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We all know what it’s like to be hit with an unexpected expense and have to scramble to cover the costs. Unfortunately, this is a common experience and while you can’t prevent these things from happening altogether, you can take steps to lessen the effects on your pocketbook. Taking out insurance policies is one important tool we have to guard against unforeseen costs, but many people don’t know this option also exists for pets.

Pet policies are more popular than ever, and with so many choices you’re sure to find one that meets your needs. Read our Prudent Pet insurance review below to see if these policies could be the right fit for you and your four-legged family members.

Prudent Pet Insurance – Company Overview

Prudent Pet

The Prudent Pet Insurance Agency has earned an A+ rating from the BBB, and its plans are underwritten by the Markel American Insurance Company. Prior to 2021, plans were underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Co. Headquartered in Downers Grove, IL, Prudent Pet has been offering pet insurance policies for dogs and cats in all 50 states since 2018.


  • Most claims processed within 24 hours
  • No age or breed restrictions
  • No lifetime or condition maximum limits


  • Requires annual physical and dental exam to keep plan active
  • Charges a monthly transaction fee
  • If a pre-existing ligament condition affects one side, the other side will not be covered

Option to Pay Vet Directly: No
App Support: No
Accident Waiting Period: 5 Days
Illness Waiting Period: 14 Days
Orthopedic Waiting Period: 180 Days
Vet Helpline Available: Yes
Multi-Pet Discount: Yes
Deductible Type: Annual

The company is also committed to working with the larger community and strives to build partnerships with local rescues and shelters. Partners can benefit by taking part in the Perks Program, which brings together pet-related companies for exclusive discounts on food, toys, and pet furniture. 

As one of the best pet insurance companies, competitors of Prudent Pet include:

Why We Like Prudent Pet Insurance

Prudent Pet Insurance is a reputable company that distinguishes itself from its competitors by offering a range of affordable coverage options at different price points, meaning no matter what your budget is as a pet parent, you’ll find a plan that works. Having options like this means you won’t get stuck with a one-size-fits-all plan that doesn’t actually work for you.

The plans are customizable and easy to understand. Signing up for a policy can be done in a few short steps, and you can start taking advantage of your coverage in as few as five days. Although Prudent Pet hasn’t been in the insurance business for long, it’s garnered positive reviews for its customer service, options for both unlimited and limited coverage, relatively short waiting periods, and fast turnaround for claims processing.

Prudent Pet Insurance – How It Works

photo of puppy and kitten

Almost all pet insurance plans work on a reimbursement basis, meaning you’re responsible for paying vet bills at the time of service, and only afterward can you submit a claim to your pet insurance provider. You will then be repaid per your reimbursement percentage for any covered services. This differs from other types of insurance where your provider can bill your insurer directly. Some companies offer the option to pay the vet directly under certain circumstances, but Prudent Pet does not at this time.

There are a few different coverage options for pet owners, each with its own level of protection. Because each plan has coverage limits and exclusions, it’s worth researching your choices thoroughly so you can make the most of your policy.

Accident Only

As the name implies, Prudent Pet’s Accident Only plan only covers accidents and will not cover vet bills for illness or routine care. This is a universal plan that can be purchased for both dogs and cats and is the most affordable option, making it an ideal choice for a pet owner who wants a basic level of coverage, but may not be able to budget for a more comprehensive plan at this point. All coverage under the Accident Only plan is subject to a 14-day waiting period, but once it takes effect you can use any licensed vet for service. Accident Only plans come with a $10,000 cap on payouts per policy term.

Below are some of the most common conditions, services, and treatments that are included in this plan: 

  • Broken bones
  • Bites, lacerations, and wounds
  • Poisoning
  • Ingestion of foreign objects
  • Being hit by a car
  • Burns
  • Diagnostic tests like X-rays, CT scans, blood work, or MRIs that are recommended after an accident
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Emergency care
  • Medications
  • Physical therapies and alternative therapies
  • Lab exams and consultations

Accident and Illness

Accident and Illness coverage is the next step up and provides more comprehensive coverage for your cat or dog. Under this plan, the waiting period for accident coverage is five days, for illness coverage is 14 days, and for orthopedic conditions, you must wait six months.

