account or like a flex spending account.

You get reimbursed for being proactive about your dog’s care.

It promises 100% reimbursement of claims with no deductible, copay, or waiting period. You can choose a plan with up to a $650 limit.

There's always going to be vaccinations, possible spaying or neutering, flea tick, and worm prevention to name a few.

So, I think this is a fantastic benefit to save you money on those essential things.

Here's the list of procedures covered by the wellness plan…

  • Spaying/neutering
  • Flea, tick, and heartworm prevention
  • Vaccinations
  • Wellness exams
  • Routine blood and fecal exams
  • Microchip implantation
  • Prescription diet food
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Dental x-rays, crowns, and fillings
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Medicated shampoos
  • Behavioral training

Waiting Period

Once you buy pet health insurance for your dog, there is a waiting period.

For illnesses, it's 14 days. And for accidents anywhere from 48 hours to 14 days, depending on the state you live in. This is standard with all pet health insurance companies.

For orthopedic conditions, the waiting period is 6 months. But it can be reduced to 14 days if your dog has an orthopedic exam.

Age limits

Your dog must be younger than 14 years old to get coverage.

But if your dog is insured with Embrace before they turn 14, they keep cover for their lifetime, as long as you keep paying the premium.

What is covered?

The Embrace accident and illness coverage include (but is not limited to):

  • Accidents
  • Illnesses
  • Genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia
  • Chronic conditions such as asthma
  • Dental trauma
  • Breed-specific conditions
  • Cancer treatment including chemotherapy
  • Prosthetic limbs and devices including mobility aids
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Procedures covered include:
  • Veterinarian and nurse exam fees
  • Laboratory tests and biopsies
  • Hospitalization and surgery
  • MRI and CT scans, X-rays, and ultrasound
  • General, specialist, and emergency care
  • Allergy testing
  • Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and holistic medicine
  • Physical therapy, including hydrotherapy
  • Laparoscopies and laser surgery

What is NOT Covered?

This is one of the most important things to get our heads around when we're deciding on insurance for our dogs.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Pre-existing conditions are any conditions that have reared their heads before the end of the 14-day waiting period.

If your dog has a pre-existing condition that's curable and has shown no symptoms in the first 12 months of cover, it might be covered.  But this is on a case-by-case basis.

Pre-existing conditions include:

  • Bilateral condition
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
  • Any form of cancer
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Undiagnosed masses. If the mass can be diagnosed, and another unrelated mass appears, that will be covered.
  • Dermatological conditions
  • Undiagnosed vomiting and / or diarrhea

Exclusions

  • Ambulance transportation.
  • Disposal of your dog’s remains.
  • The cost of boarding your dog.
  • Dental illness.
  • Orthodonture.
  • Injuries deliberately caused by you or a family member.
  • Harm caused by the deliberate endangerment of your dog.
  • Injury or illness caused by neglect.
  • Injury or illness due to racing, law enforcement, guarding, or personal protection.
  • Cosmetic, elective, or aesthetic surgery (such as ear cropping or tail docking)
  • Treatment for any illness for which you refused a vaccine.
  • Veterinary administration fees.
  • Treatment of prosthetic limbs and devices.
  • Organ transplants.
  • Genetic / chromosome testing.
  • Expenses resulting from breeding, pregnancy, whelping, or queening.
  • Expenses for treatment of avian, swine or any other type of influenza.
  • Intentional slaughter under the order of any government or local authority.
  • Treatment due to epidemics or pandemics as declared by the USDA
  • Treatment for exposure to radiation.
  • Treatment for exposure to chemical or biological agents.
  • Treatment arising from war, invasion, acts of foreign enemies or civil unrest.

Once you have enrolled your pet with Embrace, you can request a medical history review.  Your veterinarian will send your dog’s file to Embrace and they will review your dog’s medical history.

Embrace will send you a report about any pre-existing conditions that they have found.

If you don’t like what they tell you, you can cancel with a full refund, so long as you haven’t filed any claims.

Discounts

Embrace also offers customers several different ways to save:

  • 5% off for a spayed or neutered dog.
  • 5% multi-pet saving (after the first pet).
  • A rate reduction for paying your full year’s premium in a lump sum.
  • 5% savings if you pay directly from your bank account.
  • 5% price reduction for active military personnel.

Please note that some savings are governed by state law. Depending on where you live, you may not be eligible for all these discounts.

For a zip code in NYC, my quote was slashed with just under 5 bucks.

Embrace Pet Insurance App

Embrace offers a free app that you can download from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

With it, you can do everything from adding a new pet to your plan, submit and view claims. To checking your coverage, remaining limits, updating billing information and getting in touch with the embrace team about a specific claim.

Is Embrace Worth it?

I like Embrace Pet Insurance.  Their coverage packages offer peace of mind and at very reasonable rates too.  I've also dealt with their customer service directly and they went above and beyond to help me out.

Embrace holds an excellent reputation for paying out claims promptly. And claims usually take roughly 15 days to settle.

As far as the best health insurance for dogs, this is top of my list and you should consider them if you're serious about getting quality insurance cover.

Visit the Embrace Pet Insurance Website for a Free Quote.

Here's an “in-a-nutshell” video by the Co-Founder of Embrace.

PetFirst Pet Insurance

Runner UpPet Insurance for Dogs and Cats | Petfirst

PetFirst Pet Insurance

PetFirst offers a range of plans and customizable options to suit your pet insurance needs. They've been around since 2004 and have a quick turnaround time on claims.

*Get a Free Quote
*$10 off your first month of PetFirst pet insurance!

