8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (2024)

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (2)

Elizabeth RivelliInsurance Writer

Elizabeth Rivelli has nearly five years of experience covering insurance for finance publications. She has expertise in various insurance lines, including car insurance, health insurance, travel insurance, life insurance and others. In her writing, she aims to make insurance more approachable and understandable for people in all stages of life. Elizabeth also writes for several insurance company blogs.

  • 8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (4)

Elizabeth Rivelli

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (5)

Elizabeth RivelliInsurance Writer

Elizabeth Rivelli has nearly five years of experience covering insurance for finance publications. She has expertise in various insurance lines, including car insurance, health insurance, travel insurance, life insurance and others. In her writing, she aims to make insurance more approachable and understandable for people in all stages of life. Elizabeth also writes for several insurance company blogs.

  • 8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (7)

Insurance Writer

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (9)

Michelle MegnaLead Editor, Insurance

Michelle is a lead editor at Forbes Advisor. She has been a journalist for over 35 years, writing about insurance for consumers for the last decade. Prior to covering insurance, Michelle was a lifestyle reporter at the New York Daily News, a magazine editor covering consumer technology, a foreign correspondent for Time and various newswires and local newspaper reporter.

  • 8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (11)

Reviewed

Michelle Megna

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (12)

Michelle MegnaLead Editor, Insurance

Michelle is a lead editor at Forbes Advisor. She has been a journalist for over 35 years, writing about insurance for consumers for the last decade. Prior to covering insurance, Michelle was a lifestyle reporter at the New York Daily News, a magazine editor covering consumer technology, a foreign correspondent for Time and various newswires and local newspaper reporter.

  • 8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (14)

Lead Editor, Insurance

Reviewed

Updated: Jun 24, 2024, 4:32pm

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

We analyzed 10 policies and found that Pets Best, Embrace and Paw Protect are the three best pet insurance companies for rescue dogs.

Pet insurance for rescue dogs covers major veterinary expenses, like cancer treatments or getting struck by a vehicle. It also covers common problems, like ear infections, allergies and digestive issues. You’ll find that pet insurers offer a variety of benefits and coverage types for all dogs.

Read more

Recommended Reading

  • Best Pet Insurance Companies
  • Best Cheapest Pet Insurance Companies
  • Best Pet Insurance Wellness Plans For Routine Care
  • Best Emergency Pet Insurance
  • Compare Pet Insurance Quotes

Show Summary

  • Summary: Best Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs
  • How Does Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs Work?
  • Why Pet Insurance Is Important for Rescue Dogs
  • How Much Does Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs Cost?
  • How To Find the Best Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs
  • Methodology
  • Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Summary: Best Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs

Editors’ TakeCompanyCompany - LogoForbes Advisor RatingForbes Advisor RatingAverage cost of pet insurance for dogs for unlimited coverage, a $250 deductible and 80% reimbursem*nt level
Best overallPets Best8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (15)8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (16)5.0$48
Best for healthy pet discountEmbrace8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (17)8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (18)4.5$76
Great for superior benefitsPaw Protect8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (19)8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (20)4.5$77
Great for short waiting period for accident coverageFigo8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (21)8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (22)4.3$60
Best for choices of annual coverageSpot8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (23)8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (24)4.3$97
Good for boarding feesFetch8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (25)8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (26)4.1$77
Great for unlimited annual coverageHealthy Paws8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (27)8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (28)4.1$55
Great prices for dogs and catsLemonade8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (29)8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (30)4.1$52
Source: Forbes Advisor Research. Costs are based on a plan with unlimited annual coverage ($15,000 for Fetch and $100,000 for Lemonade), a $250 deductible ($300 for Fetch and $750 for dogs and cats over age seven in several states for Healthy Paws) and 80% reimbursem*nt level for mixed breed dogs.

How We Chose the Best Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs

Best Pet Insurance Companies for Rescue Dogs 2024

BEST OVERALL

Pets Best

5.0

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (32)

Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Maximum annual coverage

$5,000, Unlimited

Average monthly cost for unlimited coverage for dogs

$48

Deductible choices

$50, $100, $200, $250, $500, $1,000

Compare Plans

$5,000, Unlimited

$48

$50, $100, $200, $250, $500, $1,000

Editor's Take

Pets Best was our best overall pet insurer for rescue dogs. We like its low prices for unlimited annual coverage and that it combines solid coverage with a wide range of deductible choices. You’ll also be able to add a wellness plan for routine pet care expenses.

