California is a dog and pony showâ¦minus the pony.
Farmerâs markets are veritable runways for the latest doggy fashion fads.
And itâs not uncommon to see parents pushing baby strollersâ¦without the babies.
Dogs are so popular in the Golden State that we renamed the city of Santa Monica after them.
California has gone to the dogsâ¦While the love affair seems cute to some, others dismiss the over-the-top pampering as perplexingâeven obsessive. It’s no stretch of the imagination California pet owners will do just about anything for their furry family.
But California folks have always marched to the beat of their own drum and thereâs no law against projecting human traits, emotions, and intentions onto our furry friends.
It makes sense that these very same pet parents would find the best pet insurance coverage, answering the question, “Is it worth it?” with a resounding YES!
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Table of Contents
The Best Pet Insurance in California
Here are the top 5 providers of pet insurance in California:
- Healthy Paws: Best Overall Pet Insurance in CA
- Embrace: Best For Comprehensive Coverage
- Petplan: Best For Alternative Care
- Pets Best: Best For Wellness Coverage
- Trupanion: Best For Simplicity
Healthy Paws is the most recommended pet insurance provider in the United States and the highest-rated company doing business in California.
Healthy Paws Insurance Agency has earned a 9.8/10 lifetime satisfaction record by providing policyholders the highest payouts, fastest claim processing, and best-in-class customer service.
Customers love Healthy Paws for their unlimited medical care coverage, with no lifetime limits, which customers love.
Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance
Dog and cat owners also like that Healthy Paws covers genetic health problems that many other providers prohibit or severely reduce reimbursements for. They do have a standard 15 day waiting period and 12 months on hip dysplasia. They will also cover:
- emergency care
- chronic conditions
- cancer treatments
Healthy Paws does not offer a wellness plan that covers spay/neuter, dental cleanings, vaccines, and exam visits.
As a disclaimer, no pet insurance policy will cover pre-existing conditions.
Customers Really like Healthy Paws
- Healthy Paws earned an A+ rating with the BBB
- Healthy Paws maintains a 5-star Yelp rating
- Consumer Affairs ranks Healthy Paws 5 out of 5 stars
- Trust Pilot reviews have Healthy Paws at 5 out of 5 stars
- Facebook business reviews are 4.7 out of 5 stars
Healthy Paws Sample Quote: 1-Year Old Female Golden Retriever in San Diego, CA (zip code: 92121)
Healthy Paws will pay 80% of your vet bills with an annual deductible of $250 and unlimited payout. For this coverage, you’d pay $50.68/mo.
Enroll with Healthy Paws
Embrace Sample Quote: 1-Year Old Female Golden Retriever in Bell, CA (zip code: 90201)
Embrace covers 80% of your vet bills but your annual deductible will cost $750 vs. $250 for Healthy Paws.
Also, your monthly premium will be $35.06, which comes to $15.62 less per month than Healthy Paws.
Embrace limits claim payouts to $30,000 per year online, but unlimited payouts via phone enrollments.
Keep in mind, however, that Embrace is more comprehensive than Healthy Paws.
Healthy Paws does not cover exam fees, they do not cover hereditary conditions like hip dysplasia after age 6, they charge the co-pay and then apply the deductible (which results in a smaller reimbursement back to the client), they donât cover behavioral conditions and donât offer free medical history reviews.
Therefore, Embraceâs value shines through in this example.
Enroll with Embrace
Petplan Sample Quote: 1-Year Old Female Golden Retriever in Sacramento, CA (zip code: 95822)
Petplan reimburses 80% of your vet bills with an annual deductible of $250 â identical coverage to Embrace.
Alternative care is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in senior pets and Petplan is one company that will cover alternative therapies in all their plans without an extra charge.
However, Petplan is considerably more expensive than the two plans previously mentioned on this list.
Expect to pay $27.11/mo. extra if you choose Petplan over Healthy Paws.
And youâll pay $13.34/mo. more if you select Petplan over Embrace.
Also, Petplan limits your annual benefits to $15,000 in coverage.
Enroll with PetPlan
Pets Best Sample Quote: 1-Year Old Female Golden Retriever in Santa Barbara, CA (zip code: 93101)
Pets Best pays 80% of your medical bills with a $200 annual deductible.
Pets Best will cost you $78.69/mo. and youâll get 80% of approved vet bills paid but with a restrictive annual payout limit of just $10,000.