PetFirst Pet Insurance Quick Fire Summary

  • PetFirst Insurance has no upper age limit for joining members. This is good news if you're the guardian of a senior pooch looking for comprehensive medical coverage for the lifetime of your dog.
  • Besides the regular accident and illness coverage, PetFirst gives you the choice to add a routine care rider that reduces the expenses of everyday care like wellness checkups, vaccines teeth cleaning, and even behavior training.
  • With the many different benefit plans, you get to choose a deductible that directly affects the rates you pay. And your choices for the yearly maximums are relatively extensive.
  • Before joining PetFirst, your dog will not need a vet exam. Instead, PetFirst requires that you submit 12 months of health records.
  • PetFirst boasts a quick turnaround time on claims. And most claims are settled within two weeks, which means getting your money back is fast and easy.
  • Waiting periods with PetFirst are reasonably short in comparison to other companies in the industry. For most types of cover, their standard waiting period is only 14 days.
PetFirst Pet Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No upper age limit for joining.
  • Offer a routine care rider to reduce everyday costs.
  • No veterinary exam required before joining.
  • Several benefit plans available.
  • Quick turnaround time on claims.

Cons
  • Per-incident deductible.

*Get a Free Quote

*$10 off your first month of PetFirst pet insurance!

PetFirst Pet Insurance Detailed Review

PetFirst has been a player in the world of health insurance since 2004. This makes them a reasonably new company compared to some of the older and more long-standing ones.

But that should not stop you from considering them as a real contender for the medical coverage for dogs. Because they are the fastest-growing pet insurance company in North America.

Pricing

To make comparisons simple and easy, I did a free quote for my 4-year-old male GSD.

Of course, pricing depends on several factors. And these are the ones PetFirst takes into account:

  1. Type of pet (dog or cat)
  2. Male or Female
  3. Age
  4. Pure or Mixed Breed
  5. Breed Type
  6. Zip code
FirstPet Quote Best Pet Insurance for Dogs

They also ask for information like color, which in my opinion, has no bearing on the rates.

But unlike some of the other insurance companies, they don't seem phased as to whether a pet is already spayed or neutered.

After providing the initial information they require, I was provided with three variations, as seen below…

PetFirst Pet Insurance for Dogs Quote

Quote One:

  • $33.95 per month.
  • Cover amount: $2000.
  • Deductible: $250.
  • Reimbursement: 80%.

Quote Two (recommended):

  • $47.95 per month.
  • Cover amount: $5000.
  • Deductible: $250.
  • Reimbursement: 80%.

Quote Three:

  • $84.95 per month.
  • Cover amount: $10 000.
  • Deductible: $250.
  • Reimbursement: 80%.

I was happy to see that there is also the possibility to customize a coverage plan that suits my pocket and the needs of my dog in a more focused way.

Here you can play around with things like:

  • Annual Benefit
  • Deductible
  • Reimbursement (%)

And you can also add their Routine Care Benefit with pre-set amounts which is not included in their standard offers. Of course, this will up the price.

From the screenshot below you can see that I increased the Annual Benefit and gave myself a higher deductible and also added a rider for the highest amount for Routine Care Benefit.

PetFirst Pet Insurance Quote-Customize Options

Accident Only Policy

Petfirst doesn't offer Accident Only insurance as some other pet policies do. Their standard plans include cover for accidents as well as a host of other events that you can read more about in a moment.

Deductible

The deductible for your insurance is the amount you are responsible for paying before the cover takes effect and you can start sending claims for reimbursement.

With any medical cover for pets, the deductible will directly affect the monthly rates you pay. A higher deductible is equal to a lower monthly premium.

PetFirst's deductible is on a per-incident basis. And they recommend that you file all claims even if the amount is less than your deductible. This helps you reach the deductible amount you are responsible for any further treatment for the particular treatment.

For instance, should your dog become injured and visit the vet, you pay the first $250, and after that, your dog is covered up to the reimbursement level of your plan for treatment related to the specific event.

Wellness Plans (Routine Care Coverage)

PetFirst does not cover wellness, routine or preventative care unless you include a Routine Care Coverage rider at an extra cost. There are three cover choices to pick from $125, $250 or $400.

Below are the Routine Care procedures covered up to the maximum amount you picked beforehand…

  • Routine examinations like annual vet exam, regular tests or screens
  • Vaccines
  • Teeth cleaning or polishing
  • Microchipping
  • Preventive treatment for parasites, such as fleas & heartworms
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Behavior training

Waiting Periods

All pet health insurance companies have waiting periods. And PetFirst is no different.

For accident cover their waiting period ends at midnight after activation (EST). And for illness, their waiting period is 14 days.

For orthopedic issues like cruciate treatments, PetFirst has a waiting period of 12 months. So if a cruciate problem arises and it was not pre-existing, your dog is covered.

Age Limits

PetFirst does not have any age limits for coverage and will cover a dog of any age, even your most senior pooch. And pups as young as 8 weeks old are eligible for cover.

And PetFirst does not require your dog to have a vet exam before qualifying for cover.

What's Covered?

Below is a list of what's covered by the standard plans offered by Petfirst (this list is not exhaustive)…

  • Accidents
  • Illness (incl. hereditary, congenital, & chronic conditions)
  • Hospitalizations
  • Surgeries
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Exam Fees
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Medications
  • Holistic Care and alternative therapies
  • Emergency Care

And after a 12-month waiting period, the following conditions are also covered, as long as they were not pre-existing conditions.

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligaments
  • Medical Cruciate
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligaments
  • Cranial Cruciate Ligaments

Below is a screenshot of the main scenarios and conditions PetFirst covers. More information and details can be found in your policy document. I also recommend calling them to discuss any questions you have beforehand.

PetFirst Pet Insurance Quote Summary of Plan Cover

What's NOT Covered?

Knowing what is not covered by is super important because the last thing you want is to be caught by an unexpected bill.

Pre-Existing Conditions

These are conditions you can't send in claims for. These conditions are present before the cover is taken out. Or conditions that develop during a waiting period.

PetFirst is happy to work with your vet to determine if something is, in fact, a pre-existing condition.

