How does pet insurance work?
If your dog or cat is sick or injured, pet insurance reimburses you for your veterinary bills and certain medications. A pet insurance plan provides peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able get the proper treatment for your dog or cat without worrying about the financial burden.
You'll usually pay for pet insurance monthly, and policies often renew automatically every year. Most plans let you choose how much you'd like to be reimbursed, and your deductible amount. The higher your co-pay percentage and/or deductible, the less your plan will cost. If your pet is sick or injured, you'll pay the veterinarian directly for treatment, and then file a claim to your pet insurer for reimbursement.
For example, if your pet insurance plan covers 90% of your claims and your vet bill is $500, your pet insurer will reimburse you $450, minus your deductible. If your plan covers 70%, you'll be reimbursed $350, minus your deductible, on a $500 bill.
Most pet insurance plans let you choose how much you’d like to be reimbursed, and your deductible amount.
Is pet insurance worth it?
Pet insurance can improve your four-legged family member’s quality of life and potentially save you thousands if your pet is ill or injured. Cancer, congestive heart failure, respiratory issues and gastrointestinal conditions can all cost you in excess of $10,000 if you don’t have pet insurance.
You can get a quote and examine pricing and coverages to find the best fit for you and your pet.
What does pet insurance cover?
Before choosing a pet insurer and plan, make sure you know exactly how your dog or cat is covered. The best insurance plans will cover the following:
- Accidents: Cuts, lacerations, broken legs, ingestions, etc. – make sure your plan covers swallowed objects as well.
- Illnesses: Arthritis, allergies, skin and ear infections, diabetes and cancer.
- Hereditary and congenital conditions: Hip and elbow dysplasia, glaucoma, epilepsy, luxating patella and cherry eye.
- Routine care: For an extra cost, most insurers offer coverage for preventative care and annual exams, vaccinations, bloodwork, and dental cleanings.
Progressive Pet Insurance by Pets Best has three plan types available:
- Accident Only: Designed for limited budgets ($6-$10 per month); covers incidents like broken legs, snake bites, accidental swallowing, and more. Won’t cover illnesses such as cancer.
- BestBenefit Accident and Illness: Comprehensive plan covering accidents and illnesses.
- Optional Routine Care: Available as an add on to the Accident Only and BestBenefit plans; covers extras like dental cleaning, blood work and wellness exams.
After selecting a Pets Best plan, you'll choose a deductible between $50-$1000 and a reimbursement amount for your vet bills between 70%-90%.
How much does pet insurance cost?
Pet insurance is generally affordable, and will typically cost a few hundred dollars per year. Cats are typically more affordable than dogs. Here is the average plan* for a sample of breeds from Progressive Pet Insurance by Pets Best:
Cat: Domestic shorthair
Small breed dog: Yorkie
Medium breed dog: Beagle
Large breed dog: Labrador retriever
All sample plans are annual amounts based on an unlimited annual limit, $250 annual deductible and 90% reimbursement for a two-year old pet.
The price for pet insurance will generally be determined by four factors:
Veterinary care is costlier in certain parts of the country. For instance, if you’re living in rural Wyoming, you’ll probably pay less for pet insurance than someone in New York City.
The likelihood of your pet becoming ill increases with age.
Your dog or cat may be predisposed to certain illnesses based on size and genetics. For example, Abyssinians are one of the most expensive cat breeds to insure, as they’re more prone to periodontal disease and retinal atrophy. When it comes to dog breeds, pet insurance is generally costlier for Great Danes—they’re vulnerable to heart and hip issues and medication may cost more for bigger dogs.
Deductible and reimbursement level:
Choosing a higher deductible will lower the cost of your plan, but will increase your out-of-pocket costs at the vet. A lower deductible will increase your plan’s price, but you’ll be reimbursed more on your claim. Your level of reimbursement will also affect pricing. For instance, a plan with a 90% reimbursement amount will cost more than a plan that pays you back for 70% of your vet bill.
Can I choose my own veterinarian?
Yes, as long as your veterinarian is licensed and has the necessary training.
Does pet insurance cover any pets besides cats and dogs?
Typically no. You’ll need a company that specializes in exotic pets. When it comes to pet insurance, “exotic” is used to describe any animal that isn’t a cat or dog.
What does pet insurance not cover?
Pet insurers will not cover pre-existing conditions.
What if my pet is injured in an auto accident and I don’t have pet insurance?
At Progressive, we offer free coverage for pet injuries resulting from auto accidents. If you have collision coverage on your personal auto policy, we’ll cover your vet bills up to a specified limit if your pet is injured in a car accident.