Pet Insurance

Find and compare a wide range of pet insurance policies from insurers you can trust here today with zaving

Last updated by Zaving Editorial Team, on April 4th, 2024

Here at zaving we understand that your pets are an important part of your family, and their health and well-being matter to you. That's why we're here to help you navigate the world of pet insurance and make an informed decision about the best policy for your fur babies. With us you can easily compare pet insurance options from top insurers. You can explore various coverage plans, benefits, and prices, ensuring that you find the perfect policy to suit your pet's needs and your budget. Whether you have a playful pup or a curious cat, we've got you covered!

Protecting your pet's health shouldn't be complicated, and that's why we're here to make it easy. Explore different options and policies so you can confidently choose the right coverage for your furry companion. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you've provided your cat or dog with the best possible care. Start your search today and let zavings help you safeguard the health and happiness of your beloved pets.

What is pet insurance? 

Pet insurance is a type of insurance coverage designed to help pet owners manage the cost of veterinary care for their pets. It provides financial protection in case of unexpected accidents, illnesses, or injuries that may require veterinary treatment. Similar to health insurance for humans, pet insurance helps cover the costs associated with medical care, allowing pet owners to provide the best possible care for their furry companions.

Pet insurance typically offers coverage for a wide range of veterinary services, including diagnostic tests, surgeries, medications, hospitalization, and emergency care. The coverage may vary depending on the specific policy and provider. Some policies may also include optional add-ons, such as coverage for preventive care, dental treatments, or alternative therapies.

Having pet insurance gives pet owners peace of mind, knowing that they can provide necessary medical care for their pets without worrying about the financial burden. It allows them to make decisions based on the best interest of their pets' health rather than being constrained by financial worries.

How does pet insurance work? 

Pet insurance works by providing financial coverage for veterinary expenses related to the health and well-being of pets. Here's a breakdown of the process:

Choose a policy that suits your needs and budget

When considering pet insurance, you have the option to choose from various policies offered by different providers. Evaluate the coverage options, including accident and illness coverage, wellness care, and hereditary conditions. Consider factors such as deductibles, reimbursement levels, waiting periods, and exclusions. Select a policy that aligns with your pet's specific needs and fits within your budget.

Make regular premium payments

Once you've selected a pet insurance policy through zaving, you'll need to make regular premium payments. The premium amount is typically based on factors such as your pet's age, breed, location, and the coverage level you've chosen. Paying your premiums on time ensures that your pet remains covered under the policy.

If you need to visit the vet

If your pet requires medical attention, take them to a licensed veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. It's essential to visit a qualified professional who can provide the necessary care and document the details of the treatment.

Pay the veterinary bill upfront

As the pet owner, you are responsible for paying the veterinary bill upfront. This includes any deductibles or co-pays specified in your policy. Keep copies of the itemized invoices and receipts for future reference.

Submit a claim for reimbursement

After paying the veterinary bill, you can submit a claim to your insurance provider for reimbursement. Fill out the claims form accurately, attach the required documentation such as the itemized invoice and medical records, and submit them as per the insurance company's guidelines.

Processing your claim

The insurance provider will review your claim and assesses it based on the terms and conditions of your policy. They will determine the eligibility of the expenses and calculate the reimbursement amount accordingly.

Receive reimbursement for eligible expenses

If your claim is approved, you will receive reimbursement for the eligible expenses as specified in your policy. The reimbursement amount is typically a percentage of the covered expenses, minus any deductibles or co-pays.

Don't forget to renew your policy annually!

Pet insurance policies are generally renewable on an annual basis. It's essential to renew your policy each year to ensure continuous coverage for your pet. Review and compare your policy regularly using zavings free comparison service, and make any necessary switches to align with your pet's evolving needs.

By understanding how pet insurance works and following the necessary steps, you can provide your dog or cat (or other beloved pet) with the best possible health care they need while having financial peace of mind at the same time.

