If you are on the hunt for the perfect pet insurance plan, it can be quite a task to go through every website to see what is offered in your area. That’s why we’ve offered up a one-stop shop that covers all the best plans and what they look like right in one place.
So, if you are in North Carolina and have found yourself lost in the sea of pet insurance companies, you’ve stumbled upon the right place. Here’s a list of the 15 best pet insurance plans for North Carolinians looking for coverage for their beloved pets.
A Comparison of Our Winners in 2023
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The 15 Best Pet Insurance Companies in North Carolina
Embrace has been around since 2003 and is based in Cleveland, Ohio. The company is underwritten by American Modern Home Insurance Company and is widely available throughout the entire United States.
Embrace is a highly reviewed company that also administers pet insurance through other providers. They get great reviews from customers, which is why they get our pick for best overall. They offer accident and illness coverage and accident-only coverage.
They do offer additional wellness rewards that are designed to save you money on preventative care, but the rewards balance is non-refundable if not used within the year. Embrace offers a lot of flexibility. Deductible options range from $200 up to $1,000 for accident and illness coverage but have a flat rate of $100 for accident-only.
The reimbursement percentage is 90% for the accident-only plan but offers 70, 80, or 90% for the more comprehensive plan. Annual limits can be chosen between $5,000 and $30,000, though $5,000 is the only option if you have accident-only coverage.
Enrollment begins at 6 weeks of age with no maximum age limit, though pets older than 15 at the time of enrollment would only be eligible for accident-only coverage. There are a few discounts available, so potential customers are encouraged to see if they are eligible when getting their quote.
2. Lemonade – Best Value
Lemonade Pet Insurance started in 2015 and is the provider of choice if you are looking for great coverage that is easy on your wallet. Lemonade offers two levels of coverage for accidents and illnesses and an optional wellness plan add-on.
Their prices are super competitive, and they offer a lot of flexibility with their plans. They offer a 2-day wait for accidents, a 14-day wait for illnesses, and a 6-month wait for any ligament issues upon enrollment. Pets must be two months old to enroll and the maximum age limit varies by breed.
You can choose a deductible of $100, $250, or $500 and reimbursement ranges from 70 to 90%. They offer multiple discounts, and a portion of proceeds are donated to nonprofit organizations. The cap for annual coverage ranges from $5,000 to $100,000.
Lemonade does offer a range of discounts for things like multiple pet policies and paid-in-full discounts. The downside is that they aren’t available in all 50 states, but they do serve North Carolina.
North Carolina is home to several military bases including the largest in the nation, so there are plenty of soldiers and families that call the state home. This insurance provider is only available to service members, veterans, and their families.
USAA works alongside embrace to offer our nation’s heroes an affordable pet insurance option. There are choices between an accident-only or an accident-and-illness plan. Pets over the age of 14 are not eligible for the accident and illness plan but do qualify for accident-only coverage.
There is an additional wellness rewards package that offers annual allowance options of annual $250, $450, or $650. A full refund will be issued if you change your mind about the policy within 30 days of enrollment.
There is a two-day waiting period for accidents, a 14-day waiting period for illnesses, and a 6-month waiting period for orthopedic issues. Deductibles range from $200 to $1,000 and will go down by $50 if no claims are made within the year.
Annual limits range from $5,000 to $30,000, and reimbursement choices are 70, 80, and 90%. USAA has a great reputation for servicing the military, but all non-military should be referred to Embrace for coverage.
4. Pumpkin Pet Insurance
Pumpkin Pet Insurance was founded in 2019 and is based out of New York. They offer a wider breadth of coverage that isn’t typical of most competitors. This includes services like dental care, holistic care, and alternative treatments. They also offer preventative care add-ons.
Pumpkin has a 90% reimbursement rate for all plans. The annual limit choices range from $10,000, $20,000, or unlimited for dogs and $7,000 to unlimited for cats. Deductibles are $100, $250, or $500. Pumpkin is pricey, but that is because the coverage is more comprehensive, and the reimbursement rate is higher.
Enrolment can begin at 8 weeks and there is no maximum age limit. There is a 14-day waiting period for claim filing after enrollment, which includes accidents. Unlike most other companies, the 14-day period also includes cruciate ligament injuries and hip dysplasia.
They do use a third party for customer service and claims, which offers no weekend availability, which is the only major complaint among consumers.
Trupanion is a Seattle-based company that began in 2000. They are pretty straightforward; they offer one plan, one benefit limit, and one reimbursement percentage of 90%. What they lack in flexibility they make up in coverage, which is top-notch.
While they do not cover preventative care, taxes, exam fees, and preexisting conditions, anything related to accidents, illness, prescription medication, diagnostic testing, congenital or hereditary conditions, prosthetics, dental disease, and more will fall under the scope of approved coverage.
