The Importance of Dog Insurance

Our dogs have become an important part of our families for so many reasons.

They bring us unconditional love and add so much life and livelihood to our homes.

Over time, we have become more knowledgeable about the importance of keeping our dogs healthy by choosing the right food, taking them on walks and keeping them occupied during the day.

Of course, our annual vet visits are a must and even dental care is a necessity.

But, what happens if your dog suddenly comes down with a very serious illness and needs care immediately?

Or gets hit by a car during one of your morning walks?

Do you have the financial means to care for your dog in either of these scenarios with the escalating cost of vet care?

It’s at times like these that dog insurance is so important to have and a blessing!

Why Purchase Dog Insurance?

dog at beachDog insurance is essentially the reassurance that you have coverage to pay the medical bills for your dog if an injury, accident or illness occurs.

By enrolling in a policy before your dog develops any serious condition, you can save anywhere from 70% to 100% of your vet bill.

And that’s a relief both emotionally and financially.

Make sure to enroll your dog before any new condition develops.  Because then that ailment will be considered pre-existing and you won’t be covered.

Even chronic conditions like ear infections can be reimbursed for the rest of your dog’s life if they haven’t been deemed pre-existing.

What To Look For In A Dog Insurance Policy

All of the top pet insurance policies will cover at a minimum the following:

  • Illness
  • All Accidents
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Congenital & Hereditary Conditions
  • Cancer, Diabetes
  • Specialist Visits
  • Hospital Stays
  • Emergency Care

What Is Covered?

  • Surgery
  • Ultrasounds
  • X-rays
  • Blood Tests
  • Prescription Medications
  • Alternative Treatment

What Isn’t Covered?

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Routine Procedures – Unless you enroll in a wellness plan
  • Cosmetic Procedures
  • Anything Birth-Related

What Is The Best Age to Enroll?

The best time to enroll your dog in pet insurance is when he or she is young and healthy and before any pre-existing conditions develop.

Even something like hip dysplasia that occurs in one hip will generally not be covered if your dog’s other hip starts to show signs of the disease.

Also, the younger the dogs are, the lower the premiums.

Most dog insurance plans allow you to enroll your dog at 8 weeks or more.

Waiting Period

The waiting period is the time that it takes after you enroll your dog in a new policy.

The typical waiting period is from 10 to 30 days.

It’s during this that pet insurance provider determines if your dog has any pre-existing conditions or illnesses.

Coverage Plans

You want to make sure that you are getting your dog the best, most well-rounded plan available.

Look for a comprehensive insurance policy that will reimburse you for all accident and illnesses.

An accident only policy only covers accidents which can be limiting.

Wellness plans are also available (at an additional cost) that cover routine procedures that are easily paid out of your pocket.

They are added to a comprehensive or accident only policy.

How Much Does Dog Insurance Cost?

The price of dog insurance can depend on a lot of different factors and not just the coverage you choose.

The monthly premium rates will usually average from $25 to $40 for your dog.

Factors That Affect Price

Deductible

The higher the deductible that you choose will relate to a lower premium.

The typical deductible averages around $300.

The best deductibles are the annual deductible model which you pay once each year on your first vet bill.

The other deductibles: per-condition/annual and lifetime that place a limit on certain conditions.  AND you pay for every condition which can add up fast!

Coverage Limits

Look for a benefit limit that is unlimited and doesn’t put a cap on how many vet bills are reimbursed or even unlimited lifetime.

Some companies have limits only up to $15,000 and if your pet has a serious injury, you can easily surpass that numbers.

Healthy Paws, on the other hand, has an unlimited benefit option and even lifetime.

Reimbursement

Most dog insurance companies have a certain amount that they will reimburse you on the vet bills.

The range of reimbursement is usually 70% to 90%.

Look for a policy that reimburses you on the vet bill.

Some companies have what is called benefit schedules reimbursements which means you have a set amount per condition.  This can be limiting.

Location

The city that you live in can affect the price of the premium.

If you live in rural Nebraska, your rates will be less than if you live in Omaha.

Age

As your dogs’ age, the premiums increase.

However, even older dogs can benefit from pet insurance.

Breed

Some dog breeds are more expensive to insure than others.

A pug which has respiratory issues could be more expensive to insure than a beagle.

Dog Insurance Company Reviews and Customer Service

When you decide to enroll in dog insurance, the company reviews are a great resource.

Make sure the company’s policyholders are pleased with their services and claims are paid within a few weeks.

The customer service is also important because you want to make sure your questions are being answered politely and efficiently.

Now that you know what to look for in a dog insurance policy, below is a sampling of our top 5 dog insurance companies to help you get started:

Top 5 Dog Insurance Companies

Healthy Paws

healthy-paws-logoHighlights

  • Unlimited benefits in all plans (including lifetime!)
  • Dog owners love Healthy Paws with an A + rating.
  • Alternative therapy treatment offered.
  • Hereditary and congenital issues – covered!
  • Annual deductible model, from $150 to $750.
  • 90% reimbursements on actual vet bills.
  • Claims approved and paid quickly.
  • Discounts from 10 to 15% for military personnel/membership groups

Pricing Is Competitive

  • Your dog insurance plan can start at $32 a month.

