Purchasing pet insurance is complicated. And it feels like a HUGE decision, because pet insurance companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions. So, if you choose poorly and your pet develops a chronic illness or congenital condition, their future treatments likely won’t be covered if you switch providers. Facing this pressure, I began shopping for a plan for our new puppy, Myles. And because Myles will be traveling with us, I had some special circumstances that affected my decision. After comparing ten popular pet insurance options, this is my analysis of the best pet insurance for traveling pets.

*This is strictly my research, which I’m sharing because it might save you some time. I have not and will not receive any compensation from any of the companies mentioned.*

Brindle and white puppy sitting in the doorway of a motorhome

 

Determining the Best Pet Insurance for Traveling Pets

Each pet insurance company approaches the benefits they provide, the restrictions they impose, and the degree to which you can customize your plan a little differently. Factor in the widely varied premiums and comparing plans across providers is tricky. Of course, we’re all different, too! Each of us has different priorities and factors to consider. That’s why it’s important to determine which aspects of pet insurance are most important to you before you begin.

Why get pet insurance at all?

You might be asking yourself if you even need pet insurance. Some people prefer to start savings accounts and make monthly deposits to cover their pet’s care. Others keep a credit card that is only used only for unexpected veterinary bills. I prefer pet insurance, because the only factor I want to determine the care Myles receives is his well-being. Knowing how quickly vet costs can add up, I can’t face the nightmare of balancing his care against what I can afford. Pet insurance gives me that luxury.

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Small dog with his head sticking out the window of a motorhome

Which components of pet insurance matter most to me?

It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when you start comparing pet insurance policies. But thinking through your priorities before you start can help. Keeping in mind that your situation will be different, here are the variables that I considered most important:

  • Annual limit – This is the maximum amount the pet insurance company will pay out under the policy. Because I don’t want cost to impact the care Myles receives, I want to feel comfortable that this amount will cover any treatments he could need during the year.
  • Lifetime limit – Some pet insurance companies set a limit on the total benefits they’ll pay out over your pet’s life. Because Myles is so young and there’s such a disincentive to change providers during his lifetime, I’m looking for a company with a very high or no lifetime limit.
  • Deductible amount – This is the amount that I’m responsible for covering before the pet insurance benefits kick in. Higher deductibles result in lower premiums, and vice versa. Because Myles is young and expected to be healthy, I’m comfortable with a higher deductible. Also, it’s important to note that most deductibles must be met each year, but not all. We’ll get into that further when I start comparing providers.
  • Reimbursement percentage – This the the percentage of the vet’s bill that the insurance company will cover once I’ve met deductible amount. The reminder of the bill is my responsibility.

Other factors to consider are the policy premium and whether exam fees, diagnostics, prescriptions, dental care, and alternative treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, cold laser therapy, hydrotherapy, and holistic medicine are covered.

Personality Traits of Adventure Cats

 

Factors Specific to Traveling Pets

Finally, traveling full-time in our Winnebago generated a few other considerations. For example, we need to be able to use any licensed veterinarian we choose, including emergency and specialty vets. Fortunately, this was no problem with any of the companies I looked at. I also prefer to file paperless claims and receive reimbursements by direct deposit rather than check. Having a policy that would cover Myles if we travel outside the country with him would be great. And finally, having access to a 24-hour vet hotline would go a long way toward my peace of mind.

Comparing Pet Insurance For Traveling Pets

With my priorities laid out, I started comparing policies to find the best pet insurance for traveling pets. Remember that the quotes I received for Myles’ policy consider his age, our primary residence, and other factors. Also, I’m not an attorney – just another pet parent trying to make sense of a complicated issue. The information below is only my understanding of the policy terms. You’ll need to make your own assessments.

Bivvy  855-434-3744

Provides pet insurance coverage for $10 per month for all cats and dogs regardless of age, size, sex or breed.

