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Questions to Ask When You're Thinking About Pet Insurance

There’s no question your dog or cat is a part of the family. Chances are your human family members have provincial health coverage so when someone gets sick, they can get the medical care they need, without considering the cost. While pet insurance works a little differently than your provincial health insurance, the concept is the same – coverage that’s there for when you need it. If you’re thinking about pet insurance for your family members of the furry variety, it’s important to understand a few things first.  

What’s covered by pet insurance?

1.    Accidents and illnesses. Let’s face it, pets are unpredictable. When the unexpected happens, pet insurance covers you. Simple as that. If your dog suddenly gets sick or if you cat swallows something he shouldn’t, pet insurance can help cover the cost of the medical treatments he or she might need. This includes diagnostic services, X-rays, surgeries, overnight hospital stays and more. 

2.    Tests and medication. If your pup’s lethargic and he won’t eat, his diagnosis could be one of many things. Pet insurance can help with the cost of the tests your vet does to figure it out. Plus, it can help cover the cost of the medication the vet prescribes to treat the illness or condition.  

3.    Dental coverage. Petsecure does include routine dental treatment in all our plans but it’s important to note that dental coverage isn’t standard for all pet insurance policies.   

4.    Wellness and other benefits. Petsecure plans include things like alternative therapies (homeopathic treatments, physiotherapy, acupuncture, and more), treatment for behavioural problems prescribed by a vet and other benefits like advertising if your pet is lost, holiday cancellation coverage and boarding or kennel fees and more.

5.    Exam fees and taxes. Before purchasing a pet insurance policy, it’s important to check if exam fees and taxes are covered as it can significantly impact how much money you get back on a claim. All Petsecure policies cover exam fees and taxes, but not all pet health insurance policies do.

What’s not covered by pet insurance?

Much like your oil change or routine maintenance on your car isn’t covered by your auto insurance, routine check-ups and vaccinations aren’t covered, unless you’re on our highest level of coverage plan (secure 4). Other procedures that aren’t covered include breeding, pregnancy, birth, and elective procedures like tail docking, ear cropping, spaying, and neutering.

Just like many personal health insurance policies, pre-existing conditions aren’t covered by pet insurance. This means that if your dog or cat is showing signs of an illness or if they have an accident before your coverage starts or during any waiting periods, the treatment for that illness or condition won’t be covered.

This is just an overview of what pet insurance plans generally cover but it’s important to read your policy wordings in detail so you understand your coverage details exactly. 

Is pet insurance worth the cost of the premiums?

If you ask around, some might say it’s a better idea to start a savings account to cover the cost of your vet emergencies. That may work for some people but before you consider this option, there are a couple things to think about:

1.    Are you disciplined enough to save money for the sole purpose of paying a vet bill if it’s needed? Or are you likely to dip into that account when your furnace breaks or if another unexpected expense comes up?

2.    What if you decide on putting away $50 a month into a savings account but then something unexpected happens within only a couple months of having your dog or cat? What if you only have $200 saved and you’re hit with a $3,000 vet bill?



Simply put – pet insurance offers you peace of mind. You know you’re covered if something happens and you don’t have to rely on your own savings to cover the cost of an unexpected vet bill. 

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