Guide to Pet Insurance

What is Pet Insurance: Coverage Options, Costs, How to Choose and More

A medical emergency is a terrible time to have to think about whether you can afford the care your pet needs. And insurance can help out with illnesses and routine care, too. We’ve got all the information you need to figure out if pet insurance is right for you and your pet, including advice from vets who’ve seen it all.

Pet Insurance Basics

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What Is Pet Insurance and How Does It Work?

What is Pet Insurance and How Does it Work

Pet insurance is a health insurance policy for pets that’s owned by the pet owner. It protects your pet in an emergency and may lessen the price of veterinary bills. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect from a pet insurance policy.

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What Does Pet Insurance Cover—and Not Cover?

What Does Pet Insurance Cover and Not Cover?

There’s nothing quite like the joy of pet ownership—but it can also be expensive. Rather than paying out of pocket for vet bills, you might consider pet insurance. But what does pet insurance cover, and is it right for you and your four-legged friend?

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Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

If your pet has a pre-existing condition, it can be difficult to find an insurer that will cover it. Here’s what you need to know about getting pet insurance that covers pre-existing conditions, and a look at policies from insurers.

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Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Most pet owners don’t have a realistic idea of how much veterinary care actually costs, especially in an emergency. We weighed the pros and cons so you can decide if pet insurance is right for you.

Additional Coverage Options

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What Is Dog Liability Insurance?

Dog Liability Insurance

Even if your dog has never shown any signs of aggressive or dangerous behavior, other behaviors can unintentionally cause serious harm. To protect yourself and your dogs from the unexpected, consider getting a dog liability policy to ensure you have enough coverage.

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What Is Exotic Pet Insurance?

Exotic pet insurance

Most people think of pet insurance as something that’s for dogs and cats. But if you own a bird, reptile, or other exotic animal, you’ll want to consider getting insurance for it. Here’s what to know as you shop for a policy for your exotic pet.

Calculating the Cost

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CareCredit for Pet Costs

CareCredit May Help Cover Pet Costs

Depending on the situation, your pet may become injured or ill suddenly and require emergency care. Modern-day veterinary care is advanced, but also expensive. If a pet parent finds themselves facing financial hardship when their pet needs emergency medical care, there are options—like CareCredit—that can help.

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Cat Ownership Costs

Cat ownership costs

Cats require food, shelter, and medical care. There are also other expenses to consider, such as grooming, toys, and treats. Here's a closer look at what you might spend if you own a cat.

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Dog Ownership Costs

Dog Ownership Costs

So how much does a dog cost per year? Below are the factors to consider before adopting a furry best friend. Before taking the plunge, consider the impact of the decision on your finances and determine whether or not you can handle the added costs.

Choosing a Pet Insurance

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The Best Pet Insurance Plans of 2022

The Best Pet Insurance Plans of 2022

Sound Dollar has done the research for you, surveying 15 pet insurance companies. Below is the best all-around pet insurance provider, as well as the best providers for dogs, cats, exotic animals, and our editor’s pick.

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Real Reviews from Real Pet Owners

Clark the dog photo

Lisa thought having insurance seemed like a splurge—until her dog ate a chicken bone and needed $7,500 surgery.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Pet Insurance

What is the best multi-pet insurance company?

Many of the 15 pet insurance companies we researched offer multi-pet discounts. So, if you add a second pet to your policy, you could expect a discount on their premium of 5% to 10%.

This is a potentially significant discount, but it’s not so significant that it should be an overriding factor in determining where to purchase a policy. It’s possible that a pet insurer without a multi-pet discount is a better overall fit for your animals than competitors that do offer this perk.

It’s critical to compare multi-pet insurance policies across other categories, such as the ones we considered in this review: eligibility, cost, coverage, and customer experience. That’s how you can come up with the best multi-pet insurance carrier for your situation.

Does pet insurance cover spaying and neutering?
Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?
What is a pet insurance waiting period?
What is the most popular pet insurance provider?

Pet Insurance Key Terms

Accident and Illness

Unlike a comprehensive pet insurance policy, which can be expensive, an accident and illness policy covers you when the unexpected happens, and it costs less. But diagnostic procedures and long-term medications are not covered.

Learn More: How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Meet Our Pet Experts

Amanda Push

Amanda Push

Amanda Push is a professional with over 8 years of experience. She has worked as a journalist focusing on business and now writes about personal finance.

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Staff editor Andrew Pentis headshot

Andrew Pentis

Andrew Pentis has used his journalism background to write about personal finance topics since 2015. His work has appeared in over 40 publications, including LifeHacker, U.S. News & World Report and Marketwatch.

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Dr. Amanda Hensley DVM, MPH

Dr. Amanda Hensley DVM, MPH

Dr. Hensley is a former veterinarian in Colorado who specialized in animal rehabilitation and pain management.

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Dr. Jamie Whittenburg DVM

Dr. Jamie Whittenburg DVM

Dr. Jamie Whittenburg is a veterinarian with over 15 years experience. She works with cats, dogs, and small exotic pets.

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