If you have a Golden Retriever, you know of the extensive health issues they can experience. The veterinary bills can add up fast. Many people turn to pet insurance to help cover those costs.
Here we will compare some of the most popular options and give you an in depth look at the best pet insurance companies.
Here are a few features that make Embrace our choice as the best insurance for Golden Retrievers:
- Comprehensive Policies
- Flexible Plans to Fit Your Budget
- Alternative Therapies Coverage
- Optional Wellness Plan
- Multiple Pet Discount
What is the best pet insurance for Golden Retrievers? Embrace is our choice for the best insurance for Golden Retrievers. While Trupanion, Healthy Paws, and some other popular brands are also good choices, Embrace offers the most comprehensive plans and allows you to customize your package to suit your budget.
The Best Pet Insurance For Golden Retrievers
While there are many options of insurance for your Golden Retriever, our top pick is Embrace Pet Insurance, which offers, in our opinion, the most comprehensive plans on the market. We love the fact you can adjust your plan to suit your budget and still have high quality coverage!
After Embrace, there are several other viable pet insurance options that may appeal to various segments of Golden Retriever owners, depending on each person’s wants and needs for their dog.
Best Overall Pet Insurance: Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace Pet Insurance offers a wide range of coverage for all your pets. Their plans can be adjusted to fit the coverage you need, at a price that works for you.
However, as a pure breed, Golden Retrievers are more susceptible to genetic health issues than mixed breed dogs. Embrace covers genetic conditions standard under their accident and illness policy.
Embrace Pet Insurance is arguably the most comprehensive pet insurance company on the market, with its pet insurance policy offering features such as exam fees, diagnostics, surgery and hospitalization, and even alternative and homeopathic therapies.
While Embrace is not necessarily the cheapest option on the market, they do offer competitive prices. Like many pet insurance companies, they offer a free quote after you answer just a few questions about your dog.
Let us look at some of the features that distinguish Embrace as a leader in the pet insurance industry:
- One comprehensive policy – Embrace policies cover everything related to your dog’s health, regardless of treatment required. While this leads to slightly higher annual costs than some competitors, other companies may have a cheap basic plan, but will charge extra to cover cancer and hip dysplasia, both major risks for Golden Retrievers.
- Annual deductible – Some pet insurance providers structure their deductibles on a per-condition basis. Once the deductible was met for condition number one, it would not apply toward condition number two. Once an Embrace deductible is met for the year there is no additional deductible to worry about for the remainder of the policy year. (Annual maximums, and reimbursement percentages still apply)
- Short illness waiting period – All insurers require a waiting period before a pet is covered. This helps prevent insurance fraud in which pet owners sign up for a plan, receive care, and then cancel. Embrace offers one of the shortest illness waiting periods in the industry.
- Exam fees covered on all policies – Let’s say your dog breaks a leg and needs surgery. Your pet would need to see a vet or emergency hospital for an exam prior to surgery, which will cost more than $100. Most insurers will not cover this fee, or only cover it if specifically purchased in a higher-cost premium. Embrace covers it for all plans.
- Diminishing deductible feature – Known as the “Healthy Pet Deductible,” this feature allows you to get a $50 deductible credit for every year you do not receive a reimbursement back on an accident or illness claim. If your dog does not require covered care in 2020, then your deductible will be $50 less in 2021. This is a stackable feature that allows credits to carry over.
- Flexible wellness plan – While this is an optional addition to Embrace’s comprehensive policies, it is a highly attractive addition that reimburses policyholders for routine care of their dog. Some examples of services reimbursed under this plan are heartworm prevention, routine vaccinations, and grooming. *Wellness is not available in RI.
- No lifetime limits – Most insurers will not treat Golden Retrievers over a certain age or who have received a maximum amount of lifetime care as defined by their policy. Embrace offers no such restrictions.
- Alternative treatment coverage – If the pet owner has a preferred course of treatment or is resistant to proceed with standard procedures for his or her Golden Retriever, Embrace is flexible. Most insurers will only cover standard procedures and require policyholders to pay out-of-pocket for any alternative treatments.
- Quick claim turnaround – When vet bills get expensive, it can become stressful waiting for your reimbursement of covered costs. Embrace is an industry leader in processing claims and getting reimbursements back to policyholders.
You can choose deductible levels for Embrace to be as little as $200 per year or as high as $1,000 per year, depending on the amount of premium you want to pay (lower monthly premiums will lead to higher deductibles). Once the deductible is met, you can choose for Embrace to pay 70%, 80%, or 90% of annual costs.