Our rating is based on Pets Best’s Essential plan. For broader coverage (at a higher price), consider the Pets Best Plus or Elite plan.

Pros

  • Can pay your vet directly if the vet agrees, so you don’t have to pay upfront and wait for reimbursem*nt.
  • Accident coverage waiting period of only 3 days.
  • Has a 24/7 pet telehealth line.
  • 5% multipet discount.

More: Pets Best Pet Insurance Review

Cons

  • 6-month waiting period for coverage of cruciate ligament issues.
  • The Essential plan does not cover the vet exam fee, but you can get that coverage by choosing the Plus or Elite plan.
  • The Essential plan does not cover behavioral or alternative therapies, but the Pets Best Elite plan will cover acupuncture and chiropractic care if your pet needs rehabilitation.

Plan Details

Coverage typePlan details

Reimbursem*nt choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Waiting periods

3 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses; 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions

Behavioral therapy

Excluded

Euthanasia or end of life expenses

Included

Vet exam fees

Only with Plus and Elite plans

Microchipping

Yes, if you purchase a wellness plan

BEST FOR HEALTHY PET DISCOUNT

Embrace

4.5

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (36)

Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Maximum annual coverage

$5,000, $8,000, $10,000, $15,000, Unlimited

Average monthly cost for unlimited coverage for dogs

$76

Compare Plans

$5,000, $8,000, $10,000, $15,000, Unlimited

$76

$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000

Editor's Take

We recommend Embrace because it offers a good way to save on accident and illness plans for rescue dogs through its Healthy Pet Discount Program. If your pet insurance reimbursem*nts are less than $300 per pet in the year prior to the discount period, you’ll qualify for a 5% discount in the first year and a 10% discount in the second year for each pet. Embrace will automatically apply the savings to your annual payment or monthly premium.

Pros

  • Can pay a veterinary hospital directly—but generally only for very large claims where it would be prohibitively expensive for the policyholder to pay and wait for reimbursem*nt.
  • Waiting period of only 2 days for accident coverage.
  • Vet exam fees are covered.
  • Has a 24/7 pet telehealth line and optional wellness plan.
  • 10% multipet discount.

More: Embrace Pet Insurance Review

Cons

  • Waiting period of 6 months for coverage of orthopedic conditions, which can be waived if your pet has an orthopedic exam after you purchase a plan.
  • Higher-than-average cost compared to other top competitors in our analysis.

Plan Details

Coverage typePlan details

Reimbursem*nt choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Waiting periods

Accident coverage begins at 12:01 a.m. ET the day after you purchase your policy; 14 days for illnesses; 6 months for orthopedic conditions (can be waived with an orthopedic exam)

Behavioral therapy

Included

Euthanasia or end of life expenses

Included

Vet exam fees

Included

Microchipping

Yes, if you purchase a wellness plan

GREAT FOR SUPERIOR BENEFITS

Paw Protect

4.5

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (40)

Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Maximum annual coverage

$5,000, $10,000, Unlimited

Average monthly cost for unlimited coverage for dogs

$77

Deductible choices

$100, $250, $500

Compare Plans

$5,000, $10,000, Unlimited

$77

$100, $250, $500

Editor's Take

We like Paw Protect for its excellent coverage benefits for any dog, including rescue dogs, such as the option to add a wellness plan and access to a 24/7 vet telehealth line. Note that this is the same plan as Embrace.

Pros

  • 24/7 pet telehealth line included.
  • Covers the veterinarian office visit fee for illness and accidents.
  • Only a 2-day waiting period for accident coverage.
  • 10% multipet discount.
  • Can pay the vet directly, but generally only for very large claims where it may be prohibitively expensive to pay up front and wait for reimbursem*nt.

More: Paw Protect Pet Insurance Review

Cons

  • Higher-than-average costs compared to top competitors.
  • There’s a 6-month waiting period for coverage of orthopedic conditions, but it can be waived if your rescue dog has an orthopedic exam after you purchase the plan.

