Let’s face it: Veterinary care can be expensive. The good news is that your pet insurance plan doesn’t have to be. Pet insurance can help you manage your out-of-pocket expenses when it comes to taking your pet to the vet for injuries and illnesses. Some also help out with the cost of routine care. There is a lot of information to consider, so it’s no wonder that you might feel a bit overwhelmed. We are here to help!

Top Pick

Embrace

  • Diminishing deductible (if no claim made in year)
  • Claims are processed and paid promptly
  • Extra reimbursements: grooming, training, etc.
  • Optional wellness plan

Rating 4.6

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Our top pick for the most affordable pet insurance plan is Embrace Pet Insurance. They have low premiums and their diminishing deductible feature reduces your out-of-pocket expenses for every year that you don’t submit any claims. They also cover alternative therapies, keeping your cost down if you choose to go that route with your pet’s care.

We have taken a look at many different pet insurance companies in an effort to tell you about some of the most affordable companies out there. We didn’t want to just talk about the cheapest pet insurance companies, however! We took into account various factors, such as how much you might need to pay for your deductibles and what types of services are not included in the coverage.

The Most Affordable Pet Insurance Companies

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallEmbrace Pet Insurance4.6
Runner UpPetfirst Pet Insurance4.3
Best With Direct Vet PaymentsTrupanion4.1
Best With 100% ReimbursementFigo Pet Insurance4.3
Best for Exotic PetsPet Assure4.3

Best Overall Affordable Pet Insurance Company: Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance Review
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on Embrace Pet Insurance's secured website

Average Customer Rating

4.6

What we like:
Optional wellness plan

Visit the Embrace Pet Insurance website or get a quote for pet insurance


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Monthly PremiumAs low as $10 for cats and $16 for dogs
Deductible$200, $300, $500, $750, or $1,000
Benefits Limits70%, 80% or 90% of annual costs
Age RestrictionsAs young as 6 weeks and as old as 14 years

Embrace Pet Insurance came in at the top of our list of the most affordable pet insurance companies. With the possibility of very low premiums (monthly costs start at about $10 for cats and $16 for dogs), many pet parents will find them quite cost-effective. Note that with these low premiums, the deductible will likely be high ($1,000) and the coverage on the lower side (70 percent). This means that although you will have a low monthly cost, you might end up paying out a rather large sum of money should your cat or dog get ill or hurt.

One nice benefit is that Embrace covers alternative therapies. This means that if you and your veterinarian prefer treatments such as acupuncture, laser therapy, and hydrotherapy, you won’t have to worry that it won’t be covered. Not all companies cover these types of treatment on their basic plans, so if this is important to you, you will probably find Embrace Pet Insurance to be a good choice.

The diminishing deductible is nice because for every year you do not file a claim, your deductible will go down $50. If you have a $1,000 deductible and you go two years without filing a claim, on the third year, your deductible will be $900 on the same plan.

Finally, there is a wellness benefit that you can purchase if you choose. This benefit could cover things like vaccinations, heartworm or flea preventative, spay/neuter surgery, and other routine or preventative services. The cost of this depends on the specific benefit amount chosen.

Important Features of Embrace Pet Insurance:

  • Diminishing deductible
  • No lifetime limits
  • Claims paid quickly
  • Covers office visits
  • Covers alternative treatments
  • Offers multiple pet and military discounts
  • Covers pets 6 weeks to 14 years old

We have a full Embrace Pet Insurance Review that you should take a look at if you are considering this pet insurance company to cover your cat or dog!

Runner-up Affordable Pet Insurance Company: Petfirst Pet Insurance

Petfirst Pet Insurance Review
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on Petfirst's secured website

Average Customer Rating

4.3

What we like:
Short waiting periods

Visit the Petfirst website or get a quote for pet insurance


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Monthly PremiumVaries, from $6 for cats and $12 for dogs
Deductible$50 to $500
Coverage70 to 90 percent
Age RestrictionsMinimum age: 8 weeks
Maximum age: none

Petfirst Pet Insurance came in at a close second in the list of the most affordable pet insurance plans. The premiums are quite low; you could pay as little as $6 per month for a cat or $12 per month for a dog. Their deductibles go up to $500 per illness or injury, and they cover 70 to 90 percent of the vet bill.

One thing we really like about Petfirst is that you can customize your coverage based on the amount you want to pay each month. Choose a higher deductible or a lower coverage rate to bring your premiums down. On the other hand, if you can pay more for your premiums and would rather do that to minimize your deductible and maximize your coverage, that’s another way to keep veterinary costs low.

Another nice feature is that you don’t have to pay for a veterinary checkup in order to start coverage. Instead, the company will look at the previous 12 months’ worth of records. If your pet isn’t due for an exam yet, you won’t have to pay out of pocket for one yet.

Finally, the claims are paid quickly (usually within two weeks), which helps you by returning a portion of your money to you promptly after you pay a vet bill.