Exclusions

  • Pre-existing conditions.
  • Elective Procedures.
  • Expression or removal of anal glands or anal sacculitis.
  • Breeding or conditions related to breeding.
  • Pet food, special diet, vitamins, mineral supplements.
  • Grooming expenses and bathing, including medicated baths.
  • Parasite prevention, parasite treatment, and illnesses transmitted by parasites.
  • Orthodontics, endodontics, and removal of deciduous teeth.
  • Diagnostic tests, treatments, and complications of conditions excluded or limited by the plan.
  • Time and travel expenses to the veterinarian’s premises or hospital.
  • Illness or harm which arises out of racing, coursing, commercial guarding or organized fighting of your pet.
  • Behavioral training (unless an extra rider is included at an additional cost).
  • Routine Wellness and Preventative Care (unless an extra rider is included at an additional premium).
  • Any treatment not performed by a licensed veterinarian.
  • Organ transplants.

Discounts

PetFirst does offer savings for multi-pet homes. And claim that you can save on average 30% compared to having separate policies for each pet.

They also offer a $10 discount for your first month's premium if you sign up online.

PetFirst Insurance App

From my research, I have not found an app related to PetFirst Insurance. This is definitely something missing in my opinion and hopefully, the company will add the convenience of one soon.

Is PetFirst Insurance Worth it?

Overall I think Petfirst is an excellent choice for high-quality medical cover for dogs. I like the choice to add routine coverage as an extra rider for a few bucks more.

And they have the shortest waiting period for accidents, compared to some of the other companies I've reviewed here.

They are happy to cover a dog of any age, so even if you have a senior pooch, you can get them insured.

And they cover a range of orthopedic issues that some other companies do not insure. Although, remember that there is a 12-month waiting period on these and they can not be pre-existing.

Visit PetFirst to get a free quote>> Get $10 Off Your First Month with PetFirst

Pets Best Pet Health Insurance

Best Accident-Only PolicyPets Best Pet Insurance for Dogs

Pets Best Health Insurance

Pets Best is one of the few companies that offers an affordable Accident-Only policy that covers things like trauma, poisoning, foreign-body ingestion, and bone fractures to name a few.

Get a Free Quote

Pets Best Quick Fire Summary

  • With Pets Best you have one annual deductible. That means you'll know up-front what you pay towards your deductible – which makes budgeting a breeze.
  • Pets Best Pet Insurance coverage will pay the chosen percentage of the vet's actual bill that you specify. Your reimbursement choices range from 70% to 90%.
  • You also have two choices to add routine care to your dog's policy at an extra cost to you. The benefit of this is there's no deductible for routine care claims and cover starts the day after you activate the insurance plan.
  • Pets Best is one of the few companies that has no maximum age limit for accepting pets. So your senior pooch can benefit from cover for their entire lifetime.
  • Most health insurance policies require that you pay your vet and then claim back the money from your insurance company. But with Pets Best, if your vet agrees, payment can be made directly to the vet practice.
Pets Best Pet Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • One annual deductible – no per-incident deductible.
  • Payment of your chosen reimbursement percentage.
  • Routine care cover has no deductible.
  • No upper age limit for joining.
  • Payments can be made directly to veterinary practice.

Cons
  • Certain alternative treaments are not covered.
  • Co-payments are not counted towards your deductible.

Get a Free Quote

Pets Best Detailed Review

Pets Best was founded in 1995 and is on a mission to end economic euthanasia.

Pets Best offers 2 main products…

A comprehensive accident and illness policy. And an accident only policy.

And there's a routine wellness plan that you can add to either one.

Pricing

Pricing for Pets Best policies depends on five factors.

  1. Your location.
  2. Your dog's age.
  3. The breed of your dog.
  4. Your deductible.
  5. And the reimbursement level you choose.

For my 4-year-old neutered German Shepherd, I got quotes on three different plans – See my quotes below.

Example Quote from Pets Best

The Essential Plan offers me a premium of $61.16 per month.

  • The plan includes $5,000 cover per year.
  • A $100 deductible.
  • 90% reimbursement, which includes prescription drugs.
  • And no co-pays.

With the Essential Plan exam fees, rehabilitation or alternative therapies are not covered.

The Plus Plan offers me a premium of $74.67.

  • This coverage plan includes $5,000 cover per year.
  • A $100 deductible.
  • 90% reimbursement, which includes prescription drugs.
  • And no co-pays.

What bumps the Plus Plan up from the Essential plan is it provides cover for exam fees, rehabilitation, and alternative therapies.

And their Elite Plan would cost me $84.54 per month.

  • This plan has unlimited coverage per year.
  • A $100 deductible.
  • 90% reimbursement, which includes prescription drugs.
  • No co-pays.

And covers exam fees, rehab, and alternative therapy.

Accident Only Policy

As I mentioned, Pets Best also offer an accident only policy. It'll cost you $9 per month regardless of the age and breed of your dog, or your location.

The policy includes a $10,000 per year limit, a $250 deductible and a 90% reimbursement for charges.

You also have the choice to add-on cover through 2 different wellness plans. But more on that in a second.

Two riders were also offered for pet wellness at an additional $26 or $16 per month, depending on the plan. These two wellness plans will be discussed shortly.

Deductible

A higher the deductible = a lower the premium.

The deductible that you pick has a direct impact on the monthly rates that you pay.

So let's go with my deductible of $100…

I pay the first $100 and Pets Best pay the rest up to the maximum coverage amount.

You'll be happy to know that the deductible on a Pets Best policy is per year.

This is a good thing! It means you only pay the deductible once. After that everything else is covered at the reimbursement level you choose.

EssentialWellness and BestWellness Plans

Remember those addon wellness plans I mentioned?

You have a choice between the EssentialWellness at $16 extra per month.

Or the BestWellness at $26 extra per month.

