Pet insurance can help to reduce the financial impact on your wallet when your pet falls ill or becomes injured. It also gives you the peace of mind that your pets will receive adequate veterinary care when they need it.
Owning a pet in Canada can be expensive. Based on a report by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association in 2022, the annual cost of owning a dog averages $3,999 per year, while a cat costs around $2,796 annually.
Veterinary care is a significant portion of these costs, and pet insurance can help you offset part of it.
What are the best pet insurance companies in Canada? What does pet insurance cover? Is it worth it? Read on to learn more.
Best Pet Insurance in Canada
When you are shopping for insurance for yourself (healthcare, car, home, or life insurance), it pays to compare rates across many providers so you can save on the monthly premiums.
The same strategy applies to pet insurance.
Pet insurance companies offer plans that vary in coverage, benefits, deductibles, exclusions, and premiums. Depending on your specific needs, age, species, health status, and breed of your pet, your monthly costs will also vary.
The top pet insurance providers in Canada are:
- Fetch by the Dodo
- Trupanion Canada
- Petsecure Canada
- Pets Plus Us
- OVMA Pet Insurance
- The Personal
Fetch Pet Insurance
Fetch by the Dodo (formerly Petplan) is one of the leading pet insurance providers in North America and offers pet health coverage in Canada and the United States.
It was founded in 2003. In 2020, the insurer partnered with The Dodo, a popular animal media brand.
Some of its top features include:
- No upper age limit for enrollment
- 15-day waiting period for illnesses
- The plan covers exam fees for illness or injury
- Alternative therapies are included
- Up to 90% reimbursement options
- Coverage amount varies with plan
- 24/7 customer service support
The average pet insurance plan is around $35 per month for dogs and $25 per month for cats.
Fetch does not cover pre-existing conditions, wellness care, or cosmetic and elective procedures. Also, it is not available in New Brunswick and Quebec.
Trupanion Pet Insurance
Trupanion is a pet insurance company that has been around since 2000. It was initially known as Vetinsurance in Vancouver.
It covers 90% of eligible expenses after you meet your annual deductible, and there is no cap or payout limit, which is a unique feature.
Trupanion offers “Vet Direct Pay,” which means your veterinarian is paid directly, and you can avoid the hassle of submitting paper claims for reimbursement.
Other features of this pet insurance provider include:
- Lifetime per condition deductible
- 24/7 customer service support
- Lifelong coverage is available for animals under 14 years of age
- 5-day waiting period for injuries and 30 days for illness (waived with a vet’s certificate)
- Deductibles range from $0 to $1,000
Trupanion offers extra coverage (at a fee) for pet owners who want to extend their basic pet insurance coverage. This is known as a “Recovery and Complementary Care” package, and it covers alternative therapies, including acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, hydrotherapy, naturopathy, and more.
Alongside Recovery and Complementary Care, Trupanion offers a Pet Owner Assistance Package where you can get coverage outside the vet office for
Trupanion does not cover exam fees, wellness care, and pre-existing conditions.
Related: Best Life Insurance Companies in Canada.
Petsecure Pet Insurance
Petsecure is one of the best pet insurance companies in Canada. It was founded in 1989.
It offers four levels of insurance with coverage ranging from $1,000 to unlimited. The unlimited plan (Secure 4) also includes wellness coverage.
Features of a Petsecure pet insurance plan include:
- Up to 80% reimbursement, including exam fees and taxes
- Dental care coverage from $200 to $600 per year
- Payout limit ranges from $1,000 to unlimited per accident or condition
- No age limits for enrollment
- 10%-15% discount on premium if you have three or more pets insured
- 14-day waiting period for illnesses; 48 hours for accidents; 6 months for cruciate ligament injuries or intervertebral disc disease, and dental coverage
Petsecure does not cover pre-existing conditions, elective treatments, spray or neuters, pregnancy, whelping, special diets, and alternative medications without a DIN or NHP number.
Pets Plus Us Pet Insurance
Pet Plus Us offers two main pet insurance plans: Accident & Illness or Accident coverage.
If you are a member of Costco, you may have already seen that the retailer promotes this insurer to its members at a 10-15% preferred rate.
