What Does Dog Insurance Cover-Understanding Dog Insurance


What does dog insurance cover

Trying to decide if dog insurance coverage is the right plan for you and your pet can be confusing and a hard decision to make.  What does dog insurance cover?  I will provide your with a better understanding of dog insurance.

Less than 1% of pets are covered by Pet Insurance in the United States. There are several insurance companies available to choose from, different coverages to choose from, different deductibles and different co payment to choose from.

First you are going to have to decide is dog insurance worth it.   If it is, what type of dog health insurance coverage do you need, what is the best insurance plans for your needs and then what type of dog insurance coverage is right for you and your dog .

After you know what you need, you can pick the insurance company that works best.  I am going to help you better understand what your options are when it comes to Pet Insurance.  Find out how much pet insurance costs for your breed of dog, and if any of the the pet insurance’s cover pre-existing conditions.

Deciding if Dog Insurance is Worth It

If you are looking at insurance as “I will be further ahead or further behind if I purchase it,” there are no guarantees. Insurance is a safety net to protect you against unexpected costs. Insurance is to help pay for large, unexpected expenses which might be hard to for pay out-of-pocket.

There is no way to know ahead of time if your dog will have an accident or get an illness. Rather, it should be looked at as if something unexpected happens, will I be able to afford the expenses.

The average price for dog insurance is $30-$50 per month, or $360-$600 per year. This insurance would not cover routine wellness checks, but would cover illnesses, accidents, emergency care and prescriptions .

There is also a Wellness Plan that covers routine checkups and vaccinations. In most cases, in order to have wellness coverage, you will also have to have the general pet insurance and that monthly average cost will increase.

Factors that will affect the price you will pay for insurance:

  • The breed of dog.
  • The age of dog.
  • The deductible that you choose – range from $0-$2500 per year.
  • The co-pay you choose after deductible is met.
  • Type of insurance you choose – Accident Only, Accident with Comprehensive, Accident, Comprehensive and Wellness. The only company currently offering Wellness only is Nationwide.

Pure breeds will cost more to insure because they are prone to some hereditary conditions. Older dogs will also cost more to insure, and premiums are likely to increase as the dog ages.

Premiums will be much lower for young, healthy dogs. Pet owners that have insurance, on average still pay 20% of pets medical expenses.

Top 10 Breeds That Have The Highest Vet Bills according to iheartdogs.com

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Newfoundland
  • Rottweiler
  • English Cocker Spaniel
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Great Dane
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Weimaraner
  • French Bulldog
  • Bassett Hound

How Pet Insurance Works                                What does dog insurance cover

Pet insurance works differently than your health insurance works. It is considered a reimbursement type insurance.

What that means is when you leave the veterinarian’s office, you are responsible to pay the bill in full, and then you would submit your invoice to your insurance company and they would reimburse you the allowable amount, generally with 3-5 days, but could take up to 30 days.

You can choose any veterinarian as long as they are a licensed veterinarian. There aren’t any veterinarians considered out-of-network.

Besides choosing the plan that is right for you, you will also choose what your deductible will be (this is the amount that you will be responsible for on each claim), usually they are $100, $200, or $500.

You will also choose your copay. The average is 10-20% of each claim will be your responsibility. See my example below on how his works. This example is using a $200 deductible with their co payment being 10%.


Total Treatment Cost: $10,000

Reimbursement Rate: 90%

Calculation $10,000 x .90 = $9000

Subtract Your Deductible: $200

Total Reimbursement By Insurance: $8800

Your cost for the $10,000 invoice $1200

What is Covered by the Plans

Wellness Plans – This would be available only as an adder to Pet Insurance for all companies except Nationwide

  • Microchipping
  • Parasite Prevention
  • Vaccinations
  • Spaying/Neutering
  • Dental Care
  • Deworming
  • Wellness Exams
  • Routine Screenings
  • Behavior Training
  • Grooming
  • Heartworm Tests

There are no deductibles or co payment on Wellness Plan

Pet Insurance – This is broken into 2 Types

Accident Only

  • Broken Bones
  • Ingestion

Comprehensive Plan

  • Accidents – poisonings sprains, ACL Ruptures
  • Illness – ear infections, cancer, heart disease
  • Emergency Care
  • Hereditary and Congenital Conditions – allergies, hip dysphasia
  • Orthopedic Conditions
  • Prescription Medications
  • Procedures – surgeries

Accident only insurance is very inexpensive, usually $5-$10 per month, but it isn’t covering many items. Comprehensive covers illnesses along with accidents.

