By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 6 December 2011)
Although there are many plans that offer accident-only coverage for less than $10 per month, adding illness coverage increases monthly premiums somewhat, and adding routine care (vaccinations, annual check-ups, parasite prevention, dental cleanings, etc.) increases them still further.
The following are some of the cheapest pet insurance plans in the United States. Starting prices are usually for young, healthy pets, so premiums are likely to be higher for older pets and those of breeds prone to developing certain medical conditions. However, most pet insurance providers offer multi-pet discounts, which can bring premiums down a little for those with several pets to insure.
Monthly premiums for the companies below have been rounded to the nearest dollar and are approximate only at the time of this writing, as companies may change their premiums slightly over time.
Cheapest Pet Insurance for Accident Coverage Only
For insurance that covers accidents only, the top three least expensive U.S. pet insurance options are as follows.
Pets Best – PetsBest.com
Cat insurance from Pets Best starts at approximately $4 per month and dog insurance at $6. The company reimburses 80% for approved claims with a $200 deductible. Average customer rating for this pet insurance company on PetInsuranceReview.com is 8.3 out of 10.
ASPCA/Hartville – ASPCAPetInsurance.com
ASPCA/Hartville’s cat insurance starts at about $7 per month and dog insurance at $9. The company pays up to 80% on approved claims with a $100 deductible. Average customer rating for this company is 7.8 out of 10 (8.2 out of 10 in the past year).
Petplan – PetCareInsurance.com
Petplan cat insurance starts at around $5 and dog insurance at $8. The policy pays 80% for approved claims, with a deductable of $200. The average customer rating for this company is 9.3 out of 10.
Least Expensive Pet Insurance Covering Both Accident and Illness
For insurance that covers both accident and illness (though not routine care), the cheapest American providers are as follows.
Petplan – GoPetPlan.com
Petplan’s cat plans start at just $5 per month and dog plans at $8. The plans cover all injuries, accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions throughout a pet’s lifetime. The company reimburses 80% for approved dog claims and 90% for cats, with a deductible of $200. The average customer rating for this company is 9.3 out of 10.
Embrace – EmbracePetInsurance.com
Embrace’s monthly premiums start at around $9 for cats and $14 for dogs. Annual deductible is $300 cats/$500 dogs and the company pays 80% on approved claims for accidents and illnesses, up to $2,000 cats/$5,000 dogs annually (more for higher-priced plans). Advantages of Embrace include the fact that it covers genetic and chronic conditions and the lack of per-incident limits. The average customer rating for this company is 9.2 out of 10.
Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) – PetInsurance.com
VPI cat insurance prices start at about $10+ and plans for dogs start at $13+. Plans are customizable to include specific accidents and illnesses, and premiums vary based on the extent of total coverage. The company pays 90% for approved claims with a relatively low $50 deductible. The average customer rating for this company is 7.4 out of 10.
Pethealth – PetCareInsurance.com
Pethealth’s indoor cat insurance for accident and illness starts at just $10 ($14+ for outdoor cats) and dog insurance at around $23. Pethealth’s cat plan covers 100% for common illnesses and accidents only, with a $200 deductible for indoor cats. For cats 8 years and older, the company pays 80%. The cheapest Pethealth dog plan (starting at approximately $23) pays 70%-100% for approved claims, depending on monthly premiums, and will cover boarding fees of up to $250 and lost pet assistance up to $150. The average customer rating for this company is 4.5 out of 10.
ASPCA/Hartville/Petshealth – ASPCAPetInsurance.com
ASPCA insurance starts at around $12 for cats and $17 for dogs, and includes extras such as spaying, neutering, and free lost pet recovery tag. The company reimburses 80% for approved claims with a $100 deductible. The average customer rating for this company is 7.8 out of 10.
Pets Best – PetsBest.com
Cat insurance from Pets Best starts at around $14 per month and dog insurance at $21. The company reimburses 80% for approved claims with a $200 deductible (higher for hereditary conditions). The average customer rating for this company is 8.3 out of 10.
Trupanion – TrupanionPetInsurance.com
Cats can be insured with Trupanion for as low as $11+ and dogs for $17. Plans cover accidents and illnesses, including hereditary/congenital conditions. Policies pay 90% for approved claims, and deductibles and monthly premiums are customizable to fit the client’s financial resources and preferences. This company’s average customer rating is 8.5 out of 10.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance – HealthyPawsPetInsurance.com
Insurance premiums from Healthy Paws start at $13 for cats and $19 for dogs. The company reimburses 90% on approved claims and and deductables are customizable. At the time of this writing, this company has the highest average customer rating on PetInsuranceReview.com at 9.8 out of 10.
PurinaCare – PurinaCare.com
Basic PurinaCare cat plans start at around $11, but dog plans are more expensive, starting at around $32, so this is a budget-conscious option for cats only. The company reimburses 80% for approved claims with a $250 annual deductible. This company has an average customer rating of 8.5 out of 10.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Pet Insurance
Cost is not the only factor worth considering when choosing pet insurance. It is important to visit insurers’ websites and read the fine print on their contracts regarding exclusions. For example, many low-cost plans do not cover prescription medications.
Reading customer reviews is also recommended. A pet insurance policy may seem like a bargain, but if a large percentage of clients have had negative experiences when attempting to get their claims paid, the company is not a good choice.
See Comparison of U.S. Pet Insurance Providers for a full list of American providers that includes customer ratings, the full spectrum of monthly premiums, and maximum enrolment ages.
*Consumer ratings and insurance rates and policies may have changed since the date of this writing.
Reference: PetInsurance Review.com