Features of this provider include:
- Up to $15,000 coverage per year
- 70% to 90% reimbursement, depending on the plan
- The annual deductible is age-based
Pets Plus Us does not cover pre-existing conditions. There is also a 14-day waiting period for illnesses and 48 hours for accidents.
OVMA Pet Insurance
OVMA Pet Health Insurance is provided by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association. They offer three coverage packages: Unlimited, Extended, and Comprehensive.
They cover up to 80% of your veterinary bill in case of accidents or illnesses, including any taxes and exam fees.
OVMA’s main features include:
- Get up to $5,000 in coverage for accidents and illnesses with the Extended and Comprehensive plans, as well as up to $400 in yearly dental coverage
- The Unlimited plan includes unlimited illness and accident coverage, $600 in dental care, and optional yearly wellness coverage
- Special coverage is included for alternative and behavioural treatments
- Save 3% after the first year and 5% after the second year
OVMA’s pet health insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions, treatments unrelated to accidents or illnesses, spaying or neutering, congenital conditions, and pregnancy.
Furkin Pet Insurance
Launched in 2021, Furkin is a Canadian pet insurance company designed by a team with more than 20 years of combined experience.
Furkin covers up to 80% of medical costs with coverage of up to $20,000 annually, which automatically renews each year.
Key features of Furkin pet insurance include:
- Choose between 3 flexible annual deductibles
- No lifetime limits on eligible conditions
- Lifetime coverage on pets as long as they are enrolled before reaching 14 years of age
- No matter how much you claim under $20,000, benefits automatically renew each year
- Dogs and cats must be between 7 weeks and 14 years old to enroll, pets can continue to stay enrolled for their entire life even after they exceed 14 years old
- Submit claims within 90 days of the treatment period
- 48-hour waiting period for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and 180 days for cruciate ligament conditions
Furkin Pet Insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions or elective procedures.
Sonnet Pet Insurance
Sonnet is Canada’s first fully online insurance company. Alongside providing coverage for your pets, they also offer home and auto insurance.
It covers up to 80% of your pet’s bill in case of illness or accident. Sonnet covers little things like lost pet advertising, boarding and kennel fees, and more.
Features of Sonnet pet insurance include:
- Flexible payment options and competitive pricing
- Illness or accident coverage up to $2,500 per occurrence
- Dental care coverage up to $300 per year
- Alternative and behavioural therapy is covered at no extra cost, up to $350 yearly
- If provided or approved by your vet, get up to $300 per year in coverage for medical devices like prosthetics or ramps
- Save 5% on pet insurance if you already have a home or auto policy with Sonnet
- You have 6 months to submit a claim
- 48-hour waiting period for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and 6 months for dental coverage, cruciate ligament injuries, or intervertebral disc disease
Depending on where you live, you can expect to pay $43 to $84 monthly for dog insurance and $27 to $50 each month for cat insurance.
Sonnet does not cover pre-existing conditions. It is only available to residents in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, B.C., and P.E.I.
BCAA Pet Insurance
Available in British Columbia, BCAA provides insurance coverage for your home, car, travel, small business, and more, in addition to pet insurance.
BCAA partnered with Pets Plus Us to offer two kinds of pet insurance coverage: Accident & Illness, and Accident.
You can add an optional Flex Care package that supplements the coverage included in the Accident & Illness policy, including pre-existing conditions, annual exams, and vaccines. It also allows you to spread the cost of your pet’s healthcare across 12 months.
Features of BCAA pet insurance include:
- Customizable deductible and reimbursement amount that works for your pet’s needs
- 24/7 emergency vet support and poison control hotline
- Receive $1,000 in emergency medical coverage if your pet incurs a life-threatening injury while lost
- BCAA members with existing coverage get 15% off pet insurance, and non-members save 7%
- Claims can be submitted online with no clinic signature or vet stamp required
Get more information about BCAA pet insurance by visiting Pet Plus Us’s website.
The Personal is a popular insurance provider in Canada. It offers three kinds of dog and cat insurance: Bronze, Silver, and Gold Paw.
The Bronze Paw package offers up to $2,000 per accident and up to $2,000 per illness condition per policy year. Dental care is optional, with $500 in coverage per policy year.