Pre-existing Conditions will not be covered under these plans. There is also a waiting period before the insurance will go into effect, along with your veterinarian needing to send your dog’s records to the insurance company.

Pet Insurance Companies – And How to Get Insurance

In the United States, there are 12 major Pet Insurance Companies. You should get pricing from multiple companies before deciding on an insurance provider. Policies are simple and easy to compare. You can get quotes from different companies within minutes.

Top Rated Insurance Companies

Healthy Paws – Unlimited benefits and no per-incident annual or lifetime caps. You can adjust your copay and deductibles. No Wellness Plans available.

Pets Best – Deductibles can be adjusted. Multi-pet discount available, no age limits, pregnancy and euthanasia are covered.

Petplan – Customizable plans giving you lots of options.

Nationwide – The only company that offers Wellness Only Plan

Check out Pet Insurance Review’s Chart of major Pet Insurance Companies and the positives and negatives of each.

How to Get Pet Insurance – you will need the following information to get started on a quote:

  • Pet’s Name
  • Breed
  • Age
  • Pre-existing Conditions (if any)
  • Vet’s Name and Contact Information

Click here now to get a free estimate for Pet Insurance to find out how much is pet insurance

To find out the approximate monthly expense you just type in your dog’s name, age, size and zip code and you will get information immediately as to the monthly cost for Dog Insurance.

Other SuggestionsWhat does dog insurance cover

Dogs are part of our family and making good decisions for them can be hard . Pet Insurance is one of those hard decisions.  Understanding dog insurance and knowing what does dog insurance cover should help you make a decision that works for your family.

If you decide not to get Pet Insurance, I suggest having an emergency fund that could help cover some of the expenses if the unthinkable happens and your dog has lots of medical expenses. You don’t want to be in the position of deciding between the expenses or having to euthanize your dog.

If you end up needing help with a big dog medical bill, I suggest contacting The Humane Society. They have a list of organizations that may be willing to help pay for the expenses.

Before you make any decisions if Pet Insurance is right for you, you should talk with your veterinarian about the costs your pet’s breed will usually incur and about their experiences with different pet insurers. They will be able to give good advice on both.

It is easy for you to find out how much pet insurance is and you are making no commitment to actually purchasing pet insurance.


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  1. I am surprised if the low cost of dog insurance at about $350 a year and how nobody takes advantage of that. I have known many people with dogs who either get really sick of require an operation due to an injury or other cause. The bills in these scenarios are always ridiculously high and insurance really could assist with these costs.

    • I think that when people get a new puppy it is healthy and the last thing you are thinking about later in life the problems they could have. As a dog gets older, the price for insurance increases, and before you know it, your best friend has gotten old and you have all kind of expenses associated with an aging dog. I know from experience. I recently lost a Golden Retriever to cancer. I never got insurance, never thought of it when he was younger. For 3 months, until we had to put him done, I spent quite a bit on tests and pain meds. I believe when I get to a point of getting a new puppy, he will be insured. Thanks for your interest.

  2. I’ve never thought about getting pet insurance before, but now I’m thinking about it. This was very informative. Dogs are most definitely part of the family, and I had a friend that had to start a go fund me to pay for her dog’s vet bills, and it was a huge financial stress on her when her dog unexpectedly needed surgery. Pet insurance is a good idea.

  3. Thanks for visiting and thanks for the comment. I have never had pet insurance before, but my last dog had lots of medical expenses, so my next young dog will have it. I still have a 10 year old, but at this point I don’t think it would be beneficial.

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