How much does pet insurance cost in the USA?   

The cost of pet insurance in the USA can vary depending on several factors. Here's an overview of the key considerations when determining the cost of pet insurance:

Factors affecting the cost of pet insurance:

  • Pet's Age: The age of your pet can influence the cost of insurance. Generally, younger pets have lower premiums compared to older ones due to their lower risk of developing age-related health issues.
  • Breed and Size: Certain breeds and larger-sized pets may have higher insurance costs due to their susceptibility to specific health conditions or potential for higher treatment costs.
  • Location: The cost of veterinary care can vary based on geographic location. Areas with higher veterinary fees or a higher cost of living may result in higher insurance premiums.
  • Coverage Level: The type and extent of coverage you choose affect the cost. Comprehensive policies with broader coverage and higher reimbursement limits tend to have higher premiums.
  • Deductible: The deductible is the amount you're responsible for paying out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. Opting for a higher deductible can lower your premium but may require you to pay more at the time of treatment.
  • Reimbursement Percentage: The reimbursement percentage is the portion of eligible expenses that the insurance company will cover after meeting the deductible. Higher reimbursement percentages typically come with higher premiums.
  • Additional Factors: Other factors such as pre-existing conditions, optional add-ons like wellness coverage, and the insurance provider's pricing structure can also impact the cost.

Average Cost of Pet Insurance

On average, pet insurance in the USA can range from around $20 to $50 per month for dogs and $10 to $30 per month for cats. However, these figures can vary significantly based on the factors mentioned above.

For example, a young and healthy mixed-breed dog may have a lower premium, while an older purebred dog with a history of certain health conditions may have a higher premium. Similarly, the cost for a cat with no pre-existing conditions may be lower than that for a cat with a chronic illness.

It's important to note that these figures are estimates, and obtaining personalized quotes from different pet insurance providers through zaving is crucial for understanding the specific cost based on your pet's unique characteristics and your desired coverage.

Is pet insurance worth it? 

Deciding whether pet insurance is worth it depends on various factors and personal circumstances. Here are some key considerations to help you determine if pet insurance is a worthwhile investment for you and your furry companion:

Financial Protection: Pet insurance provides financial protection in case of unexpected veterinary expenses. It helps cover the costs of accidents, illnesses, and injuries, which can quickly accumulate and put a strain on your budget. If you worry about being able to afford necessary veterinary care, pet insurance can offer peace of mind and help you avoid making difficult decisions based solely on financial considerations.

Healthcare Accessibility: Pet insurance can ensure that your pet receives the necessary medical care without delays or compromises. With insurance coverage, you can choose treatment options based on what's best for your pet's health, rather than being limited by financial constraints. This can be especially important for serious or chronic conditions that require ongoing care or expensive procedures.

Cost vs. Benefit Analysis: When evaluating whether pet insurance is worth it, consider the potential costs you might face without insurance. Emergency surgeries, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, and specialized treatments can be expensive. Pet insurance helps offset these costs, potentially saving you thousands of dollars over your pet's lifetime. However, it's essential to carefully review the coverage limits, deductibles, and reimbursement percentages to understand the financial benefits and limitations of the policy.

Peace of Mind: Having pet insurance can provide peace of mind, knowing that you have a safety net in case of unexpected medical expenses. It allows you to focus on providing the best care for your pet without worrying about the financial burden. Whether it's routine check-ups or unforeseen emergencies, knowing that you have insurance coverage can alleviate stress and allow you to make decisions based on your pet's well-being.

Can I get pet insurance for a pre-existing condition? 

Obtaining pet insurance coverage for a pre-existing condition can be challenging. Most pet insurance providers do not cover pre-existing conditions, which are illnesses or injuries that occurred or showed symptoms before the insurance policy's effective date. Here's what you need to know about pet insurance and pre-existing conditions:

Definition of Pre-existing Condition: A pre-existing condition is any health issue, injury, or illness that your pet experienced or showed signs of before enrolling in a pet insurance policy. This includes both chronic conditions and acute injuries or illnesses.