Our full review will give you more information on Healthy Paws.


Embrace

Embrace-logo

Highlights

  • Dog owners have good things to say about Embrace!
  • Behavioral therapy and alternative treatments available
  • Wellness plans option to add.
  • Annual deductible model – to $1,000.
  • Benefit limits cap at $15,000 (not unlimited)
  • 65% to 90% reimbursement choices
  • $50 healthy dog pet discount and 5% if the dog is neutered or spayed.

Pricing Is Competitive

  • Your dog insurance plan an start at $24 s a month.

Our full review will give you more information about Embrace.


Figo

Figo-Dog-Insurance

Highlights

  • Dog owners love Figo and they have an A+ BBB rating.
  • Hip Dysplasia, if cured for a year, is covered!
  • Plans include coverage for vet exam fees.
  • Reimbursements up to 100%
  • Benefit limits range: $10,000 to unlimited
  • Annual deductible – choose between $50 -$500.
  • Pet cloud which features a pet community.

Pricing is competitive (a little more expensive)

  • Your dog insurance plan can start at $48 a month.

Our full review will give you more information on Figo.


Petplan

petplan-logo

Highlights

  • Dog owners have good things to say about Petplan!
  • Dental care and periodontal disease coverage.
  • Heredity and congenital conditions are covered.
  • Covers dental care and periodontal disease
  • Reimbursements on vet bills from 70 to 90%.
  • Choice of annual or per condition deductible (up to $2,500).
  • Discounts: 10 % for online registration, military and service pets.

Pricing Is Competitive

  • Your dog insurance plan can start at $30 a month.

Our full review will give you more information on Petplan.


Pets Best

Petsbest-logo

Highlights

  • Dog owners are happy with Pets Best service!
  • Preventative care plans are available.
  • Behavioral therapy, rehab, and alternative treatments.
  • Reimbursement on vet bills: 70 – 90%
  • Benefit limits: $5,000 up to unlimited
  • Vet helpline available 24/7
  • No age restrictions,
  • Claims are paid very quickly – 5 days.

Pricing Is Competitive

  • Your dog insurance plan can start at $32 a month.

Our full review will give you more information on Pets Best.


Summing Up Dog Insurance

Dog insurance is important as it can really cover you and your dog if something dire or unexpected were to occur.

No dog owner ever wants to be in the position that you need to take out a loan to cover an emergency vet bill for your dog.

For a relatively inexpensive monthly premium, you can rest assured that your dog will always get the best care.

Make sure to call at least two to three different companies before deciding.

There are some other top dog insurance providers in our list of the 10 best pet insurance companies if you would like some more options!

22 Comments
  1. Reply
    Martyna P. 01/26/2016 at 1:57 pm

    You summed up all things that should be taken into account well. Good thing you mentioned the “Price vs Value” thing. Lots of my friends simply buy the most cheap insurance expecting the best results, while I can find faults in the type of insurance they have chosen. They think “I don’t want to spend too much on this”. They’re honestly too lazy to compare different insurances based on different values than money. They aren’t listening to me when I’m telling them that, so I should give them this article to read!

    • Reply
      Fran 04/03/2016 at 4:02 pm

      Yes the price V value is an essential aspect – I have seen loads of cheap cover, but you basically hardly get anything for that. You do get what you pay for, it is well worth going with someone reputable – plenty mentioned on this site.

      • Reply
        Susan Murphy 10/27/2016 at 5:40 am

        I agree. Good advice and thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Starla Brunson 02/16/2016 at 5:40 am

      You should pass this article. I was like that too and it wasn’t because I was lazy, it was mostly because I was, and still am, on a tight budget and I figured that even having a little insurance was better then having non at all. Also the whole insurance language always leaves me confused, frustrated and unsure of what I am actually agreeing to. So I love that this site breaks down everything. It makes it a lot easier to find a quality policy within my budget.

  2. Reply
    Ujjal Karmakar 02/19/2016 at 9:28 pm

    I heard many good things regarding Dog Insurance. It is designed with taking care of the high and often unexpected costs of vet care from accidents, injuries and other ailments that can plague your pet. So it is really good to know that Dog Insurance also works to breed dog.

  3. Reply
    Bronwyn 02/22/2016 at 6:43 am

    Our chocolate lab, despite being a breed that should avoid the sinful dessert, LOVES chocolate. He will get into anything chocolate filled, stuffed or coated. With his strong nose for the food that makes him most sick, I am glad to have come across this page. It is nice to know that there are different coverage levels, which I just read about here, because we can chose a plan for our lab that is catered to breed specific conditions and concerns. This is definitely something that I will be considering. I am also glad in the article it suggested to take your time when considering. I strongly agree as I have been sitting on information from different companies for a while now and finally feel like I have found a great match. Highly recommended!

    • Reply
      Fran 04/03/2016 at 3:59 pm

      It is your job to keep all chocolate well out of reach of your dog! It is toxic to dogs.

