A comprehensive guide on how pet insurance works

Key Takeaway
Imagine spending a very, very long time with your cherished pet. When your buddy needs medical attention, pet insurance can help pay for the expensive costs. If you genuinely care about your pet's health, you should think about acquiring pet insurance. Homebody even makes it simple to evaluate the many plans available.

The thought of living forever with your pet is appealing and exciting. But how would you feel if you lost your pet to illness? Sad, right?

However, unexpected accidents or illnesses can happen. You cannot do away with that.

And this can lead to hefty vet bills, especially if you do not buck up. That's where pet insurance comes to your rescue! 

In this step-by-step guide, you will learn about pet insurance, answering common questions and helping you quickly navigate the process. 

Understanding Pet Insurance Coverage

Let's start with the basics: What is pet insurance, and how does it work?

What is pet insurance?

The goal of pet insurance is to assist you and other pet owners in paying for the veterinarian treatment of your treasured creatures. 

You love to be in good health. Your pet wants to be in perfect health. And you can help by providing insurance. That will help cover the high expenses of unexpected medical treatments. 

How does pet insurance work?

Here's how pet insurance works in a nutshell:

  • Pay your deductible: Pet insurance coverage begins once you've paid your deductible, a predetermined out-of-pocket expense.
  • File a claim: Submit a claim according to the insurer's instructions, providing documentation and any other requested information about your pet.
  • Approval of claim: Once approved, you'll receive reimbursement for the approved treatments.

It's crucial to remember that there is a waiting time before pet insurance policies take effect, and there are some situations when your pet could not be eligible for coverage.  

You want to know what you can get or gain from pet insurance companies—just a moment. The next section will reveal the benefits of pet insurance for you and your pet.

The benefits of pet insurance 

As you can imagine, pet insurance has plenty of benefits for you and your lovely buddy. This includes:

  • Financial security, avoiding substantial out-of-pocket expenses during emergencies or routine veterinary visits
  • Access to high-quality healthcare that would not otherwise be possible
  • The capacity to make medical choices based on your pet's health rather than your budget
  • Peace of mind, knowing that your loved one is taken care of in the event of an emergency

Coverage Options 

Okay, great! This sounds great. What's the catch?

In truth, there aren't any "catches" about pet insurance, per se. Instead, pet insurance has clear guidelines and exclusions about what insurance companies are willing to cover. 

Pet insurance plans typically come in three primary types:

Accident-Only Pet Insurance Coverage

This plan covers injuries from accidents, such as broken bones, cuts, or ingesting foreign objects.

Illness Pet Insurance Coverage

This plan addresses the cost of treating various illnesses and diseases, including infections, cancer, and chronic conditions.

Comprehensive Pet Insurance Coverage

The most extensive plan combines accident and illness coverage, often including additional benefits like wellness care and prescription medications.

Pet Insurance Coverage Examples

To make it even easier for you to see how pet insurance plays out in the real world, the following are coverage types with common examples of how your dog, cat, or other loveable pet is covered:

Accidents and Injuries

Fractures, lacerations, hit by car


Respiratory infections, allergies, diabetes


ACL repair, tumor removal, dental procedures


Antibiotics, pain relief, heartworm prevention

Routine Preventive Care

Vaccinations, flea and tick control, dental cleanings

Specialized Treatments

Physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care

Homebody: Simplifying Pet Insurance 

Homebody is a user-friendly platform for finding pet insurance quotes. You can easily compare insurance providers, coverage options, and premium rates–all within seconds! We believe in making it convenient to choose the most suitable plan for your pets' needs AND your budget. 

With plenty of options, Homebody's intuitive approach will save you plenty of time and effort. It means that you can spend more time with your beloved companion worry-free. 

Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash

Researching Pet Insurance Providers

You have reached the next step: learning about the best pet insurance! It's time to find that perfect provider for your four-legged buddy. 

Okay, it's time to do some research. Don't worry–we'll give you two options: DIY researching (the smart & hard way) or relying on Homebody's vast network of providers and easy-to-compare platform (the smarter & easier way).

DIY Research - The Smart & Hard Way to Research Pet Insurance Providers

Researching all of the providers that offer pet insurance can be difficult. And we know that.

But if you've made it this far, it's certainly nothing you can't handle! 

