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Compare accident and illness pet insurance

Recoup up to 90% of vet bills with wider coverage than other policies.

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Sick cat on the street

Accident and illness pet insurance helps you pay for a wide variety of treatments, from broken bones to long-term diabetes care. You can recoup up to 90% of vet expenses and find many policies with $100 or $250 deductibles for low out-of-pocket costs. The only cost not covered? Routine care like booster shots. Compare each company’s terms to understand conditions not covered and any age or breed restrictions.

What’s covered under accident and illness pet insurance?

An accident and illness policy gives your pet wide protection against harm from accidental injuries or sickness and injuries out of your control. Examples include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Arthritis
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Cancer
  • Car accident injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Eating an object
  • Emergency vet care or hospitalization
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Infections
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Prescription drugs

How does an accident and illness policy work?

Accident and illness policies work similar to accident-only policies for reimbursement and out-of-pocket costs. You can choose your deductible typically from $100 to $1,000, and you’ll pay this amount out of pocket before your insurance kicks in for vet bills. Then, your accident and illness policy reimburses you for 70% to 90% of your vet bills.

However, if vet bills cost more than your policy’s dollar limit on total expenses for the year, you’ll pay the rest on your own. Typical policy limits are $10,000 or $15,000 in vet bills per policy year.

In addition, some companies name their accident and illness policy something different like premium care or nose-to-tail coverage. You can identify this policy by looking at the benefits and coverage. Accident-only policies stand as a cheap option with basic emergency care coverage. Accident and illness policies cover more services for one-time or chronic injuries and illnesses at a higher cost.

What add-ons should I consider?

The most common add-on is routine care coverage, but some insurance companies offer other helpful options. Those can include:

  • Routine care. Start or keep up the habit of preventing pet illnesses by covering vaccines, annual vet checkups and heartworm or flea medication.
  • Alternative therapies. With many companies, specific types of therapy come standard with your accident and illness policy, like chiropractic care or acupuncture. If you want other holistic options, you might have to add that coverage or hunt for a different policy that includes this coverage.

Less common add-ons or benefits you can look for:

  • Pet ownership. Find packages or individual coverage for lost pet advertising, vacation interruptions, boarding if you become hospitalized or funeral expenses.
  • Breeding. A few companies let you pay more for the risk of breeding your pet. Breeding may be excluded from your accident and illness policy.
  • Pet liability. Protect yourself from injuries or damage your pet causes to other people and their belongings. Consider this option from a few providers who offer it if your home or renters insurance doesn’t cover you.

Compare accident and illness pet insurance

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

What’s excluded from an accident and illness policy?

Many accident and illness policies don’t cover certain procedures, but the list stays shorter than exclusions for an accident-only policy. Common areas not covered:

  • Alternative or behavioral therapy only with some insurance companies
  • Breeding and pregnancy
  • Dental work only with some insurance companies
  • DNA testing
  • Elective procedures like claw removal
  • Injuries or illnesses from competitions, neglect or deliberate actions
  • Illnesses that you can prevent, like gingivitis
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Routine services

How much does accident and illness pet insurance cost?

You might pay anywhere from $23 to $40 a month for accident and illness insurance for a cat or dog. However, smaller pets like a bird or hamster might go as low as $10 a month with an exotic pet policy. Because accident and illness insurance includes the widest pet coverage, expect to shell out on the higher end of this range. Small pets like birds, hamsters or cats may trend on the lower end, though.

What impacts the cost of accident and illness pet insurance?

When searching for pet insurance, you might prepare for the typical premium for a policy. But your specific cost will vary based on:

Age

Many pet insurance companies charge an extra fee for insuring older or younger animals who are likely to develop health issues. Some companies don’t insure pets beyond a certain age like 14 years old, so you should insure your pet early to avoid this problem. You can usually insure pets as young as eight weeks old.

Breed

Pedigree animals cost more to insure since they have more hereditary conditions. For example, bloodhounds may bring a higher premium since they face a higher risk for hip dysplasia.

Switching policies

You may choose one policy or company that works well when your pet is young, then switch for age-specific concerns like hereditary conditions. But the new policy may raise prices to factor in rising vet costs or new claims you’ve made for your pet.

Reimbursement and deductible

A high reimbursement rate or low deductible put you on the hook for higher pet insurance premiums. These mean your insurance will pay more with each claim.

How to compare accident and illness policies

Check out these areas to see how pet insurance companies stand up against each other:

  • Compare costs with discount providers versus those with low premiums already.
  • Look for waiting periods you’re comfortable with before coverage kicks in.
  • Understand how the company’s reimbursement process works.
  • You may find individual limits for specific conditions like dental work.
  • Some companies protect your pet for life as long as you start coverage by the age cutoff.
  • Read through the company’s process for payments, including late or cancellation fees.

Bottom line

An accident and illness policy provides some of the widest medical coverage available to your pet. But that doesn’t make every policy the same. Find the right balance for the cost, benefits and coverage that work best for your pet among top pet insurance providers.

Common questions about accident and illness pet insurance

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