ife is full of unforeseen events. You never know when the best moment of your life may turn into the worst. Imagine you and your dog are having a good time throwing a ball around. The ball suddenly begins to roll down the street. While going out to fetch the ball, your dog is hit by a car. After rushing your dog to the hospital, you find that it needs immediate surgery. The surgery costs more than a thousand dollars. It's more than just a dog to you; it's your life, but you don't know how to pay for expensive treatment.

The story might be fiction for now. But, it happens to many pet parents in reality. It's for this reason that pet insurance exists. Here's everything you need to know about pet insurance.

Pet Insurance Cartoon

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is a health insurance coverage for your pets that covers a percentage of a pet's medical expenses. Although the coverage is a pet version of a life insurance policy, it is more like property insurance. The pet parents must submit insurance claims to get reimbursement from the insurance company.

In addition, it covers the costs of medical care for pets that are sick or injured. It may also include the pet's routine treatment. Like a life insurance policy, the bill must meet some deductibles before the benefits start.

Pet owners are also responsible for a co-payment to cover part of their pet's cost. The insurance coverage reimburses 70% to 90% of the costs. Thus, the pet owner is responsible for the remaining total.

In most cases, pet insurance policies provide coverage for dogs and cats only. However, some also cover other pets, including birds, rabbits, and reptiles.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

In contrast to health insurance, pet insurance is reimbursable rather than prepaid. As a result, you pay for the medical bills upfront and then get reimbursed from your insurance coverage later.

For example, your dog was injured in an accident and needed surgery. You brought your dog to a veterinarian's office for the procedure and paid the fee. Then you file a claim with the veterinarian's medical records and hospital bill to your pet insurance provider. The company will review your claim and reimburse you according to insurance terms.

At this time, the deductible and reimbursement rates of the policy come into play. So if you have a $200 deductible and reimbursement rate of 70%, you may earn back $500 off a $1,000 expenditure.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Depending on the insurance provider and policy, there are several varieties of pet insurance plans to choose from. Some of these include:

  • Accident and illness coverage: This policy covers the medical bills for unexpected accidents, common illnesses, surgeries, hospitalization, and diagnostic tests.
  • Accident-only coverage: This policy covers the medical expenses if your pet gets into an accident.
  • Routine wellness plan: This covers the medical expenses for regular check-ups and vaccinations. They are usually an add-on policy to an existing pet insurance policy.
  • Comprehensive pet insurance plan: The comprehensive pet insurance plan combines an accident and illness policy with a routine care plan.

What Are The Average Costs For Pet Insurance?

An average pet insurance policy typically costs between $20 to $40 per month or around $5,000 in total. However, pet insurance costs increase yearly upon renewal as the pet ages. Also, several factors influence the cost of pet insurance. Some of them include:


Most pet insurance generally insures dogs and cats. But, some companies also consider birds, reptiles, and rabbits for pet insurance. Generally, dogs are the most expensive pets when determining insurance costs. Compared to dogs, cats are less costly. Similarly, pets other than cats and dogs are comparatively cheaper to insure.


Your pet's breed also influences the cost of insurance because certain breeds are more vulnerable to certain illnesses. For instance, Boston terriers are highly susceptible to cherry eye syndrome. The dog's third eyelid erupts with tear-producing glands, making it difficult for the dog to see. To repair this, you'll need to perform eye surgery. Terriers are thus more costly to insure.

Happy Pet Owners


Like life insurance policies, your pet's age determines the insurance cost significantly. As the pet ages, there is a high risk of health issues. As a result, the insurance costs are higher. The best time to insure a pet is when it is 1-2 years. If not, the pet should be covered by the time it is nine years old. After that, the insurance premium begins to rise dramatically.


In general, ensuring male pets is more costly than female pets. This is because male pets tend to be more aggressive and are thus more likely to get into fights and get injured. This poses an increased risk to the insurance provider; therefore, the premiums are higher.


The cost of veterinary care in your locality, government subsidies, tax, and regulation for the pets also plays an essential role in determining the price. For instance, California has high vet expenses, and thus insurance cost is high as well.

Coverage type

Pet insurance costs differ based on the coverage included in the policy. The more comprehensive your insurance policy is, the more expensive it will be. As a result, comprehensive pet insurance plans are more costly than accident-only plans.


The deductible is the amount of money you pay to a veterinarian out of your pocket before insurance coverage starts. It can range from $0 to $1,000. The higher the deductible, the lower will be the insurance costs.

Reimbursement Rates

Insurance companies will reimburse the total bill based on their reimbursement policy. Usually, pet insurance does not reimburse 100% of the bill. However, you may find policies that cover anything from 70% to 90% of the cost. The higher the reimbursement rates, the higher the insurance cost.

What Doesn't Pet Insurance Cover?

A pet insurance policy may have some exclusions that the policy won't cover. While the exclusion depends on the insurance company and policy coverage, here are some general exclusions that most policies won't cover:

  • No coverage during the waiting period.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions that happen before the coverage starts.
  • Grooming services such as bathing, nail trims, shampoo, etc.
  • Food, dietary and nutritional supplements.
  • Pet license and registration fees.
  • Pregnancy of the pet.
  • Old-aged pets.
  • Experimental care.
  • Spaying or neutering.
  • Pet supplies.
  • Pet property damage.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Accidents and diseases may happen to anybody at any time. This is why you and your loved ones have health insurance to mitigate unforeseen life events. The same goes for your pets, who are also a part of the family.

