- Pre-existing conditions
- Medical procedures
- Sick/illness visits
Certain vet offices (by area)
Pet Insurance: What You Need to Know
Pet insurance works much like health insurance does for humans. If you take your pet to the vet for an emergency or for a medical procedure, pet insurance will help you cover part or all of the cost.
Many of the best pet insurance providers we reviewed have deductibles — similar to other types of insurance like car insurance, homeowners insurance, or health insurance — that pet owners must reach before insurance kicks in. Then, reimbursement rates are the percentage that pet insurance will cover or pay you back for a covered event.
For example, if you have a $500 deductible plan and a 90% reimbursement rate when you discover your dog is sick. After a trip to the vet, your bill is $1,000. After paying your $500 deductible, your insurance will cover 90% of the last $500 — or $450 — so you only end up paying $550.
What pet insurance covers
Pet insurance mostly covers accidents, injuries, medical procedures, and non-pre-existing illnesses. If your pet is diagnosed with cancer or needs surgery to correct an issue, pet insurance steps in to help reduce your overall costs. This can even include diagnostic tests like X-rays, ultrasounds, and bloodwork.
Some carriers, like Petplan, even cover the costs of boarding your pet in case you are hospitalized and can’t take care of your pet yourself. Here’s a list of what pet insurance can cover:
- Emergency vet visits
- Illnesses except pre-existing conditions
- Dental issues
- Congenital or hereditary conditions
- Medical procedures and surgery
- Accidents and injuries
- Rehabilitation after surgery
Common pet insurance exclusions
Unfortunately, our furry friends don’t have the same protections that we do when it comes to health insurance. Even the best pet insurance carriers have exclusions for pre-existing conditions and even age.
Furthermore, many pet insurance companies don’t cover preventative care like vaccinations, annual checkups, spaying, or neutering.
Pet Insurance FAQ
It depends on your pet, your budget, and your preferences. We recommend getting quotes from a few providers to make sure you’re getting the protection your pet needs at the best price.
Like any other type of insurance, the worth of pet insurance is determined by the moment you need it and to the extent it is used.
While each provider offers different rates for coverage based on standard factors such as your pets age, breed, medical history, and other factors, it’s important to note that your premium will likely increase as your pet ages.
Because vaccinations are considered preventive care, most pet insurance plans don’t cover them. If you want a policy that will cover the cost of keeping your pet vaccinated, consider an insurance company that offers wellness plans like Nationwide.
When you have pet insurance in place, your insurance provider pays a certain percentage (listed in your policy’s details) of any care or treatment the policy covers.
Pet Insurance Methodology
We evaluated pet insurance providers based on exclusions, deductibles, payout limits, claim filing, and reimbursement rates to determine Reviews.com scores and create our best travel insurance provider reviews. To compare pet insurance providers with other brands across the board, we calculate each Reviews.com score based on the following:
- Exclusions: When comparing pet insurance providers, we awarded providers that had fewer exclusions higher scores.
- Deductibles: Reviews.com compared the deductible options offered by each pet insurance provider — lower deductible ranges resulted in higher scores in this metric.
- Payout Limits: Pet insurance companies that had higher — or none — payout limits, annual or lifetime, were awarded higher scores.
- Claim Filing: We reviewed the claim filing process for pet insurance companies and awarded higher scores in this metric to companies that had easier (i.e. mobile) claim filing processes.
- Reimbursement Rates: Pet insurance companies with higher reimbursement rates, typically 90% or more, score higher in this metric while pet insurance companies with lower rates scored less.