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Pet insurance 101

Think "health insurance for your pet"

What is Pet Insurance?

There are several pet insurance companies and a range of plans available. Depending on the age and breed of your pet, where you live, and the level of coverage you select, the cost of pet insurance usually ranges from $10 to $60 per month.

Pet insurance comes in different versions (like policies that cover only accidents). In addition to pet insurance, there are other products designed to help keep veterinary costs down (like membership discount plans).

Here’s what’s out there…

Accident PlansComprehensive PlansMembership Plan
How it worksLike car insurance or homeowners insurance, it reimburses you a set percentage of your out-of-pocket costs for a claim.Like car insurance or homeowners insurance, it reimburses you a set percentage of your out-of-pocket costs for a claim.Not pet insurance. You have to stick to specific vets, who offer members discounted services. Common example is the Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan sold at PetSmart.
Covers accidental injuries
Covers Illnesses
Covers Congenital & Hereditary
Covers Wellness & Preventative CareCoverage can be addedCoverage can be added
Go to any licensed vet
Best for smaller & predictable bills
Best for larger & unpredictable bills Only covers accidents, which is just a portion of what creates larger bills

There is also pet insurance for exotic pets, like reptiles, ferrets and birds. Currently only one company—VPI—offers insurance for exotic pets. See here for more information on the VPI product for exotic pets. Although the team at Policygenius doesn’t discriminate against animals, we’ve focused the rest of this guide on non-exotic pet insurance because cats and dogs (and policies that cover them) are much more common. Sorry, ferrets!

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