Quote: $10/mo

Annual Limit: $1,000, not adjustable

Lifetime Limit: $25,000, not adjustable

Deductible Amount: $250 annually, not adjustable

Reimbursement Percentage: 80%, not adjustable

Coverage: Exams, diagnostics, prescriptions, dental care in case of injury, and alternative treatments for accidents, injuries, and illnesses, including hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions. Covers pets within the United States only.

Does Not Cover: Routine or wellness care

Convenience: Offers paperless claims, but not direct deposit of reimbursements or a telemedicine hotline.

 

Companion Protect  800-304-9930

Similar to human health insurance, provides network pet insurance offering lower per visit deductibles and direct-to-vet payments for “in-vetwork” care, while also providing “out-of-vetwork” benefits.

Quote: $44.99/mo The policy continues, month-to-month, until cancelled by either party or the lifetime benefit is reached. This means that, unlike all the other policies, the premium will not reset each year.

Annual Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Lifetime Limit: $100,000, not adjustable

Deductible Amount: $50 per visit for in-vetwork providers and $100 per visit for out-of-vetwork, not adjustable

Reimbursement Percentage: 90% for in-vetwork providers and 80% for out-of-vetwork, not adjustable

Coverage: Exams, diagnostics, prescriptions, dental care in case of injury, and alternative treatments for accidents, injuries, and illnesses, including hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions. Includes one or two complimentary wellness exams, depending on the age of the pet, with an in-vetwork provider. Covers pets within the United States only.

Does Not Cover: Routine or wellness care, other than the complimentary wellness exams.

Convenience: Offers paperless claims, but not direct deposit of reimbursements or a telemedicine hotline.

Other: Some covered services, including surgeries and those in excess of $2,500, require prior approval, except in emergencies.

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Embrace  800-660-8726

Provides plan customization with adjustable annual and lifetime limits, deductibles, and reimbursement percentages. Also distinguishes between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions, covering curable conditions after 12 months with no symptoms or treatment.

Quote: $29.29/mo

Annual Limit: $30,000, adjustable ($30,000 max)

Lifetime Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Deductible Amount: $500 annually, adjustable

Reimbursement Percentage: 80%, adjustable

Coverage: Exams, diagnostics, prescriptions, dental care, and alternative treatments for accidents, injuries, and illnesses, including hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions. Covers pets worldwide.

Does Not Cover: Routine or wellness care

Optional Riders: Routine and wellness care, including routine vet visits, vaccinations, teeth cleaning, grooming, prescription diets, and more ($18.75-52.09/mo)

Convenience: Offers paperless claims, direct deposit of reimbursements, and a telemedicine hotline.

Other: Embrace reduces your annual deductible $50 each year you don’t receive a claim payment.

 

Figo  844-869-7028

Provides the most plan customization with adjustable annual and lifetime limits, deductibles, and reimbursement percentages, as well as separate coverage for exam fees and rehabilitation treatments.

Quote: $18.20/mo

Annual Limit: No limit, adjustable

Lifetime Limit: No limit, adjustable

Deductible Amount: $500 annually, adjustable

Reimbursement Percentage: 80%, adjustable

Coverage: Diagnostics, prescriptions, dental care in case of injury, and alternative treatments for accidents, injuries, and illnesses, including hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions. Covers pets in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Does Not Cover: Routine or wellness care

Convenience: Offers paperless claims, direct deposit of reimbursements, and a telemedicine hotline.

Other: Coverage for exam fees could be added to Myles’ policy for an additional $3.09/mo and rehabilitation coverage would be an additional $0.50 per month.

 

Healthy Paws  855-898-8991

In addition to offering pet health insurance, Healthy Paws operates a foundation that helps pet parents handle the expense of their pets’ medical treatments and assists animal rescue organizations to help the many sick pets in their care.

Quote: $20.12/mo

Annual Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Lifetime Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Deductible Amount: $500 annually, adjustable

Reimbursement Percentage: 80%, adjustable

Coverage: Diagnostics, prescriptions, dental care in case of injury, and alternative treatments for accidents, injuries, and illnesses, including hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions. Covers pets in the United States and Canada.