The coverage offered for these addon health plans is the same except for 2 things.

The BestWellness plan covers spay/neuter surgery and teeth cleaning. Where the EssentialWellness plan does not.

All other procedures are covered by both plans but at different price levels.

Items covered by these additions are:

  • Spay / Neuter
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Flea/tick prevention
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Vaccination / titre
  • Wellness exam
  • Blood, fecal, parasite exam
  • Microchip
  • Urinalysis
  • Deworming

Waiting Period

Pets Best has a waiting period of 3 days for accidents and 14 days for illnesses. Which is standard across the board for health insurance.

Age Limits

Pets Best will cover any dog, regardless of their age.

What is Covered?

Each of the three levels (Essential, Plus, and Elite) cover different things.

  • Accident and illness exam fees
  • Rehabilitation therapies
  • Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic, and laser therapies
  • Emergency visits
  • Hospitalization and surgery
  • Prescription medications
  • MRI, CAT, and X-ray
  • Specialist care
  • Outpatient care
  • Medication injections
  • Lab tests
  • Cancer treatment
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions
  • Items included in the accident only product include:
  • Trauma
  • Poisoning
  • Bites (animal, insect, snake)
  • Hit by car or a moving vehicle
  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Bone fracture
  • Laceration, cut, or abrasion
  • Wound
  • Torn nail
  • Medical problems directly linked to accidental injury

What is NOT Covered?

As with any insurance policy, this is the most important thing you should understand.

I'm not a fan of fine print so I'm going to keep this part as interesting as possible. If that's even possible with legal-speak!

I'll try and give examples that folks like you and I relate to…

Pre-Existing Conditions

Pets Best looks at your dog’s history for the 18 months before cover to determine any pre-existing conditions.

If your dog showed any signs in the previous 18 months – it's a pre-existing condition.

Pre-existing conditions include:

Chronic Conditions

Bilateral conditions. Symptoms present at any time, even before the 18 month period.

Intervertebral disc conditions (IVCC). Same thing here. Symptoms at any time, even before the 18 month period.

Exclusions

  • Prescription or over-the-counter medications that are not on the Pets Best list of covered meds.
  • Admin charges for the processing of insurance claims. Or sending medical records
  • Injuries due to intentional acts by you or someone who lives with you.
  • Monitoring of pre-existing conditions.
  • Breeding.
  • Boarding and transport expenses.
  • Tests, treatments, therapies, and meds related to conditions not covered by your policy.
  • Anal gland expression.
  • Regular things that your dog needs like beds, treats, toys, etc.
  • Any condition resulting from activities related to training for or participating in racing.
  • If your dog is injured doing something your vet told you not to do.
  • Alternative and holistic treatments.
  • Experimental therapies and medications.
  • Training and treatment of Behavioral Conditions. Except for consultations and prescription drugs.
  • Cremation and burial.
  • Losses from things like nuclear disasters and wars.

Pets Best Insurance App

Pets Best also offers an app for its customers from either Google Play of the Apple App Store.

With it, you can submit a claim before leaving your vet – all you need to do is take a snapshot of the invoice, answer a few simple questions and submit.

You can also access your dog's benefit information and there's a 24/7 Pet Helpline where you can ask important questions about your pooch's health and wellness.

Is Pets Best Insurance Worth it?

Pets Best does offer very comprehensive insurance for pooches.  With my experiment, their rates were in the mid-range. They have some excellent reviews on sites like TrustPilot.com. Although I did see a couple of reviews complaining about service and slow payout of claims.

Visit Pets Best Website for a Free Quote.

Here's a quick video from the founder of Pets Best Dr. Jack Stephens (DVM)

PetPlan Pet Insurance

Best for Hereditary or Chronic ConditionsPetPlan is the best insurance from those extra expenses

PetPlan Pet Insurance

PetPlan is one of the few companies that will fully cover hereditary or chronic conditions – good news if you love a breed that suffers from hereditary or chronic illnesses.

Get a Free Quote

PetPlan Pet Insurance Quick Fire Summary

  • Flexible coverage is an excellent benefit PetPlan offers. With it, you choose what percentage of the vet bill the plan covers.
  • PetPlan boasts about its promise of Coverage for Life. That means they will never drop your dog from cover due to age or poor health. As long as you keep paying the premiums, they will never cancel the policy.
  • You choose from either an annual or per-condition deductible. This choice is an excellent way to budget ahead of time, especially if you know your dog needs veterinary care often.
  • PetPlan doesn't restrict you from visiting only certain vets. With PetPlan, you can consult with any licensed vet nationwide in the United States or Canada.
  • With PetPlan's flagship policy, you have security and cover for those unexpected expenses like boarding fees for your dog if you're taken up in hospital or cover for your travel expenses if you cut a vacation short due to an ill pet.
  • PetPlan also offers cover for alternative therapies like hydrotherapy and laser with their top of the line policy.
PetPlan Pet Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No upper age limit for joining.
  • Payment of your chosen reimbursement percentage.
  • Free to visit any veterinary practice.
  • Flexible coverage percentage.
  • Flexible deductible to suit your needs.

Cons
  • Coverage flexibility may reduce as your pet ages.
  • Claims process requires a lot of documentation.

Get a Free Quote

PetPlan Pet Insurance Detailed Review

PetPlan is probably one of the most well-known health coverage companies on the market.

And they're one of the companies that have trail-blazed many of the policies, covers, and extras you find in the pet health insurance world.

Pricing

Like with the other insurance policies there are a few criteria your premium is based on…

  • The age of your dog.
  • Your dog's gender.
  • The breed of your dog.
  • And your zip code.

To keep comparing apples with apples when it comes to quotes, I used my 4-year-old GSD male to generate quotes. And stuck to the zip code in NYC.

PetPlan offered me 3 quotes…

Basic Plan

  • Premium $46.41.
  • Cover amount: $5000.
  • Deductible: $1000.
  • Reimbursement: 80%.

