Owning a dog is like giving pure joy two pairs of legs, some fur, and a dedicated cushion in your home. But pet ownership comes with its hazards, too—one of which is financial.
Dogs can cost as much as $1,000 per year for most people, according to the ASPCA. But if your dog swallows a squeaky toy, develops a disease, or runs into some other ailment that requires intensive surgery or treatment, the costs can be far higher. We learned this first hand when Max, The Dog Tale’s resident Yorkie, broke his leg at just a few months old.
Pumpkin Pet Insurance is one of the many companies that can help mitigate the financial risks of owning a dog or cat. But unlike most other pet insurance providers, Pumpkin offers some additional wellness coverage options that can help you with the routine care required to prevent your pup from getting sick in the first place.
We’ll break it all down in this Pumpkin Pet Insurance review.
In this review:
- In a nutshell: What we think of Pumpkin
- Our Pumpkin Pet Insurance review
- What’s the Pumpkin Preventive Essentials add-on?
- Frequently asked questions
- Pumpkin alternatives
The Dog Tale is reader-supported. We may earn a commission if you buy something through our site; this doesn’t change our recommendations.
In a nutshell: What we think of Pumpkin
Overall, we think Pumpkin is an excellent option for those seeking pet insurance for their dog or cat. We are especially impressed with Pumpkin’s Preventive Essentials package because we believe it will help prevent pet owners from cutting corners to save money when it comes to their pet’s health.
- Available in all 50 states
- No network restrictions—choose any licensed vet you want in the U.S. and Canada
- Offers both optional preventative care reimbursement & insurance options
- Extensive list of covered procedures
- 3 deductible options
- Deductibles are annual rather than per claim (this can really help if your pup gets injured multiple times in one year)
- Fur Family discount for each additional pet you insure
- You can get a quote for free with no commitments
- Visit pumpkin.care to view their generous reimbursement rates, age limits, annual coverage limit, and accepted breeds
- Pre-existing conditions aren’t covered
- Short waiting period before coverage goes into effect
- You have to pay for vet procedures upfront and file a claim rather than having your vet bill Pumpkin directly
Our Pumpkin Pet Insurance review
Pumpkin is a recent entrant to the industry, but it’s already a strong contender.
Collaborating with veterinary professionals, the New York-based pet insurance company took a deep dive into pet industry data to determine what types of ailments most pet owners end up having to pay for, how much they typically spend, and how to help them prevent issues through covered preventive care.
The result was a simplified pet insurance offering—one policy with two standard annual limits to choose from, a high reimbursement rate to put money back in your pocket, and three annual deductible options, so you can tailor this straightforward policy to meet your needs. The graphic above from Pumpkin’s website provides details on each component.
What does Pumpkin Pet Insurance cover?
Your policy’s insurance terms sheet will state exactly what is and isn’t covered, and coverage can vary by policy, pet, and state, so you’ll need to get a free quote and view the policy Pumpkin offers for final terms. You can also view how Pumpkin’s coverage stacks up against competitors on their comparison page.
What’s not covered?
Of course, no insurance plan covers everything, and policies may vary slightly from state to state. Fortunately, Pumpkin makes it easy to see what is and isn’t included. Just follow the link above to Pumpkin’s sample plan generator and fill out your state and pet’s species. You’ll then be able to view a complete list of exclusions in your state.
What’s a pre-existing condition?
For most pet insurance companies, a pre-existing condition is any ailment or injury that has shown symptoms or was treated before you took out your insurance policy. If you’re curious if your pet’s condition will be covered, you can view a sample plan for your state on Pumpkin’s website, or by getting a quote and viewing the policy Pumpkin offers.
How much does Pumpkin Pet Insurance cost?
The exact cost of your policy will vary based on the type of pet you’re insuring, their age, the policy deductible you choose, and the region you live in. To get a rough idea, we pulled several policy quotes for dogs of different ages, breeds, and locations. The only way to get an accurate estimate of what your policy premiums would be is by getting a quote on Pumpkin’s website. This can be done for free and only takes about one minute. Just head to pumpkin.care and click “Create My Pet’s Plan” to get started.
What’s the Pumpkin Preventive Essentials add-on?
Pumpkin’s wellness plans are a stand-out among pet insurance providers.
Most pet insurance companies make you pay for preventative care (vaccines, annual wellness checkups, and lab tests) out of pocket—even though these are the most predictable costs you’ll face and they help keep your pup healthy. Not Pumpkin.
With Pumpkin’s optional Preventive Essentials plans, you can get full reimbursement for eligible portions of your pet’s routine care. This means you’ll never have to decide whether to take your pup for their annual check-up or whether you should get that pricey heartworm exam.
What’s covered by the Pumpkin Preventive Care Essentials plan?
As we stated above, Pumpkin’s preventative coverage add-on is where this company really stands out. Pet owners are practically guaranteed to incur expenses for the procedures below if they want to provide basic preventative care for their pets, but few companies other than Pumpkin offer any way to get reimbursed for these costs.
For puppies under 6 months
- 100% reimbursement for your puppy’s annual exam fee
- 100% reimbursement for any four puppy vaccines you and your vet choose that year, including administered vaccines received before joining Pumpkin
- 100% refund for one annual fecal exam (“poop test”) to screen for giardia, coccidia, and intestinal worms such as hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm
- 100% reimbursement for your dog’s annual wellness exam
- 100% reimbursement for any two vaccines you and your vet choose each year
- 100% reimbursement for one annual fecal exam to screen for giardia, coccidia, and intestinal worms
- 100% reimbursement for one annual blood test to screen for heartworm disease and/or vector-borne diseases (those caused by ticks, such as Lyme, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis)
For cats & kittens
- 100% reimbursement for your cat’s annual wellness exam
- 100% reimbursement for one annual vaccine you and your vet choose
- 100% reimbursement for one annual fecal exam to test for intestinal worms, coccidia, and giardia
How much does Preventive Care Essentials cost?
