German Shepherds are one of the most well-known dog breeds in the world and are among the most popular. They are the ultimate working dog, used in law enforcement and military situations worldwide. German Shepherds also serve as guide dogs, search-and-rescue partners, and scent-detection canines.
Besides their use as working dogs, German Shepherds also make loving and loyal pets, although they require dedicated training and socialization. As a breed, German Shepherds are prone to several inherited health conditions and are at risk of accident and injury, especially working dogs.
To help protect their dogs and their finances, German Shepherd owners may choose to purchase pet insurance. In this article, we’ll review our picks for the 10 best pet insurance plans for German Shepherds.
A Quick Look at Our Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||Healthy Paws Pet Insurance||
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|Trupanion Pet Insurance||
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|Spot Pet Insurance||
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|Fetch Pet Insurance||
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|ASPCA Pet Insurance||
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The 10 Best Pet Insurance Providers for German Shepherds
1. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance – Best Overall
We chose Healthy Paws as our best overall insurance plan for German Shepherds for a few reasons. First, Healthy Paws provides coverage for inherited and breed-specific conditions, which are vital for German Shepherds. They also cover chronic medical conditions involving lifetime care and medications, which is another must for German Shepherd owners. Healthy Paws has unlimited lifetime payouts and no per-incident or annual caps on reimbursement.
Reimbursement rates range from 50%-90%, partially based on the age of your dog. Multiple deductible options are also available, with some age-related limitations. The claims process is simple thanks to the available app. The biggest downside with this provider as far as German Shepherd owners are concerned is the extended waiting period for care related to hip dysplasia.
This joint condition is common among the breed, and Healthy Paws enforces a 12-month waiting period for coverage. They don’t offer a wellness plan option and won’t enroll pets older than 14 years, which may not impact many German Shepherd owners because it’s outside the usual lifespan of the breed.
2. Trupanion Pet Insurance
Trupanion pet insurance also offers unlimited lifetime payouts, along with one of the best direct vet pay options of any provider. If your vet has the right software, Trupanion will pay all covered portions of your dog’s bill at the time of discharge, saving you thousands of out-of-pocket costs.
Trupanion has a single accident-and-illness policy with no wellness plan available. They offer a lot of variation in monthly pricing, allowing you to tweak deductibles and annual limits, including a $0 deductible option. Reimbursement is 90% across the board for covered conditions. Inherited and breed-specific conditions are covered, including hip dysplasia.
Trupanion has 24/7 customer service availability and generally gets good reviews on the quality and compassion of their representatives. Exam fees, some post-surgery rehab care, and third-party liability are not covered in a standard policy but are available for an extra cost.
3. Spot Pet Insurance
Spot pet insurance provides several options for German Shepherd owners. Accident-only, accident-and-illness, and add-on preventative coverage are all available. Spot features a ton of customization, allowing you to choose between multiple reimbursements, deductible, and annual limit options.
Unlimited annual limits are available. Spot covers chronic and inherited conditions, along with alternative treatments and behavioral care. Exam fees are covered in the standard policy, as is microchip implantation.
Spot has a bilateral exclusion for knee and hip conditions and offers a 24/7 pet telehealth hotline, but they don’t have a mobile app, and claims must be filed through the website.
4. Fetch Pet Insurance
Fetch Pet Insurance, formerly Pet Plan, has an accident-and-illness policy with multiple deductible, annual limit, and reimbursement rates to choose from. They don’t offer a wellness plan. Their standard coverage is quite extensive, including breed-specific and inherited conditions.
Behavioral therapy and sick-visit exam fees are also covered. Telehealth vet visits are covered, but prescription pet food is not.
There is a 6-month waiting period for knee and hip conditions. Fetch has a mobile app, so claims must be submitted online. You can set up direct deposit for reimbursement to get paid faster. Fetch has an online chat feature for customer service.
5. ASPCA Pet Insurance
ASPCA pet insurance, offered by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is one of the most affordable plans for German Shepherds. It has a cheaper accident-only policy and the usual accident-and-illness coverage. ASPCA also offers two different wellness plan add-ons to help pay for preventative care for your German Shepherd.
Chronic and inherited conditions and behavioral treatments are covered. ASPCA plans offer customization options, with multiple deductibles, reimbursement flexibility, and annual limit options. However, the highest annual limit available is $10,000, which you could easily exceed if your German Shepherd suffers a serious medical problem.
ASPCA also has a bilateral exclusion policy for knee conditions, meaning they won’t cover a second knee if the first one has an issue before coverage kicks in. One other potential issue with this provider is that they don’t offer third-person liability coverage, which you might need with a powerful breed like a German Shepherd.