Trupanion is one of the few pet insurance companies that will pay the veterinarian directly. This saves you time and hassle while preventing you from having to foot the bill upfront. There is a 5-day waiting period for accidents but a 30-day waiting period for illnesses. Enrollment can begin as soon as birth and the maximum enrollment age is 13.9 years.
6. ASPCA Pet Insurance
The ASPCA is a well-known non-profit organization based out of Akron, Ohio. They were founded in 1997 but launched pet insurance plans in 2006. They feature customizable options that cover accidents, illnesses, hereditary conditions, behavioral issues, and even dental care.
There is a Complete Coverage plan and an Accident Only plan with an additional preventive care add-on. Customers are offered a 30-day money-back guarantee if they were to change their minds about their choice.
Annual limits range from $5000 to unlimited but you must call to opt for unlimited rather than going online. Reimbursement percentages range from 70 to 90% and deductible choices are $100, $250, or $500. There is a 14-day waiting period for both accidents and illness, but preventative care add-ons begin at enrollment.
The age to enroll is 8 weeks or older with no age limits. Discounts may be available for more than one pet and claims are easy to submit but there is a longer turnaround time of up to 30 days. Customer service has been noted to be a bit lackluster with long wait times for phone inquiries.
7. Progressive Pet Insurance
Progressive is one of the largest insurance companies in the United States. They partnered with Pets Best to offer comprehensive pet insurance plans with coverage options that allow for dental care, behavioral treatment, and working-pet coverage.
There is a choice between accident-only coverage or the Best Benefits plan. There is also the Essential Wellness package that can be added on for an additional cost. There is some flexibility with plans, deductibles range from $50 to $1,000, and reimbursement is offered at 70, 80, and 90%.
Progressive has no restrictions on how much they will pay per incident or over the lifetime of your pet and annual limits are either $5,000 or unlimited. Enrollment can take place as early as 7 weeks and there is no maximum age to enroll.
There is a 14-day waiting period for illnesses and a 3-day waiting period for accidents. The claims process is quick and easy, and claims are typically paid out within one week.
8. Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws is based out of Washington state and is underwritten by Chubb Group, which is highly rated among consumers. They are considered a top contender in the industry because they provide excellent service, high reimbursements, and affordable prices.
There is a lack of flexibility with Healthy Paws, and they do not offer additional wellness plans, but the coverage is comprehensive and there are no annual limits. Diagnostic testing, surgery, hospital admission, prescription medicine, and even alternative medicine are covered under this provider, but exam fees, behavioral modification, and prescription diets are not.
Reimbursement percentages range from 70 to 90% and deductibles range from $100, up to $1,000. Enrolment can begin at 8 weeks with a maximum age limit of 13.99 years. There is a 15-day waiting period for both accidents and illnesses.
There is a lengthy, 12-month waiting period for orthopedic issues but dogs 6 years or older at the time of enrollment are not eligible for this coverage. Healthy Paws can sometimes pay the veterinarian directly, and they do have a quick claims turnaround of only two days.
9. Pets Best
Pets Best is a very popular pet insurance provider that was founded in 2005 by the veterinarian Dr. Jack Stephens. Pet’s Best offers an accident and illness plan, an accident-only plan, and the option for an additional wellness add-on. There are no options for herbal or holistic care with this provider, but they can reimburse the vet directly.
Comprehensive coverage offers deductibles ranging from $50 to $1000 and the accident-only plan has a flat deductible of $250. Annual limits range from $5,000 to unlimited for accident and illness coverage but caps out at $10,000 for accident only.
Reimbursement percentages range from 70 to 90%, with 90% being the only option when choosing the accident-only plan. There is no upper age limit for enrollment, but pets must be 7 weeks of age or older to enroll.
There is only a 3-day waiting period for accidents, a typical 14-day waiting period for illness, and 6 months for cruciate ligament issues. Pet’s Best also offers military discounts and multiple pet discounts. They get great reviews for customer service and have a very quick claims turnaround of approximately 2 days.
The gecko is at it again and this time he’s offering up pet insurance. Geico is a popular insurance company that offers a wide variety of insurance policies and is undoubtedly a household name. Geico offers one accident and illness plan that is customizable to suit your needs and budget.
They offer deductibles ranging from $200 to $1,000 and a choice of reimbursement of 70, 80, or 90%. Annual limits start at $5,000 and go all the way to $30,000. There is also a Wellness Rewards plan for routine care available on three levels.
Wellness Rewards is a non-insurance add-on that offers annual limits of $250, $450, and $650. Funds are available immediately and reimbursement is 100 percent, however, any leftover Wellness Rewards balance is non-refundable, so if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Geico operates alongside Embrace, which handles all claims and customer service. There are some complaints about this just because you can’t handle it all directly with the company. They offer a 2-day waiting period for accidents, a 14-day waiting period for illnesses, and a 6-month wait for orthopedic concerns.
