What Is Lemonade Pet Insurance?
Lemonade launched its pet insurance policies at the perfect time.
There’s a weird trend going on in the Millennial age group. Young folks are spending billions on veterinary care, but at the same time, only 2% of them work with pet insurance companies, according to the New York Times.
This is like every Millennial suddenly buying a car tomorrow, and only 1 in 50 choosing to buy car insurance.
Car insurance is mandatory, but I still think that if it were optional, Millennials and Gen Z are smart enough to buy it. So why aren’t we buying pet insurance?
It’s likely because a) We don’t realize it exists, or b) We don’t think our pet will need enough care to justify paying for insurance premiums.
Both are mistakes. In reality, one in three pets will make an emergency trip to the ER, costing their owners between $800 and $1,500 on average. Emergency surgeries can cost tens of thousands of dollars that, without insurance, you’re 100% on the hook for.
That being said, I know plenty of friends my age who’ve looked at paying $150 per month for this type of insurance and concluded, “I’ll take my chances.” Fair.
But Lemonade doesn’t cost $150 per month. Or even $100.
Yes, that’s how low Lemonade pet insurance policies start. And that’s not for a laughably barebones insurance policy, either. These policies are super customizable, so you can build the right policy for your pet without paying for stuff you don’t need.
What Does Lemonade Pet Insurance Cover?
Lemonade offers insurance for both cats and dogs, and here’s a breakdown of what even the most basic policy covers:
- Diagnostics like blood tests, CT scans, and more.
- Procedures including outpatient, inpatient, surgeries, ER, and more.
- Medications including injections at your vet and prescriptions.
- Accidents like poisonings, broken bones, sicknesses, sprains, and more.
- Illnesses like vomiting, diarrhea, and well, I’ll let you read the unpleasant list on Lemonade’s site.
Lemonade also offers an optional “wellness package” for around $10 to $20 per month that covers more preventative care, like:
- Annual checkups
- Heartworm tests
- Fecal tests
- Bloodwork — which can detect early signs of disease
- Vaccines — including Rabies, DHLPP, Bordetella, and more (three per year)
- Wellness reminders
- Medical advice — chat with experts via an online portal.
How Does Lemonade Pet Insurance Work?
Head to Lemonade, and you’ll find a nice, neon pink call to action to start a quote.
Then, Lemonade’s chatbot, “AI Maya,” makes a bold claim: She won’t just give you a quote. She’ll give you an awesome price in mere seconds!
Let’s see if the promise holds.
Maya will ask for your pet’s details following a few basic personal details.
Several cat puns later, Maya begins “tabby”-lating your quote.
As promised, I got a quote in seconds…and it was indeed an awesome price.
Like a baroque painting or a balcony view of Tuscany, I took a moment to marvel at the staggeringly low price Lemonade is asking for pet insurance. I review many insurance companies, and you should know that before Lemonade came along, the industry average was closer to $50.
A colleague at another finance site wrote that “Lemonade’s competitors should be nervous.”
You’re probably wondering how Lemonade can afford to be so cheap, and I’ll indeed get into that later. For now, let’s continue the quote. At this point, Lemonade reminds you what’s covered in your basic quote and displays optional add ons.
Scrolling down, I see that the preventative care-focused wellness package mentioned above is just a $10 per month add-on (for a cat in Atlanta). I recommend this since it includes the annual checkup, rarely less than $120 anyway.
And finally, for less than the cost of a large fry, you can get extra exams beyond your annual checkup and various forms of physical therapy covered. The Extended Accident and Illness package costs $3.
For $10 a month, is your deductible like $7,000? Nope! Lemonade defaults you to a midrange option, with 80% reimbursement, a $20,000 annual limit, and a $250 annual deductible.
Playing with the dropdown menus, I created a barebones pet insurance policy with 70% reimbursement, a $5,000 annual limit, and a $500 deductible. This brought the monthly premiums down $0.83 to $10 flat.
