Best Pet Insurance Companies of 2022

Anyone who has ever taken a sick or injured pet to the vet knows how expensive veterinary care can be. It’s in those situations where having a financial safety net to fall back on can be most helpful. It’s also in those situations where you shouldn’t have to decide between the health of your pet and your family’s financial well-being.

As a relatively new form of insurance, the first policy issued in 1982, pet insurance is not as well understood as other types such as homeowners, renters, or life insurance. In our unbiased rating of the Best Pet Insurance Companies of 2022, we aim to help you choose the best insurance company for your pet and illuminate pet insurance by looking at what it does and doesn’t cover as well as what factors will affect the price of a policy for your pet.

Haven Freitas / U.S. News & World Report

Our Best Pet Insurance Companies Rating

Compare the Best Pet Insurance Companies of 2022

The Best Pet Insurance Providers of 2022

Figo »

3.6 out of 5

Provider

No Limit MAXIMUM ENROLL AGE (yo)
30 Days MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
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Best Pet Insurance Companies in Detail

Healthy Paws  »

Healthy Paws

Best Pet Insurance

Sample Premium for Dogs$39.10

Sample Premium for Cats$12.71

App AvailableYes

Any rates listed are for illustrative purposes only. You should contact the insurance company or insurance agent directly for applicable quotes.

Pros:

  • Provides coverage for alternative care

Cons:

Healthy Paws: Healthy Paws offers a single pet insurance plan that covers accidents and illnesses with an annual deductible and no payout limits. If you want to lower your premiums, Healthy Paws gives you the option of either raising your deductible or lowering your reimbursement level. Also, Healthy Paws covers what it calls alternative care for your pet, which includes hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care.

What Healthy Paws’ plan doesn’t cover are things like wellness expenses, vet exams, and treatment for behavioral issues. As a bonus, it has a Refer-a-Friend program. After your referred friend completes the application process, Healthy Paws will donate $25 to help homeless pets.

Trupanion  »

Trupanion

Offers Per-Condition Deductibles

Sample Premium for Dogs$63.61

Sample Premium for Cats$28.06

App AvailableYes

Any rates listed are for illustrative purposes only. You should contact the insurance company or insurance agent directly for applicable quotes.

Pros:

  • Optional coverage for rehabilitative care

Cons:

  • No discount for enrolling multiple pets

Trupanion: Trupanion is unique in our rating for offering direct payment of veterinarian expenses. This means that if you use a participating vet, Trupanion will pay the vet’s office before you leave and you won’t need to file a claim.

Trupanion is similar to Healthy Paws in that it also has only one plan and no payout limits, but Trupanion offers more plan options, including a Recovery and Care Rider and a Pet Owner Assistance Package. The Pet Owner Assistance package is designed to pay for things like rewards for a lost pet, fees for boarding your pet in the event that you’re hospitalized, and liability coverage if your pet damages someone else’s property.

It also offers a lifetime per-condition deductible, as opposed to Healthy Paws’ annual deductible. The company also has a refer-a-friend program, where you can earn $25 for each friend referred, up to a limit of $100 a year.

Pets Best  »

Pets Best

No Upper Age Limits for Enrollment

Sample Premium for Dogs$18.80

Sample Premium for Cats$11.13

App AvailableYes

Any rates listed are for illustrative purposes only. You should contact the insurance company or insurance agent directly for applicable quotes.

Pros:

  • Offers two wellness care options

  • Offers three levels of pet insurance plans

Cons:

  • Rehab coverage only available in highest tier plan

Pets Best: The main plan from Pets Best covers accidents and illnesses for cats and dogs with no age restrictions on enrollment. This plan has three levels: Essential, Plus, and Elite. Going up the tiers adds benefits like covering exam fees for accidents and illnesses and coverage for rehab.

The company also has two wellness plan options to cover things like microchipping, flea and tick prevention, spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and deworming. This is the highest-rated company in our rating to offer coverage for routine and preventative care.

Plans through Pets Best have an annual deductible, with payout limit options ranging from $5,000 a year to unlimited. Among companies in our rating, Pets Best also has a shorter than average waiting period (the period of time between when your policy takes effect and when you can file claims) of three days for accidents. If added to your policy, routine care can be used immediately.

Embrace Pet Insurance  »

Embrace Pet Insurance

Offers Healthy Pet Deductible Credits

Sample Premium for Dogs$24.16

Sample Premium for Cats$11.65

App AvailableYes

Any rates listed are for illustrative purposes only. You should contact the insurance company or insurance agent directly for applicable quotes.

