Petplan
Petplan

Best overall pet insurance

Reviewers say Petplan is a good choice for pet owners who want comprehensive coverage. It covers conditions other insurers exclude, such as prescriptions, hereditary conditions and even alternative treatment options. There are no upper age limits and customer service gets solid reviews.
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Est. $20-$60 per month Estimated Price
Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws

Best customizable pet insurance

Healthy Paws draws high scores with helpful customer service agents and no cap on benefits, which can be useful with a particularly sick pet. Prescription coverage is standard, and some congenital and hereditary conditions are covered. Plans are highly customizable, allowing pet owners to pick and choose coverage that's important to them.
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Est. $25-$40 per month Estimated Price
Pet Assure
Pet Assure

Best pet-health discount plan

Pet owners who prefer discounted office visits and don't mind seeing an approved veterinarian will like Pet Assure, which offers a 25 percent discount at participating veterinarians. There are no age limits or exclusions, and no claim forms to fill out. You just get a simple discount every time you visit your vet.
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Est. $10-$15 per month Estimated Price
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Pet insurance may protect you from soaring veterinary costs

Pets are an integral part of many families, and their health problems can be just as traumatic -- and expensive -- as our own. The high cost of veterinary care, particularly for anything other than routine exams, can blindside a pet owner. That's where pet insurance comes in.

Pet insurance shares a lot of similarities with human health insurance. The industry lingo is the same: You pay a premium for each pet and you may be liable for a co-pay at veterinary visits. Your pet's coverage is subject to a deductible, and the plan may or may not have an annual maximum that caps the benefits your pet can receive. There are waiting periods before coverage begins and insurers won't cover pre-existing conditions. Sounds familiar, right?

The crucial difference between human and pet insurance is what happens after your pet receives treatment. You pay the full cost of services upfront, submit a claim to the pet insurance company, then wait to be reimbursed or told why your claim is being denied. With most pet insurance, you can typically take your pet to any licensed veterinarian.

Pet insurance comes in a few different types: traditional, customizable and discount plans.

Traditional pet insurance plans generally offer a few set levels of coverage for accidents and illnesses. The plan you choose may also determine your annual maximum, deductibles and co-pays, although you might be able to adjust these, too. Traditional plans can be simpler to understand than customizable ones, and may be more budget-friendly. The obvious downsides are you could pay for more coverage than you need or require more coverage in a specific area than the plan provides. A basic plan can cost $10 to $60 a month depending on reimbursement levels, maximums and deductibles, but your location and pet's breed may change that.

Customizable pet insurance allows more flexibility. These plans let you adjust maximums, deductibles, co-pays and other details to a greater degree than traditional plans. You may also have more options for add-on coverage such as routine care, prescriptions or special conditions. You could pay slightly more, and tinkering with every plan option might give you a headache. But the end result could be worth it if you know your pet well enough to anticipate its needs. A basic plan may cost $10 to $100 a month depending on reimbursement levels, maximums and deductibles, but your location and pet's breed can change that.

Pet health-care discount plans aim to keep things simple. While discount plans help pet owners save on veterinary costs, they aren't actually pet insurance. These plans offer a flat discount on nearly any type of veterinary care for any type of pet with few or no exclusions, so they're worth a look for pets with a history of health problems. Customers also save on their bill immediately instead of waiting for reimbursement. Veterinarians must belong to the plan's network, however, and the savings can be iffy compared to standard insurance. Expect to pay about $10 a month for a single pet.

ConsumerSearch.com analyzes expert and customer reviews to evaluate the policies, costs and claims experiences of popular pet insurance companies. The result is our picks for the best pet insurance plans on the market.

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