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How Do Pet Insurance Claims Work?

Veterinarian holding a piggy bank

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How it Works

First of all, unlike human health insurance, pet insurance companies reimburse you for veterinary after you've already paid.

Most pet insurance companies will send you a check or direct deposit 5-10 days after you submit a claim.

And in some circumstances if you have a planned surgery or treatment your pet insurer might pre-pay directly to the veterinary clinic or specialist.

Ways to Pay Vet Bills

There are three ways to pay your vet bills before getting your insurance claim check:

  • Write a check at the vet's office and then wait for your claim check.
  • Use a credit card at the vet's office, get your claim check then pay down your credit card balance. This allows you to minimize cash out of pocket and benefit from credit card points. You can also apply for a CareCredit card that charges zero interest on qualified veterinary expenses.
  • Ask the vet's office to send you a bill. Some vet clinics and hospitals will allow you to pay a bill 30 days out to give you ample time to collect your claim check before paying your bill.

Simple Claim Example

Here is a simple example of how pet insurance claims work. Pet insurance companies pay claims based on your actual, total veterinary bills.

Health Issue
Actual Vet Bills $12,000
Covered Charges $12,000
Deductible - $100
10% Co-pay - $1,190
Total Reimbursement $10,710

Source: Cancer in Dogs

First, you must collect all of your vet bills after your pet is treated.

Second, you fill out your company's claim form and attached the vet bills.

Third, the company will review your claim and send you a reimbursement check or direct deposit, which usually takes between 5-10 days after you file a claim.

Unfortunately, if you don't have a pet insurance policy you'll have to pay everything out-of-pocket yourself so enroll in a pet insurance plan while your pet is young and healthy!

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