6. Pets’ Best Pet Insurance
Pets’ Best insurance is a good choice for German Shepherd owners who plan to breed their dogs. It’s one of the only insurance providers that offer coverage for conditions that occur from not being spayed or neutered. For example, it covers prostate disease in male dogs and mammary cancer in females.
Pets Best offers accident-only plans, accident-and-illness coverage, and two different wellness plans. Deductibles, reimbursement rates, and annual limits are all customizable. Cancer, chronic conditions, and inherited conditions are all covered.
Pets Best also provides coverage for behavioral care under a standard policy. Pets Best has a 24/7 emergency vet hotline and an option for paying your vet directly, as long as they agree to wait for the claim to process. There is a 6-month waiting period for knee conditions. Not all exam fees and prescription medications are covered by Pets’ Best plans.
7. Figo Pet Insurance
Figo Pet Insurance is the only provider on our list to offer a 100% reimbursement option. They also have a handy mobile app where you can manage your insurance claim and all aspects of your dog’s health care.
Cancer, chronic conditions, and inherited diseases are all covered. Figo offers a wellness plan add-on. However, exam fees are not part of standard coverage. There are no upper age limits for coverage, but Figo requires owners of senior dogs to meet wellness care requirements.
Figo has a 6-month waiting period for knee and hip conditions, so don’t waste time getting your German Shepherd enrolled. Customer service is not available 24/7 and claims support is only available during the regular work week.
8. Pumpkin Pet Insurance
Pumpkin Pet Insurance is a newer company but offers extensive coverage options and a wellness plan. Fortunately for German Shepherd owners, there is no extended waiting period for knee and hip conditions.
There is a bilateral exclusion policy, however. Pumpkin offers a flat 90% reimbursement, with three deductible options and variable annual limits. Claims processing is made simple via Pumpkin’s mobile app or can be submitted online.
They offer an excellent multi-pet discount: 10% for each pet you add to the policy. Exam fees, inherited conditions, behavioral care, and preventable conditions are all covered. Customer service is not available by phone overnight or on weekends.
9. Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace Pet Insurance has a few features that help it stand out among other policies and may appeal to German Shepherd owners. First, they have an incentive for keeping your pet healthy that reduces your deductible by $50 for each year you don’t file a claim.
Second, Embrace is less strict about pre-existing conditions than other providers. They review only 12 months of your dog’s medical records to determine which pre-existing conditions they won’t cover. Inherited and breed-specific conditions are covered as well. Embrace has multiple plan options available, as well as customization choices between deductible, annual limit, and reimbursement rates. They also have a wellness add-on option.
There is a 6-month waiting period for knee and hip conditions and a bilateral exclusion for pre-existing instances. Embrace has a mobile app to help you submit and manage claims, but telephone customer service is unavailable overnight and is limited on weekends.
10. Prudent Pet Insurance
Prudent Pet Insurance has no age or breed restrictions for enrollment, a perk for those who open their home to a senior German Shepherd. Accident-only plans are available, along with two different accident-and-illness plans.
Prudent also offers generous wellness plan options, including two that cover spay and neuter surgery for puppies. Several deductible and reimbursement options are available. However, annual limits are $10,000 for accident-only and the
Essential accident-and-illness plan or unlimited for the Unlimited plan. There is a 6-month waiting period for knee injuries and a bilateral exclusion policy. Prescription food is not covered under a Prudent Pet policy. 24/7 vet chat is available for all policyholders.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Pet Insurance Reviews for German Shepherds
What to Look for in Pet Insurance for German Shepherds
As we examined these 10 pet insurance providers, our guiding criteria were specific elements that best fit the unique health needs of German Shepherds. These included health details and other information, such as third-party liability coverage.
When comparing pet insurance policies for your German Shepherd, some of the most important coverages you want to look for are inherited and breed-specific conditions. German Shepherds are prone to diseases like epilepsy and hip dysplasia, which can be expensive and often require lifelong care.
Some pet insurance policies offer third-party liability coverage, which is nice but may also be included in your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. Behavioral care is another useful option for German Shepherd owners, as the breed can suffer from anxiety and aggressive behavior requiring professional help. Beyond these basics, look for the most comprehensive coverage you can afford.
Customer Service & Reputation
Customer service can make or break your experience with a pet insurance company. In many cases, you’re seeking clarification on coverage during a stressful and emotional medical emergency. To approve a life-saving medical procedure, you may need to know what’s covered.
If customer service has limited hours or there’s no mobile app available, you may struggle to get the information you need. Some pet insurance providers have 24/7 access to veterinary advice or telehealth, which can help you decide if you need to make the trip to an emergency clinic or wait for your regular vet to open. These options may save you some money, and they are nice perks.
In addition, you’ll want to consider the overall reputation of the pet insurance company. Do they tend to deny many claims? Are they picky about pre-existing conditions? User reviews can give you insight into these questions, as can talking to other dog-owning friends.