Pumpkin’s preventative care plan costs $18.95 per month for dogs and puppies and $11.95 for cats. These prices are in addition to your insurance policy premiums and are fixed regardless of where you live, so you should be able to quickly determine how much you could save based on the cost of routine care in your area.
Frequently asked questions
How do I get a Pumpkin policy?
Getting a Pumpkin Pet Insurance policy is super easy. Just head to pumpkin.care and click “Create My Pet’s Plan.” From there, you’ll fill out a few basic details about your pet and yourself, and Pumpkin will generate a policy quote. Once you’ve selected the policy deductible you’d like and any optional add-on coverage, you fill out your billing info and you’re done.
Pumpkin identifies for you the day your coverage will go into effect after the waiting period has ended. In most states, they offer a limited-time money-back guarantee—details are available on their FAQ page.
How long do I have to wait to file a Pumpkin Pet Insurance claim?
Pumpkin imposes a standard waiting period after you initially sign up for a policy before your coverage goes into effect. This is common across the industry. And unlike some pet insurance companies, Pumpkin doesn’t impose any increased waiting periods for specific types of ailments, such as hip dysplasia.
Once your policy is in effect, you can file a claim as soon as your vet gives you your itemized bill for any covered procedure. You pay the vet upfront and submit a claim for reimbursement from Pumpkin.
Unlike their insurance plan, however, Pumpkin’s Preventive Care Essentials plan does not have a waiting period. You can file these preventative claims as soon as you sign up for Pumpkin with no waiting periods required. So, it might be a great time to sign up if you’ve just adopted a pet and need to take them for their initial check up and vaccinations.
How do I file a claim with Pumpkin?
Filing a claim is quick and easy and can be done completely online. Just log in to your pumpkin.care account, navigate to the claims section, and follow the prompts to fill out your claim details. You’ll need to upload a copy of your itemized vet bill to complete your claim.
Once that’s done, Pumpkin’s claims team will process the claim and update you automatically once it’s complete. You can also track your claim status on the site.
If you’re not a fan of digital claims, you can also print out a paper claim and fill it out, but you’ll still need to upload and email the form, along with your vet bill, to [email protected]
How to I reach Pumpkin’s customer service?
If you need to get in touch with Pumpkin, you can call 1-866-ARF-MEOW (1-866-273-6369) or email [email protected]
Is pet insurance worth it?
Pumpkin’s pet health insurance policies will reimburse you for covered medical care stemming from accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions.
These expenses will arise for pet owners. It’s just a question of when and how much it will cost. And, unfortunately, many people aren’t prepared for them.
A survey of 4,800 pet owners conducted by the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition (AVCC) and the University of Tennessee found that about one-in-four families can’t afford to give their pets the veterinary care they want to provide. And in the worst of cases, single procedures can cost upwards of $10,000.
If you wouldn’t be able to cover the cost of a major surgery for your pet (which could easily cost thousands of dollars), and you don’t want to be put in the impossible situation of choosing between your family’s financial stability and your pet’s health, we suggest looking into an insurance plan.
If you want to compare Pumpkin to alternative options, check out Lemonade, Eusoh, Pet Assure, or Embrace.
Lemonade is a fintech startup in the insurance space that relies on AI to make super fast policy decisions. If you ever have to file a claim, you can handle it in the Lemonade app in minutes. Lemonade’s Pet Insurance premiums start at just $10/mo, and you can get a free quote in less than two minutes.
Eusoh isn’t pet insurance; it’s a community-based pet health sharing plan. Eusoh members never have to pay for their pet’s healthcare alone—everybody chips in. And if fewer than average pets require care in a given month, you all pay less. And right now, you can get your first two months of Eusoh free with code HEAT. Like Pumpkin, Eusoh offers coverage for certain preventative expenses.
PetAssure is another alternative to traditional pet insurance. Instead, it’s a veterinary discount plan, with no policy or deductibles to worry about. You save more now by paying a much lower monthly fee than you would with pet insurance. If and when your pet needs care—including certain preventative procedures—you can save 25% by going through the PetAssure network. Right now, PetAssure is offering 20% off its Unlimited Yearly Plan.
Like Pumpkin, Embrace offers traditional pet insurance policies. And like Pumpkin, the company offers an optional Wellness Rewards plan that can help reimburse you for preventative procedures (like vaccinations, check-ups, and grooming) that your insurance policy won’t cover. You can get a free quote to compare Embrace’s premiums, deductibles, and coverage areas with Pumpkin’s.
Pumpkin Advertiser Disclosure: Pumpkin Insurance Services, Inc. is responsible for this advertisement. Pumpkin Pet Insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. Waiting periods, annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit limits and exclusions may apply. For full terms, visit pumpkin.care/insurancepolicy. Products, discounts, and rates may vary and are subject to change. Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (Pumpkin) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance is underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company, a Crum & Forster Company and produced by Pumpkin. Pumpkin Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy. It is offered as an optional add-on non-insurance benefit. Pumpkin is responsible for the product and administration. Pumpkin Preventive Essentials is not available in all states. For full terms, visit pumpkin.care/customeragreement.