Here's what you should look for in a pet insurance provider:

Reputation Matters

First things first, reputation is key! 

Check out pet insurance companies and see what others say about them. 

Talk to fellow pet owners online and sniff around for any red flags or shining recommendations. 

Whether you want to browse Reddit, compare notes on pet owner forums, or dig up some info on a search engine (the digital backyard), you'll want to see which customers love their pet insurance policy. 

Bad Customer Reviews Speak Louder

Who doesn't love a good review, right? Please pay attention to what customers say about their experiences with each company. 

If the reviews bark about fantastic service and quick claim processing, you might have found a winner–however, trust your nose! 

Bad reviews often point to policy exclusions from owners who may not get what they paid for (or what they THINK they paid for!). 

Plenty of owners are out there who like to complain, so be realistic and take the good with the bad. 

However, if you see several reviews that point to the same issues, note it mentally. 

Compare Coverage Options

It's time to get a little deeper, dear pet owner.

Look into the coverage options each provider offers on their website. You'll have to dive into some fine print, so we suggest you grab a cup filled with coffee. 

Digesting a lot of the legalese can be daunting, but you'd be surprised how much you can learn about a policy if you put your mind to it!

Now, the not-so-fun part: You'll want to look at ALL the companies your pet(s) qualify for. It means more coffee and more time spent, but hey, you'll at least know what you're getting into when you're done.

Pro tip: Some insurers might focus on accidents and emergencies, while others have more comprehensive plans that cover illnesses, too. Find the one that suits your furry friend's needs like a glove!

Transparency Wins the Game

Particularly when it comes to insurance and pets, nobody likes disappointments. Verify the provider's transparency regarding the specifics of their policies and costs. 

You don't want any hidden fees sneaking up on you like a mischievous pup!

Claims Made Easy

The last thing you want when your pet needs help is a complicated claims process. Find a provider that makes it a walk in the park to file and process claims. 

See if the provider has an easy-to-use app for reimbursement, a hotline for customer service inquiries (i.e. to follow up on your claim), and even a physical location if you'd like to speak with an agent face-to-face. 

Trustworthy Vibes Only

Trust is essential when it involves your pet's health. Go with a provider that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, one you know you can rely on when your pet needs help the most. 

Like your lovely fur pet making some noise when its belly's growling, you'll want to use your gut feeling and intuition when selecting the best pet insurance providers. 

But do you know there is a smarter way? - Homebody Insurance, of course!

Trust Homebody - The Smarter & Easier Way to Research Pet Insurance Providers

As you can see, the DIY method will take some time (and a few cups of your favorite caffeinated beverage). 

On the flip side, Homebody makes comparing providers a cinch when looking for a quote. 

Homebody has a network of pet insurance cover dental providers you can choose from, all with instant quotes. 

You do not need to stress yourself. All you need to do is type in your information, add your pet's info, select which type of coverage you'd like, and voila–multiple quotes at the ready! 

Is that not straightforward? Yes, it will save you the time of stress.

Plus, you can read about your policy right then and there–a no-brainer from the headache of finding Terms and Conditions.

Best of all, Homebody enables you to bundle your pet insurance with Renters Insurance–a common combo for those with a full house! 

We offer great discounts on your security deposit through Homebody's Deposit Alternative AND build your credit as a renter with Rent Credit Reporting.

We told you it was that simple, didn't we? Find a pet insurance quote today with Homebody!

Choose Homebody, choose Peace.

Comparing Costs and Premiums

Let's talk money! Let's discuss cash.

The next step is understanding the costs and premiums associated with pet insurance. 

You don't need to be a vet or insurance expert to ensure your fur baby is protected. 

Here's an easy way to understand pet insurance in simple terms:


Consider your premium the "subscription fees" you pay to keep your pet's insurance plan active. You can pay monthly, every few months, or once a year.


This is like the "pay-before-play" rule. Before the insurance starts helping with the bills, you'll have to pay a certain amount out of your pocket before coverage kicks in.

Reimbursement Percentage

When your furry friend needs medical care, the insurance company will "refund" you a certain percentage of the eligible expenses after you've met the deductible.


This is when you and the insurance share the cost. After meeting the deductible, you might still not need pet insurance to pay a percentage of the bill.