Figo is a tech-savvy Chicago-based pet insurance company that began in 2013. They feature a cloud-based platform for medical records and any relevant information about your pet’s health. They have a convenient app for customer support, policy management, and claims processing.
There is one accident and illness plan with three annual limits of either $5,000, $10,000, or unlimited. The company does have an option for a wellness plan add-on that covers things like vaccinations, spaying or neutering, laboratory testing, and preventative medicine.
In addition to the wellness plan add-on, Figo also has an extra care package that will cover a wider breadth of care including but not limited to cremation and burial fees, boarding fees, and even advertisement for lost pets.
Reimbursement percentages range from 70 to 100% and deductible choices are available between $100 to $1,500. Enrollment starts at 8 weeks with no maximum age limit or any breed restrictions. The waiting period is one day for accidents or injuries and only 14 days for illnesses.
12. Nationwide Pet Insurance
Nationwide is one of the most well-known insurance agencies in the country. They offer all kinds of insurance policies, including pet insurance. This is the only company that offers pet insurance for pets other than cats and dogs with their avian and exotic plan.
Nationwide offers a comprehensive Whole Pet plan and a more limited Major Medical Plan. They also provide the option for additional wellness coverage. The Whole Pet plan has a 90% reimbursement rate, a $250 deductible, and a $10,000 annual limit.
The Major Medical plan is much more flexible and friendly on the wallet. This is a benefit schedule-based plant with more limitations on certain conditions and procedures. The more comprehensive coverage you choose under the Major Medical plan, the higher your premium will be.
Enrollment can begin early, at 6 weeks of age but has one of the lowest age limits for enrollment of 10 years. If enrollment starts before your pet is 10 and the policy does not lapse, they will be covered for life.
There is a standard 14-day waiting period, but the wellness add-on is effective within 24 hours after enrollment. Nationwide is a pricier option, but they also offer more discounts than a lot of competitors. One of the biggest complaints for this provider is that they lack in the customer service area.
13. AKC Pet Insurance
The American Kennel Club offers pet insurance, and your pet doesn’t have to be AKC registered for coverage, though registered animals can try it out free of charge for 30 days. They feature a more comprehensive plan called the CompanionCare plan, an accident-only plan, and a choice between two wellness add-ons, the Defender and the Defender Plus.
Annual deductibles range from $100 to $1,000 for the AKC CompanionCare plan while the accident-only plan has a fixed deductible of $100. Reimbursement rates range from 70 to 90% and annual limits vary from $2,000 to $20,000.
Dogs can be enrolled at 8 weeks of age and cats can be enrolled at 10 weeks. Unlike most competitors, AKC does not offer any coverage for hereditary or congenital conditions if the pet enrolled is 2 years of age or older. Pets aged 9 and above are only eligible for accident-only coverage if newly enrolled.
There is a traditional waiting period for illnesses of 14 days but only 2 days for accidents. There is a 180-day wait for orthopedic issues and AKC does cover pre-existing conditions after a 12-month waiting period.
14. Hartville Pet Insurance
Hartville Pet Insurance is underwritten by Crum & Forster Insurance Group, which has been in business since 1997. Hartville offers an accident and illness policy, an accident-only policy, and two optional preventive-care packages.
This is one of the few companies that can pay the veterinarian directly and they have some flexible options within the scope of coverage. Annual limits range from $5,000 to unlimited, reimbursement percentages are either 70, 80, or 90%, and the deductible choices are $100, $250, or $500.
If you want preventative care added on, you can choose between the basic package or the prime package. Basic covers services like dental cleanings, vaccinations, and lab tests while prime offers a wider scope of preventative care at a higher price and will even cover spay and neuter surgery.
Enrollment can begin at 8 weeks of age with no maximum age limit. Claims are filed through the company’s online portal, fax, or regular mail. The processing time for claims is one of the lengthiest when compared to competitors with a 14 to 16-day average turnaround time.
Hartville offers a 10% discount for each additional pet after the most expensive pet, which is great for multiple-pet homes. To top it off, Hartville also gets glowing reviews for their customer service.
Bivvy pet insurance began in 2019 and is underwritten by CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc.
This fairly new company focuses on being affordable and does things a little differently than the competition.
You pay $15 per month for any pet, regardless of age, size, gender, or breed. The cost is not subject to increase because of claims, either. They have a deductible of $100 for every approved claim with coinsurance of 50% and a 50% reimbursement rate.
The annual limit for a Bibby policy is $2,000 per year and there is a lifetime limit of $25,000 per pet. Bivvy has a 14-day waiting period for accidents, a 30-day waiting period for illnesses, and a 180-day waiting period for any orthopedic issues unless it is related to a traumatic injury.
