How do pet insurance deductibles work?

Pet insurance is a recommended protection to anticipate your pet’s health expenses and veterinary costs. But, choosing the right insurance policy for your pet is not an easy thing.

There are different formulas and contractual terms. With the price and the guarantees, deductibles constitute one of the main criteria of choice when comparing the offers of several insurers.

But how do deductibles for pet insurance plans work?

A deductible is an amount that remains payable by the insured when a claim occurs. It is provided for in the insurance contract and varies according to the insurance chosen.

Here’s our explanation of the pet insurance deductible and how it works. But first, let’s discuss why you should take out a pet insurance policy!

Why take out pet insurance?

During its life, your pet needs to visit veterinarians for routine checks (vaccination, antiparasitic treatments, etc.) and specific care if it is sick or injured, and the bill can be high. All these little injuries rhyme with expenses, so it is important to take out a pet insurance plan to take good care of your pets.

Pet insurance covers all unforeseen veterinary costs depending on the protection plan chosen for your dog or cat.

Thanks to the subscription to a pet insurance policy, you do not have to be afraid of spending at the veterinarian. The pet insurance plan takes care of it!

Indeed, a pet insurance policy covers health costs and strives to reduce your expenses to facilitate access to veterinary care for your pets.

Because it is vital to protect them, most pet insurance companies, such as Lemonade Pet Insurance, offer different protection formulas that cover vaccination and sterilization costs too.

Most insurers start coverage from 6 to 8 weeks of the animal’s life. Some companies have age limits, and others don’t. And when there is more than one pet, they can receive a discount once the first animal is already insured.

Below are some of the pet health care coverages offered by traditional pet insurance policies. These traditional plans are a lot like personal health insurance policies. The companies that offer them are licensed and registered with the state where they provide services and are regulated and must abide by the rules and regulations of that state. They usually offer three levels of coverage:

Basic coverage

It is usually the cheapest and provides low compensation for certain procedures. They typically pay for accidental injuries, poisoning, and illnesses (including cancer). A typical policy includes a maximum reimbursement amount for each policy period (for example, each year). The annual premium for insurance on a healthy three-year-old mixed breed dog can cost around $140. Deductibles for this coverage can range from $75 to $100 per year.

Extended coverage (Comprehensive coverage)

It is a little more expensive, but the compensation is more generous. It provides reimbursement for accidental injuries, emergency or sick visits, vet visits, medications, and diagnostic tests such as X-rays and labs. This type of plan also includes a maximum amount of reimbursement per accident and illness and a total amount of reimbursements under each policy period (for example, each year).

The annual premium for insurance on the same healthy three-year-old mixed-breed dog can cost around $250. Deductibles for this coverage can range from $75 to $100 per year.

Preventive pet health care

These types of plans reimburse the costs of preventive health services such as physical exams, treatments against parasites and fleas, and vaccinations. The annual premium for the insurance can cost around $144. Although there are usually no deductibles in this type of plan, a deductible payment does apply for other medical services, typically around $50.

What is a pet insurance deductible?

The principle of deductible is applicable for any insurance, such as car, house, or health of people and pets. This amount is then equivalent to the remainder payable or the uncompensated part of the expenses incurred.

It corresponds to your pet’s health costs that remain your responsibility after the reimbursement made by the pet insurance company. The deductible amount depends on the insurance policy chosen. For example, if a deductible of 20% per act is applied, your reimbursement will be 80% in an illness or accident.

As part of a mutual for your pet, it can be presented in a lump sum. If not, it is a percentage of the fee amounts. The sum that the insured must pay is proportional to their contributions. In other words, the deductible decreases if the cost of insurance for your pet is high. Otherwise, the remaining charge is higher.

It is even possible to have a pet insurance plan without a deductible in specific situations. Everything depends on the offer subscribed according to an economic, intermediate or optimum formula and on the contractual conditions presented by your insurance organization.

