While pet insurance isn’t very common in Illinois, it’ll most likely become a necessity for many pet owners as veterinary care costs continue to rise. Pet insurance can help with budgeting as it makes veterinary care costs more predictable, and it can give you peace of mind if you end up with an expensive medical bill.
It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed if you’re new to the world of pet insurance. So, we’re here to help you make more well-informed decisions as you shop for the right plan for your precious pet. We have reviews of some of the best pet insurance plans in Illinois, and we’ll also go over insurance terms and common questions that many pet owners have about pet insurance.
A Quick Comparison of Our Winners for 2023
|Best Overall||Lemonade Pet Insurance||
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|Best Value||Bivvy Pet Insurance||
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|Trupanion Pet Insurance||
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|Pumpkin Pet Insurance||
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|Wagmo Pet Insurance||
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The 10 Best Pet Insurance Providers in Illinois
1. Lemonade Pet Insurance – Best Overall
Lemonade makes pet insurance simple and easy and is a great place to start for anyone new to pet insurance. It offers one base accident and illness plan that covers diagnostic tests, medical procedures, and medication. You can then add more items for additional coverage, which can help pay for things like vet visit fees, physical therapy, behavioral conditions, and dental illness. Lemonade also offers two different tiers of add-ons for preventative care.
While Lemonade already has relatively affordable premiums, you can choose from three different reimbursement rates and deductibles and five different annual limits to adjust your premium amount. You can experience additional savings with a 5% multi-pet discount and a 10% discount if you bundle your pet insurance with another Lemonade insurance plan.
Lemonade is also known for having excellent customer service and a fast claims system that can process claims within minutes. The only drawback with Lemonade is that it’s not offered in every state. However, it’s available in Illinois, and you can still receive reimbursements for any vet visits made in any state.
2. Bivvy Pet Insurance – Best Value
Bivvy offers one of the cheapest rates in the market. All of its pet insurance plans have a flat rate of $14, regardless of your pet’s age and breed. It also has a quick application process, so your pet can get enrolled into a plan within minutes.
Bivvy’s base plan is fairly competitive with other pet insurance companies. You can expect to receive reimbursements for diagnostic tests, procedures, and hospitalizations. Bivvy also has a wellness care package that you can add to your base plan for an additional cost, and it covers routine care and vaccinations.
The caveat to Bivvy’s low rates is its reimbursement rate and annual and lifetime limits. All of Bivvy’s plans have a 50% reimbursement rate, which is much lower than what many other pet insurance companies offer. It also has an annual limit of $3,500 and a lifetime limit of $25,000.
So, Bivvy tends to be a more appropriate option for people with young and healthy pets that are at low risk of needing expensive procedures or treatments. If you have older pets, you probably won’t experience very many savings and can easily reach Bivvy’s annual limit.
3. Trupanion Pet Insurance
When you just compare rates, Trupanion tends to be significantly more expensive than Lemonade, Bivvy, and many other pet insurance companies. However, its plans have extensive coverage and will help pay for many non-traditional items and services, including alternative therapies, supplements, and other non-clinical procedures.
Trupanion also has a Pet Owner Assistance Package, which helps pay for non-medical pet care costs, including advertising and rewards for lost pets and boarding fees if you’re hospitalized.
All of Trupanion’s plans come with 90% reimbursement rates and unlimited payouts. So, once you meet your annual deductible, Trupanion will continue to help pay for accidents and illnesses covered in your plan.
4. Pumpkin Pet Insurance
Pumpkin Pet Insurance offers highly customizable plans that can provide some of the most comprehensive coverage you can find in the market. You can get additional services, like dental care, alternative therapies, and prescription foods, covered under a Pumpkin insurance plan. Unlike other pet insurance companies, Pumpkin has a short 14-day waiting period for all covered accidents and illnesses.
All of Pumpkin’s accident and illness plans have a 90% reimbursement rate. If you want greater peace of mind, you can choose to have unlimited annual benefits. Pumpkin offers three deductible amounts that can help lower your premium, but its rates are still relatively expensive compared to other pet insurance companies.
