What Exactly is Pet Insurance? - Pet InsurancePet Insurance
Jun 2014
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Pet insurance won't cover costs for any condition that your pet showed signs of before the start date of the policy. (Medical records or a vet exam might be required to establish your pet's health). But, pet insurance will cover new conditions and accidents. Also, all the pet insurance plans here will cover conditions that your pet might have been born with but haven't showed up yet. These are called hereditary or congenital conditions. So it's still important to get covered!

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What Exactly is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is often associated with health insurance as it is a coverage of the pet’s physical well-being. Pet insurance is, in fact, an insurance of property, very similar to the insurance placed upon a home or car.

How does it work?
Just like your car or home insurance, pet insurance has a deductible and different levels of coverage. Under most pet insurance policies, the pet owner is required to pay the veterinary bill and then claim reimbursement from the insurance company.

What does it cover?
In the past, pet insurance companies only provided coverage for accidents or injuries. This policy changed as insurance companies discovered more and more pet owners were in need of more thorough coverage. Today, insurance companies provide two main forms of insurance; accidental injury policy and a comprehensive policy.

• Accidental Injury Policies vary by plan but may cover:
o Road and travel related accidents.
o Injuries.
o Poisoning.
o Animal vs. animal attacks.
o 3rd party liability. (pet to human damage(

• Comprehensive Policies vary by plan but may cover:
o Diagnostic testing plus imaging.
o Prescription drug Coverage.
o Specialist and ER care.
o Rehabilitation and alternative therapies.
o Nursing care, hospitalization and surgery care.
o Cancer treatments.
o Breed-specific conditions.

What does it cost?
The age and breed of the pet and the level of coverage chosen influence the cost of insurance. For these reasons, it is impossible to give a definitive answer but below is a guide to average costs.

• Accidental Injury Policy:
o Dog – $10 per month.
o Cat – $6 per month.

• Comprehensive Policy:
o Dog –$7 to $70 per month.
o Cat – $4 to $67 per month.
What are the limitations?
Pet insurance, like all forms of insurance, is subject to limitations. Although not all insurance companies have the same limitations, provided are the most common limitations known to pet insurers:

• Out-of-Pocket reimbursement
Unlike human health insurance where your doctor submits the bill directly to the insurance company, veterinarians are not required to do so. Instead, pet insurance companies require you, the pet owner, to pay out-of-pocket then submit the bill for reimbursement.

• Pre-existing health conditions will NOT be covered.
This is another similarity between pet insurance and home insurance. You would not expect your insurance company to pay for damage to your home before the policy began, the same rule applies to pet insurance. (Hereditary conditions are not part of this rule).

• Cap or dollar limits.
Insurance policies may have a maximum coverage amount they are willing to pay per year. Reimbursements may also be caped as the pet becomes older.

• Not all procedures are covered.
Cosmetic – declaw or tail docking.
Behavioral – aggression, training, etc.
How do I get started?

1. Get an instant quote. Instant quotes are quick and FREE. Simply enter in your details, and the insurers will provide you with information about all of the coverage options.

2. Select a level of Coverage. Use the quotes provided to review your options and choose the option that best fits your needs. Can’t decide on a coverage level? Contact the insurance company to discuss what coverage would be the best option for you and your pet.
3. Enroll with your selected insurance company.