USAA pet insurance is offered by the United Services Automobile Association, a company that primarily provides insurance and financial services to current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. USAA began offering pet insurance in 2003 under the brand USAA Pet Insurance, powered by Embrace Pet Insurance.
United Services Automobile Association pet insurance provides coverage for cats and dogs for illnesses, injuries, hereditary and chronic conditions, cancer, emergency care, prescriptions, and more. Policies can reimburse up to 90% of the vet bill for covered conditions after the deductible. USAA offers three main tiers of coverage: Essential, Preferred, and Premier. Higher tiers have higher premiums but also higher annual limits, lower deductibles, and more robust coverage.
Factors That Affect Cost
The cost of USAA pet insurance depends on several key factors:
Type of policy – Essential, Preferred or Premier
Annual limit – $5,000, $10,000 or unlimited
Reimbursement percentage – 70%, 80% or 90%
Deductible amount – options range from $100 to $1,000
Coverage add-ons – wellness care, boarding fees, lost pet ads
Species – dog or cat
Breed – some breeds have higher premiums
Pet’s age – older pets also have higher premiums
Geographic location – costs vary by state
Pet’s health – pre-existing conditions may be excluded
USAA Pet Insurance Cost Estimates
Here are some estimates for how much USAA pet insurance may cost for sample policies:
For a 1-year old healthy Labrador Retriever with a $500 deductible, 80% reimbursement, and $10,000 annual limit:
Essential: $20-$35 per month
Preferred: $35-$50 per month
Premier: $45-$65 per month
For a 7-year old Siamese cat with a $250 deductible, 70% reimbursement, and $5,000 annual limit:
Essential: $25-$40 per month
Preferred: $40-$60 per month
Premier: $50-$75 per month
A 10-year old Yorkie with a $750 deductible, 90% reimbursement, and unlimited annual limit:
Essential: $60-$90 per month
Preferred: $75-$110 per month
Premier: $95-$140 per month
These are just estimates based on sample profiles. The actual cost for a pet’s policy will depend on all the factors mentioned above. USAA has an online quote tool that pet owners can use to get a customized quote based on their pet’s information.
USAA pet insurance policies cover a wide range of services related to accidents, illnesses, injuries, emergencies, cancer, hereditary conditions, surgeries, hospitalization, x-rays, prescription medications, specialists, ER veterinary fees, and more. Both cats and dogs are eligible for coverage.
Some key inclusions and exclusions:
Injuries, illnesses, accidents – covered
Wellness care – optional add-on for preventive care
Hereditary and chronic conditions – covered
Pre-existing conditions – excluded
Dental diseases – excluded
Spay/neuter – excluded
Preventable conditions – may be excluded
All plans come with a standard set of coverages, while the higher tiers provide more robust benefits. Add-ons like wellness coverage for routine vet visits and lost pet advertising can be purchased for an additional monthly fee.
USAA offers pet owners the choice of 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement of covered expenses after the deductible.
With 70% reimbursement, you would pay 30% of the vet bill, with insurance covering the remaining 70%. The deductible is subtracted from the insurance company’s portion.
For example, with a $500 deductible and 70% reimbursement:
Vet bill total: $2,000
You pay: $500 deductible + 30% of remaining $1,500 = $500 + $450 = $950
Insurance reimburses: 70% of remaining $1,500 = $1,050
So in total, you would pay $950 out of pocket and receive $1,050 back from insurance.
Higher reimbursement percentages result in lower out-of-pocket costs for the pet owner. A 90% reimbursement level with a $500 deductible would mean you only pay $550 on a $2,000 vet bill.
USAA pet insurance plans come with annual limits of either $5,000, $10,000 or unlimited coverage.
The annual limit puts a cap on how much the insurance company will pay out in reimbursements per policy year. Once the limit is reached, the pet owner is responsible for 100% of any additional costs for that year.
Lower annual limit plans have lower monthly premiums, while unlimited plans have the highest premium but provide complete coverage without a reimbursement cap.
For pets with expensive medical conditions, the unlimited annual coverage provides the most financial protection. Young, healthy pets may only need $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage.
Policyholders can choose a deductible amount of $100, $250, $500, $750 or $1,000. The deductible applies on a per-condition basis.
Choosing a higher deductible lowers the monthly premium. But you take on more upfront costs with each claim before insurance helps pay the bills.
With a low deductible like $100 or $250, your monthly payments are higher, but you’ll have lower out-of-pocket costs when you file a claim.
Factors That Impact Costs
In addition to the policy limits and deductible you select, several other factors affect your USAA pet insurance costs:
Species: Dogs generally incur higher vet costs for injuries, illnesses, surgery, cancer, etc. So dog policies often cost more than cat insurance.
Breed: Some breeds are predisposed to costly hereditary conditions. For example, English and French bulldogs often need expensive treatments for breathing issues and joint problems. High-risk breeds may have higher premiums.
Age: As pets get older, they are more likely to develop chronic illnesses that require ongoing treatment. Older pets have higher premiums to account for this increased risk.
Location: The cost of veterinary care varies widely between regions. Policies are pricier in areas with higher cost of living and elevated vet costs.
Health: Pets with pre-existing conditions or prior illnesses may be subject to exclusions or priced higher than healthy pets.
Getting a Discount
USAA offers a few ways pet owners can get a discount on pet insurance:
Multi-pet discount: Insuring two or more pets with USAA earns a discount of 5-10%.
Military discount: Active, retired, and honorably discharged military members get 5-15% off pet insurance.
Employee discount: Being a USAA employee comes with a discount of up to 10%
Homeowners/renters discount: Having a USAA homeowners or renters policy earns up to 5% off.
No claims: Having no claims for an extended period can activate a renewal discount.
Pay in full: Choosing to pay for a full policy year up front rather than monthly saves on finance fees.
Limitations & Exclusions
While USAA pet insurance covers most accidents, injuries and common illnesses, some things are excluded. Policy documents provide full details on all exclusions, but here are some examples:
Preventable conditions like obesity
Elective procedures like spay/neuter
Dental cleanings and diseases
Pet foods, vitamins, supplements
Grooming and boarding
Conditions existing prior to enrollment
One advantage of USAA pet insurance is that you can switch between three different coverage providers at any time – Embrace, ASPCA, and Figo. Each offers slightly different benefits, exclusions, discounts, etc. So you can adjust your policy as your pet’s needs change.
This ability to switch is useful because pet insurance providers can change their coverage, raise rates, or reduce benefits year to year. With USAA you are not locked into just one provider long-term.
Is USAA Pet Insurance Worth It?
The high cost of veterinary care makes pet insurance increasingly beneficial. A single emergency room visit or major surgery can easily cost $2,000-$5,000 for a dog or cat. Cancer treatment, injuries and other complex conditions come with bills from $10,000 up to $20,000 or more.
Without pet insurance, owners face difficult choices about treatment based on their own financial situation. The right insurance takes away cost considerations at vulnerable times so pets can get the care they need.
For military members who value the USAA brand and customer service, its pet insurance delivers reliable coverage that follows pets even after separation from service. The ability to change providers gives added flexibility to adjust plans as needed over a pet’s lifetime.
Given the potentially massive vet costs pet insurance protects against, USAA policies provide significant peace of mind at reasonable monthly rates for most military pet owners. Doing some research to understand exclusions, read reviews, and compare alternatives can help ensure you select the right level of coverage for your pet’s needs and budget.