July 25, 2024

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The Best Pet Insurance in Canada for November 2023

The Best Pet Insurance in Canada for November 2023

Pet ownership costs and surprise veterinary expenses are part of owning a pet, but they can sometimes become more than you can handle. That’s where pet insurance comes in. But many pet insurance companies are out there, so finding a good one can feel daunting. We will look at pet insurance in general and then dig into the best pet insurance in Canada. There’s a lot to go over, so let’s get to it.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is an insurance policy taken out by pet owners to offset potential costs related to veterinary care. It acts much like health insurance for humans, covering a portion of your pet’s health care costs in return for a monthly premium. Coverage can include accidents, illnesses, surgeries, diagnostic tests, medications, and sometimes preventive care, depending on the plan selected.

How much does pet insurance cost?

The cost of pet insurance varies widely and is influenced by several factors, such as the type of pet, its age, breed, health condition, and the extent of coverage selected. It also depends on where you live, as rates vary across provinces.

Three key components play a significant role in determining pet insurance costs: reimbursement rate, premium, and coverage limit.

  • Reimbursement Rate: This refers to the percentage of the vet bill that the insurance company agrees to pay after you’ve met your deductible. Depending on the policy, reimbursement rates typically range from 70% to 90%. A higher reimbursement rate can lead to lower out-of-pocket costs when you file a claim, but it usually means a higher monthly premium.
  • Premium: The premium is the monthly amount you pay to keep the insurance policy active. Several factors can influence the premium, including the pet’s breed, age, health status, chosen reimbursement rate, and coverage limit. Generally, plans with lower premiums come with higher deductibles or reimbursement rates, and vice versa.
  • Coverage Limit: This is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for claims within a certain period (usually annually). Some policies offer unlimited coverage, meaning there’s no maximum limit on the payout. Other policies might cap coverage at a certain amount, like $5,000 or $10,000 per year. Choosing a plan with a higher coverage limit will typically result in a higher premium.

A look at the best pet insurance in Canada right now

Now that you’ve got plenty of background on how pet insurance plans and policies work, you’re probably ready to find the right pet insurance provider for your needs.

We will cover some of the best pet insurance providers in Canada. We’ll look at what types of care the pet insurance policies cover, such as surgery, neuters and spaying, prescription medication, and even holistic treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic care.

While we’ll be able to give you a solid rundown of each pet insurance provider, it’s important to remember that the best option for you will depend on the unique needs of you and your pet. 

If your pet needs medications or vaccinations, take that into account. Likewise, most providers will offer dog insurance and cat insurance, but if you have exotic pets, like rabbits, a rare breed of dog or cat, amphibians, or reptiles, be sure not only that your policy covers them but that your veterinarian is capable of providing that care before committing to enrollment. 

What are the best pet insurance options in Canada right now?

  • Desjardins Pet Insurance
  • PHI Direct
  • Pets Plus Us
  • Furkin Pet Insurance
  • OVMA Pet Health Insurance
  • Trupanion
  • Fetch by Dodo

Desjardins Pet Insurance

Desjardins Pet Insurance

When it comes to providing comprehensive coverage for your pet, Desjardins Pet Insurance stands out among Canadian insurance providers. Recognized for offering a broad range of protection at different levels and price points, Desjardins ensures pet owners can choose the most suitable plan for their furry family members.

Desjardins offers three distinctive coverage levels: Bronze Paw, Silver Paw, and Gold Paw. Each of these tiers comes with its unique coverage limits and benefits. 

Bronze Paw, as the basic level, offers up to $4,000 of maximum annual coverage with an optional dental care add-on. Silver Paw increases the coverage limit to $8,000 annually, split equally between illnesses and accidents. It includes dental care and offers optional coverage for alternative therapy, behavioural therapy, and medical devices. Lastly, the Gold Paw or unlimited plan, provides generous coverage for dental, preventive care, alternative therapy, and behavioural therapy. 

Desjardins Pet Insurance provides a comprehensive package for pet parents who prioritize extensive coverage for their pets’ healthcare needs. With its diverse coverage options, Desjardins effectively caters to a wide range of conditions and budgets, making it a top choice for pet insurance in Canada.

Pros

  1. Low Deductible: Desjardins Pet Insurance offers a low $100 deductible, which can help make unexpected veterinary costs more manageable.
  2. Direct Pay Arrangements: Desjardins allows pet owners to make direct payment arrangements with the vet in complex and expensive cases, which could alleviate financial stress during emergencies.
  3. Comprehensive Coverage: The Gold Paw plan includes wellness plans and generous dental illness coverage, including cleanings, a feature not commonly found in many basic plans.
  4. Discounts: Desjardins offers a multi-pet discount and a loyalty discount after the first year, making it a cost-effective choice for families with multiple pets or long-term insurance needs.

