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What Is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is a health insurance policy for your pet that pays for medical expenses and sometimes other costs.
If you have a pet insurance plan, you’ll have a deductible amount that you pay for veterinarian bills before coverage starts. After that, you’ll still pay your vet directly and then submit your bills to the pet insurer for reimbursement.
The insurance company will send you reimbursement until it has paid the maximum your plan allows in a year, such as $5,000. Some plans offer unlimited payout maximums.
Plan documents for any limitations to what’s covered
Your policy will have a list of exclusions. Common exclusions include grooming, breeding costs, certain pre-existing conditions, and expenses not related to veterinary care (such as taxes or your vet’s administrative fees).
All pet insurance plans have waiting periods. Your coverage won’t kick in until the waiting period is over. For example, your policy might have a 14-day waiting period before it covers accident-related veterinarian costs.
Pet insurance does not have network restrictions, and most insurers will cover any licensed vet.
Check to see if your policy has any geographic restrictions or if your coverage is extended to other regions.
We analyzed a Trupanion pet insurance policy that covers licensed veterinarians in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico, and any other region under Australian, Canadian, or U.S. government control.
Average Cost of Pet Insurance
our survey found that close to 37% of dog owners haven’t considered pet insurance because they think it will be too expensive. Yet 89% of dog owners estimate that the cost of pet insurance is higher than it actually is. And 76% of dog owners overestimate the cost of pet insurance by at least three times the average price.
- Pet insurance with $5,000 in annual coverage costs an average of $34 a month for a puppy, $35 a month for a dog, and $28 a month for a cat.
- Pet insurance with unlimited annual coverage costs an average of $53 per month for a dog and $39 per month for a cat.
Pet insurance plans typically have a choice of maximum annual coverage amounts, such as $5,000, but some plans offer unlimited annual coverage. This financial safety net can help dog owners reduce the potential cost of a dog.
How to Buy a Pet Insurance Plan
The best way to find a policy within your budget is to compare pet insurance quotes among different insurers.
- Online: Many pet insurance companies offer free quotes online. You’ll answer a few basic questions about your pet. You can also use a pet insurance comparison site to look at several options at once.
- Phone or email: You can contact a representative from an insurance company or an independent insurance agent.
- in-person: If you prefer to correspond with someone directly.