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4 things you didn't know about pet insurance

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Pet insurance can help cover your furry friend's medical costs. Kryssia Campos/Getty Images

Owning a pet can be expensive — particularly if they fall ill, get injured or develop some sort of health condition. Fortunately, pet insurance can help in that department.

Pet insurance policies cover the costs of various medical treatments for dogs and cats, much like health insurance does for humans. Despite this similarity, they function differently from policies for you or me.

If you're considering pet insurance then start by getting a free price quote online now so you know exactly what to expect.

4 things you didn't know about pet insurance

Are you considering buying pet insurance coverage for your furry friends? Here are four surprising things you'll want to know first.

They work on a reimbursement model

With human health insurance, your doctor usually bills your insurance company, and once that's processed, you're responsible for any remainder. Pet insurance works a little differently. 

When your pet receives medical treatment, you'll pay for it out of pocket at the vet's office. Then, you'll file a claim with your insurance company, which will process your claim and reimburse you for any covered costs.

If you're currently paying for all of your veterinary bills out of pocket and would welcome the opportunity to have your expenses reimbursed then pet insurance may be for you. Start by getting a free price quote from Spot pet insurance here to learn more. 

Pre-existing conditions aren't usually covered — except in one case

Pet insurance usually doesn't cover pre-existing conditions, so if your animal has a current health issue, it likely won't be covered if you choose to buy an insurance policy. 

The only exception is with curable pre-existing conditions — issues like urinary tract infections or diarrhea. If your pet has a curable condition that they have not been treated for or shown symptoms of in the last 12 months, some pet insurance companies will cover it. Lemonade is one such example.

Keep in mind that just being symptom-free for a year isn't enough. The issue needs to be curable. Recurring issues like allergies or asthma aren't considered curable (only treatable).  

They don't cover preventative care (at least without an extra fee)

Unlike human insurance, basic pet insurance policies don't cover preventative services — like annual check-ups, vaccinations, spaying, neutering, or flea and tick medication. 

Some insurance companies do offer what they call "wellness" plans, though. These often cover some preventative treatments and come with an extra fee in addition to your existing premium. They also may cover some dental services, like cleanings, for example.

The cost depends on the type of animal, breed and age

Premiums for pet insurance are based on a bunch of factors, including the type of animal you're insuring and their age and breed. Breeds that are more prone to health issues or have common hereditary conditions will usually cost more than those that do not. Older animals are also usually more expensive, as they're more likely to need medical treatment than younger pets. 

If your animal is in one of these categories, you'll want to think carefully before investing in pet insurance. If the premium is high and your pet is in generally good health, it may not be worth it.

Compare your options

Pet insurance coverage and costs can vary from one insurer to the next, too, so always compare several providers before deciding who to get your policy with. In addition to the premium, you should look at what each plan covers, its annual limits, the deductible you're responsible for, and any exclusions.

You can get a quote from Lemonade pet insurance here right now or you can use the table below to easily compare some top pet insurance providers.

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