Recommended Plan

  • Premium: $94.81
  • Cover amount: $15 000.
  • Deductible: $250.
  • Reimbursement: 80%.

Premier Plan

  • Premium: $177.19
  • Cover amount: Unlimited.
  • Deductible: $100.
  • Reimbursement: 80%.
What is the best pet insurance to get for dogs

They offer the ability to experiment with custom coverage, this is what mine offered…

Custom Plan

  • Premium: $67.94.
  • Cover amount: $15 000.
  • Deductible: $500.
  • Reimbursement: 80%.
Customized quote from PetPlan for my dog

There is a co-payment on all policies depending on the deductible you choose.

Deductible

As I mentioned before the deductible you choose will have a direct impact on the monthly rates of the policy.

And PetPlan gives you the ability to elect deductibles ranging from $100 to $1000. So you can safely plan your budget to make sure you can afford the premiums and set money aside for the deductible.

Also, PetPlan's deductible is an annual one, which is a great feature of the policy.

Waiting Period

I'm sure you already know that getting information on waiting periods is super important.

And PetPlan has 2 different waiting periods depending on which underwriter issues your policy.

If you're not sure what an underwriter is, here's a quick definition…

The underwriter is the company the covers the risk you're insuring. And they decide on the cover.

So for instance, PetPlan pays part of your premium to the underwriter who then takes the risk upon themselves if you have a claim.

We as the public can't go directly to the underwriter to be insured. We go through the insurance company.

Anyway…

So PetPlan has 2 different underwriters.

If your policy is issued by ACGS Marine your waiting periods are:

Accident or injury has a 24 hour waiting period after cover for your dog starts.

Illness has a 14 day waiting period.

And there's a 6 month waiting period for knee injuries like cruciate and patellas.

If your policy is issued by XL Specialty Insurance these are your waiting periods:

Accident or injury has a 5 day waiting period.

Illness has a 15 day waiting period.

And there's a 6 month waiting period for cruciate and patella injuries.

Age Limits

You can insure your dog for their entire lifetime no matter what their age is. Which is great because our senior dogs need extra special care.

They also offer a Coverage for Life dog insurance package. This is the Rolls Royce from PetPlan.

In a nutshell, your dog is covered for any conditions your dog might develop during their lifetime. And the number of times you can claim for the same condition is unlimited.

But here PetPlan has certain age limitations.

The cover must start from 6 weeks of age and before your dog's 8th birthday. And for some breeds, this will be reduced to their 5th birthday.

I like this benefit because it means you can give your dog the best care throughout their life.

Think of diabetes, EPI, and epilepsy and other age-related diseases.

What is Covered?

Depending on which package you decide to go for these are the kinds of situations PetPlan covers:

  • Accidents, injury, and illness.
  • Non-routine vet exam fees.
  • Diagnostic treatments.
  • Imaging like MRI, ultrasound and CAT scans.
  • Cancer treatments.
  • Prescription meds.
  • Surgery and rehab.
  • Dental.
  • Alternative therapies.
  • Specialist treatment.
  • PetPlan will also cover the following as elective extras:
  • Behavior therapies.
  • Loss due to death or illness.
  • Loss due to theft or straying.
  • Advertising and reward.
  • Boarding kennels and fees if you are taken up in the hospital.
  • Vacation cancellation.

Most other companies add hereditary and chronic conditions to their exclusion lists.

But Petplan covers hereditary and chronic conditions.  As long as there were no signs of them before the policy was taken out or during the waiting period.

I see this as a great feature and a benefit. Especially for those of us who love breeds that are known to have these types of conditions.

What is NOT Covered?

Okay, by now you know that having a firm grip on what's not covered is super important.

So here's I've broken it down for you…

Pre-Existing Conditions

In a nutshell, if your dog has or had a condition before you took out insurance, it a pre-existing condition. And it's not covered.

Even if it was not diagnosed by a vet.

Exclusions

  • Behavioral Disorders.
  • Congenital defects.
  • Cruciate or patella injuries in the first 6 months.
  • Dental procedures if they are related to medical conditions where symptoms were visible before the policy was taken out. As an example, gingivitis.
  • Prescription food.
  • Financial expenses for a dog less than 6 weeks old.
  • Any illness outside the United States.
  • Breeding, pregnancy, whelping, nursing and treatment of the offspring.
  • Bathing unless it's medically necessary and the practice staff bathed your dog.
  • Phone consultations unless it is for an immediate life-saving consultation.
  • Routine preventative care like vaccinations, titer testing, worming, and routine examinations.
  • Boarding your dog. Unless you have opted for the extra cover and you have been admitted to hospital.

Keep in mind that PetPlan does view some pre-existing conditions as curable. And on a case-by-case basis, this may be covered.

PetPlan Insurance App

You can download PetPlan's app from either the Apple App Store or Google Play.

The app gives you the ability to submit claims and paperwork, manage your dog's insurance plan, add new pets and contact PetPlan directly.

It's worth noting here though, that out of all the apps the companies I review here, PetPlan's app got the worst rating from users. This is something I think they most certainly should work on fixing – especially in today's age of technology.

Is PetPlan Worth it?

PetPlan offers what most other insurance companies do, so nothing special there.  What I like about them is they've been in the game for a long time so they know what they're doing.

And if you get the Rolls Royce cover, your dog has coverage for a bunch of therapies other policies don't offer. Treatments like hydrotherapy and laser therapy.  I have first-hand experience with how expensive these treatments are. My oldest GSD has hydro twice a week after hip surgery and it's costly!

My gripes are that their monthly rates can be high. And sadly I've seen some complaints from customers, specifically about rejecting claims.

But if you want to go with a company that's been around since the beginning then PetPlan might be a good choice for you.  And if you're looking for peace of mind and coverage for extra expenses that other companies traditionally don't cover, PetPlan should be a consideration.

