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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Pet Insurance


Jade Poole from I write words

Cheat Sheet on Pet Insurance

Pet insurance can be a tricky industry to navigate … until now. I have created a personalised cheat sheet that will have you navigating, thriving and selecting the best pet policy in no time!

I have worked in the pet insurance industry for a lot longer than I am willing to admit, and yet I still stand by the reality that navigating through this industry can become overwhelming. Between the complex policies to the heavy jargon and fine print, figuring out the best course of action for your pet can be off-putting.

So, if you find that you’re at your wit's end clicking through pet ads, venturing past page 3 of Google and sifting through T’s & C’s, then this blog is for you. I plan on breaking down everything you need to know about pet insurance so that this article serves as your research starting point.

And don’t panic, I’ve kept the language simple, the sentences (relatively) short and the topics relevant, so you’re in good hands!  

Defining pet insurance

Now there is no point in providing you with the ultimate cheat sheet to insurance if we aren’t both on the same page about what pet insurance actually is. Pet insurance is an agreement between you and your insurance company that guarantees that they will compensate you for your pet’s healthcare-related expenses in return for a set monthly premium.

Why pet insurance deserves your attention

The truth is that veterinary knowledge, technology and medicine have all made incredible strides over the last decade. All of a sudden, we are witnessing new surgical interventions, diagnostic testing and various medicinal options for our pets. This has allowed our pets to lead healthier, stronger and happier lives.

However, these medical advances come with a pretty hefty price tag. These newfound techniques and procedures can easily cost several thousands in a matter of minutes. So how does this affect you? Well, accidents are incredibly common. In fact, 1 in every 3 pets will experience a medical emergency. You don’t have to be a mathematician to see how this statistic puts a lot of things into perspective.

The role of pet insurance

The aim of taking out a competitive pet policy is to ensure that you no longer have to dip into your family savings, experience medical debt or consider economic euthanasia. When pet insurance is at its best, it will ensure that for a small premium, all of your veterinarian costs are covered … But more on this later.

Essentially, the point of this paragraph is to draw your attention to the financial realities of owning a pet and understanding that the costs associated with maintaining their health and wellbeing are exorbitant. If you do not have access to flexible funds, pet insurance is non-negotiable.

What you need to consider before looking at pet insurers

Before you take on the task of shopping around for pet insurance, keep in mind that there are a few factors that you will have to review. The below points will help dictate the type of coverage you will need and help give you a ballpark of whether or not you will need to opt-in for more comprehensive coverage.

  1. How many pets do you have?
  2. How old is your pet(s)?
  3.  Are they indoor or outdoor pets?
  4. How would you describe their health?
  5. Do they have any health conditions that are associated with their breed or age?

Important pet insurance phrases you will need to know

When comparing pet insurance policies you will see a number of insurance-specific terms pop up.  Don’t let that deter you. Instead, refer back to this blog as your mini dictionary. Here are the simplified definitions for some of the most common insurance jargon in the business!


This is the amount of money that you will be expected to pay out of pocket before your insurance company starts paying. Once you have paid your deductible, your insurer will begin reimbursing you.

Waiting periods

A waiting period is the amount of time that you have to wait before your coverage (and its benefits) actually kick in. During your waiting period, you will be expected to pay for any pet-related issues out of pocket until your waiting period is over.

Pre-existing conditions

Pet insurance companies do not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is a medical issue that was apparent in your pet prior to you taking out a policy.


As the word suggests, these are the conditions or treatments that will be excluded from your pet policy. This means that they will not be covered by your pet insurer, leaving that bill for you to pay out of pocket.


You can breathe a sigh of relief because pet insurance claiming essential works the same way as house and human insurance. This is where you make a formal request by our policyholder (that’s you) to our company for compensation for a covered policy event! You will then be reimbursed following your claims request.

Questions you HAVE to ask your future pet insurer

  1. Can I file a claim through my smartphone?
  2. Will my premium increase every year?
  3. Is routine and wellness care covered?
  4. How do you define a pre-existing condition?
  5. How long are your waiting periods?
  6. Do you offer discounts?

When you use these simple questions as the foundation and framework for your search, they will help you better compare various pet policies and ultimately help you find the perfect one!

I trust that this pet insurance cheat sheet will become your go-to source for navigating the insurance industry. Having it in your arsenal will not only simplify your search but help you weed out the best possible options – for you and your pet.


Until next time,

The Pet Insurance Team

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