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Features of a Basic Pet Insurance Plan

If you have a pet, then you probably understand that you're responsible for paying for their medical care. While a young, healthy pet usually doesn't have many costs, the pet could end up being expensive if they have a medical emergency or develop a condition over time. This is why many pet owners decide to get pet insurance. Just like insurance for yourself, pet insurance covers some of the medical costs for your pets.

If you're not sure about the features of this type of insurance, these are what you can expect although coverage may vary slightly from plan to plan.


The plan will specify a certain deductible. This is the amount that you can expect to pay before your insurance will start to cover costs. This may be a cost per year or a cost per incident. Each plan typically has a range of deductibles you can choose and the common range is 0-$1,000. When you choose a higher deductible, you'll end up with a lower monthly cost for the insurance but may have to ensure that you can actually cover the cost.

Reimbursement Level

After you pay your deductible, the insurer will pay a percentage of the bill. This is also an area where the range can be from 50%-100%. If you choose a plan with a higher reimbursement level, you can also expect the cost to be higher although it may be worth this if your pet faces a serious medical problem with a high cost.

Annual Max

The plan will also have a maximum amount that it will pay in medical bills each year. You'll have to cover any charges that are above the max. This can be highly variable from plan to plan. However, you should be familiar with your max so you can be prepared for this cost as needed.

Inclusions and Exclusions

All plans are going to state what they cover and do not cover. Standard pet insurance will cover most accidents and illnesses that your pet may have. However, the typical exclusions include grooming, routine checkups, dental disease, preexisting conditions, and hip dysplasia. The denial of preexisting medical conditions can be news for many pet owners but it's unusual for pet insurance to cover these types of illnesses. You should be prepared for this as well as having to pay for some basic care out of pocket. The role of pet insurance is to pay for serious and expensive diseases and conditions that are not expected. As a pet owner, you will still have to pay for basic pet care.

These are the primary features of pet insurance that you should know before you purchase. Since pet insurance has some differences from medical insurance, many pet owners are surprised at its specifications. Knowing what you can expect to have covered or not covered will help you make an informed decision when choosing a pet insurance plan. Reading through each plan as well will give you an idea of what to expect.