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 19, 2020

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If you are looking for pet insurance quotes, you can find them right here by using our free quote tool.

Just like any type of insurance, before you make a purchase, you want to compare the prices between different companies. This ensures that the choice you make is based on facts in evidence.

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You will find that there are actually many companies that offer pet insurance. Understanding things like what kinds of pets it covers, how much it costs and what restrictions you might face will help you when it comes time to make your final choice.

Read on to learn about pet insurance and get some of the questions that you have answered.

What kind of pets does pet insurance cover?

Interestingly, many pet insurance plans only cover dogs and cats. You will find, however, that there are some insurance companies that offer insurance for a variety of pets; these are called exotic pet policies. These can include:

  • Parrots
  • Iguanas
  • Pot bellied pigs
  • Rats

… and more. If you have a pet that is considered exotic, then you need to search for more specialized companies for your pet.

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In many cases, those with exotic pets will have to purchase more than one type of policy for it, especially if they have a bird. Many policies for exotic pets only include emergency care. In these cases, you should also purchase a policy for their regular checkups; you will find that his is a very affordable rider.

Exotic pet policies will include a couple of animals that you might find on a farm such as pigs and goats, but other farm animals are excluded. In other words, you won’t find a pet insurance policy for your horse.

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How much does pet insurance cost?

Most people find that the cost of pet insurance is very affordable, however, costing between $3,000 to $5,000 for the lifetime of the pet. Of course, this will differ with factors about your animal.

If you have a Lab Retriever, for example, the average lifespan is 12 years. This means that you can expect to pay between $250 to $416 annually, depending on the type of coverage that you purchase. Some pets will cost more or less to insure than dogs and cats, however, based on what type of animal it is and whether there are commonly associated conditions for the animal.

Just like health insurance, you can choose certain options that will increase or decrease the cost of your pet insurance. For example, you have many deductible levels to choose from.

  • Deductible- Unlike health insurance, however, the deductible for most pet insurance policies is a per incident deductible. So, if you choose a $250 deductible then that will be your out of pocket expense for each visit you make to the vet. This makes it very important to ensure that you can afford your deductible.
  • Set a Cap- Another factor that will determine your pet insurance costs is how high or low of a cap you choose on your pet insurance coverage. If you choose too low, then you won’t get much benefit if something happens to your pet. If you choose too high, then you may end up paying more for premiums than you would for paying for the care of your pet out of pocket.
  • Pet Age- You will also find that the age of your pet will affect your premiums. The older you pet is the more expensive it will be to provide pet insurance for them.

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Are there restrictions when I purchase pet insurance?

You will find that much like human health insurance, pet insurance has restrictions for pre-existing conditions. While some of these conditions are ones you have heard of, such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney failure, there are some conditions that you may not be aware of such as patellar luxation, entropion and more. Other restrictions include:

  • Undiagnosed Conditions- It is important to note that even if the condition is undiagnosed, you will not be able to get coverage for specific problems. Very specifically are hereditary diseases or disorders that are prevalent in specific breeds of dogs.
  • Age- Most insurance companies have age restrictions for your pet as well. This will vary based on what type of animal you want to insure and their normal life span. Some insurance companies will insure animals later in life but at much higher premiums than listed here.
  • Procedures- Restrictions are also in place for certain procedures. For example, you cannot get coverage for cosmetic surgery or elective surgery for your pet. In many cases, you will find that pet insurance doesn’t cover preventative surgery or procedures as well.
  • Prescriptions- If you want prescription coverage, then you will likely have to purchase a separate pet insurance plan. This additional coverage is usually only about $30 extra a year and can be a valuable addition to your pet insurance policy if you end up with a sickly animal. Prescription insurance will not cover prescription dog food, vitamins or supplements.

How do I determine the best pet insurance policy for my needs?

There are several things that you want to look for from a pet insurance company. An important consideration is the reputation of the company you choose.

  • Reputation- There are many pet insurance companies that simply just appeared and no one really knows much about them. Companies like Progressive, however, offer pet insurance as well, making it possible for you to choose insurance from well-know established companies.
  • Flexibility- Another consideration is the flexibility of the company. While having more options will typically mean that you are going to pay a little more for your pet insurance, you want to ensure that you can choose your own annual and lifetime caps for coverage. You will probably want to use a company that offers prescription coverage, dental coverage and regular check up coverage.
  • Renewal Policy- You also want to ensure that you can carry on your pet insurance after your pet has been diagnosed with a lifelong illness such as diabetes. Some insurance companies will use that as an excuse to not renew a policy. Ensure that you can renew each year guaranteed, after you have your pet on that policy.
  • Budget- Your budget is important as well, which means that you want to choose a company that offers all of the things that you want at a price that you can afford. This is where a quote tool comes in handy. You can view quotes from insurance companies side by side, allowing you to quickly see who can offer you the best deal.

One of the biggest benefits of choosing this option is that you are under no obligation to make a purchase. What’s more, because you aren’t sharing your information with actual insurance companies, you won’t get phone calls trying to convince you to purchase insurance. You can use this opportunity to review the offers and then research the companies that are offering them with no pressure at all to buy.

Compare pet insurance quotes and move one step closer to giving yourself some piece of mind when it comes to caring for your pet today!