Pet insurance in Canada protect the pets you love, and is a way to help ensure that the mutual love and caring will last for as long as possible.
Priced for the lifetime health of your pet
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Veterinarian bills for unexpected pet injuries or illness can be very expensive. Not being able to afford the cost of vet bills due to unexpected inquiries or illness to your pet could sometimes end up with sad consequences. Having pet insurance is one way to help avoid a situation where we can’t even bear to imagine!
How is Pet Insurance Calculated?
Pet insurance companies calculate insurance premiums based on the following:
Breed of Pet – most pet insurance companies use breed as a criterion for rating purposes. Certain breeds of pets are predisposed to certain illnesses or conditions that would result in a higher premium being charged. Not all pet insurance companies use breed type as a rating factor but instead rate based on size and weight.
Species of Pet – Dogs tend to have higher insurance premiums compared to cats. Statically, dogs have higher rates of incidents than cats making dog insurance more expensive than cat insurance.
Geographic Location – where you live also affects the price of pet insurance. The average veterinarian cost for your area is used as an insurance rating criterion. Generally, the more populace or metropolitan the city, the higher the cost of veterinarian services, thus increasing you’re cost of pet insurance.
Pet’s Age – Older pets tend to cost more to insurance than younger pets. As dogs and cats get older the chance of injury and illness increase and so does the pet insurance premium. The logic is that the older the pet gets the more likely that a pet owner will put through an insurance claim.
Deductible Amount – Some pet insurance companies will allow you to choose your deductible, while other companies automatically set a deductible amount for you. A deductible allows the policyholder to share in a covered loss. Having a higher deductible should bring your overall premium down as you are assuming more risk. Conversely, the lower the deductible the higher the overall premium will be.
Coinsurance Ratio – coinsurance is number expressed as a percentage which states how much the pet insurance company will pay for covered losses.
Limits of Pet Insurance – depending on the amount of insurance coverage you need, the cost can be more or less.
Pet Insurance for Cats
Pet insurance for cats gives cat owners peace of mind should accidentally injury or unexpected illness inflicts their pets. Pet insurance helps cover the cost of veterinarian bills when the unexpected happens.
The top injuries and illnesses for cats which pet insurance might help include:
- Ingestion of a Foreign Body
- Struck by a vehicle
- Dog and other animal attacks
- Cat Bite Abscesses
- Eye Injury
- Torn of Broken Nail
- Respiratory Infections
Pet insurance for dogs
Pet insurance for dogs gives pet owners peace of mind knowing that veterinarian costs and expenses from accidental injury and unexpected illness will be covered by a pet insurance policy.
Insurance for dogs only covers accidental and unexpected injury or illness. Dog insurance does not cover routine and preventative health care, however, some pet insurance companies offer “Wellness and Routine” benefits as a separate product. Keep in mind that insurance and benefits are two separate things!
The top injuries and illnesses for dogs which pet insurance might help include:
- Ingestion of a Foreign Body
- Struck by a vehicle
- Dog and other animal attacks
- Hip dysplasia
- Cruciate Ligament Ruptures
- Heat Stroke and Dehydration
- Kidney Disease
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Kidney Stones
- Tail Injuries
The cost of pet insurance for dogs can vary depending on the breed of dog you have, and the method used by pet insurance companies to calculate the price of the insurance policy.
Some pet insurance companies use the weight of a dog as a rating criterion. For example, some companies will charge a premium according to the size of a dog.
Other companies will rate a dog based on the breed and genetic predispositions the breed may inherit. For example, a long-bodied dog breed like a dachshund is likely to suffer from back and spinal issues.
Most pet insurance companies use your geographic location or place of residence as a rating factor. Your place of residency is a rating factor for dog insurance, as a reflection of the average veterinarian costs for your area. For example, dog insurance may be higher in more urban, popularized areas such as Toronto where the cost of living is higher, compared to the smaller, less costly cities.
Pet Insurance Deductibles
Pet insurance companies offer deductibles for mainly two reasons:
- To offset and discourage smaller, frivolous claims
- To allow the policyholder to share in a covered loss to reduce the overall premium
Deductibles in pet insurance vary in dollar amount and also in how they are structured in a policy, depending on the pet insurance company you choose.
Pet insurance companies vary in how they implement deductibles. Some companies offer more flexibility and options than others.
