Understanding Pet Insurance

Navigating pet insurance means making informed choices about coverage and costs.

Understanding pet insurance is essential for protecting your beloved pets against unexpected health issues. This article simplifies pet insurance by explaining cost factors, coverage differences, and key terminologies. Whether you own a playful puppy or a graceful cat, we aim to equip you with the knowledge needed to choose the right insurance plan, ensuring your pet's health and your peace of mind.

Insurance Plans Terminology

These are the example pets used in this article to obtain cost comparison quotes:

  • Male Dog - Golden Retriever dog, Neutered Male, 1 year old
  • Female Dog - Golden Retriever dog, Spayed Female, 1 year old
  • Male Cat – Domestic short hair cat, Neutered Male, 1 year old
  • Female Cat – Domestic short hair cat, Spayed Female, 1 year old

How Are Pet Insurance Costs Determined?

There are several factors that affect the cost of your insurance, namely:

  • Breed: Some pets are more susceptible to certain conditions than others. For example, Great Danes are prone to hip dysplasia. For this reason, it may cost more to insure certain pets. Also, larger dogs usually cost more to insure.
  • Age: As pets age, they are more susceptible to accidents and illnesses, so older pets are more expensive to insure. Many companies also apply an age-based deductible as your pet gets older, so your deductible increases to offset the increased health care costs of senior pets.
  • Sex: Female pets may be considered a lower risk, which can result in lower pet insurance premiums.
  • Location: Vet costs vary by location. If the vet costs are higher in your area, it is often due to improved access to better treatment options, as well as higher labor costs. You may pay more for coverage.

What Does a Pet Wellness Plan Cover?

A pet wellness plan or routine care plan covers preventive care. The exact items covered will vary depending on the insurer, but may include the following:

  • Blood tests
  • Dental cleanings
  • Deworming medication
  • Fecal tests
  • Heartworm testing
  • Preventive medications for fleas, ticks, and heartworm
  • Routine checkups
  • Urinalysis
  • Vaccinations

What Does an Accident & Illness Plan Cover?

These plans typically cover:

  • Broken bones
  • Toxic ingestion
  • Chronic conditions like diabetes
  • Breed-specific conditions like hip dysplasia
  • Emergency care
  • Surgery
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Hospitalization and surgery
  • Prescription medications

An accident-only pet insurance plan will cover veterinary expenses related to an accident, often defined as an unforeseen circumstance due to an external event, like a torn ligament or a pet swallowing something poisonous. But an accident-only plan will not cover veterinary expenses related to an illness, like ear infections or cancer.

Some pet insurance plans have the option to add wellness or routine care coverage. This add-on covers expenses like annual wellness exams, dental cleanings, vaccinations, and flea and heartworm prevention.


Some terminologies you should be familiar with include:

  • Premium: The monthly or annual fee you pay to obtain a pet insurance policy.
  • Deductible: When it comes to deductibles, you have a few choices. You can opt for no deductible, an annual deductible, or a lifetime deductible. An annual deductible means you'll need to meet the deductible multiple times throughout your pet's life, while a lifetime per-condition deductible requires payment for a chronic condition only once.
    A deductible in pet insurance refers to the amount you are responsible for paying out of pocket before the insurance coverage starts. For example, if you have a $200 deductible and your veterinary bill is $1,000, you would need to pay the $200 deductible, and the insurance would cover the remaining eligible expenses according to the policy terms.
    Deductibles can vary based on the insurance plan you choose, and higher deductibles generally result in lower monthly premiums.
  • Reimbursement: This is the percentage of your veterinary bill covered by the insurer for an eligible claim (after deductible). It may range from 70-100%. Always confirm how long it takes for an insurance company to reimburse your costs.
  • Co-pay: In addition to your deductible, you may have to pay a fixed dollar amount each time you submit a claim.
  • Co-insurance: This is the percentage of the veterinary bill that is your responsibility after you have paid your deductible. For example, if your coverage is 80%, your co-insurance is 20%.

For further information or assistance with pet insurance plans please contact the clinic by calling 519-653-1003 to speak to a team member or sending us an email inquiry.

We recommend Trupanion for the high quality and many features of their insurance plans. In addition, after your pet's first exam with us, you're eligible for the Trupanion 'Exam Day Offer'. When you activate the Exam Day Offer within 24 hours of your pet’s exam, you'll receive immediate coverage for new, unexpected injuries and illnesses. This offers waive the standard waiting periods and there is no upfront payment required.

Another excellent option is OVMA Pet Insurance. Their policies offers no-surprise, flexible coverage, a team of dedicated Licensed Insurance agents and Animal Health technicians, quick claims processing and more.


In conclusion, navigating pet insurance effectively means making informed choices about coverage and costs, directly affecting your pet's health and your finances. By grasping the essentials of pet insurance, including premiums, deductibles, and coverage types, you're better prepared to select a plan that suits your pet’s needs and your budget, ensuring a healthier, happier life for your furry companion.