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Pet Insurance Basics

Pets are family too and they deserve the same love and care that we do. Pet insurance is an affordable way to ensure your furry friend has access to the medical care they may need. Many plans also offer preventive care services which can help save money on routine exams and vaccinations.


How does it work?

Today pet insurance policies offer flexibility in coverage options. Most policies work the same way, you may typically visit any licensed veterinarian and then:

First – you pay out of pocket up to the deductible amount you selected (typically $100-$1000)

Then – you will share the cost of covered services at your selected co-insurance rate (70%-90%). For example, if you select 90% co-insurance and the eligible bill was $100 then you would be responsible for $10 and the insurance company would pay $90.


Meet Roo! Roo is a 6 year old Australian Cattle Dog mix, she has had a pet insurance policy since she was 10 weeks old.

Last month Roo fractured a tooth while chewing on a bone and the tooth had to be removed. The procedure cost $1100, after the $400 deductible, Roo’s insurance paid for 90% of the balance totaling $630.

The cost of your policy will vary depending on the coverage options you provide and the age\breed of your pet – but as a guideline it ranges from as little as $6 per month for basic policies and closer to $50 per month for robust plans.

Pet Insurance Options

Generally speaking there are 3 common types of pet insurance that provide varying levels of coverage for your pet:

Covers accidental injuries to your pet such as broken bones, bites and other wounds. Coverage for illnesses (i.e. cancer) is not provided but pricing is more affordable than other insurance options.
Accident and Illness
Provides broader coverage including accidents and illnesses including emergency care, diagnostic testing and specialists visits. You get to select your deductible and coinsurance amounts (70%-90%). This is the most popular form of pet insurance.
Accident, Illness & Wellness
Provides the most robust form of coverage and includes everything from an accident and illness plan along with routine preventive care. Plans typically provide up to a specified dollar amount for routine services such as vaccinations, blood tests, teeth cleaning,

Meet Holly! Holly is a 1 year old Pug mix and she has a insurance plan that includes wellness coverage.

This year Holly’s insurance plan paid for her annual wellness exam, 3 vaccinations, annual blood work and heartworm testing as part of the benefits package totaling $212. Luckily she has not had any accidents even though she is a mischievous puppy!

Keep in Mind

Most pet insurance policies do not cover the “exam” fee, however wellness plans do typically cover an annual wellness visit.

There is typically a waiting period prior to providing coverage for certain illnesses, such as joint problems.

Pre-existing conditions are generally not covered.