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Is accident-only pet insurance worth it?

You'll pay less to protect your pet for emergency care only, but more exclusions apply.

cat resting under car

Accident-only pet insurance works well for owners who don’t want illness coverage or whose pets don’t qualify for other policies. This basic policy can give you peace of mind for emergencies without taking a hefty chunk out of your bank account each month. However, accident-only policies come with more exclusions to watch out for.

What is accident-only pet insurance?

Accident-only pet insurance provides basic, affordable coverage to protect your pet from urgent situations or emergencies that happen at random. The accident usually happens on a specific date, and injuries include a set recovery period.

What does accident-only pet insurance cover?

You’ll want to look closely at your policy to understand what accidents get covered on your policy. Common accident situations include:

  • Bite wounds or injuries from other animals
  • Bloating
  • Broken bones
  • Burns or electrocution
  • Car accidents
  • Cuts, scratches or abrasions
  • Diagnostic blood tests or imaging
  • Accidental swallowing of an object
  • Ligament or tendon injuries
  • Medications

    How much does accident-only pet insurance cost?

    Accident-only policies can vary widely in cost from $6 to $35 per month. Your pet might stay on the lower end of that range if they’re young, small and without a history of previous injuries or claims. The cost also depends on the amount of coverage you buy, the insurance company and the benefits included in the premium.

      Sample accident-only pet insurance policies

      Insurance companies may offer one accident-only policy with fixed reimbursement rates and limits, but a few let owners tailor the coverage to their needs.

      ProviderDeductibleReimbursement rateAnnual limit
      ASPCA$100 to $50070% to 90%$3,000 to $10,000
      Embrace$10090%$5,000
      Pets Best$25090%$10,000

      Compare accident-only 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

      How do I compare accident-only policies?

      Some key factors to look for when weighing different policies:

      • Types of treatment. Understand whether vet consultations, specialist care, diagnostic tests or surgery are covered.
      • Injuries covered. While most companies cover many types of injuries, you might see a few exclusions on your policy.
      • Your pet’s risks. While you can’t predict whether your pet will get into an accident, consider possible situations. For example, you might want an accident-only policy for a mischievous pet who chews on nonfood items.
      • High reimbursement. Most policies reimburse up to 90%, but you might see lower reimbursement rates with certain providers or discount plans.
      • The total amount you can claim. Consider passing over policies with low annual limits like $3,000 or $5,000 since accidents can lead to expensive surgeries.
      • Lifetime renewability. Many companies include a cutoff age for applying, although accident-only policies tend to accept older dogs with a high or no age limit. Also, look for policies that allow renewals no matter how old your pet as long as you buy a policy before the cutoff.

      What isn’t covered with accident-only pet insurance?

      An accident-only policy comes with more exclusions than a standard policy with accident and illness coverage. Common exclusions include:

      • Everyday pet care. Your insurance won’t cover expected everyday costs like grooming, food or pet accessories.
      • Elective treatments. You likely can’t file a claim for procedures not essential to your pet’s life, and that may include optional treatments your vet recommends. You might want to check your policy to make sure treatment is covered if you’re considering an optional procedure.
      • Breeding. Breeding comes with many risks not protected by some accident-only policies, such as your pet needing sedation, facing labor complications or requiring a C-section.
      • Behavioral problems. Your policy may not protect against accidents caused by your pet’s misbehavior or habits, such as wounds from repetitive chewing.
      • Injuries from occupational or competitive events. If your pet gets injured during a competition or related to an event, many insurance companies won’t cover the medical treatment.
      • Some dental procedures. Some policies exclude coverage for dental procedures or disease, but others include this coverage if the accident isn’t related to another excluded situation.
      • Experimental or alternative therapy. You may not be able to claim alternative therapies, experimental medicine or treatment from clinical trials.
      • Burial. If your dog suffers a deadly accident, you might not get reimbursed for funeral expenses even though medical expenses may be covered.

      Bottom line

      This basic policy may suit you if you’re looking for low-cost protection for emergencies. However, you might consider more robust coverage if your pet risks getting certain illnesses or diseases, especially for specific breeds. Either way, you can compare your pet insurance options for the best fit for you.

      Common questions about accident-only pet insurance

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