What Is (and Isn’t) Covered by Pet Insurance?

June 17, 2024

Is pet insurance worth the cost? Some pet owners benefit, while others do not. Here’s what to know about the value of pet insurance.

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Pet owners spend a lot of money on their pets. In fact, a typical dog owner spends about $1,500 for their dog each year, and a typical cat owner spends around $900 on pet expenses annually. Medical expenses for animals can go much higher than this, of course, and it only takes one accident or illness to break the bank for some pet owners.

Pet insurance can provide some protection from these expenses. Before investing in pet insurance, know how it works so you can choose the right policy. Not all veterinary costs are covered under pet insurance. If you’re a pet owner, here’s what to consider when deciding whether pet insurance is right for you.

Pet Insurance By Type

Most insurance policies for pets can be broken down into three different categories, although policies – and what they cover – vary from one insurance company to another. Typical policies cover accidents and illnesses, with wellness care available only as an add-on if you’ve already purchased the other type of insurance.

Accident-Only Coverage

Accident-only policies reimburse pet owners for treating an injury or illness caused by an accident. Some pets have a higher risk of mishaps than others, so premiums can vary by breed type.

Accident and Illness Coverage

Accident and illness policies cover a range of illnesses and injuries, from minor ailments to major diseases (like cancer). Accident and illness coverage is known as comprehensive coverage because it covers consultation fees, examination fees, hospitalization, surgery, and more. Just as the name says – it’s comprehensive.

Wellness Coverage

Wellness coverage reimburses for routine veterinary care and sometimes covers grooming and training. Wellness coverage is only sometimes available as a standalone policy – instead, it’s usually added as a rider to another policy.

How Pet Insurance Works

Pet insurance differs from standard human health insurance because pet insurance companies rarely pay for procedures upfront. Instead, pet owners seek reimbursement, usually involving deductibles and limits. Pet insurers won’t cover pre-existing conditions and may impose waiting periods.

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

Pet insurance can be worth the cost if your pet develops a long-term chronic condition or suffers a catastrophic injury requiring expensive surgery and extensive recovery time. Not all pet owners will find pet insurance worth the cost, but some will. For some pet owners, the cost of pet insurance is worth it simply because of the peace of mind it provides.

If you’re interested in pet insurance, these tips can help you get the most out of your policy:

  • Work with an independent insurance agent who can shop around for the right insurance.
  • Know your goals and what type of coverage you’re looking for when you start shopping for a policy.
  • Control costs by decreasing limits and increasing deductibles.

Have More Questions About Pet Insurance? Talk to Your Insurance Agent

Pet insurance can pay large veterinary expenses when the unexpected happens. If you’re a new pet owner, your insurance agent can give you information about pet insurance, answering your questions to help you decide if this type of insurance is right for you. Call today.

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