Pros:

  • No lifetime coverage limits

  • Plans have a diminishing deductible

Cons:

  • Plans have annual coverage limits

Embrace Pet Insurance: Like all the companies in our rating, Embrace doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, though it does have an exception to this rule. If your pet suffers from what is deemed to be a curable condition and has been symptom- and treatment-free for at least one year, the company may cover the condition again in the future. Embrace also features what it calls a diminishing deductible, which lowers your deductible each year your pet is healthy and you don’t file a claim.

Policies through Embrace also cover veterinary exam fees, which is unusual among companies in our rating. And while Embrace doesn’t offer wellness insurance policies or riders, it does offer a Wellness Rewards plan that covers items such as grooming and training.

Another important feature of Embrace is that there is no upper age limit on how old your pet can be when initially purchasing a policy.

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance  »

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Covers Range of Pets Including Horses

Sample Premium for Dogs$32.21

Sample Premium for Cats$18.41

App AvailableYes

Any rates listed are for illustrative purposes only. You should contact the insurance company or insurance agent directly for applicable quotes.

Pros:

  • Some plans cover behavioral and alternative therapy

  • Covers some pre-existing conditions after 180 days of being symptom-free

Cons:

  • Can take up to 30 days to process claims

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance: ASPCA Pet Health Insurance offers accident and illness coverage as well as accident-only coverage for cats and dogs. These plans have adjustable annual deductibles and adjustable annual payout limits. In addition to covering most accident and illness-related issues, ASPCA covers treatment for behavioral issues such as fur pulling, destructive chewing, and excessive licking.

ASPCA will also cover the re-emergence of pre-existing conditions after 180 days of being symptom-free. Many companies in our rating may never cover the re-emergence of a pre-existing condition no matter how long your pet has been considered cured or symptom-free. For example, Healthy Paws has no stipulations in its sample contract for when it might cover the re-emergence of a pre-existing condition.

You also have the option to add a preventative rider to your main plan. ASPCA is unique in our rating for offering insurance policies that cover horses. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance licenses its name from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and is not a part of that organization.

PetFirst Pet Insurance  »

PetFirst Pet Insurance

Sample Premium for Dogs$23.19

Sample Premium for Cats$12.35

App AvailableNo

Any rates listed are for illustrative purposes only. You should contact the insurance company or insurance agent directly for applicable quotes.

Pros:

  • Optional routine care coverage

Cons:

  • Charges a fee if you pay monthly vs. annually

PetFirst Pet Insurance: Founded in 2004 and purchased by MetLife in 2020, PetFirst offers accident and illness coverage for cats and dogs along with the option of adding routine care coverage. As with Embrace, there is no upper age limit for when you can purchase a PetFirst policy to cover your pet. The only age restriction is that they must be at least 8 weeks old.

PetFirst has a few different ways you can save money with its policies. First, it offers a discount for having policies for more than one pet. Your deductible will also generally go down $25 for every year that you don’t file a claim.

Figo  »

Figo

Sample Premium for Dogs$22.15

Sample Premium for Cats$23.40

App AvailableYes

Any rates listed are for illustrative purposes only. You should contact the insurance company or insurance agent directly for applicable quotes.

Pros:

  • Mobile app provides access to a veterinary professional 24/7

  • Highest level plan has no payout limits

Cons:

  • Exams for covered illnesses and injuries are an option you must pay extra for

  • Pet insurance for cats may be more expensive than pet insurance for dogs

Figo: Figo offers three pet insurance policies that cover accidents and injuries for a cat, dog, or other pet. Higher-level plans increase the annual payout limit. There are also options to cover vet fees and prescription food. You can use its Pet Cloud mobile app to connect with a licensed veterinarian or other veterinary professional 24/7, to gain access to your Figo account, and for more social purposes like finding local dog parks or sharing photos with other pet owners.

Fetch by The Dodo  »

Fetch by The Dodo

Sample Premium for DogsN/A

Sample Premium for CatsN/A

App AvailableYes

Any rates listed are for illustrative purposes only. You should contact the insurance company or insurance agent directly for applicable quotes.

Pros:

  • Coverage includes online vet visits

  • Covers behavioral therapy and rehabilitation

Cons:

  • No preventative care options

Fetch by The Dodo (formerly Petplan): Fetch by The Dodo (formerly Petplan) offers one plan that covers accidents and illness. There are no options for add-ons. However, one benefit that Fetch by The Dodo’s plan offers is coverage for vet exam fees when your pet is sick or injured.