For German Shepherd owners, consider consulting other Shepherd pet parents or breed-specific Internet groups.
For most pet insurance policies, you’ll be expected to pay for your dog’s care up-front, then submit a claim for reimbursement. The speed at which that claim is processed greatly determines how quickly you’ll receive the money back. Look at what kind of documentation the provider requires and whether you can submit it online or via a mobile app.
Some providers have a direct vet pay option, although only Trupanion has the technology to do it when your dog is discharged from the hospital. Check out your options for the method of reimbursement as well. Can you set up direct deposit, or must you wait for a mailed check?
Price Of Policy
As a German Shepherd owner, you won’t have much control over your policy’s initial price. The breed is one factor that most insurance companies use to calculate your monthly premium, along with your dog’s age and the cost of care in your area.
However, depending on the policy you choose, you’ll likely have some options to manipulate your monthly costs by customizing certain features. Consider also whether you’ll need to pay for any add-ons for exam fees or third-party liability coverage. Cheap monthly payments may seem appealing, but if your German Shepherd’s medical care isn’t covered, your out-of-pocket expenses may be much more.
The ability to customize your pet insurance plan will make a big difference in the cost of your monthly premium. Each provider we reviewed offers at least some options for you to play with, most commonly your annual deductible or payout choices.
Generally, higher deductibles and lower annual limits equal cheaper monthly payments. Some providers offer multiple plans and add-ons in addition to standard coverage.
Plans with several options can be overwhelming, but if you’re working within a strict budget, they could be your best bet to get coverage as cheaply as possible. Most companies offer free quotes, so shop around and play around with your options before making your decision.
Can I Get Pet Insurance Outside the U.S.?
All the plans we reviewed are available in the U.S., and some allow you to see vets in Canada. Pet insurance is available in many locations worldwide, but if you’re planning an overseas trip, you’ll need to research which companies offer care in your new country.
If you’re taking your pet on a trip out of the country, check with your insurance company to see if emergency care is still covered. If not, consider whether a travel insurance policy is available that also includes your pet.
What If My Insurance Company Is Not Listed In Your Reviews?
With so many pet insurance companies available, we didn’t have the space to cover them all. Because we focused specifically on policies that work best for German Shepherds, we excluded some companies because of exclusions or care limits that didn’t make sense for the breed.
In addition, we left out some companies with a lot of poor customer service reviews or a consistent reputation for making the claims process difficult. However, if you are happy with your insurance company and they weren’t listed in our reviews, there’s no reason to switch.
Is a Pet Wellness Policy Worth the Extra Money?
Since some insurance providers do not provide a wellness plan, it makes sense to decide ahead of time if this is a make-or-break option for you. Some wellness plans offer more coverage, while others cap annual payouts. The best way to decide if it makes financial sense to purchase a wellness policy is to look at what’s covered and how much it would cost you out-of-pocket. Will the wellness plan save you money once you add up the cost of monthly premiums?
What the Users Say
Here’s a quick look at what users have to say about some of the top-rated pet insurance policies that we reviewed:
- “Super quick, efficient, and pleasant”
- “Have had Healthy Paws for many years now for our German Shepherd…fantastic company with excellent customer service”
- “Feel like they aren’t transparent with their pricing”
- “Very polite customer service representatives”
- “Most affordable plans with best coverage options”
- “Claim process unreasonably slow”
- “Don’t sign up for the Wellness Extra”
- “Easy to use, no hassles”
- “Rates will increase a lot”
- “Good customer service, good coverage”
- “Team has always been helpful when I’ve had questions”
- “Can probably find as good or better coverage for less money”
- “Pets Best is amazing!”
- “Easy and effortless app to use”
- “Terrible reimbursement turnaround”
Which Pet Insurance Provider Is Best For You?
As a German Shepherd owner, you’re probably already aware that they can be expensive and time-consuming to care for. Food and medical costs will be higher, and many German Shepherds can suffer from inherited health conditions. The best pet insurance provider for you will be the one that covers as many of these conditions as thoroughly as possible for the best price.
Pay special attention to whether prescription food, medication, and chronic conditions are covered. Beyond that, it’s a matter of personal preference regarding the perks and additional benefits that most appeal to you.
If you’re adopting an older dog, you will need to be more diligent about reading available policies because you’ll have more potential pre-existing conditions that are excluded and the potential for higher premiums or decreased coverage.
Even if you’re the world’s most detailed budget maker, it can be hard to plan appropriately for unexpected medical costs. With big German Shepherds at risk for accidents and injury, you can be almost certain to incur some veterinary expenses over your dog’s life. Be prepared by purchasing a pet insurance policy as soon as you bring your new Shepherd home. Monthly premiums are easier to budget for, but peace of mind is priceless.