Get the Best Pet Insurance in California in 2024

Sponsored by Figo Pet Insurance

If you're a pet owner who lives in California, you may be wondering about the best pet insurance policies available to you in 2024. With a wide variety of options, each offering varying coverage levels, pet insurance premiums, and deductibles, it’s vital to know what sets a good policy apart.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover the essentials of selecting pet insurance. We’ll break down the costs, examine the differences among plans from leading insurers, and highlight important consumer protections and laws specific to California. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision on the best pet insurance plan for your furry friend in the state of California.

Summary: Best California Pet Insurance Ratings

AKC Pet Insurance

Best for pets with pre-existing conditions

Max Annual Coverage

Unlimited

Reimbursement Choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Deductible

$100-$1,000

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ASPCA Pet Insurance

Best for wide-ranging coverage

Max Annual Coverage

Unlimited

Reimbursement Choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Deductible

$100-$500

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Embrace

Best for flexible policy options

Max Annual Coverage

Unlimited

Reimbursement Choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Deductible

$100-$1,000

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Felix

Best for cats

Max Annual Coverage

$15,000

Reimbursement Choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Deductible

$100-$500

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Figo

Best for reimbursement options

Max Annual Coverage

Unlimited

Reimbursement Choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Deductible

$100-$750

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Pets Best

Best for senior pets

Max Annual Coverage

Unlimited

Reimbursement Choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Deductible

$50-$1,000

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Pumpkin

Best for puppies and kittens

Max Annual Coverage

Unlimited

Reimbursement Choices

90%

Deductible

$100-$1,000

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Spot

Best for straightforward waiting periods

Max Annual Coverage

Unlimited

Reimbursement Choices

70%, 80%, 90%

Deductible

$100-$1,000

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Comparison information is provided using publicly available information as of 5/1/2024 and is only meant to summarize program features, not a specific plan. Review the provider’s plan terms for more details. The description of the providers’ plans are not provided by that company. If you have questions about other plans, please contact an agent of that company. It is our intention to provide fair and accurate comparison information. We attempt to keep information up to date but it may change from time to time. If you are aware of any inaccuracies or changes in the information provided, let us know by emailing (provide a contact email to request updates).

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in California?

According to our research, California pet insurance costs an average of $46 per month. This gets you a plan with $5,000 in annual coverage, a $250 deductible, and an 80% reimbursement level. For unlimited annual coverage with the same deductible and reimbursement rate, it's $74 a month.

We calculated these figures by averaging the monthly costs from eight major pet insurance providers. To estimate typical expenses, we gathered quotes for a three-year-old, medium-sized, mixed-breed dog in two California cities: Los Angeles, a major urban center, and Santa Clara, an average-sized city for the state.

It's important to note that your own California pet insurance cost will depend on factors such as:

In addition, there may be other factors that can affect the cost of pet insurance, such as pre-existing conditions, your pet’s lifestyle, and whether you choose to add on any optional coverage. That's why it's vital to compare California pet insurance plans carefully and choose a policy that best fits your budget and your pet's specific needs.

Cost of Pet Insurance for Dogs in California

The average cost of pet insurance for a three-year-old, medium-sized, mixed-breed dog in California is equivalent to the state's average of $46 per month*. As mentioned earlier, this is based on a policy with $5,000 of annual pet insurance coverage, a $250 deductible, and an 80% reimbursement level. A policy offering unlimited annual coverage, with a deductible of $250 and an 80% reimbursement rate, costs $74 monthly.

Cost of Pet Insurance in California by Dog Breed

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the three most popular dog breeds of 2023 in the U.S. were the French Bulldog, Labrador Retriever, and Golden Retriever. To give you an idea of how pet insurance costs vary by breed, here are the monthly pet insurance rates you can expect to pay for these breeds in California:

Breed
Average Monthly Cost With $5,000 Annual Coverage
Average Monthly Cost With Unlimited Annual Coverage
French Bulldog
$94
$128
Labrador Retriever
$64
$87
Golden Retriever
$61
$84

Cost of Pet Insurance for Cats in California

Pet insurance for cats is significantly cheaper than dog insurance in California. The average cost per month for cat insurance in California falls between $20 and $50, depending on factors such as age, breed, annual coverage, deductible, and reimbursement amount**.

