When calculating the cost of owning a pet, immediate necessities like food and heartworm prevention, as well as fun toys such as tennis balls and frisbees, probably have a higher priority ranking than boring stuff like vet bills. Unfortunately, however, dogs and cats almost always have some type of emergency every one in three years. Pet insurance can help you cover the bills for expensive treatment when things go awry, such as when your cat breaks a bone, or your dog eats too many. There are different types of plans that’ll pay for different things, depending on your coverage and maximum payouts. Let’s talk about what pet insurance can do for you and compare available plans in your state.
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The 10 Best Pet Insurance Providers in Mississippi
1. Lemonade Pet Insurance – Best Overall
Lemonade takes the cake as the best pet insurance plan in Mississippi because they offer some of the lowest rates. Their basic plan starts at just $10 a month, and costs about $20 on average. Lemonade keeps their costs low by starting with the bare minimum, and then allowing you to choose add-ons that you think would benefit your pet and your purse. For example, the basic policy includes diagnostics, exams, surgery, and recovery procedures for accidents and illnesses. It doesn’t include exam fees, but you can add it for an extra $5 a month. It also doesn’t include holistic or physical therapy, but those are available for an additional cost. They also have preventative care packages, including the Puppy/Kitten Preventative Care Package that covers first-year costs such as neutering, microchipping, and vaccinating your new pet. As you can imagine, you can essentially make your policy as cheap or expensive as you can afford.
We calculated the cost of basic insurance for a healthy one-year old Golden Retriever in Jackson, MS, and the total was $25 a month. However, prices are higher depending on the breed, age, and location. Since Jackson is an urban area, the price might be lower than a rural place such as Yazoo City.
While Lemonade is a top choice for enrolling younger animals, they might not be the best option for elderly pets. Many times, older pets are barred from enrollment because they’re considered high risk or are denied treatment due to pre-existing conditions.
2. Spot Pet Insurance – Best Value
If you want to insure your pet against accidents and illnesses without spending a fortune, Spot helps you cover what you need for as low as $10 a month. They offer a basic accident-only plan similar to Lemonade, but also have an Accident & Illness policy that pays for treatment for chronic illnesses, in addition to emergencies, without any additional charges. If you really want to make sure your pet is covered, you can choose one of two extra preventative care plans that’ll pay for routine expenses like vaccines.
However, there are strict limits on how much you can spend within their preventative care packages. For example, you only have a $25 annual allotment to spend on flea & tick prevention with the premium plan, so you’ll have to cover the rest of the year out of pocket.
Spot allows you to enroll your pet when they’re as young as six weeks, and doesn’t have any upper-age limits, which means you can enroll your senior just as easily as your puppy. Of course, like all pet insurance companies, Spot won’t cover pre-existing conditions, so you’ll want to enroll your pet as young as possible. If you’re willing to pay a little more per month, you can choose the unlimited payout option to make sure your bills will be covered, no matter how much they cost.
3. Trupanion Pet Insurance
Most pet insurance companies on our list require you to pay the total vet bill upfront and then wait for reimbursement. Trupanion can pay the bill for you at the time of your emergency, which can greatly relieve your credit card bill, or gives you an alternative to charging if you don’t have a credit card. You might pay a little more than you would for another policy, however, and you must visit a vet in-network in order to receive this benefit like you do with human health insurance.
If your vet is out-of-network, you can still choose them as your healthcare provider, but you’ll have to fill out a form to process the claim manually. The good news is that Trupanion has a quick claims turnaround time of 2-3 business days if you do decide to pay the total charge upfront.
Another unusual perk, Trupanion allows you to enroll your dog or cat as soon as they’re born. This means literally nothing can be determined as a pre-existing condition, which can greatly lower your vet bills for life.
4. Fetch Pet Insurance
You’ll receive a great deal when you sign up for Fetch, including a 24/7 telehealth service called Televet. Our favorite thing about this pet insurance company is that they take the hassle out of selecting policies by offering a single plan with adjustable variables such as monthly payments, deductibles, and maximum annual payouts, which can go up to unlimited.
You can also cancel Fetch at any time. As compensation, however, the deductible range is higher than average. Also, they only offer one policy that always covers accidents and illnesses, so Fetch isn’t the best catch if you’re looking for a simple accident-only policy or an all-inclusive wellness plan.
5. Embrace Pet Insurance
If you’re looking for an insurance plan that’ll help pay for almost everything, Embrace is the way to go. Their wellness add-on even covers grooming, which isn’t commonly included in preventative care packages. Additionally, you’re allowed to spend your allotment as you choose, which means there aren’t any category limits. Embrace also offers particular perks, such as health coverage if you’re traveling outside the United States for up to six months. Heads up to military members: Embrace will give you a 25% discount if you sign up through USAA.