Interestingly, when I chose the barebones package, Lemonade dropped the Extended Accident and Illness package price from $3 a month to…$0! Well, that’s a no-brainer.
That covers a “silver” and “bronze” plan, if you will, so what does a “platinum” plan look like? I maxed out everything and made it rain pet insurance coverage to find out. My “platinum plan” for Winston Purrchill included:
- Basic coverage.
- Preventative and Wellness package.
- Extended Accident and Illness package.
- $100 deductible.
- 90% reimbursement.
- An eye-watering, unheard-of $100,000 annual limit.
The price increased to just $31.33 per month for all that jazz. Considering most competitors start their policies at $30 per month, this rate is extraordinary.
When you’re ready to purchase, enter your payment information, and presto! Download the app via the App or Play Store, upload your documents and bills to get paid, and that’s it.
Lemonade Pet Insurance Waiting Period
Keep in mind that you’re not immediately covered as soon as you pay. As with all forms of medical insurance, there’s a brief waiting period before coverage activates. Here’s how this breaks down:
- Two days for accidents.
- 14 days for illnesses.
- Six months for cruciate ligament events.
Lemonade’s waiting period page does a great job of explaining why waiting periods, in general, are essential for insurance companies. Without waiting periods, somebody could take their dog to the ER, buy insurance in the waiting room for $10, and then bill Lemonade for $10,000 when their dog comes out. Then, if they’re malevolent, they can cancel their policy.
If waiting periods didn’t exist, insurance companies wouldn’t either.
How to File a Claim with Lemonade Pet Insurance
Filing claims with Lemonade works a little differently, too. Because so much of Lemonade’s business practice is AI-driven, you often don’t need to wait for a human to review your claim before getting paid. A third of Lemonade claims are paid instantly when you upload your vet bill. It’s not surprising, then, that Lemonade’s app scores 4.9 out of 5 stars in both the App Store and Google Play Store.
Lemonade Pet Insurance Cost
For a healthy young pet, Lemonade can cost as little as $10 for good coverage and $30ish for excellent coverage, including preventative care, multiple checkups, and therapy.
How about a sick pet?
I went through the quote process for an unhealthy eight-year-old mixed-breed dog weighing 60 pounds to investigate. Maya asked me a lot of questions about my dog’s health.
If you’re wondering why Lemonade is so inexpensive, here’s a clue:
My imaginary pup Emma is too old/unhealthy/overweight to be insured. Even though Lemonade wouldn’t cover any of her preexisting conditions, they still couldn’t write her a policy for any price.
I get it. It’s the same reason some auto insurance companies won’t insure reckless drivers; they file too many claims and are too expensive. In the pet world, it may seem indelicate, but by excluding older, less healthy pets, Lemonade can afford to keep rates extremely low for everyone else who’s less likely to submit regular claims.
So, in summary, Lemonade costs the following:
- Between $10 and $30 for a healthy, young pet.
- Between $30 and $50 for an unhealthy, middle-aged pet.
Lemonade may not insure older pets, but it’s worth grabbing a 60-second quote to be sure.
What Are Lemonade’s Best Features?
Don’t mistake “affordable” for “barebones.” Lemonade’s pet insurance policies have plenty of tech and conveniences to offer the modern pet owner, such as:
The Lemonade App
How can an insurance app rate higher than Google Maps?
Lemonade scores an impressive 4.9 stars out of 5 from tens of thousands of ratings in both the Google Play store and the App Store.
One user called…umm…Nosferatu Zodd gave the Lemonade app five stars, praising its minimalism, UI design, and ease of use. According to Nosferatu, the app is so easy to use that it “makes insurance fun.”
I’m usually pretty skeptical when apps rate higher than 4.7 stars since it often means that the company has manipulated the scores. But Lemonade’s high scores seem warranted. Users report deep satisfaction with the app’s ability to adjust coverage, upload files, and receive instant reimbursement for claims.
