Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 26, 2019

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Pet insurance is insurance that is available for dogs, cats, birds and a variety of other pets, some of which will be listed later. Pet insurance helps to absorb some of the costs associated with your pet’s care and can range in coverage from paying for standard care, major events and even the cost of cremation or burial.

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What many people don’t realize is that pet insurance has been around for nearly 50 years. However, only about 1% of Americans actually purchase pet insurance, which is why many pet insurance companies don’t stay in business for long.

Even though the pet insurance industry is starting to take off with more people buying it for their pets, it is very important that you choose your pet insurance company carefully. There are several pet insurance companies that have actually been providing this coverage for a number of years, giving you many choices for your pet insurance.

Compare Pet Insurance Deductibles

You will find that there are two different types of deductibles for pet insurance. You will either have to pay a deductible per incident or an annual deductible. Typically, most pet owners find a per incident deductible is more beneficial than an annual deductible because they benefit from their pet insurance policy upon their first office visit.

Most pet insurance companies have a per incident maximum coverage amount. It is important that you know what this amount is so that you are prepared for your out of pocket responsibilities. Anywhere from 50% to 75% of each incident should be covered by pet insurance.

There are many pet owners who find the idea of pet insurance to be, well, silly. The truth is, however, that pet insurance can pay for itself with one major incident. What’s more, the cost of pet insurance is extremely affordable ranging from $15 to $60 a month depending on what type of coverage you choose, the age of your pet and the type of pet you own.

The bottom line is that there are many new techniques that vets can use to save a pet that wasn’t possible even a few short years ago. Of course, much like medical care for humans, medical care for pets becomes increasingly more expensive the more complex or advance the procedure is. Pet insurance can make it possible for you to provide your pet with treatment that you may not have been able to afford in the past.

That being said, this coverage does NOT pay off for everyone. If your pet is healthy for most of its life the $2,000-$6,000 you are likely to spend over a life time may not seem worth it.

In addition to pet medical insurance, it is also possible to purchase pet life insurance. Pet life insurance is not like life insurance that you would purchase for yourself or a loved one. Instead, it is meant to cover the cost of funeral expenses or cremation if your pet dies. If your pet is lost or stolen then you pet life insurance may also cover the costs of searching for your pet as well.

You will also find that many different pet insurance policies cover dental care for your pet. Typically, this is for the prevention of gum disease, but some may cover actual extractions or oral surgery if it becomes necessary.

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Compare Pet Insurance for Your Dog

The most common type of pet insurance policy sold is for dogs. Dogs just seem to be the type of pet that people adopt into the family. Perhaps it is because cats are so independent or dogs are just so loyal. In any case, dog owners seem to purchase this coverage the most.

Pet insurance for dogs typically cover the same variety of problems such as:

  • Spay/neuter
  • Vaccines,
  • Ear or skin infections
  • Injuries
  • Vomiting

Check your policy for things like hip dysplasia and cancer. What dog insurance does not cover are pre-existing conditions or genetic conditions that some breeds are prone to, such as Aortic Stenosis in Golden Retrievers.

The cost of your pet insurance will be based on the breed of dog that you own as well as the age of your dog. Many insurance companies do not cover dogs once they reach 7 years old (in dog years), so when you compare pet insurance companies, this is something you may need to look for specifically.

It is important compare pet insurance between companies in order to get more coverage for your pet as well as higher caps on the maximum per incident or annual coverage. Much like human health insurance, this coverage varies between pet insurance companies.

Compare Pet Insurance for Your Cat

Many of the same coverage options that you can get for your dog are available for your cat. In addition, many pet insurance companies will cover hyperthyroidism and kidney disease for your cat as this becomes a more common ailment as your cat ages.

Again, like pet insurance for your dog, pet insurance for your cat does not cover pre-existing conditions or conditions that your breed of cat is predisposition for. Spasticity in Devon Rex cats is an example of a genetic condition that would not be covered by your pet insurance for your cat.

Compare Pet Insurance for Your Bird or Exotic Pet

Birds and exotic pets typically fall under the same category with pet insurance companies. Exotic pets include:

  • Turtles
  • Gerbils
  • Mice
  • Rabbits
  • Pigs
  • Ferrets
  • And many more!

Bird insurance isn’t quite as comprehensive as dog or cat insurance. In fact, a typical policy does not cover standard care, only x-rays, hospitalization, egg binding, and surgery. You can purchase an additional rider to cover regular health care but most policies are far more expensive than actually taking your bird in for their annual physical.

Because birds are more prone to illness and death, more so than other types of pets, insurance for your bird tends to be more expensive than other types of insurance. This is also true of insurance for exotic pets as some of them aren’t resilient to human germs and exposure.

Because the care for an exotic pet can be more expensive, especially if you have to see a specialist for your specific pet, carrying pet insurance can be even more beneficial. Just be certain to compare pet insurance for your exotic pet to ensure you get the most coverage possible.

The best way to compare pet insurance is to use a quote comparison tool online. This will allow you to compare the rates of pet insurance between several pet insurance companies. This can be especially helpful because most people aren’t aware of the different pet insurance companies available and which ones are reputable.

Get free pet insurance quotes by entering your zip code now!