Choosing the right pet insurance company for you and your dog or other pets in California can be a frustrating and confusing process. How much coverage will my plan provide? How fast will I be reimbursed? Are there any health issues not covered?
Here at iHeartDogs, we created an easy comparison below of all the major pet insurance brands in California and across the US. You can also use the form below to receive a no obligation quote from all the major pet insurance carriers at once, allowing you to compare pricing and coverage:
Best Pet & Dog Insurance in California
Let’s take a deep dive into the features and benefits of each of the major pet insurance brands here in California and across the USA. Simply scroll to the right to view all the brands:
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Receive a Free No-Obligation Quote from All the Pet Insurance Carriers At Once
Rather than visiting each insurance carrier’s website, you can use the form below to receive a no obligation quote from all the pet insurance carriers at once, allowing you to easily compare:
California Pet Insurance FAQs
Are pet insurances accepted everywhere in California?
People in California looking to help cover the rising costs of veterinary services can utilize pet insurance to cover their pet bills for a monthly fee. Several insurance companies offer pet insurance coverage. Most are designed to cover many of the costs associated with seeking medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment from a veterinarian, including the cost of prescribed drugs.
However, standardized regulations for California do not cover the costs associated with care, and veterinarian clinic’s individually determine what insurance they accept or if they accept insurance at all. Pet insurance is a newly emerging industry, and laws regulating the processes are still in the making. Keep in mind that many pet insurance companies may simply reimburse clientele for the costs and skip working with the pet clinics completely.
Most pet insurance policies cover accidents, behavioral therapy, dental illnesses, cancer, chronic conditions, breed-specific and genetic conditions, illness, and specialty care. Although, most insurance companies will not cover pre-existing conditions, both curable and incurable. Also, most do not cover cosmetic procedures such as declawing, ear cropping, tail dock, DNA testing, cloning, or breeding.
Do dogs really need insurance in California?
In a survey of more than 20,000 pet owners, four out of five said they could not afford a $5,000 veterinarian bill if they did not have pet insurance. Given that just over 40 percent of California homes own a pet, pet insurance is an excellent way to mitigate financial risk. It is similar to auto insurance because it is something you have but hope not to use.
When an unexpected tragedy occurs, you will be compensated 70% to 90% of the expenditures, depending on your plan. In California, pet insurance can assist ensure that your dog or cat receives the care they require. It helps you concentrate on doing the right thing rather than worrying about the costs. Considering veterinarian services for dogs are over 43 percent higher than the national average, pet insurance enables families to help afford their pet’s health.
Additionally, dogs are more likely to experience environmental issues affecting their health in California. For instance, snakes, mountain lions, and coyotes are common in most areas of the state, posing threats to pets. California is also susceptible to earthquakes and wildfires, both of which are threats to a dog’s health. The state also contains over 6,000 toxic plants that pets may ingest and require emergency services.
Injuries are one of the most common claims in California each year, which comes as no surprise. Californians are a burgeoning population, and they take their dogs on their adventures which put the animals at risk for major injuries, such as cranial cruciate ligament rips, which almost always necessitate surgery and rehabilitation time.
Does lifetime pet insurance go up every year?
When their pets are young, the monthly costs are the lowest, encouraging most consumers to sign up for insurance. However, four or five years later, most firms’ rates begin to rise because the dogs are getting older. The price may become expensive sooner or later. Just like with people, you can expect the cost of pet insurance to increase with age.
How much is good pet insurance?
Depending on the type of coverage, insurance rates range from $20 a month up to $46 a month for puppies. The rates change depending on the breed and size of the dog, along with age. However, the national average is $34 for puppies and $35 for dogs, not including deductibles for $5,000 annual coverage maximums. For unlimited coverage, the average for puppies averages $51 per month and $56 for dogs.
How much is dog insurance a month in California?
In general, pet insurance for your dog will cost between $20 and $100 every month. All the prices depend on the amount of coverage before premiums. While you will still have out-of-pocket expenses, they will be much more affordable. The prices vary by insurance company too. Many include a waiting period as well, so check for accident and illness waiting periods before the insurance becomes active. This prevents people from buying insurance on an as-needed basis.
Is medication covered by pet insurance?
Yes, most insurance companies for pets cover some or all of the costs of medicine, including medications for older dogs. However, as older dogs usually require more medicines, the premium prices go up to compensate for the difference to be cost-effective for insurance companies and customers.
Is pet insurance more expensive in California?
Yes, prices are 43.59 percent higher in California than the national average based on a six-month-old pet in comparison to other states. However, costs will go down the younger a pet is as they are less likely to experience health complications.
Is pet insurance regulated in CA?
California was the first state to basic pet insurance requirements back in 2014. AB 2056 mandates that pet insurers disclose basic policy details such as reimbursement benefits and pre-existing condition exclusions. It also mandates that insurance companies provide customers with a 30-day “free look” period during which they can cancel their policy and receive a full refund. According to the CDI, AB 2056 will assist pet owners in making better selections by allowing them to see what they are getting for their money.