Due to the high need for care of Golden Retrievers, the comprehensive policies offered by Embrace Pet Insurance make it our top pick for insuring your dog.
Runner Up Pet Insurance: Trupanion Pet Insurance
Here are a few features that we like about Trupanion pet insurance:
- 90% Reimbursement
- Unlimited Annual Benefits
- Riders Available
- Long History
- 24/7 Customer Service
Trupanion offers a wide range of coverage for your Golden Retriever at a fair price. Their 90% reimbursement is a huge help to your pocketbook as well.
The following are some of the advantages of taking out a policy with Trupanion:
- Unlimited annual benefits – This is one of the major advantages of Trupanion. They will reimburse an unlimited amount each year, an especially important consideration for your Golden Retriever.
- 90% reimbursement – After the deductible is met, regardless of deductible level, Trupanion will reimburse policyholders for 90% of all covered expenses. Most competitors do not offer this high a rate of reimbursement, and it is especially attractive considering the annual benefits are not capped.
- Vet direct pay – If an in-network vet is chosen to perform service on your Golden Retriever, Trupanion’s unique software allows all covered costs to be billed directly to the vet. This is convenient so that policyholders do not have to be out-of-pocket for expensive procedures and wait for reimbursement.
- One simple policy – While some providers require customers to piece their plans together, with increasing cost for each addition, from a bare-bones base policy, Trupanion offers a simple policy for all pets that includes all hereditary conditions, unidentified issues, and congenital concerns.
- Riders available for enhanced care – These policy enhancers are the 1) Recovery and Complementary Care Rider, which covers your pet for non-clinical treatments, such as behavior training, and 2) Pet Owner Assistance Package, which can cover items such as boarding fees in the event that the owner gets hospitalized.
- Long history – Trupanion has been in operation since 2000 and has paid out over $1 billion in coverage for sick and injured pets. This allows policyholders to sleep easy at night knowing their premiums are in the hands of a trusted and solvent company.
- 24/7 customer service – Trupanion’s line is always available in the event of an emergency, ensuring that your Golden Retriever gets the necessary care at any time of the day or season of the year.
As you can see, Trupanion offers some attractive options for those looking to insure their Golden Retriever.
In comparison to our top choice, Embrace Pet Insurance, Trupanion will be just slightly less expensive in terms of premiums and offers no annual limits. However, it fails to offer annual deductibles, exam fees, diminishing deductibles, or a multiple pet discount.
Best Budget Pet Insurance: Healthy Paws
Here are a few features that we like about Healthy Paws pet insurance:
- Low Price
- Visit Any Vet
- Rapid Claim Payouts
Perhaps Embrace Pet Insurance or Trupanion do not meet the needs of your Golden Retriever and/or fall outside of your personal budget. You may want to consider Healthy Paws.
Healthy Paws offers some of the same essential features as Embrace and Trupanion, but is regularly quoted as having some of the lowest premiums in the industry for the number of benefits it provides.
The following are some of the advantages of taking out a Healthy Paws policy for your dog:
- Philanthropy – With a business model that is heavily focused on the love of animals over profits, Healthy Paws may be an attractive option for those Golden Retriever owners who place high importance on a company’s mission. To date, Healthy Paws has made over $830,000 in donations to the rescue of homeless animals.
- One plan – Like Embrace and Trupanion, Healthy Paws markets one comprehensive plan and does not require customers to add coverage to a limited base plan. However, it differs in that it does not offer the purchase of optional wellness plans or additional riders.
- Unlimited coverage – There are no per-incident, annual, or lifetime maximums with a Healthy Paws plan. However, they are clear that they will cover only new issues with your Golden Retriever, which means that any pre-existing conditions will not receive coverage.
- Any vet – You are eligible to receive reimbursement from Healthy Paws when your dog receives treatment from any licensed vet. This differs from those plans that may require policyholders to use in-network vets in order to receive benefits.
- Rapid claim payouts – There are no time-consuming insurance forms to fill out when using Healthy Paws. All the policyholders must do to receive reimbursement for care is take a picture of the vet bill and submit it via the Healthy Paws mobile app. This allows Healthy Paws to start processing claims immediately (usually within two days).
- Annual deductible – Like Embrace, Healthy Paws uses an annual deductible and not a per-incident deductible, meaning that any number of conditions are covered after the deductible has been met. This is an attractive option for Golden Retrievers, which have been known to require care for multiple issues.
Clearly, there are some advantages to choosing an insurance plan for your Golden Retriever through Healthy Paws, especially if you are philanthropically minded and prefer handling business on your mobile device.