One of the biggest complaints about Bivvy other than the low reimbursement percentage is the lack of customer service options. They do not have live chat, email correspondence, or any quick and easy options other than contacting them by phone.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance Plan in North Carolina
Shopping for Pet Insurance in North Carolina
Pet insurance isn’t a one size fits all type of purchase. Individual preferences and circumstances will play a role in which company and plan are best suited for them. Here are some things to consider as you shop.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Company and Specific Plan
Policy coverage is a huge consideration when you are shopping for the right policy. You need to know what services you wish to have covered and check through each plan thoroughly to make sure you don’t miss any hidden costs.
Each company is unique in their scopes of covered veterinary care. We encourage you to read through what is and isn’t covered for your pet. You can choose between more comprehensive care that covers accidents and illnesses, or lower-priced accident-only plans.
There are typically add-on wellness options available for an additional cost. Some plans provide flexibility to choose your preferred deductible, reimbursement percent, and annual limit while others have set standards.
Customer Service & Reputation
You want a pet insurance company that has a good reputation, suits all your needs, and provides top-of-the-line customer service. Some companies get quite a few complaints about their service not quite being up to par but others get glowing reviews for excellent customer service.
Price is going to vary across the market and will depend on a lot of factors. Not only do species, age, size, breed, health status, and geographical location play a role in cost but so do your chosen type of plan, customizations, and any add-ons.
The more comprehensive the coverage, the more expensive the premium will be. Lower deductibles and higher reimbursement percentages and annual limits will carry higher prices if the company allows flexibility to choose.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to get personalized quotes as you shop around, this will give you the best information about what you will be paying and all the approved coverage within each plan.
Remember, pet insurance will only start paying you once you’ve reached your deductible for covered care costs up to your annual limit. Claims will only pay up to the chosen reimbursement percentage on your policy.
Claim Repayment and Turnaround Time
The claims process and the turnaround time for payment are something to keep in mind while you shop. Each company will give you insight into what you can expect from submitting your claim to the amount of time it takes to get you the money.
A lot of companies have their own app, which allows for policy management, but most places also offer online submission via email, fax, or mail-in options. Also, take a look at how long it takes to process once submitted.
Some companies may pay your veterinarian directly, some can issue payments in as little as two days, while others can take as long as two weeks or more.
Additional Factors That Determine Premium Cost for Pet Insurance Plans
Can I Get Pet Insurance Outside the U.S.?
A lot of pet insurance companies will allow for coverage abroad if the pet is seen by a licensed veterinarian and the claims are filed accurately. If you plan to travel outside the United States with your pet, we recommend reaching out to the companies you are interested in (if they don’t provide the information on their website) to inquire about their rules regarding travel.
What If My Insurance Company Is Not Listed in Your Reviews?
If you have stumbled across a company that didn’t make this list, there’s no need to worry. While each provider on the list made it there for good reason, that doesn’t mean another company that fits your budget and needs isn’t worthy of your business.
Which Pet Insurance Provider Has the Best Consumer Reviews?
According to our research, all the companies listed were ranked at 4 stars or above by consumers. Embrace, Lemonade, and USAA sat at the top of the list for being highly reviewed and reputable companies.
What Is the Best and Most Affordable Pet Insurance?
Lemonade, Healthy Paws, and Bivvy offer some of the lowest monthly premiums. Affordability will depend on your budget, the type of coverage you want, and several other factors specific to your situation, which is why getting several personalized quotes is so highly recommended before you purchase.
What the Users Say
Pet insurance gets a lot of varied reviews. There are plenty of people that have paid for coverage that they didn’t need, making them feel like they wasted their money, while others didn’t have coverage and were hit with extensive veterinary bills they struggled to handle.
Many owners don’t like paying the upfront costs and awaiting reimbursement, so they recommended companies that pay the vet directly. There are also many complaints regarding claims turnaround times being longer than anticipated. Some companies do have a great reputation for speedy payouts, though.
Emergencies, accidents, and sickness can come out of the blue and you never really know when you’ll need your coverage, which is why a lot of people feel like it’s worth the cost just to have the safety net available.
Which Pet Insurance Provider Is Best for You?
Since your pet and your needs are so unique, only you can decide which pet insurance provider will work best for you. If you are in the military and stationed in North Carolina, it might be worth checking out what USAA has to offer, or even another company with military discount options.
As you can see, there is no shortage of choices in the pet insurance industry but many of these companies offer different services within their scope of coverage. Make sure to know your budget and the types of coverage that are most important to you and get as many quotes as possible so you can find what suits you best.
It’s no wonder more and more people are turning to pet insurance with the heavy cost associated with veterinary care, especially when it comes to unexpected injuries or illnesses. If you are in North Carolina, there are plenty of options available to you. Just make sure you cover all your bases and get plenty of personalized quotes before coming to a final decision.