Written by Vet Tech

What Is Pet Insurance And How Does It Work?

Amber LaRock
Written by: Amber LaRock, Vet Tech
You want to protect your dog, but you are not sure how pet insurance works? Everything that you must know about pet insurance is in this article. Read on.

Our pets are a treasured member of our family, so it’s important to make sure they are protected when the unexpected happens.

Our furry friends aren’t exempt from medical emergencies, and luckily we are now able to prepare for these unexpected events through the addition of pet insurance.

In this article, we’ll dive into what pet insurance is, how it works, and the details you should know before signing up!

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is the perfect way to prepare for anything that comes to your pet’s way.

Medical emergencies can bring along a huge financial burden that we may not be prepared for, so it’s important to give yourself some security on the financial front.

Pet insurance gives you the abilit+y to either save on your yearly veterinary costs for your pet or even be reimbursed in full in some situations.

With paying a monthly fee to your pet insurance company of choice you can rest assured that your dog’s yearly veterinary fees will be covered, discounted, or reimbursed if you do ever have to pay out of pocket for an emergency.

Just as you would with a human health insurance policy, the policyholder pays a small portion of the bill and the insurance company pays the remainder.

Unlike other insurance policies, however, most pet insurance companies do require you to cover medical costs upfront.

Though you will often have to come out of pocket, you will be reimbursed for a discounted amount or entirely after sending in your pet’s medical paperwork.

Though pet insurance will add a monthly fee to your plate, it will always outweigh the costs you could pay for unexpected medical emergencies.

Emergency veterinary bills are known to cost anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 on average, and having pet insurance can give you the support you need in an expensive situation.

Most people regret not having pet insurance once it’s too late, so it’s best to get ahead of the game.

How Does It Work?

Pet insurance is similar to regular insurance in many ways.

In order to make sure that pet owners are not signing up for a pet insurance plan with any pre-existing illnesses, there is typically a waiting period between when you purchase the policy and when your pet’s coverage will actually begin.

Due to this, many policies will require that your pet has a checkup that gives them a clean bill of health upon sign up.

When you first sign up, each company will have a list of questions that you’ll need to answer about your pet to establish your monthly premium.

These questions will range from breed type, age, and any existing medical conditions or ailments. Based on your answers, they will be able to determine your monthly fee and the medical costs they can cover for your pet going forward.

Your pet insurance of choice will likely allow you to pay for costs upfront and file a claim after the medical emergency has already resolved, or some may allow you to reach out to them as the medical emergency is happening for immediate coverage (though this is rare).

In order to make sure you have the coverage that you are looking for, it’s best to ask about their process before signing up.

Once you file a claim, each pet insurance company will vary.

Some will require a deductible before they cover the rest of the costs, some will reimburse you entirely, and some will reimburse a partial amount.

In order to make sure you are fully prepared, you should have a clear understanding of the deductible required from your pet insurance company of choice.

Coverage can also vary based on the exact medical situation.

What Is Excluded From Pet Insurance Coverage?

Similar to human insurance policies, pet insurance companies will typically have a list of exclusions that they will not cover.

Some of the common exclusions include:

Even if your pet does have a pre-existing condition, it’s best to discuss it with the insurance provider before you sign up as some policies will cover certain aspects of a pre-existing condition.

There are certain rules that usually make your pet eligible incurable conditions, so it’s always good to go into it with a clear understanding so you don’t miss out on any possible reimbursements.

What Factors Affect Your Pet Insurance Plan?

Similar to many other aspects of life; you get what you pay for. Your pet insurance policy will vary in price based on how much coverage they offer and how much you expect to pay at the time of the incident.

In general, the less you pay each month, the more you will pay at the time of the incident and vise versa.

Some plans can also include adding one on extra services that are covered, which can range from wellness exams to any type of monthly prevention.

You can typically tailor your plan to fit the needs of your furry friend no matter the company you choose.

Aside from the variation of costs based on the level of coverage that your plan offers are the questions that also help to determine your monthly fees.

These questions are similar to the questions you are asked upon signing up with any insurance company.

Each pet insurance will inquire about:

  • Age
  • Species
  • Pre-existing conditions or injuries
  • Location
  • Sports & habits

You will always have the opportunity to create a quote based on your dog’s needs before signing up.

Just be ready to answer the questions we covered and they should be able to give you an accurate quote that can help you make your decision.

Common Veterinary Emergencies

It can be challenging to imagine the possible events that can bring your beloved companion into the animal ER, but unfortunately, these things happen each day.

Pet owners are caught off guard financially in many of these scenarios, and often wish they had investigated pet insurance options beforehand.

Some common veterinary emergencies that pet insurances cover include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Hospitalization
  • Dog fight wounds
  • Muscle or bone injuries
  • Trauma
  • Emergency surgeries
  • Onset of a chronic illness
  • Some specialty exams
  • Monthly medications for an illness
  • Diagnostic testing

As you can see, there is an array of medical emergencies that you could be reimbursed if they ever come to your pet’s way.

While pet insurance may just seem like an additional monthly cost to factor in, it is almost always cheaper than any of the treatments for the emergencies listed above.

Best Pet Insurance Companies

Now that you understand the details behind pet insurance, let’s list some of the best pet insurance policies that are currently out on the market.

Some of the pet insurance companies that we trust include:

  • Petplan
  • Healthy Paws
  • Embrace
  • Progressive
  • Pet First
  • Figo Pet Insurance
  • Pets Best
  • Prudent Pet
  • Nationwide

Still, before you jump in and randomly choose one of the brands listed above, you should do your research. With that on the mind, capitalize on online search and, most importantly – online reviews.

Use sites, like bestpetinsurance.com, as a good starting point to find the best insurance option for your canine in no time.

Any of the pet insurance companies above have what it takes to prepare you and your furry friend for anything that comes your way, but it can’t harm to double-check, right?

The Bottom Line

Pet insurance is all about alleviating the risk of any unexpected financial burden that can come with owning a pet.

As long as you have pet insurance on your side, you and your beloved pet are ready for any obstacles that come your way.