Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance

Pets are like family. We know how difficult it can be when a member of the family becomes sick or injured. When you and your pet need us most, we’ll be there with comprehensive plans, robust coverage and a team of caring and passionate pet advocates—many who are pet parents themselves—to help. Call Us!


What is pet insurance?

Pet health insurance is a pet health policy that can be purchased for your dog or cat. Having good pet insurance provides peace of mind that you can afford to get your pet the best care in the event of a costly accident or illness.

While many people try to compare pet medical insurance medical insurance to human health insurance, it’s actually more like car insurance – it’s there to prevent financial upset in the event of something unexpected. Just like your car insurance doesn’t cover routine maintenance or any accidents you got into before purchasing the policy, pet insurance plans typically don’t cover routine care costs and pre-existing conditions.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Pet insurance works mostly on a reimbursement basis. This simply means that you pay the vet up front and then file a claim for the reimbursement of eligible expenses. Some companies partner with certain veterinarians, paying them directly so you’re only responsible for paying ineligible costs out of pocket.

When purchasing a pet insurance policy, you choose a deductible, a reimbursement percentage, and an annual limit, which all impact your premium and the maximum amount you can recover. Your deductible must be met before the insurance company will issue reimbursement. The eligible costs are then reimbursed based on the percentage you select, usually 70% to 90% of the cost, and the policy’s annual limit also sets the maximum dollar amount you can claim each year. Some insurance companies offer an unlimited annual limit option.

Although claims filing and reimbursement processes can vary, it generally works like this:

  1. Schedule a vet appointment.
  2. Take your pet to see the veterinarian.
  3. Pay for the veterinarian bills in full.
  4. File a claim online or through the pet insurer’s mobile app and include a copy of the bill.
  5. Once the pet insurance company approves the claim, receive your allowable reimbursement via direct deposit or paper check in the mail.

The review and approval process can take a few days, a couple weeks, or even a month, depending on the company, the policy, and the scope of the accident or illness.


Where Can You Use Pet Insurance?

Most pet insurance plans work on a reimbursement basis, so you can use your coverage with any licensed veterinarian, specialist, or emergency clinic of your choosing. Unlike human health insurance, pet health insurance doesn’t have provider networks. However, some companies may have certain requirements to meet in order for veterinarian bills to be eligible for reimbursement.

What’s Covered by Pet insurance?

Pet insurance is a kind of health insurance policy that pays a portion of a pet’s medical bills. You can purchase a comprehensive policy that covers a wide range of health-related problems. Some plans even cover costs such as microchip ping or end-of-life expenses for a pet.

Here’s what is commonly covered by the best pet insurance plans:

Accidents and injuries

This covers medical expenses for accidents such as:

  • ACL ruptures
  • Bite wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts
  • Swallowed objects
  • Toxic ingestions

Chronic illnesses

This covers medical expenses for chronic illnesses such as:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease
  • Seizures
  • Skin conditions

Common illnesses

This covers medical expenses for common illnesses such as:

  • Ear infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting

Serious illnesses

This covers medical expenses for serious illnesses such as:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease

Hereditary conditions

This covers medical expenses for hereditary conditions such as:

  • Blood disorders
  • Eye disorders
  • Hip dysplasia

Holistic and alternative procedures

This covers expenses such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Laser therapy

Testing and diagnostics

This covers the cost of testing and diagnostic procedures such as:

  • Blood tests
  • CT scans
  • MRIs
  • Ultrasounds
  • X-rays


This covers the cost of medical procedures such as:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Endoscopies
  • Hospitalizations
  • Nursing care
  • Surgeries

Wellness procedures

This covers expenses such as:

  • Flea and heartworm prevention
  • Neutering
  • Routine wellness exams
  • Spaying
  • Vaccinations

Behavioral therapy

This covers costs associated with behavioral therapy for problems such as:

  • Aggression
  • Destructive chewing
  • Excessive barking

What’s Not Covered by Pet Insurance?

Here are some common pet insurance exclusions:

  1. Pre-existing conditions. This is an injury or illness that your pet had before your coverage started. Some plans may not permanently exclude pre-existing conditions. For example, Nationwide pet insurance may extend coverage if you have medical records that show your pet has been cured of a condition for at least six months.
  2. Experimental treatment. This includes diagnosis and treatments that are considered experimental, investigational or not within the standard of care accepted by your state’s veterinary medical board.
  3. Grooming. Pet insurance typically doesn’t cover grooming services such as baths, dips, shampoos or nail trims.
  4. Food, dietary and nutritional supplements. Your pet’s dietary expenses are typically not covered, but some plans cover prescription food and supplements.
  5. Non-veterinary expenses. This includes expenses for waste disposal services, record access or copying, any license or certification and compliance with a government rule or regulation (such as a dog license).

Types of Pet Insurance Plans

The types of problems and medical expenses that are covered by pet insurance depends on what type of plan you buy. Here are the three most common types of pet insurance plans:

Accident & illness coverage

This type of plan is the most common pet insurance plan and covers a wide range of problems, including accidents (such as a torn ACL or swallowing a foreign object) and illnesses (such as allergies, cancer and ear infections).