Cons

  1. Waiting Period: There is a six-month waiting period for dental coverage, cruciate ligament, and intervertebral disc disease, which could be a potential disadvantage for pets with immediate needs in these areas.
  2. No 24/7 Pet Health Hotline: Unlike some other providers, Desjardins does not offer a 24/7 pet health hotline, which might be a helpful resource for pet owners needing immediate advice or assistance.
  3. Age-Based Deductible: Desjardins applies an age-based deductible as your pet ages, which could increase your out-of-pocket costs over time.
  4. Price: While Desjardins offers comprehensive coverage, it may not be the cheapest pet insurance company, which could be a deciding factor for those on a tighter budget.

PHI Direct

PHI Direct Pet Insurance

PHI Direct has made a name in the Canadian pet insurance market by offering affordable, straightforward options. With an emphasis on delivering value without compromising coverage, PHI Direct addresses the needs of pet owners seeking reasonable protection against high veterinary costs.

PHI Direct offers two coverage options for pet owners: $5,000 and $10,000, both associated with a $200 deductible. 

This simplification of options helps pet parents make an easy and quick decision, catering to those who prefer uncomplicated insurance plans. PHI Direct distinguishes itself by having shorter waiting periods for cruciate ligaments than the industry average, ensuring your pet gets the care they need sooner.

One of the unique features of PHI Direct is the ability for direct vet payments. This convenience alleviates the financial pressure of upfront exam fees or other costs for vet visits. Moreover, policyholders can access a 24/7 vet Telehealth helpline, providing pet owners peace of mind knowing they can reach professional help anytime.

While PHI Direct shines in affordability and simplicity, it’s important to note that it doesn’t offer dental illness or wellness coverage. Additionally, its policy includes a “time-limited” clause, whereby your pet’s accident or illness is covered for one year. Then it becomes a pre-existing condition, making it ineligible for further coverage. PHI Direct’s coverage is also not currently available in the province of Quebec.

Pros

  1. Affordable Premiums: PHI Direct stands out for its affordability with the cheapest monthly premium of the 12 companies surveyed, making it an excellent choice for pet parents on a budget.
  2. Shorter Waiting Period: PHI Direct offers a shorter waiting period of only 60 days for cruciate ligament conditions compared to the six months waiting period with other plans. This feature ensures your pet can get the care they need faster.
  3. Direct Vet Pay: The ability to make direct payments to the vet can ease the financial burden of expensive procedures.
  4. 24/7 Telehealth Pet Hotline: Access to a 24/7 pet health hotline provides pet parents with around-the-clock advice and support.

Cons

  1. Time-Limited Policy: PHI Direct’s policy covers your pet’s accident or illness for one year, after which it becomes a pre-existing condition and is no longer eligible for coverage. This may be a significant drawback for pets with ongoing health issues.
  2. Limited Availability: PHI Direct is unavailable in Quebec, limiting its reach among Canadian pet owners.
  3. No Wellness or Preventive Care Option: The lack of wellness and preventive care options may make this plan less appealing to pet owners who desire comprehensive coverage.
  4. No Dental Illness Coverage: The absence of dental illness coverage could leave pet owners with potentially substantial out-of-pocket expenses for dental care.

Pets Plus Us

Pets Plus Us Insurance

Pets Plus Us is a noteworthy contender in the Canadian pet insurance market, appreciated for its customizable coverage options and bonus features for pet parents. As one of the only two providers surveyed offering an accident-only plan, Pets Plus Us is a go-to choice for those seeking specific coverage.

Besides its accident-only plan, Pets Plus Us offers $7,500 and $15,000 accident and illness coverage options. 

These plans have the flexibility of choosing your annual deductible and reimbursement percentage, allowing you to tailor the pet insurance costs to your budget and needs. A unique advantage of Pets Plus Us is its shorter-than-average waiting period for additional benefits compared to other insurers. This means that your pet is covered sooner, reducing the risk of unforeseen costs.

Pets Plus Us sets itself apart with its PetHelpFone, a service included in its free Blue Ribbon Benefits. 

This 24/7 helpline can be a crucial lifeline for pet parents seeking immediate advice. Moreover, Pets Plus Us does not provide a wellness plan but offers a Flex Care option as an add-on. This feature helps you budget for your pet’s expected veterinary expenses, adding predictability to your pet care costs.

However, it’s essential to note that Pets Plus Us does not offer dental illness coverage, which might be a dealbreaker for some pet owners. Additionally, an age-based deductible is applied as your pet ages, potentially increasing your out-of-pocket costs over time. Pets Plus Us, though, shines in its premium offerings, allowing pet owners to navigate their pets’ healthcare needs with added flexibility and support.

