Every pet parent wants their animal friend to be healthy and happy for all the days of their life. On top of ensuring plenty of love, exercise, and good care at home, that means vet visits to keep their health optimal. Unfortunately, the bills for those vet visits can add up, especially for a pet that’s older or has a health condition.
Just like people have health insurance to help cover medical expenses, pet insurance is available to help with vet bills. This article discusses two of the best online pet insurance companies, Pumpkin and Lemonade. We review their coverage plans, pricing, benefits, and add-ons to help you choose the best option for your needs.
Cutting to the chase: Best pet insurance
Pumpkin is the best bet to obtain the most comprehensive and best pet insurance plans without the sneaky add-on insurance fees or restrictions. If you’re looking for dental health care, Pumpkin also includes that in your coverage.
Lemonade makes sense if you’re looking to bundle your pet insurance with your home, car, and life insurance from the same website and company. Lemonde is also great if you plan to neuter or spay your kitten or puppy (under 2yo), as this is covered under their plans.
What is pet insurance, and what are the benefits of getting your pet insured?
Just like human health insurance, different pet coverage options are available with a range of deductible amounts, coverage levels, and so on. You can compare and customize to fit your needs. That said, pet insurance is basically broken down into these options:
- Accident and illness
Pet insurance comes with some great benefits for you and your furry friend. Overall, you can save on vet bills, including more expensive treatments and maintenance that would otherwise be a hit to your budget.
Insurance can help you provide excellent healthcare to your pet child; otherwise, you may opt-out of certain preventive or treatment measures to cut costs. You increase your options for treatment through insurance by making the choices more financially obtainable, and you can always get additional coverage to fit your specific needs.
Kodhi and I know first-hand what it’s like to have a fur baby & the need to cover them in case of any emergencies or health troubles
Overall, having pet insurance increases your pet’s likelihood of a longer life with fewer health complications. While research found that people with pet insurance paid more yearly for vet visits, this was primarily due to owners prioritizing their pet’s well-being because they know that they’re saving money. People with a pet wellness plan went to the vet’s office 20 percent more!! This shows that pet insurance helps pets receive more health and wellness care, both preventative and reactive.
What to look for in the best online pet insurance company?
Insurance can quickly become complex and confusing, so let’s simplify things. Here are some key aspects to look into:
- Type of coverage: Consider whether you and your pet would benefit most from all-around comprehensive insurance, coverage for accidents and illness, accident-only coverage, or a pet wellness plan. One thing to consider is your pet’s overall health and age.
- Coverage level: Take a look at the reimbursement percentage offered by each plan and the deductible amounts you would need to reach before coverage kicks in.
- Waiting periods: How long does a plan make you wait before coverage begins?
- Discounts: See if you can get deals by bundling with other types of insurance or adding multiple pets.
- Geographic restrictions: It’s essential to check whether coverage is provided in your area and consider whether your pet would ever need care in different places, such as your second home or usual vacation spot.
Best online pet insurance companies: Pumpkin vs Lemonade
|Best online pet insurance companies|
|Types of pets covered||Dogs|
|Deductibles||$100, $250 or $500||$100, $250 or $500|
|Reimbursement options||90%||70, 80 or 90%|
|Annual limits||Dogs: $10,000; $20,000 or Unlimited |
Cats: $7,000; $15,000 or Unlimited
|$5,000 to $100,000|
|Maximum enroll age||None||Upper age limits exist and vary by breed and average life expectancy|
|Waiting period||Illness or accident: 14 days||Illness: 14 days|
Accident: 2 days; 6 months for knee ligament injuries
Preventative package: Next day
|Wellness package available?||Yes||Yes|
|Discounts||10% off for each additional pet||10% bundle discount|
5% off for multiple pets
5% annual discount
|Money back guarantee||30 days (with restrictions)||30 days (with restrictions)|
|Locations||All 50 states||37 states and growing|
|Additional offerings?||Preventative essentials||Renters insurance|
Review of Pumpkin pet insurance
What types of pets does Pumpkin cover?
Pumpkin covers dogs and cats. You can also get specific coverage for the age-specific needs of puppies and kittens. For multiple pets, Pumpkin offers 10% off a plan for each additional pet you enroll.
What does Pumpkin pet insurance cover and not cover?
Pumpkin plans provide extensive coverage for your cat or dog that includes things that many other pet insurance plans don’t cover:
- Veterinary care, including exams, consultations, and lab tests
- Dental health, including gum disease and tooth extractions (and any corresponding exams, x-rays, treatments, surgery, & prescriptions)
- Behavioral health
- Prescription food and supplements to treat conditions
- Physical therapy
- Hereditary conditions
- Parasite infections
- Alternative therapies
The plans are for accidents and illnesses rather than routine wellness. For this, you would need the optional Preventive Essentials benefit that gives refunds for preventive care like annual exams, vaccines, and certain screenings.
A Pumpkin plan does not cover:
- Pre-existing conditions, unless it’s curable, was cured and then returned later on (apart from knee and hind leg ligament conditions)
- Elective procedures, including:
- Spaying and neutering
- Cosmetic and elective services (like ear cropping, tail docking, etc.)
- Annual dental cleanings
- Breeding, pregnancy, or nursing
Getting a quote from Pumpkin
The amount you’ll pay for a Pumpkin plan varies by numerous factors, including the type and breed of pet you have. You’ll want to get a quote to find out your monthly premium. The process is simple.