Plan Details

Coverage typePlan details

Reimbursem*nt choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Waiting periods

Accident coverage begins at 12:01 a.m. ET the day after you purchase your policy; 14 days for illnesses; 6 months for orthopedic conditions (can be waived with an orthopedic exam)

Behavioral therapy

Included

Euthanasia or end of life expenses

Included

Vet exam fees

Included

Microchipping

Yes, if you purchase a wellness plan

GREAT FOR SHORT WAITING PERIOD FOR ACCIDENT COVERAGE

Figo

4.3

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (44)

Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Maximum annual coverage

$5,000, $10,000, Unlimited

Average monthly cost for unlimited coverage for dogs

$60

Deductible choices

$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000, $1,500

Compare Plans

$5,000, $10,000, Unlimited

$60

$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000, $1,500

Editor's Take

Figo has a short 1-day waiting period for accident coverage. It also offers a wide variety of coverage, reimbursem*nt and deductible options so you can work within your budget. But rescue dog owners who want behavioral therapy coverage will have to look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Routine wellness plan available.
  • Offers a 100% reimbursem*nt option.
  • Has a 24/7 pet telehealth line.
  • 5% multipet discount.

More: Figo Pet Insurance Review

Cons

  • 6-month waiting period for orthopedic problems, but can be waived if your vet signs an orthopedic conditions waiver within the first 30 days of the policy.
  • You have to pay extra for coverage for vet exam fees. Some top competitors include this in the base coverage.
  • No option to pay the vet directly.

Plan Details

Coverage typePlan details

Reimbursem*nt choices

70%, 80%, 90%, 100%

Waiting periods

1 day for accidents; 14 days for illnesses; 6 months for orthopedic conditions (can be waived with an orthopedic waiver within the first 30 days of the policy)

Behavioral therapy

Excluded

Euthanasia or end of life expenses

Included

Vet exam fees

Yes, if you purchase the Veterinary Exam Fees Powerup

Microchipping

Yes, if you purchase the Wellness and Preventative Coverage Powerup

BEST FOR CHOICES OF ANNUAL COVERAGE

Spot

4.3

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (48)

Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Maximum annual coverage

$2,500, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, Unlimited

Average monthly cost for unlimited coverage for dogs

$97

Deductible choices

$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000

Compare Plans

$2,500, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, Unlimited

$97

$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000

Editor's Take

You can customize coverage levels in order to get to a monthly cost that fits your budget with Spot’s enviable selection of annual coverage choices and deductible options. You’ll also get harder-to-find coverage for behavioral and alternative therapies for your rescue dog.

Pros

  • No special waiting periods for problems like cruciate ligament conditions.
  • Includes coverage for behavioral and alternative therapies.
  • Includes coverage for microchipping.
  • Has a 24/7 pet telehealth line.
  • 10% multipet discount.
  • Can pay your vet directly if you make a request and the veterinarian allows for direct payment.

More: Spot Pet Insurance Review

Cons

  • Has a high average price for unlimited annual coverage.

Plan Details

Coverage typePlan details

Reimbursem*nt choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Waiting periods

14 days for accidents and illnesses; no special waiting period for problems like orthopedic conditions

Behavioral therapy

Included

Euthanasia or end of life expenses

Included

Vet exam fees

Included

Microchipping

Included

GREAT FOR BOARDING FEES

Fetch

4.1

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (52)

Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Maximum annual coverage

$5,000, $10,000, $15,000

Average monthly cost for unlimited coverage for dogs

$77

Deductible choices

$300, $500, $700

Compare Plans

$5,000, $10,000, $15,000

$77

$300, $500, $700

Editor's Take

Fetch includes a benefit you won’t find at most pet insurance companies: coverage for boarding/kennel fees if you are hospitalized for four or more days, up to $1,000. Rescue dog owners interested in behavioral therapy coverage will be happy to know it’s included in Fetch’s policy.

Fetch’s low prices may make up for its limited annual coverage and longer waiting periods compared to competitors.

Pros

  • Covers vacation cancellation fees if you have to stay home due to a sick pet.
  • Optional wellness plan available.
  • Covers vet exam fees.
  • Covers advertising fees and a reward if your pet is lost or stolen, up to $1,000.