Coverage Limitations: Pet insurance providers typically exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions to prevent adverse selection, as pet owners might wait until their pet is sick or injured to purchase insurance. If a condition arises or is diagnosed after you've enrolled in a policy, it will likely be considered pre-existing and excluded from coverage.

Waiting Periods: Pet insurance policies often have waiting periods, which are specified periods of time before coverage for certain conditions begins. During this waiting period, any condition that shows signs or symptoms will be considered pre-existing. Waiting periods vary between insurance providers and may range from a few days to several months.

Alternative Options: While pre-existing conditions are generally not covered by traditional pet insurance policies, some providers offer alternative options. For example, they may provide accident-only coverage or coverage for conditions that have been cured or in remission for a certain period. However, the terms and availability of these options can vary, so it's important to check with individual insurance companies.

Importance of Early Enrollment: Enrolling your pet in insurance coverage early is crucial to maximize the benefits and minimize the impact of potential pre-existing conditions. By securing coverage when your pet is young and healthy, you can avoid potential exclusions for conditions that may develop later.

Alternative Financial Planning: If your pet has a pre-existing condition or is ineligible for traditional pet insurance coverage, there are still options available to manage their healthcare expenses. Some pet owners choose to create a separate savings account specifically for their pet's medical needs. Additionally, there may be charitable organizations or assistance programs that can provide support for certain conditions.

It's essential to review the terms and conditions of pet insurance policies carefully, including the exclusions, waiting periods, and coverage limitations. While pre-existing conditions are generally not covered, pet insurance can still be valuable for future health issues, accidents, and injuries. Consulting with insurance providers and discussing your pet's specific situation can help you understand the options available and make an informed decision regarding their healthcare coverage.

Does pet insurance cover vaccinations and routine care?

Pet insurance coverage varies depending on the provider and policy you choose. While most standard pet insurance plans focus on accidents, illnesses, and emergencies, some policies may offer optional coverage for routine care, including vaccinations. Here's what you need to know about pet insurance and coverage for vaccinations and routine care:

  • Vaccinations and preventive care coverage: Traditional pet insurance plans typically do not cover routine vaccinations, wellness exams, or preventive care expenses. These types of services are considered part of routine or preventive care and are generally the responsibility of the pet owner.
  • Optional wellness plans: Some pet insurance providers offer optional wellness plans or riders that can be added to your policy for an additional cost. These plans may cover certain routine care expenses, such as vaccinations, wellness exams, flea and tick prevention, dental cleanings, and annual bloodwork. It's important to review the details of these wellness plans to understand the coverage limits, exclusions, and any waiting periods that may apply.
  • Considerations for routine care coverage: When deciding whether to include routine care coverage in your pet insurance policy, consider the cost-effectiveness and your pet's specific needs. Compare the additional premium cost of the wellness plan against the estimated cost of routine care services your pet requires. Additionally, take into account factors such as your pet's age, breed, and predisposition to certain health conditions.
  • Focus on accidents and illnesses: The primary purpose of pet insurance is to provide financial protection against unexpected accidents and illnesses that can result in high veterinary bills. Pet insurance plans typically cover expenses related to diagnostic tests, surgeries, medications, hospitalizations, and specialist consultations. They offer peace of mind knowing that you'll have financial assistance in the event of unexpected medical emergencies.
  • Financial planning for routine care: If your pet requires routine vaccinations or preventive care, it's important to factor those expenses into your overall pet care budget. By planning ahead and setting aside funds specifically for routine care, you can ensure that your pet receives the necessary vaccinations and preventive treatments without relying solely on insurance coverage.

Before purchasing a pet insurance policy, carefully review the coverage details, including any exclusions and limitations. If routine care coverage is important to you, consider exploring policies that offer optional wellness plans or riders. Keep in mind that pet insurance primarily focuses on protecting against unexpected accidents and illnesses, while routine care is typically the responsibility of the pet owner.