How Do Pet Insurance Deductibles Work?


The deductible is the sum remaining payable by the insured after the reimbursement of the care by the insurer. The higher the amount of the deductible, the lower the monthly contributions. Indeed, the insurer takes less risk in covering your pet since part of the costs remains your responsibility.

To better understand, the deductible is calculated by subtracting the reimbursement rate of your formula from the percentage of the total sum, which is 100%. Taking the above example again: on an expenditure of $100, the sum of $20 is retained ($100– 20%).

For the insured, the main advantage of the deductible on pet insurance is to reduce the amount of contributions. Before committing, it is essential to check the specifics of the policy.

Different Types of Pet Insurance Deductibles

There are several types of deductibles for pet health insurance. They can be fixed or changed with time. The type of deductible varies from one insurer to another, depending on the nature of the care to be covered. The changing deductible amount often increases over the years as the dog or cat gets older. Indeed, health costs are more frequent in our senior animals.

You can opt for paying a deductible at the end of each act of care or when requesting the guarantees associated with your contract. Reimbursement and the rest are made on an ad hoc basis, as are the services of your veterinarian.

Considered a lump sum, the amount advanced occurs from the first reimbursement and anticipates future acts of support during the year. Therefore, there is no longer any remaining charge for any subsequent intervention, and the care is reimbursed in full. It can also be an annual deductible for your pet health insurance. Again, the application conditions vary from one service provider to another.

Acts of care concerned and excluded from pet insurance deductible

In general, the deductible applies for acts deemed common for your pet:

  • Examinations and analyses, such as x-rays
  • Surgical operations
  • The need to hospitalize your cat or dog
  • Care due to an accident
  • Drug treatments for diseases

On the other hand, acts of health prevention are not necessarily the subject of a deductible. For example, dog insurance without deductibles excludes sterilization operations, vaccination, descaling, and health checks.

Which deductible is favorable for pet insurance?

Good insurance for your pet partly depends on the conditions for applying the deductible. For frequent acts or a disease that requires treatment, choosing an “optimum” offer with a higher contribution or even pet insurance without deductibles is recommended.

This applies to different pets, such as cats, dogs, and rabbits. For young animals or those in good health, it is advisable to opt for mutual insurance with a fixed deductible.

The benefits of pet insurance without deductibles

Pet insurance without deductibles is the most expensive because the insurer takes more risks to cover your animal. However, it is also more reassuring for the insured person who has better control of the expenses related to the health costs of their pet.

You benefit from a full refund for each visit to the veterinarian (for the risks covered by the contract). If your dog needs to see a veterinarian regularly, this option is worthwhile. In addition, you do not have to calculate the amount of refunds. You know what will be supported.

If the contributions are higher, the assumption of responsibility is better, even total. This is the case for monthly premium packages and certain insurance policies with extended coverage.

A pathology specific to a breed or a disease with drug treatment often generates substantial veterinary expenses.

Some examples of reimbursement with and without deductibles for pet insurance

To illustrate the interest in pet insurance without deductibles, here are some examples of practice:

  • A surgical operation estimated at $600: without deductible coverage is total. A deductible of $150 implies a reimbursement of $450. If it is a deductible of 20%, its amount is $120. Your refund is, therefore, $480.
  • A simple veterinary consultation at $20: Again, without a deductible, reimbursement is $20. A fare deductible of $5 indicates compensation of up to $15. For a deductible of 20%, the remainder payable is $4, i.e., a reimbursement of $16.
  • An X-ray examination at $50: Pet insurance without deductible can reimburse the entire act of care. A deductible of $15 leads to coverage of $35. A deductible of 20% is estimated at $10, i.e., a reimbursement of $40.

I hope the information above has answered how pet insurance deductibles work. So, do not hesitate to take out pet insurance without deductibles for your pet. It simplifies managing your budget, as repayment terms are clear and easier to anticipate.

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