Pet Insurance 101 A Beginner's Guide Dog Being Pet | Pupford

Pet Insurance 101: A Beginner’s Guide

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What do you think Alexandra, a fellow dog lover, is talking about here?

Twice she’s needed unexpected surgery, and another time we had to rush to an emergency clinic. I had so much peace of mind knowing that cost wouldn’t be a deciding factor in her treatment. I could do whatever was required.

You guessed right, PET INSURANCE!

Insurance companies have a tendency to get a bad rep, but that’s just because people don’t understand the 7 lessons of pet insurance!

Let us take you to school (minus the homework and constant stress) and teach you these 7 quick lessons in our Pet Insurance 101 class!

Just click on the topic below to jump down the page to it or start scrolling!

What is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance can be the saving grace to your puppy, teenage dog, aging silver fox (see what I did there…?), and potentially your bank account!

This insurance helps cover the sometimes outrageous costs of veterinary bills if your dog becomes ill or faces any kind of injury.

Much like the health insurance that you and I have and know, pet insurance companies follow a similar structure with deductibles, maximum payouts, premiums, waiting periods, and co-pays.

Depending on the type of plan that you pick with a pet insurance company they can offer extended plans that can include things like behavioral therapies, boarding kennel fees, dental work, and alternative therapies.

dog with pet insurance | Pupford

Pet Insurance Cheat Sheet

Before you go and fetch the first pet insurance plan you can lay your paws on let’s go over our pet insurance cheat sheet to help you know pet insurance terminology….

(If you’re familiar with human insurance then this part will be a breeze.)


This is how much you will have to pay out of your own wallet before the pet insurance company will start paying their end. Depending on the type of pet insurance plan you pick you can have your deductible be for every incident (pet gets injured you pay part of every injury) or annually (pay one lump sum or monthly payments).

Maximum Payout:

This is the maximum amount of money that the pet insurance company will reimburse you.

Depending on the plan and the company their maximum payout may be for a lifetime, per body system (ex. they will pay a certain amount for vets to work on the digestive system, nervous system, etc.), per year, or other unique ones a company has.


How much you have to pay per month or per year for your pet insurance plan. Check out the different factors that lower or raise your premium HERE!

Waiting Period:

Simply put, the waiting period is the time between when you initially sign up for your pet insurance and when the coverage actually starts. Be safe and don’t roughhouse too much during this time period 😉


After your deductible is met, you will still have to pay a certain percentage of the covered expenses. This payment is called your co-pay and for pet insurance, it typically ranges between 10% – 20% of the covered expense.

Types of Plans:

Just like how your furry BFF is unique, certain pet insurance plans can be customizable and unique to meet your dog’s need. Jump down the page and check out our recommendation for your dog by clicking HERE!

Do I Need Pet Insurance?

The short answer? YES! But weigh your options.

Many dog breeds are genetically predisposed to having joint problems, heart problems, and other health issues that could make you a frequent visitor to your vet.

Whether your dog is predisposed or if something unlucky happens to that furball it is still better to be prepared for the worse than scramble around when something bad happens…

The biggest obstacle to obtaining pet insurance is the price so we can understand why you may be hesitant to take the next step. That’s why we outlined 4 simple benefits of having pet insurance.

  1. Don’t decide between your wallet and your pet! Insurance helps you pick the best treatments for your pup every time.
  2. Customizable plans to fit your dog and your bank account
  3. Peace of mind – Whatever can help your dog’s health, you can provide
  4. Veterinary costs are on the rise

Jump down the page and check out our dog expert’s BEST pet insurance recommendation HERE!

guide to pet insurance | Pupford

How Much Will (and Should) I Pay?

There are many different factors that come into play… for example:

  • Type of insurance plan you want
  • Breed of your pup
  • How many years your dog has been pawing around
  • Where you live (depends on where the nearest treatment centers are)
  • Your selected deductible and reimbursement rate

These are the main factors that come into play when pet insurance companies are developing a quote for you that you will need to consider. Also one piece of advice…


If you don’t know a lot about insurance or what kind of package you are already looking for then some insurance companies could take advantage of you.

Depending on your pup, and the level of protection you want, prices can range from $35-$75 per month.

We did the research into the BEST pet insurance companies so you can feel peace of mind picking the right one. Dog parents got to stick together, right? Jump down the page to see Pupford’s insurance company recommendation.

What Pet Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know…

It’s no secret that veterinary costs are on the rise and that more and more pet insurance companies are coming out of the woodworks.

But you are about to discover something that every pet insurance company doesn’t want you to know…


Simple we know, but when signing up for pet insurance you need to remember that you are the one with the money.

