You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Pet Health Insurance
Pet Health Insurance can be life saving in many situations. It can be challenging to make medical decisions for your pet when cost is a concern. A few days in the Intensive Care Unit of the emergency vet may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. We recommend every pet owner consider purchasing pet health insurance in case of illness or injury.
The best time to sign up for coverage is BEFORE your pet is diagnosed with a disease or injury. Once a condition is diagnosed by a veterinarian, it is typically considered a pre-existing condition and will usually be excluded from coverage.
Due to the variety in coverage, premiums, and deductibles, we cannot make a one-size-fits-all recommendation. Below are some guidelines in shopping for a plan, and links to some well-established pet insurance companies' websites.
This is the amount you pay for veterinary care (usually per instance) before your coverage kicks in. Options vary greatly, ranging anywhere from $0 to $1000. Is it fixed or are there options? Can you change it in the future? How are chronic conditions handled?
Coverage / Exclusions
Does your pet have any pre-existing conditions? Many companies exclude any illness or injury that has already been clinically observed. Other things to investigate:
Reimbursement, Co-insurance, & Limits
Does the company reimburse a certain percent of the actual vet bill? Or does it have a schedule of reimbursement amounts by type of instance? Are there payout limits per instance? Per year? Per lifetime? Some plans don’t cover the initial exam fee. Some have different reimbursement rates for specialists. Make sure to ask how chronic conditions are handled.
Most plans have short initial waiting periods (varying from 24 hours to 30 days) for illness and injury. Some have 6- or 12-month waiting periods for specific conditions, such as ACL tears, other knee injuries, or hip dysplasia. (If either ACL ruptured within this period, both ACLs are often excluded as a pre-existing condition.)
Typically range from less than $20 to over $100 per month based on several variables including pet type and age, deductibles, and the options you choose for coverage. Ask whether the company uses “experience rating” to increase premiums. (In other words, will the premium be raised at renewal time due to claims throughout the year?) Also ask whether the premium is fixed for life or if you can expect modest annual increases (usually no more than 4-5%) to reflect veterinary inflation.
How long have they been in business? Many insurance companies have come and gone in the past 20 years. What is the company’s Better Business Bureau rating? Do they offer a multiple pet discount for owners who elect coverage for more than one pet? Do they offer a discount for rescued pets or pets who have been spayed or neutered?
Links to some popular insurers: