4 of the Most Common Questions About Pet Insurance, Answered

As a pet parent, you likely want to do whatever you can to ensure that your animal companion is safe and healthy. For example, if you’re a dog owner, this might include purchasing quality leashes, comfy bedding, and nutritious dog treats for your fur baby. You might also choose to only buy these products from trusted suppliers of custom-made and wholesale pet merchandise, as these companies are more likely to use only the best pet-safe materials for their manufacturing processes.

Of course, there’s a lot more to safeguarding your pet’s well-being besides purchasing the necessary supplies. You’ll also need to cover veterinary costs for preventive care and treatment in the event that your pet falls ill or gets into an accident. However, with the rising cost of veterinary fees in the U.S., it can be difficult to afford top-quality care without shelling out thousands of dollars.

This is why many pet owners have decided to invest in pet insurance, as it provides furry companions with the healthcare they deserve without compromising their owner’s financial security. However, like any responsible fur parent, you may want to look further into the nature of this arrangement to see if it’s really right for you and your pet.

To help you reach a more informed decision, below are four of the most common inquiries about pet insurance:

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Pet insurance prevents you from spending exorbitant amounts of money to cover veterinary costs in the event of a health emergency. Most pet insurance providers cover healthcare in the form of a reimbursement, which is normally given after the owner pays the whole veterinary bill upfront and files a claim.

Once you purchase an insurance policy, your provider may request that you follow a waiting period. This is a short duration of time that must pass before you can make a claim and receive coverage, which prevents fraud from occurring. If your claim gets rejected, most insurance companies will allow you to appeal the decision with detailed documentation.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Most pet insurances cover accidents, illnesses, and preventative treatments. As such, they mainly offer three kinds of plans: accident-only plans, accident and illness plans, and wellness add-ons. As the name suggests, accident-only plans don’t cover illnesses. This is why many fur parents prefer accident and illness plans, as they tend to be more comprehensive in coverage. 

The exact coverage of your insurance plan will always depend on the policies of your provider. However, some services and treatments that are normally covered include hospitalization, diagnostic tests, dental injuries, and surgeries. On that note, wellness services can be added to your base plan if you want to include preventative care. Normally, wellness add-ons include services like vaccinations, deworming, flea and tick prevention, and spaying or neutering.

What about Pre-Existing Illnesses?

Most pet insurance plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions or illnesses. If your pet had been suffering from an illness or injury before your insurance plan took effect, it’s most likely disqualified from coverage. However, there are exceptions, as some providers may not consider injuries or illnesses as pre-existing if they’ve been cured for a certain period of time.

Whether or not your provider prompts you to do so, it’s always best to give them your pet’s veterinary record for screening. This way, they can tell you which particular conditions are covered and which aren’t.

How Do I Sign Up for Pet Insurance?

In order to sign up for a pet insurance plan, you need to pay the insurance company a certain amount of money on a monthly or yearly basis. This monthly or yearly payment is referred to as a premium. You also need to pay a deductible fee—either on an annual, monthly, or per-condition basis—before receiving a reimbursement from your insurance company.

In addition, you’ll need to take note of the reimbursement percentage of your pet insurance plan. This indicates the percentage of the veterinary costs covered by your insurance provider. Luckily, many pet insurance companies allow owners to customize these percentages depending on their specific needs. 

For example, you might choose a plan with an annual deductible of USD 100 and a 90 percent reimbursement percentage. Let’s say your pet’s veterinary bill is USD 500 in total. You’d need to pay the USD 100 deductible first before receiving a reimbursement. Should your claim be approved, the insurance company will reimburse 90 percent of the remaining USD 400, which is USD 360. 

What’s the Total Cost of Pet Insurance?

The total cost of a pet insurance plan varies depending on your provider and its policies, the type of plan you choose, and the number of pets you’re insuring. Usually, premiums can cost around ten to a hundred dollars a month. If you’ve chosen an accident and illness insurance plan, you’re likely to pay around USD 28 to USD 47 on a monthly basis.

Insurance costs can also change due to factors like your pet’s species, breed, age, and health record. Additionally, the average price of veterinary care in your area can affect the amount you pay as the years go by.

Like all things, investing in pet insurance comes with minor drawbacks. However, for any pet parent looking to provide their fur baby with the best care, the benefits often outweigh the caveats. This is especially true if you insure your pet early, before any illness or injury can be considered pre-existing. This way, you and your beloved companion can have more time to enjoy together, and you can be assured that you’ll receive good healthcare for your fur baby at a fair price.

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.