At Healy Group, we are big fans of adding furry friends to the family. Like any big decision, choosing to add a pet to the family works best when you take some time to plan ahead, especially for unexpected veterinarian expenses. Pet insurance can offset some of the expenses; however, it’s important to understand what your pet insurance policy does and does not cover.
Pet insurance coverage ranges widely by the provider and it often covers less than what pet owners would expect. Interest in pet insurance has grown over the past year, but not all pet insurance policies are created equal.
This guide breaks down what is and isn’t covered by most pet insurance policies and how the coverage works.
What is not covered by Pet Insurance?
Preexisting conditions prior to getting pet insurance will not be covered. Anything that is documented on your pet’s medical health record before you get pet insurance will likely be considered a pre-existing condition and will be excluded from coverage—meaning any claim you make on that condition will be denied.
Types of Pet Insurance Coverage
In general, most pet insurance plans will cover unexpected injuries/accidents, unexpected illnesses, surgery, medication, tests/diagnostics, and emergency care and exam fees. However, the details will depend on the type of coverage and the provider you choose.
|Pet Insurance Type||What it covers||What it doesn’t cover|
|Accident-Only||-Physical accidents, including poisoning, foreign-body ingestion, cuts and lacerations, fractures, bloat, and surgery.||-Preexisting conditions
-Routine veterinary care
-May exclude older pets
– May not cover poisoning in certain circumstances
|Accident & Illness||-Mild to severe illnesses, including allergies, cancer, asthma, and digestive issues.
-Hospitalization, treatment, surgery costs, and prescription medication.
-Can cover alternative therapies
-Routine veterinary care, including vaccinations, dental cleaning, among others.
-May exclude pets over a certain age limit.
-Can exclude certain prescription medications.
|Wellness||-Exam fees, vaccinations, routine lab work, spay/neuter operations, among others.||-Any pet-related illnesses or accidents|
How does it work?
It is important to note that pet insurance reimbursement comes after you have already paid your veterinarian for services and filed a claim, so you will likely be paying fees upfront. Some offices will wait for payment from the insurance company, but that is not standard practice.
Make sure you know the terms and limitations of the pet insurance policy, and what items are customizable:
- Pre-existing conditions—what is and is not included based on your pet’s health records?
- Breed—are there exclusions in the policy that coincide with potential hereditary issues of your pet’s breed?
- Maximum reimbursements and deductibles—how much are they and are they per incident, per annum, or for the life of the policy?
- Waiting periods—when does the coverage begin?
- Covered procedures—are preventative wellness visits included, or just issue-related visits and emergencies?
- Rates—do they go up over time as your pet ages? (starting at puppy/kitten stages can save money)
- Qualification—is a veterinarian examination required with the application?
Meet Luna and learn more about pet insurance in my video.
Healy Insurance advisors can answer all your questions and help you find a policy that’s right for you.
About the Author:
Scott Johnson is the self-proclaimed Director of Purpose and Passion, and a mentor, leader, and head cheerleader for Healy Insurance division. In his professional life, Scott embraces the Healy Spirit, helping others and giving value first. He is also the author of Insurance Caffeine, an E-magazine featuring commercial and personal insurance-related topics.