🔥 Hot Tip: File an orthopedic waiver form within 30 days after your policy begins, and if approved, the six-month waiting period will be reduced to just 14 days.

These waivers are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee your request will be approved.

All Accident and Illness plans cover the services in an Accident Only policy, but this more expansive plan also covers the following:

  • Allergies
  • Cancer treatment
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Behavioral problems (coverage caps vary by plan)
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions
  • Dental and gum disease (with some exceptions)
  • Ear and skin conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Chemotherapy
  • Stem cell therapy

The Accident and Illness coverage is further subdivided into either an Essential, Ultimate, or Ultimate Plus plan. You can request to upgrade your plan once per policy period, but this must be done in writing. All plans cover the conditions and treatments listed above, with the following differences:

  • Essential Plan: TheEssential Plan has a $10,000 cap for covered services and a $250 payout limit for behavioral services.
  • Ultimate and Ultimate Plus Plan: These options come with an unlimited cap on payouts as well as added coverage including boarding fees, mortality benefits (that can include cremation and burial), loss due to theft or straying, advertising, and rewards for lost and stolen pets. You also get vacation cancellation coverage if you have to delay a planned trip because your pet needs life-saving treatment. Under the Ultimate Plan, service for behavioral disorders pays up to $1,000 per policy term, while the Ultimate Plus plan pays up to $2,000 per policy term.

Wellness Coverage

Wellness coverage is a Prudent Pet plan that can be added on to either the Accident Only or Accident and Illness plan but cannot be purchased on its own. Unlike the two standard insurance plans, there is no waiting period for wellness coverage, so you’re free to use its benefits on the first day your plan is activated. This add-on is intended to cover routine care and preventative care for your dog or cat and can include the following services:

  • Vaccinations like rabies, DHLPP, Lyme Disease, or Bordetella
  • Wellness exams (two per policy term)
  • Microchipping
  • Deworming
  • Teeth cleaning OR Spaying and neutering
  • Fecal exams
  • Health certificates
  • Wellness blood screenings
  • Heartworm tests
  • FeLV screening

The Wellness Plan works in the same way as an FSA or HSA, so it’s technically not insurance; rather, it’s a separate account you pay into that you can then draw from for regularly scheduled vet care. If you opt for this coverage, an additional monthly fee of between $8 and $30 will be added to your existing pet insurance policy and you’ll then be able to submit claims for wellness reimbursement up to the policy’s specified amount.

There is no copay or deductible associated with this coverage, and you can choose from a low, medium, or high reimbursement plan. For instance, at the lowest tier, you’ll be reimbursed up to $30 per year for wellness exams ($15 per exam) while the highest tier reimburses up to $60 ($30 per exam).

What’s Not Covered?

In any policy, be it homeowners insurance or health insurance, there will be certain limits and exclusions and the same goes for Prudent Pet pet insurance as well. Some conditions and services that are not covered by these policies include:

Pre-existing conditions

There’s virtually no pet insurance plan that will cover your dog or cat’s pre-existing condition. This refers to any condition that has either occurred before you purchased your plan or within the plan’s mandatory waiting period.

However, there is a distinction made between chronic conditions and one-time incidents (sometimes called “curable conditions”). Essentially, if your pet has a single incident that happened over 365 days ago and has since been resolved by a licensed vet, your policy should cover that same condition if it were to show up again.

For example, if your pet had an ear infection that was treated by a vet and has not recurred for one year, Prudent Pet’s Essential and Ultimate plans will likely cover treatment if it happens again. One major exception pertains to knee and ligament conditions since these are classified as bilateral conditions, meaning they’re more likely to happen again if they’ve already occurred on one side of the body. Examples of these include hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament issues, or luxating patella.

ConditionsPre-existing conditions, knee and ligament issues
ProceduresVeterinary exam fees (without add-on), cosmetic procedures, elective procedures
Care and SuppliesFood, grooming, obedience classes
Additional CoverageRoutine and preventive care (without Wellness add-on)

Veterinary exam fees

Any exam or consultation fees associated with an accident or illness will not be included in either the Essential or Ultimate plans, but they can be included as an optional add-on for $3 to $12 a month.