However, when compared to our top choice, Embrace, Healthy Paws has some significant drawbacks that need to be specified:
- Not great for older pets – Pet insurance is no different from human insurance in that premiums get higher the older we get. However, if you enroll your dog after the age of six, you will have a limited deductible and reimbursement rates, meaning that the cost savings on premiums are likely to evaporate.
- 12-month wait for hip dysplasia – Golden Retrievers are known to be at extremely high risk for hip dysplasia (the complete or partial dislocation of the hip bone). With a 12-month waiting period to get treated for this common condition, your Golden Retriever may go through a lot of suffering to save you some money on premiums.
- Extensive medical background checks – Healthy Paws is specific in that it will only cover new medical conditions. As such, it requires a complete medical history check of every pet wishing to enroll in a policy. This is much more stringent than Embrace, which only requires medical records dating back 12 months.
In general, while Healthy Paws is far from a bad choice for pet insurance and is certainly better than no coverage at all, it is probably better to explore Embrace or Trupanion for your Golden Retriever, as the restrictions built into Healthy Paws’ plans are likely to limit the care you can be reimbursed for, which will undercut any premium savings you get upfront. Also, the 12 month wait on hip dysplasia is very long.
It is best if you do decide to go with Healthy Paws, that your Golden Retriever be less than six years of age.
Best High End Plan: Pets Best
High End Plan
Here are a few features that we like about Pets Best pet insurance:
- Elite Plan
- Low Wait Times
- No Upper Age Limit
- Veterinarian Founded
After our top three, the quality of health plans for your Golden Retriever starts to vary, with potential customers having to choose which benefits they value highly while possibly scrimping on less important benefits.
One potential competitor to our top choice, Embrace, is Pets Best. When looking strictly at premium levels, Pets Best offers some of the most competitive rates in the industry. Here are some additional features that a Pets Best plan can offer your Golden Retriever:
- Elite plan – Unlike some companies, Pets Best has several different plans you can choose from. If you choose the elite plan, you will receive unlimited annual benefits and flexible options for deductibles and copay rates.
- Low wait times – Outside of cruciate ligament injuries, the wait times to receive coverage are just as low, if not lower, with Pets Best than other providers in the industry.
- Wellness plan – This is an additional package that will allow the policyholder to be reimbursed, on an itemized basis, for preventive care and maintenance of your Golden Retriever.
- No upper age limit – Unlike Healthy Paws, which drastically reduces options for pets over six, or other providers that will not cover pets once they reach a certain age, Pets Best will cover any animal and does not restrict in terms of age.
- Veterinarian founded – Pets Best was founded by vets, not insurance people, so they may have a better understanding of animal care than some competitors.
While Pets Best does have its advantages, there are some significant drawbacks that must be considered before purchasing a policy for your Golden Retriever:
- Beware of plans other than “elite” – You may be tempted to purchase something other than Pets Best’s elite plan in order to save money on premiums. However, lower-level plans have many restrictions, including no reimbursement on office visits. The annual maximum is also capped at $5,000, which will not cover some procedures.
- Excludes pets with certain conditions – Pets Best may choose to limit coverage on pets with certain conditions, offering them “accident only” policies. As Golden Retrievers are prone to ailments such as cancer and hip dysplasia, there is a good chance a Pets Best policy would not give your pet adequate coverage.
- Itemized wellness plan – While the option of a wellness plan is good for preventative health, the fact that it must be itemized may greatly reduce the benefit you receive. While Embrace offers a pool of money for general wellness, Pets Best will offer $50 dollars for this service, $25 for that service, etc..
If you own a Golden Retriever and choose to use Pets Best, do not be afraid, as it can provide some good benefits. However, make sure that you do your research and have a thorough understanding of the policy you are purchasing prior to making your first payment.
Best New Pet Insurance: Figo
Here are a few features that we like about Figo pet insurance:
- Extensive hip dysplasia coverage
- Exam fees covered
- No upper age limit
Figo is another pet insurance provider that can be an option for your dog. A relative newcomer to the scene, Figo offers many of the same benefits of our leading picks, while offering premium levels that rival Healthy Paws in affordability.
Let us look at some of the perks of taking out a plan with Figo:
- Extensive hip dysplasia coverage – This is an important consideration seeing that Golden Retrievers are at high risk for this condition and that some of the competitors require lengthy waiting periods before offering treatment.
- Exam fees covered – As exam fees typically run more than $100, companies like Trupanion, that do not cover exam fees, are basically requiring customers to pay two deductibles every time a service is performed. By paying for exam fees in high-risk pets like Golden Retrievers, Figo is taking a major burden off of the customer’s pocketbook.