Pros

  1. Customizable Plans: Pets Plus Us offers various coverage options with flexible deductibles and reimbursement percentages, allowing pet parents to tailor the insurance to their needs.
  2. Shorter Waiting Period: The waiting period for additional benefits is faster than the average among other insurers, meaning coverage for certain conditions begins sooner.
  3. 24/7 PetHelpFone Healthline: This round-the-clock service provides pet parents with immediate advice and support when needed.
  4. Flex Care Coverage: Instead of a wellness plan, Pets Plus Us offers Flex Care coverage as an add-on to help budget for expected veterinary expenses.
  5. Discounts: Pets Plus Us offers a multi-pet discount, and Costco members can earn between 10% and 15% off.

Cons

  1. No Dental Illness Coverage: Pets Plus Us does not cover dental illnesses, which may lead to significant out-of-pocket expenses for pet owners.
  2. Age-Based Deductible: As your pet ages, an age-based deductible is applied, which could increase your out-of-pocket expenses over time.
  3. Coverage Limit: The maximum coverage provided by Pets Plus Us is $15,000, which may not be sufficient for pets with severe health conditions or accidents.

Furkin Pet Insurance

Furkin Pet Insurance

In the crowded pet insurance market, Furkin differentiates itself by offering an uncomplicated yet generous insurance policy. Furkin’s emphasis on simplicity and its high coverage limit makes it a desirable choice for pet owners seeking substantial protection without the complexity of multiple plan options.

Furkin offers a straightforward plan with a substantial $20,000 maximum annual coverage, outshining its competitors. 

This allows pet parents to use the coverage where it’s most needed without worrying about per-accident or per-illness limits. Additionally, Furkin provides three deductible options – $100, $300, and $750, catering to different budget requirements and risk levels.

One of the highlights of Furkin’s offering is its 24/7 vet Telehealth service. This feature reassures pet parents of professional advice at any time of the day. Moreover, Furkin’s pricing strategy deserves mention. Furkin’s monthly premium remains significantly cheaper than other unlimited coverage plans despite its high coverage limit. It’s comparable to monthly premiums for $5,000 coverage, making it a cost-effective option.

However, Furkin currently does not offer dental exams or wellness coverage, and it’s not available in Quebec. There’s also a six-month waiting period for cruciate ligament conditions. Despite these shortcomings, Furkin has indicated that it plans to launch a wellness plan soon, showing a commitment to evolving and enhancing its offerings based on customer needs.

Pros

  1. Generous Coverage: Furkin offers a generous $20,000 maximum annual coverage, providing substantial protection for your pet.
  2. Simple Plan Structure: With one straightforward plan and three deductible options, Furkin simplifies the process of choosing pet insurance.
  3. 24/7 Vet Telehealth Hotline: Furkin provides round-the-clock access to professional veterinary advice, offering peace of mind to pet parents.
  4. Competitive Pricing: Despite the high coverage limit, Furkin’s monthly premiums are affordable and comparable to other plans with significantly less coverage.
  5. Multi-Pet Discount: Furkin offers discounts for families with multiple pets, making it a cost-effective choice for larger pet families.

Cons

  1. Limited Coverage Types: Furkin does not offer dental illness or wellness coverage, potentially leading to out-of-pocket expenses for routine care or dental procedures.
  2. Waiting Period: Furkin has a six-month waiting period for cruciate ligament conditions, which could delay coverage for pets with these issues.
  3. No Vet Direct Pay Option: Unlike some competitors, Furkin does not offer a direct payment option to vets, meaning pet owners may need to cover veterinary care costs upfront.
  4. Age-Based Deductible: As your pet gets older, Furkin applies an age-based deductible, which could lead to increased costs over time.
  5. Availability: Furkin is currently unavailable in Quebec, limiting its applicability to Canadian pet owners in that province.

OVMA Pet Health Insurance

OVMA Pet Insurance

OVMA Pet Health Insurance is an outstanding choice for pet parents seeking comprehensive and reliable pet insurance. Backed by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, OVMA reassures pet owners of quality coverage tailored to diverse pet healthcare needs.

OVMA presents three different plans: Comprehensive, Extended, and Unlimited+. Each plan offers varying levels of coverage to accommodate different needs and budgets. 

What sets OVMA apart is its waiting period stipulation. The Unlimited+ plan has no waiting period for preventive care, and conditions affecting baby teeth only have a 14-day waiting period with prior approval. These features enable quicker access to care, bringing peace of mind to pet parents.

While there is no direct payment option for vet bills or 24/7 health line, all OVMA plans include dental illness coverage, a feature not commonly offered by all providers. The Unlimited+ plan also offers wellness coverage, ensuring a holistic approach to your pet’s health. OVMA also includes pet ownership assistance for all policyholders, providing pet owners with additional resources and support.

However, be aware of the six-month waiting period for things like dental coverage and cruciate ligament and intervertebral disc disease. Additionally, as your pet gets older, OVMA applies an age-based deductible, which could increase the costs you pay over time. The cost of OVMA’s plans can be higher than comparable plans, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious pet owners.

