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

Company winner

Best overall

MetLife

Best budget pick for dogs

Lemonade

Best budget pick for cats

Embrace

Best for comprehensive coverage

How we found the best pet insurance in California

Best overall: MetLife

Best overall

MetLife

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

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

Compare My Rates

on MetLife’s website

Pay vet directlyThis indicates whether the company offers the option to pay a vet directly rather than reimbursing the policyholder after a claim.

No

Scope of coverageRatings are based on how many different scenarios a company covers.

Excellent

Ability to customize planRatings are based on how easy it is to modify how much you pay for a plan by adjusting your coverage limits.

Excellent

Best overall

Compare My Rates

on MetLife’s website

MetLife

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

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

Pay vet directlyThis indicates whether the company offers the option to pay a vet directly rather than reimbursing the policyholder after a claim.

No

Scope of coverageRatings are based on how many different scenarios a company covers.

Excellent

Ability to customize planRatings are based on how easy it is to modify how much you pay for a plan by adjusting your coverage limits.

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

Budget pick for dogs

Lemonade

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

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

Compare My Rates

on Lemonade’s website

Pay vet directlyThis indicates whether the company offers the option to pay a vet directly rather than reimbursing the policyholder after a claim.

No

Scope of coverageRatings are based on how many different scenarios a company covers.

Average

Ability to customize planRatings are based on how easy it is to modify how much you pay for a plan by adjusting your coverage limits.

Average

Budget pick for dogs

Compare My Rates

on Lemonade’s website

Lemonade

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

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

Pay vet directlyThis indicates whether the company offers the option to pay a vet directly rather than reimbursing the policyholder after a claim.

No

Scope of coverageRatings are based on how many different scenarios a company covers.

Average

Ability to customize planRatings are based on how easy it is to modify how much you pay for a plan by adjusting your coverage limits.

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

Budget pick for cats

Embrace

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

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

Compare My Rates

on Embrace’s website

Pay vet directlyThis indicates whether the company offers the option to pay a vet directly rather than reimbursing the policyholder after a claim.

No

Scope of coverageRatings are based on how many different scenarios a company covers.

Good

Ability to customize planRatings are based on how easy it is to modify how much you pay for a plan by adjusting your coverage limits.

Excellent

Budget pick for cats

Compare My Rates

on Embrace’s website

Embrace

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

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

Pay vet directlyThis indicates whether the company offers the option to pay a vet directly rather than reimbursing the policyholder after a claim.

No

Scope of coverageRatings are based on how many different scenarios a company covers.

Good

Ability to customize planRatings are based on how easy it is to modify how much you pay for a plan by adjusting your coverage limits.

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

Comprehensive coverage

ASPCA

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

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

Compare My Rates

on Money.com

Pay vet directlyThis indicates whether the company offers the option to pay a vet directly rather than reimbursing the policyholder after a claim.

No

Scope of coverageRatings are based on how many different scenarios a company covers.

Excellent

Ability to customize planRatings are based on how easy it is to modify how much you pay for a plan by adjusting your coverage limits.

Average

Comprehensive coverage

Compare My Rates

on Money.com

ASPCA

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer complaint and customer satisfaction data.

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

Pay vet directlyThis indicates whether the company offers the option to pay a vet directly rather than reimbursing the policyholder after a claim.

No

Scope of coverageRatings are based on how many different scenarios a company covers.

Excellent

Ability to customize planRatings are based on how easy it is to modify how much you pay for a plan by adjusting your coverage limits.

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.

Company

NerdWallet star rating

Sample monthly rates

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.

Dog: $37

Cat: $21

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.

Dog: $49

Cat: $20

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.

Dog: $37

Cat: $22

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.

Dog: $37

Cat: $25

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.

Dog: $63*

Cat: $24*

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.

Dog: $48

Cat: $34

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.

Dog: $37

Cat: $21

*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

Company

NerdWallet star rating

Sample monthly rate

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

Company

NerdWallet star rating

Sample monthly 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.

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.

Why you can trust NerdWallet

Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage so you can choose the insurance company that works best for you. Our ratings are specific to pet insurance; a company’s rating for other products may be different on our site. See our criteria for evaluating pet insurance companies.

Share