Visit PetPlan's Website for a Free Quote

Pet Assure

The Frugal PickPet Assure Pet Insurance for Dogs

Pet Assure

Pet Assure is an excellent alternative to traditional pet insurance. None of the exclusions, no upper age limit, and no deductibles.

Get a Free Quote

Pet Assure Quick Fire Summary

  • Pet Assure is not your traditional medical insurance policy and plays by its own rules. For a monthly fee or a discounted annual payment, you get 25% off all your vet bills, every time!
  • There are no deductibles that you need to pay upfront before your cover kicks in as traditional insurance policies do.
  • No upper age limits is another benefit from Pet Assure, so even if you are the guardian of a senior dog, they'll have coverage for their entire lifetime.
  • Pet Assure also has almost no exclusions to limit you. There is no distinction between pre-existing or new conditions, you're entitled to 25% off right there and then.
  • There are no waiting periods before you can use the cover. Your dog is also not subject to waiting periods.
  • And there are no forms to complete. Once you've signed up on their website, you're covered.
Pet Assure Discount Plan Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No deductible.
  • Instant 25% discount.
  • No forms to fill out before joining.
  • No pre-existing or hereditary exclusions.
  • No upper age liit for joining.

Cons
  • You may only visit panel approved veterinarians.
  • Prescription foods and medications are not covered.

Get a Free Quote

Pet Assure Detailed Review

Pet Assure was founded in 1995 in reaction to a pet insurer denying a major claim.

Technically it's not a health insurance policy like the others I've reviewed here.

But it is worthwhile considering if you are looking for a more affordable coverage plan. And you still want to make sure your dog gets the best treatment if something goes sideways.

So, Pet Assure gives you affordable, high-quality pet care with instant savings.

And the paperwork involved is minimal. There are also no deductibles, claims forms, denial of coverage or copays.

Every pet has coverage, with no exceptions (except for non-medical expenses). And every medical service is covered without exception.

And there are no annual limits.

Here’s how it works…

You register your dog on the company website. And you get an id card which you use to get 25% off all your vet bills.

The one limitation is you must visit an in-network vet. But more on this later.

Unlike regular pet medical insurance where you pay and get your reimbursement later, with Pet Assure you get your 25% right there and then.

I think this is one of the best features of the plan. Think about the huge difference this will make to your pocket.

Also, there's nothing stopping you from using Pet Assure along with a regular pet medical insurance plan.

For example…

If you have a pet insurance plan that reimburses you 70% of your costs. And you use Pet Assure to cover 25% of the remaining bill.

You end up paying only 5% of the total costs of the vet visit.

As a Pet Assure member, you're also eligible for a 5%-35% discount on pet supplies and services.

Now that's big!

Think about that for a second…

How expensive are the extra supplies you need to raise a stimulated, well-balanced dog?

Yip, I know you know what I mean!

Pet Assure also includes a 24/7 lost pet recovery service.

And 15% off every order made from petcarerx.com, which is another boost for your pocket. You can buy anything from collars and leads to dental care and food from Pet Carer X.

Here's a quick look at what Pet Assure offers in a nutshell…

pet assure features

Pricing

This is a one price fits all plan. The rates only differ depending on how many pets you insure. And you get rate reduction for covering multiple pets.

There are no questions about your dog, other than how many you want to cover and which zip code you live in.

I did a quote on my 4-year-old GSD that will cost $8.25 monthly which is billed annually at $99. for the year.

If I want to be billed monthly, the cost will be $11.95 per month. So paying annually saves you a whopping $44.4. Which I think is totally worth it.

If I want to cover 3 dogs it's $149 per year or $16.95 per month. So paying annually will save me $54.4, still a good bargain if you ask me.

Below you can see the pricing for a Single Dog Plan, Family Plan (2 – 4 dogs) and the Unlimited Plan for more than 4 dogs.

Example of PEt Assure Pricing

Deductible

Pet Assure has no deductible. You present your card at your in-network vet and they will deduct 25% from your bill.

Like I mentioned, you do not have to file a claim or wait for reimbursement.

The cover is limitless.  There are no caps on how many times you can use your Pet Assure discount and no limit on how much you can spend.

Waiting Period

There's also no waiting period.

You simply sign up and you'll get your ID card in the mail in 7 to 10 days.

While you wait, just print a temporary card, but check with your vet before you use it.

Some provider vets prefer that you have your permanent card before they will apply your Pet Assure saving. This can be annoying but it's not a long term annoyance because as soon as you get your ID card, you're good to go.

Age Limits

You can use this program with any pet. Any age, any breed.

If you have an older dog or a dog with an illness not covered by other pet health insurers, this is a good way to reduce your veterinary bill.

What is Covered?

In-network vet savings apply ALL medical services. These services include :

  • Office visits
  • Exams
  • Shots
  • Dental exams, cleaning, and extractions
  • Spay and neuter services
  • X-rays
  • Allergy treatments
  • Diabetes Management
  • Elective and emergency surgeries
  • Geriatric Care
  • Hospitalization
  • Wellness visits
  • Tumor removal
  • Ultrasound
  • Vaccines and titers
  • Parasite screening

What is NOT covered?

Pet Assure doesn't have any exclusions you can't claim for, except for non-medical expenses like the ones below.

  • Products that you take home with you, such as food and prescription medicines.
  • Outsourced services such as blood work or biopsies.
  • Mobile vet mileage fees.
  • Non-medical services such as grooming and boarding.

Pre-Existing Conditions

There's no such thing as pre-existing conditions or exclusions here!

You can get coverage for a dog of any age, breed, or health condition!

Yup, you read that right! Any age, breed or health condition!

Dogs with pre-existing and hereditary conditions can be covered. Even serious conditions like:

  • Cancer.
  • Diabetes.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Kennel cough.
  • And patellar luxation.

