Choosing the Best Pet Insurance Plan

Finding the best pet insurance plan for your pet means asking the right questions. Here are the top questions to ask when comparing plans for your dog or cat.

Pet Insurance Comparison Questions to Ask

Your pets are part of the family and finding the best pet insurance plan for them is important. With so many companies out there, it can be difficult to decide which is the right one. Embrace Pet Insurance has created a guide highlighting what to consider when you’re comparing pet insurance policies.

Is coverage restricted because of breed?

Certain dog and cat breeds are prone to genetic and hereditary conditions. For example, Labrador Retrievers are susceptible to hip dysplasia. Make sure that the insurance company you choose won't restrict coverage because of your pet's breed. Curious if your pet’s breed may be prone to certain conditions? Check out our Dog and Cat Breed Libraries.

Bonus Tip: Even mixed breed dogs and cats can suffer from genetic conditions. View our Pet Health Conditions page for additional details.

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What are the waiting periods?

All pet insurance companies have waiting periods because they help prevent fraud. A waiting period is a set period of time from the purchase of the policy to when coverage begins, and this period varies from company to company.

All policies have a 2-week illness waiting period.  Other waiting periods and exclusions vary by state. Check your policy for details.

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How are pre-existing conditions handled?

No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions, but some (including Embrace) offer coverage for curable pre-existing conditions if a pet goes symptom- and treatment-free for a certain length of time.

What about routine care?

Insurance is for the unexpected, so most pet insurance policies cover accidents and illnesses but not routine care (think vaccines, spaying/neutering, checkups, etc.). If you’re looking for a plan that covers regular office visits and routine care, check if the company offers an optional wellness plan, like Embrace’s Wellness Rewards.

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Are there annual or per-incident limits?

An annual limit, like what Embrace offers, is the most a pet insurance company will reimburse you for vet bills in one policy year. Annual limits vary by company, ranging from $2,000 to unlimited. A per-incident limit is the most a pet insurance company will reimburse you for vet bills for that particular incident. For example, the policy may say that it will only reimburse up to $5,000 for cancer in your pet’s lifetime.

A per-incident limit tends to be more restrictive because a pet diagnosed with a chronic condition (like allergies, cancer, or diabetes) would meet the limit rather quickly and you would be expected to pay out of pocket for any care related to that condition after the limit is reached. An annual limit resets with each renewal so you can continue to be reimbursed for your pet’s care.

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What do customers say about the company?

Read customer reviews to help guarantee you buy the best pet insurance for you. Visit to read candid customer feedback on all the major pet insurance plans in one place.

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Are there any physical exam requirements?

Some pet insurance companies require that your pet have a physical exam 30 to 60 days before enrollment. Some also require that your pet have an annual physical exam (either a full physical or dental-specific exam) in order to keep coverage active. Other companies, like Embrace, only require a documented physical exam in the 12 months before enrollment, or, if you have a puppy, kitten, or recently adopted pet, a visit since they entered your home. And, while we encourage you to have them seen on an annual basis, there is no annual visit requirement.