While Pumpkin doesn’t have a standalone wellness plan, it does offer a wellness package that can help pay for basic routine care costs, including vaccines and parasite screening tests.
5. Wagmo Pet Insurance
Wagmo offers accident and illness plans and wellness plans. Its wellness plans will help pay for routine care costs, including vet visits, vaccines, and grooming. There are three tiers of coverage with the wellness plans, so you can easily find a plan that best fits your pet’s needs or find a budget-friendly option.
The accident and illness plans offer standard coverage and will help pay for basic items, such as emergency vet visits, diagnostic tests, and surgeries. You can also expect to receive coverage for pet ambulances, cancer treatment, and prosthetics. Wagmo plans do not cover spaying/neutering, prescription foods, and most alternative therapies.
All accident and illness plans come with a 100% reimbursement rate and $100,000-lifetime benefit limit. You can also choose from three deductible options and can get a 15% discount on your deductible when you renew and have had a claim-free year.
6. Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace is a large and reputable pet insurance company that’s also a third-party pet insurance provider for many major insurance companies. You can expect to receive consistently reliable customer support with Embrace, and all policyholders have access to a 24/7 pet telehealth line.
Embrace’s pet insurance plans have wide coverage, and you can expect to receive reimbursements for non-traditional items like specialist care, dental care, and breed-specific conditions. Embrace will also help pay for diagnostic exam fees. Your pet can also receive coverage for a pre-existing condition if it’s been cured and is symptom-free for 12 months.
Embrace offers a wellness rewards program to help pay for routine care costs. However, you’ll have to be mindful of using up all or most of the eligible routine care items in the program. If you aren’t, you may just end up spending more rather than making savings.
7. Nationwide Pet Insurance
Nationwide is one of the few pet insurance companies that offers coverage for pets other than just cats and dogs and also has plans for birds and exotic pets. Nationwide customers with an existing account are also eligible for a 5% discount on pet insurance plans.
Nationwide offers accident-only plans, accident and illness plans, and standalone wellness plans. Nationwide will also keep all pets on their plans as long as they get coverage before they’re 10 years old. Pets will not get dropped or switched to a plan with less coverage as they age.
While you’ll find many different coverage options with Nationwide, there isn’t much room to make customizations within each plan. Nationwide will typically offer limited options for your deductible, reimbursement rates, and annual limits after you complete an application. So, you won’t be able to make as many adjustments to your premium amount as you would with other pet insurance companies.
8. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance offers comprehensive coverage for your cat or dog. Keep in mind that it only offers accident and illness plans, so if you’re looking to save with cheaper accident-only plans, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
While Healthy Paws offers one type of plan, the plan is very comprehensive. Along with accidents and illnesses, its insurance plans can help pay for hereditary and congenital conditions, cancer treatment, alternative therapies, and chronic conditions. You can customize your deductible and reimbursement rate. Healthy Paws also doesn’t have any annual or lifetime benefit caps, so you’ll continue to receive reimbursements as long as you keep the policy in force.
Healthy Paws is also known for its excellent customer service and fast and easy claims system. Rather than submitting a form with your vet bill, you can just take a picture of the bill and upload it through the Healthy Paws app to receive your reimbursement.
9. AKC Pet Insurance
AKC Pet Insurance is an excellent choice for breeders and owners of purebred dogs. It offers a wide selection of add-ons to your base plan, including wellness care, breeding and pregnancy care, and end-of-life services. Your pet is eligible for receiving coverage for pre-existing illnesses if they’re cured and symptom-free for 12 months. All policyholders also have access to a 24/7 vet line.
Plan coverage is highly customizable. AKC allows you to choose from eight deductible amounts and has reimbursement rates that range from 70-90%. You’ll also have the option to choose from seven different annual limits, including an unlimited benefit option.
It’s best to get AKC Pet Insurance sooner rather than later as it has an age limit on its accident and illness plan, and pets older than 8 years old are only eligible for its accident-only plan. Also, add-on prices aren’t fixed and will increase as your pets age.