Cost of Pet Insurance in California by Cat Breed

In 2023, the three most popular cat breeds in the U.S. were the Ragdoll, Maine Coon Cat, and Persian, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA). Based on our analysis of California pet insurance, here are the average monthly rates for these breeds:

Breed
Average Monthly Cost With $5,000 Annual Coverage
Average Monthly Cost With Unlimited Annual Coverage
Ragdoll
$28
$39
Maine Coon Cat
$32
$47
Persian
$32
$46

Cost Comparison for Pet Insurance Companies in California

Company
Average Monthly Cost With $5,000 Annual Coverage
Average Monthly Cost With Unlimited Annual Coverage
AKC Pet Insurance
$41
$50
ASPCA Pet Insurance
$37
$58
Embrace
$43
$77
Felix
$35
$39
Figo
$50
$70
Pets Best
$42
$48
Pumpkin
$77
$103
Spot
$37
$78

Types of Pet Insurance Plans

Pet insurance companies offer policies that cover a wide range of issues, from accidents and illnesses to routine care with optional preventive care available. Here's an overview of the most common types of pet insurance plans:

Accident and Illness

This type of policy covers unexpected accidents and illnesses, such as broken bones, cancer, and infections. It typically includes diagnostic tests, exam fees, x-rays, ultrasounds, hospital stays, surgeries, and prescription medications.

Coverage may also extend to treatments like prosthetic devices, mobility aids, and alternative therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic care. Coverage for behavioral issues and insurance for senior dogs and senior cats can vary between providers and might not always be included in the base plan, requiring add-ons or separate policies.

Accident Only

Accident-only pet insurance policies are typically the most affordable plans available and can cover injuries from accidents like cuts, broken bones, and sprains. This includes vet exams, diagnostic testing (x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds), hospitalization (surgery and treatment), medications, and rehabilitation.

Wellness and Routine Care

Wellness and routine care plans help manage and offset the cost of preventive care to keep your pet healthy. These policies typically cover routine check-ups, vaccinations, dental cleanings, microchipping, deworming, spay/neuter surgeries, and flea and tick prevention. This type of coverage is often available as an optional add-on to an accident and illness policy.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Pet insurance providers traditionally do not cover pre-existing conditions, making this an essential factor for pet owners to consider when choosing a policy. A pre-existing condition is any health issue that your pet was diagnosed with or showed symptoms of before the start date of the insurance policy or during the waiting period.

However, some insurance companies distinguish between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions. For curable conditions, if your pet has been symptom-free and has not required treatment for a specific period – typically for 6 to 12 months before the policy start date – these conditions might then be eligible for coverage. In contrast, incurable conditions, such as chronic diseases or ongoing illnesses, are generally not covered at any point.

Review your sample policy from your provider for a full list of condition coverage and exclusions.

Reimbursement

Reimbursement rates dictate the percentage of the vet bill that will be paid back to you after you've met your deductible. Common reimbursement levels offered by pet insurance companies range from 70% to 90%. Keep in mind that higher reimbursement rates typically result in higher monthly premiums, so you'll need to find the right balance that works for your budget and needs.

Waiting periods are another vital component of pet insurance policies. They refer to the time between the start date of your policy and when coverage actually begins. Most pet insurance plans have a waiting period for both accidents and illnesses, which can range from days to months.

Accidents usually have a shorter waiting period, often starting within 48 to 72 hours after the policy begins, while waiting periods for illnesses might last anywhere from 14 to 30 days or more. It's vital to note these periods because no claims can be made for accidents or illnesses that occur during the waiting period.

California’s Consumer Protection Law for Pet Insurance Buyers

California has legislation designed to protect pet insurance buyers, ensuring fair practices and transparency. Here’s what you need to know about California’s Consumer Protection Law for Pet Insurance Buyers:

How to Find the Best Pet Insurance in California

When looking at pet insurance options in California, it's important to think about how living in the Golden State could affect what you need from your pet insurance policy.

Natural disasters like wildfires and earthquakes, which are more prevalent in California, can lead to unexpected accidents or injuries to your pet. Plus, wildlife like coyotes and rattlesnakes could also pose a threat to your furry friend.

In addition, the overall cost of living, including veterinary care expenses, tends to be higher in California than in many other states. This means that you may need more comprehensive coverage to ensure your pet is protected in case of emergencies or illnesses.

Given these factors, pet owners should look for insurance policies that provide a broad range of coverage and support. Here are some critical features to consider when choosing the best pet insurance plan in California:

California Pet Laws

California has specific laws in place to protect pets and their owners. Here are key laws and regulations affecting pet owners in the state:

Los Angeles Pet Laws

As one of the largest cities in California, Los Angeles also has specific laws and regulations related to pets. Here are some key points to keep in mind if you are a pet owner in the City of Angels:

San Diego Pet Laws

San Diego, a vibrant coastal city, has specific laws and regulations related to pets. Here are key points to keep in mind if you're a pet owner in San Diego:

San Francisco Pet Laws

If you're a pet owner in the bustling and diverse city of San Francisco, here are some essential laws and regulations to keep in mind:

