Shopping for Pet Insurance

| Mary Bays

Pet health insurance can be intimidating at first glance. How does it work? What factors should you consider? Follow our complete shoppers' guide for pet insurance!

woman with short black hair holding a brown dog on her shoulders.

Enrolling your four-legged family member in pet health insurance is important and it shouldn’t be a task that you dread tackling. There are many misconceptions about pet insurance that make pet owners put off enrolling their pets. The sooner you enroll, the sooner your pet will be protected! An accident or illness can happen to your pup at any time, but owners who enroll in pet insurance can enjoy the peace of mind that they can provide the best care for their pooch - without worrying over the cost.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance provides coverage for the healthcare of your pet. It can help make pet ownership more affordable by offering reimbursement on veterinary bills for a variety of conditions that your pet may suffer from in his or her lifetime.

What should you consider when shopping?


Cost is an important factor in choosing one provider over another. Before purchasing the least expensive policy on the market, understand what coverage is included and if it will meet your needs. Paying a few dollars extra on a different plan may mean you can save even more throughout the year.

Coverage Options

Take the time to decide what conditions you want covered by your pet’s insurance policy. You can find out if a condition is eligible for coverage before you enroll by reviewing the terms and conditions of the policy online or by reaching out to the customer care team with your questions. 

Wellness Care

Starting from your puppy’s first vet visit, he should be seen every year of his life for a check-up. Preventative care coverage can help save you money on annual visits and routine care including flea and tick preventatives, vaccinations, and more. AKC Pet Insurance offers wellness coverage that is not subject to waiting periods, coinsurance, or a deductible!

Waiting Periods

Most pet insurance policies will have waiting periods – the time between enrolling in a policy and when you can start to take advantage of coverage – and these will vary across companies.

Age Limits

For most companies, there is a minimum age limit of 8-10 weeks for puppies and kittens. Some pet insurance companies do not accept senior pets; AKC Pet Insurance understands that even dogs in their golden years should be covered by dog insurance! If your dog is enrolled with AK Pet Insurance before the age of 9, he can continue with his coverage throughout his life. If your senior pet is enrolled at the age of 9 or older, he can be covered with accident, exam, and wellness coverage!


Exclusions vary by company, so check to see if the policy you’re interested in has any exclusions that might impact you. While many pet insurance companies will exclude pre-existing conditions, how they determine pre-existing differs.

Customizable Coverage

Having the ability to choose exactly the coverage you want is important. While some companies will offer pre-packaged plans, these can be expensive and not provide the best coverage for your pet. Other than covered conditions, some companies allow you to choose:

- Coinsurance: The percentage that will be covered by your pet insurance policy.

- Deductible: The amount of money you are required to pay before the pet insurance company will reimburse.

- Payout Limits: Knowing the limits of your policy is important, as limits dictate how much the pet insurance company will pay per incident.

Quick Tips

  • Know What You Want – Determine the type of coverage you’re interested in purchasing for your pet before you start shopping.

  • Do Your Research – Go online to review pet insurance providers and get a feel for how they conduct business. Read customer reviews and speak with anyone you know who has a pet enrolled with a company to get an opinion on ease of use, claim turnaround time, and customer service.

  • Compare Providers – Ensure you’re getting the best policy for your pup by comparing the companies with the coverage options you desire.

  • Customer Portals – A customer portal provides policyholders with the ability to log in to an account to access policy information, submit claims, and track a claim as it is processed. If you want to be being kept up-to-date on the status of your claims, you may want to choose a company that offers a customer portal.

  • Pick Your Plan – Read through the terms and conditions of your potential policy to understand what is and isn’t covered. If you have any questions, give the pet insurance company’s customer service a call. When you’ve found the right plan, enroll your pet.

AKC Pet Insurance

Let AKC Pet Insurance help you choose the best pet health insurance plan for your pup. Get a free quote today or reach out to our friendly customer care team with any of your pet insurance questions!

Photo of a woman holding her dog

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Mary Bays

Mary comes to AKC Pet Insurance with an extensive background in animal care. As a lifelong animal lover, she has a passion for promoting pet health and wellness. Mary lives in Kentucky with her orange kitty, "Cat" and her dog, " Wubbi".


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