- No upper age limit – Most pet insurance companies will stop insuring your pet at 14 years of age. Figo will continue insuring your Golden Retriever throughout his or her lifetime.
- Affordable unlimited plans – While lower-level Figo plans cap benefits at $14,000 to $16,000 per year, a plan with unlimited benefits can be purchased for just a few dollars per month extra. This is money well spent if you feel like your pet may need surgery and is at risk of a catastrophic health condition.
One drawback to Figo insurance is that it does not offer a routine care plan. While companies like Embrace and Pets Best give policyholders the option of purchasing plan enhancers that will reimburse for items such as grooming and vaccinations, those who choose Figo will have to pay for such expenses out-of-pocket.
However, the main downside to Figo is its youth. By choosing to go with a company that has a little more than two years of experience in the pet insurance industry, customers may be getting a great value for their money, as Figo offers many of the same benefits as our top choice, Embrace. However, choosing Figo comes with the following risks:
- Price volatility – When choosing established companies like Embrace or Trupanion, customers can feel confident that premiums will remain stable on a yearly basis, as they have more of a track record of being able to control costs. In fact, Embrace offers diminishing deductible options each year.
- Small pool of clients – If Figo gets hit with a rush of expensive claims, have customers paid enough into the premium pool to be able to cover the cost of reimbursements, or will your Golden Retriever be denied care due to insufficient funds?
As you can see, using an insurance company that hasn’t yet been established has its upside, but there are major liquidity risks until it gets fully established and serves a large pool of clients.
Largest Pet Insurance Company: Nationwide
Here are a few features that we like about Nationwide pet insurance:
- Price Bundling
- Long history
Nationwide offers a variety of insurance products, and pet insurance is no exception. After purchasing VPI, the first provider of pet insurance, in 2008, Nationwide has the largest historical footprint in the pet insurance industry to pair with its reputable name within the broader insurance world.
Customers can expect the following benefits when choosing pet coverage from Nationwide:
- Consistency – In the exact opposite fashion of Figo, customers can look at Nationwide’s track record and sleep easy in knowing that the company will be around for a long time, with coverages and premiums likely to remain highly consistent on a yearly basis.
- Price bundling – As Nationwide offers insurance products that span far beyond the world of your Golden Retriever, you may be able to save some money on your total insurance costs by bundling your pet insurance with your auto or home policies.
Outside of these unique benefits, Nationwide does not offer anything exceptional that cannot be found with our top choices. In fact, there are far more negative reviews circulating about Nationwide’s pet insurance than positive reviews, which include:
- Rigid plan options – While some of our top choices use “one simple plan” as a perk, there are many ways they can customize within this plan by adjusting coverage maximum, copay, and deductible levels, not to mention the choice of riders. Nationwide offers only a $250 deductible, 90% reimbursement policy for all insured pets.
- No congenital conditions covered – Nationwide refuses to pay for care that is a result of a congenital condition, even if your pet showed no symptoms prior to enrollment. As such, this makes Nationwide a very poor choice for Golden Retrievers, who are known to develop congenital ailments due to their purebred status.
Common Health Risks for Golden Retrievers
Before purchasing a health insurance plan for your Golden Retriever, it is important to know what kind of medical complications your Golden friend is likely to experience in his or her lifetime.
The following table contains information found on the Embrace Pet Insurance website and will be helpful when comparing costs and estimating expenses:
|Condition||Risk Profile||Cost to Diagnose and Treat|
|Cancer||High||$8,000 – $15,000|
|Hip Dysplasia||High||$1,500 – $6,000|
|Sub-Aortic Stenosis||Medium||$500 – $1,500|
|Elbow Dysplasia||Medium||$1,500 – $4,000|
|Osteochondrosis of the Shoulder or Elbow||Medium||$2,000 – $4,000|
|Portosystemic Shunts||Medium||$2,000 – $6,000|
|Entropion||High||$300 – $1,500|
|Cataracts||High||$1,500 – $5,000|
|Ichthyosis||High||$200 – $1,000|
Without pet insurance, the vet bills for your Golden Retriever may run into the thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars, depending on the nature of the care your dog may need. Knowing that Golden Retrievers are predisposed to cancer and other high cost health issues can be daunting.
Find a company like Embrace, or if you are on a very tight budget Healthy Paws, that allows you to choose the coverage you need, at a price you can afford. Then you can rest easy knowing that whatever health issues may come your dog’s way, you will be ready.