Pet Insurance Basics

If you’re looking to learn the basics on pet insurance, you’ve come to the right place. These articles can fill you in on what pet insurance is, how it works, and what’s covered. They can also help you understand important pet insurance terms and educate you on things like preventive care coverage and pre-existing conditions.

Pet Insurance Basics

It’s not uncommon to have questions about pet insurance, especially when you’re first shopping around. For instance, what exactly is pet insurance?

You may be surprised to know that it is actually a form of property insurance. This may sound strange since we certainly don’t think of our beloved pets as property. They’re members of our family! But pet insurance works a lot like home or auto insurance in that it reimburses you for incidents that are covered by your plan.

Other pet insurance questions you might have include: Why do I need coverage for my pet? What does it cover? How does it work? And how do I get my money?

Read answers to these question and more.

What's Covered

Pet insurance typically covers accidents and illnesses. This includes all sorts of injuries, such as cuts, burns, and broken bones as well as ailments from ear infections to cancer.

Complete CoverageSM also covers hereditary conditions, like hip dysplasia, eye disorders, and heart disease as well as alternative therapies, such as chiropractic treatments, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and stem cell therapy. Plus, it covers behavioral conditions that may be related to anxiety. These can include compulsive behaviors like fur pulling or destructive chewing.

Learn more about what pet insurance covers to help decide if it’s right for you and your pet.

Preventive Care

Preventive care coverage can be added to your plan at a low additional cost to help you manage the costs of services that can help keep your pet from getting sick. These can include annual exams, vaccines, heartworm medication, and dental cleanings.

We offer two choices for preventive care coverage, which pay a set amount for a list of covered services. There is no deductible, reimbursement percentage, or waiting period with this coverage. You can submit claims for preventive care services the same way you do for accidents or illnesses—using our app, online, or by email, fax, or mail.

Get more details on preventive care coverage and how it can help your pet.

Pet Insurance in Plain English

If you’re not familiar with pet insurance, it can feel like you need to learn a whole new language to understand it. For instance, what’s a deductible? This is the amount you’ll need to satisfy before you can start getting reimbursed. We offer annual deductible options of $100, $250, or $500. You can choose a higher deductible if you’d like to pay a lower premium. Since our deductible is annual, you only need to meet it once a plan year no matter how many times your pet gets hurt or sick.

Or how about a reimbursement percentage? This is the percentage of covered costs you’ll get back after you satisfy your deductible. We have 70%, 80%, and 90% reimbursement percentage options. If you choose a lower amount, you will pay a lower monthly premium. If you go with a higher amount, you can get more cash back on your covered claims.

Read our plain English definitions for pet insurance terms.

How does pet insurance work?

It’s important to know how pet insurance works before you enroll your pet. It can vary by plan, but you typically pay your veterinarian as usual and then submit a claim for reimbursement. If you use our free My Pet Insurance app, you can submit your claims even before you leave your veterinarian’s clinic. Just open the app, enter some information about what’s going on for your pet, and take a picture of your bill. You can also submit claims online or by email, fax, or mail if you prefer.

In addition, you can visit any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada with our pet insurance. This includes emergency clinics and veterinary specialists, such as cardiologists, oncologists, and dermatologists.

Lean more about how pet insurance works and how plans can differ.

Pet Insurance and Pre-existing Conditions

Pre-existing conditions are injuries or illnesses that come up or show symptoms before your plan goes into effect or during a waiting period. Pet insurance plans usually do not cover pre-existing conditions.

For instance, if your dog got bit by another pooch at the dog park before you enrolled, treatments for that injury would not be covered. You should also know that the bite wound would be considered a pre-existing condition after enrollment. This means future veterinary costs related to it would not be covered unless it became eligible for coverage as a cured condition.

See more examples of pre-existing conditions and get answers to frequently asked questions about them.