Does Not Cover: Exam fees or routine or wellness care

Convenience: Offers paperless claims and direct deposit of reimbursements, but not a telemedicine hotline.

 

Nationwide  888-899-4874

The quote below is for the company’s defined benefit insurance plan. They also offer a Whole Pet with Wellness plan that provides a $250 annual deductible, unlimited annual benefits, and 90% reimbursement percentage. This plan for Myles was $140.49 per month.

Quote: $25.46/mo

Annual Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Lifetime Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Deductible Amount: $250 annually, not adjustable

Reimbursement: Set out in their benefits table, not based on the actual veterinary costs

Coverage: Exams and diagnostics for accidents, injuries, and illnesses, are set at the defined benefit rate. Prescriptions are also covered. Covers pets worldwide.

Does Not Cover: Most hereditary and congenital conditions.

Optional Riders: Routine and wellness care ($43.46/mo), dental, and alternative treatment riders are also offered

Convenience: Offers paperless claims, direct deposit of reimbursements, and a telemedicine hotline.

Other: Also offers an accident plan which features a $10,000 annual limit, $250 deductible, 90% reimbursement, $500 per incident limit, and no annual limit for $9 per month.

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Pets Best  877-738-7237

Provides plan customization with easy claim submission and free direct deposit of reimbursements.

Quote: $18.56/mo

Annual Limit: No limit, adjustable (choose either $5,000 or no limit)

Lifetime Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Deductible Amount: $500 annually, adjustable

Reimbursement Percentage: 80%, adjustable

Coverage: Exams, diagnostics, prescriptions, dental care, and some alternative treatments for accidents, injuries, and illnesses, including hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions. Covers pets in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Optional Riders: Two levels of routine and wellness care coverage are offered at $16 and $26 per month.

Convenience: Offers paperless claims, direct deposit of reimbursements, and a telemedicine hotline.

Other: Offers an accident plan (quote for Myles was $10.52/mo) which features a $100 deductible, 80% reimbursement, $500 per incident limit, and no annual limit.

 

Pet Partners  866-774-1113

Offers the most customizable pet insurance options.

Quote: $22.13/mo (Custom Plan)

Annual Limit: No limit, adjustable

Lifetime Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Deductible Amount: $500 annually, adjustable

Reimbursement Percentage: 80%, adjustable

Coverage: Diagnostics, prescriptions, dental care in case of injury, and alternative treatments for accidents and injuries. Covers pets in the United States and Canada.

Optional Riders: Exams ($3.51/mo), routine and wellness care ($17 or $29/mo), and hereditary and congenital conditions ($2.72/mo) can all be included with separate riders.

Convenience: Offers paperless claims, direct deposit of reimbursements, and a telemedicine hotline.

Other: Offers a Basic Plan for accidents and injuries (quote for Myles was $10.52/mo) which features a $100 deductible, 80% reimbursement, $500 lifetime incident limit, and no annual limit. Also offers supportive coverage for expenses incurred when having to say goodbye to your beloved pet for $2 per month.

 

Petplan  844-857-5059

Petplan includes unique benefits, like coverage for behavioral therapies, vacation cancellation, and boarding fees for your pet if you are hospitalized.

Quote: $28.32/mo

Annual Limit: No limit, adjustable

Lifetime Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Deductible Amount: $500 annually, adjustable

Reimbursement Percentage: 80%, adjustable

Coverage: Exams, diagnostics, prescriptions, dental care, and alternative treatments for accidents, injuries, and illnesses, including hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions. Covers pets in the United States and Canada.

Does Not Cover: Routine or wellness care.

Convenience: Offers paperless claims and a telemedicine hotline, but not direct deposit of reimbursements.

Other: Reduces your renewal premium by 15% for every 12-month period that your pet goes without a paid claim, up to 30%.

