Updated April 25, 2022
Pet insurance for puppies
Protect your puppy against accidents & illness, from 8 weeks old and up
Top Pet Insurance
Best overall plan
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is like any insurance: it's there to help with any bills you might otherwise struggle to pay. In the case of pet insurance for your puppy, these are vet bills, which can easily run into tens of thousands of dollars.
How does pet insurance work?
Pet insurance is simple. You pay a monthly premium and, if your puppy needs veterinary care covered by your plan, your provider pays for it minus any co-pay or deductible. Some plans require you to pay the vet, with the provider reimbursing you, but others pay the vet directly. There are three basic types of pet insurance:
- Accident and Illness - the most popular and comprehensive
- Routine Wellness - for preventative treatments like annual vaccinations
- Emergency - for immediately life-threatening situations
Do I need pet insurance?
The short answer is 'yes'. Over a dog's life, you can expect to spend around $16,600 on vet care alone. Treatment for some conditions, like cancer or a broken hip, can easily exceed $10,000 - and 61% of Americans don't have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency bill. If you can't pay, the heart-breaking alternative is often your beloved puppy being put to sleep when it might have lived a long and happy life. Insuring your pup is a smart financial move that also gives you peace of mind.
How much does pet insurance cost?
This depends on several factors, including where you live, your puppy's breed, and their age - which is why it's important to compare quotes. On average, pet insurance costs around $40 per month but you can find premiums for as little as $20 per month - that's less than 70¢ a day.
Pet insurance plans usually come with a deductible, which is the first amount you're responsible for before the insurance kicks in. Most insurers have an annual deductible, meaning it resets every 12 months. If you choose a $250 deductible (most popular) this means you'll pay the first $250 per year before the insurance begins.
Generally, the higher the deductible you choose the less you'll pay monthly for your pet's insurance. But if you choose a lower the deductible you'll usually pay a little more each month for your insurance.
Most insurers offer a $100, $250 or $500 deductible, but there are some plans that come with a $0 deductible, which some pet parents prefer as it helps to avoid large unexpected bills.
Examples of monthly premiums
3-month-old ChihuahuaLos Angeles, CA
6-month-old LabradorNew York City, NY
9-month-old German ShephardAustin, TX
Quotes taken May 5, 2022
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What does pet insurance cover?
All pet insurance providers are different - another reason to compare quotes and check the details of each plan - but here are some things that are covered by most accident and illness plans:
- Accidents - e.g. poisoning, bite wounds, sprains, ACL ruptures
- Regular illnesses - e.g. ear infections, vomiting
- Serious illnesses - e.g. cancer, heart disease
- Chronic illnesses - e.g. allergies, arthritis, skin conditions
- Hereditary conditions - e.g. hip dysplasia, epilepsy
- Congenital conditions - e.g. eye or limb defects
- Imaging - e.g. X-rays, MRIs, CT scans
- Diagnostics - e.g. ultrasounds, blood tests
- Surgery - including anaesthetic, vet-prescribed drugs and follow-up consultations
When should I get pet insurance?
You should get pet insurance as soon as possible for your puppy. The younger your pet is, the cheaper they are to insure. They're also less likely to have pre-existing conditions, which are excluded from nearly all plans, and the sooner you get pet insurance, the less chance there is of them needing treatment while they're not covered.
Who are the best pet insurance providers?
ManyPets began in the UK but is now a major player in the US market. One of its stand-out features is its flexible reimbursement. This allows co-pay and deductibles to be adjusted to suit your specific needs. It's also competitively priced, covers some pre-existing conditions if they're 18 months symptom-free, and offers incentives to move from other providers.
- Flexible reimbursement options
- Some pre-existing conditions covered
- Good customer service
Lemonade is popular due to its speed and ease of use. It says you can get your dog insurance policy in seconds and that 30% of all claims are approved within three minutes by the company's Artificial Intelligence (AI) software. If you want to help animal welfare organizations, Lemonade is a public benefit corporation, which means that a percentage of its profits go to meaningful causes.
- Fast and easy online claims
- Competitive prices
- Donates to good causes
The accident and illness plan from Healthy Paws is appealingly simple. It also offers unlimited annual and lifetime payouts, which is great if your dog develops a chronic condition. It may arrange direct payment to your vet for very expensive treatment. It also supports pet rescues and animal shelters that care for sick homeless dogs through its Healthy Paws Foundation.
- Unlimited pay-outs
- Includes alternative care like acupuncture
- Helps less fortunate animals
You can choose from a variety of dog insurance plans with Pumpkin, and its puppy plans are popular because they don't reduce the level of cover as your dog ages. Pumpkin places an emphasis on preventative care with its wellness plans, and it also pays out 90% of all covered vet bills throughout your dog's life, which gives customers financial certainty.
- 90% reimbursement level
- Unlimited annual coverage
- Puppy-specific plans
Spot is another provider that lets you adjust your annual limits, deductible, and reimbursement rates to suit. It also scores points for its claims process, which lets you submit via email, fax, the app, or online. It takes a holistic approach to pet health, and coverage options include alternative therapy, behavioral training, vitamins and supplements, and preventative care. It also has 24/7 pet telehealth.
- Holistic health options
- 24/7 pet telehealth line
- Flexible reimbursement options