Silver Paw provides coverage of up to $4,000 per accident and per condition per policy year. Get up to $700 in coverage for dental care per policy year.
Gold Paw gives you unlimited coverage for accidents and illnesses and up to $1,000 in dental coverage per policy year. Preventative care coverage is included.
Other features of The Personal include:
- The Silver and Gold Paw packages offer up to $350 in coverage for medical devices and behavioural and alternative therapy
- Pay one deductible per year of up to $350, depending on your pet’s age
- They will cover 80% of pet care costs, less your annual deductible
- The ContinueCare program provides coverage for any illnesses your pet may develop
- No lifetime limit to the amount of coverage in your plan
- You will be reimbursed within 5 to 10 business days
Any conditions or injuries not listed are not covered: veterinary diagnostics and treatment, prescription medications, X-rays, hospitalization, MRI/CAT scans and chemotherapy for accidents, and coverage to treat sickness, disease and any changes to your pet’s normal healthy state: veterinary diagnostics and treatment, prescription medications, X-rays, hospitalization, MRI/CAT scans and chemotherapy.
Desjardins Pet Insurance
With over 7.5 million members and clients, Desjardins provides home, auto, health, life, loan, and travel insurance in addition to pet insurance.
They reimburse 80% of your pet’s healthcare expenses, no matter which plan you choose.
The three plans are:
- Unlimited illness and accident coverage
- Up to $1,000 in dental care coverage
- Up to $350 per category in alternative and behavioural therapy and medical devices
- Preventative care coverage included
- Up to $4,000 per accident and illness
- Up to $700 in dental care coverage
- Optional alternative and behavioural therapy and medical devices coverage
- Up to $2,000 per accident and illness
- Optional dental care coverage up to $500
Features of Desjardins pet insurance include:
- Deductibles for dogs are $100, $250, or $350
- Deductibles for cats are $100, $150, or $200
- Pets can be insured at any age
- Accident waiting period of 48 hours, 14 days for illnesses, and 6 months for dental care
- Get 10% off your premium if you insure 3 or more pets and 15% off with 6 or more
Related: PolicyMe Life Insurance Review
Peppermint Pet Insurance
Peppermint offers pet insurance with four plan types: Lite, Base, Plus, and Prime.
Get up to $5,000 in coverage per accident or illness, plus $350 in coverage for medical devices and alternative and behavioural therapy.
The top features of Peppermint’s plans include:
- 48-hour waiting period for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and 6 months for cruciate ligament injuries & intervertebral disc disease
- Get up to 80% reimbursed per occurence
- The coverage limit for illnesses renews each Annual Policy Period, while the limit for accidents does not
- No age or breed restrictions
Peppermint does not cover flea control, spaying or neutering, pregnancy, food, and more.
CAA Pet Insurance
*This is no longer being offered for purchase.
CAA members can purchase pet insurance for cats and dogs to cover illnesses and accidents.
CAA Pet Insurance is underwritten by Petline Insurance Company which also underwrites Petsecures’ pet insurance policies and those offered by The Personal, Desjardins, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), Peppermint, and the Toronto Humane Society.
CAA offers three plans: Compact, Intermediate, and Luxury. Features include:
- 80% to 100% coverage available
- Up to $4,500 annual coverage limit
- Special coverage for alternative treatments and medical devices
- 14-day waiting period for illnesses and 48 hours for accidents
- Age-based deductibles
CAA Pet Insurance does not cover special diets, pre-existing or foreseeable conditions, or treatment for umbilical hernias.
