Pet insurance is similar to health insurance for humans. It will usually have exclusions, various levels of coverage, deductibles, and payment limits. Some carriers have different levels of coverage for the customer to choose from, while other carriers have one-size-fits all type plans. Most pet insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions and hereditary or congenital conditions, and most general pet health policies do not cover wellness or preventative items, such as annual exams, vaccinations, and spaying or neutering. Some insurance companies will not accept pets after a certain age and many companies have waiting periods before benefits begin.
Insurance policies are usually broken out by the type of pet being insured and some companies allow the owner to choose their veterinarian. The actual monthly cost of the policy will depend on many variables, including the species of animal, breed, gender, age, location, and the coverages and deductible chosen. Most policies pay on a reimbursement basis and are not transferable to other pets, but with written approval and consent, some policies can be transferred to new owners.
Reimbursement methods can be different among companies. Some companies use a benefit schedule, which reimburses policyholders based on the illness or injury and the coverage level chosen. Other companies reimburse a percentage of the amount actually spent by the policyholder.