The Best Pet Insurance in California for 2024


Looking for insurance to help with unexpected vet bills? Most major pet insurance companies operate in California, so you’ve got plenty of options to get your furry friend covered. NerdWallet gathered rates and evaluated more than a dozen insurers to help you find the best pet insurance in California in the following categories:

Best pet insurance category

Best budget pick for dogs

Best budget pick for cats

Best for comprehensive coverage

Best overall: MetLife

MetLife

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

MetLife sells customizable plans for dogs, cats and even other animals in some states.

Pay vet directly

No

Scope of coverage

Excellent

Ability to customize plan

Excellent

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MetLife

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

MetLife sells customizable plans for dogs, cats and even other animals in some states.

Pay vet directly

No

Scope of coverage

Excellent

Ability to customize plan

Excellent

Why it’s the best

MetLife had the highest raw score of all the companies NerdWallet evaluated, thanks to its combination of strong coverage and useful features. MetLife’s policies cover things like alternative and complementary medicine, treatment for dental diseases, prescription food and end-of-life expenses. In most states, MetLife also offers free grief counseling sessions with a counselor if you lose your pet.

MetLife will cover pets of all ages, with no age restrictions. And if your pet stays healthy, your deductible could drop by $25 or $50 for each year you go without receiving a claim reimbursement. (A deductible is the amount you pay in vet bills before your insurer starts reimbursing you.)

Best budget pick for dogs: Lemonade

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Lemonade

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Lemonade boasts a seamless online experience and quick claims, but its default coverage is more limited than some other plans.

Pay vet directly

No

Scope of coverage

Average

Ability to customize plan

Average

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Lemonade

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Lemonade boasts a seamless online experience and quick claims, but its default coverage is more limited than some other plans.

Pay vet directly

No

Scope of coverage

Average

Ability to customize plan

Average

Why it’s the best

Lemonade offered the cheapest rate for our sample dog in Los Angeles, and it’s also one of our cheapest pet insurance companies overall. The company’s base accident and illness plan covers the essentials, such as medicine, diagnostic tests, surgeries and hospitalizations. For an extra cost, you can customize your plan to cover things like physical therapy, treatment for dental illness and vet exam fees.

One perk of Lemonade pet insurance is how the company deals with claims. Once you file through the Lemonade app, the company uses artificial intelligence to scan for fraud and then pays some claims almost instantly. Another unique feature is Lemonade’s Giveback program, which donates excess profits to charities chosen by policyholders.

Best budget pick for cats: Embrace

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Embrace

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Embrace has many ways to customize your plan, plus coverage for curable pre-existing conditions.

Pay vet directly

No

Scope of coverage

Good

Ability to customize plan

Excellent

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Embrace

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Embrace has many ways to customize your plan, plus coverage for curable pre-existing conditions.

Pay vet directly

No

Scope of coverage

Good

Ability to customize plan

Excellent

Why it’s the best

The cheapest rate we found for our sample cat was from Embrace, which offers comprehensive, customizable plans. Its accident and illness policy includes consultations with behavioral specialists, up to $1,000 per year to treat dental illnesses, and complementary treatments like acupuncture and laser therapy. Embrace will also cover curable pre-existing conditions that have been symptom-free for at least a year.

You can use the company’s highly rated app to see policy documents, add new pets to your policy or file claims. You can also log in on the website to access the PawSupport telemedicine service, available at no charge to Embrace policyholders.

Best for comprehensive coverage: ASPCA

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ASPCA

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

ASPCA offers generous coverage and multiple plan options, including an accident-only policy.

Pay vet directly

No

Scope of coverage

Excellent

Ability to customize plan

Average

insurance-product-card-logo

ASPCA

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

ASPCA offers generous coverage and multiple plan options, including an accident-only policy.

Pay vet directly

No

Scope of coverage

Excellent

Ability to customize plan

Average

Why it’s the best

ASPCA’s policies include coverage that some other pet insurers charge extra for (or don’t cover at all), such as prescription food, microchipping, treatment for dental illness and behavioral therapies. You can also add a plan to cover preventive care expenses like vaccinations and annual checkups.

We like that ASPCA has a straightforward 14-day waiting period for all accidents and illnesses, including orthopedic injuries. A waiting period is the time between when you buy your policy and when your coverage begins.

Full list of the best pet insurance in California

Looking for more options? Here are all the pet insurers in California that earned a 5-star NerdWallet rating. Unless otherwise noted, sample rates are for 2-year-old mixed-breed dogs and cats with a $250 deductible, $5,000 in annual coverage and an 80% reimbursement rate.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

*Nationwide policies include a $10,000 annual limit and 70% reimbursement rate.

Cheap pet insurance in California

Here are the cheapest insurers we found in California for dogs and cats, based on quotes we gathered in Los Angeles. Our sample pets were 2-year-old mixed-breed dogs and cats with a $250 deductible, $5,000 in annual coverage and an 80% reimbursement rate.

Your own prices may be different depending on where you live, the coverage you choose, and your pet’s age and breed.

Cheap pet insurance in California for dogs

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

Cheap pet insurance in California for cats

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates financial strength, coverage options, customer experience, discounts and more.

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