Breadth of Coverage
Lemonade’s coverage is affordable yet comprehensive. For as little as $30 a month, you can get 90% reimbursement, up to $100,000 per year, with a $100 deductible on virtually every vet bill. These can include everything from regular checkups to aquatic therapy and medications, vaccines, and more.
This feature is relatively common among pet insurance companies, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. Lemonade offers a 10% discount if you insure your home with Lemonade.
High Annual Reimbursement Limits
If you’re worried that your pet will one day bankrupt you (and it’s possible, since vet procedures can cost $15,000) with vet visit fees, you can opt for Lemonade’s maximum annual payout limit of $100,000.
It doesn’t cost that much extra, either; the jump from $5,000 to $100,000 costs less than $10 per month for most pets. Depending on your situation and personality, that extra $120 annually might be worth the peace of mind that your furball won’t cost you as much as a new Mercedes.
Lemonade has fantastic service. Period. And this includes zero-hassle, super-fast claim payment, and simple, jargon-free, and intuitive policies.
At the end of your policy term, Lemonade doesn’t just pocket all of your premiums. They add up the unclaimed money you’ve paid into your premiums and donate up to 40% of it to the nonprofit of your choice.
My Experience Researching Lemonade Pet Insurance
I highlighted Lemonade’s charitable donations above and in the intro because I admire how an insurance provider creates such value for all of its stakeholders.
- They benefit pet owners by providing affordable insurance and peace of mind.
- They benefit pets by encouraging higher-quality, higher-frequency care.
- Finally, they benefit charities through cash donations.
I think Lemonade’s trifecta of minimalism, mindfulness, and technology sets a strong example for others in the industry to follow. Sure, their low rates are undeniably impressive, but I think this aspect of Lemonade’s practice deserves praise also.
The only disappointing part I found in my research is that owners of aging and exotic pets can’t take advantage of Lemonade’s offerings. Plus, they seem pretty exclusive of preexisting conditions.
Then again, Lemonade is a new company, and its pet insurance offerings are even more recent. They have plenty of time to learn from their customers and expand their options and coverage.
However, Lemonade is still a superb choice for many pet owners for the time being. In writing this review, I’ve recommended them to several people who’d previously considered pet insurance companies to be too expensive — $10 a month is pretty cheap for peace of mind. For that reason, purchasing pet insurance through Lemonade is practically a no-brainer.
One other thing to remember is that Lemonade also offers different types of insurance, such as renters insurance. For example, if you end up getting renters insurance through Lemonade, you can likely get a discount on a pet insurance policy (bundling them).
Who Should Get Lemonade?
Lemonade is the right choice for most cat and dog owners, but exceptions exist. Here’s who should consider getting a quote:
Owners of Recently Adopted Pets
The first year of dog or cat ownership can cost upwards of $1,000, and much of that expense can be offset by a $10 per month policy with Lemonade.
Owners of Younger Cats and Dogs
Lemonade’s rates are pretty unbeatable, so if they can offer you a quote, it’s probably the best you’ll see.
However, that’s a big “if.” Lemonade doesn’t seem ready to cover pets in their golden years, which is fair since it keeps rates low for everyone else.
Pet Owners on a Budget
Lemonade’s rates are almost unbelievably low for the amount of coverage. For less than the cost of Netflix, you can get most of your vet bills covered, planned or unplanned, saving hundreds and sleeping better at night.
Who Should Skip Lemonade?
Objectively speaking, Lemonade isn’t a fit for all situations.
Pets with Preexisting Conditions
Lemonade will still cover pets with preexisting conditions, but not any expenses arising out of those preexisting conditions (this is the industry standard). Does that make sense?
For example, any provider (not just Lemonade) may reject your claim for a sprained ankle if your pet has orthopedic issues or obesity listed as a preexisting condition.
