Having a pet is a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it comes with many responsibilities. One of the most important is making sure your pet has access to adequate medical care. Pet insurance can help cover the cost of unexpected medical expenses, such as vet visits, medication, and surgery. But with so many plans available, it can be difficult to know which is the best for you and your pet. In this article, we look at the top six pet insurance plans in Canada in 2023 and give you the information that you need to make an informed decision.
A Quick Look at Our Top Picks in 2023
The 6 Best Pet Insurance Plans in Canada
1. Trupanion — Best Overall
Trupanion is the best overall pet insurance company in Canada because it offers coverage that can be used at any veterinary hospital in Canada and in the United States and Puerto Rico, which will give you peace of mind when traveling with your four-legged friends.
You don’t have to wait for reimbursement checks because Trupanion can pay the vet directly. This means you won’t need to fill out paperwork before getting your money back. It also provides a simple plan that covers all new and unexpected injuries and illnesses, and your rates won’t increase even if you make multiple claims and/or your pet ages. Furthermore, its plan includes 90% coverage of eligible conditions and no payout limits.
The main downside is that you can’t add a wellness plan (also called preventative care coverage), which means you’ll have to pay out of pocket for vaccinations, spaying/neutering surgeries, flea treatments, etc. However, Trupanion explains this policy by saying that wellness coverage increases your monthly premiums, causing you to pay more over your pet’s lifetime for inexpensive procedures that would be cheaper to pay out of pocket.
2. Fetch Pet — Best Value
FetchPet, formerly known in Canada as Petplan, offers comprehensive pet health insurance plans at competitive prices. It covers up to 90% of the cost of veterinary care and can also be used anywhere in Canada or the United States.
It also offers a range of discounts and loyalty rewards, as well as a 24/7 veterinary helpline. Premiums are reasonable, starting at just $16 per month, but it depends on your pet and your location.
When you sign up, you can choose from three deductibles ($250, $300, and $500), reimbursement rates between 70% and 90%, and annual coverage limits of $5,000, $15,000, or unlimited.
However, accident reimbursement can be a bit long in some cases (over 15 days), and no preventative care plan is available, but exam fees and holistic care are included at no extra cost. Do note that Fetch is not available to residents of Quebec.
Petsecure is one of Canada’s leading pet insurance providers and is 100% Canadian owned and operated. However, unlike other companies, your pets will not be covered in the United States or other countries when traveling there.
This company, with more than 30 years of experience, provides comprehensive accident-and-illness coverage and reimburses up to 80% of veterinary care costs. But its coverage is a little different from other companies in that it bundles its policy terms into different packages and lets you choose between two deductibles ($100 or $300) with each plan.
It also offers a multi-pet discount and flexible coverage options, so you can choose the plan that best suits your needs. There are four levels of plans available (Secure 1 to Secure 4), with premiums varying according to your province of residence and the breed and age of your pet. The Wellness Plan package is offered only in the Secure 4 plan but includes preventive care and routine examinations. However, this option is quite pricey.
Spot Pet Insurance is a relative newcomer to Canada: It was launched in 2019. It offers a variety of coverage levels and options, enabling Canadians (except those living in Quebec) to choose a policy and premium that suits every budget. It is also possible to consult a licensed veterinarian in the United States if you are traveling with your pet.
Another great feature of Spot is that it doesn’t exclude older pets from being enrolled. However, dogs aged 12 and over and cats aged 13 and over can only be enrolled in an accident policy, which means illnesses will not be covered.
Additionally, there are two additional coverages available: routine or wellness. These plans will cover preventative care, such as dental cleanings, flea-and-tick prevention, and even prescription diets. Policyholders can also obtain a 100% refund on additional benefits, such as boarding or cattery costs.
On the downside, Spot has longer waiting periods than most other companies (up to 2 weeks in the event of an accident).
Sonnet is a relatively new Canadian company, as it has only been around since 2016. It enables Canadians to buy auto, homeowner, condo, landlord, and pet insurance online. If you’re an existing Sonnet customer and have a home or auto policy, you can get a 5% discount on your pet insurance premiums.
It covers up to 80% of your vet bill and offers comprehensive coverage for many conditions, as well as dental coverage, which is something that many other pet insurers don’t offer. The limit for this coverage is $300 per year.
In addition, its telehealth line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, Sonnet has waiting periods of up to 6 months for certain coverages, such as dental. It also does not offer any wellness care plan. Lastly, Sonnet is only available to residents of four provinces (Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia) and the Maritime Provinces.
6. Pets Plus Us
Pets Plus Us, launched in 2012, is a full-service pet health insurance provider that covers Canada and the United States. Its insurance coverage is available in all Canadian provinces and territories and does not exclude any breeds. There are additional benefits available to customers (called the Blue Ribbon Benefits), which include free access to PetHelpFone and a paid subscription to a dog or cat magazine.