10. USAA Pet Insurance
USAA offers pet insurance exclusively to its members. If you’re eligible for USAA membership, you can experience significant savings and may have a discount of up to 25%. USAA uses Embrace Pet Insurance as its third-party provider, which is a company that’s known for its excellent customer service.
You can choose either an accident-only plan or an accident and illness plan. USAA doesn’t have a standalone wellness care plan but Embrace offers a wellness rewards program. However, many customers report that they didn’t experience significant savings as they didn’t end up using all the services covered in the rewards program.
USAA is a considerable choice for pet owners with young, healthy pets. If you have a year without any claims that got processed, USAA will add credit to the following year’s deductible amount so that you’ll pay less on your deductible. USAA does have an upper age limit on older pets and will automatically transfer them to an accident-only plan when they become 15 years old.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance Provider in Illinois
What to Look for in Pet Insurance in Illinois
Pet insurance companies can have variations on their insurance plan coverage and claims processing procedures. However, most follow the same general format. So, keep these key features in mind when shopping for pet insurance.
Pet insurance companies typically have at least one accident and illness plan. An accident and illness plan offers comprehensive coverage, and most plans will cover these basic items:
Some companies will go the extra mile and include more services, like dental care, alternative or non-clinical therapies, breeding and pregnancy care, and prescription foods. Pet companies will not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, preventable injuries and illnesses, and illness and injury due to abuse or neglect. Some pet insurance companies will cover curable pre-existing conditions if a pet remains symptom-free for at least a year.
While all pet insurance companies have some type of accident and illness plan, some will also offer accident-only plans or wellness plans. Accident-only plans are typically cheaper than accident and illness plans and will help cover costs related to injuries and emergency vet visits. They’re a favorable option for pet owners with relatively young and healthy pets that don’t require much veterinary care or attention.
Wellness plans are the most uncommon, as pet insurance companies tend to have wellness care packages that you can add to their accident and illness plans at an additional cost. Wellness plans help pay for routine and preventative care, and you can expect to receive reimbursements for items like spaying and neutering, vaccines, and parasite screening tests.
Customer Service & Reputation
Most pet insurance companies operate through a claims processing system. You’ll have to pay your medical bill in full and submit a claim to receive a reimbursement. Since this is the case, finding a company with reliable and responsive customer service is essential. A good customer service representative will be able to help you track your claims and troubleshoot any issues that may delay your claim from getting processed.
When shopping for pet insurance, try looking for a customer service representative or agent with your pet’s best interest in mind. The most comprehensive pet insurance plan isn’t suitable for all pets, and you can end up paying high premiums for a plan that covers services you won’t use. So, if you feel that someone is trying to sell you the most expensive plan, it’s best to move on to a different company that will take the time to find and customize a plan that best meets your pet’s needs.
Most pet insurance companies require you to pay your vet bill upfront and then submit a claim. Claims can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days to process. Some companies can take up to 30 days to successfully transfer a reimbursement to your bank account or send you a check.
Some companies simplify the process with a user-friendly app that helps you submit claims correctly. A handful of companies will offer direct deposits to veterinarians, so you could potentially skip the claims process altogether. However, veterinarians must be enrolled in the company’s direct deposit program beforehand. So, it’s important to check with veterinarians to see if they’re enrolled to receive payments from specific pet insurance companies.
Price of Policy
Policy prices are affected by many different factors. First, your location will affect costs. Cities with higher costs of living tend to have more expensive premiums than small towns and rural areas.
Your pet’s age and breed will also affect policy prices. Older pets have more expensive premiums, and breeds known to have higher risks of chronic illnesses also tend to have higher premiums.
The customizations you make to your plan can also increase premium prices. Many pet insurance companies give you the option to adjust your deductible, reimbursement rate, and annual or lifetime benefit limits. Plans with higher deductibles, lower reimbursement rates, and annual limits have cheaper premiums.
