What Is Pet Insurance and What Does It Cover?

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If social media has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is cuter than puppies and kittens (except maybe when they become friends with babies). But as pet owners, we know there’s nothing less cute than when our furry buddies get sick.

The problem is, a sick puppy isn’t just sad. It can also be expensive, especially when there’s a visit to the vet involved.

A whopping 80 percent of pets will experience a medical emergency in their lifetime,* and vet bills can range from a $30 check up to an $8,000 kidney transplant, and beyond. In fact, the average claim for pet accidents is $547.**

Fortunately, however, there’s pet insurance.

Simply put, pet health insurance provides reimbursement coverage for veterinary bills related to the treatment of an injured or sick pet.

Pet insurance also covers emergency care, helping you from getting stuck with an unexpected expense. (Contrary to popular belief, pet insurance is considered a form of property insurance and not a form of human health insurance.)

What pet insurance really covers

So, not sure what pet insurance actually covers? Most pet insurance plans include coverage for:

  • Accidents (broken bones, car accidents, foreign object ingestion, etc.)
  • Illnesses (cancer, diabetes, arthritis, infections, etc.)
  • Emergency care, hospitalization and surgery
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions (hip and elbow dysplasia, glaucoma, epilepsy, etc.)
  • Prescription medications (will vary depending on carrier and policy type)
  • Cancer treatments (blood work, MRIs, surgery, medication, and chemotherapy)
  • Diagnostics (exams, blood work, MRIs, X-rays, etc.)
  • Acupuncture and chiropractic
  • Physical rehabilitation (hydrotherapy, cold laser, physical therapy)

Keep in mind that specific coverage limits and details may vary, depending on your carrier and individual pet insurance policy.

Is pet insurance for you?

Considering coverage for your pooch or kitty? Here are a few additional questions to ask when researching providers:

  1. How easy is it to enroll? Will I need to submit my pet’s medical records to sign up? Will I need to pay an enrollment fee?
  2. Will I be reimbursed off the actual amount I paid the veterinarian? Or will I be paid off an amount that has been pre-determined by benefit schedule?
  3. What if I am traveling with my pet when it needs veterinary care? Will my pet insurance policy provide coverage for expenses away from home?
  4. Does my policy cover visits to an emergency clinic or veterinary specialist? Will the coverage be reduced for these visits?
  5. How are ongoing or chronic conditions covered when my pet insurance policy renews?
  6. How straightforward is the claim submission process, and how quickly will I be reimbursed?

Whether it’s intended for the sock-hungry family dog or an irresistible pair of accident-prone kittens, a pet health insurance policy can help alleviate the stress and financial burden that often comes with costly veterinary bills. Get your pet the treatment and care they deserve with a Pets Best pet insurance plan and get up to 90% of veterinary bills covered, all for about the cost of pet food. And, you’ll save 5% as a Farmers customer.

*According to 2013 Pets Best claims data.

**According to 2013-2014 Pets Best claims data.

The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only. The information is provided by Farmers and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to this article or the information, products, services or related graphics, if any, contained in this article for any purpose. The information is not meant as professional or expert advice, and any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.