My pet insurance policy mentions a "deductible." What is that?

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The deductible is the amount that you're responsible for, before your insurance coverage applies. It's deducted right off the top, before the insurance company pays on a claim. You're probably familiar with deductibles from other types of insurance (health insurance, car insurance, etc.). A pet insurance policy will have one of two types of deductibles:

    * **A per-incident deductible:** A set amount is deducted off the top (that you're responsible for paying) for each incident that requires veterinary care. How it works: let's say your policy has a $100 per incident deductible. If your dog eats an entire bag of Hershey's chocolates, that's an incident. You pay that $100 deductible for this incident, regardless of how many separate vet visits this requires. Let's say a month after the Hershey's incident, your dog gets bitten at the dog park (poor dog!) and requires stitches on his leg. That's another incident. You have to pay another $100 deductible for this incident.




    * **An annual deductible:** Instead of getting applied per incident, the deductible gets applied per year, regardless of how many incidents your pet has. Let's continue using the previous example. Assume the total vet bill for the Hershey's incident was $600. If your policy has a $300 annual deductible, then $300 would be deducted off the top (that you pay), and the insurance company would reimburse on the remainder of the bill. A month later, the dog bite incident costs $500 at the vet. This time, there's no amount deducted off the top. That's because you already met the $300 annual deductible on the Hershey's incident. There would be no more deductibles on any incident for the rest of the year.