Pet insurance is actually a lot like car insurance.
Pet insurance is more like car insurance than human health insurance.
And that’s a good thing.
Pet insurance policies cover treatment for accidents and illnesses to your dog or cat. Car insurance policies cover repairs after an accident or injury to passengers.
We work with hundreds of pet owners every day and one of the most common questions we get is, “What does pet insurance cover?”
Sometimes the best way to explain how something works is to make an analogy with something more familiar, like, say, car insurance.
What is Covered?
First of all, both pet insurance and car insurance provide coverage for anything unexpected. For example, if your pet breaks a leg or is diagnosed with cancer, you’re covered. And if you get in a fender bender and damage your car and your passenger breaks her arm, you’re covered.
What’s Not Covered?
Pet insurance does not cover your annual exams, vaccinations or heartworm medication. Basically anything that is routine and expected. Similarly, car insurance does not cover you for new tires, oil changes or 5,000 maintenance.
How are they Similar?
This chart illustrates the similarities between pet insurance policies and car insurance policies.
|Coverage||Pet Insurance||Car Insurance|
|Policy Term||12 mos.||12 mos.|
Note: You can clearly see the similarities between pet insurance and car insurance, you can almost interchange the two.
Note on Pre-Existing Issues
The comparison of pet insurance and car insurance also helps us explain how pre-existing conditions work. There is no pet insurance company that covers pre-existing conditions. Many pet owners get confused because they associate pet health insurance with human health insurance. That’s why we bring it back to car insurance.
Ask yourself this…
If you were in an accident and your car needed $5,000 in repairs would you apply for car insurance to help pay for the damage?
Of course not!
And if you did try to get coverage after an accident the company’s claims rep would laugh at you.
That’s simply not how insurance works. Don’t take it from us, take it from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
: an agreement in which a person makes regular payments to a company and the company promises to pay money if the person is injured or dies, or to pay money equal to the value of something (such as a house or car) if it is damaged, lost, or stolen
: the amount of money a person regularly pays an insurance company as part of an insurance agreement
When considering pet insurance it’s important to understand what’s covered and what’s not. It’s also important to understand that pet insurance is designed to protect your pet from the unexpected, not help pay for routine care. It’s also not something that you buy after your dog or cat is already sick or injured.
Hopefully this fun little analogy will help you understand what pet insurance is all about.