You can also choose add-ons or riders to increase the coverage on your base plan. These optional items will add to your monthly premium rate. Lastly, some companies offer quarterly or annual payment plans. Annual payment plans tend to be cheaper than monthly premium payments, so you could end up saving a little more if you pay everything upfront.
There are several different ways you can make plan customizations. First, pet insurance companies can offer different tiers or levels of coverage to their plans. Accident and illness plans often come with optional riders that can help pay for non-traditional services, like alternative therapies and prescription foods.
You can also customize your plan by making adjustments to your reimbursement rate, deductible amount, and annual limit. Your reimbursement rate is the amount that your pet insurance company will pay you once you meet your deductible. So, if you’ve paid your deductible and have a 50% reimbursement rate, the pet insurance company will help pay for half of your vet bill.
Reimbursement rates can range anywhere from 50% to 100%. The higher your reimbursement rate, the higher your premiums. Deductible amounts typically range from $250-$1,000 and having higher deductibles can help reduce your premium amount.
The annual limit is the maximum amount your pet insurance company will reimburse you within a year. So, if your pet insurance plan has an annual limit of $3,500, the pet insurance company will pay up to $3,500 in one year, and you’ll have to pay for any remaining costs out-of-pocket. The annual limit will reset each year. So, if you’ve maxed out your annual benefit, you can receive reimbursements after you renew your policy and pay your deductible.
What Is the Average Cost of Pet Insurance in Illinois?
It’s difficult to narrow down the average range of pet insurance costs because plan prices vary significantly due to the many different factors we’ve mentioned previously. However, cat insurance tends to be cheaper than dog insurance, and you can expect to pay anywhere from $15-$50 a month for adult cats. Dog insurance can range between $20-$80 for adult dogs.
What’s the Difference Between an Annual Limit and a Lifetime Limit?
Pet insurance companies place benefit limits on pet insurance plans and will stop sending reimbursements after you hit a certain amount. An annual limit is the maximum amount that your pet insurance company will pay you within one year. Once you renew your policy, your pet insurance company will resume paying you after you’ve met your deductible and until you reach your annual limit amount.
A lifetime limit is the total amount that your pet insurance company will reimburse throughout your pet’s lifetime. So, if you have a plan with an annual limit of $2,500 and a lifetime limit of $10,000, your pet insurance company will keep paying you up to $2,500 each year until it has paid you a total of $10,000. Once you reach the $10,000 limit, you’ll have to pay for vet bills out-of-pocket.
Do All Veterinarians Accept Pet Insurance?
For the most part, you’ll be able to receive reimbursements for all your medical bills regardless of location. This is because pet insurance companies operate on a claims and reimbursement system and don’t have a preferred network of veterinarians. Pet insurance companies don’t tend to deal with veterinarians directly unless they have a direct deposit system. So, as long as you have a vet bill with services that fall under your plan coverage, you’ll be able to receive a reimbursement.
What the Users Say
Lemonade pet insurance has mostly positive reviews from customers. It may have a mediocre Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, but this rating mostly reflects other products that Lemonade sells, like renters’ insurance.
Customers typically have an easy time navigating Lemonade’s app to submit claims and receive their reimbursements on time.
Which Pet Insurance Provider Is Best for You?
Lemonade Pet Insurance is a great place to start, and most pet owners will be satisfied with their premium rates and the level of coverage their pets receive. If you’re looking for even cheaper coverage, Bivvy is a considerable option. Just keep in mind that it has relatively low annual limits and a 50% reimbursement rate.
If you have an older pet and anticipate paying for many services and procedures, Trupanion and Pumpkin have some of the most comprehensive and customizable plans. Just keep in mind that their premiums tend to be higher than many other companies.
Pet insurance is a considerable option for many pet owners as it helps budget for pet care costs and can ease the burden of unexpected vet bills. Lemonade Pet Insurance provides sufficient coverage at affordable prices for most pet owners.
If you’re unsure of what veterinarian care costs to anticipate, you can always consult with your veterinarian to determine the predicted services your pet will receive. These types of conversations can help you find the right plan and avoid overpaying for plans with services you won’t use.
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