Preparing to file a claim

Step-by-step guide to filing a claim, understanding the reimbursement process, tips for a smooth claims process, how to file a pet insurance claim: step-by-step instructions.

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  • Most pet insurance plans allow you to choose your vet.
  • You'll be reimbursed based on your policy, but you have to pay your vet first.
  • Filing your claim correctly prevents delays in reimbursement.

Over years of working as a veterinarian, Dr. Brian Evans has seen significant advances in the veterinary system's ability to care for pets. While that is good, it has one major downside: increased costs. Those costs are leading more and more pet parents to purchase pet insurance , something Evans sees as a no-brainer.

"One bad weekend in an emergency room can cover years of the insurance premiums, plus give you the peace of mind that you don't need to sacrifice care for your pet," Evans says.

Overview of the pet insurance claim process

Unlike human medical insurance, which pays the providers directly, even the best pet insurance plans provide reimbursements. That means you'll pay for the care upfront, and then receive a portion of the cost back from your insurer after you file a claim. The exact number will vary based on your deductible, coinsurance, and policy limits. 

While filing a pet insurance claim might seem like a hassle initially, it's well worth the effort. Filing your claim and getting reimbursement allows you to provide the best care possible for your pet without compromising your financial health.

Before ​​completing a pet insurance claim form, you must pay the veterinarian for their services. You can pay via cash, check, or credit card with most vets. Many vets will also work with CareCredit or other short-term loan programs to help you fill the financial gap while your claim is processing. 

Documentation needed for a claim

These are the necessary documents for pet insurance claims:

  • Vet invoice: Get an invoice detailing your pet's treatments or services and the cost of individual services. The bill will be the basis of your reimbursement claim.
  • SOAP notes: Ask your veterinary office for a copy of the SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, and plan). This is a written document showing why a treatment was used. You can use it to justify the treatment to your insurance company.
  • Medical records: To prove a specific condition should be covered, you must send in your pet's medical record to confirm it's a new ailment, as pre-existing conditions aren't covered.

Timing considerations for filing

If you've recently purchased a pet insurance policy, a waiting period on certain conditions may also apply. In that case, your insurer won't cover the condition until the waiting period has passed. For example, with Lemonade pet insurance , you can expect a waiting period of:

  • 2 days for accidents
  • 14 days for illnesses
  • 30 days for orthopedic conditions
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament events 

Additionally, pet insurance plans only cover conditions diagnosed after you purchase the plan. The best way to simplify the conversation about what pet insurance covers is to buy a plan when you bring your furry friend home for the first time. 

Choose carefully, as any known condition becomes a preexisting condition if you switch insurance companies. You can change plans without triggering this issue, but not companies.

While it's easy to miss deadlines, especially when your furry family member experiences a medical crisis, be sure to file your claim as soon as possible. Most insurers will only process claims filed within 90 days of treatment. To ensure your claim is processed promptly, follow these tips for filing pet insurance claims.

Step 1: Gather and submit the necessary documentation

Follow directions closely and attach all the supporting documents, including your paid invoice, SOAP notes, and pet medical records. Submitting the required documents at one time prevents delays in coverage. 

Step 2: Notify your insurance provider by completing the claim form

Now that you have your supporting documents, you must file a claim. What this looks like depends on your insurance company. Some allow you to fill out a form via a mobile app, while others require you to print out and fax or mail the claim form to a set address. Lemonade allows pet parents to record a short video to describe their pet's medical claim.

Step 3: Follow up on your claim

To ensure you don't miss out on reimbursement, contact the company to confirm your claim was received. If some time has passed, follow up to ask for the status of your claim. Your insurer may require additional information to complete processing. 

If your claim is approved, you'll receive a check or direct deposit. If you took a loan with CareCredit or a similar organization, you could repay all or part of your loan with the reimbursement.

If you're making snap decisions about which treatments to authorize for your pet, finances may be the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, pet owners generally underestimate the cost of emergency care, which can leave them in a precarious financial position.

How reimbursements are calculated

Knowing the reimbursement process for pet insurance can keep you financially savvy even when emotions are high. Plans typically reimburse between 70-90% of the cost of eligible services. Pet parents should also pay attention to the maximum limits. 

For example, if your policy caps out at $10,000, you could quickly exhaust your annual limits with one major emergency. On the other hand, unlimited benefits will cover you if you can afford the 10% to 30% that your coinsurance demands. When you have those numbers in mind, you can be realistic about what procedures you can and can't approve.

Typical timelines for claim processing

Many pet insurance companies brag about processing claims in one to two days. But, especially the first time, this probably won't happen. We recommend calling your pet insurance company if you're unsure at any point in the claims process. You can ask about expected timelines and if they need more information from you.

Insurance claims can be frustrating. These steps ensure your claim process goes smoothly.

Keeping detailed medical records

Your pet insurance company needs your pet's medical records to verify that the condition being claimed isn't preexisting and is covered under your policy. If you don't have updated records on hand, contact your vet to obtain them. If it's been a while since your last checkup, a pet insurance company may wait for your next vet visit.

Take a look at the following information your pet's medical records should have:

  • Identification details (pet's name, breed, age, identifying details, etc.)
  • Vaccination history
  • Medical history
  • Medication records.
  • Veterinary visits
  • Diagnostic test results.
  • Preventive care records

Understanding your policy's coverage

Before you can file a claim, you need to know what your pet insurance does and doesn't cover . There are a lot of variations in pet insurance plans. So do your due diligence before you need coverage.

"Make sure to check the fine print," says Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, a veterinarian with Rover.

Submitting a claim for routine vaccinations, for example, is pointless if your plan only covers emergencies. Likewise, some accident and injury policies cover acupuncture, chiropractic care, and other alternative treatments. 

Also, take a look at your policy exclusions. Every pet insurance company defines "preexisting conditions" differently. Some companies cover "curable" preexisting conditions with a specific waiting period. 

The trickiest part for many customers is determining what is and isn't a preexisting condition the first time and evaluating the cost of pet insurance before they need it. "I highly recommend purchasing pet insurance the day you get your puppy," Evans says. "If you wait until they get sick, it will be too late and could potentially exclude them from coverage for the rest of their life."

After that, everything else should follow your policy documents. So if you have a 90% coinsurance rate, you'd be reimbursed for 90% of the bill after your deductible is satisfied. Your policy documents are like a roadmap, offering a guide to what specific services are covered, common exclusions, etc.

Make a habit of reviewing your policy once a year to keep it fresh in your mind. Knowing these details can save you a lot of frustration and unexpected expenses.

Communicating clearly and promptly with your insurer

Accurate claim filing ensures that you receive your reimbursement in a timely manner. Communicate with your insurance company if you have questions about your coverage before filing a claim. 

Sometimes, insurers will deny a claim. If that happens, check your insurer's appeal process. Get as much detail as possible on why the claim was rejected. Then ask your veterinarian if they can provide additional information to address the issues leading your insurer to deny the claim.

To file a pet insurance claim, you'll need a completed claim form, itemized invoices from the veterinary clinic, and your pet's medical records related to the claim. 

The specific timeframe depends on your insurer's policy, but it's best to file as soon as possible. Many companies have a filing deadline of 90 days after the treatment.

First, gather all necessary documentation. Then, complete the required claim form and submit your claim according to the insurer's guidelines. Get an estimated timeline on your reimbursement and follow up on your pet insurance claim status if you don't hear back within the expected timeframe.

Your pet insurance company will reimburse you a percentage of your claim amount up to your annual or incident coverage limits (as stated in your policy). Your deductible will also be subtracted from the reimbursement amount. 

To ensure a smooth claims process, keep thorough records of all veterinary visits and treatments, understand the specifics of your insurance policy, and maintain open communication with your insurer. Submitting complete and accurate documentation with your claim prevents delays in your reimbursement. 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Read our editorial standards .

Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

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Step 1: Conduct a Direct Pay Pre-Check

Step 2: know your waiting period, step 3: review policy coverage, terms, and conditions, step 4: obtain a claim form and fill it out, step 5: submit the claim, step 6: verify that your claim was received, step 7: wait for claim review and processing, step 8: receive notification of approval or denial, step 9: cash the check or file an appeal, step 10: know how and where to complain.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

The Bottom Line

  • Pet Insurance

How To File a Pet Insurance Claim

It’s a multi-step process to get your funds

help you cover pet insurance claim form

Skylar Clarine is a fact-checker and expert in personal finance with a range of experience including veterinary technology and film studies.

help you cover pet insurance claim form

Obtaining pet insurance for your dog, cat, or potbellied pig is only part of the story. At some point, you will likely have to file a claim . As pet insurance usually follows a reimbursement model, it's good to know how that process works and when to expect your money. This article takes you step by step through the claims process.

