Deductibles, annual coverage limits, exclusions, pre-existing conditions, etc. When you’re looking into pet insurance, it can feel like you need to learn a whole new language. This quick guide can help you understand what it all means.

Accident Coverage

This coverage covers expenses related to an accident or injury. It includes diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, MRI, and bloodwork, as well as the treatments your pet needs to get better, like sutures for a laceration, a cast for a fractured limb, or medications to help with the pain and inflammation of a burn.

Alternative Therapy Coverage

If your pet is hurt or sick, your veterinarian may recommend an alternative therapy to help support their recovery. Alternative therapies can include acupuncture, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, rehabilitative therapy, hydrotherapy, and low-level laser therapy.

Annual Coverage Limit

This is the total amount you can be reimbursed over a 12-month policy period. It resets when a new policy period begins. We let you select your annual coverage limit and suggest you go with one that is the highest amount you think you might need so you have the right amount of cushion.

Behavioral Coverage

This coverage can help you manage the costs of diagnosing and treating a behavioral condition, with symptoms such as destructive chewing or scratching, fur pulling, excessive licking, pacing, or going outside the litterbox. Treatment for these kinds of conditions may include medication to reduce anxiety and behavioral modification techniques.

Chronic Conditions

Chronic conditions, such as diabetes or cancer, may need care across multiple plan periods. Complete CoverageSM covers these conditions so you don’t have to worry about something becoming ineligible for coverage just because it is ongoing.


If you’re wondering what is a deductible on pet insurance, you’re not alone. This can be a confusing concept, but it works similar to your deductible on home or auto insurance. It is the amount you need to satisfy before you can start getting reimbursed. We have annual deductible options of $100, $250, or $500. You can pay a lower monthly premium by selecting a higher deductible or choose a lower deductible if you want the ability to get more money back.


Exclusions are things that aren’t covered by your plan, and all pet insurance providers have them. Some of our exclusions include breeding costs, cosmetic procedures (like tail docking), and pre-existing conditions. Learn more about our exclusions and look over a sample policy for a full list of exclusions and all of the details on our coverage.

Hereditary & Congenital Conditions

Pets may be prone to inherited conditions and birth defects that don’t show symptoms until later in their life. Some of the more common ones are hip dysplasia, urinary bladder stones, intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), cherry eye, and certain forms of heart disease. Complete CoverageSM includes coverage for these kinds of conditions.

Illness Coverage

This coverage covers your pet for health conditions ranging from common ear infections to more serious illnesses like cancer. It can help you manage the costs for diagnostic tests, such as ultrasounds, X-rays, MRI, bloodwork, and other screenings. It also reimburses you for the costs of treatment, including medication and hospitalization.

Pet Insurance Claim

After your pet receives treatment, you will need to submit a claim to get reimbursed. With the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program, you can use the My Pet Insurance App to submit your claims quickly and easily. All you need to do is open the app, give us some information about what is going on with your pet, and add a picture of your veterinary invoice. You can also email, fax, or mail in your claims if one of these options works better for you.

Pre-existing Conditions

These are conditions that occur or show symptoms before coverage begins or during a waiting period. No pet insurance provider covers pre-existing conditions although there can be differences in how they handle them. It’s smart to sign your pet up before something happens that would be considered pre-existing.

Prescription Food & Supplements Coverage

More and more veterinarians are recommending prescription foods and supplements for pets with certain health issues. This coverage can help you manage the costs of these products when they’re used to treat a covered condition. Please note prescription food is not covered for weight management.

Preventive Care Coverage

This coverage reimburses you for services that can help keep your pet healthy, such as annual wellness exams, vaccines, and dental cleanings. With Complete CoverageSM, you can choose to add a preventive care coverage option to your base plan at a low additional cost.


This is the amount you receive after you submit a claim for covered expenses. The ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program lets you choose to have your reimbursements directly deposited to your bank account or sent by check in the mail. The amount you receive will depend on the reimbursement percentage you select when you enroll in a plan.

Reimbursement Percentage

This is the percentage of covered costs you’ll get back after you meet your deductible. We offer 70%, 80%, and 90% options. Choose a lower amount for a lower monthly premium or go with a higher amount if you want to get more cash back on your claims.

Waiting Period

A waiting period is the amount of time that needs to pass before certain coverage kicks in. Our preventive care coverage starts right away the day your plan takes effect. Illness and accident coverage have a 14-day waiting period. Pet insurance providers may have different waiting periods, so it's definitely something to look at when you’re comparing plans.

Still have questions? Get a free quote so you can see how it all comes together and we’ll help you along the way.

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