Embrace isn’t the cheapest policy on our list, but it’ll give you the most extensive coverage. An Accident & Illness Plan with the Wellness Rewards gives you the most benefits for the cost. We recommend choosing this company if you’re wanting an all-inclusive policy, but it’s more expensive if you’re only wanting basic coverage. They actually don’t even offer an accident-only policy.
6. ASPCA Pet Insurance
With a 10% multi-pet discount and an open enrollment policy, ASPCA encourages you to adopt several furry family members and will help you cover their healthcare costs at any age. They’re the best choice for senior pets since you can enroll any dog or cat as long as they’re at least 8 weeks old. ASPCA offers an accident-only and an accident & illness plan with two optional wellness add-ons. They also have flexible deductibles and maximum annual payouts.
Insuring multiple pets with their comprehensive plan gives you their best deal. Otherwise, their accident-only plan is more expensive than competitors such as Lemonade and Spot, and their wellness plan isn’t as extensive as Embrace.
7. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
Healthy Paws leads the pack on quick turnaround time. Most claims are processed and paid around 2 business days after they are submitted. Similar to Fetch’s model, there’s one comprehensive plan that’ll pay for almost everything related to accidents, injuries, or chronic illness like cancer.
Additionally, there are no maximum payouts whatsoever. Once your pet is in, they’re covered for life. You’ll pay a little more than average per month though. Pets who are considered in the final 25% of their average life expectancy may not be allowed to enroll, and treatment for hip dysplasia won’t be covered if your pet is older than 6 years.
8. Pet’s Best Pet Insurance
With Pet’s Best, you can choose from an affordable basic or comprehensive policy to give your pet the best coverage that they deserve. Unfortunately, Pet’s Best doesn’t offer a wellness plan for routine expenses, but they are among the cheapest for comprehensive care.
You can customize both policies to adjust for annual deductibles, maximum payouts, and additional perks such as rehabilitation and holistic therapy coverage. Interestingly, Pet’s Best only lets you choose between $5,000 or unlimited for an annual maximum payout, which is more restrictive than most plans.
9. Nationwide Pet Insurance
Nationwide is on your side, whether you have a dog, cat, or gecko. They’re one of the only pet insurance companies that will cover exotic pets. They offer basic, comprehensive, and comprehensive with wellness, and all of their plans include a 24/7 vet helpline. You can choose from a wide variety of deductibles and reimbursement levels as low as 50%, which can help lower your monthly premium. However, the prices are still higher than most companies even with the 50% reimbursement, so your cats and dogs may be better off somewhere else. If you have a bird or other exotic pet, though, you’re in luck.
10. Figo Pet Insurance
Figo lets you customize your coverage, while always covering expenses for accidents and illnesses at any licensed vet or emergency hospital anywhere in the world. You also always have access to a live vet chat. From there, your plan can be as basic or inclusive as you wish. For example, there are multiple ways to power up your pet’s policy by adding coverage for vet exam fees or wellness.
Figo offers some exclusive benefits, too, under certain conditions. If you choose the Preferred or Essential plan with a $500 or $750 deductible, you have the option of a 100% reimbursement rate.
While total coverage including wellness and multiple add-ons can create a costly bill, essential comprehensive insurance is relatively cheap. Thus, Figo is a good choice for comprehensive but not the best for routine expenses.
Buyer’s Guide: Comparing Pet Insurance Providers in Mississippi
What to Look for in Pet Insurance
With so many options to choose from, you may be wondering what makes one company a better choice for your pet than another. The answer greatly depends on what you want to prioritize in your coverage and budget, as well as your pet’s age.
A basic or accident-only policy will pay for immediate situations that require urgent medical care. This includes middle-of-the-night trips to the emergency vet for traumatic things like injuries, swallowed foreign objects, or illness. Long-term illnesses requiring ongoing treatment aren’t usually covered by a basic policy. If you want financial support for chronic illnesses, a comprehensive or accident and illness policy should cover your bases. Some insurance companies, such as Fetch, only offer comprehensive coverage.
No insurance policy covers routine expenses such as vaccines and heartworm prevention, but a few companies such as Embrace allow you to include a wellness add-on to help pay for those ordinary costs. A wellness plan isn’t an insurance policy and can’t be secured separately. Rather, it’s like an annual savings account that you pay a little towards every month. The money totals to a certain amount every year that you can allocate towards those routine expenses.
Customer Service & Reputation
It’s certainly worth checking sources such as the Better Business Bureau and Forbes to make sure these companies really hold up their end of the bargain. You can also peruse internet forums and ask fellow pet parents about their experience with certain companies to see what their customer service looks like in practice. In the wake of a disaster, the last thing you need is to find out that your new insurance isn’t going to cover your emergency after all. Here’s an inside tip: most customer complaints deal with unpaid claims. The faster the claims processing, generally the better your customer service experience tends to be.
