In Canada, pet insurance assists in the coverage of pet-related medical costs. Regardless of the policy, insurance plans should include coverage over accidents, illnesses, diagnostic tests, hospitalization, emergency care, prescriptions, and surgery. Many plans also offer general wellness coverage for routine care as an additional option, for procedures such as checkups and vaccinations. 

Pet insurance works in much the same manner as it does for people, with a monthly fee for coverage. In the event of an emergency, the insurance company reimburses the cost of the veterinary care, after the deductible. However, every company has a different cost structure in terms of payments, deductibles, co-payments, and possible lifetime caps, so it’s essential to conduct thorough research when comparing companies.

When choosing a pet insurance provider, it is always best to research each company’s specific coverage, including its limits, exclusions, waiting periods, and stipulations. Certain carriers may impose a limit on benefit reimbursements, which can either be yearly, or within the full length of the insured pet’s lifespan. Coverage may also vary based on the pet’s age and breed. 

Try and take out an insurance plan for your pet as soon as you can. As they age, there is an ever-increasing risk of chronic illness or a genetic disease manifesting itself. If these should occur before the the policy’s start date, they’d be excluded from coverage. That said, however, any condition documented following the policy's start date, should be covered under the plan’s terms.


Top 5 Companies

#1
Our Partner
9.5 / 10
  • Most Comprehensive Coverage (includes vet exam fee!)
  • Flexible annual reimbursement up to UNLIMITED
  • Choose Annual Deductible from $100-$1,000
  • No additional fees (riders) for alternative therapies
  • Use any veterinarian in Canada or the US.
  • 24/7 Customer Service - Fast Claim Reimbursement
  • 10% Online Discount & Free Barkbox Offer
#2
Our Partner
9.2 / 10
  • Unlimited payouts and no caps on coverage
  • Can pay the vet directly - up to 90% coverage!
  • Award winning customer service
  • Per-condition deductible (good for chronic conditions)
  • Fast payouts and no penalties for filing claims
#3
8.4 / 10
  • Wellness care
  • Age-based annual deductible
  • Up to $15,000 in maximum benefits per year
  • Standard $100 deductible for accident only plan holders
  • Alternative treatment coverage
  • $1,000 in medical devices
#4
7.4 / 10
  • Up to 80% cover for treatments and care
  • Preventive care
  • Alternative therapy
  • Medical device
  • No benefit limits for Secure 4 plans
#5
6.8 / 10
  • Starts at $9.95 per month (cats), $10.95 per month (dogs)
  • Up to 80% cover
  • Age-based deductibles
  • No pet age limits
  • Free additional benefits
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How We Compare Pet Insurance in Canada

Coverage

25%

Pet Insurance Checklist

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Whether your pet needs a couple stiches put into an injured paw or if they’re facing a serious life threatening condition like cancer, you want a plan that has broad coverage & has few exclusions. After all, pet insurance is for the unexpected, and while some breeds are pre-disposed for specific health problems, the only thing you can really expect as a pet parent is that the unexpected will happen.  

An exception to the broad coverage rule is wellness coverage, also referred to as preventative care, which covers routine procedures such as checkups & vaccinations. Despite sounding like something you might want to have included as part of your pet insurance plan, wellness coverage is not a good deal.

Make sure your Pet Insurance plan covers:

  • Accidents & Illnesses
  • Hereditary, Congential, & Chronic Conditions
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Emergency Care
  • Hospitalization
  • Specialist Care
  • Prescription Medication
  • Surgery

The Bottom Line

When looking at pet insurance, find a comprehensive plan that will protect you from the unexpected. We don’t suggest wellness or preventative care because these expenses can be budgeted for annually, but pick the plan that is best for you and your furry friend.

There’s a reason 82% of policies in the US do not cover wellness or preventative care. Wellness coverage drives up your monthly premiums & makes it so you pay more over the life of your pet for inexpensive procedures that are cheaper to pay out-of-pocket.

 


Benefit Limits

15%

 

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Depending on the Pet Insurance Company, your plan may provide unlimited lifetime benefits or your benefits may be capped on an Annual, lifetime, or per-condition basis.

We prefer companies that have unlimited lifetime benefits, meaning plans that have no payout cap. Veterinary Care costing $5,000 or more is becoming more common and having a plan without limits means you can give your pet the best care possible year after year. However, you may find that a plan with a payout cap works best for your needs and price point. Just remember to plan for the unexpected. 

Before buying, consider the following when it comes to Benefit Limits:

- Some Pet Insurance companies have Benefit Caps on how much you can receive over the lifetime of your pet.

- Waiting periods between enrollment and coverage are common. They typically range from 7 -30 days, and possibly longer with specific conditions.

- Some companies have Age Restrictions for enrollment. However, all of the Top 10 Pet Insurance Companies will cover your pet for life once they are enrolled.

 

The Bottom Line:

We suggest companies with unlimited benefit payouts, however many companies who do have benefit caps have set them so high that you may not reach them during the lifetime of your pet. Some companies have age restrictions when enrolling your pet, but the best Pet Insurance Companies will never drop your pet’s coverage because of their age. Lastly, it is not uncommon to have waiting periods between the time you enroll you enroll your pet and when your pet is covered. 

Note: If you have a working pet, like a service animal, herding dog, breeding dog or cat, basic Pet Insurance plans may not cover them. Some companies will not cover working pets at all, while others have special plans for these hard working animals.

 


Deductibles

10%

 

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Similar to health insurance for people, with pet insurance your deductible is the amount out-of-pocket expense you’re have to pay before your pet insurance company will start reimbursing your costs. As a general rule, deductible amounts are typically inversely correlated to what you pay in monthly premiums such that the lower your monthly premiums are the higher your deductible will be.  

Pet Insurance companies offer one of three deductible types:

  • Annual: You pay ONE deductible each policy year for any condition being treated.
  • Per-Condition (Lifetime): For each condition your pet is treated for you’ll have a separate deductible. Once that deductible is paid, that condition is covered for the rest of your pet’s life.
  • Per-Condition (Yearly): For each condition your pet is treated for, you’ll have a separate deductible AND your deductible will reset each policy year.

 

The Bottom Line

We suggest a plan with an Annual deductible over a Per-Condition plan. However, if you do select a Per-Condition plan, we suggest the Lifetime deductible

Per-condition and Per-incident mean the same thing, but the wording may be used interchangeably.

 


Reimbursement Models

10%

 

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When it comes to reimbursement, it’s important to note that most all companies require you to pay for your pet’s vet bill up front, and then will reimburse you for the cost that your plan covers. Top rated companies will also pre-authorize expensive treatments and directly pay the hospital.

Most companies offer reimbursement rates from 70-90%, however there are a few companies that also offer up to 100% of the bill. Remember that the reimbursement rate will directly impact your monthly premiums. The higher the reimbursement rate, the higher your monthly premium.

The Bottom Line

We suggest a plan that reimburses based on the actual cost of the veterinary bill. This way you will always know up front what you will be paying instead of having to rely on calculations and schedules that Pet Insurance Companies decide on. 

All of the Top 6 Pet Insurance Companies offer reimbursement based on actual cost, which is our preferred reimbursement model.