Pet Insurance Comparison - Routine Care

Routine care coverage is not offered by all pet insurance companies. Here we help explain the differences among some of those that do.

If there's one thing every new pet parent quickly learns, it's that the cost of routine care for your dog or cat can easily add up to hundreds of dollars per year. Here's a break down of typical routine care costs:

  • Puppy: $700 in the first year
  • Kitten: $450 in the first year
  • Adult dog: $350/year
  • Adult cat: $250/year
  • Puppy and kitten estimations include costs for spaying/neutering, wellness exams, and vet-recommended preventatives & vaccinations. Adult pet estimations remove the costs for spaying/neutering.

So naturally, we find many pet parents are looking for help managing these costs. Below you'll find a comparison of routine care plans from Embrace, VPI, Pets Best, and ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. Trupanion, Pet Plan, and Healthy Paws do not offer help with routine care.

corner-left Company/Product Add to
Any Policy
Reimbursement Limits Cost corner-right
  Embrace
Wellness Rewards Plus
Yes Flexible $400/yr $28.95/month or
$299/yr
 
  VPI
CareGuard Premier
Yes Fixed/Preset per item $22/month  
  Pets Best
BestWellness
Yes Fixed/Preset per item $23.50/month  
  ASPCA Pet
Health Insurance
Advanced Wellness
No Fixed/Preset per item $26/month  
Source: information obtained from each company's website January of 2014

Adding Routine Care Coverage to a Pet Insurance Policy

Each of the four companies provides you with options for routine care coverage. With ASPCA Pet Health Insurance you have to upgrade to a more expensive pet insurance plan in order to add a routine care plan. Embrace, VPI, and Pets Best allow their routine care plans to be added to any policy.

Why Flexible Reimbursement is Better Than Fixed

With Embrace, there are no preset limits on how much of your routine care allowance you can spend toward any particular item. This is the key difference between plans. When you have fixed maximums per item (e.g. $50 to spend on preventative medications) it makes it more difficult to get any value. In essence, you end up either paying for items you don't need each year or getting too little back on the items you do need.

To help illustrate this point we've put together a chart showing ongoing routine care costs for an adult dog:

corner-left Routine Care Item Typical Price Range Average Cost corner-right
  Annual Check-Up $30-$65 $50  
  Vaccinations/Boosters $25-$85 $40  
  Bloodwork & Fecal Test $40-$125 $95  
  Flea, Tick & Heartworm Preventatives $140-$240 $190  
  Nail Trimming $5-$20 $10  
  Total $240-$535 $385  

When you calculate reimbursement with these costs, you see that Embrace's Wellness Rewards is the only plan where you come out ahead:

corner-left Routine Care Item Average
Cost of
Care
Embrace VPI Pets Best ASPCA
Pet Health
Insurance
corner-right
  Annual Check-Up $50 $50 $30 $50 $50  
  Vaccinations/Boosters $40 $40 $35 $30 $30  
  Bloodwork & Fecal Test $95 $95 $65 $75 $95  
  Flea, Tick & Heartworm Preventatives $190 $190 $50 $25 $60  
  Nail Trimming $10 $10 $0 $0 $0  
  Total Reimbursement $385 $180 $180 $235  
  Annual Cost of Wellness Product $299 $264 $282 $312  
  Dollars You Save or Spend $86 ($84) ($102) ($77)  
Source: information obtained from each company's website January of 2014.

This comparison of routine care plans was wholly prepared by EPI Agency LLC. If you have questions about VPI, ASPCA pet health insurance, or Pets Best plans, prices, or coverage please contact a representative of the respective company.