Other uncovered services and procedures

  • Cosmetic and aesthetic procedures such as ear cropping, tail docking, or root canals
  • Breeding or pregnancy-related services
  • Elective procedures
  • Food (both diet and prescription). The only exception to this is prescription food used to dissolve a bladder stone or crystals in urine.
  • Grooming including grooming supplies, prescription shampoo, or nail trimming
  • Obedience or training classes
  • Routine and preventive care unless you purchase Wellness coverage
  • Anal gland expression
  • Boarding expenses
  • Treatment for fleas or ticks
  • Vet house calls
  • Experimental treatments

Pet Insurance Plans and Coverage

Prudent Pet Insurance

Prudent Pet only offers coverage for dogs and cats, and unlike other providers, there is no maximum age limit for what pets can be covered, though pets must be at least eight weeks old to qualify for a plan. That said, because of the coverage limitation for pre-existing conditions, it’s best to get your pet insured when they are young.

Coverage TypeConditions/Services Covered
Accident OnlyBroken bones, bites, poisoning, car accidents, burns, diagnostic tests, surgeries, hospitalization, emergency care, medications, therapies
Accident and IllnessAll Accident Only services + allergies, cancer, urinary infections, behavioral problems, gastroenteritis, hereditary conditions, dental diseases, hip dysplasia, chemotherapy, stem cell therapy

Dog Insurance

Dog insurance can be purchased as either an Accident Only, Essential Accident and Illness, or Ultimate Accident and Illness plan. Policies for larger breeds tend to be more expensive than smaller breeds.

Cat Insurance

Like dog insurance plans, cat coverage is also available through an Accident Only, Essential Accident and Illness, or Ultimate Accident and Illness plan. In general, cat policies are less expensive than dog policies.

How much does Prudent Pet Insurance Cost?

Prudent Pet insurance plans offer consumers some of the best coverage options in the market, so you’re sure to find a policy that can meet both your pet’s needs and your budget. Because the company offers so many options and add-ons, the best way to get an accurate estimate is to request a quote, but below we’ve provided approximate costs for both a cat and dog on an Accident Only and Essential Accident and Illness Plan. Note that your actual prices can vary greatly. For instance, if you’re insuring a large dog on an Ultimate Plus plan, your monthly payments could be as high as $75 to $100.

 Accident OnlyAccident and Illness Essential Plan
Average monthly premium for a cat$10$21.12
Average monthly premium for a dog$14.50$39.24

Your costs will be affected by your zip code, and the breed, gender, and age of your pet. Additionally, the amount you elect to pay for a deductible, your reimbursement rate, and your coverage limit will also affect your monthly premium. Certain breeds or details about your pet may also influence the rates and deductibles you’re offered.


Prudent Pet offers deductibles of $100, $250, $500, and $1,000. Not all insurers offer the option of $100 as a deductible, making Prudent a good choice for those who expect to use their plan a fair amount. In general, the higher your deductible the lower your monthly premium will be. Your entire deductible must be met before your plan will begin paying back at your chosen reimbursement rate with the exception of life-saving treatment.

Reimbursement Percentage

This rate will be set at either 70%, 80%, or 90% which is fairly standard for the industry. You will then be paid back for all covered costs according to this rate. For instance, if you have an 80% plan (the most common) and your covered vet bill was $1,000, you would be reimbursed $800 not including any deductibles that need to be met.

Sample Costs for a $1,000 Vet Bill

This table shows example costs, depending on your plan’s deductible and reimbursement rate.

DeductibleReimbursement RateAmount ReimbursedOut-of-Pocket Cost


Your policy may also be subject to a copay which is typically 10%. This is a set amount that must be covered by you before your deductible is factored in and before any payouts will be made. Note that for immediate, life-saving treatment of your pet, neither a copay nor deductible will be applied.