More: Fetch Pet Insurance Review

Cons

  • No 24/7 vet helpline.
  • 15-day waiting period for accidents and illnesses.
  • 6-month waiting period for coverage for pre-existing cruciate ligament issues and hip dysplasia. (The problem may be covered if the issue occurs within 30 days of your policy purchase and there’s documentation that it’s a new condition.)
  • No multipet discount.
  • No option to pay the vet directly.

Plan Details

Coverage typePlan details

Reimbursem*nt choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Waiting periods

15 days for accidents and illnesses; 6 months for cruciate ligament issues and hip dysplasia

Behavioral therapy

Included

Euthanasia or end of life expenses

Not included

Vet exam fees

Included

Microchipping

Not included

Great for Unlimited Annual Coverage

Healthy Paws

4.1

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (56)

Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Maximum annual coverage

Unlimited

Average monthly cost for unlimited coverage for dogs

$55

Deductible choices

$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000

Compare Plans

Unlimited

$55

$100, $250, $500, $750, $1,000

Editor's Take

Healthy Paws is a solid choice for those interested in lower-than-average rates for unlimited annual coverage. But vet exam fees are not covered and if your rescue dog is enrolled at age 6 and older, it will not be covered for hip dysplasia. Behavioral therapy coverage is also excluded.

Pros

  • Pays vet directly if you make a request to Healthy Paws in advance of treatment.
  • No annual coverage limit on claim payouts.
  • Has a 24/7 pet telehealth line.
  • Can pay the vet directly if you make a request to Healthy Paws in advance of treatment.

More: Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer wellness or routine care coverage.
  • Doesn’t cover vet exam fees for accidents or illnesses.
  • You have to get a quote to find out your choices for deductibles and reimbursem*nt levels.
  • No multipet discount.

Plan Details

Coverage typePlan details

Reimbursem*nt choices

50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%

Waiting periods

15 days for accidents and illnesses; 12 months for hip dysplasia

Behavioral therapy

Excluded

Euthanasia or end of life expenses

Included

Vet exam fees

Not included

Microchipping

Not included

GREAT PRICES FOR RESCUE DOGS

Lemonade

4.1

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (60)

Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Maximum annual coverage

$5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, $100,000

Average monthly cost for unlimited coverage for dogs

$52

Deductible choices

$100, $250, $500, $750

Compare Plans

$5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, $100,000

$52

$100, $250, $500, $750

Editor's Take

If you want dog insurance at a low monthly cost, Lemonade is worth considering thanks to its very competitive rates. But you’ll give up some things like a 24/7 vet helpline, and coverage of the vet exam fee is available only by buying an add-on.

Pros

  • Accident coverage waiting period of only 2 days.
  • Optional wellness plan available.
  • Lower-than-average pet insurance prices for rescue dogs.
  • Has live chat for pet health questions seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET.
  • 5% multipet discount

More: Lemonade Pet Insurance Review

Cons

  • No coverage for behavioral or alternative therapy.
  • 6-month waiting period for coverage of cruciate ligaments.
  • No coverage for stem cell treatment, prescription food or microchipping.
  • No option to pay the vet directly.

Plan Details

Coverage typePlan details

Reimbursem*nt choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Waiting periods

2 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses; 6 months for cruciate ligament issues

Behavioral therapy

Excluded

Covers euthanasia or end of life expenses

Yes, if you buy the End-of-life and Remembrance add-on

Vet exam fees

Yes, if you buy the Vet Visit Fee add-on

Microchipping

Yes, if you buy the Puppies/Kitten Preventative Care Package

How Does Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs Work?

Pet insurance works the same for all dogs, whether they were rescued, adopted or purchased from a breeder. Pet insurance pays for veterinary expenses for accidents and illnesses, such as surgery for dog bites or treatment for diabetes. It’s generally reimbursem*nt-based, meaning you’ll pay up front for vet bills and submit a claim for reimbursem*nt.

Related: How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Why Pet Insurance Is Important for Rescue Dogs

Having pet insurance for a rescue dog can help pay for unexpected and major veterinary bills for accidents and illnesses. It may also include other benefits like access to a 24/7 pet health teleline or coverage for problems like anxiety or aggression. Here are some reasons to consider pet insurance for a rescue dog.

