Dog Insurance 101

Pet insurance for sick dogWhat is Dog Insurance?
Like health insurance for people, dog insurance plans help dog owners reduce out-of-pocket expenses for their pet’s healthcare. Rather than covering the cost of veterinary services yourself, dog insurance plans allow you to pay a monthly or annual premium in exchange for reimbursement of veterinary expenses.

Why Do You Need Dog Insurance?
If your dog has an accident or falls ill, unexpected vet bills may have you scrambling to cover costly tests and procedures. A dog insurance plan gives you peace of mind knowing that, as long as you pay your premiums, you will be covered for these unexpected expenses. If you are the type who would do anything for your pet, dog insurance may be worth it. Veterinary surgery rarely costs less than $1,000 once necessary tests and treatments have been accounted for. Without dog insurance you would be footing the bill for these services.

What Dog Insurance Does and Doesn’t Cover?
Dog insurance coverage ranges according to the plan you select and the premium you are willing to pay. Some plans offer a percentage reimbursement of all costs, both routine and accident-related, while others only offer coverage for routine veterinary care in exchange for a higher premium. While some insurance companies offer coverage for older pets at a higher premium, many simply do not cover dogs over a certain age. Most insurance companies will not cover costs related to pre-existing conditions and some plans set a benefit limit over the lifetime of your pet.

What to Look For When Shopping for Dog Insurance
Before you start shopping for dog insurance plans, spend a few minutes thinking about what kind of veterinary services you use most often and select a plan that covers those services. When comparing options, try to look past the premium price and focus on the coverage. A lower premium generally equates to higher out-of-pocket costs for services while plans with higher premiums may offer a higher reimbursement rate.

It is also wise to research the diseases and conditions to which your particular breed of dog is prone and check to see whether treatments for these conditions are covered by your preferred dog insurance plan. Please see the Breed Guide section to learn more about common conditions and general costs of care or treatment.