Does pet insurance cover accidents and emergencies?

Pet insurance is designed to help cover the costs of unexpected accidents and emergencies that may arise throughout your pet's life. Here's what you need to know about pet insurance coverage for accidents and emergencies:


Most pet insurance policies cover accidents, which include injuries resulting from sudden and unforeseen events. This can include incidents like fractures, lacerations, foreign body ingestion, and other accidental injuries. The coverage typically includes diagnostic tests, emergency veterinary visits, surgeries, medications, and follow-up care related to the accident.


Pet insurance also provides coverage for emergency situations, such as sudden illnesses or life-threatening conditions. This can include illnesses like gastrointestinal issues, urinary tract infections, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems. The coverage typically includes diagnostics, emergency treatments, hospitalizations, medications, and specialist consultations, depending on the policy's terms and conditions.

Pet insurance provides valuable financial protection and peace of mind when it comes to unexpected accidents and emergencies. It's important to review the coverage details, understand any limitations or exclusions, and choose a policy that aligns with your pet's needs and your budget.

Can I choose my own vet with pet insurance?  

One of the benefits of pet insurance is the flexibility to choose your own veterinarian. Here's what you need to know about selecting your preferred vet with pet insurance:

  • Freedom of choice: Most pet insurance policies allow you to visit any licensed veterinarian of your choice. This means you have the freedom to select a veterinarian you trust and feel comfortable with for your pet's care.
  • In-network providers: Some pet insurance companies have preferred provider networks or partnerships with specific veterinary clinics. While they may offer certain advantages like discounted rates or streamlined claims processing, they often still allow you to visit out-of-network veterinarians. However, it's important to check the details of your policy to understand any differences in coverage or reimbursement rates between in-network and out-of-network providers.
  • Coverage limitations: Regardless of whether you choose an in-network or out-of-network veterinarian, it's important to review your policy to understand the coverage limitations. Different policies have different coverage levels, and some may have restrictions on certain treatments or procedures. Ensure that the services provided by your chosen vet are covered under your policy.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses: It's important to note that with pet insurance, you may still be responsible for deductibles, co-pays, and any expenses not covered by the policy. Review your policy's details to understand your financial obligations when visiting a veterinarian.
  • Pre-authorization: In some cases, your pet insurance provider may require pre-authorization for certain procedures or treatments. This means you need to obtain approval from the insurance company before proceeding with the recommended care. Check with your insurance provider if pre-authorization is necessary for specific services.
  • Continuity of care: Another advantage of being able to choose your own vet is the continuity of care. You can build a long-term relationship with your veterinarian, which can be beneficial for your pet's overall well-being. Your vet will have a complete understanding of your pet's medical history and can provide personalized care.

Choosing your own veterinarian gives you the flexibility and control over your pet's healthcare decisions. It allows you to work with a trusted professional who knows your pet's specific needs and can provide the best care possible.

More of your frequently asked questions about pet insurance

Can I get pet insurance for my older pet?

Yes, many pet insurance companies offer coverage for older pets. While the availability and terms may vary between providers, it's possible to find pet insurance specifically designed for senior pets. Keep in mind that some policies may have age restrictions or require a medical examination before providing coverage.

Does pet insurance cover dental care?

Yes, dental care coverage is available in some pet insurance plans. However, the extent of coverage can vary. Some policies may include dental cleanings, while others may cover a broader range of dental procedures, such as extractions or treatment for dental diseases. It's important to review the specific policy details to understand the coverage and any limitations or exclusions related to dental care.

Are hereditary conditions covered by pet insurance?

Coverage for hereditary conditions varies among pet insurance providers. Some policies may include coverage for hereditary or genetic conditions, while others may have limitations or exclusions. It's crucial to carefully review the policy terms and conditions to understand what hereditary conditions are covered, if any. Pre-existing hereditary conditions are typically not covered, so it's important to enrol your pet before such conditions are diagnosed.