More often than not this is how signing up for pet insurance goes

  1. Google “pet insurance”
  2. Get overwhelmed by the amount of pet insurance companies there are
  3. Pick one of the companies at the top of the page
  4. Click “Get a Quote” and put in your doggy information
  5. They email you an overpriced quote and you fork over the cash money $$$

If you do it this way… you’re doing it WRONG!

Don’t worry though there is an easy fix and this is what pet insurance companies don’t want you to know about.

When they give you your quote it is not binding. They will try to get you the highest amount possible and hope you just accept that price.

Most companies after you get a quote still let you customize your plan so you can get your monthly premium down and not have to sacrifice all your chew toys to pay for it.

After getting a quote ALWAYS look for options to customize your plan and get your rates lower to save you and your pup some cash!

happy dog with pet insurance | Pupford

How to Pick the Right Plan

With the many different kinds of plans with differing deductibles, premiums, and co-pay percentages we suggest you understand these 3 points to help you better know what plan to get.

1. Age, breed, and predisposition to health issues

These are three factors that may lead your puppy to become your vet’s most frequent visitor over their lifetime. Older dogs require more care as they turn in their luscious colorful coat into a white one.

Also many dog breeds like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Bulldogs, and many other ones more likely to catch an illness or have other health problems. Take this into account when deciding what stage of care you want to take out with your insurance company.

2. Examine your financial situation

Insurance can be expensive, but paying more vet bills can be even more expensive. We highly suggest that if you are able to afford another higher payments on a plan to do so. This will help you down the road if you courageous canine takes a tumble.

3. The company is just as important as the plan

Before you even pick a plan make sure you read up on the pet insurance company you will be signing your checks to. Sadly, there are many companies out there that will slide hidden fees and not cover certain situations that they promised would.

Don’t worry about this one though, we got your back 🙂

older dog with pet insurance | Pupford

Pupford’s Pet Insurance Recommendation

One of the things that we pride ourselves in here at Pupford is providing every dog lover with peace of mind.

Peace of mind knowing that you are not only giving your dog the best care but that you are doing it with a company who actually cares about you and your furry BFF.

We have spent COUNTLESS HOURS researching, calling, and talking with representatives from many different pet insurances companies. That’s not all. We also went to the online streets to find out what the dog parents, just like you, thought of their insurance companies.

With all this underneath our dog collars, there was one pet insurance company that shined brighter than all the other ones.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance!

What sets Healthy Paws apart from the competition is their unrivaled accolades for being the  “Top-Rated Pet insurance, #1 Customer-Related in 2015, 2016, 2017”

Everyone loves it!! We can definitely understand why, because they offer…

  • Unlimited lifetime payouts from young pups to senior dogs
  • Speedy claim payments that won’t break your bank
  • Comprehensive coverage so you can be prepared for whatever happens
  • Lifetime discounts for you and your furry BFF
  • “Every Quote Gives Hope” – Healthy Paws gives back to homeless pets

If your dog or puppy needs treatment for any accident or illness (except pre-existing conditions), you’re covered. It’s that simple. One Plan. Four Paws. All Covered!

Getting a quote is as simple as knowing your pup’s name and where you live!

But before you go and get your quote we want to give you something that will put a smile on your puppy’s slobbery face and yours…

Snag a lifetime discount of up to 10% OFF the underwritten premium when you sign up below!

pupford recommends healthy paws insurance review | Pupford

Written by Austin Stephan

He’s frequently called, “the Ron Weasley of the Dog World” by Pupford’s wise toothless wiener dog named Carl. Hopefully he calls him that, because he’s loyal, funny, and sometimes brave and not just because he’s the only ginger in the office. Who’s to say. Oh, he also loves creating the best content online about everything dogs and how they can make even the most stubborn mother-in-laws into sweet angels. Now that’s real magic.

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9 Comments on “Pet Insurance 101: A Beginner’s Guide

  1. Do pet insurances cover preventative care like yearly vaccines, or are they really more for accidents that might require urgent treatment or health issues that come with age?

    1. Hey, Stephanie! Some do and some don’t you’ll have to look into the services of each individual carrier to know for sure!

  2. So curious to what a pre existing condition is… what defines it? Tide had a bout of bronchitis… would that fall in the category…

    1. Hey Michael! Thanks for sharing 🙂 One thing to consider with companies like consumer affairs and similar companies is they work off a bit of a pay-to-play model where if you have a partnership with them your reviews tend to be more positive, and negative reviews are handled very differently. (We’ve worked with some and seen it first-hand)

  3. Healthy Paws did not offer wellness coverage when i compared plans. I opted for wellness and it has already paid off – covering 1’st visit, all the puppy shots, heart worm and flea and tick type preventatives.

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