In other words, with Pets Best youâll pay more for less.
Enroll with Pets Best
Trupanion Sample Quote: 1-Year Old Female Golden Retriever in San Jose, CA (zip code: 94089)
Unlike other companies, Trupanion doesnât offer flexible coverage.
All Trupanion plans reimburse 90% of approved medical bills.
Unfortunately, Trupanionâs Deductibles are per-condition vs. annual.
For example, with the plan pictured below, youâd pay a $200 deductible for every condition your pet was treated for.
And those deductibles renew annually so you have to pay them every year, that can get very expensive.
Trupanionâs membership dues are expensive too â $95.12 for 90% coverage with a $200 per-condition deductible.
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Should CA Residents Purchase Pet Insurance
Cali residents are famous for pampering our pets but according to veterinarians:
98% of CA Pets Aren’t Covered Against Accidents & Illnesses.
With veterinary bills skyrocketing and surgery costs easily exceeding $10,000, thousands of dogs and cats in California are being abandoned or euthanized because their owners canât afford treatment costs. Pet insurance plans are also offered to exotic pets and birds, rabbits, and all manner of other animals.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 2,070,760 pets live in California.
But only 2% of those cats and dogs are protected by a health insurance policy.
Fortunately, California is one of just a few states to implement consumer-friendly pet insurance regulations that make pet health insurance plans in CA some of the best in the country.
There are currently 10 pet insurance companies doing business in California.
With the state government behind California consumers, you can be confident you’ve answered the question, “Is pet insurance worth it?”
State regulations require CA pet insurers to be forthright with their clients byâ¦
- bringing uniformity to policy language
- improving transparency and disclosures, especially concerning limitations and exclusions
Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance
The Worst Pet Insurance in California
ASPCA Pet Insurance
ASPCA Sample Quote: 1-Year Old Female Golden Retriever in Los Angeles, CA (zip code: 90011)
Beware of: $5,000 annual limit.
Also watch out for: Implied trust because of the ASPCA name.
This insurance provider pays a licensing fee to use ASPCAâs famous trademark but isnât actually associated with American the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
With a $5,000 annual limit, ASPCA should put the word âinsuranceâ in quotes.
California vets charge thousands of dollars for basic procedures, rendering ASPCAâs coverage basically useless.
Fetch a Quote from ASPCA
Nationwide Pet Insurance aka VPI
Nationwide Sample Quote: 1-Year Old Female Golden Retriever in Los Angeles, CA (zip code: 90011)
Beware of: Negative reviews and customer complaints.
Nationwide, formerly VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance) is one of the lowest-rated pet insurance companies in California.
Nationwide Pet Insurance is criticized for being a scam, refusing to cover reasonable costs, poor customer service, and for denying claims that should be covered.
Also, watch out for: Poor customer service, denied claims, long processing delays.
In all fairness, Every company should receive its fair shake. Butâ¦ With hundreds of negative reviews, itâs obvious that Nationwideâs customers are very dissatisfied.
Fetch a Quote from Nationwide
Shopping For Pet Insurance in California
Pet health care costs in California have increased by 70% in the past 5 years. Whether you’re in San Francisco or Los Angeles, CA residents need to look out for truly comprehensive coverage that will pay for pricey vet care costs like accidents and illnesses.
The best-rated pet health insurance company in California is Healthy Paws (A+ BBB, 9.8 out of 10 customer rating, 5 out of 5 stars on Trust Pilot, 4+ stars on Yelp).
Unlike other providers, Healthy Paws has no lifetime or annual coverage limits.
Healthy Paws also pays for the most expensive types of health problems, congenital conditions, and hereditary health issues â which can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to treat.
Healthy Paws pays up to 90% of your vet bills for genetic health problems and other costly health conditions that your cat or kitten may face.
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We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about pet insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything pet insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by pet insurance experts.
Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every personâs life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...
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Written byMelanie Musson
Dr Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years experience in companion animal practice. In 1987 she graduated from the University of Glasgow, with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. A love of the sea meant accepting her first job in the port town of Portsmouth, England. AAfter working in private practice for two years, her next position was as a vet at the Peopleâ...
