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This is what pet insurance does (and doesn't) cover

White cute Labrador looking forward
Most pet insurance policies cover accidents and injuries, as well as treatment for cancer and chronic conditions. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pet insurance is a great way to protect your pet — and your pocketbook. 

But not all pet insurance policies are created equal. In some cases, your insurance may cover accidents and major injuries. In others, it might extend to preventative care, wellness checks and even spaying and neutering.

Are you considering buying pet insurance for your furry friend? Start by speaking with a pet insurance professional now who can help you get started with a free price quote so you know exactly what to expect. 

Here's what you can expect for coverage. 

What pet insurance usually covers

Most pet insurance plans cover accidents and injuries, as well as treatment for cancer and chronic conditions.

Here's a rough list of what you can expect most basic pet insurance policies to cover: 

  • Surgery
  • X-rays and diagnostic testing
  • Prescription medications
  • Cancer treatment
  • Hospital stays
  • Emergency care
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Parasites
  • Broken bones and ligament tears

Keep in mind that these are coverages included by most providers, but not all. Every pet insurance provider has unique plans and coverage options, so you'll want to shop around if you need a specific condition or treatment covered. Use the table below to start exploring your options.

What pet insurance doesn't cover (usually)

Pet insurance — at least most basic plans — typically won't cover routine check-ups or preventative care, like vaccinations, heartworm medications or dental cleanings. 

Again, coverage varies by provider, but here's a list of what typically won't be covered under a basic pet insurance policy:

  • Vaccinations
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Flea and heartworm preventative
  • Dental cleaning
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Breeding costs
  • Cosmetic procedures like ear cropping or tail docking
  • Wellness check-ups
  • Grooming
  • Prescription food

If you're interested in coverage for any of these items, most providers offer upgraded plans or add-on coverage for an extra fee. Learn more now.

Pet insurance exclusions

Pre-existing conditions are generally excluded from coverage under most pet insurance policies. This includes any injuries, diseases or conditions the pet had prior to coverage. 

With that said, there are some providers that only review your pet's medical history for the past 12 months. So if a condition is not noted in its veterinary records during that time, you may be able to get coverage. Additionally, if a pre-existing condition clears up — meaning they are symptom-free and treatment-free for at least a year — you may also qualify for coverage.

Some providers also exclude treatment for injuries due to fighting or racing, as well as issues that stem from general neglect.

What pet insurance costs

The cost of pet insurance depends on the provider your choose, the type of animal you're insuring, the pet's age, your location and other factors.

Here's a look at the average costs for pet insurance for a 6-year-old medium, mixed-breed dog in Houston:


Monthly cost

Fetch by The Dodo             






Coverage costs also depend on your policy's annual limit, reimbursement rate and deductible. All plans quoted above include a $10,000 annual limit, 80% reimbursement and a $250 to $300 deductible.

Most pet insurance providers offer free online quotes, so feel free to shop around when getting your policy. You may also be able to qualify for a small discount if you insure multiple pets at once.

Speak with a pet insurance professional today to get started!

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