Key Takeaways

  • Study your policy before you need to use it, so you know what’s covered and what’s not.
  • Obtain required receipts and medical records from your veterinarian following your pet’s treatment.
  • Fill out and submit the claim form in a timely manner.
  • Check to make sure your claim is being processed.
  • Arrange for direct deposit of your reimbursement to speed up the timelines.
  • If your claim is denied, know how and where to file an appeal.

If your insurance is one of the few that offer to pay your vet directly and you want to use it, you need to check with the vet’s office to make sure it accepts direct pay from your insurer before seeking treatment for your pet. If your vet doesn’t accept direct pay, you will be shifted to the insurer’s reimbursement plan if you go ahead with the visit.

Almost all pet insurance policies have a waiting period of 10 to 30 days from the date the policy starts until coverage begins. Make sure you are past the waiting period before seeking regular care. If you are dealing with an accident or serious illness, the waiting period may not matter and your pet will likely not be covered for this event.

To avoid financial surprises , make sure you know whether the treatment your pet needs is covered by your policy, as well as all pertinent terms and conditions.

  • Preexisting conditions exclusion: Most policies won’t pay for congenital defects, hereditary conditions, or anything diagnosed and treated prior to the policy start date.
  • Other exclusions: Preventive treatment or wellness care, dental care, vaccinations, flea prevention, spaying or neutering , and behavioral training are often excluded. However, some policies come with a wellness rider that does cover these exclusions.
  • Deductible: This is the amount you pay before coverage kicks in (after the waiting period). Some policies have a per-incident deductible; others are annual.
  • Co-pay: Once you meet the deductible, you may have to pay co-insurance or a co-pay. If your reimbursement rate is 80%, your co-pay will be 20%, for example.
  • Limit: This is the maximum amount (per incident and/or policy term) you will be reimbursed.

Insurers offer claims processing in several different ways. Many use online claim forms or a mobile app. Others let you download and print out the claim form. Familiarize yourself with the process used by your insurer by going to the insurance company’s website and looking for the section on claim filing—preferably before you need to file one.

Once you have access to the claim form, collect whatever additional documents you need, including paid invoices from the vet and any required medical records, such as the SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, and plan) notes for the specific treatment your pet received.

Carefully complete the claim form, making sure you describe treatment, not symptoms, and follow all instructions completely. Your vet’s office can provide help if you need it.

Once you have completed the claim form and gathered all documentation, submit your claim online, via mobile app, email, fax, or by regular mail following instructions for including invoices and medical records depending on the process you use.

Submit your claim in a timely manner following treatment. Some insurers impose a 90-day or less time limit for filing a claim.

Depending on your insurer, you may receive notification that your claim was received or you may have to check with the insurer to get that information. How long that will take will depend on the process you use. If you submit online or via a mobile app, notification may be almost instant or within 48 to 72 hours.

Your first claim will likely take longer to process, as the insurer will want to review your pet’s medical history.

Some insurers say they process most claims within 24 hours, but 15 to 30 days is more common. Many insurers will want to review your pet’s medical history when you file your first claim. This will extend the time it takes to process this claim, with all subsequent claims processed on the insurer’s regular timeframe.

Your insurer may contact you during the review process to request additional information. Make sure you respond quickly, as the request likely resets the time clock on review and processing.

If your insurer offers direct deposit of reimbursement, signing up for it will speed up the process of getting your money.

At the end of claim review and processing, you will receive a notification that your claim was approved or denied, in full or in part. You will also find out the amount of your reimbursement. Approval may come with a check for the amount of the reimbursement or via direct deposit if you signed up for that ahead of time.

If your claim is approved and you agree with the amount of reimbursement, you’re finished. If your policy includes direct pay to the vet, you will be notified that the veterinarian has been paid and whether you have a balance due. If you disagree with the finding, your next step is to file an appeal.

The appeal process begins with your insurer. Check the insurer’s website for a section titled “Appeal” or “Claim Review.” Follow the appeal process instructions and be prepared for that process to take up to 30 days, just like your original claim.

If the appeal process proves unsatisfactory, contact your state insurance commissioner’s office. You can obtain contact information through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) or on your state government website.

Can You Get Insurance That Covers Routine Care for Pets, Not Just Illness?

Preventive treatments and wellness care are often excluded. But some companies offer separate pet wellness plans.

Can I Get a Discount if I Insure More Than One Pet?

Many companies offer this discount. Look for the one with the most favorable terms .

Knowing how the claims process works will help ensure that you get the coverage you bought. Be sure to gather the records you need, so you can back up your claims. If you don't receive your check, make the extra effort to appeal your case.

North American Pet Health Insurance Association. " NAPHIA’s Pet Insurance Buying Guide ."

MetLife. " Easy Claims Submission ."

Trupanion. " Your Trupanion Claims Experience ."

Nationwide. " Claim Turnaround Time. "

Nationwide. " Claim Review ."

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How to file a pet insurance claim and get reimbursed for veterinarian bills

In most cases, you'll need to pay vet bills up front and be reimbursed. here's how..


Having a sick or injured pet can be heartbreaking — and quite expensive. Pet insurance can help with the cost, but you typically need to pay the bill in full and then file a claim to get reimbursed.  

If you have a pet insurance policy, here's what may and may not be included and what you need to do to get repaid by your insurer.  

What we'll cover

  • What pet insurance does and doesn't cover

How to get reimbursed for veterinarian bills

Pet insurance companies that pay directly.

  • Bottom line  

What pet insurance does and doesn't cover 

Like traditional health care companies, pet insurance companies don't cover everything — especially preexisting conditions . In addition, most policies have a waiting period that can last anywhere from 14 to 30 days, during which your pet is not covered.

You may be able to get your pet covered for an illness they had in the past but fully recovered from. What's considered a "curable pre-condition, however varies greatly among providers. Any carrier should review your pet's records in advance to help you understand what is and is not covered.

There are quite a few things that standard pet insurance policies usually don't cover .

  • Pregnancy and birth-related costs
  • Congenital and hereditary disorders
  • Pre-existing bilateral conditions (like hip dysplasia or cataracts)
  • Regular wellness (like vaccinations and flea treatments).
  • Elective procedures (like spaying)
  • Non-medical services (like grooming and boarding)
  • Funeral or memorial expenses

Pet insurance policies typically do cover the following for covered conditions:

  • Hospitalization costs
  • Specialists
  • Diagnostic testing

Spot , CNBC Select's top choice for pet insurance, includes coverage for microchipping, acupuncture and alternative therapies. Its preventative care plan includes spaying and neutering and dental cleaning.

Spot Pet Insurance

The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

Policy highlights

Spot Pet Insurance offers accident and illness and accident-only coverage for cats and dogs. It has a variety of choices of reimbursement rates, annual limits (including an unlimited policy), and deductibles to cater your coverage to your needs and budget. The option to cover preventative care procedures and exams (including a dental cleaning and wellness exam) for an extra fee is available.

App available

Standout features.

There are no upper age limits for new enrollments to Spot and plans include coverage for microchipping. Spot also offers access to a 24/7 veterinary helpline to address questions about wellness and health concerns.

Embrace also offers coverage for alternative therapies, as well as for behavioral therapy and prescription medications.

Embrace Pet Insurance

A variety of maximum annual limits, reimbursement choices and deductibles allow you to tailor coverage to your needs and budget. A two-day waiting period for accident policies can also help get your pet covered sooner, though illnesses have a 14-day waiting period.

Embrace offers the option of unlimited annual coverage limits. It also offers coverage for non-invasive treatments, like chiropractic care, hydrotherapy and acupuncture.

Pay for treatment

You'll probably need to cover the full cost of your bill at the time of service. Most pet insurance companies need to review your claim before reimbursing, so get an itemized invoice from the veterinarian .  

Request reimbursement

Submit a completed claim form to the pet insurance company via its website, app, mail, email or fax, along with a copy of the itemized invoice, relevant medical records and any other required documentation.

Make sure you've updated your mailing address and bank account information so you can be properly reimbursed by mail or direct deposit.

Check the status of your claim 

It can take at least 10 to 15 days for a claim to be processed, though some insurers can take up to 30 days. You can frequently track the process on the company's website.  

If your claim is approved, you'll receive a payment according to your reimbursement level — typically between 70% and 90% of the total bill, minus any deductibles and/or annual limits.  

Some pet insurance companies will pay the veterinarian for you at the time of service, saving you the hassle of submitting for reimbursement. You'll need to make arrangements ahead of time and typically sign a release and other forms. Healthy Paws offers direct payments for situations where you can't pay your vet after treatment. You'll need to request it before your pet is treated, and direct payment is only available during business hours.  