Important Features of Petfirst Pet Insurance:

  • Optional routine care rider
  • Customize your coverage
  • No maximum age for pets
  • Routine care rider available at additional cost
  • Quick claim turnaround
  • Per-incident deductible
  • Yearly maximums
  • Short waiting periods

If you would like more information about Petfirst Pet Insurance, check out our more in-depth review here!

Most Affordable Pet Insurance Company With Direct Vet Payments: Trupanion Pet Insurance

Trupanion Pet Insurance Review
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on Trupanion's secured website

Average Customer Rating

4.1

What we like:
Direct vet payments

Visit the Trupanion website or get a quote for pet insurance


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Monthly PremiumAs low as $22 for cats and $36 for dogs
DeductibleCustomizable between $0 and $1,000
Benefits Limits90%
Age RestrictionsAs old as 14 years

Trupanion Pet Insurance is great for those who want the combination of an affordable premium and high coverage. Since they pay 90 percent of every eligible claim (once the deductible is met), Trupanion is among the companies that pay the most toward claims. Trupanion’s premiums are a bit higher than our top two picks; expect to be looking at a minimum of $22 per month for your cat and $36 per month for your dog.

One feature that a lot of their customers really appreciate is their ability to pay veterinarians directly. If you go to a vet who participates in Trupanion’s plan, you won’t have to pay the whole bill out of pocket and then wait for reimbursement. Instead, the vet can use the Trupanion software to request payment directly from them. This means all you will have to pay at the time of service is your deductible and/or 10 percent of whatever is covered (plus anything that is not covered).

Finally, there are no payout limits. The company does not decide how much a particular procedure should cost; they pay based on what your vet actually charges. This can end up saving you a lot of money if your pet needs expensive procedures and treatments.

Important Features of Trupanion Pet Insurance:

  • One plan for everyone with 90 percent coverage
  • Option for direct veterinary payments
  • No payout limits
  • Use with any veterinarian
  • Per-condition deductible
  • Covers supplements
  • Covers prescription food (at 50 percent)

We have a more comprehensive Trupanion Pet Insurance Review with a lot more details, so check that out if you are interested in this company.

Most Affordable Pet Insurance Company With 100 Percent Reimbursement: Figo Pet Insurance

Figo  Pet Insurance Review
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on Figo Pet Insurance's secured website

Average Customer Rating

4.3

What we like:
Up to 100% reimbursement

Visit the Figo Pet Insurance website or get a quote for pet insurance


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Monthly PremiumAs low as $11 for cats and $17 for dogs
Deductible$100 to $750
Benefits Limits70, 80, 90, or 100%
Age RestrictionsNo upper age limit

Many low-cost pet insurance plans come with a high deductible, but Figo Pet Insurance is an exception to that rule. Their deductibles begin at $100. They also offer 100 percent coverage (over and above the deductible, that is), though you will pay more for a high-coverage plan, of course. As an example, with a $100 deductible and 90 percent coverage, you will pay just $22 for a two-year-old cat. Dogs cost more; depending on the size of your dog, the premium might double. If you want 100 percent coverage, you will need to choose a higher deductible.

Another nice thing about Figo is that you can add riders for veterinary exam fees as well as rehabilitation services. Also, the basic plan includes the Pet Cloud, which is an app that gives you 24/7 access to a veterinarian. If you have a question about whether your pet needs to be seen in-person, you can chat with the on-call vet about his symptoms, saving you the cost of an emergency vet visit (or making you feel secure that you made the right call in bringing him in at midnight).

Figo also covers a few things that many other companies don’t. These include chiropractic and acupuncture care, behavioral issues, and cremation.

Important Features of Figo Pet Insurance:

  • Annual deductible
  • Up to 100% reimbursement
  • No per-condition caps
  • No upper age limit
  • Covers some alternative treatments
  • Covers prescription medications

Most Affordable Pet Insurance Alternative for Exotic Pets: Pet Assure

Pet Assure Pet Insurance Alternative Review
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on Pet Assure's secured website

Average Customer Rating

4.3

What we like:
No pre-existing condition limitations

Visit the Pet Assure website or get a quote for their pet insurance alternative


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Monthly PremiumFrom $8 for cats and $10 for dogs. A multiple pet discount applies.
DeductibleNone
Discount25% of covered services
Age RestrictionsNone

If you are looking for coverage for your parakeet, iguana, pygmy goat, or other exotic pet, look no further than Pet Assure, which is an inexpensive pet insurance alternative. The monthly fee starts at $8, depending on the size of your pet, making this a very affordable plan. What Pet Assure does not do, however, is pay claims. Instead, it entitles you to 25 percent off of your veterinary bills as long as you go to a participating vet. The discount applies to anything you have done in-house and it also applies to whatever kind of pets you have. Since most pet insurance companies cover only cats and dogs, this is a great alternative for people who have other types of furry, feathered, scaly, or otherwise adorned pets.