As of January 2021, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Pet Insurance Working Group is developing a model law on pet health insurance. Depending on whether and how states implement the new model law, it will likely have an impact on the pet insurance market, as well as how veterinarians handle pet insurance with clients. The NAIC working group is presently developing the draft model, and the final form will most likely not be released to the public until much later.
Is pet insurance required by law in California?
No, the purchase of insurance for pets in California is not a requirement for pet owners. However, it’s a smart purchase as the cost of veterinarian services rises every year and becomes increasingly more unaffordable for the average family. Without insurance, pet owners may not be able to afford life-saving care for their pets.
Which insurance is best for my dog?
Every insurance company offers different benefits and costs; making the right choice depends on individual families and pets. California’s top pet insurance companies include Lemonade, Embrace, Fetch, Figo, Spot, Healthy Paws, Prudent Pet, Trupanion, and ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. However, there are many more options with lesser-known names that may benefit other pets.
The best thing you can do for your pet’s health and your budget is to research each insurance and find out which meets your needs. As some dogs have pre-existing conditions, it could limit the number of options. You also need to consider if the insurance company offers discounts for multiple pets, accidents, illness, wellness care, and preventative care. Other insurances will not cover pets over a certain age limiting the choices even further.
In addition, you will want to know if you are allowed to choose your vet, waiting periods, what the plan does not cover, prescription coverage, deductibles, and the company’s reputation. Some companies may provide less care for emergencies or for long-term illnesses. Your budget will greatly affect your choice of insurance companies for pets.
Which pet insurance is the most reliable in California?
As California now requires certain standards, you can expect most insurance companies in the state. The most reliable companies are Pet’s Best Pet Health Insurance, Lemonade, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, Embrace, Figo, ManyPets, Nationwide, and TrustedPals. However, the most reliable depends on you and your pet’s unique circumstances.
Why is pet insurance so expensive?
Pet insurance has recently become a victim of its own success. The cost of treatment is irrelevant when a pet is insured. This implies that owners can afford better care for their dogs than they could without insurance. With enhanced diagnostic imaging (MRI and CAT scans) and specialty surgical techniques (heart pacemakers, joint replacement surgery, and even artificial limbs), the veterinary business has responded to this demand.
This is an amazing thing for animals, but it is expensive. Because insurance companies are paying, the other end of the equation has risen: pet insurance premiums. After all, insurance firms are businesses that need to cover their costs as well as make a profit. While affordable pet insurance is still available, many owners are unable to afford the monthly charges.
A new breed of veterinarians with improved technology, breakthrough medications, better techniques, and more highly qualified specialists is emerging. Unfortunately, these amazing developments contribute to higher vet expenditures, which must be reflected in higher insurance premiums.
Second, owners have bigger expectations than ever. Of course, greater expectations equal better care for their pet. However, pet insurance premiums are rising. The link is apparent.
Comprehensive and costly diagnostic workups due to high owner expectations and raise costs for pet parents. Veterinarians could reduce the cost of pet insurance by delaying extensive investigations for non-critically ill animals, as many non-insured pets already do. The benefit of early rigorous tests for seemingly minor ailments is that a few major disorders are detected earlier, which would have been missed otherwise.
Fourth, some veterinarians and some pet owners perceive death or euthanasia as a failure. There is a view that life should be preserved at all costs, even if the quality of life is so low that the animal’s wellbeing is compromised and even if the financial cost is enormous. Insurance claims for difficult cases would be decreased if vets and owners were more realistic about what is happening to their animals. Again, when it’s your own pet, it can be very difficult to make the call to say goodbye even when it’s in their best interest.
Which Pet Insurance Company Does iHeartDogs.com Recommend?
Our recommendation depends very much on your individual situation. You can compare quotes for your dog’s age and your location here. We can report that Trupanion, HealthyPaws, and Pets Best are very popular with iHeartDogs supporters.
What do iHeartDogs Readers Think About Pet Insurance?
Is Pet Insurance Worth It? - We asked  Dog Owners and Here's What They Said
Pet insurance is "worth it" if you can afford the cost of the insurance, but could not afford an emergency vet bill. However, the best plan is to only get a pet if you can afford vet care, & to have a special savings account set aside for pet emergency care. - Louise
Very much worth it. I have Nationwide. It used to be VPI. It doesn’t cover things in full, but it very much helps. More then paid for itself with my first two dogs. Haven’t needed it much with the two I have now but if something happens, I won’t hesitate to get the best treatment I can. It really helps. - Beth
Yes it is worth it. But you need to shop wisely for it. I have care credit that is used when needed. With no excluded treatments because it's up to me! Great rates and options to pay back. Saved my bank account a number of times. - Jennifer
Always worth it with my previous pet dog, Louie (French bulldog) and current pet dog, Lucy (dachshund).