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws offers accident and illness coverage with unlimited maximum payouts. It offers three options for deductibles and reimbursement options.

While Healthy Paws has one plan, it covers things that would be extras at other insurers, including things like prescription medication, alternative treatments, and hereditary conditions.

Pets Best also has an option to pay bills directly. It doesn't have an age limit for coverage and offers optional  wellness plans  that cover routine care. For humans with multiple pets, a 5% discount is available.

Pets Best Pet Insurance

Available in all 50 states, Pets Best is a standout for its affordable rates. While wellness policies are available, Pet's Best focuses on accident-only policies and accident and illness policies.

Pet's Best offers coverage to cats and dogs as young as 7 weeks old, and has no maximum age limit. An option to pay your vet directly is available.

Money matters — so make the most of it. Get expert tips, strategies, news and everything else you need to maximize your money, right to your inbox.  Sign up here .

Bottom line

Pet insurance can save you a lot of money, but you typically need to pay for care upfront. Make sure you know what is covered and hold onto invoices, medical records and other documents to get reimbursed promptly.  

Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every pet insurance review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of pet insurance products . While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics.

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How To File A Pet Insurance Claim

Kari Steer, Licensed P&C Insurance Agent at Pawlicy Advisor

Pet insurance provides a financial safety net if your four-legged companion gets sick or injured. It allows you to give your dog or cat the medical care they need without putting a financial strain on your wallet by filing a claim for reimbursement after the vet visit.

But what happens next? How does the claims process work and when can you expect to get your money back? This step-by-step guide will teach you how to file a pet insurance claim to help make an already stressful ordeal a whole lot easier.

Table of Contents:

What you'll need when filing a pet insurance claim

How to file a pet insurance claim with your provider, tips to speed up the reimbursement process, understanding the outcome of your pet insurance claim, how to appeal a denied pet insurance claim.

Here’s what you generally need to include when filing a pet insurance claim:

  • Itemized invoice. The vet bill should include all fees, taxes, discounts, and other costs. Make sure to have a look at your invoice at the time of payment to verify that the balance is zero dollars.
  • Veterinary medical records. You will also need to send your pet's medical records (SOAP records) with your initial claim. These medical records help identify any health issues the pet had before coverage started because pre-existing conditions are typically not covered by pet insurance.
  • Insurance claim form. Complete the claim form describing your pet’s treatment and make sure to follow the instructions completely.

Once you have all the necessary documents, it’s time to file a pet insurance claim. While the specific instructions will vary by provider, here are the general steps you need to follow.

Step 1: Go to the insurance company's website

Visit your provider’s website or mobile app to check your policy documents and see if you are covered for the claim you want to file. Depending on the insurer, you might be able to file your claim entirely online or you may need to give them a call to start the process.

Step 2: Obtain a pet insurance claim form

Some providers require you to download and print out a pet insurance claim form, while others use digital forms that you can submit online, via email, or directly through your account portal. For instance, to file a claim with Nationwide Pet Insurance , you’d go directly to the Pet Account Access Page, and to file a claim with Embrace Pet Insurance , you’d log into MyEmbrace.

Step 3: Provide as much detail as possible

The information you’ll be asked to supply will vary based on the pet insurance claim form, but you’ll most likely need to provide the following details:

  • Pet name, breed, and species
  • Medical history*
  • Date of the incident
  • Reason for your visit to the vet
  • Name, location, and phone number of vet
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Recommended treatment plan
  • Itemized expenses paid for out-of-pocket

*If you’ve never filed a claim with your pet insurance provider before, they may request to see your pet’s medical history leading up to the date of the incident to confirm your claim is unrelated to a pre-existing condition .

Remember that each insurance company is unique in terms of the information they require to process claims. For example, to file a claim with Lemonade Pet Insurance , you will be asked to submit a short video explaining what your pet was treated for, what happened during the vet visit, and any other relevant details.

Step 4: Attach supporting documents

Confirm which supporting documents you need to submit along with your pet insurance claim. Some examples might include a bill of service, invoice or quote, receipts of payment, and signed medical records.

Your provider may also request the SOAP transcript, or a written report by the attending vet that provides a detailed account of the treatment your pet received. The SOAP notes are often included with your medical bill, but you can always request them from your vet at the end of your appointment.

Some pet insurance companies allow you to digitally upload photos of these documents directly from your smartphone, while others request they be scanned and sent my email, fax, or snail mail.

Step 5: Submit the form to your insurance provider

Confirm all of the information you filled out is complete and without error, then double check the requested documentation to ensure it is included. Finally, once you verify that everything is in order, submit the claim to your insurance provider. Once you've submitted your paperwork, it’s a good idea to keep copies of all your documents on hand until the claim has been paid.

There are certain steps you can take in order to make sure the pet insurance claims process goes smoothly, so you can get repaid sooner rather than later:

Follow the instructions.

Verify that you’ve followed the pet insurance claim instructions to the T so you can avoid delays caused by skipping steps or missing information.

Submit your pet insurance claim as soon as possible.

It is in your best interest to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, especially for first-time filers whose pets will require a medical history review. Be mindful of your provider’s claim expiration window , or the amount of time you have to file a claim after an incident occurs. For most companies, the window ranges between 60 and 270 days.

Provide all medical records.

Regardless of whether you are submitting a pet insurance claim for the first or fifth time, you may need to include a copy of your pet’s medical records. Your provider might request this from the vet directly, but saving them a step could prevent any administrative delays at the front desk.

Stay on top of communication.

If you notice your claim submission is pending or under review, call your insurance provider to find out what the hold-up is and how to move the claim along. This will help you keep track of the progress and promptly address any issues they may have, which typically relate to missing or incomplete details. Promptly provide them and ask how long you can expect to wait for reimbursement.

If they determine they do need information from your veterinarian, give your vet office a call to alert them to the situation. Let them know your pet is a patient there and that your insurance company is requesting information from their last visit. If they don’t send it over by the end of day, follow up with a reminder in 24 to 48 hours.

Enroll in direct deposit.

If it’s an option with your insurance provider, be sure to enroll in direct deposit so you can get your reimbursement sooner. Rather than waiting for a check in the mail, this payout method allows you to have access to your money within a few days of your pet insurance claim being approved.

To ensure you’re satisfied with the outcome of your pet insurance claim, it’s a good idea to re-familiarize yourself with the specific details of your policy. If you don’t know your exact policy terms, you might be surprised by the amount insurance agrees to repay you, since only a few companies will cover 100% of veterinary bills and most require you to pay a deductible before your pet insurance coverage starts to kick in .

That said, here are a few things to keep in mind when filing a pet insurance claim and how you can expect your plan to work for you:

  • Waiting period: All pet insurance companies require you to wait a specific period of time before your coverage starts. If you file a claim during this waiting period, your insurance provider will not cover any expenses.
  • Eligible expenses: Only costs related to the medical conditions outlined within your policy are eligible for coverage through pet insurance. This generally excludes pre-existing conditions that were already evident before the policy was purchased, as well as elective procedures, and wellness services. Furthermore, the veterinary services that are eligible for coverage can vary depending on the provider and the type of plan you select. For example, Accident-Only plans will exclusively cover injuries only — not illnesses or breed-specific issues. If you had this coverage when filing a pet insurance claim for an acute sickness, you might be out of luck.
  • Deductible: This refers to the amount of money you must spend out-of-pocket before your insurance policy will begin to cover eligible expenses at the vet (unless you have a $0 deductible). Some policies have an annual deductible, whereas others have a per-incident deductible. If your annual deductible was $100 and your vet bill was $500, you would pay the first $100 and then your pet insurance coverage would kick in for the remaining $400 and immediately at all vet visits within the year of that policy term – unless your deductible applies for each incident, in which case, you would pay $100 for each unrelated incident.
  • Reimbursement rate: Pet insurance plans reimburse a percentage of the vet bill once your deductible is met. The rate of reimbursement typically ranges from 60% to 100% of the bill, leaving you to cover the remaining amount portion out-of-pocket (otherwise known as co-insurance, co-pay, or cost-share). Sticking with the example above, if you had an 80% reimbursement rate and $400 in eligible expenses, you would be reimbursed $320.
  • Payout limit. This is the maximum amount of money your policy will payout for pet insurance claims. Depending on the provider, the ceiling may be set per policy term or for the lifetime of your pet. Once you reach the maximum amount specified by your policy, you’ll be responsible for all additional vet costs until the payout limit resets (if applicable). Some providers offer unllimited payouts for life, but these plans can be expensive.

When you file a pet insurance claim, a claims adjuster will review your submission and determine whether insurance coverage applies and in what amount. However, if you're not happy with the payout sum you were awarded, or your claim is rejected altogether, you can try to appeal the verdict.

