Pet Insurance 101:

What Is Pet Insurance And How Does It Work?

Pawlicy Advisor's Veterinary Continuing Education Series
Pet Insurance 101
What Is Pet Insurance And How Does It Work?
A Veterinary Professional’s Role In Pet Insurance
How to Navigate Pet Insurance
How to Talk to Pet Owners About Insurance
How Pawlicy Advisor Can Help

Lesson info:

Pet Insurance 101: What Is Pet Insurance And How Does It Work?

The Three Parts of Policy Information


This is the amount of money you'll need to pay out-of-pocket annually before the insurance company will start covering your pet's medical bills.

Reimbursement Rate

This is the percentage of the total medical expense that the insurance company will reimburse after you meet your deductible.

Annual Limit

This is the max amount an insurance company will pay out after your deductible is met.

Pet Insurance Cost & Customer Interaction

Pet insurance covers treatment by a licensed veterinarian—meaning it works at any veterinary office—and policyholders typically pay up front for a procedure and get reimbursed for a portion of the cost of care.

The average yearly price for dogs is $575/year.

The average yearly price for cats is $350/year.

The Three Types of Pet Insurance

Accident & Illness

Covers fractures, cuts, diseases, infections, prescriptions (not food!), surgery, hospitalization, tooth extractions, labor fees for covered conditions.

Typically a two-week waiting period.

Accident Only

Covers surgery, hospitalization, wounds, not infections, illnesses, or diseases.

Wellness “Insurance”

  • No waiting period
  • Typically covers regular checkups, vaccines, dental cleanings, spay-neuter up to specific limits
  • Sometimes not regulated as insurance, so no regulatory oversight of wellness-only providers