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Best Pet Insurance in California of 2022

Lisa Scott

California is known around the world for offering the best environment for entertainment and relaxation, businesses, and the best economy. Being in such a bustling environment, there are many hazards and other concerns to be aware of when you have pets.

In such a state, purchasing pet insurance for your furry friend can be one of the most thoughtful gifts for their long-term health and well-being. Apart from other benefits, it helps reduce your worry about what may occur in the future, such as an accident or illness.

However, buying insurance for your pets in California can require a bit of research. To help you with the process, we’ve looked at the top pet insurance choices for coverage, discounts, reimbursements, and overall quality.

Extensive coverage to help keep your pet healthy

$20,000

Coverage Up To

90%

Reimbursement Rates

Overview

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 pumpkin.care/insurancepolicy. 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 pumpkin.care/customeragreement. Paid Endorsement.

Short waiting periods on accidental coverage

Unlimited

Coverage Up To

70% - 100%

Reimbursement Rates

Overview

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

$100,000

Coverage Up To

70% - 90%

Reimbursement Rates

Overview

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

$3,000

Coverage Up To

100%

Reimbursement Rates

Overview

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 pet insurance worth it in California?

Pet insurance is a worthwhile investment for pet owners in California. With the state being one of the most amazing places to raise your animal friends, there are still risks surrounding the environment. For instance, the presence of rattlesnakes, violent animals like mountain lions, extreme weather conditions, wildfires, and mudslides are examples of potential dangers to your pet(s).

Moreover, pets are easily hit by oncoming vehicles in California due to the high population. With pet insurance, you can ensure your pets will be covered for all possible accidents. It provides all the necessary treatment without making you worry about the cost of the veterinarian bills. Illnesses, injuries, and emergency hospital visits are some other things covered under a pet insurance policy.

What types of pet insurance plans are in California?

In California, the following are four common types of pet insurance:

  • Accident-only: This plan protects your pets from illnesses that arise as a consequence of an accident. Such accidents can result in broken bones, torn ligaments, or wounds. Additionally, it covers complications from eating odd objects, poisonous ingestion, and a dangerous animal bite. In California, most insurance companies include what they see as accidents in their policy.
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions: Certain pets are affected by inherited illnesses and congenital defects that do not manifest symptoms until later. This type of coverage can apply to conditions such as heart problems, intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), eye ailments, and hip dysplasia. Some insurers have this plan as an add-on option, meaning you have to pay for it separate than a basic insurance policy with the company. 
  • Illness-only plans: With this plan, you can get compensated for the costs of severe and minor illnesses such as cancer, UTIs, and more. It can cover everything from detecting your pet’s illness to the therapies it requires to recover. Medication, x-rays, hospitalization, and surgery are all covered under an illness plan.
  • Wellness or preventative plans: Pet wellness plans are mostly for health maintenance. This sort of plan reimburses you for the annual exams and preventative treatments that your pet requires to be healthy. Although some providers provide them as a stand-alone policy, they are mainly an add-on.

What does pet insurance cover and exclude?

The following are most commonly covered under pet insurance policies:

  • Vaccinations: Most insurers cover annual vaccines against core diseases like rabies, canine distemper, and feline panleukopenia. Some also cover vaccinations for other conditions such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus.
  • Treatment for illness or injury: This includes emergency medical treatment for an illness or injury. This policy also covers x-rays, medications, and surgery.
  • Routine and preventative care: This includes wellness exams, routine lab tests, and other regular maintenance services you may be seeking for your pet. Heartworm testing and flea/tick preventatives are also included.
  • Diagnostic testing: This includes imaging such as ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, and more.

The following is a list of exclusions you should be aware of when looking at pet insurance policies:

  • Treatment or diagnosis of pre-existing conditions: Pet insurance will not cover the cost for treatment or the diagnosis of pre-existing conditions.
  • Injury or illness with intent to cause harm: Pet insurance will not cover injuries or illnesses that were provoked by abuse, neglect, self-mutilation, or any other intentional act on the pet owner’s part.
  • Breeding, pregnancy, and whelping: Pet insurance does not cover expenses related to breeding, pregnancy, or the whelps (i.e., newborn pups) if the mother dog dies during pregnancy or the whelping process. This would include transportation costs to and from the veterinary clinic, medications, and surgeries related to whelping.
  • Additional veterinary facility fees: If your veterinarian charges more than the fee agreed upon in your policy, pet insurance will not cover the difference.
  • Elective veterinary procedures: Any elective veterinary procedures will not be covered by the insurer in a basic plan. Examples of these procedures include dental care, routine surgeries such as spaying (for females), neutering (for males), and declawing. However, many policies do offer an add-on option if you would like to have coverage for elective care.

How much does pet insurance cost in California?

The cost of pet insurance in California varies depending on you and your pet’s specific needs. Conventional accident and illness plans for dogs cost roughly $20–$60 per month and $10–$30 per month for cats.

Generally, the following are a few things that could affect the price of your insurance:

  • Age: The age of your pet might cause your premium to rise or fall because older animals are more prone to having health problems. Therefore, they cost more to insure.
  • Species: The species of your pet is likely to influence the rate you pay for pet insurance. If you have a dog, you will most likely pay more than if you had a cat.
  • Discounts: To save money on your plan, look for discounts from providers. Some insurers may give you a discount if you add numerous dogs to your coverage or pay upfront.
  • Breed: The breed of your dog or cat might have a big impact on the cost of your insurance. Certain breeds are more expensive than others due to their genetic susceptibility to various ailments.
  • Location: The cost of a plan is usually established by the projected veterinarian fees in your location.
  • Customization: Coverage customization refers to the fact that your premium is determined by the annual limits, deductibles, and reimbursement rates you select. Cheaper coverage caps and greater annual deductibles will result in lower monthly prices.

What are the veterinary costs in California?

While standard annual veterinary treatment for dogs might cost anywhere from $200 to $400, for cats, it can cost anywhere from $90 to $200. Veterinary charges range from $15 to $400 for testing, examinations, and initial veterinarian costs. This is the price range for the services you require. Depending on the treatment you choose, prices range from $80 to $5000 for operations and unforeseen veterinarian costs. 

How to choose the best pet insurance in California 

When choosing pet insurance, the options can be quite overwhelming. There are several costs and policy types to consider. Here are some tips on how to choose the best pet insurance in California:

  • Get quotes from multiple insurance providers: Shop around for the best coverage at a reasonable price. Compare not just price but also deductible amounts, annual premiums, reimbursement levels, and the policy length. Ask about any limitations and exclusions that apply to the policy. This gives you the chance to choose the best insurance company within your budget as well.
  • Customer reviews: Check what other customers in California have to say about an insurance agency you’re considering. Read reviews about the customer’s experience, their service, and how they handle their claims process. This will make it easier for you to come to a decision.
  • Consider an insurance agent: If you are seeking more guidance with your research, an agent can be helpful with this process. Consider contacting someone who can sit down with you and really work to find the best insurance plan for your pet’s needs.