Compare the Best Pet Insurance Providers in Canada
|Insurance Company||% Reimbursed||Illness Coverage||Accident Coverage||Dental Coverage||Other Benefits|
|Fetch||Up to 90%||Get a quote||Get a quote||Get a quote||No upper age limit, exam fees for illness or injury are covered|
|Trupanion||Up to 90%||Get a quote||Get a quote||Get a quote||Vet Direct pay|
|Petsecure||Up to 80%||$1,000 to unlimited||$1,000 to unlimited||$200 to $600||4 coverage plans, no upper age limit, 10% to 15% discount if you insure 3 or more pets|
|Pets Plus Us||Up to 90%||$7,500 or $15,000 per year||$5,000 per year||Get a quote||Blue Ribbon benefits like emergency medical coverage and 24/7 helpline, optional Wellness package|
|Sonnet||Up to 80%||Up to $2,500||Up to $2,500||Up to $300 per year||Save 5% if you already have insurance with Sonnet, alternative and behavioural therapy covered at no extra cost|
|BCAA||Up to 90%||Get a quote||Get a quote||Get a quote||Optional Flex Care package, BCAA members save 7% to 15% off|
|Furkin||Up to 80%||Up to $20,000||Up to $20,000||Up to $20,000||Lifetime coverage on pets enrolled before 14, no limits on eligible conditions, 3 flexible annual deductibles|
|The Personal||Up to 80%||$2,000 to unlimited||$2,000 to unlimited||$500 to $1,000||Pay only 1 deductible per year, no lifetime limit, short reimbursement period|
|OVMA||Up to 80%||Up to $5,000 or unlimited||Up to $5,000 or unlimited||Up to $600||3% and 5% savings after the first and second years, special coverage for alternative and behavioural treatments|
|Desjardins||Up to 80%||$2,000 to unlimited||$2,000 to unlimited||$500 to $1,000||No age limits, get 10% to 15% off with multiple pets|
|Peppermint||Up to 80%||Up to $5,000||Up to $5,000||Get a quote||$350 in coverage for medical devices, behavioural and alternative therapy, no age or breed restrictions|
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
Your pet insurance premiums will vary depending on the age, breed, and sex of your pet, your location, level of insurance coverage, deductible, annual limit, extra perks and add-ons, and percentage of reimbursement.
If you are looking for premium estimates, the OVMA indicates you may spend $638 per year on a kitten (or $53.17/month) and $1,160 per year on a puppy (or $96.67/month).
These numbers are average, and your premiums may be much higher or lower.
Some terminologies you should be familiar with include:
Premium: The monthly or annual fee you pay to obtain a pet insurance policy.
Deductible: This is the out-of-pocket amount before your insurance coverage kicks in.
Reimbursement: This is the percentage of your veterinary bill covered by the insurer for an eligible claim. It may range from 70-100%. Always confirm how long it takes an insurance company to reimburse your costs.
Co-pay: In addition to your deductible, you may have to pay a fixed dollar amount each time you submit a claim.
Co-insurance: This is the percentage of the veterinary bill that is your responsibility after you have paid your deductible. For example, if your coverage is 80%, your co-insurance is 20%.
What Is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is health insurance for your dog or cat. It works similarly to health insurance for you, as it reimburses up to 90% of the cost of unexpected injuries, illnesses, and anything else that may come up.
Dental care is usually included, as well as behavioural and alternative therapy, in some plans.
After paying for medical bills at the vet, all you need to do is submit a claim, and you can be reimbursed for most of the expenses.
As with regular health insurance, you will usually pay a monthly or yearly deductible or premium.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Pet insurance policies typically cover veterinary care and procedures, including:
- Diagnostic tests
- Prescription medications
- Dental care due to accident or illness
- Hereditary and congenital conditions
- Medical devices, and more.
Note that coverage varies with each insurance company, and you should read the fine print as there are always exclusions.
If the company offers a wellness package, you may also be covered for routine pet care, including vaccinations, teeth cleaning, spaying, neutering, deworming, and other preventive procedures.
Related: PolicyAdvisor Life Insurance review
What is Not Covered by Pet Insurance?
No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions. They may also not cover:
- Routine vet exam fees
- Elective or cosmetic procedures, e.g. ear cropping, tail docking, or cat declawing
- Pet transportation
- Accident or injuries from competitive sports
- Alternative therapies
- Medications without a DIN or NHP number
- Prescription diets
A waiting period generally applies before your coverage kicks in. Also, some insurers have a minimum or maximum age threshold to purchase pet insurance.
Benefits of Pet Insurance
Generally, most insurance policies will reimburse up to 80% or 90% of the veterinary medical bills up to a certain limit. This reduces your out-of-pocket expenses, saving you quite a bit of money. However, remember that you will need to make a claim and wait to be reimbursed.
Most pet insurance companies allow you to choose your vet and will even cover emergency medical expenses at emergency vet clinics.