Owners of Exotic Pets
Currently, Lemonade only covers cats and dogs. Owners of more exotic animals will need to look elsewhere for coverage.
Lemonade Pet Insurance vs. Competitors
|Lemonade Pet Insurance||Embrace Pet Insurance||Pumpkin Pet Insurance|
|Animals covered||Cats and dogs||Cats and dogs||Cats and dogs|
|Coverage options||Diagnostics, medications, accidents, illnesses, annual checkups, heartworm tests, fecal tests, bloodwork, vaccines, etc.||Accidents, illnesses, breed-specific conditions, alternative therapies, diagnostic testing, ER & specialist care, prescription drugs, cancer treatment, behavioral therapy, chronic conditions, consultations/exam fees||Exam fees for accidents & illnesses, dental illnesses, behavioral illnesses, alternative therapies, microchipping|
|Preexisting conditions covered?||Yes, but any procedure needed due to that pre-existing condition is not covered||Yes, for “curable” conditions||No. However, this doesn’t mean the condition can’t be covered in the future if the condition is curable. An injury or illness that is curable, cured, and free of treatment and symptoms for 180 days will no longer be regarded as preexisting, with the exception of knee and ligament conditions.|
As its name implies, Embrace is one of the pet insurance providers that welcomes pets with preexisting conditions.
Now, it’s worth reiterating that most insurance companies (including Lemonade) will insure pets with preexisting conditions; they won’t cover any expenses arising out of those preexisting conditions.
Embrace works a little differently. In its own words, “Embrace is one of the few companies that distinguish between curable and incurable preexisting conditions.” “Curable” preexisting conditions include, but are not limited to, respiratory infections, urinary tract/bladder infections, vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal disorders.
If your pet has one of these preexisting conditions but goes 12 months without a symptom, Embrace will cover it moving forward. This can be a massive money-saver for pet parents worried that their fur baby will have one of these preexisting conditions as they age.
Speaking of, another perk to Embrace is lifetime coverage. As your pet ages, their vet bills will increase exponentially. That’s when most insurance companies will not let you renew, but Embrace won’t give you the boot. So if you have a pet beginning to age, purchasing insurance with Embrace could be seen as an investment as they reach their twilight years.
Pumpkin is one of the newer pet insurance providers on the scene. Although the company launched early in 2020, it has made a great impression.
The agency’s core value is to provide affordable preventative care options for pets and extensive coverage for accidents and illnesses. With Pumpkin’s optional, add-on preventative care pack, you’ll find coverage for an annual wellness exam, vaccines, and key lab tests to keep your pet healthy. These benefits are covered with a 100% reimbursement rate, meaning you won’t be out a single penny for those preventative care benefits.
Toss in great coverage, technology, and customer service, and Pumpkin offers a lot of value to the pet owner who can’t get coverage anywhere else.
Pumpkin Advertiser Disclosure: 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”) (NPN #19084749) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance is underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company (NAIC #21113, Morristown, NJ), 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.
Where Is Lemonade Pet Insurance Accepted?
Lemonade pet insurance is accepted at any vet in the United States, provided the vet is licensed in its operating state.
What States Does Lemonade Pet Insurance Cover?
Lemonade pet insurance is available in the following 37 states + Washington, D.C.:
Does Lemonade Pet Insurance Cover Dental?
Dental x-rays, anesthesia, polishing, and other routine dental care is available via Lemonade’s Preventative+ package.
Does Lemonade Pet Insurance Cover Neutering?
Lemonade offers a preventative policy for puppies and kittens under two years old. It includes coverage for neutering and spaying.
Summary: Is Lemonade Pet Insurance Good?
My final thoughts on Lemonade are: If they offer coverage for your pet, get it.
A good pet parent should be paying around $300 annually for preventative care anyway, so you might as well purchase a Lemonade policy for $10 to $30 a month that covers most of those routine expenses (and protects you from the big ones).