Behavioral Issues

Your rescue dog may have behavioral issues that are caused by neglect, trauma or poor care from their previous owner. This may include anxiety, separation issues, aggression, barking and destructive chewing. Some pet insurers include coverage for behavioral therapy.

Unknown Health Conditions

When you rescue a dog from a shelter, you don’t always know their detailed health history. The dog you rescue might have pre-existing conditions, such as allergies, heart disease or hip dysplasia.

While pet insurance doesn’t typically cover pre-existing conditions, it will cover new health problems that arise after you insure your dog. And if your rescue dog has a curable pre-existing condition, it might be covered after a certain period of time. For example, Embrace is a pet insurance company that covers pre-existing conditions it deems curable (such as an ear infection), as long as any recurrence is at least 12 months from the date of the last incident.

Potential Genetic Predispositions

Certain dog breeds are genetically predisposed to specific health issues. However, you don’t always know the exact breed of a rescue dog without doing genetic testing. Having pet insurance for rescue dogs can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your dog starts showing symptoms of a genetic condition after you insure them.

How Much Does Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs Cost?

Pet insurance costs an average of $51 per month for a dog, according to our analysis of pet insurance costs. That’s for a policy with $5,000 of annual coverage, a $250 deductible and 80% reimbursem*nt level. A policy with unlimited annual coverage, a $250 deductible and 80% reimbursem*nt level costs an average of $77 per month for a dog.

It’s worth noting that there is no cost difference between a rescue dog or a dog purchased from a breeder. Pet insurance companies use cost factors such as the age of your dog, breed and your location to set costs. Rescuing a dog is not a pet insurance cost factor.

Pet Insurance Cost Comparison by Company

CompanyCompany - LogoAverage monthly cost for a rescue dogLearn More CTA textLearn more CTA below textLearn more
Pets Best8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (63)$48Compare Plans
Embrace8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (64)$76Compare Plans
Paw Protect8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (65)$77Compare Plans
Fetch8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (66)$77Compare Plans
Figo8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (67)$60Compare Plans
Healthy Paws8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (68)$55Compare Plans
Lemonade8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (69)$52Compare Plans
Spot8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (70)$97Compare Plans

Costs are based on a plan with unlimited annual coverage ($15,000 for Fetch and $100,000 for Lemonade), a $250 deductible ($300 for Fetch and $750 for dogs and cats over age seven in several states for Healthy Paws) and 80% reimbursem*nt level for mixed breed dogs.

How To Find the Best Pet Insurance for Rescue Dogs

We found the most effective way to identify the best pet insurance for rescue dogs is to review the types of plans available and their key benefits. While cost is important, you don’t want to go with an insurer that’s lacking in benefits or coverage types that you need. Here’s what we recommend you look for:

Plan Type

Pet insurance can generally be broken down into these types of plans:

  • Accident and illness coverage. This is the most common type of pet insurance and covers the widest range of problems, like cancer, broken bones, allergies and swallowed foreign objects.
  • Accident-only coverage. If you want emergency pet insurance, an accident-only plan covers problems like bite wounds and getting struck by a vehicle. But it won’t cover illness-related vet expenses.
  • Pet wellness coverage. A pet insurance wellness plan for routine care is an optional plan that covers vet expenses like wellness exams, vaccinations, and flea and tick prevention.
  • Comprehensive coverage. This typically refers to an accident and illness plan that includes a wellness plan. It’s sometimes referred to as “nose to tail” coverage.

Coverage Level

Pet insurance plans for rescue dogs will typically offer a range of annual maximums, deductibles and reimbursem*nt levels to choose from. We would prioritize choosing coverage levels you’re comfortable with rather than focusing on price alone.

  • Annual maximum coverage: You’ll usually have a choice of an annual maximum payout level. This is the cap on how much the pet insurance plan will pay for the year. Many pet insurance plans offer choices between $5,000 and unlimited annual coverage.
  • Deductible: The deductible is the amount you’ll have to pay before your coverage kicks in. Pet insurance deductibles typically range between $100 and $1,000. The lower your deductible, the more you’ll pay for pet insurance because your insurer will pay more if you file a claim.
  • Reimbursem*nt percentage: The reimbursem*nt percentage is the amount your insurer will pay for claims covered by your policy. Common reimbursem*nt levels are 70%, 80% and 90%.

