If you’re deciding between pet insurance providers, many differentiate on more than just price, with unique plans, perks and features to offer. Healthy Paws and Embrace are among the best pet insurance providers, so we decided to look closely at each company’s pros and cons.
We at the Guides Home Team have analyzed insurance products, coverage options, costs and policyholder reviews to help you learn more about Healthy Paws and Embrace. Learn more about what sets these two providers apart in our comparison below.
Compare Healthy Paws and Embrace
Healthy Paws and Embrace scored similarly well in our review standards, with Embrace earning a slightly higher score of 4.53 out of 5 stars compared to Healthy Paws’ 4.2-star rating. Both providers have one accident and illness pet insurance policy and offer unlimited coverage.
Embrace is the more expensive option — averaging around $118 a month for a medium-sized dog and $75 per month for a cat — but it provides more control over your premium. The company offers more options for deductibles and coverage limits, discounts for multiple pets and a diminishing deductible for remaining claims-free.
Embrace justifies its higher price tag by offering some unique perks, such as covering exam fees, offering a wellness plan and providing a 24/7 helpline for questions and emergencies. It edges out Healthy Paws with shorter waiting periods, including two days for accidents compared to Healthy Paws’ 15-day period. Embrace also offers an opportunity to waive its six-month waiting period for orthopedic conditions. In comparison, Healthy Paws administers a 12-month wait for hip dysplasia.
See a side-by-side comparison of these providers in the table below.
insert comparison table below with the following metrics:
*BBB ratings are accurate as of March 2023.
Healthy Paws vs. Embrace Coverage
Healthy Paws offers one accident and illness plan with no per-claim, annual or lifetime coverage caps. The plan covers pet-related accidents, illnesses, cancer and hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions. All recommended vet care is also covered, from diagnostic tests and prescription medications for surgery, hospitalization and emergency care. Healthy Paws even covers alternative treatments in the base plan, such as acupuncture, physical therapy and chiropractic care.
Embrace also offers one accident and illness policy, but you can adjust the coverage limit from $5,000 to unlimited and choose from five deductible options rather than two. Its base coverage is similar to Healthy Paws’ but excludes alternative care. However, Embrace covers exam fees, behavioral therapy and some preventable conditions. It also covers dental illnesses, such as tooth extractions, gingivitis and root canals up to a $1,000 annual sub-limit.
Waiting periods are similar for both providers, only differing regarding orthopedic issues. Healthy Paws imposes a 12-month waiting period for hip dysplasia, while Embrace’s six-month waiting period for canine orthopedic issues can be waived with a successful orthopedic exam by a licensed veterinarian. Per industry standards, neither plan covers pre-existing conditions — but Embrace may cover anything that is completely curable and shows no symptoms for 12 months of policy coverage.
Preventive Care Options
One big way Embrace stands apart from Healthy Paws is its preventive care options, which can help you smooth out everyday vet bills. Embrace offers three levels of wellness coverage through its Wellness Rewards plan, which you can add to accident and illness coverage for an additional cost. In helping to cover more routine preventive care costs, Embrace sees Wellness Rewards as a budgeting tool rather than an insurance plan.
With Wellness Rewards, you can choose from $250, $450 or $650 in annual allowance to cover your pet’s routine care and everyday training and grooming costs. Reimbursable items include wellness exams, vaccinations, microchipping, nutritional supplements, alternative care, spaying and neutering, heartworm medication and more. The $650 level may be appropriate for puppies and kittens, while the $250 level may be adequate for older pets who don’t need as much wellness coverage.
Healthy Paws does not offer preventative care options.
Healthy Paws vs. Embrace Premiums
Monthly premiums often depend on factors like your location and your pet’s age and breed. Policy details like coverage level, deductible and reimbursement options also factor into your price. However, even with those factors remaining constant, each pet health insurance provider assesses risk differently and sets its own costs. Embrace consistently charges nearly twice as much as Healthy Paws in our quoted scenarios — and in some cases even more.
Despite its costlier coverage with all plan options being equal, Embrace can offer you more control over your premiums. The company lets you pick an annual deductible between $100 and $1,000, whereas Healthy Paws only has $250 and $500 options. Embrace also offers coverage levels from $5,000 to unlimited, making room for an affordable plan if you aren’t seeking high coverage levels for your pet.
The table below shows monthly rates based on sample quotes for 4-year-old pets in Raleigh, NC, with unlimited coverage, a $500 deductible and a standard 80% reimbursement rate.
Healthy Paws vs. Embrace Discounts
Healthy Paws doesn’t offer any policy discounts, while Embrace gives a 10% multiple pet discount. This isn’t enough to square off the monthly cost of both providers, but it’s a nice touch if you’re a pet owner seeking coverage for multiple fur babies.
Healthy Paws vs. Embrace Reviews
We analyzed third-party reviews for both providers on Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. Healthy Paws has an A- rating with the BBB, and Embrace has an A+. Following a similar trend, Healthy Paws scores 2.72 out of 5 for its overall customer review rating while Embrace scores 3.45 out of 5 at the time of this writing. Both providers have mixed customer reviews and have respondents to positive and negative feedback on the site.