Common Pet Risks in California

California's diverse climate and landscape offer both beauty and challenges, posing unique health risks for pets. From the scorching sun of summer to the threat of wildfires and other dangers, California pet owners need to stay vigilant and proactive to keep their furry friends safe. Here are some specific risks to watch out for:

Veterinary Costs in California

According to Banfield Pet Hospital's Price Estimator, the average cost for a vet visit in California is $87. However, this can be significantly higher for emergency care or specialized treatments. Here's an overview of vet visit costs in five cities across the state:

City
Average Veterinary Visit Cost With One Pet
Average Veterinary Visit Cost With One Pet
Fresno
$75
$59
Los Angeles
$85
$67
Oakland
$94
$73
Santa Clara
$99
$77
Westminster
$81
$63

Best Cheap Pet Insurance by City in California

As mentioned earlier, where you live can affect the cost of pet insurance. Here's an overview of the most affordable pet insurance providers in three major California cities:

City
Cheapest Company/Average Monthly Cost With $5,000 Annual Coverage
Cheapest Company/Average Monthly Cost With Unlimited Annual Coverage
Los Angeles
Embrace, $36
Pets Best, $54
San Diego
Embrace, $33
Pets Best, $43
Santa Clara
Felix, $33
Pets Best, $41

Methodology

The PetPlace team compiled this guide through research and analysis of publicly available data. Some of the factors we considered include policy rates, waiting periods, the availability of a 24/7 vet helpline, and wellness routine care coverage. Our goal is to provide helpful information for pet owners in California. However, we recommend conducting your own research, speaking to your vet, and considering your budget and your pet's specific needs before deciding on a pet insurance provider.

Best Pet Insurance in California FAQs

Is pet insurance worth it for my pets?
For most pet owners, pet insurance is worth considering to help with unexpected and costly veterinary bills. It can provide peace of mind and financial support in case of accidents, illnesses, or other health issues.
How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance operates similarly to human health insurance. After choosing a plan, you pay a monthly premium to keep coverage active. If your pet needs veterinary care, you first pay out of pocket then submit a claim to your insurance provider for reimbursement of eligible vet bills.

Depending on your policy details, you may be reimbursed for a significant portion of the cost, after meeting any deductible and considering your reimbursement rate and policy limits.

What is the best age to get dog insurance?
The best time to insure your dog is as early as possible. Many companies offer lower rates for younger pets, and you can avoid potential pre-existing condition exclusions by getting coverage early on. However, it's never too late to get pet insurance, and older dogs can still benefit from the financial protection it provides.
What does basic cat insurance cover?
Basic cat insurance typically covers a range of medical expenses related to accidents, illnesses, and sometimes even preventive care if added to a policy. This can include emergency surgeries, diagnostic tests, hospital stays, and treatments for diseases and infections.
What pet insurance companies are the best?
This guide features several of the best pet insurance companies in California. However, the ideal provider for you and your pet may vary depending on factors like cost, coverage choices, and customer service quality. To ensure you find the best match for your pet's requirements, it's important to thoroughly research and compare various options.

* Average prices were calculated using research based on quotes obtained from publicly available quote tools, utilizing California zip codes. Specifically, quotes were gathered for Los Angeles (90001) and Santa Clara (95050). The quotes were generated for a 3-year-old male mixed-breed dog with a $250 deductible, 80% reimbursement rate, and a standard Accident and Illness plan. The quotes were obtained during the period of April 1 – April 30, 2024.

** Average prices were calculated using research based on quotes obtained from publicly available quote tools, utilizing California zip codes. Specifically, quotes were gathered for Los Angeles (90001) and Santa Clara (95050). The quotes were generated for a 3-year-old male mixed-breed cat with a $250 deductible, 80% reimbursement rate, and a standard Accident and Illness plan. The quotes were obtained during the period of April 1 – April 30, 2024.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.

FIGO Pet Insurance LLC (“FIGO”) is a licensed insurance agency (NPN #16841904; CA license #0K02763). PetPlace is a trademarked brand name owned by Independence American Holdings Corp. (“PetPlace”) and is not a licensed insurance agency or an underwriter of insurance. FIGO and PetPlace are affiliated companies; and PetPlace may receive compensation for referrals. All inquiries regarding insurance should be directed to Figo or the licensed insurance agency you contact through this website. The information contained in this website is for illustrativeI purposes only and coverage under any pet insurance policy is expressly subject to the conditions, restrictions, limitations, exclusions (including pre-existing conditions), and terms of the policy documentation issued by the insurer. Insurance products are underwritten by either Independence American Insurance Company (NAIC #26581, Scottsdale, AZ) or United States Fire Insurance Company (NAIC #211113, Morristown, NJ).