picture of a golden retriever laying on a fluffy dog bed in a gate

Active Dog

May 09, 2023

What is Pet Insurance?

Two common questions from many pet owners today are "What is pet insurance?" and "Do I need pet insurance for my dog/cat?". There are many pet parents today who do have pet insurance for the furry family members and others that do not.

We're here to answer those commonly asked questions and provide additional information about how pet insurance works, what type of pet insurance plans are available and more.

picture of a golden retriever laying on a fluffy dog bed in a gate

Does My Dog/Cat Need Pet Insurance?​

When deciding whether or not you want to explore pet insurance, here are a few factors to consider:

  • Do I have a breed that is common to health issues and will require frequent care & vet visits?
  • Can I afford to pay a monthly premium per month for insurance to help pay for future expenses?
  • Is your dog an athlete who goes to many competitions every year?

What Type of Pet Insurance Plans Are Available?​

Now, let's talk about what type of pet insurance plans are available. First, we do want to mention that most common plans only cover dogs and cats, but there are some providers and plans that expand into other animals like reptiles and birds. 

There are three main types of pet insurance plans available from most providers:

  • Accident Only Plan:
    • Created to cover accidents such as broken bones, cuts, scrapes, swallowing foreign objects.
  • Accident and Illness Plan:
    • Covers the above as well as infections, cancer, arthritis, vomiting, and diarrhea. 
  • Routine Wellness Plan: 
    • Some providers offer optional wellness plans that cover expenses such as routine wellness exams, vaccinations, flea/tick and heart worm prevention and more. 

If your plan covers more, there is the chance that it will be more expensive. If you know that you are wanting to invest in this, definitely shop around to see which providers and plans have everything you're looking for. 

How Does Pet Insurance Work?​

Most insurance providers and plans are reimbursement-based. This means that when you visit your vet, you will pay everything up front and then submit a claim to your provider who then reimburses you based on your plan agreement. 

Each plan has different options to pick from that determine the type of coverage and reimbursement you get. These include/are not limited to:

  • Coverage Limit:
    • Providers will often offer different limits for you to pick from for your plan. The most common limits are $5,000, $10,000 and unlimited.
  • Deductible:
    • Similar to insurance for people, the deductible you choose will be how much you pay up front before your pet insurance plan begins to pay. There are high and low deductibles available with different plans. 
    • The most important thing to know here is to find out what goes towards your deductible and what doesn't.
  • Reimbursement Level:
    • This is the percentage amount that you will be reimbursed based on what you choose with your plan. The common amounts are 70%, 80% or 90%.
  • Premiums: 
    • Premiums can vary in price depending on the provider and different factors including:
      • Pet Breed/Species (i.e. Dogs are more expensive to insure than cats)
      • Pet Age (Older animals tend to be more expensive to cover)
      • Your Location

What Does Pet Insurance Cost?​

With so many plans available, you can find policies that range from $10 a month all the way to $50 and above.

Since every pet insurance provider and plan varies in cost based on your pet's specific needs and other factors that were mentioned above (with others depending on the provider) we can't give full price breakdowns.

The best thing to do is compare multiple providers that have the options you're looking for and find the best plan for you and your pet!

picture of a black dog sitting on a chair while smiling

We hope this article was very helpful and that you feel more confident knowing whether or not to explore pet insurance for your furry family member! If you have any questions about pet insurance, we highly recommend consulting your veterinarian to help you determine what works best for you and your pet.