 

Trupanion  855-210-8749

Trupanion’s deductibles are “per condition” rather than annual. That means if your pet develops diabetes, for example, you will pay the costs of his care until you meet your deductible before the insurance benefits kicks in, but then you’ll never have to pay a deductible for any treatment he receives related to diabetes for the rest of his life — as long as you’re insured by Trupanion. That also means, if your pet develops several conditions in a short amount of time, you could end up paying several deductibles during the same year.

Quote: $34.31/mo

Annual Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Lifetime Limit: No limit, not adjustable

Deductible Amount: $500, adjustable

Reimbursement Percentage: 90%, not adjustable

Coverage: Diagnostics, prescriptions, and dental care in case of injury for accidents, injuries, and illnesses, including hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions. An optional Recovery and Complementary Care Rider ($3.74/mo) covers physical therapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, chiropractic care, behavioral modification therapy, homeopathy, and naturopathy. Covers pets in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Does Not Cover: Exams or routine or wellness care.

Convenience: Offers paperless claims and direct deposit of reimbursements, but not a telemedicine hotline.

Other: Trupanion does not factor in your pet’s age when determining your annual premium. Additional coverage is available with the Pet Owner Assistance Package ($4.95/mo) for third party property damage liability, advertising and reward if your pet is lost or stolen, boarding fees if you are hospitalized, vacation cancellation costs, and cremation or burial.

Our Decision

Whew!! Are you still with me?

While Myles has been snoozing, we’ve been weighing all the options. It wasn’t easy, but we’re signing him up with Embrace. For us, the deciding factors were worldwide coverage, telemedicine, and unlimited lifetime coverage. We also had Embrace for Buster and were pleased with their service.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Embrace is the best option for everyone. Your circumstances will affect which pet insurance is right for your traveling pets.

Brindle puppy laying on a cushion in a motorhome

 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re shopping for pet insurance. To keep yourself organized when comparing the options try setting up a spreadsheet with your priorities across the top and the providers you’re considering down the side. Then fill in the information to determine which will work best for you.

Hopefully my experience helps you find the best pet insurance for your traveling pets! Be sure to let us know how you make out in the comments.

 

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  • I totally agree with everyone. You have done a great research. Your articles are always very informative and helpful. I really appreciate your efforts. One of my friends is very social and had many pets. She is truly a travel freak and this article needs to be shared with her. I travel with my pets but it’s just a normal travel journey, usually from home to grocery store or park around. But before insurance my main priority is getting an ESA letter for my pet. Someone has suggested to me ****** this site to get one. Any suggestions? Is this site legit? I went through the reviews and people were satisfied with their services.I am actually looking for a trusted site with 111% authentication which I think this site have but still I want suggestion. Or any other better site or doctor or clinic, whatever. Any other recommendations? Any suggestions will be fully appreciated. Thanks.

    • I totally understand wanting to take your pet everywhere you go, Alex, but first, you’d have to be diagnosed with a condition that could be improved by an emotional support dog. Even then, registering your pup as an ESA isn’t going to get you the access you’re hoping for. In my opinion, these companies have caused a lot of abuse of people who truly need assistance animals. I wouldn’t recommend it as a way to circumvent the rules.

  • What great information! Thanks so much. Myles is so cute and he’s a lucky guy to have found you guys. Thanks for all that you do :)

    • You’re so welcome, Lizzie – were’ glad to help! Thanks, and waggin’ trails to you. =)

  • Wow, a lot of work went into this and I am bookmarking it for when we get our next dog. Thank you! I love watching Myles grow up. There’s just something about him besides his adorableness, of course.

    • I’m so happy to help, Debbie! I was doing the research anyway, so it makes sense to share what I found. And thank you — Myles is quite the little character and we’re having a blast with him.

  • You will be able to Help many people that are overwhelmed with the pet insurance options. We were when we adopted Frankie one yr ago! Thank you for the immense hard research that you have completed! Congratulations on your choice!

    • Thank so much, Cynthia! It’s definitely a lot of information to process, and you’re not always comparing apples to apples, which makes it more complicated. I’m glad my research can be helpful!