How does pet insurance work?

If your dog or cat is sick or injured, pet insurance can cover your eligible veterinary bills and certain medications, according to what's covered by your policy. With pet insurance, you can typically use any licensed vet, including specialty and emergency clinics. There are no networks or co-pays; instead, you'll submit your eligible expenses as a claim after your vet visit. For comprehensive plans that cover accidents and injuries, you'll likely need to meet a deductible before your coverage kicks in.

To check for pre-existing conditions (which aren't usually covered), some insurers require a checkup and waiting period before your coverage begins. The waiting period may be a few weeks for illness coverage; for accident coverage, it's usually a few days. Note that Progressive's Pet Insurance by Pets Best does not require a checkup, but it does require waiting periods: three days for accident coverage and 14 days for illness coverage.

With pet insurance, you can typically take your pet to any licensed vet or clinic.

How pricing works

You'll likely pay a monthly or annual premium for pet insurance. The comprehensive accident and illness plan from Pets Best allows you to choose what percentage of your eligible vet bills you want to be reimbursed for, as well as your pet insurance deductible amount. The higher your deductible and the lower your reimbursement percentage, the less your premiums will cost.

If your pet requires treatment for a covered accident, illness, or procedure, you'll pay the veterinarian directly and file a claim with your pet insurer. When filing your claim, you'll likely need to submit the invoice and/or receipt from your pet's vet visit, so remember to save relevant documents. Your insurer will evaluate your claim and either deposit the funds you qualify for into your bank account or send you a check.

Is pet insurance worth it?

In short, yes. You can anticipate regular checkups and vaccines when owning a pet, but unexpected illnesses, accidents, or emergencies can cost thousands. Suppose your pet suffers a fracture or ingests a foreign object. Any X-rays, anesthesia, surgery, and follow-up care often result in expensive bills. Treatment for cancer, congestive heart failure, respiratory issues, and gastrointestinal conditions can cost more than $10,000. A pet insurance plan provides the peace of mind that you'll be able to get the proper treatment for your dog or cat without worrying about unexpected financial burdens.

While you're responsible for the premium and deductible of pet insurance, you'll end up paying a fraction of the cost (after reimbursement) of covered care. Ultimately, pet insurance is a good option, and even more so if you get a discount. Progressive offers 5% off a BestBenefit plan when you quote, and another 5% off for insuring more than one pet.*

Get a pet insurance quote today to see how coverages and pricing with Progressive Pet Insurance by Pets Best can be customized to your pet.

What do pet plans cover?

Before choosing a pet insurer and plan, make sure you know exactly how your dog or cat is covered. Insurers will have different coverages, but they typically fall into these categories and always exclude pre-existing conditions:

  • Accidents such as cuts, lacerations, broken legs, ingestions, and swallowed objects
  • Illnesses such as arthritis, allergies, skin and ear infections, diabetes, and cancer
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia, glaucoma, epilepsy, luxating patella, and cherry eye
  • Routine care for preventative procedures such as annual exams, vaccinations, bloodwork, and dental cleanings — for an extra cost

Learn more about what pet insurance covers.

Coverage choices

Progressive Pet Insurance by Pets Best offers three coverage choices:

  • Accident Only: Designed for limited budgets ($6 – $10 per month); covers incidents like broken legs, snake bites, accidental swallowing, and more; does not cover illnesses.
  • BestBenefit Accident and Illness: Comprehensive plan covering accidents and illnesses.
  • Routine Care: Two levels of preventive coverage available as an optional add-on to the BestBenefit plan; not always offered by other insurers; covers extras such as dental cleaning, blood work, and wellness exams.

The accident-only and routine care plans have fixed prices for all dogs and cats, while the BestBenefit plan can be customized to your pet's budget. For BestBenefit plans, you'll choose a deductible between $50 and $1,000 and a reimbursement percentage, between 70% and 90% of your eligible vet bills. Your premium will be set accordingly.

Learn more about the available dog insurance and cat insurance plans. You can also learn about dog-friendly homeowners insurance policies and options for pet-friendly renters insurance.

What do pet health plans not cover?

Pet insurers will not offer coverage for pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is a health condition that showed signs or symptoms prior to coverage. They also don't cover non-vet related costs.

What do pet health plans cost?

Most pets can be insured for a few hundred dollars a year, depending on the provider and the type of plan you choose. In general, accident-only plans are less expensive than comprehensive plans, which cover accidents and illness. Prices will vary based on your location, deductible, and reimbursement level, as well as your pet's age and breed. Learn what the average pet policy costs and how your rate is determined.

Frequently asked questions

Can I choose my own veterinarian?

Yes, as long as your vet is licensed and, for Pets Best, in the United States or Canada.

Does pet insurance cover any pets besides cats and dogs?

Not typically. You'll need an insurer that specializes in exotic pets. When it comes to pet insurance, "exotic" can be used to describe any animal that isn't a cat or dog.

Does pet insurance cover dental?

Most insurers will not cover dental treatments as part of their comprehensive plans, but with Progressive's Pet Insurance by Pets Best, you can add on coverage for routine cleanings.

Does auto insurance cover pets in a car accident?

If you have collision coverage on your Progressive personal auto policy, Pet Injury Protection covers your vet bills up to a specified limit if your pet is injured in a car accident.** This coverage is separate from pet insurance, and it pays up to $1,000 for medical care if your dog or cat gets hurt in a car accident, regardless of fault.