Sunday, June 22, 2014

What Should You Know About Pet Health Insurance?

by Amanda L. Maus DVM
Catalina Pet Hospital
Tucson, AZ

What is the difference between human and pet health insurance?
The main difference between human and pet health insurance is that your veterinarian does not accept the insurance as a form of payment.  After you pay and receive your invoice from your veterinarian for services and medications, you submit your invoice and claim form to your pet insurance company.  Some companies accept electronic claims and others require claim forms be filled out and signed by your veterinarian.

Why should you get pet insurance?
Paying for adequate veterinary care for your pet is a required part of pet ownership.  Pet insurance is a way to help budget for your pet's medical bills.  It can also help for unexpected or emergency situations that arise.  With pet insurance, you have the peace of mind that you can make the best decisions for your pet's treatment without having to focus so much on the costs involved and whether you can afford it.

When should you sign your pet up for health insurance?
The best time to look into pet insurance is when your pet is young or still healthy. A new pet insurance policy will not cover preexisting medical conditions. Some policies may not cover conditions that are hereditary in certain pure bred animals or require add on coverage for those conditions. 

How much does pet insurance cost?
Most plans have a low monthly premium, less than $40 per month. Although pet insurance will not cover 100% of your bill, many comprehensive medical plans will substantially reimburse you, when you submit a claim covered by your pet's policy.  Remember there will likely be a deductible as well as an annual benefit limit.

Hector (tabby) and Salisbury (black)
What kind of plans can you get for your pet?
  • Wellness plans that cover preventive care
  • Injury or emergency plans
  • Comprehensive medical plans
How do you choose an insurance company?
A list of the top 10 pet insurance companies can be found here.  You should compare the cost, coverage, claim caps, deductible, and company reviews.  Your veterinarian may have advice based on their experiences and client feedback.

Dixie, Molly, Iris, Hector, and Salisbury are ready for you to visit and adopt


  1. Great information. Thanks for providing us such a useful information. Keep up the good work and continue providing us more quality information from time to time. Health insurance

  2. Yes, Our pets must be insured. Well explained what the diff between ours and pets insurance. Bingo!

  3. These are really valid points that every pet owner should aware about while going to health insurance for pets but what more I would like to add is to look at the transparency level in the pet insurance policy as it will help in avoiding any mis-understanding.

  4. I've always wondered about pet insurance. Our family dog has it, but I didn't really know what it covered or how it worked. Thanks for the in-depth look into insurance that helps our furry friends!