When your pet suffers from a sudden emergency, it’s important to find a company that’ll pay you back quickly and reliably, so you’re not left to foot the credit card bill at the end of the month. Trupanion and Healthy Paws scored the best in this area by maintaining a 2-day average claim repayment rate. Even better, Trupanion will pay their part of your bill automatically if your vet is in network.
Price of Policy
If you’re wanting the cheapest plan, you’ll need to consider whether you’re content with an accident-only policy or if you want more inclusive coverage. Like Lemonade, some companies have a cheap basic policy. Others like Fetch offer a comprehensive policy at a lower price than someone who offers both, which might make it worth your money to buy comprehensive for a few more dollars a month in order to obtain coverage for long-term treatments.
The price of your policy also depends on your financial status, whether you can afford a higher annual deductible with a lower monthly premium, or a higher monthly cost with a lower deductible at the beginning of your policy year. Ideally, you should receive a few estimates before making your final decision in order to secure the best choice for you.
Different companies have different methods of customizing your plan. Some allow extensive coverage options, such as ASPCA which allows you to choose between a basic and comprehensive policy, as well as two wellness plans. Others may only allow you to choose your deductibles, annual maximum payouts, etc.
Can any cat or dog enroll at any insurance company?
No. Certain companies are better fits for certain canines or felines than others. For example, ASPCA will enroll your elderly cat, but Healthy Paws probably won’t. If you have a newborn puppy, you usually have to wait until they’re at least 6-8 weeks old before enrollment, but Trupanion will let you secure a policy as soon as they’re born. While pet insurance plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions, some companies won’t cover conditions that they believe are probable. For example, Healthy Paws won’t pay for hip dysplasia treatment if you enroll a pet who’s older than 6 years because their chances of developing that condition are greater than those of a younger pet.
What is the best and most affordable pet insurance?
Basic, accident-only policies often boast the lowest bill, but sometimes you can find a comprehensive policy from another company for close to the same price. The best and most affordable pet insurance policy for you depends on how much coverage you want for your pet, as well as their age and what coverage you need. For example, you’ll need to decide if you want to spend extra on routine expenses such as wellness exams and vaccines, or if you’re comfortable paying for non-emergencies out of pocket. Embrace has the best value for complete coverage with wellness, but their basic policy is more expensive than most.
My dog has cancer, and I don’t have pet insurance. Can I enroll now to pay for treatment?
While your dog may still be eligible for enrollment, unfortunately, cancer will be treated as a pre-existing condition that isn’t covered. It may still be worth it financially to enroll your dog in a policy, especially if they’re young and their prognosis is fair. If you need help paying for vet bills without insurance, see if you’re eligible for Care Credit or contact your local humane society for resources. They may even offer low-cost veterinary services or know of a veterinary college who charges considerably less than the market average. Your state also might have financial assistance available that you can look up here.
What the Users Say
Currently, Trupanion and Healthy Paws have earned the most respected title from pet parents. Their highly positive reviews speak of fast turnaround times and inclusive care. We’re impressed with some of Trupanion’s unusual perks, such as eligibility of enrollment at birth and the option of paying their part of your bill upfront instead of dealing with claims processing. Healthy Paws holds the most inclusive policy for long-term illness since they don’t have any maximum payouts of any sort.
Which Pet Insurance Provider Is Best for You?
Finding the best pet insurance provider is a highly individualized task because every pet has different needs depending on their age and health concerns. Most pet insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions, so it’s important to try to secure a policy before life hits them too hard. Certain companies such as Healthy Paws won’t even allow you to enroll a senior pet. Others, such as ASPCA, will gladly enroll your pet no matter how old they are, but their own health history may prevent them from receiving help for essential treatment.
You’ll also need to consider your financial status. Are you more comfortable paying more upfront for a lower monthly fee, or will you need a lower annual deductible at the expense of a higher monthly price? You’ll also need to factor in how much you want your policy to cover. For example, do you want accident-only care that just handles emergencies, or do you need a comprehensive policy to help pay for potential long-term illnesses like cancer? A wellness plan can also help you budget for routine expenses, but they’ll raise your monthly cost.
Whether you have a Maine Coon from Meridian or a Pug from Picayune, pet insurance can help pay your bills for your dog or cat when emergencies and illnesses inevitably arise. Nationwide Pet Insurance will even cover birds and exotic animals. Lemonade squeezes the most out of their basic plan without squeezing your budget, covering your pet for accidents for as little as $10 a month. However, other companies on our list eagerly accommodate senior dogs, such as ASPCA, and others offer extra perks for free, such as Televet by Fetch. While Lemonade is our best choice overall, the ideal choice for you ultimately depends on a variety of personal factors, such as your pet’s age and how much you’re willing to pay per month.
Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock