Everything You Need to Know About Pet Insurance

Our pets are a part of our family, and we’ll never associate a dollar amount to them if they become sick or injured. That may well be the case if you don’t have pet insurance. Rising veterinary costs mean that pet owners can pay hundreds, and even thousands of dollars for their pets’ health problems. As the vet bills pile up, uninsured pet owners must determine how much they are willing to spend on their animal family member.

Much like insurance for health, cars, and homes, pet insurance helps individuals put a little money away now to avoid a major payout later. Coverage and cost vary, so it’s important to thoroughly research options if you decide to insure your pet.

Will Keeping My Pet Indoors Help to Prevent Accidents?

When deciding to get a pet, you often don’t consider how you may deal with the inevitable unexpected illnesses or accidents. Keeping a pet indoors by no means eliminates all the hazards. They can still deal with the following incidents:

  • Swallowing foreign objects
  • Ingest a poison of some sort
  • Injuring themselves
  • Living indoors does not make a pet immune to disease and infection, particularly those that are common to their breed.
  • Pets with access to the outdoors have even more opportunities to pick up a disease or get hurt.

If you do not have a dog or a cat, insurance companies are offering plans that meet the needs of a variety of pet owners. Some offer coverage for birds, small mammals, and exotics such as reptiles.

Why Should I Consider Pet Insurance?

Not all owners are good candidates for pet insurance, however. Pet insurance is ideal for owners who deeply love their pets and are willing to spend a significant amount of money to keep them healthy and extend their life. They buy their cherished companions the best food and care they can afford, sometimes even putting their pets’ needs before their own. For this type of owner, pet insurance can be a smart investment that can prevent considerable costs and bring peace of mind.

Pet insurance is not a good investment for owners who don’t have a strong emotional tie to their pet. Owners who would rather have their pets euthanized than spend money on vet bills are not good candidates for pet insurance.

Filing for pet insurance or pet insurance claim understanding the basics

Most pet owners will weigh two main considerations when shopping for pet insurance: budget and coverage. Peace of mind can also be an important factor, but far more difficult to quantify. As a pet owner, you must decide what is the right balance between affordability and the care you want for your pet.

What Do Most Pet Insurance Plans Cover?

When choosing pet insurance coverage, first consider what kind of insurance customer you are. Do you prefer all-inclusive coverage that pays for everything from routine checkups and vaccinations to accidents and chronic illnesses, or are you comfortable with a lesser degree of coverage that just kicks in during emergencies? Perhaps you prefer a flexible plan that offers discounts on a wide range of services, from veterinary care to training. This decision will lay the groundwork for your final choice.

Most plans cover the following:

  • Emergency exam fees
  • Prescription medication
  • Diagnostic testing and treatments
  • Surgery, dental illnesses, and unexpected illnesses

Some issues to consider with coverage:

  • Make sure to check for coverage of pre-existing conditions as well as breed-specific genetic ailments, such as hip dysplasia for large dogs. Some plans refuse to cover these conditions.
  • Some plans place limits on annual, per-incident, per-illness, or lifetime costs.
  • Coverage usually starts at eight weeks old, but some plans won’t cover pets over a certain age (usually between six and 10 years old, depending on the breed, type of animal and other factors).

What Do Most Pet Insurance Plans Cost?

Payment options for pet insurance include flat fees or deductibles and/or co-payments. Not surprisingly, plans with lower monthly premiums come with higher deductibles and/or larger co-payments.

Some issues about cost to consider:

  • Insurance premiums are affected by the age, health, and breed of your pet, as well as the type of animal.
  • Some plans offers discounts for multiple pets.
  • Plans generally require customers to pay the vet bill first and then submit receipts for reimbursement.

Filing for a pet insurance policy or claim

  • Find out if the insurance premiums will increase as your pet ages.
  • Depending on the plan you choose, the monthly premiums can range from less than $10 to more than $100.

Selecting a Pet Insurance Provider

You’ve determined what you can afford to spend and the amount of pet insurance coverage you want. Before selecting an insurer, consider the following action items:

  • Make a list of your questions and priorities in advance. Make sure to answer or check off each item when reviewing plan options.
  • Research the insurer thoroughly. Review its website and sales materials, read its testimonials, talk to other pet owners, and look for on-line reviews.
  • Get answers to your questions. How long has the company been in business? Are its customers satisfied? Make sure you feel comfortable about everything you hear or read.
  • Compare the plan’s benefit schedule with your vet’s fees to determine to what degree the plan will cover the actual treatment costs.
  • Find out how quickly the insurance company reimburses customers’ claim payments and if it has claim deadlines.
  • Read the fine print. Make sure you completely understand the plan’s benefits and, more importantly, the limitations. If something isn’t clear, ask – and get the answer in writing. Otherwise, you might find you don’t have the coverage you need if an accident occurs.
  • Start a file for your pet. Use it for all receipts and insurance paperwork so you can keep on top of your claims and make sure you are maximizing your insurance investment.

Your responsibility as a pet owner doesn’t end with food, shelter, and affection. Pet health insurance can give the smallest member of your family a longer and healthier life – and provide you with more time to enjoy the unconditional love it so willingly offers to you.


  1. Is Pet Insurance Worth It in 2022? Pawlicy Advisor.
  2. Average Cost of Pet Insurance: 2022 Facts and Figures, Value Penguin.