Have a new furry family member? We highly recommend purchasing pet insurance for your dog or cat. Just like people, pets may also have injuries or illnesses that occur unexpectedly and bills can pile up. Securing pet insurance will put your mind at ease when your pet gets sick or has an injury and will allow your pet to get the care they need. Unlike health insurance for people, you usually have to pay vet bills in full and wait for reimbursement by your pet insurance plan.
There are three types of plans:
Injury Plans (covers accidents)
Injury and Illness Plans (covers accidents and when your dog gets sick)
Wellness Plans (covers routine care, such as vaccines, flea/tick, spay/neuter)
Almost all policies exclude pre-existing conditions. When evaluating your options, there are several important considerations that vary across pet insurance plans:
Annual deductible: The amount you must pay for veterinary expenses per 12-month policy period before your plan will reimburse you. For example, if your first bill with insurance is $500 and your deductible is $200, then you will be required to pay $200 in full and then your plan will help cover the rest of the cost. You only have to pay this deductible once per 12-month policy period. Your plan will help cover the cost of all future expenses over the 12-month policy period.
Reimbursement rate: The percentage of your veterinary expenses that your plan will reimburse you after you paid your deductible. For example, if your expenses are $100 and your reimbursement rate is 90% then your plan will reimburse you $90 assuming you have already met your deductible.
Annual limit: The maximum amount your plan will reimburse you per 12-month policy period. Some plans do not have an annual limit.
The cost of pet insurance varies depending on your pet’s breed (purebreds cost more since they are more prone to some hereditary conditions), age, geographic area and depending on the coverage options you choose (e.g., deductible, reimbursement rate).
We recommend a visit to the Pet Insurance Review website, which is a good resource to help you select pet insurance for your new furry family member. Simply enter your pet’s information to compare across available pet insurance plans and pick the right one for you.