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A Beginner’s Guide to Pet Insurance: Answering 8 Commonly Asked Questions

Welcome, devoted pet parents!

If you’re like others, you care deeply about keeping your pet healthy. In fact, you care enough to invest in quality food, reputable vet care, and more. 

But accidents or illnesses can sometimes leave you with vet bills totaling thousands of dollars. Now, what should you do? 

Enter pet insurance

At Infinity Pups, we care deeply about healthy pets, so we’ve written this guide to pet insurance. Together, we’ll explore six common questions pet owners ask and answer the ultimate question: is pet insurance worth it?  

Let’s begin!

What is pet insurance?

Simply put, pet insurance is a financial safety net for your furry companions.

It assists with veterinary expenses, helping you afford necessary (and sometimes very expensive) medical care for your pets. Coverage varies, but it can help with everything from routine check-ups to unexpected emergencies. Ultimately, pet insurance is one way to ensure that your beloved animals receive the attention they need without burdening you with exorbitant costs.

So how does it work? 

Like health insurance plans for humans, you pay a monthly or annual premium for vet cost reimbursement. However, one significant difference between health insurance and pet insurance is the pet owner needs to pay the vet bill up front and only then file for reimbursement. Most agencies cover dogs and cats, but some will also cover other more exotic pets like reptiles and birds.

What does pet insurance cover?

Usually, plans are broken down into three categories

1 - Accident Only 

Accident-only plans cover injuries related to accidents, not illnesses. Examples include: 

  • Ingesting foreign objects or toxins
  • Torn ligaments
  • Broken bones

2 - Accident and Illness 

These plans cover injuries related to accidents and illnesses. Examples include: 

  • Ingesting foreign objects or toxins
  • Torn ligaments
  • Broken bones
  • Cancer 
  • Ear infections
  • Surgery 
  • Diagnostic testing  
  • Breed-specific conditions
  • Dental issues (depending on the provider, this may be considered wellness care)


3 - Routine Wellness/Prevention

Routine wellness and prevention coverage is sometimes offered as an add-on or entirely separate plan. They cover things like 

  • Immunizations 
  • Flea treatments 
  • Spay/neuter 
  • Microchipping 
  • Routine check-ups
Mini graphic 1 (3)

What won’t pet insurance cover?

Pet insurance doesn’t cover everything. It's essential to read the fine print and understand what a plan will and won’t cover. The following list is items that are usually excluded from pet insurance coverage

  1. Experimental treatments: Any treatment considered outside of the standard of care set by the veterinary board in your state will be considered experimental and not covered by pet insurance. 
  2. Cosmetic Procedures: Most policies exclude cosmetic procedures such as ear or tail docking.  
  3. Food/Diet: Pet food and preferred diets are generally excluded. However, if a vet prescribes a certain diet, some plans may cover it. 
  4. Supplements: Like food and diet-related items, supplements are often excluded from pet insurance coverage. However, some wellness plans include certain supplements, especially when a veterinarian recommends them. 
  5. Grooming: Haircuts, flea dipping, baths, and nail trims are usually outside the coverage items.
  6. Any non-vet expenses: This includes expenses for licenses, certification, government regulations, and pet fees for rental properties.   
  7. Pre-existing conditions: Policies usually exclude health issues or injuries that your pet had before you purchased insurance. 
  8. Pregnancy/Breeding: Some insurance companies exclude costs associated with breeding or pregnancy. Check specific policies if you have an unneutered dog.     

How much does pet insurance cost?

Pet insurance costs will vary based on factors like kind of pet, breed, location, and desired coverage. According to MarketWatch Guides, the average range for a dog in 2024 is between $28 and $90. Here’s a helpful chart to help you get a closer estimate for your dog. 

Pet Insurance Average Monthly Investment Based on Age and Breed


Source: How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost? (2024 Guide) 

Don’t just purchase the first pet insurance you find. To find the best rates, you’ll need to shop around. And remember that “best rate” doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest. Read the fine print and be sure the plan you purchase gives you the coverage you need.

What are the disadvantages of pet insurance?

The biggest disadvantage of pet insurance is that you’ll be paying something, whether or not your pet ever becomes sick or injured. So, if your dog stays in excellent health, keeping insurance just in case may not be worth it.  

Another disadvantage is that pet insurance won’t cover certain issues. If your dog has a preexisting condition or becomes sick or injured before you purchase insurance, those costs won’t be covered. 

A final (potential) disadvantage of pet insurance is that you still need to pay the vet bills upfront for most plans. This could be challenging, depending on how expensive the bills are. However, even if you need to borrow funds to cover the bill initially, pet insurance will reimburse you, resulting in an overall benefit.

Are there waiting periods for pet insurance?

Usually, you have to wait for about 14 days for a pet insurance policy to start. If you’re purchasing an accident–only policy, some providers might only make you wait a few days. If your insurance provider covers hereditary or breed-specific conditions, like hip dysplasia, the waiting period is much longer – sometimes up to a year. If your pet shows signs of a health issue during this waiting period, insurance won't pay for the expenses, even if a vet, usually covered by the policy, provides treatment.

TG1 - wait 14 days

What are the best pet insurance companies for 2024?

Here’s a list of the best pet insurance companies in 2024 from Forbes Advisor


Remember to shop around and find the best plans for you and your pet! 

Is pet insurance worth it?

So, is pet insurance worth it? 

As is so usual in life, there is no clear answer. You might say, “It depends.” 

You’ll need to ask yourself a few questions. 

  • Do you have the funds to cover expensive vet bills?
  • Does your dog or cat breed usually maintain good health? 
  • Will having pet insurance help give you peace of mind about your pet’s health?


Your answers to these questions should be your guiding star in whether or not you want pet insurance. 

For many people, pet insurance is worth it. Here is an example to illustrate why. 

Consider Amanda and Steve’s case. They adopted a healthy puppy soon after their marriage and named him Arlo. When Arlo was about two years old, tragedy struck. While out for a walk with Steve, he is hit by a car and incurs a broken leg. Thankfully, they had purchased pet insurance for Arlo. Let’s break it down. 

  1. The premium: Steve and Amanda had an accident plan for Arlo with a premium of $525 per year. This means they’ve paid $1,050 for pet insurance so far. 
  2. The vet bill: Until the ordeal was over, the vet bills totaled $4,000. Their insurance plan included a $500 deductible and 90% reimbursement, leaving Steve and Amanda to pay $850. 
  3. The savings: Including the premiums paid so far and the out-of-pocket expense to repair Arlo’s broken leg, Steve and Amanda spent $1,900. If they hadn’t had pet insurance, it would have cost the full $4,000. However, with insurance, they saved $2,100.

On average, four out of five pets will experience an unexpected emergency. Pet insurance is one way to plan for those emergencies.

TG2 - four out of five pets experience emergency

Pet insurance is beneficial in many cases, but ultimately, you will need to decide if it's right for you and your pet. We hope you found this blog helpful in that decision!

If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out our other blog posts, including.


Infinity Pups is a family-owned business that cares deeply about connecting healthy, family-raised puppies with forever homes. If you’d like to adopt a puppy of your own, browse our available puppies today!

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