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Reviewed byDr. Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS
How much is average pet insurance in California? ›
Based on our research, a standard accident-and-illness plan costs an average of $20–$60 per month for dog insurance and $10–$30 for cat insurance.Should I get pet insurance before going to the vet? ›
I recommend getting pet insurance BEFORE ever bringing the pet in for an exam. In my experience, owners with pet insurance are able to make decisions based on expected prognosis rather than cost when they know that some or all of the veterinary care is covered.What is a disadvantage of pet insurance? ›
If you enroll, you may have to front the money for veterinary bills and then request reimbursement from the insurer. Many pet insurance companies will offer low premiums when your pet is young, but as they age, pet insurance rates may climb too.Is Pets Best the same as progressive? ›
Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC provides quotes from American Pet Insurance Company on this site. These entities are not affiliated with Progressive.Can you go to any vet with pet insurance? ›
Each veterinary practice will have their own policy when it comes to insurance and not all practices will accept direct claims.Is it worthwhile having pet insurance? ›
Pet insurance can cover the costs of treating your pet if they suffer from an illness or are injured in an accident and need treatment from a vet. It could save you from an unexpected – and potentially very high – bill. Depending on what type of cover you have, pet insurance could also help with: Dental care.What should I consider when buying pet insurance? ›
These can include (but are not limited to): the type of policy; age of your pet; your pet's health; claims or treatment history; where you live; purchase price; the breed of your pet; and if it is male or female. Claims costs and the amount vets charge for treatment can also impact premiums.At what age should you get your dog pet insurance? ›
It costs less to insure a young pet
That cutoff age is typically between seven and 14 years. It's also more expensive to insure an older dog. That's why many experts typically recommend that you start insuring your pet when they're still a puppy or a kitten.
You won't be able to make a claim straight away when you take out pet insurance unless your policy states otherwise. Usually, you'll need to wait at least 14 days - this is known as the exclusion period.Who has the best pet policy? ›
- Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines is the best airline for traveling with a pet. ...
- Southwest Airlines. While Alaska scored a 4, only one other airline, Southwest, scored a 3. ...
- Frontier Airlines. Frontier is a great airline to fly for more than just cats and dogs.
What are 3 factors that will affect your pet insurance costs? ›
- Animal type.
- Insurance type.
Do all vets take pet insurance? Every pet owner should consider pet insurance. Even if you believe you have enough money to cover veterinary costs, pet insurance could still save you thousands of dollars if your pet gets sick or injured.Does pets best premium increase with age? ›
Pet insurance is similar to human health insurance in that insurance premiums increase as people age. Pets age about 7 times faster than humans, so health issues can present themselves much quicker in pets than they do in human health care.What is best pet deductible? ›
Plans Available From Pets Best
Pets Best's BestBenefit Accident and Illness plan's annual benefit limits are $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, or unlimited. Deductibles range from $50 to $1,000 and reimbursement percentages range between 70% and 90%. You can pay premiums monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Progressive is so cheap because it offers a wide variety of discounts and gives consumers tools to acheive the best rates possible, such as Progressive's price comparison tool and their Name Your Price® program.What type of dog insurance is best? ›
The best type of dog insurance is Lifetime cover, because these types of policies have limits that renew each year. Renewing limits protect against long-term or recurring conditions over the course of your dog's life. The next best type of cover is usually considered to be Max Benefit.Do you pay vet insurance then claim? ›
You pay the entire bill to the vet after the procedure and then claim the amount back from us, minus any excess and deductions.What happens to pet insurance when pet dies? ›
The "Death from Illness or Injury" section of pet insurance, when applicable, typically covers the purchase or donation price of your pet if it dies or has to be put to sleep by a vet as a result of an illness or injury.Is it better to pay pet insurance monthly or annually? ›
Some pet owners end up paying an insurance premium for years and never receive the benefit, but it's better to think of insurance as an annual cost.Why would you want pet insurance? ›
Pet insurance exists to protect you against unexpected costs related to your pet, such as vet bills. Find out how pet insurance works, what to look for, how much it might cost and some of the other things to consider if you're thinking about buying a policy.
