Caring for Your Furry Friends: A Complete Guide to Pet Insurance

mark lauria pet insuranceFor most of us, our pets are a part of the family – they get presents at Christmas, they have their own toys, they make an appearance in family pictures. And while you make educated decisions about your family’s insurance, sometimes pets are left out of that picture.

These days, murmurs of pet insurance are around every corner. We’d like to discuss some of the ins and outs of this specialized policy so that you can take care of your pet just like you would a loved one. 


STEP 1:  Know That All Pet Insurance Policies Are Not the Same

The first thing to understand about Pet Insurance policies, like every insurance policy, is that no two are the same. It’s important when shopping for Pet Insurance to not only look at the cost but also the coverage. Some policies cover accidents but not illnesses. Some policies do not cover breed specific hereditary conditions. Other plans cover treatment for cancer while some exclude it. Also note that pre-existing conditions are not covered, ever. Imagine if you tried to get coverage on a vehicle that had just been in an accident, it just doesn’t work that way.

Like human health insurance plans, there are different coverage limits, annual deductibles and annual maximums to consider. Research, research, research. The best thing to remember is a low price isn’t always worth it, especially if you’re denied a claim because you didn’t read the fine print.

STEP 2:  Know How Pet Insurance Works

Like we said before not all policies are the same, but there are some general rules that go along with every Pet Insurance Policy. First off, you have to pay the veterinary bill out of your own pocket. We’re all used to human health insurance where the doctor invoices the insurance company and we usually never see the bill. This is not the case with Pet Insurance. You must pay the vet bill first and then submit a claim to your Pet Insurance carrier to receive a reimbursement. This is also why it is so very important to read the fine print on your pet insurance policy, there is nothing more frustrating than to be denied a claim only to realize you never had that kind of coverage in the first place.

Because you pay the bill out of pocket first and then submit a claim, you can use any veterinarian you want. It’s not like human health insurance where you’re limited by the doctors who accept your insurance or doctors within your network. Pet insurance companies allow claims from all veterinarians, as long as they are licensed. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask if they are licensed. So just as you shop for a good doctor for your family, make sure you shop around for a good vet as well, Fido will thank you for it.

STEP 3: Decide if Pet Insurance is Worth It For YOU

It may be a hard question to ask yourself, but how much would you spend to save your pet? If you struggle with the idea of going in debt or putting your pet down, Pet Insurance might be a good choice for you.

Pet Insurance is worth it if the policy you choose fulfills your pet heath needs. Do your research to find a policy that best fits your needs and your budget. Dogs require preventative medications like heart worm pills and flea and tick medicine. Both cats and dogs need regular vet checkups and shots. For some policies, wellness coverage is necessary while others will just need coverage for unexpected illness visits and accidents. The bottom line is your pet’s health cost money, the question you need to ask yourself is how you want to deal with that cost.

STEP 4: Take Care of Your Pet

Any seasoned pet owner will tell you that having a pet is so much more than feeding them and giving them water. There’s medication, annual shots, grooming, pet beds, exercise, cleaning up after them, proper diet, and a good dose of love and attention that every pet needs. Making sure you do all of these things for your pet will help you to have to make less vet visits, and thus less claims on your Pet Insurance. Plus, you’ll have a happy and healthy pet who will live a long life as part of your family!


Overall, make sure you do your research. There are various websites with good, reliable information about Pet Insurance, suppliers, coverage and more. provides a customer rating comparison between the top-10 pet insurance providers in the USA and Canada. It also provides details about different policies for cats and dogs and information about how to get quotes and make a claim. Remember, a healthy pet is a happy pet.

Do you have Pet Insurance? What has been your experience with Pet Insurance?