Waiting Periods

Every pet insurance company has a waiting period, which is the specified amount of time before your coverage kicks in. There are generally three types of waiting periods:

  • Accident waiting period: This typically ranges between one to 14 days.
  • Illness waiting period: The average illness waiting period is 14 days.
  • Extended waiting period: This waiting period applies to specified conditions, like cruciate ligament issues and hip dysplasia. The extended waiting period can range from six to 12 months. Not all insurers have an extended waiting period.

Pet Insurance Discounts

We recommend looking for pet insurance discounts when you’re shopping for a plan. Here’s a roundup of some pet insurance discounts you can find.

  • Multipet discount. Many insurers offer a discount if you insure more than one pet.
  • Spay/neuter discount. Some insurers offer discounts to pet owners who have their pet spayed or neutered.
  • Annual pay discount. You can often reduce costs if you pay your annual premium in one lump sum.
  • Military discount. Some insurers offer discounts for military members and veterans.
  • Group discount at work. Some employers offer pet insurance as a voluntary benefit, which could get you a 5% to 10% discount.
  • Bundle discount. You may be eligible for a discount if you bundle a pet insurance plan with another insurance type. For example, you can get up to a 10% discount when you bundle Lemonade pet insurance with a Lemonade renters or homeowners insurance policy.

Other Pet Insurance Comparison Factors

Here are three more factors we would look at when buying a rescue dog insurance plan:

  • Exam fees: Some insurers will cover the vet exam fee if you take your dog to the vet for an accident and illness. If you want this covered, make sure you go with a pet insurer that includes vet exam fees, such as Embrace.
  • Behavioral therapy coverage: Not every rescue dog will have behavioral problems, but it’s prudent to look for dog insurance plans that include coverage for behavioral therapy. For example, Embrace, Fetch, MetLife, Nationwide and Spot include this benefit.
  • Benefits: Look for extra benefits like a 24-hour vet helpline in case your pet gets sick at night. As another example, Nationwide pet insurance members have access to preferred pricing on pet prescriptions at any Walmart pharmacy.

Expert Tips

Factors To Consider When Insuring a Rescue Dog

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (71)

Jason Metz

Insurance Lead Editor

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (72)

Michelle Megna

Insurance Lead Editor

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (73)

Les Masterson

Insurance Editor

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (74)

Penny Gusner

Insurance Senior Writer

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (75)

Ashlee Valentine

Insurance Editor

Dog’s Age

Older rescue dogs are more expensive to insure because they’re more likely to develop health problems. And some insurers have an upper age limit (such as age 14) to buy a new policy. To find the best pet insurance for older dogs, I recommend going with a company that has competitive prices, generous coverage limits, short waiting periods, the option to add a wellness plan and access to a 24/7 vet telehealth line.

Jason Metz

Insurance Lead Editor

Breed

Some dog breeds are predisposed to specific health problems, like hip dysplasia. If your rescue dog is predisposed to health issues, I suggest finding a company that offers short pet insurance waiting periods. For example, ASPCA pet insurance does not have an extended waiting period for orthopedic conditions such as hip dysplasia.

Michelle Megna

Insurance Lead Editor

Coverage Selections

Your coverage selections will impact your pet insurance costs. For example, choosing a higher reimbursem*nt level will cost more because your insurer will pay more if you file a pet insurance claim. You can save money by choosing a lower annual coverage limit, higher deductible and lower reimbursem*nt level, but you’ll have to pay more out of pocket if you file a claim.

Les Masterson

Insurance Editor

Multipet Discounts

If you have more than one pet, such as a rescue dog and a cat, you may be eligible for multipet discount. I’ve found these discounts typically range between 5% to 10% per pet, depending on the pet insurer. But not all insurers offer a multipet discount, so make sure you shop around.

Penny Gusner

Insurance Senior Writer

Pet Insurance Cost

Cost shouldn’t be the sole driving factor for choosing a pet insurance plan, but you also shouldn’t ignore it. After you’ve determined what type of coverage and benefits you want (such as a 24/7 vet telehealth line), I recommend comparing pet insurance quotes to find the best price.

