Best Dog Insurance Plans of 2022

Lisa Scott

A dog insurance plan ensures your furry friend receives the best care and saves you money from large vet bills through reimbursements on illnesses, injuries, accidents, and wellness routine care. We’ve looked at the top choices for coverage, discounts, reimbursements, and overall quality.

Extensive coverage to help keep your pet healthy


Coverage Up To


Reimbursement Rates


Pumpkin offers high-quality pet insurance plans for cats and dogs as well as an optional non-insurance preventive care plan for vaccinations, key tests and wellness exams, which will help to keep your pet happy and healthy through their life. You can travel with your pet in Canada or the US and can get access from any licensed vet in these countries. The platform is entirely digitized and serves as a one-stop-shop for all your pet's healthcare needs.

Pumpkin will cover up to $20,000 for dogs and $15,000 for cats annually.

What we like

  • Extensive coverage on multiple health issues
  • Optional preventive care plan that reimburses in full for annual wellness exams and vaccines
  • No exclusion on breeds or older pets
  • Offers a Fur Family Discount on multiple pets
  • Healthcare coverage in Canada and the US

What we don't

  • Pre-existing health conditions not covered
  • Pumpkin only covers dogs and cats

Pumpkin Advertiser Disclosure: Pumpkin Pet Insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. Waiting periods, annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit limits and exclusions may apply. For full terms, visit Products, discounts, and rates may vary and are subject to change. Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (“Pumpkin”) (NPN #19084749) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance is underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company, a Crum & Forster Company (NAIC #21113, Morristown, NJ) and produced by Pumpkin. Pumpkin Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy. It is offered as an optional add-on non-insurance benefit. Pumpkin is responsible for the product and administration. Pumpkin Preventive Essentials is not available in all states. For full terms, visit Paid Endorsement.

Short waiting periods on accidental coverage


Coverage Up To

70% - 100%

Reimbursement Rates


MetLife Insurance offers pet insurance for cats and dogs and is known for the shortest waiting periods in the industry.

What we like

  • No restriction on breeds and pet age
  • Customizable annual benefit limits
  • Short waiting periods accidental coverage
  • Flexible deductibles from $50 to $2,000
  • No incident limits

What we don't

  • Wellness treatment not included (optional add-on)
  • Pay first out of pocket and reimbursed later

Affordable prices with a fast reimbursement process


Coverage Up To

70% - 90%

Reimbursement Rates


Lemonade has earned a stellar reputation in the pet insurance industry with its affordable monthly premiums and fast reimbursement of claims with its AI technology. This technology has attracted thousands with its customizable policies and provides comprehensive coverage on illness and accidents to dogs and cats.

What we like

  • Customizable plans so you only pay for coverage that your pet needs
  • Claims are reimbursed in minutes
  • Affordable monthly premiums starting at $10/month
  • Comprehensive wellness plans to keep your pet in good health
  • Pay deductible once per year and not per incident

What we don't

  • Lemonade is only available in 33 states
  • Certain hybrid breeds may be denied

Pre-existing conditions and 6 pets covered for $24/m


Coverage Up To


Reimbursement Rates


Pawp offers pet owners an emergency fund up to but not exceeding $3,000 annually. The platform is different from other traditional pet insurance agencies as it does not require you to provide a medical examination report before enrolling your pet. Whether your pet is healthy or has been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition, you can still enroll it and access the emergency fund when the need arises.

With no deductibles and low monthly premiums as low as $24, the digital platform will protect your furry friend during an incident and save money from large vet expenses. Although the agency does not provide any limitations on age, it is best to insure your pet while still young and be prepared in advance when an emergency occurs.

What we like

  • Monthly premiums as low as $24
  • Allows coverage on 6 pets for $24 a month
  • Allows enrollment of pets with pre-existing conditions
  • 24/7 unlimited access to Pawp’s virtual vet doctors

What we don't

  • Coverage is restricted to healthcare emergencies only
  • Does not offer wellness coverage
  • Emergency funds can be accessed only once per year

Is dog insurance worth it?

A dog health insurance plan offers coverage for your dog during illnesses, incidences, and emergencies to cover the cost of veterinary services to keep your pet healthy.

The American Pet Products Association revealed that only 4% of dog owners have insurance coverage for their pets. The average costs of vet bills for dogs and puppies range between $500-$800. However, some surgery procedures cost up to $3,000 or more. These bills could break your savings account when emergencies occur. Dog insurance protects your finances and ensures your pet receives the best care. Additionally, you have full control of your dog’s health as you can visit any licensed vet and submit your claims for reimbursement. 

Insurance agencies offer affordable premiums and high annual limits that help ensure your pet is protected all year round and saves you thousands of dollars on medical bills. 

How does dog insurance work?

Depending on your insurance provider, some cover more health issues for your pet than others, such as pre-existing health conditions or hereditary conditions. Some agencies allow you to customize your policies to suit your financial budget and meet your pet’s needs. You can also include add-on policies (wellness coverage) that will cover wellness exams, vaccines, and etc.

Most insurance agencies require a medical examination to determine whether the dog has any pre-existing health or hereditary conditions, and the exam needs to be within the last 12 months from the date of sign-up. Most agencies also require a waiting period, usually two weeks, before coverage begins. Since they operate using the reimbursement-based model, pet owners are required to pay the veterinary bill first out of their pockets and then file a claim for reimbursement.

