How to Buy Pet Insurance

Many families treat their pets as pampered children and strive to provide the same benefits for the animals as they would an actual human. This includes getting pet insurance to ensure the furry loved one stays in good health. Pets have medical issues just like people do, and treatment can be expensive, especially if a condition is chronic or requires surgery or expensive medication. Pet insurance can help keep the costs manageable.


  1. Image titled Buy Pet Insurance Step 1
    Start looking for pet insurance companies.
    • Ask veterinarians or local humane societies for recommendations.
    • Talk with pet owners for recommendations or referrals to the companies they use.
    • Look at comparison sites, there are about eleven pet insurance companies serving the United States.
  2. Image titled Buy Pet Insurance Step 2
    Research pet insurance companies' policies. Most pet insurance companies cover accidents and illnesses, with the option to add on wellness (routine or preventive care). You'll want to ask specific questions to help you narrow your choices.
    • Check the insurance company for restrictions or special considerations on your dog's age. Certain places won't cover illness unless your dog was enrolled before seven years of age, or even two years old.
    • Check for restrictions or special treatment of your dog's breed. Certain breeds are predisposed toward genetic or hereditary conditions, which might be excluded from the coverage benefits.
    • You'll want to ask what the deductible options are and the variance in the premium price for the different options. Other questions can help you learn more about the insurance company. What is the co-pay? How do you file claims? How long does it take the company to process claims?
    • Ask whether the company will cover specific types of tests. Does the pet insurance carrier cover emergency medical expenses? What about blood tests, urine tests, MRIs or X-rays?
    • Determine whether the insurance will cover surgeries and animal hospital stays, as well as expenses for follow-up care. Some plans will not cover the vet office fee portion of your veterinary expenses.
    • Some companies may cover cosmetic treatments that help a pet stay healthy, such as nail trimming and dental procedures.
    • Ask about basic pet wellness expenses. Find out what the company covers. Does it cover the basics, such as annual vaccinations and exams?
    • Make a point to ask about medical prescriptions and prescription pet foods.
    • Touch on delicate issues, as well, such as coverage for end-of-life pet care and cremation services.
  3. Image titled Buy Pet Insurance Step 3
    Request a written quote from each pet insurance carrier under consideration. The quote should include information about deductibles, co-pays and maximum coverage amounts.
    • Look for a level rating assigned to pets. A puppy may be a level 1, while a 7-year-old dog receives a level 3. There'll be a price difference in the premiums because of the age difference in the pets.
  4. Image titled Buy Pet Insurance Step 4
    Pay for the pet insurance annual premiums in one lump sum or installments, as available through the pet insurance company. Annual payments may even give you a small discount on premiums.
    • Check the website of the pet insurance carrier to set up an account to pay the annual, quarterly or monthly premiums online.
    • Select payment methods for pet insurance by personal convenience, such as credit card, check or automatic deduction.
  5. Image titled Buy Pet Insurance Step 5
    Be sure to get an insurance card, claim forms and info on how to file a claim with the pet insurance carrier.
  6. Image titled Buy Pet Insurance Step 6
    Review the pet insurance policy yearly, especially the exclusions and fine print, before you renew it. Medical issues and age level of pets may increase the premium.


  • Discounts can be available at certain places if your pet is a working animal, if you volunteer, or if your pet is spayed or neutered (this reduces the chance of certain types of illnesses).
  • Discounts are usually available for multiple pets, adoptions from local humane societies, affiliations with certain social clubs or organizations, and annual payments.


  • Always read the exclusions and fine print. Certain insurance carriers won't cover specific diseases or kinds of hereditary / congenital diseases that can be common for your dog's breed.
  • Most pet insurance carriers will not cover pets with serious and non-curable pre-existing medical conditions.

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Categories: Insurance