Coverage Limits

Like there's a limit on how much data your cell bill offers, there's also a maximum amount the insurance will pay for specific treatments or conditions during a set time. If medical bills exceed this amount, you must pay out-of-pocket costs.

Veterinary Exam Fees

Some plans might cover the check-up fees, while others won't. It's like paying for the doctor's visit before the insurance starts helping.

Real-Life Examples 

As a young person who loves pets, it can be unclear how all the moving parts of a pet insurance plan work, so here are two scenarios that should help you see how it all works.

Scenario 1: Accident Coverage

Premiums: Let us imagine a pet owner, Sarah, is interested, and she pays a monthly premium of $50 for her cat's accident coverage.

Deductibles: One unfortunate day, Sarah's cat, whom she named Whiskers, has a mishap while exploring the neighborhood and breaks her leg. That is sad for her and painful for the beautiful cat. The insurance policy has a deductible of $200. It means Sarah needs to pay this amount out of pocket before the pet insurance deductible and coverage kick in.

Reimbursement Percentage: After paying the $200 deductible, the insurance company reimburses 80% of the eligible expenses. The total veterinary bill for Whiskers' leg treatment is $800. So, after meeting the deductible, Sarah will receive a reimbursement of $480 (80% of $600 in veterinary costs). Do you understand?

Co-Payments: With the reimbursement, Sarah's out-of-pocket expense becomes $120 (20% of $600) as she shares the remaining cost with the insurance.

Coverage Limits: Fortunately, the treatment cost doesn't exceed the coverage limit of $1,000 per accident the insurance provider sets. So, Sarah's expenses are covered, and she only pays the deductible and co-payment.

Veterinary Exam Fees: The policy covers veterinary exam fees, so Sarah doesn't need to worry about paying for the initial check-up.

Scenario 2: Comprehensive Coverage

Premiums: Another pet owner who is named John. He has a dog pet and chooses a comprehensive pet insurance plan for his buddy, Max. He pays an annual premium of $600.

Deductibles: Unfortunately, Max falls sick and needs treatment. The insurance policy has a deductible of $250.

Reimbursement Percentage: The insurance company reimburses 90% of the eligible expenses after meeting the deductible. Max's medical bills total $1,200. So, after paying the $250 deductible, John will receive a reimbursement of $900 (90% of $950).

Co-Payments: John's co-payment becomes $95 (10% of $950) with the reimbursement.

Coverage Limits: The policy has a maximum coverage limit of $5,000 per year for all treatments. Since Max's treatment costs don't exceed this limit, John is covered for the expenses beyond the deductible and co-payment.

Veterinary Exam Fees: The policy does not cover veterinary exam fees. John pays $75 for Max's initial check-up before the insurance coverage begins. Do you understand?

Average Costs for Different Pet Insurance Plans

So, the question on everyone's mind: "How much does pet insurance cost?"

Here's a breakdown of pet insurance policies by premium rates and coverage details:

Basic Plan

Accidents, injuries, and limited illnesses

$25 - $40

$75 - $120

$150 - $240

$300 - $480

Comprehensive Plan

Accidents, injuries, illnesses, and routine care

$41 - $55

$123 - $165

$246 - $330

$492 - $660

Premium Plan

Accidents, injuries, illnesses, and specialized treatments

$56 - $70

$168 - $210

$336 - $420

$672 - $840

Custom Plan

Tailored coverage based on the pet's specific needs

Above $70

Above $210

Above $420

Above $840

Doesn't that clear up the mysteries of pet insurance? 

Homebody believes that proactive and educated pet insurance protects because owners like you want insurance without worrying about it AND a place to learn more. 

That's why Homebody offers many articles and guides on everything you need to know about pet insurance, renters insurance, and our other incredible offerings. 

Visit the resources page for more in-depth articles like this one now!

Let's Talk about Pets, Baby: Factors that Affect Your Insurance Coverage

If you are curious about the actual cost of pet insurance, you need to read this to the end. 

As you probably guessed, pet insurance prices vary based on several key factors that you should know about. 