This insurer also covers virtual vet visits, which may be of interest to those who have trouble making it to a vet’s office. Additionally, Fetch by The Dodo says it will cover up to $1,000 in boarding fees for your pet should you be hospitalized. Fetch by The Dodo’s policies come with an annual deductible and payment limits.

Nationwide  »

Nationwide

Sample Premium for Dogs$60.52

Sample Premium for Cats$35.45

App AvailableYes

Any rates listed are for illustrative purposes only. You should contact the insurance company or insurance agent directly for applicable quotes.

Pros:

  • Provides coverage for exotics pets

  • Standard plan includes wellness coverage

Cons:

  • Premiums are among the highest in our rating

Nationwide: Nationwide is the first insurer in the U.S. to offer pet insurance. Its main plan covers both routine and preventative care for your cat or dog. You also have the option of separately purchasing accident and illness insurance or wellness plans. Nationwide is the only company in our rating to offer coverage for birds and other exotic pets such as chinchillas, ferrets, rats, amphibians, lizards, snakes, and tortoises.

While Nationwide looks expensive compared to other companies in our pet insurance rating, keep in mind that the plan includes wellness coverage, something most of the other companies don’t include in their main plans.

How to Choose the Right Pet Insurance Company for You

There are a lot of factors to consider as you shop for pet health insurance. The steps below can help you find the right company and policy for you and your pet.

Decide what type of policy you need. Pet owners can typically choose between three types of policies:

  • Accident and illness insurance: covers treatment of broken bones, swallowed objects, cancer, UTIs, ear infections, etc.  
  • Wellness insurance: covers routine care, such as vaccinations, exams, spaying and neutering, and nail trims 
  • Exotic pet insurance: designed for pets other than cats or dogs, such as hamsters, rabbits, geckos, and snakes

Determine what is (or isn’t) covered under the policy. Closely examine which conditions, diagnostic tests, and treatments are covered for your pet and identify any limits, exclusions, or age-specific restrictions. If you own a breed of pet that is prone to hereditary or congenital conditions, such as hip dysplasia or asthma, verify that the policy will provide coverage for treatment. Keep in mind that insurers generally don’t cover pre-existing conditions.

Choose a deductible. Like human health insurance, pet insurance policies include deductibles, or the amount of money you pay before the insurance company will begin to cover expenses.

In general, the companies in our rating offer two types of deductibles:

  • Annual deductibles are similar to those found in human health insurance policies. Each year, you’re responsible for paying a set amount of money (e.g., $500) for covered care, regardless of what type . After you meet your deductible, the insurer will pay any additional costs. 
  • Per-condition deductibles refer to a set of deductibles that are specific to different conditions. For instance, a policy may include a separate deductible for arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and liver disease. 

If your pet needs to visit the vet multiple times a year, and each visit is for a different injury or illness, an annual deductible may be less expensive. If your pet develops an illness or issue requiring consistent care or multiple visits but doesn’t have other issues, a per-condition deductible may be more affordable. There are pros and cons to both deductibles, but neither is inherently better than the other.

Choose a reimbursement rate: Reimbursement rates refer to the percentage of costs an insurer will reimburse. Reimbursement rates vary by insurer, but common rates range from 60% to 100% of your veterinary bill.

Determine what limits are available. Limits refer to the total amount of money an insurer will pay for covered expenses (e.g., $10,000 a year). Some insurers don’t cap payments, but others have annual limits. If a policy has an annual limit, your insurer will only cover expenses up to that amount. You’ll need to cover any additional costs until the next policy year.

Find out if you can customize your premiums. Some insurers allow policyholders to customize their premiums by adjusting one or more aspects of their policy. Though each insurer is different, you may be able to adjust your deductible, reimbursement rate (percentage of costs an insurer will cover), or policy limits to build a premium that fits your budget or veterinary care needs. Decreasing your payout limits and the rate of reimbursement will typically lower your premiums. You can also lower your premiums by raising your deductible. However, keep in mind that each adjustment may result in more out-of-pocket expenses should your pet need frequent or costly care.

Check for discounts. Some insurers will offer discounts that can bring down coverage costs. Discounts vary in availability and type but may include annual pay discounts, multi-pet discounts, military discounts, and employee benefit discounts.

As you shop for a pet health insurance policy, there are a few other factors that can help you make your decision. Most companies in our rating offer several customer service options, including email, phone, and online chat support as well as mobile app access. Reviewing customer service and support options can help you find an insurer that meets your policy management and claims handling preferences.