Accident-only coverage

This type of plan only covers accident-related medical expenses, such as a torn cruciate ligament or lacerations from dog bites. It does not cover illness-related expenses like ear infections and cancer.

Wellness coverage

This is an optional plan offered by pet insurers and covers wellness-related expenses, such as routine wellness exams, flea and tick prevention and vaccinations. You can usually add a wellness plan to an accident and illness policy but not an accident-only policy.


How Does a Pet Insurance Deductible Work?

Pet Insurance policies, like most insurance policies, have a deductible. Deductibles, depending on your choice, will affect your premium. Higher deductibles generally lower your premium while lower deductibles will result in a higher premium.

There are typically two options for deductibles. Annual deductibles, like those used by Embrace, are similar to those on a human medical insurance policy. Once the deductible has been met, no deductible will apply to future claims during the policy term.

Other carriers may offer a per-incident (per-condition) deductible. In this case, the deductible will be applied each time your pet goes to the veterinarian for a new condition. This type of deductible could lead to you receiving less reimbursement for each claim.

It is important to ask how your deductible will apply to the policy you are considering for purchase.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

  • The average monthly premium for accident and illness coverage for a dog with $5,000 of annual coverage, $250 deductible and 90% reimbursement level is $35 per month, according to pet insurance costs.
  • The average monthly premium for accident and illness coverage for a dog with unlimited annual coverage, $250 deductible and 90% reimbursement level is $56 per month

The cost of pet insurance is going to depend on several factors, typically including:

  • The type, gender and breed of animal. Some breeds are predisposed to certain illnesses, which will result in higher pet insurance rates. For example, large dog breeds are more prone to heart and hip issues and have higher medication costs.
  • The pet’s age. As your pet gets older, it is more likely to need to go to the vet, which will translate into higher pet insurance rates at policy renewal times.
  • Pre-existing conditions. Medical conditions that existed before you bought the pet insurance generally aren’t covered. But some pet insurance plans will cover conditions that were cured and then later return.
  • Your location. Average veterinary costs in your area will affect the plan price.
  • Coverage types. You’ll pay more for a comprehensive plan that covers accidents, illness and routine wellness compared to a plan that covers only accidental injuries.
  • Deductible and reimbursement level. You’ll pay more for having a lower deductible and higher reimbursement level. For example, a plan that offers 90% reimbursement will cost more than the same plan with 70% reimbursement.

Generally, it’s more expensive to insure a dog than a cat.

Do You Need Pet Insurance?

Whether you need pet insurance is up to you. When considering the cost of vet care versus average pet insurance premiums, pet insurance may be worth it for your pet, family, and financial situation.

For example, you could pay $3,000 or more if your pet is hospitalized. If you are paying $30 a month, or $360 per year, for pet insurance, then you may be coming out ahead. In this scenario, you would have to pay your pet insurance premium for just over eight years to make a $3,000 hospitalization claim not worth it.

Additionally, having a breed that is more susceptible to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, can result in more vet or specialist visits and, thus, more expenses that may be reimbursed by a pet insurance plan.

If you already have a vet that you work with and trust, it may be worth taking the time to ask about expected costs for certain procedures for accidents or illnesses. Compare those costs to various quotes and reimbursement percentages from pet insurers to help you decide if you need pet insurance.


What Are The Benefits Of Pet Insurance

The benefits of Pet Insurance:

  1. Enables pet owners to save money when their pet is injured or ill.
  2. Empowers pet owner to not have to choose between their financial stability and their pet’s life.
  3. Enables pet owners to focus on the health of their pet, rather than the costs of their care.
  4. Saves on additional treatment costs, like stays in the veterinary hospital or X-rays.
  5. Increases the treatment options available to the pet, including medically necessary surgeries and chemotherapy.
  6. Ability to treat pets for costly procedures like tick paralysis, cruciate ligament surgery, cataract removal, spinal surgery or FLUTD surgery.
  7. If your pet is lost or stolen, some pet insurance plans offer funds as a reward to the individual who has found it. Pet insurance can also help cover the cost of boarding kennels/catteries if you are hospitalised or help with legal costs if your dog causes any damage or injury to a 3rd party.

When is the best time to get pet insurance?

The best time to get pet insurance is right now! The longer you wait to get pet insurance, the greater the chance that pre-existing conditions may pile up and your pet won’t be able to have coverage for them. You can sign up for most pet insurance plans when your puppy or kitten is as young as 8 weeks old. It’s a great idea to enroll while your pet is young so they can have coverage for accidents and illnesses that may pop up over time.

Even if your pet is older, it still pays to get pet insurance as soon as you can so your pet has coverage if they get sick or hurt in the future. As pets age, they are more prone to certain health conditions, and pet insurance can help you get them the care they need to get better.


Insurance for Veterinary

Cover your dogs and cats with pet insurance. Keep them healthy, happy and safe. Serving people and their pets, request a free quote today.