Some key differences regarding how pet insurance companies use deductibles include:
Deductible amount – some companies will automatically determine the deductible amount for you, leaving no option for you to choose. However, other pet insurance companies will allow you to choose your deductible amount.
Static Deductible vs. Increasing Deductible – some pet insurers increase the deductible as your pet grows older, while some companies do not. Pet insurance companies that increase the deductible amount as your dog or cat get older are forcing you to contribute more to a covered loss. Just like us, cats and dogs become more prone to injury and illness as they age, thus increasing the frequency and severity of pet insurance claims. By increasing the deductible the insurance company is requiring you to contribute more to the medical and health care expenses of your pets.
Annual Deductible vs. Per Occurrence Deductible – depending on the level of pet insurance coverage you purchase, or the pet insurance company offering the insurance, a deductible can be based on a one-time payment for the entire term of the policy, or every time you submit a claim. A one-time deductible is usually considered a superior option since you only have to pay your deductible once on a policy term.
Co-insurance vs. Deductible – a co-insurance clause in a pet insurance policy works almost like a deductible but completely separate. A co-insurance clause outlines a certain percentage of a claim payout that the pet insurance company will be required to pay. For example, a co-insurance 80% means that the insurer will pay 80%, leaving you to pay the outstanding 20% of a covered loss. Although a co-insurance clause and deductible are similar, some insurers apply both a co-insurance and a deductible to covered losses. For example, if the pet insurance policy has a per-occurrence deductible and a co-insurance clause of 80%, you would need to pay the required deductible AND 20% of the covered loss.
Company-Specific Deductibles/Hybrids and Variations – pet insurance companies market their product and services keeping special attention in mind to “deductibles”. Many pet insurance companies are adopting unique ways to offer and administer pet insurance deductibles to help attract more business. It’s important to compare and contrast deductible options with each pet insurance company you receive a quote from. The last thing you want to do is discover something in your pet insurance policy that might take you by surprise for the worse.
Co-insurance in Pet Insurance
Co-insurance in pet insurance is very similar to a deductible but is usually applied to every covered loss or pet insurance claim. Co-insurance is expressed as a fixed percentage, usually 80%. This means that the policyholder is responsible for 20% of the covered loss and the pet insurance company is responsible for the remaining 80% of the payout.
Some pet insurance policies have both a coinsurance and deductible clause. In this case, your deductible would need to be paid before the insurance company pays their 80% coinsurance split. On top of the 20% coinsurance, you would also be responsible for paying your deductible.
Difference between Pet Insurance and Pet Wellness Coverage
Pet insurance and pet wellness are fundamentally different. Pet insurance only covers accidental and unforeseeable illnesses while pet wellness care covers expected foreseeable expenses.
Pet insurance works just like any other type of insurance. That is, for an insurable loss to be covered the cause must be accidental and unexpected. Routine care and Wellness is not insurable as these are medical and health expenses that a pet owner would normally be subject to. However, pet insurance companies do offer routine care and wellness programs, aside from the insurance policy or contract.
Routine and Wellness/Preventative care is offered by many pet insurance companies, but sold as a standalone agreement, usually with a schedule of benefits attached. Although pet insurance companies offer value-added benefit packages such as routine and preventative care, they are certainly not exhaustive in scope. Careful attention to the small print before you buy is best practice!
Pet Insurance Canada FAQs
Yes, pet insurance is worth purchasing especially if you can’t shoulder the financial responsibility for emergency pet illness and accidents.
Yes, pet insurance is a good idea for the simple reason that many cannot afford emergency medical veterinarian care for their pets. Having peace of mind that your cat or dog will be taken care of should something bad accidentally happen is priceless.
Pet insurance covers accidental and unexpected illness to your pets. Pet insurance is a form of health insurance, mainly for cats and dogs.
Most pet insurance policies cover new dental accidents and illnesses. Although it’s not typical for pet insurance to cover routine and preventive dental care some companies offer procedures such as tooth extractions and cleaning as an extra value benefit.
Pet insurance normally does not cover “wellness” or routine preventive care. Routine care and wellness are considered a normal expense that is foreseeable and not accidental. However, some pet insurance companies will offer wellness and routine wellness as an extra add on option.
Technically, cleaning of teeth is not insurable, as it is foreseeable and considered an expected expense of owning a pet. However, some pet insurance companies offer teeth cleaning as an extra value service included in routine care or preventative care packages.
