Pet insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers the costs of veterinary care for your pet. It is very similar to the health insurance policy for humans.
Just like with other types of insurance, you pay a monthly or annual premium, and in exchange, the insurance company will pay for a portion or all of the costs associated with medical treatment/care for your pet, depending on the plan you choose.
Some pet insurance plans cover only accidents, while others also cover emergency vet visits, hospitalization, illnesses, surgeries, medications and routine care like vaccinations and check-ups.
Some policies may also have deductibles or co-payments that you’ll need to pay before the insurance company covers the rest of the costs.
Different types of pet insurance based on amount of coverage provided
This type of pet insurance policy only covers your pet if they are injured due to an accident. Events such as tour pet being hit by a car or ingesting a foreign object will be covered by accident-only insurance. The policy will not cover expenses related to illnesses, preventative care, routine care, or pre-existing conditions.
Accident-only pet insurance can be a good option for pet owners who are primarily concerned about the risk of accidental injuries, but it’s important to note that it may not provide comprehensive coverage for a wider range of health needs for your pet.
Illness-only pet insurance provides coverage for veterinary expenses related to your pet’s sicknesses, diseases such as cancer or heart disease but not accidents and injuries. This type of insurance typically does not cover routine wellness care or preventive services such as vaccinations or annual check-ups. It can also be more affordable than comprehensive pet insurance that covers both illness and routine care.
Accident and illness insurance
Accident and illness insurance policy typically covers both accidents and illnesses, including things like broken bones, cancer, and other common health issues.
Wellness pet insurance plans are typically designed to cover routine and preventive care for pets, such as annual check-ups, vaccinations, dental cleanings, and flea/tick prevention. These plans could help pet owners manage the costs of maintaining their pet’s health. They are usually offered as an optional add-on to a standard pet insurance policy.
Some examples of wellness pet insurance plans include:
- The ASPCA Complete Coverage pet insurance plan: this plan offers several different levels of coverage, including accident-only coverage, accident and illness coverage, and accident, illness, and wellness coverage for cats and dogs. The plan also offers a range of deductibles and reimbursement for routine and preventive care, including vaccinations, flea/tick prevention, and dental cleanings, up to a certain annual limit. The plan is underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company and administered by Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group. There are no network restrictions with ASPCA coverage plan – you can use any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada and the claim process are fast and easy.
- Embrace Wellness Rewards: This plan offers up to $650 in annual reimbursements for routine and preventive care expenses, such as vaccinations, dental cleanings, and wellness exams.
- Nationwide Wellness Plans: Nationwide offers several wellness plans that cover a range of services, including annual exams, heartworm tests, and spaying/neutering.
Comprehensive pet insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage for a wide range of veterinary expenses related to your pet’s health. This type of insurance typically covers unexpected accidents, illnesses, preventative care and injuries that your pet may experience throughout their lifetime. It may also cover things like prescription medications and behavioral therapy.
The most common coverage options that are included in comprehensive pet insurance policies include:
Hospitalization coverage which provides financial protection for any overnight stays your pet may have to undergo, including emergency hospitalization and surgeries.
Prescription medication coverage: This type of coverage provides financial protection for any prescription medications that your pet may require managing a medical condition.
Behavioral coverage which provides financial protection for behavioral training and therapies that your pet may require to improve their behavior or cope with anxiety and stress.
Routine care coverage, illness coverage and accident coverage are also primary coverage options.
Other categories of pet insurance include the following:
- Time-limited policies: These policies cover your pet for a certain period of time, usually 12 months. Once the policy period ends, any condition that your pet has been treated for during that time will no longer be covered.
- Maximum benefit policies: These policies offer a set amount of money to cover your pet’s medical expenses. Once you reach the maximum benefit limit, the policy will no longer cover any additional costs.
- Lifetime policies: These policies provide coverage for your pet’s entire life, and usually have higher premiums. They may also have annual or lifetime benefit limits.
- Breed-specific policies: Some pet insurance companies offer policies that are tailored to specific breeds, which may have higher risks for certain health issues.
Cost of pet insurance
The cost of pet insurance can vary depending on some of factors, such as the age and breed of your pet, the health status of your pet, the coverage plan you select, and the deductible you select. Generally speaking, pet insurance premiums can range from around $20 to $100 per month for dogs and $10 to $50 per month for cats.
Some pet insurance providers offer customizable plans, where you can select the type and amount of coverage you need, and the premium will be adjusted accordingly. Other providers may offer standard plans with fixed premiums. Also, some pet insurance policies may have waiting periods before coverage takes effect or limits on coverage for certain conditions.
If you’re considering purchasing pet insurance, it’s a good idea to research different providers and policies to find one that best fits your needs and budget. You can also speak with your veterinarian for recommendations or consult with a licensed pet insurance agent for more information.