It’s also worth considering any add-on or additional coverage you may want. Some of the companies in our rating offer wellness or alternative care plans that cover things like hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. When all else is equal, reviewing customer support and supplemental coverage options can help you make your decision.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

What a policy covers depends on the type of pet you own and the coverage you choose. Most of the pet insurance policies in our rating are designed to provide coverage to dogs and cats in the event of an accident or illness. However, there are also plans that offer other types of coverage, like routine care, or other types of pets, like rabbits, horses, and exotic animals.

Generally, there are three types of pet insurance plans.

  • Accident and illness insurance. These policies are the most common and will cover your pet if they are sick or injured. Depending on the plan and reason for the vet visit, coverage can include diagnostic procedures, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and bloodwork. Costs associated with treatment, like medicine, surgery, and hospitalization, are also typically covered. Routine care, such as vaccinations and regular checkups, are not included. 
  • Wellness insurance. Wellness policies are designed to cover more routine issues, like exams, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and dental care. A few companies, like Nationwide, offer wellness pet policies that cover dental care and other preventative care expenses. Others, like PetFirst, allow you to purchase riders, a type of insurance add-on, to cover preventative care. 
  • Exotic pet insurance. Most pet insurance policies cover cats and dogs, but if you have other types of pets, you’ll likely need an exotic pet insurance plan. The type of animals covered under this type of plan can vary, but they generally include rabbits, rodents, frogs, lizards, goats, birds, and other common (or not so common) pets. 

The policy you choose will dictate what’s covered, but there are other considerations to keep in mind.
Pet insurance companies generally don’t cover pre-existing conditions. If your cat, dog, or other pet has been diagnosed with a condition before applying for a pet insurance policy, it’s unlikely you’ll be reimbursed for costs associated with treatment. The same may be true if your pet hasn’t been diagnosed but is already showing symptoms.

There are exceptions to the rule, however. For example, Fetch by The Dodo doesn’t provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, but if the condition has been considered cured for an extended period of time, it could be covered again in the future.

Hereditary conditions are another factor to consider as you look for insurance. Many pet insurance policies will cover hereditary conditions, but only if your pet is free from associated symptoms when you sign up for a policy. If your pet already has symptoms, it’s likely the insurer will consider it a pre-existing condition.

Pet Insurance Plan Availability

CompanyHealthy Paws »
Accident & Illness Plan
Accident Only Plan
Wellness Rider
Wellness Plan
CompanyTrupanion »
Accident & Illness Plan
Accident Only Plan
Wellness Rider
Wellness Plan
CompanyPets Best »
Accident & Illness Plan
Accident Only Plan
Wellness Rider
Wellness Plan
Healthy Paws » Company
Accident & Illness Plan
Accident Only Plan
Wellness Rider
Wellness Plan
Trupanion » Company
Accident & Illness Plan
Accident Only Plan
Wellness Rider
Wellness Plan
Pets Best » Company
Accident & Illness Plan
Accident Only Plan
Wellness Rider
Wellness Plan
Figo » Company
Accident & Illness Plan
Accident Only Plan
Wellness Rider
Wellness Plan
Fetch by The Dodo » Company
Accident & Illness Plan
Accident Only Plan
Wellness Rider
Wellness Plan
Nationwide » Company
Accident & Illness Plan
Accident Only Plan
Wellness Rider
Wellness Plan

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

The pet insurance policies in our rating cost between approximately $19 and $64 per month for a large 1-year-old female mixed-breed dog and between approximately $11 and $35 per month for a 1-year-old male domestic shorthair cat. The prices for both animals are based, where applicable, on a policy with a $5,000 annual limit, 90% reimbursement rate, and $500 deductible.

The monthly premiums for pets are based on several factors, including whether your pet is a cat or dog, their age, any pre-existing conditions, where you reside, and how you choose to adjust your deductible and coverage limits. In our ratings, and according to research from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), the average premiums for dog insurance is higher than those for cat insurance.

Companies tend to increase your premiums for pets as they age, with some companies even refusing to start new policies for pets over a certain age.

Do I Need Pet Insurance?

This will depend on a number of factors including whether your pet’s breed is predisposed to certain genetic conditions, your financial situation, and what your expectations for a pet insurance policy are.

If your pet is a breed prone to certain conditions, insuring your pet before they show symptoms could be a way to ensure you will be able to afford treatment for those conditions should they arise.

If your pet is already showing symptoms of the condition, then no company in our rating would cover treatment for that condition as it would be considered a pre-existing condition. Even in these circumstances, a pet insurance policy might still make sense for you as your pet may develop other issues that require medical attention.

