Understanding Pet Insurance and Deductibles

If you've ever had human health insurance or car insurance, you most likely know what a deductible is. Well, pet insurance typically has deductibles as well. However, the type can vary quite dramatically. Pet insurance can have annual deductibles, per incident deductibles, per illness category deductibles, or per condition deductibles.

But what does it all mean? And how do you know which is best for you? Let's start by briefly explaining what each type is.

Annual deductible: Pretty self explanatory, each policy year you are required to satisfy a given dollar amount before the insurance company will pay out anything.

Per incident deductible:Every time you have to take your pet in to see the veterinarian you are required to satisfy a given dollar amount before the insurance company will pay out anything.

Per illness category deductible: This one is a little more tricky. Some companies can break conditions down by illness category. For example, all conditions related to the respiratory system, or your cat's skin would only have one deductible.

Per condition deductible:This is somewhat different than a per incident deductible in that you only have to satisfy one deductible per condition. Say, for example, your cat develops diabetes at age four and you are bringing him or her in to the veterinarian to get meds every few months. You would only have to satisfy the deductible once in the pet's lifetime.

Which one would be best for you? Well, I can't answer that. But what you should be aware of is that different companies may offer different deductible amounts.

Some important questions to consider might be: how does changing the deductible change the premium? Can you change the deductible after the fact?

Trupanion offers a sliding per condition deductible, where the pet owner can select any deductible from $0 to $1000. This allows pet owners to tailor their monthly premiums to fit their budget. You can get a pet insurance quote and see how the sliding deductible tool works.