daily tails logo

Choose the Right Pet Insurance: 3 Important Considerations [2024]

Diana Bocco - Writer for DailyTails
By Diana Bocco
Davor Štefanović - Editor for DailyTails
Edited by Davor Štefanović

Updated November 16, 2023.

A dog and a cat in a symbolic shied being passed from one pair of hands to the other

Veterinary medicine is experiencing a golden age, with pets now having access to a wider range of treatments than ever before. However, with advanced care comes increased costs, which many pet owners struggle to afford. According to research conducted by LendingTree, 44% of pet owners report making financial sacrifices to cover pet expenses.

Despite the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 76 million dogs and 58 million cats in U.S. households, only about 20% of them are insured. This lack of coverage has resulted in 1 in 4 pet owners taking on debt for their furry friends. So if you're wondering what pet insurance is good for, the simplest answer is peace of mind. Pet insurance protects you against unexpected costs related to vet bills and surgery, so you don’t have to struggle financially if things go wrong.

3 Things to Think About When Buying Pet Insurance

  • What Is Covered
  • Pet Risks
  • Costs

1. Coverage

Wondering what pet insurance covers and doesn’t? Here’s a breakdown:

  • Vet costs: This includes treatments for accidents, injuries, and illnesses; emergency care; tests and diagnostics. Some (but not all) insurance plans will also cover dental care and alternative treatments such as acupuncture or physiotherapy.
  • Congenital conditions and hereditary disorders: As long as clinical signs only appear after you already signed up for insurance.
  • Surgery: Illness, chronic diseases, and accidents, as well as some preventative procedures (depending on the policy), are covered. While you can get pet insurance before surgery, most policies have a waiting period and will not cover something diagnosed before the policy was signed. If you have an accident-only policy, your pet will be covered only in case of accidents.
  • Medication: Covered as long as prescribed by a licensed vet. Only some insurance plans will also cover supplements and prescription food.

» Learn more about pet insurance coverage

What Is Not Covered by Pet Insurance?

However, pet insurance usually doesn't cover routine treatments such as flea/tick and worm preventives. Unfortunately, this includes routine vaccinations and deworming. Coverage for pre-existing conditions is limited, and most companies will not cover conditions that were diagnosed before you signed your contract. Most policies will also not cover intentional harm caused to the animal.

Does pet insurance cover cancer?

Yes, most pet insurance plans do cover cancer treatment, provided it wasn't diagnosed before the plan kicks in.

» Check out our list of best pet insurance providers

2. Pet Risks

Pet insurance is a good idea for many reasons. Older animals can cost more to insure, but they are also more likely to need more frequent or more expensive medical care.

Pedigree dogs or cats are more susceptible to a number of congenital diseases and hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat. For example, larger breeds are more prone to joint problems and hip dysplasia, bulldogs are likely to experience respiratory issues, and beagles are more prone to epilepsy.

Always be honest about your pet’s medical history when enrolling in a pet insurance policy. While this means pre-existing conditions won’t be covered, it also ensures you won’t have issues that might jeopardize your coverage in the future.

Did You Know?

Some pet insurance policies even cover behavioral issues, such as anxiety and aggression.

3. Costs

Veterinarian bills can quickly add up if your pet gets injured or falls ill—and pet insurance can provide financial protection against those unexpected costs. Monthly costs depend on a range of factors, including the type of policy you choose, the breed and age of your pet, and where you live. A good deductible for pet insurance can range from $50 to $1000, with the most popular option being a $250 deductible. Pet insurance reimbursement, another factor that affects your monthly premium, usually covers 80-90% of your total vet bills.

Tip: When choosing a pet insurance policy, consider your pet's breed and age, as these factors can influence the cost and coverage of the policy.

Invest in Peace of Mind

Investing in pet insurance is all about knowing that you're financially prepared for any unexpected vet bills that might come your way. If you’re unsure where to start, check out Fetch by The Dodo pet insurance. It regularly receives high praise for its comprehensive coverage, which even includes tooth injuries and diseases, behavioral therapy, and money towards missing pet advertising and reward if your pet is lost.

Fetch also has no upper age limit for enrollment, so senior dogs will receive full coverage. Don't wait until it's too late. Protect your furry friend with Fetch by The Dodo pet insurance today.

Fetch Pet Insurance

4.3/5(775 reviews)