Everything you need to know about pet insurance

March 7, 2023 by PEMCO Insurance

pet-insurance.pngFour out of five pets will have a medical emergency during their lives (yes, sock-eating puppy, we’re looking at you), according to Pets Best.* And the vet bill can be shocking. For example, the average cost for treating an accidentally ingested object is $3,500 in dogs and $3,400 in cats, according to Pets Best data shared in Forbes Advisor. Could your budget handle an unexpected hit like that to save your pet’s life? 

It could if you had pet insurance. 

Pet insurance is one of the fastest growing types of insurance in the United States, with the number of insured pets increasing by 28% in 2021 (maybe all those new pandemic pets?), according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA). Still, that’s only about 3% of pets overall – about 82% of them dogs, 18% cats – meaning most people still rely on luck to avoid the astronomical bills that can come with a fuzzy buddy’s sudden illness or injury. 

PEMCO has partnered with Pets Best to help relieve those worries while giving our customers a 5% discount on pet insurance. You’ll also get an extra 5% off when you insure more than one pet. 

What does pet insurance cover? 

Pet insurance doesn’t work exactly like human health insurance. For example, health insurance for people usually covers routine preventive care like vaccinations and annual exams; however, most pet insurance is geared toward protecting you from unexpected expenses that you can’t easily plan for. To get wellness coverage, you usually need to upgrade to a more expensive plan. Pet insurance also typically excludes coverage for pre-existing conditions, so you’re better off insuring your pet while it’s young and healthy. 

What’s covered depends on the type of pet insurance you select. A plan that covers accidents would help, for example, if your pup got hit by a car or ate something it shouldn’t have. Your cat would be covered if it got hurt in a fight with an aggressive stray. Accident coverage could help with costs for everything from emergency surgery to aftercare up to your policy limits. 

Let’s say, though, that you notice your cat seems to be using the litter box all the time. An exam reveals a urinary tract infection (the top pet insurance claim for both dogs and cats, according to NAPHIA). To get coverage for that, you’d need a plan that also includes illnesses. The same is true for other common ailments like allergies, infections, tummy troubles, arthritis, or even cancer. Beyond diagnosis and treatment, pet parents often use illness coverage to help pay for ongoing prescription medications needed to keep their pets healthy. (Special diets and supplements aren’t covered, however.) 

One perk of pet insurance: Unlike human health insurance, it normally doesn’t hold you to “in network” providers to get the best coverage. You can take your pet to any licensed veterinarian.  

What’s covered by PEMCO Pet Insurance by Pets Best? 

NerdWallet rated Pets Best five out of five stars for overall performance. It earned especially good marks for allowing members to customize their plans to make them affordable, even on limited budgets.  

You can choose a plan for one or all of your furry family members: 

Accident-only Plan. For $10 or less a month, this plan covers treatment for accidents, including exams, surgeries, hospitalization, medications and more. Coverage is available regardless of your pet’s age or breed. 

BestBenefit Accident and Illness Plan. Add illness coverage to your accident plan with protection for emergency care, specialists and more. Tailor plans to your budget by choosing your deductible, reimbursement percentage (70%, 80% or 90%) and annual coverage limit. Rates vary based on location, plan, and the age and breed of your pet. Pre-existing conditions aren’t eligible for illness coverage. 

Wellness Coverage. Add routine care (like spaying/neutering, annual exams, vaccinations and flea medications) to your BestBenefit plan for an additional premium. No deductibles apply to wellness services. 

How does reimbursement for my vet bills work? 

Just take your pet to any licensed veterinarian. After paying for treatment, you can snap a photo of your bill to file a claim for reimbursement of eligible expenses with the Pets Best mobile app. Easy! 

Who should consider buying pet insurance? 

Pet insurance isn’t right for everyone. If your pet is older or already has health problems, you may find that higher premiums or pre-existing condition exclusions mean the coverage won’t make sense. And if a big, unexpected vet bill wouldn’t create a hardship for you, you probably don’t need pet insurance.  

But for many people, coming up with an extra $1,000, $2,000 or more for a veterinary emergency would put a major squeeze on their budget. That’s where pet insurance can bring PEMCO’s “worry less, live more” peace of mind to pet ownership.  

How do I find out more? 

Buying pet insurance doesn’t have to be “all-or-nothing.” You can buy coverage only for the big what-ifs or opt for a more inclusive plan. 

Pets Best makes it easy to try out different policy options online. Just answer a few questions to get a free, no-obligation quote. Be sure to use this link so you get your PEMCO discount!  


*Pet Insurance coverage is offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC and is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company, a New York insurance company headquartered at 6100 4th Ave. S. Suite 400 Seattle, WA 98108. Please visit to review all available pet health insurance products. 




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