Compare pet insurance policies for dogs
How does dog insurance work?
Pet insurance helps you afford important and routine vet treatment your dog. Your pup is likely to require medical treatment at some point, and having a policy can take away the financial stress of going to the vet. If you choose not to buy insurance, you run the risk of paying expensive vet bills out of pocket or not being able to pay for life-saving treatment for your beloved dog.
Dog insurance can cover many costs, but you’ll still have out-of-pocket expenses to take care of.
- Pay your premium regularly. You can choose to pay monthly or all at once for your dog insurance. Some insurers offer a discount for paying in full.
- Pay your vet bill upfront. Most policies require you to pay your vet bill in full before its due date and then submit a claim for reimbursement.
- Pay your deductible before making a claim. When filing a vet bill, you will cover the cost up to a certain amount called a deductible before your policy kicks in. You choose the deductible amount that best suits your budget, like $500. You can save money on your premium by opting for a higher deductible.
- Get reimbursement. After you meet your deductible, your insurer pays a percentage of eligible costs, typically up to 90%. Again, the percentage you choose can raise or lower your premium.
- Watch your annual limit. Your total annual limit is the maximum amount your insurer will pay for eligible expenses in a 12-month period. Standard annual limits can range from $5,000 to $15,000.
How much does dog insurance cost?
You can expect to pay around $40 a month for dog insurance. However, your insurance premium depends on a variety of factors about your dog and chosen coverage:
- Age. Very young or old dogs have a higher risk for accidents and illness, leading to a higher possibility for filing a claim. In addition, your dog’s age at the start of your policy may make a difference.
- Gender. Gender can play a large part in the health risks for some breeds.
- Size. Larger dogs may have higher costs for treatment and medication, leading to higher insurance costs.
- Health. Many insurers offer lower premiums for neutering or spaying, for example, since these procedures can significantly reduce your dog’s health risks.
- Breed. Purebred dogs tend to suffer more health problems than mutts, making them more expensive to insure.
- Type of coverage. A plan that includes coverage for all risks or includes add-ons will cost more than an accident-only policy.
- Annual limit, copayment and reimbursement. The amounts you choose to pay out of pocket influences how much your policy costs.
- Location. Where you live is factored into the cost of your pet insurance, some places see higher pet insurance rates, like California.
What does dog insurance cover?
You can cover a variety of medical bills depending on the type of policy you purchase. Those include:
- Diagnotic testing
- Prescription drugs and supplements
- Hereditary conditions
- Emergency veterinary care
- Prosthetics and mobility devices
Covers specific injuries due to accidents but does not include treatment for illnesses. Examples of accident injuries:
- Ingesting foreign objects
- Injuries causes by a car accident
- Torn ligaments
- Cuts and lacerations
- Prescription drugs for covered conditions
A reward or reimbursement plan for routine and preventative care that may include:
- Wellness exams
- Flea, tick or heartworm medication
- Spaying or neutering
- Fecal and routine blood tests
- Routine anal gland expression
- Teeth cleaning
- Routine chiropractic care
- Prescription diet food, supplements or medicated shampoo
- Activity monitors
- Grooming and nail trimming
- Behavioral training
- Umbilical hernia
- Alternative therapy
- Cremation or burial
Safeguards you from unforeseen incidents and liability because you adopted a furry friend, which can cost you more than $5,000 overall. Those include:
- Liability. Includes injuries to others such as dog bites, plus damage to someone’s personal property.
- Advertising and reward. Reimburses the costs of advertising for your lost dog and paying the reward if returned to you.
- Boarding fees. Pays room and board for your pet if you’re hospitalized for an accident or illness.
- Vacation cancellation. Defrays the cost of cancelling a vacation trip if your dog needs emergency treatment.
- Burial or cremation. Covers funeral costs up to a certain amount.
What’s not covered by pet insurance?
You’ll come across several exclusions with dog insurance. However, check your policy for exclusions specific to each insurer before buying coverage. Common exclusions include:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Breeding or pregnancy
- Malicious injuries that you or another person or pet living in your home causes
- Fighting or racing incidents
- Cosmetic procedures, unless deemed medically necessary
- DNA testing or cloning
What exclusions should I watch out for?
Your dog insurance may have a few rules to abide by in order to get coverage, like:
- Age limits. Most policies only cover dogs older than six or eight weeks old, although some insurers have plans for puppies. Also, older dogs might only qualify for accident-only insurance unless they were covered before a certain age. A common age limit for older dogs getting a more comprehensive policy is 15 years old.
- Exam fees. Insurers differ on whether they cover the exam or consultation fees, even if it’s for a covered accident or illness. You might look for a policy that offers this coverage, so you’re not paying out of pocket.
- Waiting periods. Each policy has waiting periods before you can use your coverage for certain conditions. You might wait three to five days for accident coverage and up to 30 days for illnesses, for example. Some policies have specific waiting periods for injuries like cruciate ligament tear, for example.
- Wellness visits. Your policy probably doesn’t cover routine checkups unless you buy a specific wellness plan or include wellness coverage.
- Alternative therapies. Insurers may include alternative therapy such as massage, behavioral training or acupuncture in all-risk policies or only through a wellness plan. Others may not cover alternative therapies at all.
Frequently asked questions about dog insurance
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