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Pet Insurance - Could It Mean the Difference Between Life or Death of Your Pet?

Updated on November 19, 2013

Don't Let This Happen to You!

Caught without pet insurance, Molly's owner had to choose between letting Molly live or going into debt.
Caught without pet insurance, Molly's owner had to choose between letting Molly live or going into debt. | Source

The Importance of Pet Insurance

Retired and on a fixed income, Molly's owner never thought she would have to choose between life or death for her beloved Molly. But that's exactly what happened...

Molly, a Pomeranian, had complications from diabetes. The vet announced she was more dead than alive when she arrived at his office. He began treatment immediately, but within two days, the bill rose to $5,000.

What can you do? If you're on a fixed income like Molly's owners, you certainly don't have something like this figured into your budget. What do you do - become hopelessly in debt or let Molly die?

Make Sure You Never Have to Make This Decision

If Molly's owner had known the benefits of pet insurance, she would definitely have made the decision to have it. If she had pet insurance, she wouldn't be in debt today and wouldn't have been put through the trauma of making such a tough decision. Learn the benefits of pet insurance for dogs and cats so you never have to go through this.

Now Molly's owner encourages all pet owners to learn the importance of having dog or cat insurance.

What is Pet Insurance?

Simply put, pet insurance pays the vet bills if your pet becomes sick or hurt. It keeps you from having a huge bill and from having to choose between life or death for your pet.

Just like with health insurance for human, there are many different types and choices. Most insurance covers sickness and injury. You can choose to pay off a benefit schedule or pay a percentage of the vet costs. The pet owner must usually pay the vet for his costs and then submit a claim for the rest of the bill.

Up until recently, pet insurance was only for sickness and injury. Now, many dog and cat insurance will cover routine care.

Do You Have Pet Insurance?

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Pet Insurance Glossary

  • Benefit Schedule - list of what's paid for certain diagnoses and treatments
  • Deductible - the amount you much first pay before the insurance starts paying. Deductibles can either be yearly or on a per-incident basis. Once you pay your deductible, you won't owe anymore.
  • Exclusions - a condition that isn't covered by the insurance
  • Pre-certification - if you want to know if your pet is covered for a specific treatment, you can submit a pre-certification to the insurance company and they will let you know if the treatment is covered and how much they will pay.
  • Copay- the percentage you must pay for each visit.

Funny PetPlan Video

Check the Details Before You Buy Pet Insurance

It's very important to check the details before you buy insurance for your pet. As insurance becomes more popular, insurance companies are becoming more flexible and letting pet owners customize their insurance plan according to their needs and budget.

Some important details to check for are:

  • If it's an annual contract, does it cover conditions discovered the previous year?
  • Does it cover hereditary or congenital conditions like diabetes, heart defects, hip dysplasia, and eye cataracts?
  • How is the reimbursement calculated? By benefit schedule or by the actual vet bill?

Pet Plan Pet Insurance
Pet Plan Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance Reviews

There are many pet insurance companies to choose from. But, you want the best for your pet so here are the top 3 companies that offer insurance for your dog or cat.

Top 3 Pet Insurance Plans


PetPlan costs approximately $14 per month for dogs and $9 per month for cats and covers hereditary and congenital conditions. You can choose your deductible and co-pay amounts to make it fit your budget and you are reimbursed on your actual charges. Petplan has the best reputation for paying their claims quickly.

To make it even easier to fit your budget, they offer three plans: Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Bronze plan is the least expensive and is the most popular. You can choose a per-incident deductible of $50, $100 or $200. You can also choose your co-pay so it is 0, 10, or 20 percent.

PetPlan Insurance covers accidents, Illnesses, non-routine dental care, prescriptions, and alternative treatments.

PetPlan Insurance does not cover routine preventative care and spaying or neutering.

The deductible is $200 per incident and the annual limit is $8,000.

Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance

This company charges approximately $23 per month for dogs and $16 per month for cats. You get reimbursed on your actual charges and pet owners like it because their plans are easy to customize according to their individual needs. If you would like to have insurance for wellness care, this is a great company to choose.

Some of their less popular features is that they only have an annual charge and don't offer a per-incident charge. They also have more exclusions that you need to thoroughly check out and do not include pre-existing conditions.

Embrace Pet Insurance covers accidents, illnesses, non-routine dental care, prescriptions, and alternative treatments.

Embrace Pet Insurance does not cover routine preventive care and spay and neutering. Embrace excludes pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, Cushing's disease or orthopedic conditions.

The deductible is $500 per year with a co-pay of 20%. There is an annual limit of $10,000.

Pet Assure for a Healthy and Happy Pet
Pet Assure for a Healthy and Happy Pet

Pet Assure Pet Insurance

Pet Assure

This company isn't really a pet insurance as much as a discount plan where you pay a certain amount each month and get a discount on veterinary services. It costs about $10 per month per dog and $6 per month per cat.

Some of the benefits of this plan is that it pays 25% of all vet services, there's no deductible, no limits, and no exclusions. It covers exotic pets and costs less than traditional pet insurances.

To take advantage of these benefits though, you do have to go to a vet who participates in their plan and it does leave you paying for most of the treatment when there's a large bill.

Pet Assure covers accidents, illnesses, routine preventive care, spaying, neutering, non-routine dental care, prescriptions, alternative treatments. There are no exclusions, no annual limits, and no deductible.

Let Us Hear About Your Experience with Pet Insurance - Do You Have It? Which Company Do You Recommend

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