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We can debate whether or not pet insurance is worth it, but the reality is, that more people are buying policies and more companies are jumping into the business to support the demand. People look at their pets just like their children in many cases — so naturally they want to see to it that they’re protected.
In this article, I am going to do a deep dive of Embrace Pet Insurance, a growing company out of Cleveland, Ohio, so you can determine if pet insurance is right for you, and if Embrace is the best fit or not.
What is Embrace Pet Insurance?
Embrace Pet Insurance is an insurance provider specifically for pets. Their personalized policies protect you against astronomical vet bills for your pet while offering while also offering an optional wellness product, compassionate customer care, timely claims processing (and online claim submission), as well as 24/7 policy management (including a mobile app).
The company was actually founded in mid-2003 when they won a competition at Wharton School of Business for their idea to start a pet insurance company. By 2006, Embrace had sold its first policy. Fast forward to today and Embrace has won the NorthCoast 99 Award eight times, been named one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces by The Plain Dealer five times, and was recently awarded the 2019 International Service Excellence Award Service Champion Award.
Embrace Pet Insurance Features
Here’s a look at the accident and illness coverage Embrace offers for your pet:
One of the most routine nuisances of owning a pet is the exam fees. $50 here. $60 there. It adds up. Embrace includes coverage for exam fees (also often called “consultation fees” by tricky vets) in their optional Wellness Rewards Plan for an additional cost.
Accident coverage gives you coverage on everything from broken bones to foreign body ingestion and protects you against massive bills when your pet gets unexpectedly injured. This coverage covers both the consultation (or exam fees) and any related treatment.
Regardless of your pet’s age, breed, or species, you can have coverage for any illness the pet runs into.
If your pet has any type of dental illness, such as periodontal disease, gingivitis, root canals, crowns, oral masses, extractions, or anything else related to dental, you can get coverage for up to $1,000 per year.
Breed-Specific & Genetic Conditions
Some pets are more prone to things like hip dysplasia, allergies, breathing conditions, or other situations that require medical attention. Embrace can cover all the hereditary and genetic conditions of your pet, as long as they are not pre-existing.
Things like diabetes and arthritis happen as pets age — or sometimes for no reason at all. What’s great about Embrace is that you can continue to receive coverage regardless of whether or not this happens. Chronic conditions can be covered every year because they have continuing care coverage built into their policy.
Ugh. Cancer happens not only in humans but in pets too. In fact, cancer is one of the leading causes of expensive vet bills for pets. With Embrace, you can get coverage for all related cancer testing and treatment at no additional cost.
Alternative Therapies & Rehabilitation
Believe it or not, you can get coverage for alternative therapies and rehabilitation, which includes things such as acupuncture, chiropractic, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, and therapeutic laser treatment. To reiterate, yes – acupuncture for your dog is included.
Embrace covers alternative therapies for 12 weeks following a covered injury or illness. In some states, there is no time limit. Please contact Embrace Pet Insurance for details specific to your state.
Behavioral therapy for pets could help with things like marking, digging, aggression toward humans or other animals, and so on. While many pet insurance providers do not provide coverage here, Embrace does — so you won’t be stuck with a huge bill if you have to have your pet receive therapy for something like this.
Emergency Veterinary Care
Emergency vets can cost a fortune. If your pet needs to go to an emergency vet after-hours due to illness, they can receive coverage through Embrace.
Yes, there are specialist veterinarians, just like there are specialist physicians. If your pet has to visit a specialty vet, such as an oncologist, they can be covered here as well.
If your pet requires any type of diagnostic tests for a covered accident or illness, such as fecal exams or a biopsy, you can have coverage through Embrace Pet Insurance.
Hospitalization and Surgery
If your pet is hospitalized and/or needs surgery, it can get extremely expensive. This coverage includes things like anesthesia, exam fees, veterinarian and technician time, rehabilitation, and follow-up care.
Prosthetics and Mobility Devices
Some pets, unfortunately, lose a leg due to age, injury, or illness. This can be traumatizing for the pet, the owner, and their wallets. So Embrace can reimburse any necessary surgery and follow-up visits, as well as prosthetics, carts, and wheelchairs to help them regain mobility.
Prescription Drug Coverage
You can get reimbursement for take-home medications, including pain relievers, antibiotics, and insulin, for all covered conditions. While this is optional in some states, it’s a really nice feature to have in case your pet gets sick, has allergies, or just needs medication for some reason, as it can get pretty expensive.
What Isn’t Covered
There are some things that aren’t covered, which will be outlined in your specific policy. To name a few, pre-existing conditions, routine veterinary care, DNA testing, breeding, injuries due to neglect or mistreatment, and cosmetic procedures are all not covered with Embrace. Those are all pretty realistic to me.
