What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Get the low-down on coverage, exclusions, costs and the growing popularity of pet insurance.
If you consider your pet part of the family, you’re in good company. Approximately 66% of American households own a pet, which means retailers selling food, toys and utilitarian items (like leashes and litter boxes) are seeing a lot of demand for their products.
More pets means more need for pet health care, and this reality has spurred the demand for pet insurance. The North American Pet Health Insurance Association reports there were about 5.36 million pets insured in North America at the end of 2022. This marks a 21.7% increase from 2021.
The love of puppy snuggles aside, there are also smart financial reasons for having your pet covered by health insurance. At the top of the list is paying affordable monthly premiums rather than costly vet bills. Here’s a rundown of the benefits of having pet insurance.
Q: Does my pet need pet insurance?
A: Just like the humans who care for them, pets have their fair share of medical expenses. And, just like their owners, the expenses tend to add up over time. For many, working with a monthly premium is more budget-friendly than a slew of unexpected expenses all at once.
It’s important to note that most pet health insurance plans only cover cats and dogs, though some plans are available for more exotic animals.
It’s also important to understand that a pet health insurance plan is different from a pet wellness plan. A pet wellness plan generally helps cover the expected costs of regularly scheduled pet health care, such as checkups, spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations, etc. But a pet health insurance plan often helps to cover unexpected incidents and emergencies.
Q: What does pet insurance cover?
A: Most pet health insurance programs will cover the following:
- Prescription medications
- Tooth extractions
- IV fluids and medications
As these are among the top expenses of pet ownership, investing in a plan and paying a monthly premium could save you a sizeable amount of money in the future.
Most plans don’t cover preexisting conditions. One exception might be if your pet has a genetic condition that was undetected at the start of coverage.
Q: What does pet insurance cost?
A: Most annual premiums for pet insurance plans range from less than $100 to more than $700, depending on the type of pet and plan.
Paying an annual premium often equates to a lower overall rate than paying monthly, and you may receive a discount if you register multiple pets under the plan. Ultimately, the cost is determined by your pet’s age, health status, breed and other factors.
As you research your options, keep these questions front of mind:
- Which of my pet’s expenses are covered under this plan, and which are not?
- Are any preexisting conditions covered under this plan?
- Is my regular veterinarian in this plan’s network?
Q: Does AAA offer pet insurance?
A: Yes, we offer pet insurance through Spot™. There are two plans:
- Accident Only plans cover eligible diagnostics and costly accidents.
- Accident & Illness plans cover eligible diagnostics and costly accidents as well as illnesses.
With Spot™, AAA Members can enjoy a discount of up to 20% and 24/7 access to the Pet Health Helpline.