Look for a section titled "Claim Review" or "Appeal" within your policy’s fine print and follow the guidelines for the appeal process. You can usually find these instructions on your provider’s website, as well. If they find your reimbursement amount to be fair and you’re still not satisfied, you can file a complaint with the insurance department in your state . These agencies are tasked with policing insurance companies and keeping track of complaint patterns to protect consumers.

Questions & Answers

How do i know what's eligible for coverage.

You can use pet insurance to cover the costs of treating unexpected illnesses and injuries but since plans vary in what they cover, it is very important to understand what is eligible for coverage by reading the details of your pet insurance policy . Be sure to also read the fine print so you didn’t miss anything in the exclusions and restrictions.

How long does the claims process take?

The time it takes to receive your reimbursement will differ depending on the insurer but in general, insurers process claims in five to 14 days , as long as you submit all necessary documentation. Call your pet insurance company if you'd want to find out when to expect your payout. Depending on the provider, you might be able to track your claim online

Why was my pet insurance claim denied?

Insurance companies may reject pet insurance claims for a number of reasons. Most frequently, it's because the condition is regarded as pre-existing . As mentioned before, if this happens, you have the option to challenge the denial by filing an appeal.

Even if your four-legged friend has a pre-existing condition, you can still get pet insurance and it will cover ailments not related to the pre-existing condition. Use Pawlicy Advisor to compare different pet insurance plans side by side and select the best insurance provider for your pet.

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Kari Steere is a licensed P&C insurance agent in all 50 states and has focused entirely on pet insurance since 2019. As an animal lover with a rescued Terrier named Barry, when she's not helping pet owners find the perfect plan on Pawlicy Advisor , she runs a ranch in Oregon and rehabilitates any animals that come across her path.

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Pet Insurance

How to make a pet insurance claim in 2024

Mandy Sleight

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Heidi Gollub

Heidi Gollub

Updated 6:35 a.m. UTC Dec. 19, 2023

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Eva Blanco, Getty Images

  • Before you make a pet insurance claim, it’s important to understand what your pet insurance policy covers and excludes.
  • Provide an itemized invoice and receipt with your pet insurance claim, so it can be processed quickly.
  • Most claim payouts take two to three business days for direct deposit and up to seven business days for mailed checks.

Pet insurance can help offset the rising cost of veterinary care. To get the most out of your coverage, it’s important to know how to file a pet insurance claim successfully.

How do you file a pet insurance claim? 

How you file a pet insurance claim depends on your pet insurance company. Most insurers require you to pay first and then file a claim for reimbursement, but a few offer to pay covered expenses to the vet directly.

Pet insurance reimbursement

Here are some steps when it comes to pet insurance reimbursement claims. 

  • Take your pet to the vet. After the appointment, pay the vet bill. Get an itemized receipt with a breakdown of all the costs.
  • Fill out the claim form. Go on your pet insurance company’s website, app or portal and fill out the claim form with the necessary details of the vet visit. 
  • Submit the claim form and required documentation. You should get a copy of the claim you submitted and keep it on file. Follow up if you don’t get a copy.
  • Receive reimbursement. Your pet insurance company will send an explanation of benefits and reimbursements to you by check or direct deposit, depending on how you have your account set up.

Vet direct pay

Some pet insurance companies offer to pay the vet directly, but the way this works varies by company.

  • Pets Best offers direct vet pay, but not at checkout. Your vet will need to sign a reimbursement release form that you will submit along with your claim. After your claim is processed, Pets Best will send any eligible reimbursement to the vet and you will be responsible for the balance.
  • Trupanion offers vet direct pay at checkout, as long as your vet has Trupanion software. Once Trupanion pays the vet’s office directly for covered expenses you’ll only be responsible for non-covered expenses, like your deductible and coinsurance.

What you need to file a pet insurance claim

Here’s what you typically need to file a pet insurance claim.

  • Itemized receipt: The itemized receipt from your veterinarian’s office should include every charge, fee and tax, plus any discounts you’re eligible for. The receipt must show a zero balance unless you’re using vet direct pay.
  • Claims form: If you file a claim through your pet insurer’s online portal or mobile app, your personal details and information about your pet may pre-populate. If not, you might have to fill out a claim form with that information, plus details about the date, cause and reason for your pet’s veterinary visit.
  • Veterinary medical records: Pet insurers may require your pet’s medical records if you haven’t provided them or if this is your first claim. The records will allow the insurer to verify coverage and determine what may not be covered, like pre-existing conditions.
  • Bank account information: Direct deposit provides the fastest reimbursement. You will need your bank routing and account number to get reimbursement through electronic payment.

If your pet insurance company needs medical records or any other information to finalize the pet insurance claim, the insurer will typically reach out to you directly or to the veterinarian.

How much you can expect to be reimbursed for a pet insurance claim

How much you can expect from pet insurance reimbursement depends on:

  • Your plan. Coverage varies by company and by plan, so it’s important to understand what your pet insurance covers .
  • Your deductible. This is the amount you are responsible for paying before your pet insurance plan will start to reimburse you for eligible expenses. You choose this amount, such as $250, when you buy pet insurance.
  • Your reimbursement percentage. Similar to coinsurance, pet insurance plans generally pay 70%, 80% or 90% of eligible vet bills, after the deductible is met.
  • Your annual limit. This amount is your annual coverage cap, such as $5,000.  

For example, let’s say your dog is seen for a paw laceration that is not a pre-existing condition , and you have an accident and illness pet insurance plan. The total vet visit cost is $400, and you’ve already met your $250 annual deductible for the policy period. With an 80% reimbursement percentage, you’d get reimbursed $320. 

Tracking the progress of your pet insurance claim

“How to track the progress of a pet insurance claim varies by provider,” said Christie Ross, Pumpkin Pet Insurance customer care manager. “Claims can usually be tracked in the customer member center or account portal.”

If your pet insurance company has a mobile app, you can also track the progress there. If you don’t have any of these options, some providers will provide progress reports via email, advised Ross.

Wait time for a pet insurance claim payout

Claim payout wait times can vary by the pet insurance company, the complexity of the claim and the reimbursement method. 

According to Dr. Katy Nelson, senior veterinarian at Chewy, some reimbursements can happen instantly with direct deposit. For other insurance companies, it may take several business days. 

Pets Best typically takes as little as two days to deposit the claim payout after processing, said Melissa Gutierrez, SVP, General Manager Pets Best at Synchrony. A paper check can take anywhere from five to seven days.

For more complex cases or cases needing further documentation, reimbursement can take a week or more.

Mistakes to avoid when filing a pet insurance claim

You should file your pet insurance claim as soon as possible — the faster your claim is approved the quicker you’ll receive reimbursement. You should also provide complete and accurate information to avoid processing delays.

“The most important thing to do is read the fine print,” said Dr. Nelson. “By reviewing plan details in policy documents, pet parents can understand what is covered and what is not, before filing a claim.”

Handling claim denials or disagreements

Before contacting the pet insurance company if your claim is denied or you disagree with your payout, Ross advises you to look closely at your explanation of benefits (EOB) and insurance policy. The EOB will explain why your claim was denied or what services were approved and reimbursed.

According to Gutierrez, the most common reasons for claims denials are:

  • You have yet to meet your deductible, and the amount of covered expenses was applied to your deductible.
  • Your policy doesn’t cover the services your pet received, such as exam visit fees.
  • Your pet’s condition was deemed pre-existing.

You can appeal the decision with your pet insurance company. You should be prepared to provide additional context to substantiate your appeal to be successful.

If you still disagree with how the claim was handled or your payout amount, you can make a complaint with your state’s insurance department. Each state has a dedicated insurance department that regulates insurance companies and handles complaints and grievances.

Tips for maximizing your pet insurance claim

To maximize your pet insurance claim:

  • Review your pet insurance policy to make sure you understand what’s covered and what’s not.
  • Provide original itemized paid receipts if mailing or clear pictures or scans if submitting online. Keep copies for your records.
  • Don’t forget to complete your claim form, sign it and provide proof of payment in full.
  • Provide as much detail as possible when filling out claims forms, including complete medical records and veterinarian notes.
  • Ask your veterinarian questions during the appointment and take notes to make filing the claim easier.
  • Ask a staff member on your veterinarian’s team to help complete the claims form if needed.
  • Keep track of the claims process to promptly address anything the pet insurance company needs.

How to file a pet insurance claim FAQs

How long it takes to process a pet insurance claim depends on the pet insurance company and what your pet insurance covers , the type of claim, the details provided for the claim and the way you submit it.

Pet insurance companies using mobile apps with AI assistance can process claims within a few minutes, while others can take up to a week. It can take even longer if your claim is particularly complex or if you need to provide more documentation. Most pet insurance companies strive to process claims within a week of submission.

