Because I have a blog and podcast focused on pet insurance, the most frequent question people ask me is, "Which pet insurance company is the best?"
When I go to veterinary meetings, I'm asked the same question by veterinarians curious about which pet insurance company they should recommend to their clients.
In reality, that's the wrong question to ask. There isn't a "best" company for everybody.
Pet owners should choose the company that matches the priorities they have set for themselves and their pet because whether they realize it or not, they are unique.
Each pet owner has a unique financial situation - monthly budget/disposable income, savings, and available credit that will determine:
- the premium you can afford
- how much you can afford to pay out-of-pocket when choosing your deductible, copay, and policy maximum.
- how much flexibility a company gives you to change your coverage when the premium increases - the most options to downgrade your coverage if needed to lower your premium without having to drop the insurance.
- whether or not you need to choose a company that will pay your veterinarian directly in the case of a large expense.
- whether you need to choose a company that covers the exam fees
Each pet has it's own unique requirements also:
- your pet's medical history will determine if you need to choose a company that will do a medical record review up front to let you know if there are any conditions the company views as pre-existing and won't cover. See What's In Your Pets Medical Record - Why It Matters When Purchasing Pet Insurance.
- if you have a cat or small breed dog, purchasing a policy that covers dental illnesses is imperative.
- for your particular pet's age, breed and your location, some company's premiums simply won't be competitive.
So, when a neighbor, friend, family member, or even your veterinarian recommends a particular pet insurance company, I hope you'll ask yourself, "But, is it the best company for me and my pet?" Never purchase pet insurance based solely on a recommendation without asking yourself this question and doing your own research to find the answer.
This is what I say to veterinarians who ask me which pet insurance company is the best:
- are the company's premiums competitive on the most commonly seen breeds in your practice?
- does the company's policy cover all/most of the procedures that you perform day in and day out?
If your practice does a lot of dental procedures, make sure the companies you recommend cover dental illnesses. Do you do endodontics? If so, make sure root canals and crowns are also covered.
Do you commonly recommend prescription diets in the management of problems/diseases you treat? If so, make sure the company's policy has adequate coverage for this.
Do you do a lot of orthopedic procedures? If so, make sure the company's policy covers rehabilitation and alternative therapies. Does the policy cover bilateral conditions?
These are just some of the considerations that pet owners need to be aware of when choosing a pet insurance company to insure their pet or veterinarians need to know about when choosing one or more companies to recommend for their clients. The Pet Insurance Toolkit can help both pet owners and veterinarians ask the right questions.
This is why it's not as simple as asking, "Which pet insurance company is the best?"