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How It Works

What to Expect

Different insurance companies have different processes when it comes to applying for pet insurance and filing a claim. Depending upon whether an insurance company does pre-sale underwriting or doesn’t underwrite until the first claim, you can expect to answer some questions about your pet at the time of application and you may also have to answer some additional questions when you make your first claim.

What information is needed for a quote?

Getting a pet insurance quote is quick and easy. You can get a range of quotes by simply providing:

Species (Dog or Cat)
Pet's Age
Zip/Postal Code
A valid email address

Some companies may also ask for your name and your pet's name so that they can personalize your quote. Additionally, some will ask if your pet has been spayed or neutered and whether it has a microchip.

To get a specific quote you will need to specify the annual limit you want covered, where offered, and the amount of the deductible.

What is the coverage period?

Most insurance policies are contracts for one year, which is referred to as the policy period. The coverage period is the time within the policy effective date, and the policy expiration date, after the waiting period has been completed. The waiting period is a short amount of time after the policy effective date before coverage begins. For illness and accident coverage, the waiting period is typically 14-30 days. For accident-only coverage, the waiting period is typically 48 hours or less. For wellness coverage, there is usually no waiting period.

What Is Policy Underwriting?

When a company underwrites a policy, this refers to the process of asking questions about your pet’s medical history, breed, age, etc., to determine the premium and if any exclusions should be added to a policy.

“Some will underwrite before a policy is issued, and some will underwrite at the time of the first claim.”

Companies that do pre-sale underwriting.

These companies will ask several questions during the enrollment process to identify any pre-existing conditions and as part of learning about your pet's medical history. You may be asked to submit your pet's medical records, or in most cases, the pet insurance company will make the request to your veterinarian for them to send your pet's medical records. Typically, this process is fairly quick, but until the medical records are reviewed, it may delay the issuance of your policy. The purpose of the pre-sale process is to identify any conditions that may be considered pre-existing and therefore not covered by your policy. The advantage of this method is you know up front what is and isn't covered so there won't be any surprises later.

Companies who underwrite at time of first claim.

This means coverage is issued when you apply, with few up-front questions, but the questions start when you file your first claim. These companies, if they find any issues considered pre-existing at the first claim, may add exclusions to your policy at that time.