You can make pet insurance claims as often as needed, though you should only submit one claim per vet visit. For example, if your cat was seen for its annual visit and you have wellness coverage, you would submit a claim after being seen. If your cat ingests an object a few days later, you would submit another claim for that vet visit.

The most common medical conditions for dogs and cats according to the 2023 NAPHIA State of the Industry Report are:

  • Ear infections.
  • Urinary tract infection.
  • Weight loss.

The most common pet insurance claims for puppies according to the ASPCA are:

  • Lacerations.
  • Bite wounds.
  • Stomach issues.

The most common pet insurance claims for kittens according to the ASPCA are:

  • Back leg fractures.
  • Conjunctivitis (eye infections). 

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Mandy Sleight

Mandy is an insurance writer who has been creating online content since 2018. Before becoming a full-time freelance writer, Mandy spent 15 years working as an insurance agent. Her work has been published in Bankrate, MoneyGeek, The Insurance Bulletin, U.S. News and more.

Kara McGinley is deputy editor of insurance at USA TODAY Blueprint and a licensed home insurance expert. Previously, she was a senior editor at Policygenius, where she specialized in homeowners and renters insurance. Her work and insights have been featured in MSN, Lifehacker, Kiplinger, PropertyCasualty360 and more.

Heidi Gollub is the USA TODAY Blueprint managing editor of insurance. She was previously lead editor of insurance at Forbes Advisor and led the insurance team at U.S. News & World Report as assistant managing editor of 360 Reviews. Heidi has an MBA from Emporia State University and is a licensed property and casualty insurance expert.

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Filing A Claim is Easy With AKC Pet Insurance!

How to file a claim.

Filing a pet insurance claim is easy with AKC Pet Insurance. Pay your vet directly, fill out our reimbursement claim form , and submit your claim via email, post, or fax.

Pay Your Vet

Visit any licensed vet or clinic in the U.S. or Canada, pay your bill, and get an itemized receipt.

File a Claim

Submit your claim in the customer portal or by email, fax, or mail . Whatever's easiest for you!

Get Reimbursed

Eligible expenses will be repaid by check or direct deposit (your choice).

Eligible expenses will be reimbursed back to you via paper check or direct deposit to your bank account after your claim has been approved.

Eligibility is based on your policy, your veterinarian's recommendations, and supporting medical records. Payments are assessed based on reasonable and customary charges in your area for eligible testing /treatment provided. In addition, your plan's deductible will be applied if it has not been met.

Policyholders will receive acknowledgement of claim receipt immediately after submitting in the portal or by email, or within 1 business day of receipt for faxed and mailed claims. We will assign claims to an agent within 2 business days of receipt. Claims submitted with all documentation and requiring no further review will typically be finalized and payment initiated within 1 business day of claim assignment. Determination and payment of claims with documentation and requiring further review will typically be initiated within 2 business days of receipt of information. Claims requiring additional vet records can take up to 30 days, which includes receipt of records from the vet. Times may vary depending on the claim. Please check your portal for updates on claim status and contact the Customer Care Team with any questions.

Peace Of Mind With 24/7 Vet Helpline

As an AKC Pet Insurance policyholder, you have access to expert veterinary support whenever you need it—day or night, 7 days a week. Emergencies don’t wait until the vet’s office is open. And sometimes, you might not even know whether a certain symptom requires a trip to the vet.

With the AKC Pet Insurance Vet Helpline, you’ll have access to 24/7 veterinary support. This service is included with every policy—with no extra charge.

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The Pet Insurance Guide

Helpucover – Standard Policy – Details

22nd January 2024 By petguide

Helpucover Pet Insurance

Vet Fees Cover Limit: £1,000 per condition (without time limit).

Maximum Age for New Policies: 7 years (dogs – but 4 years for certain breeds) 9 years (cats)

Key Points to Note

  • Includes dental cover for illnesses as well as accidents
  • Very limited prescription food cover
  • Will waive your premium for up to six months if you are unable to work
  • Includes basic travel cover only
  • See full review of Helpucover strengths and limitations
  • See a summary of Helpucover customer reviews

Excess and Contribution Rates

  • The standard excess is £90 per condition for dogs and £60 per condition for cats.
  • You have to pay 25% of vet fees for pets over 8 years old

Vet Fees Benefits

Third party liability cover, additional benefits, travel cover, more information, other helpucover policies.

Helpucover – Classic Policy – Details

Helpucover – Essential Policy – Details

Helpucover – Premier Policy – Details

Helpucover – Standard Plus Policy – Details

Helpucover – Vital Policy – Details

About Helpucover Pet Insurance

Helpucover Policies – Review

Helpucover Pet Insurance – Our Verdict

Helpucover Customer Reviews

Pet Insurance Terminology Explained

Contribution Payments

Maximum Benefit Policies

Time Limited Cover

Accident Only Policies

Lifetime Policies

More Pet Insurance Terminology & Benefits Explained

Relevant Articles

Vet Fees Cover Types

Pet Insurance – A Quick Introduction

How Much Vet Fees Cover Do You Need?

Buying Pet Insurance: Eight Vital Questions!

What Is a Pet Insurance Deductible?

Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


In This Article

So, you’ve taken the plunge and decided that you want to cover your new dog or cat with pet insurance. But, after you start researching and comparing plans, you find that you need to make some decisions as to what type and level of “deductible” you want, and wonder how to know what a good deductible for pet insurance means for your pet.

You may be familiar with deductibles in human health insurance plans—the same terminology is used for  pet insurance plans .

Here’s how pet insurance deductibles work, plus tips for picking the right kind insurance and level for your pet.

Find a CarePlus insurance plan to match your pet's needs

Learn about CarePlus, insurance plans with exclusive Chewy benefits

Pet insurance that can cover Rx costs and more

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What Is a Deductible in Pet Insurance?

In its most basic form, a deductible is the amount you’ll have to pay to your veterinarian before your insurance policy kicks in and starts making payments for claims. Typical deductibles range from $0 to $1000, but averages are typically closer to $100, $250, or $500.

For example, if your plan has a $200 deductible, you will have to pay the first $200 out of pocket before the insurance company will start reimbursing you for vet bills.

Deductibles are one of the most critical factors in determining the cost of the premiums for your pet’s insurance, second only to the type of plan you choose.

Deductibles are typically applied annually. This means if your pet needs care on January 1 that totals $200 or more (if you have a $200 deductible), the insurance company will pick up any covered costs (less your reimbursement percentages) for the remainder of the year.

However, whether your deductible is applied annually or not depends on the type of deductible you choose.

Pet Insurance Deductible vs. Reimbursement Percentage

It’s important to understand the difference between the deductible and the reimbursement percentage. Both refer to money that you pay out of pocket. First, you pay your set deductible amount. Then the reimbursement percentage kicks in after the deductible has already been met.

For example, if you have a 90% reimbursement percentage, that means the company will pay 90% of the vet bill after the deductible is met, and you will pay 10%.

So, let’s say you have a policy, assuming all billed items are eligible for coverage by your pet insurance plan. With a $200 deductible and a 90% reimbursement rate, and you got a vet bill for $1,000. You would owe $200 for the deductible, so that brings the bill to $800. You will owe 10% of this, which is $80, and the company will reimburse you for $720.

Types of Pet Insurance Deductibles

There are three basic types of pet insurance deductibles:

Annual Deductibles

This is the most common type of pet insurance deductible. These reset every year and apply to any covered condition in the policy. If the annual deductible is $200, you will be responsible for the first $200 in vet bills, and the insurance policy will kick in after that.

Let’s say your dog gets into the trash after a New Year’s party and spends a few days in the hospital, and you have a $200 deductible. Under this plan, you will likely have spent your deductible within the first hour or so at the emergency clinic, and the plan will pick up any covered costs (less your reimbursement percentages) for the remainder of the hospital stay and for the year. 

For most pet parents, the annual deductibles are the most straightforward options. This way, the first time you make a claim in a policy year, you know you will have the deductible to pay first, and then you don’t have to worry about it again.

An annual deductible is probably the best choice if you have a young, healthy pet or if you’re looking for “catastrophic coverage” in the event of unexpected serious illness or injury.

Annual Per-Condition/Incident Deductibles

This type of deductible is applied per incident and resets each year. You will need to pay the deductible each time your pet has a different type of issue.

For example, in one year, you might have to pay a $200 deductible the first time your dog develops an ear infection, another $200 deductible the first time they get into the trash and get an upset stomach, and another $200 deductible if they tangle with a porcupine.

If you have a high deductible, it is possible the insurance will not even kick in until your pet is being treated for their third or fourth ear infection within one policy year.

