Having a pet can be rewarding, no matter what type of pet you have. However, pets come with a slew of expenses that many pet owners are not readily prepared to cover out of pocket. Getting a pet insurance plan can be a smart way to protect against financial loss if a pet becomes sick or injured during its lifetime.
Many individuals and families throughout Canada have pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and other furry companions. While pet ownership continues to grow in popularity, so does the importance of getting pet insurance.
Pet insurance is a type of health insurance for animals, protecting their owners from financial loss should a pet get sick or injured unexpectedly.
Having the best pet insurance for your needs is important given the rising cost of veterinary expenses for household pets. The average expense for the first year of pet ownership can be around $2,900 for a dog and up to $1,950 for a cat, according to the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society. A significant portion of these annual costs includes vet care—both expected checkups and unexpected health concerns.
Fortunately, Canadian pet owners have many choices for pet insurance to help protect their family members and save the hit to their wallet.
However, not all pet insurance companies are created equal. Prices for animal insurance vary greatly from one provider to the next, as does the coverage included in a pet insurance policy.
Here are all the things you need to know about pet insurance in Canada, including the top pet insurance companies providing health insurance for dogs, cats, birds, and other household pets.
On this page:
- Best Pet Insurance in Canada
- What is the Purpose of Purchasing Pet Insurance?
- How to Find a Company That Fits Your Needs
Best Pet Insurance in Canada
Several pet insurance companies offer pet owners coverage in Canada, including the following top-rated providers. These companies were selected based on cost to the pet owner, coverage for a wide range of conditions, and flexibility in creating a pet care coverage plan that works best for your budget and your pet’s needs.
|Monthly Premium||$18 – $29 +|
|Deductible||$100 – $1,000|
|Coverage||Accidents, Illness, Hospital Stays, Advanced Testing, Non-Routine Veterinary Exams, Dental Injuries, Periodontal Disease|
In business for more than 40 years, Petplan Pet Insurance offers comprehensive pet health insurance plans for cats and dogs. The provider offers unlimited reimbursement each year for covered conditions, as well as coverage for alternative therapies and rehabilitation treatments.
The company allows pet owners to select an annual deductible ranging from $250 up to $1,000, based on their budget needs, and they can utilize any veterinary office throughout Canada or the United States.
It has a 15-day waiting period from the effective date before it will cover your pet. Petplan also offers 24/7 customer service, fast claim reimbursements, and discounts for online purchases and subscriptions.
|Monthly Premium||$22 +|
|Deductible||$0 – $1,000|
|Coverage||Illness, Injuries, Hereditary and Congenital Conditions, Diagnostic Test, Surgeries, Hospital Stays, Medications, Veterinary Supplements, Prosthetics|
As a leading pet insurer in America, Trupanion also offers animal insurance for dogs and cats for Canadian pet owners. Trupanion makes the process of selecting a health insurance plan for a pet easy, as it provides only a single option for coverage.
Pet owners receive 90 percent of the vet bill for eligible claims once the deductible is met, and there are no lifetime insurance coverage caps. The provider also offers a vet direct pay benefit, which pays the bill directly instead of through reimbursement. Trupanion has a waiting period of five days before covering injuries and 30 days for illnesses.
Pets Plus Us Insurance
Through Pets Plus Us Insurance, pet owners can receive a comprehensive animal insurance policy that includes wellness care. There is a maximum of $15,000 in benefits available per year, with most pet policies for dogs and cats covering alternative treatments as well.
Pets Plus Us Insurance for Canada pet owners comes with an age-based deductible and an option to select an accident-only plan to keep the cost lower. Its waiting period is 48 hours for accidents and 14 days for illnesses.
Another Canada insurance company, PC Insurance, transferred its pet insurance business to Pets Plus Us in 2018.
Another option for pet insurance for dogs and cats is Petsecure. The company offers up to 80 percent coverage for treatments, exam fees, and medical care, as well as preventative care options and alternative therapy coverage. Pet owners may also opt for medical device coverage. There is a 48-hour waiting period for coverage of accidents, 14 days for illness, and six months for dental coverage.
There are no benefit limits for certain plans, and pet owners can choose the level of coverage they want from four different plan types. Petsecure also offers dental care coverage as an add-on for most plans.
What Is the Purpose of Purchasing Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is specifically designed to protect you from financial loss should your animal become sick or injured unexpectedly. Most pet insurance policies pay up to a certain percentage of reimbursement for covered accidents and illnesses, meaning you are only responsible for paying 10 percent to 20 percent of the total veterinary bill.
Given that vet expenses can exceed several thousand dollars for more serious injuries or illnesses, pet insurance can be worth investing in the monthly premium.
In some cases, pet insurance also covers routine care for pets. Wellness exams, dental cleaning, neutering or spaying, or vaccines may be selected as part of some pet insurance policies for an additional cost.
Having this coverage in place is beneficial if you do not want to pay the full amount out of pocket each year. However, it is important to consider the cost burden each month for the coverage selected and compare it to the benefit paid.
How to Find a Pet Insurance Company That Fits Your Needs
With a pet insurance policy from any provider, pet owners should look first to the likelihood of needing coverage for their pet. While some animals are healthy throughout their lifetime, others may be more prone to developing chronic conditions that require ongoing treatment or care.
In these cases, it is essential to get the right type of pet insurance that provides enough coverage to be worth the cost. It’s important to be aware that pet insurance might not cover pre-existing conditions, so be sure to clarify up front what medical conditions the plan covers.
Pet owners also need to review the ongoing premium charged for animal health insurance. While the monthly premium can be as low as $10 per month for basic coverage, pet insurance policies may cost much more over time. If the benefits of the policy are not used periodically, the coverage is often not worth the price paid in premiums.
To ensure you receive the most benefit for your policy, be sure to consider what the policy covers compared to the premium cost each month. Also, several pet insurance providers in Canada offer a discount when the coverage is bundled with another policy, such as homeowners insurance or auto insurance.
It is important to consider these cost-saving opportunities as well when selecting an insurance provider and policy.
Pet insurance in Canada is not a requirement for pet owners. However, the relatively lower cost of coverage compared to the potentially high cost of veterinary care makes it a smart investment for most animal lovers.
Pet insurance requires some research and due diligence before selecting the right policy, including a review of coverage amounts and limits, premium costs, and exclusions for certain conditions. Be sure to base your decision on these factors, as well as your pet’s need for the coverage both now and in the future.