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How does pet insurance work?

Without warning, the furry members of your household can experience an unexpected accident or illness. When this happens, pet insurance can help.

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What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance helps cover the costs associated with the healthcare of your pet. If your pet becomes ill or injured and requires medical attention, the insurance company will reimburse you a percentage of all eligible services provided.

The following are steps to take when considering pet insurance and how pet insurance policy works.

Step 1: Review different policies
Not all pet insurance is the same. Policies can vary depending on the policy type and things like

  • Accident
  • Illness
  • Wellness
  • Deductible amount
  • Reimbursement percentage
  • Annual coverage limit

Always take the time to review coverage and costs before deciding on a policy. Like car insurance, you should shop around and get multiple per insurance quotes.

Step 2: Decide on a policy
When selecting a pet insurance policy, you should consider key factors before making a final decision

  • Whether or not your regular veterinarian is covered under your new plan
  • If there is a waiting period before your coverage begins
  • What type of preventative care is and isn't covered, such as teeth cleaning and vaccines
  • If there are pre-existing conditions that are ineligible under the plan
  • If there is a specific age cutoff for a pet to qualify for coverage
  • If certain breeds of animals, commonly predisposed to chronic illnesses are excluded

Always review coverage and costs before deciding on a policy for your pet.

Step 3: Know how your policy works
Pet insurance policies reimburse you for the care provided to your pet. Here's how it works

  • When your pet is sick or hurt, you take them to the vet
  • You pay for the services provided out-of-pocket
  • You file a claim by submitting all receipts to your insurance company
  • Once approved, you'll be reimbursed a percentage of the veterinary bill for all qualifying coverages, minus your deductible

If you're thinking about a pet insurance policy, consider the following pros and cons:


  • Peace of mind knowing if a serious illness or accident occurs, you'll have financial help to get your pet the treatment they need
  • Coverage for unexpected and often expensive emergency visits
  • Reimbursement for annual wellness visits and care (if included in your plan)


  • You will likely pay for services up front and out-of-pocket
  • You may have to wait several weeks to be reimbursed
  • Pets with pre-existing conditions or are above a certain age limit may not qualify
  • Pet insurance can be pricy if you have multiple pets, so be sure to shop around and get multiple quotes

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Please note: Information presented on this page is intended to be general information about insurance and is not specific to Liberty Mutual policies. Policies and coverages vary by state and insurer. Contact your insurance company to understand specifics regarding your policy and coverages.