You Can Still Get Routine Care Covered
Embrace does offer an optional routine care coverage plan, called Wellness Rewards, which is an additional cost to your policy, but it covers things like routine veterinary exams, training, and even grooming costs.
Pricing for Embrace Pet Insurance
Like any other insurance product, pricing is going to depend on a number of factors, including the type of pet you have, its age, where you live, and more. That said, you can get a free quote directly from Embrace to get a better idea of what you’d be paying.
Also, they offer a number of discounts on their policies, including a multiple pet discount, a military discount, and an employee benefits discount (in case you want to work there).
Signing up for Embrace is very easy and can be done in just a couple of minutes. For the sake of this review, I plugged in the name of a fictitious dog named Jo Jo — a large, male dog that’s a year old in Pittsburg, PA — and was able to get this quote in about 30 seconds:
If you can’t read it, Jo Jo’s policy is $37.66 per month with a $750 deductible. Let’s see what happens when I go down to a $100 deductible and 90% reimbursement:
It goes up to just over $102. Depending on how much you think you’ll use it, it may or may not be worth it, but you can adjust the inputs to make it as affordable as you need. Overall, the process was simple, fast, and made total sense.
Don’t be worried by this — it’s typical language for a security policy. What they’re saying is they do everything they can to keep you safe, but it’s impossible to prevent all malicious attacks so they’re protecting themselves in the case that does happen.
Embrace has a mobile app and you can access your policy on your phone with ease. Both the app and website have a mobile-friendly interface and you should have no issues navigating on a mobile device. From the app, you can manage your policy and submit claims too.
Embrace makes it really easy to get in touch with them. You can submit a message through their secure contact form or call them directly at (800) 511-9172, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-8:00 pm ET and Saturday 9:00 am-1:00 pm ET.
Embrace Pet Insurance Pros and Cons
Tons of coverage options — As you can see above, Embrace offers all kinds of coverage that some medical insurance policies don’t even cover. They blow the competition away with their options.
Multi-pet discounts — Since many of us have more than one pet, it’s nice to know you can insure all of them at a discounted rate. There are also discounts for the military.
Excellent reputation and reviews — Embrace has won an abundance of awards, especially considering what a young company they are. You can also look up reviews on places like Trustpilot and easily see how happy they’ve made their customers.
Lack of transparency in price ranges — Pet insurance isn’t like medical insurance — it’s not offered everywhere or commonly known about. I would have liked to see more transparency around pricing — what it costs and whether or not it’s a good deal. How do I know if $40 a month is good?
High deductibles — For me to get that policy under $40 for my fictitious dog Jo Jo, I was signing up for 70% coverage and a $750 deductible. That’s very high and it’s making an assumption that Jo Jo is going to have some major issues.
Trupanion allows you to insure pets up to 14 years old and their policies include coverage for things like alternative therapy, too. One of the areas where they have a leg up (pun intended) on Embrace is the waiting period for accidents. With Trupanion, it’s five days, versus 14 days with Embrace.
Related: The Hidden Costs of Exotic Pets
Pets Best offers flexible routine care and alternative therapy coverage, and you can enroll your pet at as early as seven weeks. You have a full 180 days to submit claims after an office visit, which is a nice feature, and your reimbursement will happen after you pay your copay, then deductible (for reference, Embrace works the other way around).
More Alternatives: Pumpkin Pet Insurance Review
Who is Embrace Pet Insurance For?
We debated the need for pet health insurance in the past and whether or not it’s worth buying. My last dog cost me a fortune with vet bills, so I am a little biased here. I would say if you’re confident that your pet won’t have any issues, you may not need Embrace.
Now, those who will benefit most from Embrace Pet Insurance are those buying purebred dogs who are prone to medical issues. Good examples are German Shepherds or Siberian Huskies, which are known to have hip dysplasia issues, or Irish Wolfhounds, which have short life spans and a ton of medical issues (though are cool dogs).
If you’re dealing with any of those breeds, I would look into Embrace Pet Insurance. And like any other insurance, it might just be good to have so you feel secure and protected against the unknown.
Overall, Embrace has a lot to offer — more than its competitors. If you’re going to buy pet insurance, it seems like the best option available for most people and most pets. Just make sure you understand your coverage limitations and costs (such as the deductible) so you aren’t buying a policy that won’t actually help you save money in the long run.
Pet health insurance is administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency, LLC and underwritten by one of the licensed insurers of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., including American Modern Home Insurance Company d/b/a in CA as American Modern Insurance Company (Lic. No 2222-8), and American Southern Home Insurance Company. Coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, underwriting review, and approval, and may not be available for all risks or in all states. Rates and discounts vary, are determined by many factors, and are subject to change. Wellness Rewards is offered as a supplementary, non-insurance benefit administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the United States. © 2020 American Modern Insurance Group, Inc. + Wellness Rewards not available in Rhode Island.