The claims department evaluates the claim, and if approved, the funds are deposited directly into your account. The process for reimbursement can take approximately five business days.

Below is what you need to understand in your policy:

  • Premium: This is the amount paid by dog owners for purchasing the insurance policy. Premiums can be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually. 
  • Deductible: The amount paid by the pet owner before coverage kicks in. Some pet insurance agencies require you to pay the deductible just once a year, while others require pet owners to pay the deductibles after every incident that happens with their pet.
  • Reimbursement: Percentage of the bill paid by the insurer after the deductible. Pet insurance agencies require you to take your dog to any licensed veterinarian. You will be required to pay the bill out of your pocket and submit your claim for reimbursement.
  • Annual limit: The insurer will indicate the coverage amount it will pay each year. Once you exceed this amount, you will be required to pay out of your pocket. The agency will set the annual limit based on the policy and some insurance providers allow you to customize your plan to select a limit that suits your budget.
  • Co-insurance: Co-insurance refers to the percentage that you need to pay for the vet bill. If your reimbursement rate is 80%, then your co-insurance is 20% (100% minus 80%).
  • Co-payment: On some items, such as prescription drugs, the insurer has set up a specific amount that you also need to pay. For instance, If the prescription drugs for your dog costs $100, the insurance provider pays $80, and you will pay $20. Therefore, your co-payment is 20% ($20/$100).

What does dog insurance cover?

Some of the coverages offered by insurance providers include: 

  • Accident coverage: Covers injuries and emergencies related to accidents, such as broken bones, torn ligaments, toxic ingestions, bites, and cut wounds. In addition, services related to accidents like surgery, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, medication, and hospitalization are usually covered in the insurance policy as well. 
  • Illness coverage: It covers expenses for diagnosing health issues and therapeutic treatment. Both major and minor illnesses such as cancer, digestive problems, arthritis, UTI, ear infections, among others that are usually covered. Illness coverage also covers prescription medication used to manage chronic conditions and inflammation.
  • Wellness coverage: Most insurance agencies provide this wellness coverage as an add-on and cover medical bills for your pet’s wellness tests, preventable diseases, and vaccinations. 

It should be noted that pet insurance providers have exclusions in their coverage, and some of the exclusions can include breeding costs and cosmetic procedures.

How are dog insurance costs determined?

The costs of the dog insurance are based on several factors, including:

  • Breed type: Some breeds are prone to hereditary diseases and have different life expectancies, which translates to higher medical bills and more veterinary visits.
  • Pet age: Older dogs have weaker immune systems compared to younger dogs, and Illness chances increase with age resulting in higher insurance premiums. 
  • Deductibles and reimbursement levels: High reimbursement levels require higher monthly premiums, and low deductibles require higher monthly premiums.  
  • Chronic or pre-existing conditions: Most insurance agencies do not cover pre-existing conditions. However, some allow you to pay an extra amount to provide coverage for these conditions. 
  • Location: The costs of dog insurance in some States are high compared to others. 

What to look for in dog insurance?

If you are shopping around for the best dog insurance plan, you may need to consider the following factors: 

  • Prescription coverage: Some policies exclude certain prescription drugs such as supplements. You can find out from your provider if they have approved to co-pay on drugs.
  • Waiting period: This refers to a period of qualification before the insurance coverage kicks in. For most insurance providers, the average waiting period on illness coverage is 14 days, and some providers have waiting periods as short as one day on accident coverage. 
  • Veterinarian and treatment agency: Most of the insurance providers do not limit you to a preferred veterinarian, but they require you to visit a licensed veterinary clinic. If your pet requires any special care, you need to find out if your provider allows you to visit specialists since most agencies provide this feature at an extra cost. 
  • Reputation: Before you enroll your dog with an insurer, you need to do some background checks on the agency. Some of the elements to watch out for include efficiency, reliability, and reimbursement of claims. 
  • Exclusions: Some of the common exclusions are pre-existing conditions, hereditary defects, alternative therapies, and behavioral conditions. Check with the provider if these exclusions might be covered at an extra cost. 
  • Routine wellness care: Some insurance agencies offer a comprehensive policy that includes routine wellness plans, such as heartworm testing, dental care, and immunizations. However, most agencies provide this coverage as an add-on policy. 

When should you get dog insurance?

Pet insurance protects you against unexpected expenses when your dog gets sick and needs treatment from a vet. The best time to insure your dog is when it is still young because premiums will be much lower compared to an older dog. Also, you are able to protect your dog’s health without worrying about a condition that develops before having insurance as most insurance agencies do not cover pre-existing conditions. Typically, the average minimum age for insuring puppies ranges between 6 to 8 weeks. 

It is still important to insure older dogs to protect them from life-threatening conditions, such as diabetes and cancer. Your pet is more vulnerable to infections during old age, which may become costly since you may need to frequently visit the veterinarian.

How to choose the best dog insurance plan?

Choosing an insurance policy can seem tough at times but here is what you should consider: 

  • Operates in your state: Some dog insurance providers are licensed to operate in all states while others are restricting to certain areas.
  • Compare dog Insurance plans: Compare pet insurance rates, annual limit, reimbursement rates, and coverage with other competitors in the market.
  • Review discounts: Some insurance agencies help you to save money by offering discounts on multiple pets.
  • Compare out of pocket costs: While an insurance agency helps you with unexpected vet expenses, you will need to pay a certain percentage of the bill based on your reimbursement rate and co-payment.