Pet insurance helps cover veterinary bills when your pet is sick, injured or needs preventive care. Coverage for dogs and cats is popular, although you may also find policies that cover other animals.

Pet insurance can help you save cash on select veterinary-related costs up to a specified amount. Typically, what is covered under pet insurance includes accidents, illnesses, surgery, hospitalization, prescriptions and emergencies. Depending on your policy, you may be reimbursed between 70% and 90% of the veterinary cost.

Certain insurance companies may also pay for dental and preventative care or hereditary and congenital conditions.

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Pet Insurance Coverage
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What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), pet insurance carriers offer two types of coverage for veterinary procedures — accident-only and accident and illness policies. Both types of policies cover a significant amount of veterinary costs incurred during the policy period. Specific services include treatment, medical care and the diagnosis of the pet’s illness.

Other expenses may include prescription drugs, consultation costs, supplements and surgical and dental procedures.

MoneyGeek’s analysis provides a detailed explanation of how pet insurance applies to these procedures.

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Medical costs for your pet can add up, resulting in major out-of-pocket expenses if your furry companion isn’t covered by pet insurance. A standard pet insurance policy covers some of the costs for accidents and injury, as well as illness and wellness services.

While pet insurance can help alleviate the financial burden of your pet’s medical bills, it’s important to understand that policies do not cover all illnesses, accidents or preventative treatments. However, some of these costs may be covered by other insurance types. For instance, your renter’s insurance policy covers pet liabilities, such as dog bites.

Below is a detailed list of the standard features and coverages included in your pet insurance policy.

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What Does Pet Insurance Not Cover?

Your pet insurance policy may not cover certain veterinary services and procedures. While most individuals assume that their policy provides reimbursement for money spent on pre-existing conditions, this is not the case. Additionally, although your policy covers most injuries, it does not include injury from abuse. Cosmetic procedures are also not covered in the policy.

MoneyGeek further detailed the limitations of your pet insurance policy below.

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Generally, pet insurance for your furry friend features more restrictions than health insurance for humans. Before purchasing a policy, it’s important to be aware of any exclusions.

Common pre-existing conditions that may not be covered in your policy include heart disease, epilepsy and allergies, among others. Other restrictions not related to pre-existing conditions, like injuries from abuse and cosmetic procedures, include the following:

  • Breeding
  • DNA tests
  • Death or theft of the pet
  • Preventable diseases such as influenza and giardia
  • Pregnancy and birth
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PET INSURANCE WAITING PERIOD

Pet insurance coverages have a waiting period that averages about two weeks. During this period of time, your pet won’t be covered. Some insurers may exclude any health condition from your policy that arises during this waiting period.

The waiting period may also vary for accidents, illnesses and other conditions, depending on the insurance provider.

Types of Pet Insurance Policy Coverage

Pet insurance companies usually offer three types of plans — accident-only, accident and illness and wellness coverage plans. Each plan covers a specific type of care and has unique restrictions and costs. The following is a description of the coverage types and the procedures covered by each type of plan:

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On average, pet insurance costs about $607.71 for dogs and $299.32 for cats. However, these are only estimated figures, and the actual cost of your policy will depend on various factors, including the coverage limit you select; a higher-limit policy will cost more than a lower-limit policy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does pet insurance cover, and what does it cost? The cost and list of services included in your pet insurance will depend on the coverage type you select and the lender. MoneyGeek provided answers to the most frequently asked questions about pet coverage to help you understand what to expect from your insurer:

What does pet insurance cover?
What does pet insurance not cover?
How much of your vet bill does pet insurance cover?
Which types of pet insurance coverage can you choose from?

About Mark Fitzpatrick


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Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.


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