Monthly premiums are usually not too expensive, ranging from $25 to $50 or a little more, depending on your pet and insurance plan. Also, many insurance companies state that no matter how many claims you make in a given year, the policy rate won’t go up.
Lastly, having pet insurance gives you peace of mind in the unfortunate event that anything were to happen to your pet. Some insurance companies even provide up to $1,000 in coverage for advertising and reward for the return of a lost pet.
Downsides of Pet Insurance
One major downside to pet insurance that most pet owners know all too well is that it is an extra unnecessary monthly expense. Paying a deductible and monthly premium can get expensive, especially if your pet is in good health and the insurance isn’t needed.
Most insurance companies only provide coverage up to a certain amount, usually around $3,000 to $5,000. If your vet bills are more than this, you will need to pay out of pocket.
Once the pet insurance policy is activated, there is almost always a waiting period between when you get the insurance and can submit a claim. If anything happens to your pet during this time, it will not be covered under insurance.
There is also a waiting period to get reimbursed, which leaves you a few hundred or thousand dollars shorter after paying the vet bills upfront.
Lastly, many pre-existing conditions are not covered, and insurance rates may become higher as your pet ages or as you make more claims.
How to Choose a Pet Insurance Company That Meets Your Needs
When shopping around for pet insurance, you must consider a few factors to determine which meets your needs best.
Consider your pet’s medical history and your budget. How much can you afford to pay per deductible and as a monthly premium? A higher deductible usually lowers your monthly pet insurance bill, while a lower deductible means you’ll pay more monthly.
Check what conditions are covered by the insurance company. If your pet has a condition not covered by most insurance companies, look for which ones do. Also, ensure coverage is provided in your area, as some insurance companies do not cover all provinces.
Look at how much they will cover in the event of an illness or accident and how much the insurance company pays out annually. Some companies only cover 60% of vet bills, while others cover up to 90%.
Consider what matters most to you – illness, accident, or both. Choose an insurance package based on rates and what they cover.
Lastly, some companies will provide discounts if you stay with them for multiple years or insure more than one pet. Keep a lookout for any discounts that can help you save money.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
Pet insurance can save you the headache if the unexpected happens, and your sick pet will need several thousand dollars worth of emergency vet care.
If you don’t like surprises or don’t have an emergency fund built up for your pet, insurance is a good way to get your pet the care it needs.
If your dog or cat is prone to illnesses or injury, pet insurance can be a good investment and help cover the costs of medical bills, rather than you paying out of pocket each time.
Overall, you need to look at your budget and decide how much you are willing and able to pay out of pocket if anything were to happen to your pet. If you have enough savings, pet insurance may not be worth it.
As good as pet insurance is, premiums add up over time. Here are a few things you can do to save money for your pet rather than getting insurance:
You can choose to manage the risks by setting aside money in a dedicated high-interest savings account you can dip into when needed.
If you’d rather not pay taxes on the growth earned by your savings, you can also use a TFSA savings account.
Overall, you should have a plan for the rainy day, i.e. the inevitable day when you will need funds to provide adequate medical care for your furry friends.
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Best Pet Insurance Canada FAQ
Your deductible is the amount you pay before insurance kicks in. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Consider how much money you are comfortable shelling out in an emergency and compare it with the total premium costs.
Some insurers offer up to a 15% discount when you insure more than one pet.
In 2022, the average cost of owning a dog was about $4,000 per year, according to Statista. Owning a cat costs just over $2,500 annually. However, this all depends on their diet, vet bills, purchases for them, and anything else.
No, pet insurance typically does not cover routine or preventive care. You may be able to add on a wellness package that covers general vet care and exam.
Deductibles usually range from $100 to $1,000, but the average deductible costs about $100 to $500, depending on your insurance plan.
No, pet insurance premiums are generally not tax-deductible in Canada. Some exceptions exist for farm and service animals – check with the CRA to confirm.
In addition to the ones listed above, there are many other pet insurance providers in the country. The best one for you depends on the types of pets and the coverage you choose.
No, most pet insurance plans do not cover existing conditions like diabetes, hip dysplasia, and cancer. Pre-existing conditions are any illnesses or injuries that occur before the insurance comes into effect, including the waiting period.
What is pet insurance costing you? Let us know in the comments!