In-Network Veterinarians

The main reason why Pet Assure can offer the cover and 25% saving is because of their in-network group of vets.

Some people might see this as a drawback. But it's not.

The vets who are part of this group are thoroughly vetted (no pun intended there!).

Pet Assure chooses only the best vets. And will turn down a vet if they feel their practice is not up to scratch. So you're guaranteed the best service and medical care for your pooch.

Your own vet can also apply to be accepted into Pet Assure's in-network group.

And if you're concerned about not finding a vet near you, don't be.

There are vets available nationwide in the United States.

And if you are traveling with your dog and need a vet, you are covered, as long as the veterinarian is in-network.

Pet Assure Locator Services (PALS)

When you join Pet Assure, each of your enrolled pets receives an ID tag which includes a toll-free number and an identification number.

If your dog does a Houdini act on you and goes galavanting, anyone who finds them can call the toll-free number on the tag.

PALS operates 24 / 7 and will immediately contact you or designated emergency contact to reunite you with your dog.  All you have to do is make sure your contact information in the My Account section of the Pet Assure website is up to date.

Pet Assure App

Unfortunately, Pet Assure does not offer an app for pet owners. But, since it's a straightforward discount plan without restrictions or a claims process, an app is likely not necessary.

Although, since some in-network vets prefer to only give discounts once you have your permanent card (which comes in the mail), having proof that you're a member of Pet Assure via an app is convenient. Perhaps in the future Pet Assure will introduce an app.

Is Pet Assure Worth it?

Most definitely! This is especially true if you have an older dog with health issues that won't get coverage by traditional pet insurance companies.

From my research pooch owners who belong to Pet Assure sing their praises when it comes to service.  Not just from Pet Assure themselves but also from the in-network vets.

And their rates are more than reasonable, especially when you consider what you get in return.

And if you think about getting 25% off your vet bill right then and there it's enough to make anyone smile.

Visit the Pet Assure Website for a Free Quote.

Check out this Pet Assure video explaining exactly how their discount plan works.

Let's Break it Down

To make summarizing easier, I've broken down and compared Pets Best and Embrace here. They are both licensed insurance agents and members of the National Association of Pet Health Insurance of America.

Breakdown of Pricing

Pets Best offered me their most popular plan for my 4-year-old GSD at a monthly premium of $74.67. With an annual limit of $5000, a deductible of $100 and 90% of my expenses would be reimbursed.

This plan also covers my dog for cover for exam fees, rehabilitation, and alternative therapies.

But if I want extra coverage, for spaying or neutering, teeth cleaning and preventative care. Or specialist tests, I'd need to take out extra cover for that.

This pretty reasonable until you see the setup Embrace Pet Insurance offers…

Embrace Pet Insurance offered me their most popular cover at a premium of $36.62. Their annual limit for my dog is $10 000 with a $500 deductible. And 80% of my costs would be reimbursed.

That's a great deal financially!

Think about it…

An extra $5000 on my annual limit, only 400 bucks extra in deductible and I'm still getting a huge reimbursement of 80%!

Like Pets Best Insurance if I want routine care like spaying, worming, vaccinations, etc covered, I need to pay extra for this.

Deductible

Pets Best, Embrace and PetPlan all give you the freedom to pick a deductible that suits your pocket.

And they both consider the deductible per year, not per incident. This means you only pay once and the rest is covered based on the percentage of reimbursement you opted for.

Wellness Rewards

Routine care is offered as an elective extra with PetPlan, Pets Best and Embrace Pet Insurance.

But, it's worth mentioning that according to a study done by the APPA, in 2015 the costs for routine canine care were only about $235 per year. Except if something like teeth scaling is necessary.

So to be honest, I'm not convinced that paying extra for routine care is necessary. You'll probably find that the monthly extra will work out more than just carrying the cost of routine care yourself.

Waiting period

As standard with all medical insurance both PetPlan, Pets Best and Embrace have waiting periods, so nothing unusual there.

Embrace has a 48 hour to 14 days waiting period for accidents – depending on what state you live in.  Pets Best has a 3 day waiting period for accidents.

Age Limits

Embrace will not cover your dog if they are more than 14 years old.

But Pets Best will cover any dog, regardless of their age.  If you have an older dog, the monthly premiums will most likely be higher.

Here's a short video from Dr Jack Stephens (DVM) on why pet insurance is a must.

If so, you might be better off buying a discount plan like Pet Assure. You will save money when you go to the veterinarians, without paying huge insurance premiums.

What is Covered?

All the companies cover congenital and hereditary conditions. And they also cover medical situations like cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Pre-Existing Conditions and Exclusions

The list of items not covered by all three companies is very similar. The main difference between Pets Best and Embrace here is, Embrace views some pre-existing conditions as curable.

Which means, they will cover them if your dog has been symptom-free for a full 12 months. And depending on your dog's overall current condition. Essentially, it's on a case-by-case basis.

Customer Service

Being with a company that gives you exceptional customer service is always a plus. But even more so when you're dealing with the health of your best friend.

No company is perfect, but you can tell a lot about a company when you listen to their current clients.

From my research Pets Best came up worst on the customer service side. Clients complained that they are disorganized and slow to pay claims. One client complained about it taking him ages just to get a supervisor on the line when he had an issue.

Embrace did well with customer service. Many clients commented on how fast their payout is. And the nice touch of getting a handwritten card after their pooch crossed over the rainbow bridge.

There were a few complaints about long waiting times when calling them though. And they're a little slow to answer emails.

PetPlan's reviews are mixed, to say the least.  Yelp is where I go to read reviews about the products I review.  And Petplan has a poor score.

Of course, there are customers who love them and I think they offer a great product.  I'm just concerned about the complaints from pet owners.  Especially about slow customer service and settling of claims.