Shots and vaccinations are not covered by pet insurance unless the requirement for shots is predicated by an accident or unforeseeable illness. However, just like wellness and routine care, some pet insurance companies offer coverage for shots as an add-on option.
Neutering is not covered by pet insurance as it’s not unforeseeable or accidental. However, if the requirement for neutering stems from an accident or unforeseeable illness it may be covered.
Breeding is not covered by pet insurance. Pet insurance is meant to cover accidental and unforeseeable illness.
Pet insurance does no cover preventive care. However, some pet insurance companies offer value-added features and add-ons that cover certain kinds of preventative and routine care.
Pet insurance usually covers hip
-The illness is caused unexpectedly,
-The breed of pet isn’t genetically predisposed
to hip dysplasia and not excluded
-The waiting or stability period has lapsed
Most pet insurance companies will
cover IVDD, or intervertebral disc disease, only if the onset of
the disease started after pet insurance has been purchased and the new policy waiting
or stability period has expired.
Some pet insurance companies will not cover IVDD due to a genetic
predisposition in some breeds of dogs that might be automatically excluded
Pet insurance companies do not cover preexisting conditions. If they did pet owners would only purchase pet insurance once their pet becomes ill, or anytime through the duration of the illness. This would force pet insurance companies out of business since all new policies would be claiming shortly after policy inception, exhausting the insurance pool.
However, some pet insurance companies will insure pets with preexisting conditions, but exclude the preexisting condition in itself.
Yes, pet insurance is worth it for a cat! The cost of unexpected and unforeseeable accidents and illnesses can range anywhere from $300 to $10,000. Having pet insurance can definitely unburden you financially and also preserve your cat’s health and possibly save your cat’s life.
Yes, pet insurance is worth it for an older dog. Just as we become more vulnerable to accidents and illnesses as we grow older, dogs or any other animal do also. Emergency veterinarian care can cost well into the thousands. As a dog age, the likelihood of accidents and illness increase and so does the need to care for them. Having pet insurance for older dogs is a very good idea!
Pet insurance does not cover allergy testing, but value-added benefits such as Wellness/Preventative or routine care packages can be purchased through some pet insurers as an add-on product/service. Some wellness and routine pet care packages should include allergy testing.
Pet insurance does not cover annual visits to the veterinarian. However, some pet insurance companies offer “wellness” and “routine” care benefit packages, usually sold as an add-on feature, that fill in the gap where insurance doesn’t apply. Comparing and contrasting benefits from multiple pet ‘wellness’ or “routine” care quotes will help you find a pet insurance company that will offer coverage for annual visits to the vet.
Pet insurance does not cover veterinarian expenses for routine, preventative care or wellness. Like any other type of insurance, coverage applies only to accidents and unexpected events. However, many pet insurance companies offer wellness and preventive care benefits which can be purchased alongside the pet insurance.
Pet insurance may cover tooth extractions if caused by an accident or unforeseen illness. A tooth extraction from ordinary wear and tear would not be covered by pet insurance. Some pet insurance companies offer routine and preventative care benefits packages that may include a regular extraction.
Most pet insurance companies will cover “cherry eye” (prolapse nictitans gland) if the illness or infection occurs after the waiting or stability period of a new policy, not excluded specifically by breed or condition and not a preexisting condition. Dogs are more prone to “cherry eye” than cats, especially breeds such as basset hounds, beagles, pugs, boxers, Boston terriers, Cocker spaniels, just to name a few.
Pet insurance companies normally do not cover veterinarian exam fees but may be covered under a Wellness and Preventative benefits plan. Keep in mind that pet insurance and wellness plans are two distinct products/services.
Yes, you can get pet insurance even though your pet may have a preexisting condition. However, the pet insurance company may stipulate conditions for coverage or exclude the preexisting condition from the policy entirely.
If your decision to purchase pet insurance stems immediately after a medical diagnosis of an illness or condition, and hope to have this condition covered by pet insurance, you will be out of luck. Pet insurance, like any type of insurance, is meant to cover losses that are accidental and unforeseeable
No, pet insurance is not effective immediately. Pet insurance companies require a “waiting period” to rule out undisclosed preexisting conditions, to reduce frivolous claims and fraud.
Some pet insurance companies allow the transfer of an existing pet insurance policy to a new owner, while other companies do not. Finding a company that will allow the transfer of insurance policies to a new owner is a process of elimination.