Once you sign up, all you have to do is go to your participating veterinarian of choice and show proof of enrollment. There are no deductibles to pay, no forms to fill out, no maximums to worry about. You can even use it to get a discount on treatments for pre-existing conditions. If you are looking for something easy to use, this could be the answer for you. Just be aware that this is not traditional pet insurance.

Important Features of Pet Assure Pet Insurance Alternative:

  • No deductibles
  • No forms
  • No maximums
  • Must see a participating veterinarian to use
  • No pre-existing condition exclusions
  • No age limitations

Are you interested in this type of plan? If so, be sure to read our full review of Pet Assure here.

How We Found the Most Affordable Pet Insurance Plans

If you are looking into the most affordable pet insurance policies, you might be wondering what we considered. Here are some of the factors we kept in mind.

Monthly Premiums

How much a plan costs each month is the most obvious factor to look at. We looked at averages for different types of pets. If you read the full reviews on the companies we have them for, you’ll see what criteria we used in determining an average cost. The cost for your pet might be different based on where you live, how old your pet is, and what type of pet you are insuring.

Deductibles

We also looked at deductibles. The deductible is what you will pay before the insurance begins covering services. There are two types of deductibles:

  • Annual deductibles are, much like what you are probably used to with your own health insurance, paid each year. If your policy is $500, you pay for all services up to $500, then, after that, your pet insurance will begin to cover their portion. Whether your pet is perfectly healthy all year or he has several illnesses or injuries, you can be sure that the most you will pay will be $500 in deductibles.
  • Per-incident (or per-condition) deductibles might be paid out several times per year, depending on how healthy your pet is. If you have a $500 per-incident deductible and your pet has one illness throughout the year, then you will pay up to $500. If, however, he has two illnesses and one injury, you could pay up to $1,500. The benefit is that if your pet gets sick this year and has treatments for that same illness for the next two years, you will still pay a total of $500 for the entire treatment.

Coverage Amounts

Some pet insurance plans cover 70 percent of eligible procedures, some cover 90 percent, and other cover different amounts. We looked for the ones that cover a higher percentage whenever possible. This is because affordability is not only limited to what you pay out each month but also what you will pay for common procedures and treatments.

Exclusions

Finally, we took a look at what was excluded by the various plan. In most cases, routine services (vaccinations, nail-cutting, spay/neuter surgery, routine bloodwork) is not covered by traditional pet insurance. With that being said, some companies have optional riders or wellness plans that will cover a portion of those services. Other exclusions that apply to many types of pet insurance include those related to pre-existing conditions and alternative treatments. We have indicated above where those exclusions do not apply.

How To Choose the Best Pet Insurance for Your Budget

If you are looking for an inexpensive pet insurance plan, here are some of the things you should consider.

Find Out What You Will Be Paying Each Month

To find the best pet insurance, visit the websites of the companies listed above and plug in your information. Your specific quote will depend on various factors, so don’t be surprised if it is different from the price we have listed. Also, check to see if the company you are considering offers discounts. Some will take some portion of the price off for those with multiple pets, those who have served in the military, and those who work for certain companies. Once you do this for the companies you are considering, you will have solid information to use to make your decision.

Think About How You Will Meet the Deductible

Take a look at whether the companies you are considering have annual or per-incident deductibles. An annual deductible is easier to plan for, but a per-incident deductible could save you money if your pet has a long-term illness or injury. Most plans allow you to choose your deductible. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower your monthly premiums (and vice versa). Think about whether you will be able to meet the deductible before you choose a high one. If you choose a per-incident deductible, you might need to be sure that you have the deductible amount several times over in an account just in case your pet has a series of conditions that need to be treated over a relatively short period of time.

Look Into the Waiting Periods and Any Exclusions

Most pet insurance companies have some type of waiting period before treatments and services will be covered. This could range from days to months, depending on the company as well as the health condition that needs to be treated. Be aware that if an illness or injury occurs during this waiting period, it will be considered a pre-existing condition, so a shorter waiting period is usually better.

Also check to be sure you understand what is covered and what is not covered. Being fully aware of the limitations of your plan will help you plan for your pet’s care and avoid unpleasant surprises later.

See What the Coinsurance Amount Will Be

Finally, check the percentage of benefits covered as well as whether there are payment limits. For example, with some companies, you might be charged $100 for a procedure that the company feels should cost $80. If you have 90 percent coverage, rather than paying $90 (90 percent of the actual bill), they would pay $72 (90 percent of the amount that they feel is appropriate). In this case, you would need to pay $28 rather than the $10 you might have been expecting.

That is just one example and your numbers might look very different. Find out not only the percentage that is being covered (typically 70 to 90 percent, though this varies widely) but also whether there is a limit for procedure and, if possible, find out what that limit is before you schedule a non-emergency procedure.

The Final Verdict

There are a lot of pet insurance companies out there, and they range from quite inexpensive to quite expensive. The goal is to look at what you are likely to pay out of pocket for the year or for the rest of your pet’s life. Just keep in mind that monthly premiums are not the only consideration (though they are an important one).

If you want to learn more about pet insurance, check out How Does Pet Insurance Work? and Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

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