Pros

  1. Comprehensive Coverage: OVMA offers three distinct plans with varying levels of coverage, including the Unlimited+ plan that offers wellness coverage.
  2. Dental Illness Coverage: Unlike some insurers, all OVMA plans include dental illness coverage, which can significantly reduce out-of-pocket expenses for dental care.
  3. Short Waiting Period for Certain Conditions: The Unlimited+ plan has no waiting period for preventive care and only a 14-day waiting period for deciduous teeth (baby teeth) conditions, ensuring faster access to needed care.
  4. Pet Ownership Assistance: All OVMA plans include pet ownership assistance, providing additional resources and support for pet parents, including a reimbursement rate for lost pet rewards and pet advertising.
  5. Discounts: OVMA offers multi-pet and loyalty discounts after the first year, providing financial benefits for families with multiple pets or long-term insurance needs.

Cons

  1. Waiting Period: OVMA has a six-month waiting period for routine dental care, cruciate ligament, and intervertebral disc disease, which could be a potential disadvantage for pets with immediate needs in these areas.
  2. No Vet Direct Pay or 24/7 Health Hotline: Unlike some other providers, OVMA does not offer a direct payment option to vets or a 24/7 health hotline, which might be useful services for some pet parents.
  3. Age-Based Deductible: As your pet gets older, OVMA applies an age-based deductible, which could lead to higher out-of-pocket costs over time.
  4. Pricing: OVMA plans can be more expensive than comparable plans, which could be a consideration for those on a tighter budget.

Trupanion

Trupanion Pet Insurance

OVMA Pet Health Insurance is an outstanding choice for pet parents seeking comprehensive and reliable pet insurance. Backed by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, OVMA reassures pet owners of quality coverage tailored to diverse pet healthcare needs.

OVMA presents three different plans: Comprehensive, Extended, and Unlimited+. Each plan offers varying levels of coverage to accommodate different needs and budgets. 

Trupanion stands out in the Canadian pet insurance landscape by offering a single, comprehensive insurance plan focused solely on providing unlimited coverage. This approach simplifies the decision-making process for pet parents while ensuring that pets are covered for a wide range of unexpected illnesses and injuries.

Unlike many other providers, Trupanion allows you to customize your deductible from $0 to $1,000 in $5 increments. This unique feature provides greater flexibility, letting pet owners find the ideal balance between monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. An exceptional aspect of Trupanion’s policy is its lifetime per-condition deductible, which means you only pay when your pet develops a new condition, providing substantial cost savings in the long run.

While Trupanion focuses on unexpected illnesses and injuries, it does not offer preventive or dental coverage. However, the unlimited coverage and 90% reimbursement make up for these omissions, ensuring comprehensive protection for significant health issues. Another noteworthy feature is that Trupanion does not apply an age-based deductible as your pet ages, providing long-term cost stability.

Pros

  1. Unlimited Coverage: Trupanion offers unlimited coverage, ensuring your pet is protected from a wide range of illnesses and injuries without any maximum limit.
  2. Customizable Deductible: With deductibles adjustable from $0 to $1,000 in $5 increments, Trupanion provides the flexibility to manage your premiums and out-of-pocket costs effectively.
  3. Lifetime Per Condition Deductible: Trupanion’s unique lifetime per condition deductible means you only pay when your pet develops a new condition, potentially saving significant costs.
  4. No Age-Based Deductible: Unlike some competitors, Trupanion does not increase the deductible as your pet ages, providing long-term cost predictability.

Cons

  1. No Preventive or Dental Coverage: Trupanion does not cover preventive care or dental illnesses, which could lead to high out-of-pocket costs for routine care and dental procedures.
  2. No Direct Pay to Vets: Unlike some other providers, Trupanion does not offer the option to pay vets directly, which means pet owners may need to cover costs upfront and then seek reimbursement.
  3. Single Plan Structure: Trupanion’s one-plan approach, while simple, may not cater to pet owners looking for minimal or specific coverage.
  4. Premium Cost: Given its extensive coverage, Trupanion’s premiums can be higher than other insurance providers, which could be a consideration for budget-conscious pet parents.

Wrapping Up

Navigating the world of pet insurance can seem overwhelming, given the various options available in Canada. However, carefully considering your pet’s needs and budget, you can find a plan that offers the right balance of coverage and cost. 

Whether it’s comprehensive coverage from Desjardins, flexible options from Pets Plus Us, affordability from PHI Direct, extensive coverage from Trupanion, or the unique offerings from Furkin and OVMA, there’s a policy to suit every pet and pet parent. Remember, the goal is to provide a financial safety net for the unexpected, ensuring your furry friend can receive the best care possible without causing significant financial stress.