Veterinary expenses for pets can be expensive and pet insurance may not cover them for you. For example, according to the 2019-2020 APPA National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), the average price of a surgical vet visit was $426 for a dog and $214 for a cat.

If your dog had an accident and required a $426 surgery, but your policy has a $500 deductible, then you would be paying for the cost of the surgery out of pocket. But, if your dog required follow-up care related to the accident, and it was covered by your insurance policy, then you would be covered for those additional expenses once your deductible was met.

Some people will enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having an insurance policy while others will be more comfortable placing money into a savings account for veterinary expenses.

How to Buy a Pet Insurance Plan

These steps can help you choose the right insurer and policy to protect your pet.

  1. Review and select a pet insurance company. There are several insurers and policy types available. Researching each can help you pick a provider and coverage plan that meets your pet’s needs. Be sure to take note of what is and isn’t covered as well as deductible options, reimbursement rates (generally presented as a percentage), and any coverage limits. 
  2. Get quotes. Once you have narrowed down your choices, go to the provider’s website or contact them via phone to request a quote. Quote forms vary, but you’ll usually need to provide your pet’s name, breed, and age. You’ll also likely need to provide some information about their general health, specifically any pre-existing conditions your pet may have. 
  3. Select a plan. After you choose a company and get a quote you’ll likely need to choose a plan, where applicable, as well as a deductible level, payout limits, and reimbursement rate.
  4. Schedule a visit with your vet or request your pet’s medical records. Depending on the insurer you choose, you may need to schedule a visit to the vet or have them send your pet’s medical records to the insurer.

The pets of U.S. News employees

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FAQ

Do Pet Insurance Plans Only Cover Cats and Dogs?

No, in our rating we have two companies that offer insurance policies for more animals than just cats and dogs. Nationwide offers a policy for birds and other exotic pets while ASPCA Pet Health Insurance offers plans that cover horses.

Do Pet Insurance Plans Offer Discounts?

Yes, many pet insurance companies offer discounts. To help make policies more budget-friendly, many companies offer discounts when you insure multiple pets. There are also some discounts for veterans, active members of the military, and people who work in jobs related to animal care.

Pet Insurance Discount Comparison

CompanyHealthy Paws »
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
CompanyTrupanion »
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
CompanyPets Best »
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
CompanyEmbrace Pet Insurance »
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
Healthy Paws » Company
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
Trupanion » Company
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
Pets Best » Company
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
Embrace Pet Insurance » Company
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
PetFirst Pet Insurance » Company
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
Figo » Company
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
Fetch by The Dodo » Company
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **
Nationwide » Company
Multiple Pet Discount
Military Discount
Assistance Pet Discount
Animal-Care Workers Discount **

* A 5% affiliation discount may apply to individuals who belong to select military, law enforcement and service animal training organizations that have a relationship with Nationwide. ** Animal-care worker discount is offered to pet owners who works at animal care facilities such as shelters

Does Pet Insurance Cover Dental?

Accident and illness insurance policies for pets typically will cover procedures including extraction and reconstruction for dental injuries due to trauma. However, preventative care, like teeth cleaning, is not covered. Some insurers, such as Pets Best, do offer optional wellness coverage to defray the cost of routine dental and other procedures. Others, including Healthy Paws, do not.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying and Neutering?

Procedures such as spaying or neutering are considered preventative care and, as a result, are not covered by pet insurance accident and illness policies. Some pet insurance companies, such as Pets Best and Embrace, offer wellness add-ons that can offset the cost of spaying or neutering your dog or cat. Check the fine print, however, because wellness coverage from some providers like Nationwide do not include dental cleanings.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

In general, pet insurers do not cover any injury, illness, or other health conditions that exist at the time of enrollment or during the mandatory waiting period that follows. This includes pre-existing health conditions not formally diagnosed by a veterinarian. Healthy Paws and some other insurers also include what’s known as a bilateral exclusion. This means that if your pet has sustained a cruciate ligament injury to one leg prior to enrollment or during the waiting period, the corresponding leg would not be covered should a similar injury occur.

Although insurers don’t cover pre-existing conditions, most will provide future coverage for those that are considered “curable” conditions. Nationwide, for example, will cover new cruciate ligament or meniscus injuries after the first 12 months of coverage.

Do Pet Insurance Companies Have Networks?

Pet insurance companies generally don’t have networks. While Trupanion does partner with some vets to provide instant reimbursement on its policies, you can still use this insurance with other vets.