It’s more than paid for itself each time. Unless you can cough up $10,000 for an emergency surgery I suggest you get pet insurance. Healthy Paws I highly recommend!!! - Leo
My vet one time said...my a "Dogs are Expensive" account. Whatever the going rate for pet insurance is...say $100...put that monthly in the "D A E" account. If you are ahead at the end of the year roll that money over....then, if you do need a big sum you have it, and if you don't the $ is in your pocket and not the insurance company's... whatever you decide..good luck! - Peggy
With my last dog no. I paid 17 years and never made a claim. With the two I have now definitely. My JR managed to get a dog toy piece stuck in her intestine - hugh, expensive op so worth it. I don't like the fact that even though my dogs are both young, the premium has gone way up however. 3&2 are not senior dogs. - Kit
Before just checking quotes check with your vet or ones in your area. The one problem with many pet insurances it actually may affect the cost a vet or clinic may charge for a service based on what they may have to pay or what they need to do get paid. For example a base xray charge may be $100 if you pay yourself but say you use insurance A that may cost the clinic so much a year to be a member or requires so much documentation or takes so long for payment may increase the charge to $130-150 .Then if you have a deductible you will be paying more. Your vet will also know which ones are more reliable for your area and for the needs for your breed. - Candi
I would never have a pet without insurance. Way too risky for those sudden and age related injuries/health issues . Everyday check- ups and vaccines are incidental costs compared to many things that can go wrong w ur furry family member - Holly
I'm furious that insurance companies have now made owning pets incredibly expensive. Once insurance companies enter into the equation, the price for everything goes "through the roof." I wish these monsters would be regulated and insurance, health care was NON PROFIT!!!!!! - Rhonda
Yes Healthy Paws has been great. My Boston is on constant eye meds for about 6 years and 2 surgeries. I have 80 percent and they pay right away. - Lynda
Worth it if you plan ahead. One of my dogs I adopted and got insurance a year or so later and insurance has denied EVERYTHING…even an ear infection at 10 years old, as a preexisting condition because she had one when she was 3years old. My other dog I got insurance right away (lesson learned!) and it has been a huge benefit because ten years later he had significant medical expenses that were covered at 90% I could not be more thankful to have the insurance - Shannon
Definitely worth every penny! Our Shitz tore her ACL, swallowed my husband’s hearing aid, puts everything in her mouth!!! We have Healthy Paws. Very pleased. Just wish we went with 90% coverage instead of 80%. Get it BEFORE they have an issue!! - Jan
Nope not worth it. I love my babies but, it's like human insurance, Hardly worth getting. More n likely whatever your pet has insurance won't cover it so your still gonna pay out the ying yang. So here we are paying out the ying yang for insurance and still paying high dollar to a vet. - Nancy
Yes. My sweet hound developed allergies. The insurance covers are $73. Apoquel prescription plus everything else that goes wrong. She had a cough with meds the bill was over $400. Very happy we have insurance. - Pamela
Yes! For 10 years I never had to use it. Then my dog got very sick and needed to go to the animal hospital. She was diagnosed with diabetes and cushings disease and the costs for all the medications and testing she undergoes until we get her regulated is exorbitant. With the insurance I’ve been getting most of it back. - Erica
Worth it! Preventative/wellness services usually aren't included with accident/injury plans, but most insurances offer that separately (for more money). Get coverage asap when you get a pet... preexisting conditions are almost never covered and the older a dog gets, the higher the cost gets. I had Nationwide through my previous employer. The plans were supposed to follow my pets for life, after I left the job, but (long story short) the plans were cancelled. So now I'm getting new insurance through ManyPets for a dog who was 9 when I got the Nationwide plan, but is now 13 - with preexisting conditions. For all three of my dogs, it's about $235/month (that's with the optional wellness plans added for each). But if anything happens to any of my "kids", I pay a $250 annual deductible, then ManyPets covers 80% - with no lifetime limit. - Andrea
Yes. It's worth it. You never know what might happen. I see so many go fund me's to help animals when insurance would have covered it. Fyi, Trupanion is slightly more expensive but can pay the Vet directly if the Vet is signed up on their system. I have my 2 dogs and 2 cats covered. - Blythe
More Popular Pet Insurance Resources
Thanks for reviewing our guide to comparing pet insurance brands. Below you find some additional pet insurance resources from iHeartDogs.com
- Compare Pet Insurance Quotes
- A Vet Explains What You Need To Know About Pet Insurance For Your Dog
- If You Don’t Have This Much Money Set Aside In An Emergency Fund, You Probably Need Pet Insurance
- Pet Insurance: Rip-Off Or Life-Saver?
- With Pet Insurance, Your Dog Is 4x More Likely To Survive A Medical Emergency
- Trupanion vs. Pets Best Pet Insurance: In-Depth Comparison
iHeartDogs is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.
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