We asked both providers for comments on negative reviews but didn’t receive a response.
Healthy Paws customer reviews:
“We highly recommended Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. It is easy to sign-up and navigate their website … premiums are reasonable and competitive … submitting a claim is extremely user-friendly and reimbursement are handled efficiently and efficiently.—Martha B. via the BBB
“Have been paying my premiums for the past several years. Had to file a small claim … found the documents I provided were not enough. Had supplied every document from invoice to X-rays. At least I found out that [Healthy Paws’] customer service was horrible before I had to file a large claim. I’m still trying to get my few dollars owed to me though.”—Mark A. via the BBB
Embrace customer reviews:
“I just enrolled our family’s two dogs, and couldn’t be happier with the cost, coverage and customer service that I received.—Chyloe F. via the BBB
“Do not use this company for your pet’s insurance. It does everything in its power to deny the claim. it [uses] loosely unrelated issues to claim your pet has a pre-existing condition. Don’t waste your money here.—Ram M. via the BBB
The Bottom Line: Which Provider Is the Best for You?
While Embrace is the pricier pet insurance provider, it offers nice perks to pet parents who are willing to pay more. It offers a higher reimbursement rate and more options for your coverage limit and deductible. Its diminishing deductible and 10% discount for multiple pets can also help reduce the price gap between the two carriers.
If you’re looking for affordable, unlimited coverage with fast claims or if giving back to the animal community is important to you, Healthy Paws is worth looking into. The company processes most claims within two business days, whereas Embrace can take 10 to 15 days. Plus, for every online quote, the Healthy Paws Foundation donates to animal shelters and rescues. So far, the company has given nearly $1.7 million to animals in need.
If you’re intrigued but not completely sold, Healthy Paws offers a 30-day free look period to try out a policy and get a refund if it’s not for you. This perk is unavailable in New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
Embrace pet insurance may be the better choice for pet parents who want the most comprehensive plan and don’t mind paying more to get it. Embrace offers a 90% reimbursement rate, covers additional costs such as exam fees and parasites and offers multiple tiers of optional wellness care. You’ll also get up to $1,000 per policy year for dental illnesses.
There is no wrong answer when choosing between Embrace and Healthy Paws — each provider caters to a different kind of pet parent. It’s important to do your research and get quotes from at least three providers before deciding on the best coverage for your four-legged friend.
Methodology: Our System for Ranking the Best Pet Insurance Companies
Our review of pet insurance companies is based on in-depth industry research that includes reading hundreds of customer reviews, simulating the quote and purchasing process, speaking to representatives on the phone to assess the customer service experience and surveying 1,000 dog and cat owners nationwide to determine the most important elements of pet insurance coverage.
We scored each provider on a 100-point scale based on those elements. We then divided the points earned for each provider’s final score on a 5-point scale.
Here are more details about each factor and how they’re weighted:
- Monthly pricing (25 points): How much each company charges for its pet insurance plans is an important part of a customer’s decision. The best pet insurance companies combine comprehensive coverage and plan options with affordable rates.
- Plans (15 points): The top pet insurance companies offer accident and illness plans, accident-only plans and wellness or preventive care add-ons to give customers the option to choose a plan that’s best for their pet.
- Covered treatments (15 points): With this factor, we score companies based on the treatments and procedures they cover. Companies with a breadth of included treatments and unique coverages received more points than providers with more standard or general policies.
- Customization options (10 points): Customizing your policy is a valuable way to ensure you only pay for what your pet needs. Providers with more annual-limit, deductible and reimbursement-rate options earned the highest scores.
- Customer care (10 points): We scored companies on their website accessibility and overall usability, customer service availability, mobile apps (if any), money-back guarantees and veterinarian telehealth options, awarding points to the insurers with more customer experience offerings.
- Industry reputation (10 points): To determine each company’s industry reputation, we reviewed up-to-date ratings and accreditation information from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and scored companies on their years of experience in the industry and their state availability.
- waiting periods (10 points): Companies with shorter accidents, illness and orthopedic waiting periods between the sign-up and coverage start date scored higher than companies with longer waiting periods.
- Eligible age (5 points): Some companies don’t offer policies for pets that are over a certain age. We deducted points from providers that have age limits for covered pets.
We use our rating system to compare and contrast each company against key factors to help us determine the best pet insurance companies in the industry. Additionally, we keep our research up to date and revisit our reviews on a regular basis.
Mike Miller is a writer with a decade of experience producing product and service content to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. Mike has a bachelor’s degree in creative advertising. In his spare time, Mike enjoys riding and fixing motorcycles, reading a good book and spending time with his wife and two cats.
Sabrina López is an editor with over six years of experience writing and editing digital content with a particular focus on home services, home products and personal finance. When she is not working on articles to help consumers make informed decisions, Sabrina enjoys creative writing and spending time with her family and their two parrots.