Generally, a pet's regular check-up costs from $50 to $250. Unexpected illnesses and accidents can cost you more than $1,000. Vet expenses and operation costs may quickly spiral out of control if your pet is not insured. You wouldn't want to make a life-and-death choice for your pet based only on financial considerations.

Pet Owners Talking Care of Animals

For the price of a monthly premium, you'll be able to protect your pets against unexpected medical bills. This way, you can rest easy knowing that you won't have to break the bank to take care of your pet's medical needs.

Where To Shop For Pet Insurance?


Lemonade Logo

Lemonade Insurance is a fully licensed insurance company that offers pet insurance coverage at affordable rates. The pet insurance at Lemonade starts from $10 per month. However, the cost depends on your pet's age, breed, and other factors. The maximum annual coverage ranges from $5,000 to $100,000, and reimbursement rates range from 70% to 90%.

What It Offers

It offers the following coverage packages:

  • Diagnostics ( Blood test, urinalysis, X-ray. MRI, lab work, CT scans)
  • Procedures (Outpatient, specialty and emergency care, hospitalization, and surgery)
  • Medication (Injections and prescription meds)
  • Routine care
  • Extended Accident and Illness package


  • Comparatively lowest insurance plans
  • Low waiting period
  • Hassle-free digital experience
  • Quick reimbursement


  • No 24/7 customer service
  • No coverage for behavioral or alternative therapy
  • Limited presence
  • No coverage for exotic pets

Healthy Paws

Healthy Paws Logo

Healthy Paws offers a comprehensive pet insurance policy focusing on illness and injury coverage. It requires a short waiting period and the claims process within two days. It provides unlimited annual coverage, and a reimbursement range from 50% to 90% depending on the pet's age.

What It Offers

It offers the following coverage benefits:

  • Accidents
  • Illnesses
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Congenital conditions
  • Cancer testing and treatment
  • Hospitalizations
  • Emergency care
  • Specialty care
  • X-rays, blood tests, and ultrasounds
  • Surgery
  • Prescription medications


  • No coverage limits
  • Pays your vet directly
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Claims processed within two days
  • No maximum annual or lifetime payouts
  • Flexible premium and deductible options


  • No routine care coverage
  • $25 admin charge to set up the account.
  • One comprehensive plan only.


Pumpkin Logo

Pumpkin gives best-in-class pet insurance plans with unlimited annual coverage. It provides the best care for your pet and allows them to stay healthy. It offers 90% reimbursement and deductible choices for $100, $250, and $500.

What It Offers

It offers the following coverage benefits:

  • Illnesses and Accidents Emergency visits
  • Vet exam fees
  • MRIs and CT scans
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Surgeries
  • Specialized care
  • Cancer and growths
  • Hospitalizations
  • Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and stem cell therapy
  • Dental illnesses
  • Prescription medications
  • Prescription food and supplements
  • Microchipping


  • Unlimited annual coverage
  • 90% reimbursement level
  • Discount for insuring multiple pets.


  • No 24/7 customer service
  • No accident-only plan available


Trupanion Logo

Trupanion offers comprehensive pet insurance at affordable rates. It does not follow the reimbursement model and makes the direct payment to the hospital. It also provides unlimited payout for a pet's lifetime and has hundreds of price options, which fits the budget the most.

What It Offers

It offers the following coverage benefits:

  • Illness
  • Injuries
  • Breed-specific condition
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Surgeries
  • Hospital stays
  • Veterinary supplements
  • Prosthetic devices and carts
  • Pet Owner Assistance Package
  • Recovery and Complementary Care Rider


  • Wide national presence
  • Direct payment
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Unlimited coverage
  • Less waiting period
  • Lifetime per incident deductible


  • No routine care coverage is available
  • No discount for multiple pets

Pets Best

Pets Best Logo

Pets Best offers comprehensive coverage for pet insurance without an upper age limit. It provides $5,000 or unlimited annual coverage and reimbursement choices of 70%, 80%, and 90%. Also, it offers a three-day accident, fourteen-day illness, and six-month cruciate ligament issue waiting period.

What It Offers

It offers the following coverage benefits:

  • Accidents and Illnesses
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions
  • Hospitalizations and surgeries
  • Diagnostics test
  • Prescription medications
  • Chronic conditions
  • Dental issues such as periodontal disease
  • Prosthetic devices and wheelchairs
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Acupuncture and chiropractic treatments


  • Wide range of price options
  • No upper age limit
  • Three days waiting period for accident coverage
  • Multi pet discount of 5%
  • 24/7 customer service


  • Six-month waiting period for coverage of cruciate ligament issues
  • Strict qualification criteria
  • Few annual benefit options


It's a wise idea to get pet insurance since you never know what may happen to your pet in the future. When something unfortunate occurs to your pet, pet insurance gives you the flexibility to make the best treatment choices possible without the concern of high costs clouding your decision. Several pet insurance companies and plans are available, each with its unique set of benefits. You can ask for a free quote from the insurance company and decide which pet insurance policy fits you the best.


Aug 8, 2022

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