In general, pet insurance covers medical issues, illnesses, and accidents for animals. However, pet policies are slightly different for cats and dogs.
In this article, we’ll examine what dog *pet insurance looks like and covers.
(*I researched three pet insurance brands—Pets Best, Petplan, and Embrace—to get the following general information about dog pet insurance. If you’d like to review these plans in-depth, as well as study four other pet insurance plans, visit our comprehensive pet insurance guide. This extensive guide also features insurance quotes for my dog, Cash.)
What all pet insurance has in common
My research revealed no pet insurance covers an animal’s pre-existing conditions (also known as an ailment an animal developed before getting insurance). However, some companies will evaluate if your pet’s illness history is truly chronic or not.
Some options do not cover congenital issues or hereditary conditions. Most pet insurance policies will only cover accidents or illnesses a pet has yet to experience or develop. However, some insurance companies provide wellness policy “add-ons” that provide some coverage for a pet’s health maintenance. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) also adds that some policies “will not accept pets after a certain age.” Consumers also should be aware of policy waiting periods, also known as the time before benefits begin.
Pet owners interested in insurance also should note that each pet insurance company’s reimbursement method is different. “Some companies use a benefit schedule, which reimburses policyholders based on the illness or injury and the coverage level chosen. Other companies reimburse percentages based on the amount spent by the policyholder.”
If you want more information about what makes a good pet insurance policy, the American Veterinary Medical Association has a comprehensive list of points people should consider while researching pet insurance.
Dog pet insurance
In general, dog pet insurance and cat pet insurance are the same. The following are some of the specific things dog owners should consider when looking for dog pet insurance:
Since more people tend to own breed dogs than breed cats, hereditary and congenital coverage is something that dog owners should make sure a pet insurance policy covers.
Dog owners should consider pet insurance policies with behavioral therapy. Training dogs and treating behavioral conditions can help improve the quality of your pet’s life.
Some policies include wellness add-ons, which sometimes include flea, tick, and heartworm prevention coverage up to a certain amount. These preventatives—especially heartworm prevention—are essential for dogs of all ages.
In general, dog pet insurance is more expensive than cat pet insurance, but of course, this isn’t always the case. Insurance rates vary for many reasons.
When considering dog pet insurance, think about the potential accidents your dog could have if they:
- Frequently go on walks
- Spend a long time in yards unaccompanied
- Go to dog parks
This article is not comprehensive, but the points covered here will hopefully allow you to start mentally listing things to consider if you are thinking about getting insurance for your dog.