Lifetime Per-Condition Deductibles

This type of deductible is designed to cover chronic, lifelong conditions and will apply year after year, if the insurance policy remains in force.

Lifetime deductibles are a good option if you are concerned that your pet may develop a chronic, lifelong condition like diabetes, hypo- or hyperthyroidism, or kidney disease. Senior dogs or cats and breeds more likely to develop chronic conditions may benefit from this type of plan.

At the time of diagnosis, you will have to pay the full deductible plus your percentage of the reimbursement plan, but after that, you won’t have to worry about the deductible again for that condition, no matter how many years your pet needs treatment for.

Finally, some plans will lower the deductible each year you go without filing a claim, essentially rewarding you for not using the policy.

Is Every Claim Applied to My Pet Insurance Deductible?

This is one of the most important parts of choosing an insurance plan for your pet. When you’re shopping for pet insurance, you need to  understand what that plan covers and what it doesn’t , and then understand which things will actually be applied to the deductible and which won’t. Many plans will not count the following costs toward the deductible:

  • Wellness visits
  • Routine care
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Congenital conditions
  • Elective procedures
  • Alternative treatments like acupuncture
  • Some sick visits (if you have emergency-only coverage)

Deductibles are one of the most critical factors in determining the cost of the premiums for your pet’s insurance, second only to the type of plan you choose (e.g., comprehensive, accident-only, accident/illness,  wellness plan , and so on). 

Read through the fine print for the pet insurance policy you are considering. Be sure you understand how much the deductible is and how it is counted (annually, per-incident annually, per-incident for a lifetime).

Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra Mitchell is a 1995 graduate of the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in many fields...

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2 things pet insurance will cover (and 3 it won’t)

I f you’ve ever spent a fortune at the emergency vet, pet insurance might sound appealing. By paying some of your vet expenses, these policies can save you money and help you make care decisions based on what’s best for your pet rather than what you can afford.

But insurance doesn’t pay for everything. Before you buy pet insurance, you’ll want to understand exactly what it will — and won’t — cover.


If you want coverage for unexpected vet expenses, you can choose either an accident-only plan or an accident and illness plan. Both can pay to treat injuries such as broken bones, snakebites or swallowed socks.

Coverage varies by company, but you can expect most pet insurance policies to pay for diagnostic tests, surgery and medications, Dr. Aliya McCullough, chief veterinary officer and director of veterinary affairs at Fetch Pet Insurance, said in an email.

The vet’s examination fee may or may not be covered, depending on your policy. And some companies may charge extra to cover prescription medication.

Most pet insurance policies have a waiting period between when you buy the plan and when coverage takes effect. If your pet is injured during the waiting period, your plan won’t reimburse you.


The most common type of insurance, accident and illness coverage, also pays for treatment if your pet gets sick.

Some of the most frequent reasons for vet visits are allergies, infections, stomach issues, arthritis and cancer, according to McCullough. These conditions generally fall under a plan’s illness coverage, which can reimburse you for diagnostic tests, medication, surgery and hospital stays.

However, exclusions may apply. “Some companies separate out certain types of treatments,” Kristen Lynch, executive director of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, said in an email.

For example, your plan might not cover treatments like acupuncture or physical therapy unless you pay extra. There may also be limitations for illnesses such as hereditary conditions or dental disease.


Some people don’t think about buying insurance until their pet gets a serious diagnosis like cancer or heart disease — but by then it’s likely too late. Most pet insurance providers won’t cover conditions that showed symptoms before you bought your policy or during the waiting period.

Some insurers will pay to treat curable preexisting conditions if they haven’t shown symptoms for a certain period of time, McCullough said. Curable conditions could include respiratory infections or broken bones.


A standard pet insurance policy won’t cover many common vet expenses a new pet parent faces, such as spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and annual checkups. Insurers consider these services to be routine care and won’t pay for them under an accident and illness plan.

However, many companies offer preventive care coverage as an add-on. Compare the cost of this coverage with what your vet charges for routine services to make sure it’ll save you money.


A deductible is the amount you pay toward vet expenses before your insurer starts reimbursing you. For example, if you have an annual deductible of $500 and your pet needs $300 of treatment in a given year, your plan won’t pay anything.

You can often lower the cost of your plan by choosing a higher deductible. Just be sure to pick an amount you can afford, says Janet Ruiz, director of strategic communication at the Insurance Information Institute.


Researching plans before you buy can help prevent claim denials and other unpleasant surprises. Follow these tips:

— READ SAMPLE POLICIES. One of the best ways to see what is and isn’t covered is by reading the policy. Many pet insurers have sample policies available on their websites, Lynch said. Don’t understand the coverage? Reach out to the company.

— ASK ABOUT POLICY LIMITS. See whether the plan you’re considering has maximum payouts for certain conditions or services, or for all treatment in a given year.

— CHECK THE REIMBURSEMENT RATE. After you hit your deductible, most insurers will pay a set percentage of your vet expenses, typically 70% to 90%. The higher the reimbursement, the more expensive the plan.

— RESEARCH THE CLAIMS PROCESS. See how much time you have to file a claim, McCullough said. “You don’t want to have a claim denied because you didn’t submit it on time.”


This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Sarah Schlichter is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: [email protected].


NerdWallet: Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

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Money blog: 'Extremely worrying' mortgage trend revealed in new report; a third of people make this mistake when booking their holiday - and how to avoid it

A third of travellers are making the same mistake when going on holiday, figures show. Read about this and all the latest consumer and personal finance news in the Money blog - and leave a comment or your money problem in the box below.

Thursday 16 May 2024 12:26, UK

  • 'Extremely worrying' mortgage trend revealed by new government data
  • Almost a third of travellers make this insurance mistake - here's what you need to know
  • How much the price of packed lunches has soared - and the cheapest supermarkets to buy a healthy one
  • Major firms release financial updates
  • UK economy in safe hands 'whoever wins' election, top bank chief tells Sky News

Essential reads

  • How much do buskers actually make - and what's it like?
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  • Basically...  What is PIP - and what could government changes mean?
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Mortgage possession actions have continued to rise and are currently above the previous year's levels, according to data from the Ministry of Justice .

The latest data shows mortgage claims, orders, warrants and repossessions have continued their gradual upward trend and claims are at their highest since 2019.

When compared to the same quarter in 2023, mortgage possession claims increased from 4,035 to 5,182 - this is a rise of 28%.

Meanwhile, mortgage orders increased from 2,532 to 3,019, warrants from 2,636 to 2,881 and repossessions by county court bailiffs from 729 to 759.

Landlord possession claims also increased from 23,389 to 24,874 when compared to the same quarter last year.

Craig Fish, director at Lodestone mortgages and protection, told Newspage things "need to change and quickly before it's too late".

"Though this data makes hard reading and is extremely worrying, it's not unexpected due to the significantly higher interest rate environment in which borrowers now find themselves," he said.

And Ben Perks, managing director at Orchard Financial Advisers, said he was "concerned these figures will continue to rise". 

He told Newspage: "The Bank of England seems totally oblivious to the plight of the average mortgage borrower, but hopefully this data will kick their hesitancy to drop the base rate firmly into touch. The time to act is now."

Tesco has recalled its sandwich pickle over fears it may contain glass.

The supermarket has pulled its 295g jars of Tesco Sandwich Pickle with the batch code 3254 and best before date of 11 September 2025 due to the concerns of glass traces.

The Food Standards Agency has said on its website: "This product may contain pieces of glass which makes it unsafe to eat."

Last year, the supermarket chain had to recall pastry products, including sausage rolls and steak and ale pies, over fears they contained pieces of metal and plastic.

A Tesco spokesperson told Sky News: "We've been made aware that a specific date/batch code of Tesco Sandwich Pickle may contain small pieces of glass. Therefore, this product could pose a safety risk if consumed.

"Please do not consume this product and instead return any affected product to store where a full refund will be given. No receipt is required.

"Tesco apologises to our customers for any inconvenience caused."

By Ed Clowes, news reporter

The FTSE 100 has remained stable out of the gate this morning after hitting a record high on Wednesday as better-than-expected inflation data in the US raised hopes of an interest rate cut in September.

It's been a busy start to the day with financial updates from BT Group, Premier Foods, Sage Group, and easyJet.

We'll start with easyJet, after the airline announced that its chief executive officer, Johan Lundgren, would step down in January 2025.

Mr Lundgren, who has served as CEO since 2017, will be replaced by the carrier's finance boss Kenton Jarvis.

In a financial update on its performance throughout the first half of the year, easyJet reported slightly higher revenues than anticipated, while cutting its losses compared to the same period last year.

The airline's share price fell by 6% in early trading this morning.