Although Pet Assure is not an insurance company, their clients love them. Almost all noted how great it is to get their 25% discount no matter what. There was no nail-biting waiting to find out if claims will be paid or not.

A Summary of Pet Assure

I've summarized Pet Assure separately because it's not medical insurance. But it's definitely worth considering.

With Pet Assure you are guaranteed 25% off all your vet bills. There are no claim forms to complete. And there are almost no exemptions to worry about.

There are also other discounted services, like buying your supplies from petcarx.com. And you also have access to a 24 / 7 pet finder service.

The rates are based on the number of pets you cover. But if you think about paying 99 bucks to cover one dog for 12 months, that's a great deal!

The only drawback for some folks is you are required to visit an in-network vet. But I don't see this as a drawback at all.

Here's why…

Pet Assure does a great job of vetting the practices before they are accepted. So you can be sure only the best practices are accepted. Also, Your vet can apply to become part of the Pet Assure network too.

Pet Assure is definitely an alternative you should consider If you don't want traditional insurance but you still want outstanding care and instant savings.

The Bottom Line

Editor's ChoiceEmbrace Pet Insurance - What is the Best Pet Insurance to Get for Dogs

Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet insurance offers the most comprehensive pet insurance at the best value for money. They are the first insurance company to introduce the “diminishing deductible” where your deductible reduces by $50 for each year you don't claim.

Get a Free Quote

If I weigh up value for money and coverage, my first choice will be Embrace. I think they give the best cover in relation to price. And they have some of the best customer service in the industry according to Google Reviews.

I dealt with their customer service directly because I was having a problem accessing their website to gather information.  They went out of their way to assist me.  So I'll vouch for their customer service too.

PetFirst comes in second. I think their premiums are reasonable for the cover they offer. And they have almost no waiting period for accidents. I also like the fact that they subtract your deductible before reimbursing you, so you get more money back.

Pets Best comes in third.  From all the research I did on customer service, Pets Best ended up at the bottom of the pack.  And they're tricky when it comes to rules on payouts.

And I highly recommend Pet Assure if you're not interested in regular pet medical insurance but still want to guarantee savings when you visit the vet. Especially if you have a senior dog like Charley my 9-year-old GSD.

They have virtually no exceptions to this. And they even cover pre-existing and hereditary conditions like Cancer, Diabetes and Hip Dysplasia to name a few.

From what their customers have to say it sounds great to know that no matter what, you'll get the 25% discount!

Buyer's Guide to Get the Best Health Insurance for Your Dog

Pet Insurance to Cover Emergencies and Vet Visits

Use this Buyer's Guide to Find Out What What Makes a Good Pet Health Insurance Company

Okay, so you're going to take the leap and get medical coverage for your pooch.

Here are the most important questions to ask yourself before you go ahead and cover your dog.

  • Is there a waiting period?
  • Are there age limits? And can your dog keep their cover for their entire lifetime?
  • Does your dog need a physical to get coverage?
  • What percentage of the bill does the insurer pay after the deductible?
  • Is the deductible on a per-incident basis, or annual?
  • Does the insurer pay a percentage of the vet’s fee? Or do they use a “usual and customary”?
  • Are payments capped?
  • Are there co-payments?
  • Does the plan cover pre-existing or chronic conditions?
  • Does the plan consider anything diagnosed in the previous year of coverage as a pre-existing condition?
  • Can you choose any veterinarian or animal hospital?
  • Does the plan cover medications?
  • Are you covered if you are traveling with your dog?
  • Does the plan pay if your dog is treated and dies?

What Kinds of Health Insurance Coverage is Out There?

There are four different insurance products available if you're looking for the best insurance for your dog. They include:

Accident only – This covers anything that your dog eats, but shouldn’t have. Motor vehicle accidents and ligament tears. Poisoning and attacks from other dogs. As examples.

Accident & Illness – This includes the accident benefits plus illnesses such as cancer, infections, digestive issues, arthritis, etc…

Insurance with Embedded Wellness – These plans often include vaccinations, screenings, nutrition consultations, and dental care.

Endorsements – These riders can include cancer, wellness, breed-specific issues, chronic or pre-existing conditions.

Pet Insurance for Dogs

When the Health of Your Pet is at Stake You want to Talk about Quality Care Not Money

Important Tips to Keep in Mind

Like medical insurance, pet insurance comes with different deductibles, co-pays, and premiums.

With pet health insurance, you usually have to pay the vet bills at the time of consultation and wait for reimbursement from the insurance company.

Insurance premiums are higher for purebreds because they are more prone to hereditary illnesses.

Older dogs, and the deductible amount that you choose also contribute to higher premiums.

Most plans exclude pre-existing conditions or breed-specific conditions. Some companies will cover these with a rider, which of course will raise the monthly premium.

Some plans cover office visits. Some don’t. Some will pay a percentage of what you pay your vet.

Other plans use a “usual and customary costs” scale based on your geographical area. You should avoid these plans like the plague. Because they decide what a procedure should cost, not your vet, which will leave you to pay the difference.

Discounts vary by state. But most insurers offer savings if you are a member of AAA, AARP, or are active or retired military.

Discounts are usually given for spayed/neutered dogs. And you could score more savings if you pay your premiums annually. Or if you pay directly from your bank account.

Final Conclusion

Phew!  There is a lot to consider when you're shopping for insurance coverage for your best friends' health.  It's daunting and not something to be taken lightly, so I hope this has helped to make your research a little easier going!

If you were wondering what insurance is out there and which one is best for you and your dog, I think it's safe to say you are more equipped now than ever to make a decision that will serve you and your dog well for a long time to come.

Now that you know what's out there on the market. And all the in's and out's of pet medical insurance, you can shop with confidence.

Your GSD needs physical and mental stimulation to be truly happy. So check out this article for fun games you can play outside. And this article for excellent examples of mental enrichment games that are science-based.

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