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How to file a pet insurance claim

An itemized invoice from your vet could help get your claim approved faster.

Updated

Filing a claim on your pet insurance policy is a straightforward process if the vet service is covered. You may only need your paper or online claims form and an itemized vet bill to prove your claim. If your insurance company denies your claim, you can dispute the denied claim with the insurance company before taking it to state or legal professionals.

How do I file a claim with pet insurance?

Most insurance companies make the claims process quick and painless with online forms. But whether you use an online, mobile or paper claim, filing your vet bills involves these steps:

  1. Retrieve the claims form from your company’s website, customer service or online claims system.
  2. Complete the questions and sign your claims form.
  3. Attach vet records and itemized invoices as needed. If you’re filing online, you might upload copies or photos to the online or mobile claims form.
  4. Follow the form’s instructions for sending the claim to your insurance company and mail it or submit it online.
  5. Track your claim online through your customer account or wait for a response.
  6. Receive your reimbursement, often within 30 days of filing the claim. You’ll get a check in the mail or have the money deposited in your bank account.

What information do I need to make a claim?

Your claims form may require some key information like:

  • Your policy number. Find this number on your policy’s declarations page or on your customer account.
  • Your pet’s details. Your pet’s name may suffice, but some companies may need the breed, color or age for extra verification.
  • Your personal information. The insurance company may need your name, address, email or phone number.
  • Reason for the vet visit. You may need to describe why your pet needed vet care and what symptoms they were experiencing.
  • Your pet’s diagnosis or procedures done. You can list the vet’s conclusion about symptoms, but some companies need an itemized list of procedures to go along.
  • Your pet’s medical records. Some companies may require up to one year of medical records or adoption paperwork.

How do I get reimbursed for my pet insurance claim?

As a default, you might get your reimbursement check in the mail. However, many companies allow you to set up direct deposits through your online account or through an app. Direct deposit is the fastest way to get reimbursed, since checks could take an extra week to be processed and mailed out.

You can choose how you’d like to receive your payment on the claims form or after you submit a claim. Check out your insurance company’s claims section on its website for specific instructions if they’re not provided during the claims process.

    Why would my claim be denied?

    All insurance policies have certain conditions in order to have claims paid, and pet insurance is no exception. A few hangups that might delay or disqualify your claim:

    • Waiting periods — You can’t file for medical needs that happen during waiting periods.
    • Time limits for filing — Your insurance company or state laws may require you to file within a certain time.
    • Your first claim — You may need a full veterinary history attached to the claim.
    • Submitting multiple claims — Submitting the same claim multiple times may slow down the process as the claims team researches each claim.
    • Invoices with no itemized services — Your insurance company needs to track which services are covered.

    What should I do if my claim gets rejected?

    If you’re dissatisfied with how your pet insurance company has handled your claim, you can dispute your claim on several levels.

    1. Customer service or dispute resolution. Ask your insurance adjuster about the next steps for disputing your denied claim or low settlement offer. Many companies have a specialized team that addresses customer complaints. You may need extra documentation from your vet or research to prove your claim’s legitimacy.
    2. State insurance department. Next, you can lodge a complaint with your state’s department of insurance. The department will look into the facts and details of your complaint, ensuring that your company is following state laws.
    3. Legal action. Your final course of action is to take legal action against the insurance company. You can consult with a lawyer to determine your chances of winning a court case and your potential settlement.

    Compare pet insurance companies

    Name Product Pets covered Seniors accepted Hereditary conditions Chronic illness
    Petplan
    Dogs, Cats
    Cover unexpected vet bills from emergency exams, injuries, surgery and more.
    Embrace
    Dogs, Cats
    Enjoy extra benefits with coverage for exam fees, curable conditions and wellness visit reimbursement.
    Pet Assure
    Dogs, Cats, Horses
    Save up to 25% on all vet bills including wellness and dental visits for as little as $10/month.
    PetFirst
    Dogs, Cats
    Get coverage starting at $9 per month for cats and $15 for dogs. Talk to an agent at 888-738-0683.
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    Bottom line

    In most cases, you can file your pet insurance claim without hassle if you have the right documentation, such as an itemized vet bill. But if you’re not happy with the claims process, you can research more pet insurance companies with top benefits and customer satisfaction.

    Frequently asked questions about pet insurance claims

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