- Go to the Pumpkin website and go to “Create My Plan”
- Answer the questions conveniently online to receive a customized quote. Questions include the type of pet, breed, age, and sex
- Answer some additional questions for the customization of your plan
We took the quick quiz, and it’s amusing with pictures of pets and cute plays-on-words like “prrfect”. Here’s a sample of Kodhi’s recommended plan:
Pumpkin’s recommended pet insurance plan for Kodhi, my 3yo Australian Shepherd
Filing a claim with Pumpkin
When you need to use your Pumpkin insurance and file a claim, the process is made simple.
- Go to your vet visit and pay the vet out of pocket first
- Visit the Pumpkin website and go to “Claims”
- Follow the steps to quickly and conveniently file your claim online, which includes providing a copy of the vet bill
- Pumpkin provides reimbursement by direct deposit or checks according to the insurance plan’s parameters
Alternatively and very conveniently, vets that don’t require the total payment upfront can be paid directly through Pumpkin.
Review of Lemonade pet insurance
What types of pets does Lemonade cover?
Like Pumpkin, Lemonade pet insurance also provides coverage for dogs and cats and puppies and kittens. They also offer a 5% discount for covering multiple pets.
What does the insurance plan cover and not cover?
Lemonade’s base plan provides coverage for:
- Diagnostics (like blood tests, x-rays, MRIs, lab work, etc)
- Procedures including outpatient, specialty and emergency care, hospitalizations, and surgery
- Medication (injections & prescription meds)
- Accidents and illnesses
You can also choose preventative package add-ons for an additional cost that cover wellness exams, testing, vaccines, dental cleanings, and other regular care. Their Vet Visit Fees add-on covers fees charged by your vet for accident or illness-related visits, and their Physical Therapy add-on covers treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic care, and more.
Puppy and kitten preventative care packages even include spaying and neutering, as well as initial vaccines, flea medication, and microchipping.
Lemonade does not cover:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Dental care
- Spaying and neutering for pets that are over 2 years old
- Bilateral conditions (a medical condition that can happen on both sides of the body like hip or elbow dysplasia)
- Preventable problems
- Problems beyond accidents and illnesses
- Experimental treatments
Getting a quote from Lemonade
It’s simple to get your quote online.
- Head to the website and go to “Check Our Prices”
- Start a quick, convenient quiz – you’ll be asked about the type of pet, location, age, sex, and breed.
- Answer some health questions for customization and to see what’s covered.
Lemonade’s base plan covers everything listed above; here’s an example of the other choices I could’ve included for preventative care. I loved how simple it was to understand the different add-on packages to make the best choice for you and your pet.
Filing a claim with Lemonade
It’s easy to file a claim through the Lemonade app.
- Fill out the necessary information, including copies of the vet receipt and medical record of the visit, and give your bank account information
- Share information about the concern, including a short video
- When Lemonade approves the claim, they reimburse you directly into your bank account
Lemonade gave a pretty easy-to-understand example of how claims work
Customer reviews: What are customers saying about Pumpkin and Lemonade?
Pumpkin pet insurance customer reviews
Source: Google Reviews
Lemonade pet insurance customer reviews
The verdict – is pet insurance worth it?
I’ll be honest; I grew up with my parents telling me that pet insurance isn’t necessary. But after living with dogs my entire life and now having my own for almost four years, I can tell you from personal experience that pet insurance is worth it.
Not only can it help you cover the bills of pet medical diagnostics and treatment that could potentially cost thousands, but it gives you peace of mind in daily life that you and your fur baby are going to be ok, no matter what life throws at you.
Pet insurance is beneficial for accidents and illnesses that can come with many unexpected costs—much higher than regular wellness care. We saw that pet insurance also helps people provide better wellness care and take advantage of more vet services than they otherwise may have.
But which of these best pet insurance companies should you pick?
Both companies provide coverage for dogs and cats, as well as specialized options for the needs of puppies and kittens. They also have the same deductible options to choose from.
Pumpkin specializes in pet insurance, whereas Lemonade makes it part of its overall insurance packages, which include home, car, and life insurance. This translates into Pumpkin offering the most comprehensive pet plans, while Lemonade makes it easy to bundle with other types of insurance, which is convenient and may also help you save.
Since Pumpkin is specialized, it also has simple and straightforward plans that automatically include extras like dental and behavioral care. Pumpkin also offers an additional package for routine wellness like annual exams and screenings but does not cover spaying or neutering of your pet at any age. Another benefit of Pumpkin is that it has no maximum age limit to enroll. Since health problems tend to crop up more in aging pets, it’s fantastic that you can still sign up for this insurance at the same price if you have an older pet.
Pumpkin only has one reimbursement option, which mainly covers the cost of eligible things (Pumpkin still offers a range of annual limits to choose from, up to unlimited).
Lemonade includes neutering and spaying for dogs and cats up to 2 years old. However, they require additional packages for the cost to include dental cleanings and wellness care. While they do differ in price more drastically by breed and age and are only offered in 37 states, with Lemonade you can customize to your heart’s content based on lifestyle, even beyond pets (while keeping in mind that add-ons add to your premiums).
Where Lemonade comes out on top lies in the pros of typical insurance situations. It gives you a broad range of annual limits and different reimbursement rates, allowing you to customize and control your monthly premiums. Also, Lemonade has a much faster waiting period before accidents are covered.
Are you and your pet covered by Pumpkin or Lemonade pet insurance? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!