Does all pet insurance go up every year? ›
No matter which insurance company you choose to use for pet insurance, you can nearly always expect a yearly increase in your payments. Most pet insurance policies will increase by a small amount each year… However, the value by which this increases by can vary from policy to policy and also from year to year.How do pet insurance know about pre-existing conditions? ›
How do pet insurance companies know about pre-existing conditions? Many pet insurance companies will require a veterinary examination or medical history review before covering your pet. These reviews are intended to identify any pre-existing conditions that the insurance company won't cover.Who owns Petplan? ›
Petplan is a London-based pet insurance company. Pet Plan Limited is a subsidiary of Allianz Insurance plc, part of the Allianz Global Group.What is a lifetime pet policy? ›
What is lifetime pet insurance? Lifetime pet insurance is the most extensive pet insurance cover you can get for your cat or dog. As long as you keep renewing your policy, it'll last for their whole life and pay out for every new condition up to the policy limits each year.Do you legally have to have dog insurance? ›
Is pet insurance a legal requirement? While, since 2016, it's been a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped, there's no law to say you must have pet insurance for your dog, cat, or any other kind of pet. It's entirely your decision whether to take out a policy.Is it too late to insure my dog? ›
Does pet insurance have an age limit? Some pet insurance providers do have an upper age limit, but others will let you start a new policy for your pet at any age. Some may also charge a higher excess for older dogs, and remove cover for death by illness, so make sure you check these things when comparing quotes.Is it worth insuring a 12 year old dog? ›
Is it worth insuring an old dog? If you signed up for lifetime dog insurance when your dog was young and healthy, it will usually be worth renewing the policy each year as your dog ages. While this isn't the cheapest option, it guarantees your dog is always covered, even for long-term illnesses.Which of the following would not be covered under pet insurance? ›
This usually includes: spaying and neutering, annual checkups, vaccinations, flea & tick control, heartworm medication, teeth cleaning, ear cleaning, and microchipping. These are almost always excluded from pet insurance coverage.Can I get pet insurance if my dog is already sick? ›
Can you get pet insurance after a diagnosis? Yes, you can still get pet insurance to cover future injuries and/or illnesses, depending on your pet insurance coverage type. The policy simply wouldn't cover any pre-existing conditions, diagnosed or not.Can I start pet insurance after diagnosis? ›
You can, but most standard insurers won't cover any pre-existing medical conditions. You'll need to find a specialist insurer if you want cover for any medical conditions your pet has. You can still get pet insurance with run-of-the-mill pet insurers.
What is the most wanted pet in America? ›
Dogs. Dogs come in at number one, with48.3 million households owning dogs in the United States, making these four-legged friends one of the most popular pets around.What breeds of dogs raise your insurance? ›
According to HomeInsurance.org, “Dog breeds that are typically associated with higher insurance premiums include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Akitas, and wolf-dog hybrids.” Forbes.com adds Chows, Great Danes, Presa Canarios, and Alaskan Malamutes to their list.What is the most owned pet in America? ›
U.S. household pet ownership statistics
While dogs are the most popular pet overall—woof woof, keep it up—there is plenty of diversity in pet ownership. 70% of U.S. households (90.5 million homes) owned a pet as of 2022. 69 million U.S. households have a pet dog, compared to 45.3 million with a cat.
Premiums may vary significantly based on your pet's age and breed, the cost of veterinary care where you live and the insurance policy you choose. Be aware that rates tend to increase as your pet gets older and more prone to health issues.What percentage of dog owners have insurance? ›
The majority of insured pets are dogs (82.9%) versus insured cats (17.1%).Does pet insurance always go up? ›
As any animal ages it becomes more likely to suffer an illness and so this is a primary driver of price increases year on year. Most, but not all, insurers work on a model where the price increases as time passes giving them scope to react to vet price increases and manage their overall risk, too.Are monthly pet plans worth it? ›
We highly recommend getting insurance for all pets to help manage sudden costs should your pet get sick, ensuring they get the best care they can. We also recommend health plans for most pets for a number of reasons.How can I pay less for pet insurance? ›
- Only Cover What You Need. One of the most common mistakes people make with insurance is to cover more than they need. ...
- Get Pets Covered While They Are Young and Healthy. ...
- Micro-Chip Your Pet. ...
- Look After Your Pet.
Does Pets Best have per-condition or lifetime maximums? Pets Best does not have per-condition or lifetime limits on reimbursement. Your policy will reimburse you based on the annual benefit amount and reimbursement percentage you select when you enroll your pet.Does Pets Best cover flea and tick medicine? ›
Pets Best Pet Insurance also offers optional routine care coverage to help you pay for planned treatments like flea and tick preventatives for pets.
How much should you spend on pet insurance? ›
Most pet owners can expect to pay between $20 and $50 per month for an accident and illness plan with decent coverage.Can you write off dog vet bills on taxes? ›
You Require a Pet for Medical Reasons
The types of costs you can deduct include grooming, food, veterinary care and training. You might also be able to claim vet bills on taxes for pets you foster, provided that the nonprofit organization hasn't reimbursed you and the organization is registered with the IRS.
