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What is Pet Insurance Good for?

Posted: 03/29/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Pet care , Top Tips

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), over 5 million pets were insured in this country in 2022. That was up from 4 million in 2021. So it seems more and more pet parents are recognizing the many benefits of enrolling their fur babies into a health insurance plan. If you haven’t enrolled your fur baby yet, you may be wondering, “What is pet insurance good for?”

Excellent question! Keep reading to find out!

What is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is a health plan that you pay into either on a monthly or annual basis. In exchange for these payments, you receive reimbursements for eligible veterinary expenses. 

In a majority of cases, when a pet parent sees a vet or an emergency vet hospital, they pay the bill in full, then submit a claim to their insurance company for reimbursement. Reimbursement rates usually range from 70% of the bill to 90% of the bill being paid back by the insurer.

Now we say “in a majority of cases” because there are a handful of pet insurance companies that do pay the vet directly, so pet parents don’t have to go through the process of submitting a claim. 

What Types of Plans Are Available?

There are three main types of plans to choose from:

Accident & Illness Plans

Accident & illness plans offer comprehensive care, covering costs of both accidents and illnesses. This means you will get help with costs for things like broken bones, foreign object removals, arthritis, cancer and more.

Accident-Only Plans

Accident only plans are just what they sound like. They cover costs associated with accidents only. These plans are cheaper as they cover less. 

Routine Wellness | Preventative Plans

Some carriers have now begun offering these types of plans as add-on options for pet parents who want coverage for things like vaccinations, spay/neuter, flea treatments and more.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Choosing pet insurance can feel a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry, it’s all about finding the pawfect fit for your furry friend! Here’s the scoop on the three main things that affect your cost:


Think of this as your pet’s “ouch fund.” The higher it is, the less you’ll pay each month for your premium, but you’ll be responsible for more upfront when your pet needs care.

Reimbursement Percentage

This is the percentage that kicks in after you meet your deductible. It determines how much of the vet bill your insurance will cover, typically ranging from 70% to 90%. The higher the percentage, the more you’ll be reimbursed, but also the more you’ll pay for your premium. Again, you get what you pay for.

Annual Limit

This is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay out in a year for covered expenses. Some companies offer unlimited coverage, but that usually means a higher premium. But for the peace of mind it offers, it’s worth paying a bit more. 

By playing around with these options, you can design a plan that fits your budget and keeps your furry friend healthy and happy! Remember, consider your pet’s age, breed, and overall health when making your choice.

What Does Pet Insurance Not Cover?

Pet insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions. That means anything your pet has been diagnosed with before your policy kicks in. And that’s why we always suggest pet parents ensure their fur babies while they’re still young and healthy. If you wait until they are old and start developing health issues, you risk not getting the coverage you need.

Many pet insurance plans will also not cover the cost of routine or preventative care. If you think you’ll want coverage for things like spaying or neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, etc., then look for a company that also offers a wellness add-on plan.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

To answer this question, we’ll have to speak in averages. According to Marketwatch, the average cost for pet insurance for dogs is $66 a month and $32 for cats. Having said this, how much you’ll pay really depends on a lot of different factors, including:

  • Your ZIP code
  • The type of pet you have
  • Your pet’s age
  • Your pet’s breed
  • Your pet’s size
  • The pet insurance deductible
  • The reimbursement percentage
  • The type of coverage plan you select
  • The annual limit
  • The optional add-ons you may select
  • The company you choose

So based on all of these factors, one person may pay $58 a month for their pup while someone else might pay $39. Some will pay even more, and some will pay even less.

What we like to say whenever speaking about the cost of pet insurance is that it is important to remember that you get what you pay for. If you focus too much on trying to get that monthly premium down as low as possible, you risk getting hit financially should your fur baby become very ill or injured and you don’t have enough coverage.

Is Pet Insurance Something Everyone Needs?

Not necessarily. It all really depends on your personal financial situation. If you are financially secure and know that, should an unexpected accident or illness happen to your fur baby, you could easily cover the bill – even if that bill cost $7,000, $10,000, or more – then you probably fine.

Just take a look at some of these emergency veterinary costs:

It’s very common for a pet parent to be hit with a vet bill in the thousands of dollars. So if you have the kind of money where you don’t ever really need to worry about taking care of your pet’s veterinary needs, then pet insurance isn’t really necessary.

But if you’re like many pet parents, who don’t have a huge savings account to tap into and where one vet bill in the thousands may force them to take on a lot of debt, then pet insurance makes a lot of sense.

In addition, if you happen to have a breed that is more susceptible to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, understand that this can result in expensive vet bills adding up over time.

If you have a vet you trust, it’s a good idea to ask them about the potential health risks and associated costs for your dog or cat. Consider pet insurance quotes and reimbursement options alongside potential vet bills to determine if it’s the right financial choice for your furry friend.

Ready to Get Started?

Hopefully this blog post has answered the question, “what is pet insurance good for?” If you feel that pet insurance is right for you but aren’t sure how to get started, Pet Insurance Review makes it simple. Use our website to:

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The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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