Should I Have A Pet Insurance For My Dog?

Pets are often lively, energetic and can get into mischief. Therefore, many owners opt for pet insurance policies in order to safeguard against mischief-making occurrences.

Pet insurance policies vary in price depending on factors like deductible, annual limit and reimbursement level; to get an accurate picture, compare quotes from multiple providers. Also be sure to find out whether their policies cover hereditary conditions and congenital disorders that are passed from parent to offspring. CHOICE advises comparing quotes from multiple providers before making your choice.

What is Covered?

When selecting a policy, prioritize one that offers customizable coverage and swift claims processing. Most policies offer various deductible amounts and reimbursement rates that cover eligible vet bills once your deductible has been met; some plans even offer breed-specific plans which cover conditions like spinal issues or hip dysplasia.

Pre-existing condition exclusions should also be carefully considered when shopping for pet insurance plans. Most policies exclude any medical conditions a dog had before purchasing the policy or during its waiting period – similar to how home insurance works – while some providers will cover these if considered curable and have shown no evidence of problem for some period.

Most pet insurance policies cover the cost of medication prescribed by veterinarians to treat accidents or illnesses covered by their policy, while some plans even offer alternative treatments such as acupuncture and chiropractic care, although these typically incur an extra cost that needs to be covered by your plan.

Most pet insurance providers cover hospitalization expenses for hospitalized pets, such as x-rays and diagnostic tests, surgery and inpatient care. Policies will pay various amounts toward these expenses depending on which policy you select; some plans also have age limitations which means coverage won’t start once your pet reaches certain ages.

Other things to keep an eye out for when selecting a pet insurance policy include dental work coverage and annual or incident limits, as well as how the premium is calculated – some policies use age as an indicator, while others have annual/monthly premiums with deductible or coinsurance payments; such policies could have flat deductibles of $100-250 while some may include per incident deductibles as an option.

Some pet insurance policies cover hereditary conditions, which means they’ll cover treatment if your pet develops one inherited illness that’s less expensive to treat than accidents and illnesses.

Pre-existing Conditions

Before purchasing pet insurance for your pup, ensure it will cover pre-existing conditions. Any condition diagnosed or treated (or symptoms noted) prior to or during a waiting period would typically qualify as pre-existing conditions.

Insurance companies typically have various policies when it comes to covering pre-existing conditions in pets. Some will only cover curable pre-existing conditions if your pet has been completely free from them for at least several months or even up to a year; so for instance if they were diagnosed with an ear infection prior to your policy being in force it might not be covered again later if another episode occurs; but if treated for it and left symptom-free after being treated it might still qualify as pre-existing condition coverage.

Most policies include a deductible, copay and reimbursement rate. The deductible represents your upfront payments at each visit to a veterinarian; copay represents a percentage of total cost that the insurance company covers; reimbursement rate represents how much money will be given back for every claim submitted; this can range anywhere between 10%-90% depending on which plan is chosen; some also cover alternative treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic care and physical therapy as part of the coverage.

Once again, be mindful of waiting periods when it comes to accidental injury and illness coverage; typically 14 days for accident coverage up to a year for orthopedic issues like hip dysplasia or cruciate ligament injuries can make up your decision for pet insurance coverage. Should your pup suffer an injury that impacts his mobility or causes hip dysplasia, these wait times could play a key role in his wellbeing and care plan options.

Even if your pet already has preexisting conditions, pet insurance could still save on unexpected medical costs and reduce injuries or illnesses in the long run. You could save both money and stress.

Coverage Options

When selecting pet insurance policies that suit your budget, be sure to compare policies from all major providers online by comparing deductibles, reimbursement rates and annual coverage limits as well as age restrictions, waiting periods and wellness coverage options.

Accident and illness insurance for pets is the most widely available form, covering accidents as well as illnesses like hereditary diseases or arthritis. Some pet owners opt for wellness coverage which pays for routine preventive care and diagnostic tests such as X-rays, blood work or MRI scans.

There are three primary forms of pet insurance coverage: accident only, illness only and comprehensive. Most insurers offer all three options but the specifics vary by company. Accident-only policies cover injuries such as being hit by a car; illness-only plans cover only medical costs related to illness (ear infections or cancer for example); comprehensive plans cover both injuries and illnesses simultaneously with some plans also offering hereditary disease coverage as an add-on option.

Keep these factors in mind when comparing plans:

Some companies increase premiums as pets age, though not always. If your pet currently has chronic condition coverage that’s currently covered, check whether their provider considers it preexisting or will impose a waiting period or exclude coverage of said disease upon renewal.

Consider whether the plan includes a maximum limit on payments per condition. This is particularly relevant when selecting plans designed for pets with expensive hereditary diseases that could require lifelong costs. Furthermore, factor in how deductible and reimbursement rates affect plan prices when making your choice.

Note that not all pet insurance policies cover veterinary exam fees, which can quickly add up. Though not applicable for every policy, if your pet has had costly issues in the past it’s worth keeping this in mind when shopping around for cover.


When shopping for pet insurance, it’s essential to factor in both premium costs and deductible amounts. Furthermore, many policies operate using a reimbursement model, meaning you will have to cover vet bills out-of-pocket before receiving reimbursement from insurer. Some companies have maximum annual payout limits as well.

Pet insurance plans typically reimburse up to 80%, 90% or 100% of covered vet bills after paying your policy deductible. In addition, some companies provide special plans such as routine wellness plans or coverage for alternative therapies like acupuncture or chiropractic care; though these options may increase monthly premiums they can help offset some unexpected veterinary care expenses.

Finding a plan that suits both your budget and health of your pet will require comparison shopping online – most pet insurance providers provide sample policies which outline average monthly premiums and annual limits of various levels of coverage, while some even allow customization so you can select deductible, limit, reimbursement percentage that best suit your requirements.

Before choosing a plan, be sure to read all of its fine print carefully and ensure any preexisting conditions your pet may have aren’t excluded from coverage. Certain insurers require a checkup and waiting period before your coverage takes effect; this varies by state, insurer and type but is typically just weeks for illness policies or days for accident policies.

Purchase pet insurance is an invaluable way to protect the health and well-being of your canine companion. Affordable monthly premiums allow most pet owners to cover expenses associated with unexpected injuries and illness that would otherwise threaten to devastate their budgets. When looking for plans that meet your coverage needs at a price you can afford, always do some shopping around until you find something suitable; consult with a vet or independent agent on what options may work best.