Prudent Pet also offers a few generous discounts that can significantly lower your bill, most notably a 10% discount for insuring multiple pets. With this discount, you need to have two or more pets covered (other providers can require more to qualify for the discount) and you’ll receive the 10% savings on both policies. You can also receive 10% off your policy for being an active or retired member of the military. Additionally, policyholders can get a $15 Amazon e-gift card for referring a friend to get a free quote as long as they name you when requesting their estimate.

Multiple Pets10% off for insuring multiple pets
Military10% off for active/retired military members
Referral Program$15 Amazon e-gift card for referrals

How To Get Started

Prudent Pet Insurance

The easiest way to start the quote process is by using Prudent Pet’s online estimate tool. You can also call (888) 869-7905 to speak with an agent. Be prepared to give basic contact information about yourself as well as your pet’s age, breed, and gender. Bear in mind that any quotes received are non-binding and your premium rate will only be locked in after you purchase your policy.

Once you’ve signed up for a policy, there is a mandatory waiting period before you’ll be able to file any claims. If your pet becomes injured or ill within this waiting period, it will be treated as a pre-existing condition. Prudent Pet’s five-day waiting period for accidents is fairly short when compared with other insurers, though the 14-day waiting period for illnesses is standard. Note that for an Accident Only plan, the waiting period is 14 days. Though you have to wait to take advantage of your insurance coverage, you will not have to wait to make use of your Wellness coverage if you choose to add this to your plan.

How To Submit a Claim

Prudent Pet uses AI technology to speed up the claims process and boasts that 75% of their claims are processed within 24 hours, and 95% of claims are processed within seven days – though it can take up to 30 days to receive reimbursement. Reimbursement for covered conditions can be made by check or direct deposit.

🕒 Prudent Pet processes most claims within 24 hours, ensuring quick reimbursements for pet owners.

Claims are most easily submitted by logging into your customer Pet Portal account via the company’s website. You can also submit a claim via email or fax. Prudent Pet currently does not have a mobile app option for filing claims or accessing your policy.

You will need to include a copy or photo of your itemized vet bill along with a completed claims form. After each claim is processed you will receive an email that contains information about your claim as well as your explanation of benefits (EOB).

How To Cancel

If you cancel a new policy within 30 days and you haven’t submitted any claims, you’ll be eligible to receive a full refund. If you cancel after this time, the company will use your date of termination to calculate a prorated refund. All other cancellation requests can be made at any time via phone call, email, or mail. Those wishing to cancel their policy by phone should call (888) 820-7739.

Note that all existing policies will be automatically renewed at the end of the policy term, so if you need to cancel it’s your responsibility to contact the company in a timely manner.

Customer Service Contact Info

There are several ways to contact the customer service team at Prudent Pet. The most straightforward is to visit its website and click on the chat link found in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, or by filling out the contact form through the “contact us” link. You can also send an email to [email protected] or [email protected], call their customer care center at (888) 820-7739 during the hours of 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM CT, Monday through Saturday, or send mail to 2211 Butterfield Road, Downers Grove, IL 60515.

📞 Prudent Pet offers a 24/7 Vet Chat to provide round-the-clock expert advice for pet owners.

Prudent Pet gives all its policyholders access to its live 24/7 Vet Chat. With this service, you’ll receive unlimited access via your Pet Portal account where you can chat online with a licensed veterinarian. Although these vets are not able to prescribe any medication or treatments, they can give you professional advice about dosages, health concerns, diet and nutrition, or behavioral issues. You can even upload photos or videos to help the on-call vet assess your situation.  

Is Prudent Pet Insurance Right for Me?

There are many reasons to like Prudent Pet Insurance including having access to 24/7 chat help, lots of budget-friendly options, and fast claims processing. Another standout feature of its policies is that there’s no upper age limit for cover. Many insurance providers won’t offer new plans for dogs and cats over the age of 14, so if you’ve been denied coverage from another insurer for your elder cat or dog, Prudent may be the best pet insurance you’ll qualify for. This is a big draw for those with elderly pets who haven’t been able to find coverage elsewhere.

Policyholders give the company favorable reviews for their customer service and fast turnaround time for claims processing. However, if you’re looking for comprehensive coverage that includes exam fees and wellness, you may find a better deal with another provider since Prudent Pet charges extra for these add-ons.