Let's dig just a little a bit deeper and explore what influences the cost of pet insurance:

  • Your Pet's Age: Whether you have a playful puppy or a seasoned senior, your pet's age plays a role. Younger pets typically enjoy lower insurance premiums because they're less likely to have pre-existing conditions or age-related health issues.
  • Breed Matters: Your furry friend's breed matters regarding insurance costs. Certain breeds may be more prone to specific health conditions, affecting the premium or deductible. Some breeds could have a higher risk of hereditary diseases or require specialized care.
  • Coverage Plan Selection: The type of coverage you choose can impact the cost. Comprehensive plans covering accidents, illnesses, and wellness care may have higher premiums compared to more limited coverage options.
  • Location, Location, Location: Where you live matters too! Depending on where you live, veterinary care can cost different amounts. Different regions have diverse pricing structures and fees for veterinary services, influenced by factors like the cost of living and availability of specialized facilities.
  • Premium Frequency: How often you pay your premium can affect the overall cost. Some insurers offer discounts for upfront payments on a quarterly, biannual, or annual basis.
  • Deductibles: Before the coverage taking effect, you must pay the deductible on the majority of pet insurance policies. Although choosing a greater deductible may result in reduced premiums, it will also increase initial claim costs.
  • Co-pays/Co-insurance: Co-pays or co-insurance are the percentages of veterinary bills you're responsible for paying after meeting the deductible. The insurance company covers the rest. Choosing the right balance can impact your overall costs.
  • Exclusions and Limits: Be mindful of policy exclusions and limits. Some treatments or conditions might not be covered, and policies may have annual or lifetime payout limits.
  • Add-ons or Optional Coverage: Watch for optional add-ons, like wellness plans or coverage for specific conditions. While they come with extra costs, they can provide additional protection for preventive care or specific health concerns.
  • Non-covered Expenses: Despite insurance coverage, certain treatments, pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedures, and routine care outside the policy may still require payment.

Get Your Pet Insurance Policy Today with Homebody 

I must congratulate you on getting here. You love your pet, really. You have just successfully completed the step-by-step guide to understanding how pet insurance works! 

Now that you're well-informed, it's time to take the last step and secure the best care for your beloved companion. 

Don't wait any longer - get a quote from Homebody today!

If you desire a stress-free life for your pet, choose insurance - Homebody Insurance

Homebody makes it easy to compare providers, review policies, and choose a plan tailored to your pet's needs and your budget. 

With Homebody on your side, you'll have the Peace of mind of knowing that your furry friend's health is protected, no matter what comes their way.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to safeguard your pet's well-being. 

Act now and get a quote for pet insurance - it's the best decision you can make for your furry family member!

If you have a few questions bothering you, check the next section. At Homebody, we ensure you have the best service and Peace of mind.

Bonus Step: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does pet insurance cover? 

Pet insurance typically covers accidents, injuries, and illnesses, including surgeries, medications, and specialized treatments. Some plans may also include routine preventive care like vaccinations and dental cleanings. Get a quote with Homebody now.

How do I pick the best pet insurance company? 

Research different pet insurance companies, considering their reputation, customer reviews, and coverage options. Look for a provider, like Homebody, that offers transparency in policy details and pricing.

How much does pet insurance cost? 

It depends on the age, breed, and health of your pet. Premiums often run from $25 to $70 per month.

Can I customize my pet insurance plan? 

Yes. Many pet insurance providers offer customizable pet health insurance plans, allowing you to tailor the coverage to your pet's needs.

Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions? 

Pet insurance typically excludes pre-existing conditions, which are your pet's health issues before the policy's effective date.

How can I file a claim for pet insurance? 

When your pet requires medical attention, pay the bill in full before submitting a claim to your pet insurance company. Gather all necessary documentation, and the provider will review the claim and reimburse you for covered expenses.

What payment frequency options are available? 

You can pay your pet insurance premiums monthly or yearly. Monthly payments offer convenience and Peace of mind, while yearly payments may come with potential discounts. You can get all these with Homebody Insurance.

What are the benefits of pet insurance? 

Pet insurance gives financial protection and peace of mind, ensuring you can afford necessary care for your pet without stress. It also allows you to make healthcare decisions based on your pet's needs.

Can I get pet insurance for exotic pets? 

While some pet insurance companies offer some pet insurance plans for exotic pets, most plans are designed to protect dogs and cats, which are more common in households.

Trust Guard Security Scanned