Veterinary bills, pet insurance, food, supplies, training, grooming, boarding, and transportation costs are all examples of pet expenses you can write off on taxes. However, you can only claim pets on taxes if they meet certain criteria, such as contributing to income or serving a medical need.Who is cheaper Geico or Progressive? ›
Is Progressive Cheaper Than Geico? Both Geico and Progressive offer cheap car insurance to drivers across the country. Geico's rates are typically lower overall, but Progressive tends to offer better prices to those with a recent DUI, at-fault accident or speeding ticket on their driving record.What is cheaper then Progressive? ›
Compared to Progressive, Geico is the more affordable insurer for most types of drivers. For those seeking minimum coverage car insurance, the costs are nearly the same.Does Progressive raise rates after 6 months? ›
Policies from most insurance companies get packaged in six- and 12-month policy periods. Assuming your coverages, driving record, and other basic criteria remain the same for that entire term, your premium typically won't change.What is the approximate cost of pet insurance? ›
How much is pet insurance? The cost of your pet insurance will vary depending on what type of policy you choose. According to Moneysmart, pet owners typically spend between $20 to $60 a month on pet insurance – or $240 to $720 every year.How much can you charge for a pet fee in California? ›
In terms of pet deposit, California law stipulates that refundable pet deposits can be charged. However, the total deposit amount, including the pet deposit, can't exceed two months of rent in total. This limit increases to three months' rent for furnished properties.How much is a vet visit for a dog California? ›
|State||Average cost for a veterinary visit for one pet||Average cost for a veterinary visit with additional pet|
Policies can include cover for: Veterinary fees - The cost of diagnosing and treating illnesses and/or injuries. This is the core cover provided by pet insurance and normally includes the cost of consultations, examinations, tests, x-rays, MRI/CT scans, medication, bandages, surgery, and hospitalisation.
Does pet insurance cover vaccinations? ›
Yes, pet insurance for your dog can cover a portion of the cost of vaccinations, although it's generally an optional feature available on comprehensive policies.Does pet insurance go up every year? ›
It's true that you can generally expect your pet's insurance coverage cost to increase each year, along with their ever-increasing age. However, this doesn't mean that there aren't things you could—and sometimes should—consider changing about that coverage as time goes on.What insurance does my dog need? ›
Pet insurance can help cover the costs of unexpected veterinary treatment, along with the option for additional cover such as loss or theft of pets, death of pets through illness or injury and third-party liability cover. There are many insurance providers available with varying levels of cover.Is monthly pet rent legal in California? ›
Pet rent. Pet rent is legal in California and allows landlords to increase monthly rent. The added pet rent would be in addition to a pet deposit, but cannot exceed the limits imposed by California rental control laws.How many dogs can you legally own in California? ›
Each household may only have four (4) dogs or cats over the age of four months. If you have five (5) or more you are required to obtain a special permit. The number of animals vary by jurisdiction. Check with your local agency.What is the average pet rent in California? ›
The amount you charge should be based on the breed, number and size of pet a tenant has. Generally, the average pet fee in California is between $100 and $400.What is the most expensive vet bill for a dog? ›
|Most expensive individual claimer - dogs*|
|Beagle (12-years-old) – spinal disorder, cancer, skin infection, skin disorder, mass lesion||$12,552|
Fortunately, there are dozens of free and low-cost options for veterinary care throughout the United States. Many charitable organizations offer reduced or free care for basic services and vaccinations. Additionally, it's always worth a shot to ask your local veterinary clinic about any promotions they're running.What is the first signs of parvo in a dog? ›
Some of the signs of parvovirus include lethargy; loss of appetite; abdominal pain and bloating; fever or low body temperature (hypothermia); vomiting; and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration, and damage to the intestines and immune system can cause septic shock.How do I know what pet insurance to get? ›
- Your pet's age. Cover for older dogs and cats is harder to find, as they're more likely to need treatment. ...
- Be honest about their medical history. ...
- Be smart with excess. ...
- Check the maximum cover for vets' fees. ...
- Can you cut how much your pet insurance costs?
Does pet insurance pay you or the vet? ›
Most pet insurance companies will be able to pay your vet directly, but not all vets accept direct payments from all pet insurance companies.