Ashlee Valentine

Insurance Editor

Methodology

To find the best pet insurance we used data provided by PetInsurer.com to score each pet insurance company based on the following:

  • Pet insurance rates (40% of score): We calculated average rates for medium sized mixed breed dogs age 3 months, 2 years, 5 years and 7 years for plans with unlimited coverage, a $250 deductible and a 80% reimbursem*nt level, or the closest options available.
  • Special waiting period (10% of score): Many pet insurance companies have a special waiting period for problems such as cruciate ligament issues and hip dysplasia. Plans that had no waiting period, a waiting period of fewer than six months or the ability to have the waiting period waived scored higher.
  • Direct payment to vet (10% of score): Pet insurance companies that have the ability to pay a vet directly earned points.
  • 24/7 vet health line (10% of score): Insurers that provide access to a 24/7 vet health line earned points.
  • Routine wellness plans (10% of score): Insurers that offer optional wellness plans earned points.
  • Pays veterinary exam fees (10% of score): Plans that cover the vet exam fee received points. Not all insurers cover exam fees, even if the fee is for an illness or accident-related visit.
  • Euthanasia or end of life expenses (5% of score): Insurers that cover end of life expenses, such as euthanasia, cremation or burial fees, received points.
  • Multipet discount (5% of score): Many pet insurance companies offer a discount if you insure more than one pet. Insurers that offer a multipet discount earned points.

Read more: How Forbes Advisor Rates Pet Insurance Companies

Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do rescue dogs need insurance?

Pet insurance isn’t required for rescue dogs, but it’s a good idea for all dogs. That’s because it covers unexpected and major veterinary bills for problems like diabetes, broken bones, ingested foreign objects and cancer treatment. Without pet insurance, you would have to cover the entire cost of treatment yourself.

Are there any age restrictions for insuring rescued pets?

Yes, some pet insurers have age restrictions to insure rescued pets. Most companies allow you to insure a puppy at age 8 weeks. Some insurers have upper age limits for when you can buy a new policy, such as age 14.

For example, Embrace has an upper age limit of 14 to buy pet insurance for senior dogs. But if you buy a policy before your pet’s 14th birthday, you’ll have lifetime coverage. Other insurers, such as Figo, do not have upper age limits.

Is pet insurance more expensive for rescued pets?

Pet insurance is not more expensive for rescued dogs or cats. Insurers generally use similar cost factors to determine pet insurance costs, no matter if the pet was rescued or purchased directly from a breeder. That includes cost factors such as your pet’s age, breed, the plan you choose and your deductible amount.

Can I get free pet insurance if I adopt a rescue dog?

Depending on where you adopted your dog, you might qualify for free pet insurance. For example, if you adopt a dog or cat you may qualify for 30 days of free accident and illness coverage through MetLife. After 30 days, you’ll have the option to renew the policy or you can shop around for a different pet insurer.

Are there insurance companies that consider pre-existing conditions in rescue dogs?

Yes, pet insurance companies consider pre-existing conditions for all dogs, including rescue dogs. Pet insurers won’t cover health problems that occurred before your coverage began. For example, if your dog broke their paw before you purchased a policy or during the waiting period, you won’t be covered for vet expenses related to the broken bone.

Some pet insurers will cover curable pre-existing conditions, like a skin infection or allergies. For example, ASPCA pet insurance covers curable conditions if your pet is free of symptoms and treatment for 180 days. If the problem recurs after 180 days, it will be treated as a new condition.

Next Up In Pet Insurance

  • Best Pet Insurance
  • Best Cheap Pet Insurance
  • How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
  • What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
  • Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
  • Compare Pet Insurance Quotes

Information provided on Forbes Advisor is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circ*mstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Forbes Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

8 Best Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs 2024 (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Otha Schamberger

Last Updated:

Views: 6220

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Otha Schamberger

Birthday: 1999-08-15

Address: Suite 490 606 Hammes Ferry, Carterhaven, IL 62290

Phone: +8557035444877

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: Fishing, Flying, Jewelry making, Digital arts, Sand art, Parkour, tabletop games

Introduction: My name is Otha Schamberger, I am a vast, good, healthy, cheerful, energetic, gorgeous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.