Pet InSurance faqs

Do I really need pet insurance?

Yes, definitely! Before becoming a pet parent, you likely had a good understanding of the financial responsibility that comes with taking care of a dog. But, many pet parents don’t take accidents or illnesses into account. An accident or illness can leave you with a veterinary bill of several thousand dollars, almost overnight. For example, the average cost of treating cancer in a dog is $10,000. Additionally, for many accidents and illnesses, having pet insurance will actually expand the number of treatments available to you. Since you won’t be paying the full sum out of pocket, you can truly explore all the different options before making a decision.

How much is health insurance?

This varies depending on several factors. The average monthly premium for a dog is $47. Aside from the company you purchase insurance from, your deductible, reimbursement rate, dog’s age and breed, location, and type of plan will affect how much you pay.

  • Age and breed: The older your dog is the higher your monthly premium is to account for the higher risk of illness. Additionally, some breeds tend to have more health problems so they are charged higher premiums. 
  • Location: Your premium will be higher if you are in a zip code with higher cost of veterinary care. 
  • Deductible and reimbursement rate: The lower your reimbursement rate and the higher your deductible, the more you’ll pay for the plan.
  • Type of plan: Accident only is the cheapest, followed by accident and illness, and accident + illness with the wellness add on is the most expensive. 
Does every vet take health insurance?

Yes! Unlike insurance for humans, pet insurance works only through reimbursements. That’s why all vets take health insurance. When you go to your vet or an animal hospital, make sure to get an itemized receipt that you can submit for reimbursement. 

Why does the breed I have affect my premium?

Different breeds have different risk factors, and the more risk factors for a certain breed the higher the premium will be. For example, a bulldog is at higher risk for developing respiratory conditions and would likely have a higher premium. 

How does reimbursement work? 

When you sign up for a plan, you choose a reimbursement level. Typically, 70%, 80% or 90%. After your vet visit, you can submit a claim directly to your insurance company. Unlike for humans, veterinarian offices are not involved in the claims process.

Additionally, it’s important to read the details on what they reimburse on. For example, does the insurance company reimburse for the 90% of the vet’s bill? Or for 90% of the “usual and customary charges” in the itemized bill? Additionally, some companies have a maximum payout or incident limit, which means really expensive bills might leave you paying a large sum out of pocket even though you had insurance. 

Can I sign up at any time?

Most insurance companies have a sign up age minimum and maximum. Usually, they will require your dog to be at least 10 weeks old and will stop enrolling pets at 10 years old. 

Does insurance start right after I sign up?

Most insurance companies have a waiting period for the policy to begin. This can be anywhere between 1 - 14 days, so make sure you know what you’re signing up for.