How Do You File a Pet Insurance Claim?

With most pet insurance providers, to file a claim you will fill out a claim form on the company’s website, in its app, or by printing it out and mailing it. You typically submit an invoice from your vet with your claim.

What Is a Pet Savings Account?

A pet savings account is a type of supplemental savings account dedicated to saving up money for expenses related to your pet.

Learn More

For more information about pet insurance visit our guides:

Other Ratings From 360 Reviews

For more information about other types of insurance visit our guides:

Our 360 Methodology for Evaluating Pet Insurance

The following describes our 360 approach to researching and analyzing pet insurance to guide prospective consumers.

1. We researched the companies and products people care most about.

U.S. News analyzed and compared a variety of publicly available data, including internet search data, to determine which pet insurance companies Americans are most interested in. We found 19 companies that stand out in terms of volume of searches and research among consumers, as well as across the different rating sources. After conducting a thorough analysis, we were able to condense the initial list to the 9 overall Best Pet Insurance Companies. With the companies determined, we conducted a comprehensive research on their features to create a general layout of what consumers should know to assist with their purchasing decisions.

We then compared the available plans provided by our top pet insurance companies across several criteria, including but not limited to cost, wellness riders, waiting periods, plan coverage, claim processing time, unique features, and customer satisfaction. Research shows that these are the most important criteria for people shopping for pet insurance.

2. We created objective 360 Overall Ratings based on an analysis of third-party reviews.

U.S. News’ 360 Reviews team applied an unbiased methodology that includes opinions from professional reviews as well as consumer reviews.

Our scoring methodology is based on a composite analysis of the ratings and reviews published by credible third-party professional and consumer review sources. The ratings are not based on personal opinions or experiences of U.S. News. To calculate the ratings:

(a) We compiled two types of third-party ratings and reviews:

  • Professional Ratings and Reviews. Many independent pet insurance evaluating sources have published their assessments of pet insurance companies and their plans. We consider several of these third-party reviews to be reputable and well-researched. However, professional reviewers often make recommendations that contradict one another. Rather than relying on a single source, U.S. News believes consumers benefit most when these opinions and recommendations are considered and analyzed collectively with an objective, consensus-based methodology.
  • Consumer Ratings and Reviews. U.S. News also reviewed published consumer ratings and reviews of pet insurance companies. Sources with a sufficient number of quality consumer ratings and reviews were included in our scoring model.

Please note that not all professional and consumer rating sources met our criteria for objectivity. Therefore, some sources were excluded from our model.

(b) We standardized the inputs to create a common scale.

The third-party review source data were collected in a variety of forms, including ratings, recommendations, and accolades. Before including each third-party data point into our scoring equation, we had to standardize it so that it could be compared accurately with data points from other review sources. We used the scoring methodology described below to convert these systems to a comparable scale.

The 360 scoring process first converted each third-party rating into a common 0 to 5 scale. To balance the distribution of scores within each source’s scale, we used a standard deviation (or Z-Score) calculation to determine how each company’s score compared to the source’s mean score. We then used the Z-Score to create a standardized U.S. News score using the method outlined below:

  • Calculating the Z-Score: The Z-Score represents a data point’s relation to the mean measurement of the data set. The Z-Score is negative when the data point is below the mean and positive when it’s above the mean; a Z-Score of 0 means it’s equal to the mean. To determine the Z-Score for each third-party rating of a company, we calculated the mean of the ratings across all companies evaluated by that third-party source. We then subtracted the mean from the company’s rating and divided it by the standard deviation to produce the Z-Score.
  • Calculating the T-Score: We used a T-Score calculation to convert the Z-Score to a 0-100 scale by multiplying the Z-Score by 10. To ensure that the mean was equal across all data points, we added our desired scoring mean (between 0 and 10) to the T-Score to create an adjusted T-Score.
  • Calculating the common-scale rating: We divided the adjusted T-Score, which is on a 100-point scale, by 20 to convert the third-party rating to a common 0-5 point system.

(c) We calculated the 360 Overall Score based on a weighted-average model.

We assigned “source weights” to each source used in the consensus scoring model based on our assessment of how much the source is trusted and recognized by consumers and how much its published review process indicates that it is both comprehensive and editorially independent. The source weights are assigned on a 1-5 scale. Any source with an assigned weight less than one was excluded from the consensus scoring model.

Finally, we combined the converted third-party data points using a weighted average formula based on source weight. This formula calculated the consensus score for each product, which we call the 360 Overall Rating.

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.

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