Sunday, March 23, 2014

Protect Your Pet: Pet Insurance

by Ariel Morrison, Volunteer

What is it?
Pet insurance is very similar to human health insurance, except it is tailored to fit your pet’s needs. There are numerous plans available and coverage options that can be customized dependent upon the animal and prior health conditions. Below the three most common pet insurance plans are described:

Pet's Best Pet Insurance
Pet's Best Insurance offers four different types of pet insurance plans, plus a routine care option.  All levels of insurance cover accidents, illness and hereditary/congenital ailments.  The differentiators with Pet's Best Insurance are that you choose your annual deductible level ($0-$1000) as well as your reimbursement level, from 70-100%, and Holistic Care coverage exists with all plans. 

Pet's Best also offers three focused plans as defined below:

Feline Illness Plan:
-         Includes diagnosis and treatment of common feline chronic illnesses like diabetes and kidney failure
-         Excludes undiagnosed conditions, accidents, routine care, acupuncture and chiropractics
-         $4,000 annual limit/$10,000 lifetime limit

Accident Only:
-         Includes treatment of accidents including X-rays, surgeries, hospitalization and medications related
-         Excludes illnesses, routine care, acupuncture and chiropractics
-         $10,000 annual limit/$20,000 lifetime limit  

Cancer Only:
-         Includes diagnosis and treatment of cancer including bloodwork, surgeries, medication and chemotherapy
-         Excludes other illnesses, accidents, routine care, acupuncture and chiropractics
-         $8,000 annual limit/$30,000 lifetime limit  

Pet's Best offers a $0 deductible option and has no age limit for new or existing coverage.  Your pet will *not* be dropped as he/she ages.  Find more information at or contact Bill Smock Insurance, where a portion of your policy premium is donated to Brown Dog Foundation! 

VPI- Nationwide Pet Insurance
Injury Plan (Emergency)
Covers Accidents Only
-Pays for injuries such as broken bones
-Covers accidents such as poisonings
- Maximum benefit of $14,000/year

Medical Plan Economical
Covers Accidents and Illnesses
-         Covers everything in the injury plan + illnesses
-         Covers chronic illnesses
-         Maximum benefit of $7000/year

Major Medical Plan Comprehensive
Covers accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions
-         Covers everything in the medical plan economical
-         Includes benefits for limited hereditary coverage after the first year
-         Maximum benefit of $14000/year

-         Can be added to any of the above plans
-         Includes additional benefits related to pet welfare including (exams, vaccinations, heartworm preventative, and dental cleaning)
-         Ranges in price from $12-$22/month

** Please note that existing conditions are not covered if condition started prior to animal having insurance. Also, ligament injuries are only covered after having insurance for 1 year.

All of the above insurance policies agree to not drop any pet regardless of age or number of claims filed a year. There are flexible deductibles for each plan. Owners have the freedom to choose which vet or animal emergency services location for service. Benefits renew each year in full.

How Do I Apply
An online application can be completed at Select “get a quote” from the homepage. The process is very simple and takes about 5 minutes to complete. The quote will be based off of your area, dog breed, dog age, and deductible option.

Trupanion Pet Insurance
Trupanion only offers one all inclusive insurance plan. However, there are multiple add-on options that make this company unique from other pet insurance providers. Please see the below:

Additional Care Package:
-         Includes hydrotherapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture services
-         Includes several non-traditional services for dogs
-         Ranges from $9.95-$35/ month

Pet Owner Assistance Package:
-         Covers boarding fees
-         Pays for rewards and advertising costs up to $500 if pet is lost/stolen
-         Pays for damages up to $25000 due to property damage from your pet

Trupanion also offers a $0 deductible option. Find more information at

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