You can choose between two plans: Accident and Illnesses or Accident Only, and coverage will cap between $5,000 and $15,000. Reimbursement options vary between 70% and 90% to give you more flexibility.
A preventative care plan is also available, called the Flex Care plan. It covers exams, vaccinations, flea-and-tick prevention, dental, and even pre-existing conditions. However, it is not available to residents of Quebec, and there is also a non-refundable $25 annual administration fee. Furthermore, the monthly premiums are quite expensive compared to many other companies.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance Plan in Canada
What to Look For in Pet Insurance in Canada
Pet insurance in Canada reimburses part of the veterinary costs if your pet becomes ill or has an accident. It’s much the same principle as a health insurance policy. However, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate all the fine print. Let’s examine a few key parameters to help you make your decision.
Pet insurance policies typically cover accidental injuries and illnesses, including certain hereditary and congenital conditions. Most policies also cover diagnostic tests, surgery, hospitalization, and prescription medications. Some companies may cover alternative treatments, such as acupuncture or holistic care. Policies are on an annual basis, renewable each year depending on the age and health of your pet.
However, pet insurance policies typically do not cover pre-existing conditions, routine and preventative care, vaccination, or flea-and-tick prevention treatment. This is why it is essential to read the fine print of any policy to understand what is and what is not covered.
Customer Service & Reputation
Excellent customer service is the foundation of any service-based business, and pet insurance companies are no exception. Being able to speak to a human quickly, either by phone, email, or live chat, is an essential factor to consider when choosing an insurance plan for your pet.
The speed and ease of the claim repayment process are important factors to consider.
Most of the time, pet owners must pay the bill at the vet first, then fill out and sign a claim form. If the application is approved, pet owners then receive a check or direct deposit to reimburse a portion of the costs incurred. Delays vary from a few days to several months, depending on the claim and the insurance policy.
Some companies, like Trupanion, can pay the vet directly, but this is not common practice.
Price of Policy
Most insurers offer several plans that can be adapted to various budgets. The basic plan typically covers costs related to illnesses and emergencies, while more comprehensive (and more expensive) plans may offer preventive care, alternative therapies (such as chiropractic, physiotherapy, and acupuncture), and behavioral therapies.
Plan customization enables you to add or change the features of the insurance coverage so it is more suited to your and your pet’s needs. Several insurance companies offer packages that combine different levels of the deductible, reimbursement, and annual coverage limit while enabling you to change the options within each package. For example, Petsecure enables you to choose between two deductibles in each of its plans, so you can adjust the monthly premium.
What Types of Pet Insurance Are Available in Canada?
The most common types of pet insurance available in Canada are accident only, accident and illness, and wellness. Each offers specific services that will vary by price.
Is Pet Insurance Available Outside of Canada?
It depends on the company. Some offer coverage when you travel to the United States with your pet (and to Puerto Rico in the case of Trupanion), but not others. Additionally, some pet insurance companies are not available in all Canadian provinces and territories. However, all you have to do is enter your postal code when requesting a quote to be sure.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in Canada?
The monthly premium varies depending on the pet that you have (cat or dog), their breed, and their age. It also depends on where you live. Generally, you can expect to pay between $30 to $100 a month for a dog and $25 to $70 for a cat.
Which Annual Deductible Should You Choose?
In short, high deductibles enable you to pay low monthly premiums. This option is best suited for clients who are comfortable paying for small veterinary expenses but need insurance for large, unforeseen costs.
What the Users Say
Most pet owners often wonder if buying insurance for their fur babies is necessary. The answer to this question lies in a gray area: No insurance is essential; it’s a matter of looking at the pros and cons and properly assessing the risks.
Unfortunately, most pets will have accidents, illnesses, or emergencies at some point in their lifetime, and veterinary bills can quickly add up. For example, a simple surgery in Canada can cost $4,000 or more. The sad reality is that every year, many pets with treatable health conditions are euthanized simply because their owners are unable to afford their treatments.
Which Pet Insurance Provider Is Best for You?
The best insurance plan should consider your pet’s specific needs and the budget that you’re willing to allocate for monthly premiums. You need to choose a plan that will take into account the age, sex, and type of animal that you have and their overall health. Also, be aware that your province of residence can significantly impact your monthly premiums, as they are calculated based on the average cost of veterinary bills where you live.
Our advice is to first discuss your options with your vet, who will likely be able to direct you to the best pet insurance company for your pet’s needs. Then, ask for quotes from each of the companies that have packages with the features that you’re looking for.
With veterinary costs on the rise, pet insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t end up with a huge bill if your pet gets sick or injured. Several types of pet insurance are available in Canada, and the top picks are Trupanion, Fetch Pet, and Petsecure.
However, you should always compare all plans to find the one that best suits your needs. But we do hope this article has provided you with an overview of the plans available in Canada and will help you make an informed decision on the best one for you and your furry friend.
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