  4. Reply
    Momi Nul 03/20/2016 at 1:15 pm

    You summarized all things that should be taken into consideration well. Great factor you described the “Price vs Value” factor. Plenty of my buddies simply buy the most inexpensive insurance policy anticipating the best outcomes, while I can find mistakes in the type of insurance policy they have selected. They think “I don’t want to invest too much on this”. They’re genuinely too sluggish to evaluate and contrast different insurance coverages based on different principles than money.

  5. Reply
    Amy H. 03/22/2016 at 6:05 pm

    Price vs. value is basically what I’ve been reading these articles to determine. I need enough coverage for it to be worth the cost. While I know from experience that random, costly accidents pop up pretty often (at least once a year for me and my pit bull!), it’s still hard to fork over that money every month. I need to be sure it’s going to cover the most likely scenarios, which is why I love the comparison tools.

  6. Reply
    comment_blog 03/22/2016 at 10:16 pm

    The comparison of price and value that the article cover . But i do not have anything to say, because the article writer join things together, which he should have split into different categories. But the information in the article is informative and okay to learn things about.

  7. Reply
    Jessica Edwards 03/26/2016 at 4:50 am

    There have been some time where I definitely would have liked to take my pet to the vet to have them checked out and I simply did not have the money to do it so it regrettably got put off while we just waited it out to see what happens. It would have been so much nicer to have the insurance and the peace of mind in being able to go to the vet right away with any problems or concerns that came up.

  8. Reply
    Fran 04/03/2016 at 2:47 pm

    Always think about what you are prepared to pay before taking out insurance. I have to take my dog to the vet tomorrow, I think it might be her anal glands that are causing her discomfort, but nevertheless I am prepared to pay a few hundred without claiming (hopefully it is not this much!). This keeps my monthly costs down. However, could I not afford this price I would have a smaller excess on my insurance.

  9. Reply
    Nicki 04/06/2016 at 12:39 pm

    Before Healthy Paws, I got insurance with a company that wonted money for everything. My dog fell why we was out on a walk and injured his leg leading to him needing surgery on his Cruciate Ligament and the company I was with told me he had not been hit by a car therefore he was not covered !. I could not believe my ears, he had not been hit by a car! no he hadn’t but he was in terrible pain and could out any pressure on his leg. Its safe to say I cancelled that pet insurance and never saw the point go having it again in the future. However after reading all the information on this site and seeing that they compare the top 6 companies! and all the great reviews I have decided to take out pet insurance on my little border terrier. She has skin allergies and unlike most companies Pet Insurance University did not take this as a reason to not help us. I ended up going with HEALTHY PAWS, and they have been AMAZING! The plan I chose let me choose my own vet which is a bonus as my dog is shy and timid around men. So being able to go to our regular vet was something that helped me along the way. Her allergies where not a problem and due to the great care we received I convinced my mother to insure our 10 year old (the one who had the surgery) And she is also more than happy and wishes she found this company originally ! Thanks to Healthy Paws my border terrier has the best care for her skin condition and is treated with the best care! I no longer have to worry about bringing her to the vets and worrying because I no she is covered. I recommend Healthy Paws to all my friends and I always will

  10. Reply
    Erin Floyd Smith 10/27/2016 at 5:03 am

    Thank you for laying this out for me! It’s tough to know how to find a good pet insurance plan and this article is very helpful. I’ve been through those situations when my dog got sick and I suddenly had to figure out how to cover the cost. Much better to be prepared.

  11. Reply
    Susan Murphy 10/27/2016 at 5:38 am

    Pet insurance is as much about peace of mind as it is about money. You may pay insurance premiums for years and never make a claim. But think about whether you could afford a huge vet’s bill if your pet fell ill or had an accident in the short term.

  12. Reply
    Sunny 11/06/2016 at 12:54 am

    Ooh, this will work as a great checklist! You can use these points when looking around pet insurance websites, so you know exactly what you’re getting. I especially agree with #4, Price vs. Value, because a lot of times people think that just because something costs more, it gives you more. And that’s not always true…take Healthy Paws for example. It gives you the most coverage (by a lot!) but it is around $20 cheaper than some other insurances.

  13. Reply
    Farhan Qureshi 11/08/2016 at 12:56 pm

    Very good article and i must say your point on pet insurance are very helpful they gave me enough insight
    to the topic that i can now get a pet insurance for my dog :-)..

    • Reply
      Pet Insurance U 01/04/2017 at 12:22 am

      Farhan, glad we could give you insight on pet insurance. We do everything we can to educate individuals. We are glad this has lead you into getting your dog covered. Thanks!!!

  14. Reply
    Kamrul Kayes 11/10/2016 at 3:56 pm

    Very good article and i find it helpful for me.

    • Reply
      Pet Insurance U 01/04/2017 at 12:19 am

      Kamrul, glad the article has helped. It is important to keep your pet covered. Just trying to keep pet owners as yourself educated.

  15. Reply
    Cathy Willems 07/30/2017 at 3:18 am

    Need a quote for my two shih thus, please.

    Does Healthy Paws cover well visits.

    How much is the monthly premium on my two dogs; any discount?

  16. Reply
    coman 09/18/2017 at 4:53 pm

    How to buy this pet insurance?

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