Find the right plan for your pet
We recommend pet insurance for the majority of our patients. In general, pet insurance covers accidents, illnesses and injuries. Routine wellness and preventive care like an annual exam, vaccinations, and preventatives aren’t generally covered.
The best time to sign up for pet insurance is when your pet is a kitten or puppy before they have any pre-existing conditions. We recommend reading the insurance policy you’re considering carefully and ask the provider (or us) any questions you might have.
How pet insurance works
There are a few key differences between pet insurance and health insurance as we are used to it for our own medical concerns:
- Veterinary pet insurance is more comparable to dental insurance than our own general medical health insurance plans, in that the client pays the provider/veterinarian directly, files a claim, and then is reimbursed directly from the insurance company. A few hospitals may process the claim for the owner, but for the most part the hospital is uninvolved in any processing of the claims, other than providing a diagnosis and records to the insurance company when requested.
- Though some plans offer wellness and preventative care coverage, pet insurance is for the most part designed to cover accidents, illnesses and injuries, not the routine wellness and preventative care (annual exam, vaccinations, preventatives) that one typically budgets for when acquiring a pet. It is the accidents/illnesses/injuries that come up unexpectedly and can be difficult to budget for ahead of time that most owners want the insurance against.
- Each company works a bit differently in regards to yearly premiums, deductibles, pre-existing conditions, and coverage limits. It is very important to read all the fine print with any policy you are considering to be sure that there are not breed or other exclusions that may pertain to your pet. We recommend discussing the policy you are considering with your veterinarian if you have any questions.
- Because most policies will not cover pre-existing conditions, pet insurance is best obtained when a pet is young and healthy, before it has had any medical issues that could be deemed pre-existing.
Key questions to consider when evaluating a potential pet insurance company and if their plans are right for you and your pet:
- Are there any breed exclusions?
- What is the policy for preexisting conditions?
- What is the deductible? Is this yearly, or per problem?
- Will the premium go up yearly?
- What is the turnaround time to get reimbursed?
- Do you need pet insurance? – American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
For a side-by-side comparison of the various pet insurance provider plans available for dogs visit the Dog Pet Insurance Review.
Hopefully, these resources will aid in making an informed and educated decision to determine if obtaining insurance for your pet is the right one. If you’re still unsure, talk to our team at your next vet visit.