Accident Only Pet Insurance – All You need To Know

Takeaways:

  • Accident-only pet insurance covers costs related to accidents.
  • Because it has less coverage, it tends to be more affordable than other, more comprehensive pet insurance options.
  • Providers such as Pets Best, ASPCA, and Spot offer accident-only coverage.
  • Always consider the age and breed of your pet before purchasing any pet insurance policy.
  • If you opt for accident-only pet insurance, you can later upgrade to more comprehensive coverage, but keep in mind that some conditions might then be considered pre-existing conditions.

Accident-only pet insurance is designed to cover costs related to accidents only. Due to its limited coverage, it tends to have lower premiums, making it a budget-friendly option for many pet owners.

What is Accident-Only Pet Insurance?

Accident-only pet insurance covers expenses related to only accidents, such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Foreign object ingestion
  • Poisoning
  • Torn ligaments
  • Eye injuries

It does not cover costs related to illnesses, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Euthanasia
  • Spaying/Neutering
  • Chronic conditions

If you’d prefer more coverage, it’s best to opt for an Accident & Illness policy instead.

Accident-OnlyAccident & Illness
Covers expenses related to accidents onlyCovers expenses related to both accidents and illnesses

How Much Does Accident-Only Pet Insurance Cost?

It depends on the pet insurance provider you work with. Here’s a few sample rates from top pet insurance providers for a male pet in Dallas, Texas:

Is Accident-Only Pet Insurance Right for Your Pet?

Before purchasing an accident-only policy, consider the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages

  • Often more affordable than other, more comprehensive policies
  • Large, unexpected vet bills will likely be covered (eg. unexpected broken bone)

Disadvantages

  • You will not have coverage for anything that is not an accident.
  • You will need to pay the entire vet bill for anything that isn’t covered.
  • If you opt for an accident-only plan and your pet develops an illness, that illness will be considered a pre-existing condition if you attempt to switch to an accident and illness plan. Pre-existing conditions are not covered.

Additional Factors to Consider

When purchasing pet insurance, it’s important to consider the age and breed of your pet. For example, if you adopt a senior dog, they may be more prone to illnesses developed in old age. In that case, an accident and illness policy might make more sense.

Likewise, if you own a french bulldog — a breed genetically predisposed to various health issues — an accident-only plan also isn’t your best bet. Once you purchase any policy, however, any conditions your pet develops while insured on that plan will be considered pre-existing conditions if you ever attempt to switch plans.

With pre-existing conditions not being covered, make sure to carefully consider your individual pet’s needs before purchasing a policy.

Finding the Right Accident-Only Pet Insurance Policy

To find the right pet insurance policy for you and your pet, make sure to:

Research pet insurance providers carefully. Make sure the company is reliable, provides the level of coverage you need, and is easy to work with. Read reviews online to see how customers feel about their experience with the company.

Compare policies. Just like you’d compare flights before taking a trip, it’s essential to compare pet insurance policies before making your final choice. Compare details like:

  • What is and isn’t covered
  • Price
  • Customer reviews
  • Claims process
  • What states you can use the policy in
  • Whether they pay the vet directly

Read the fine print. This isn’t a time to check the “Yes, I’ve read the Terms” checkbox and sign on the dotted line without reading the details. Insurance companies tend to slip details about exclusions and limitations of the policies into the fine print, so make sure to read it carefully.

Top Providers of Accident-Only Pet Insurance

Believe it or not, accident-only pet insurance is somewhat hard to come by. While many pet insurance companies offer standard policies, they tend to cover both accidents and illnesses. Here are a few that offer true accident-only policies:

Pets BestASPCASpot
Cost*As low as $9/month$29.96/month$22.53/month
Waiting Period3 days14 days14 days
Deductible Options$50, $100, $200, $500, and $1,000$100, $250, $500$100, $250, $500, $750, and $1,000
Reimbursement Options70%, 80%, and 90%70%, 80%, and 90%70%, 80%, and 90%
Accepted by Every Vet?YesYesYes
Pays the Vet Directly?YesNoNo

*Based on a male pet in Dallas, Texas

FAQs About Accident-Only Pet Insurance:

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about accident-only pet insurance:

Can I Switch From Accident-Only Pet Insurance to Comprehensive Pet Insurance?

Yes. If you purchase an accident-only policy, it is possible to upgrade to more comprehensive coverage later on. If you want to stay with the same insurance provider, you’ll need to check with them directly — some require that upgrades occur during a certain timeframe in your policy.

Keep in mind, however, that if you opt to upgrade to more comprehensive coverage, any condition your pet incurs while on an accident-only plan might now be considered a pre-existing condition, which isn’t covered by pet insurance.

Are There Any Breed or Age Restrictions For Accident-Only Pet Insurance?

Typically, no. While some pets — like young puppies and senior dogs — can sometimes be excluded from accident and illness policies, accident-only policies tend to be more inclusive of pets of all ages. However, it will ultimately depend on the rules each individual pet insurance company sets. Likewise, most pet insurance companies don’t exclude specific breeds.

Are Pre-Existing Conditions Covered By Accident-Only Pet Insurance?

No. Pre-existing conditions are not covered by accident-only pet insurance.

Are There Any Waiting Periods for Accident-Only Pet Insurance Coverage to Begin?

It depends on the pet insurance provider you choose. Typically, waiting periods will range from 3 to 14 days for accident-only pet insurance.

Can I Add Additional Coverage to My Accident-Only Pet Insurance Policy?

Yes. Most pet insurance providers offer optional add-ons for extra coverage that you can stack on top of an accident-only policy.

Don’t bark up the wrong tree: Discover more about pet insurance here

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Grace Lemire

Grace is a lover of pups and personal finance. She’s passionate about helping people navigate the financial side of life decisions — from budgeting for a furry friend to making decisions about pet insurance.