Elsewhere, telecoms giant BT said it had completed a £3bn cost-cutting programme ahead of schedule, and announced a further £3bn in planned savings by 2029.

The company told Sky News that the planned reductions in spending would not lead to more job losses, after BT announced last year that it would eliminate 55,000 roles.

Incoming boss Allison Kirkby said she wanted the business to prioritise the UK, with some analysts expecting BT to look at the futures of its Italian, Irish, and American divisions.

And last but not least, one of Europe's largest sellers of Rolex watches has said that sales in the UK are still down because some tourists don't want to buy here "due to the lack of VAT free shopping".

Nice for some.

The price of a healthy packed lunch has soared by around 45%, according to new research.

A lunch of wholemeal bread and fruit is more expensive for parents to put together than less nutritious versions with chocolate spread and crisps, The Food Foundation charity has found.

Unhealthy lunches for the research were made up of white bread with chocolate spread instead of wholemeal with cheese, flavoured yoghurt rather than a plain, unsweetened version and snacks such as crisps as opposed to the four portions of fruit and vegetables incorporated into the healthy lunch.

And when it came to the cheapest supermarket to buy a healthy packed lunch, Tesco topped the list with a weekly cost of £8.56 as of this month.

Morrisons was the most expensive retailer, with the price of a healthy packed lunch per week coming in at £11.72, although this was down slightly from £11.80 in October.

The equivalent cost at Sainsbury's was £10.47, Aldi was £10.08 and Asda was £9.18.

Research also showed the largest price rise in recent months was at Sainsbury's, where customers have to spend 9% more than they did at the start of the academic year in September (£9.61) for the same packed lunch.

Shona Goudie, policy and advocacy manager at The Food Foundation, said, the government's stringent eligibility criteria to qualify for free school meals was "leaving hundreds of thousands of children" who are living in poverty "at risk of malnutrition".

"No one should be priced out of being able to provide healthy food for their children and retailers need to do more to support families to afford the food they need," she said.

By Bhvishya Patel , Money team

We spoke to three buskers to find out what it's like performing on the street in the UK.

Amir, 29, came to UK from Pakistan with passion for music

Amir Hashmi moved to the UK in 2022 to study, said he began busking in central London 10 months ago because "music was his passion".

"In Pakistan there are many problems so I decided to leave and move to London. I feel I can do better in London than my country," he said.

He said busking was now his primary income but at times he did jobs at warehouses to get by.

"I never started this for money, I started because it is my passion but now this is my main job as well," he said.

Amir, who often performs in the capital's Piccadilly Circus or along Oxford Street, said often he returned home with just £10-15 in his pocket after a day's busking.

He said: "Many times I sleep without food and sometimes I sleep on the floor of the road when I have no shelter.

"I don't have my own place to live but I have friends who often let me stay with them. They don't charge me any rent - they look after me.

"Sometimes I do private shows for income but it's very hard because the cost of living is increasing. If I go somewhere then most of the time I prefer to walk. I walk with my speakers and carry my gear."

Despite his financial struggles, Amir said he wanted to continue performing on the street as his "goal was to make people happy".

He said: "With busking, there is no stage and you can just start performing. Whenever I am performing, I connect with the people who have come to listen. If I feel people are not enjoying it, I change the song and try and make them happy."

Earlier this year, Amir recorded a song with Neha Nazneen Shakil, a Malayalam actress from India, who approached the singer three months ago in Oxford Street.

"I wrote that song 12 years ago and after all these years my song has been recorded now in London," he added.

Jade, 24, quit retail to busk

Jade Thornton, from Amersham, started busking in 2017 with a friend after leaving college at the age of 17 and quickly realised it was something she enjoyed doing and could make a living from.

She began doing it full-time at the end of 2018 but when the pandemic hit she described becoming "unemployed overnight" and having to take up retail jobs to support herself.

"I chose not to go to university - I just thought it wasn't for me so I went straight into some part-time retail jobs," she said.

"I take my cap off to anyone who does retail - it is one of the most gruelling jobs. People who do retail don't get nearly as much respect as they deserve. 

"Some of the customers I was facing were not that kind and I thought this is making me miserable, so I just thought 'if I don't leave now then when?'"

As the global economy slowly began to recover, she decided to leave retail and pursue music full-time in 2022.

"It is hard to switch off - I do busking but I am constantly messaging clients, writing set lists and learning songs," she said.

When it came to finances, Jade said there was no average to how much she could earn but it could fluctuate from £15-100 day-to-day depending on a number of factors.

"It relies on the time of month, whether the sun is out, if people have been paid, if Christmas is on the way or if Christmas has just passed," she explained.

The musician said she did struggle initially when she began busking but her parents were always supportive.

She said: "You obviously get a few questions from people asking 'are you sure you want to quit your job and sing on the street?'

"I lived at home for a long time and I'm grateful my parents could support me in that way because I know not everyone has that opportunity."

While performing outdoors is now Jade's full-time job, she said some months were more difficult to make money than others.

"If I'm being brutally honest in months like January and February it would be super difficult. This year I had enough gigs in December to cover me for January," she said.

"Last year from June-July and December I did not have to go busking because I got so many gigs through busking. I'm part of a lot of online agencies and I also do lots of pub gigs, weddings, birthdays and other events."

Jade noted though that the cost of living crisis had made things harder.

She said: "A few pub gigs I've had have been cancelled because they've had to rethink their strategies but if somebody cancels then I can just go out busking. There has been a slight dent when it comes to finances but that's from COVID as well - with COVID I was unemployed overnight."

The young musician went on to say she was "very grateful" when somebody did tip her and even small gestures like sitting, listening or just a smile were "currencies in themselves".

"It's escapism for me as a singer and then it's escapism for the audience as well," she added.

"Children also have such a great time listening to buskers and some may not have an opportunity for many reasons to go and see live music so if they can come across it in the street and that can spark something that's a wonderful thing to think I'm a little part of that."

Charlotte, 34, long-time busker

Charlotte Campbell, 34, who usually busks along the Southbank or in the London Underground, said she started busking during the 2012 London Olympics and while "busking used to be enough", more recently she has had to take on more gigs in the evening.

"A typical day is usually busking until around 6pm and then a gig in the evening - 8pm onwards," she said.

"I could still probably make a living from busking but I've taken on more paid gigs since the pandemic because everything became so uncertain. I think that uncertainty has just carried through now - that seems to be the way of life now."

The musician said tips for her CDs, which she puts on display during her performances, ranged between £5-10 and in the current cashless climate a card reader was "essential".

She said she pre-sets her card reader to £3 when playing on the Southbank and £2 when busking inside the London Underground "because people are rushing".

While she described her earnings as a "trade secret", she said the busker income had "definitely gone down" but this was due to a few factors - the pandemic, people carrying less cash and the cost of living crisis.

"Also, a lots of pitches have closed which means there are a lot more buskers trying to compete for one spot so all of those things have impacted my living as a busker," she said.

"I would say even though my income is primarily from busking I have had to subsidise it with more paid gigs than before. I just haven't felt as secure in my living from busking in the last couple of years.

"Most of the gigs I have are booked by people who have seen me busking so indirectly busking is my entire career- if I don't busk I wouldn't get the gigs I play in the evening. So directly and indirectly busking is my entire income."

In spite of uncertainty, she said it was freeing to be able to go out and perform for people in an intimate way.

"You are not up on a stage and there is no separation between you and them.  It's a really great connection you can make - I want to be able to hold onto that," she added.

Every Thursday  Savings Champion founder Anna Bowes  gives us an insight into the savings market and how to make the most of your money. Today she's focusing on children's accounts...

While the rates on adult savings accounts have risen and fallen over the course of 2024, the top rates on accounts for children have remained stable - but are pretty competitive once again, as other account rates have started to fall. 

And there are plenty of different types of savings accounts to choose from, from the tax free Junior ISA, to children's regular savings accounts, fixed term bonds and easy access accounts.

Those who are able to start saving for their children early, could significantly improve their financial health in the future – especially when taking compounding interest into consideration.

If you were to save £50 a month from birth, you could give them a gift of more than £17,250 at age 18, assuming a tax-free interest rate of 4.95% - which is currently the top Junior ISA rate available.

If you, your friends and family were able to gift a total of £9,000 a year to a child (the current Junior ISA allowance), at the same rate, you could give them almost £265,000 when they reach 18. 

Now that's a gift worth having!

Children have their own personal allowance, so for the majority there will be no tax to pay on their savings interest. 

However, parents should be aware that there may be a tax liability to themselves on the interest earned on any money they gift to their children, until they reach the age of 18. 

If the gross interest earned is less than £100 for each parent's gift, it will be treated as the child’s under a 'de minimis' rule. 