Can I get pet insurance for an exotic pet?

Yes, some pet insurance companies offer coverage for exotic pets. Exotic pet insurance typically covers medical expenses for animals such as birds, reptiles, rabbits, and small mammals. However, coverage options and limitations may differ compared to policies for cats and dogs. It's important to check with specific pet insurance providers to understand their coverage options and requirements for exotic pets.

Does pet insurance cover prescription medications?

Yes, many pet insurance policies cover prescription medications that are prescribed by a veterinarian for the treatment of covered conditions. However, it's important to review the policy details to understand the specific coverage for medications. Some policies may have limitations on the coverage amount or may require additional riders or endorsements for prescription drug coverage.

What is the waiting period for pet insurance coverage?

Pet insurance policies typically have a waiting period before coverage becomes effective. This waiting period is a specified period of time that starts from the policy's effective date or the date of enrollment. The purpose of the waiting period is to prevent policyholders from enrolling their pets solely for immediate coverage of pre-existing conditions. Waiting periods can range from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the insurance provider and the specific policy, but 30 days is a very waiting period. It's important to review the waiting period details in your policy to understand when coverage begins for various conditions and treatments.

Can I get pet insurance for a specific breed of dog?

Yes, pet insurance is available for specific breeds. Insurance providers typically offer coverage for all breeds of cats and dogs. However, certain breeds may have specific health concerns or may be more prone to certain conditions, which can affect the cost and availability of coverage. It's important to review the policy details and any breed-specific limitations or exclusions before selecting a pet insurance plan.

Are wellness plans included in pet insurance?

Wellness plans are not typically included in standard pet insurance coverage. Pet insurance primarily focuses on providing financial protection for unexpected accidents, illnesses, and injuries. However, some pet insurance companies may offer optional wellness plans or wellness riders that can be added to the base policy for coverage of routine preventive care, vaccinations, and wellness exams. These additional wellness plans can help cover the cost of routine veterinary visits and preventive treatments.

Does pet insurance cover spaying and neutering?

Pet insurance generally does not cover the cost of routine procedures like spaying and neutering. These procedures are considered standard preventive care and are typically not covered by insurance policies. However, some pet insurance providers may offer optional wellness plans or riders that include coverage for these procedures as part of a broader package of routine care benefits. It

What is the deductible for pet insurance?

The deductible is the amount you're responsible for paying before the insurance coverage starts. Pet insurance policies often have an annual deductible, which means it applies once per policy year. The deductible amount can vary depending on the policy and the insurance provider. Typically, you can choose a deductible amount when selecting your pet insurance policy. Higher deductibles generally result in lower premium costs, while lower deductibles mean higher premiums. It's important to consider your budget, the potential cost of veterinary care, and your comfort level with out-of-pocket expenses when selecting a deductible amount.

Does pet insurance cover cancer treatments?

Yes, pet insurance can cover cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgical procedures related to cancer treatment. However, it's important to review the policy details to understand the coverage limits, exclusions, and any waiting periods that may apply to cancer-related treatments. Pre-existing cancer diagnoses are typically not covered, so it's advisable to enroll your pet in insurance before any cancer-related issues are diagnosed. Additionally, some policies may have specific coverage limits or require additional endorsements for cancer treatments, so it's crucial to review the policy terms carefully.

Does pet insurance cover euthanasia and cremation?

Some pet insurance policies offer coverage for euthanasia and cremation, but this coverage is not universally included in all policies. It's important to carefully review the policy terms to understand if end-of-life expenses, such as euthanasia and cremation, are covered. Coverage may vary between providers, and there may be specific conditions or limitations for this type of coverage. If this coverage is important to you, consider selecting a pet insurance policy that explicitly includes end-of-life expenses or inquire with the insurance provider about the availability of such coverage.