Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

What You Should Know Before Buying Pet Insurance

Sunday, September 19th

What You Should Know Before Buying Pet Insurance

Pet owners have a special affection for their furry companions. Oftentimes, they think of them not only as pets, but as members of their families. As such, they want to ensure their pets live long, happy and healthy lives.

One of the best ways to make sure your pet stays in tip-top condition is to purchase a pet insurance plan.

The first official pet healthcare policy was sold in Britain in 1947. Britain trails only Sweden in the number of pet owners who provide insurance for their pets. Dogs are the most-insured pet, followed by cats and small exotic animals. While it is sold under the name "healthcare insurance," pet health insurance is actually under the insurance umbrella for property. According to insurance laws, pets are seen as property, so the insurance policy which covers them is similar to that for any other property owned by an individual.

There are a few things you should know before buying pet insurance.

First and foremost is cost. Pet insurance plans should provide the kind of coverage needed at a cost that is affordable. There are 10 companies that offer pet insurance plans within the United States. Of those companies, plans range in cost from $15 a month to $50 or more. Some plans require the holder to meet a deductible prior to paying claims, much as health insurance plans for humans. If in order to afford a monthly premium the client has to have a deductible that is too high to reasonably afford, then the insurance plan is not a good choice. Annual limits for covered services also create problems for clients who own pets with chronic health conditions. There are a few plans that do not have annual limits, so it may be best to choose one of those plans if your pet will need continual care.

Another issue to consider is the way the pet insurance company handles veterinary cost reimbursements. Some insurers do not cover veterinarian exam charges, and restrict the reimbursement amount to a set amount per diagnosis.

For most pet owners, regular wellness exams, vaccinations and routine preventative health care are the most common procedures their pet undergoes. However, several of the pet insurance companies on the U.S. market do not include coverage for these routine services, leaving the customer to pay for a monthly insurance premium, as well as routine veterinarian care. In these instances, the insurance plan is not worth the monthly cost to the pet owner.

Another important factor in choosing a plan that is right for you is what the customer is required to do in order to have covered services paid for by the insurance plan. Some plans allow the veterinarian to bill them directly, much as human health insurance companies do, while others require the policyholder to pay the costs up front and then submit the receipts for reimbursement. Some customers of companies which require up-front payment have complained that it is difficult to have those costs reimbursed by the insurance plan later. So if guaranteeing that the costs will be covered is important, it is best to choose a plan that has a guaranteed coverage percentage plan.

Pet owners in the U.S. spend roughly $12 billion dollars annually for veterinarian care for their pets. This number is only expected to increase as more advanced medications become available to our pets. Choose a plan that best suits your needs and those of your pet to ensure a pleasant experience.

The Best Pet Insurance Companies Compare Pet Insurance Companies Compare Pet Insurance Company Reviews What are the best Pet Insurance Companies Best Pet Insurance Company Reviews

Pet Insurance Company FAQ

Generally speaking, all ages are welcome when it comes to providing your pet with pet insurance. As the pet gets older rates may be more expensive than if you would have gotten coverage at a younger age. Please keep in mind some companies have age restrictions for when they can accept a dog or cat into their insurance plan. Typical restrictions are around 12+ years of age.
No one can forecast when your dog or cat is going to digest something they shouldn't have or have an accident related injury. Luckily, pet insurance helps to protect the pet owner against unexpected veterinary bills that can reach into the $1,000s.
It is recommended to get pet insurance before winter or summer seasons. During those seasons, there are more dangerous elements that are exposing your pet to potential illness and accidents. As far as age goes for the puppy, insurance companies recommend getting your pet insurance when your new best friend arrives home.
Typically, insurance companies only insure cats and dogs. But some companies will insure dogs, horses, other large animals, cats, other small animals, rodents, reptiles, and birds.
Depending on the company, a pet insurance claim can be sent via several different methods. Methods can include email, fax, or regular mail. When completing a claim make sure to include all of your paid vet bill invoices, and any other required documents. When the claim is processed it will either be accepted with a reimbursement, more information needed (i.e. incomplete claim form), or denial (i.e. due to non-coverable services)
Of course, your pet insurance travels with you, wherever you go. Some insurance companies may have restrictions when it comes to international travel. Make sure to check with your pet insurance company if you plan on taking your furry friend across the border.
It depends greatly on which company and plan you decide to go with. Most pet insurance companies cover accidents and illnesses after a waiting period. If the illness is a preexisting condition, you're likely not to receive any coverage. It's important you understand the fine print of any plan you may decide to go with.
In general, veterinarians do not handle pet insurance claims. Veterinarians and the owner make choices for the pet's medical care and overall health. If the care is covered by the insurance, the insurance company will reimburse the owner a percentage of the bill (depending on the chosen insurance plan's coverage) after the care and service has been performed.

Compare Pet Insurance Companies

Select any 2 Pet Insurance Companies to compare them head to head

best-pet-insurance
  • Pets Best
  • Embrace
  • Figo
  • Healthy Paws
  • Pet Premium
  • ASPCA
  • Trupanion Pet Insurance
  • Petplan
  • Pet Assure
  • Nationwide
  • Pet First
  • 24 Pet Watch
Pets Best vs Embrace Pets Best vs Figo Pets Best vs Healthy Paws Pets Best vs Pet Premium Pets Best vs ASPCA Pets Best vs Trupanion Pet Insurance Pets Best vs Petplan Pets Best vs Pet Assure Pets Best vs Nationwide Pets Best vs Pet First Pets Best vs 24 Pet Watch Embrace vs Figo Embrace vs Healthy Paws Embrace vs Pet Premium Embrace vs ASPCA Embrace vs Trupanion Pet Insurance Embrace vs Petplan Embrace vs Pet Assure Embrace vs Nationwide Embrace vs Pet First Embrace vs 24 Pet Watch Figo vs Healthy Paws Figo vs Pet Premium Figo vs ASPCA Figo vs Trupanion Pet Insurance Figo vs Petplan Figo vs Pet Assure Figo vs Nationwide Figo vs Pet First Figo vs 24 Pet Watch Healthy Paws vs Pet Premium Healthy Paws vs ASPCA Healthy Paws vs Trupanion Pet Insurance Healthy Paws vs Petplan Healthy Paws vs Pet Assure Healthy Paws vs Nationwide Healthy Paws vs Pet First Healthy Paws vs 24 Pet Watch Pet Premium vs ASPCA Pet Premium vs Trupanion Pet Insurance Pet Premium vs Petplan Pet Premium vs Pet Assure Pet Premium vs Nationwide Pet Premium vs Pet First Pet Premium vs 24 Pet Watch ASPCA vs Trupanion Pet Insurance ASPCA vs Petplan ASPCA vs Pet Assure ASPCA vs Nationwide ASPCA vs Pet First ASPCA vs 24 Pet Watch Trupanion Pet Insurance vs Petplan Trupanion Pet Insurance vs Pet Assure Trupanion Pet Insurance vs Nationwide Trupanion Pet Insurance vs Pet First Trupanion Pet Insurance vs 24 Pet Watch Petplan vs Pet Assure Petplan vs Nationwide Petplan vs Pet First Petplan vs 24 Pet Watch Pet Assure vs Nationwide Pet Assure vs Pet First Pet Assure vs 24 Pet Watch Nationwide vs Pet First Nationwide vs 24 Pet Watch Pet First vs 24 Pet Watch
Compare the Best Pet Insurance Companies
- VS -
Review the Best Pet Insurance Companies
See the Best Pet Insurance Company
The Best Reviews of Pet Insurance Companies