This means that provided the interest earned does not make the child a taxpayer, they will be able to offset this against their personal tax allowance, so it will often be free of tax. 

But if the interest is more than £100 for each parent's gift, then it will be treated as that parent’s interest for tax purposes and therefore they may need to pay tax at their marginal rate - if it takes them above their Personal Allowance and/or Personal Savings Allowance.

Gifts from any other family members or friends will not be viewed in the same way. Instead, any interest earned will be treated as belonging to the child themselves and therefore can be earned tax free if they are non-taxpayers.

The exception to this rule is on funds deposited into a JISA, Child Trust Fund or NS&I Premium Bonds.  The returns from these are tax free for all.

Almost a third of people are making the mistake of buying their travel insurance on the day of their trip, data from Go Compare has shown.

The figures found that just 17% of people took out their policy within six months of their holiday.

While you can buy travel insurance right up until the moment you leave the UK, doing so risks some key areas being missed off your cover.

Go Compare's Rhys Jones says it can result in cancellation cover not being included, and this is one of the main reasons people claim on their insurance policy. 

Pre-existing conditions might be missed off as well. 

"If you have a pre-existing condition that could flare up and cause complications, a last-minute travel insurance policy may not cover it," he said. 

"So while you can buy insurance right up until the moment you travel, it's often best to get it earlier so that you have more options and more cover available." 

If you are looking to buy travel insurance while you're already abroad, you may have to purchase a specialist post-departure travel insurance policy instead. 

This type of cover is only available from a few companies, so there are fewer options available, and they are generally more expensive. 

It's also worth noting that if you do buy this policy, you may have to wait 24, 48 or 72 hours before it begins. 

Rhys recommends organising your insurance as soon as you have booked your trip, saying it "could save you considerable money and stress". 

A record 3.1 million emergency food parcels have been handed out in just a year, according to a charity.

The Trussell Trust says 3,121,404 were distributed by its network of 1,300 food banks in the year to the end of March.

Some 1,144,096 were for children and nearly two million for adults. The total is nearly double that of five years ago.

The number of parcels given out during the 12 months to March 2023 was just under three million.

You can read more here...

Nearly 40% of money laundering around the world is flowing through London, overseas territories and crown dependencies, the deputy foreign minister has said.

In a speech at the Bright Blue thinktank, Andrew Mitchell said the dirty money was passing through the capital and that "crown dependencies and the overseas territories have not yet done as much as they must do", The Guardian reports.

"If these overseas territories and crown dependencies want to have our king and our flag, then they must also accept our values, which is why we are so intent on ensuring dirty money cannot flow in and from there," he said.

The comments come a month after Mr Mitchell promised to work with the international community to tackle illicit flows of money "through increased transparency of company ownership".   

Feel like you've been on hold to the taxman for hours? You're not alone.

Customers spent around seven million hours collectively waiting to speak to HMRC in 2022/23, the spending watchdog has revealed.

That's more than double the time spent waiting in 2019/20, which was around 3.2 million hours.

It's the equivalent of 798 years.

Once answered, calls more than doubled to over 23 minutes in 20022/23, up from just over 11 minutes.

Advisers also answered 22% fewer calls.

HMRC's strategy is to encourage customers to turn to its digital services first - but it is not clear how far and fast digital services will reduce demand for telephone and correspondence services, the National Audit Office said.

And the move to digital services has not eased pressure on traditional services as much as HMRC expected.

Gareth Davies, head of the NAO, said: "HMRC's telephone and correspondence services have been below its target service levels for too long.

"While many of its digital services work well, they have not made enough of a difference to customers, some of whom have been caught in a declining spiral of service pressures and cuts. HMRC has also not achieved planned efficiencies.

"HMRC must allow more time for these services to bed in and understand the difference they make before adjusting staffing levels."

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  1. Fillable Online PET CARE INSURANCE CLAIM FORM Fax Email Print

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  3. How to Make a Pet Insurance Claim

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    Step 5: Submit the Claim. Once you have completed the claim form and gathered all documentation, submit your claim online, via mobile app, email, fax, or by regular mail following instructions for ...

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    Step 1: Go to the insurance company's website. Visit your provider's website or mobile app to check your policy documents and see if you are covered for the claim you want to file. Depending on the insurer, you might be able to file your claim entirely online or you may need to give them a call to start the process.

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    Go on your pet insurance company's website, app or portal and fill out the claim form with the necessary details of the vet visit. Submit the claim form and required documentation. You should ...

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    To file a claim, you must submit supporting documents to your pet insurance provider. The most important of these is the itemized invoice or receipt you received from the vet after the visit. You may also need to complete a short claim form. This can usually be completed online or in an app, although sometimes a mail-in form is required.

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    To make a pet insurance claim, certain documentation is usually required. Typically, pet owners will need to submit the following to request reimbursement for covered veterinary care: An itemized ...

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    Learn what is pet insurance and how you can help protect your pets. Dog Insurance. Help your dog live their very best life. ... Follow the instructions in the claim form. ... Your reimbursement rate is the percentage of an approved claim total that we can cover. For example, if your reimbursement rate is 80% and you submit a claim for $500, we ...

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    File your claim on time. In order to be eligible for coverage, you'll need to file a claim through our app within 180 days of treatment, and provide all necessary information that's requested during that process. If you have a Lemonade Pet policy in Texas, you have 90 days to file a claim. Lemonade works on a reimbursement basis.

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    Here's how you claim on your pet insurance: Call your pet insurers' claims department. The phone number should be on the policy documents or on the company's website. Give your insurer the details of what's happened to your pet and the costs involved. Your vet should be able to give you the estimated costs or you may already have an ...

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    Provide us the following items to ensure your claim is processed quickly: 1. Completed & Signed Claim Form. 2. Veterinary Medical Records (SOAP Notes) from Incident. 3. Itemized Invoice from Incident. If you're headed to the vet and worried you'll forget something, simply view the claims form as a PDF so you're aware of submission information.


    If you select this option, please request that your vet fills in the payment section below and completes the declaration in Section 6. Before filling in this form, please read your Policy and Certificate of Insurance to check that you are covered, and for details of any excess that may apply to your claim.

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    Filing a pet insurance claim is easy with AKC Pet Insurance. Pay your vet directly, fill out our reimbursement claim form, and submit your claim via email, post, or fax. 1-866-725-2747

  18. Making a Pet Insurance Claim? Here's How You'll Get Your Money

    If you have $5,000 saved and you earn 4.00% on it each year, that will add $200 to your account balance by year's end. You'd pass that easy (and essentially free) money up if you kept your savings ...

  19. How do I file a pet insurance claim?

    First, download a claim form and fill it out. Then, take a picture of or scan the claim form and your itemized invoice from your pet's visit and send it to us. Send claim forms and invoices to either: Email: [email protected] Fax: 866.405.4536; Note: We process and pay claims faster if they're emailed or faxed to us, but you can mail them to ...

  20. PDF How to Submit a Pet Insurance Claim

    Download your claim form by logging into your My Pets online account. Attach all medical records and vet notes, along with your invoice and itemized receipt. Submit your claim via mobile app, our online portal, email, fax or mail. Make a copy of your paperwork to keep on file. That's it!

  21. How to Make a Pet Insurance Claim

    Step 1 - Notify your surgery. If your veterinary fees are above your excess and you would like to submit a claim for treatment, the first step is to notify your veterinary surgery of your intention to claim. Be sure to update your veterinarian with your MiPet Cover policy number. You need to notify the MiPet Cover insurance team within 60 days ...

  22. PDF claim form 360

    Declaration: 1. I declare that all details provided herein represent a true and accurate statement of the details pertaining to my claim and that I have not omitted any details pertinent to the circumstances of the claim. I can also confirm that this claim form has been signed and dated after the treatment has taken place.

  23. Helpucover

    Helpucover - Standard Policy - Details. 22nd January 2024 By petguide. Get the best Pet Insurance Quote now! Policy Type: Vet Fees Cover Limit: £1,000 per condition (without time limit). Maximum Age for New Policies: 7 years (dogs - but 4 years for certain breeds) 9 years (cats)

  24. What Is a Pet Insurance Deductible?

    In its most basic form, a deductible is the amount you'll have to pay to your veterinarian before your insurance policy kicks in and starts making payments for claims. Typical deductibles range from $0 to $1000, but averages are typically closer to $100, $250, or $500. For example, if your plan has a $200 deductible, you will have to pay the ...

  25. 2 things pet insurance will cover (and 3 it won't)

    A standard pet insurance policy won't cover many common vet expenses a new pet parent faces, such as spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and annual checkups. Insurers consider these services to ...

  26. Money blog: A third of people make this mistake when booking their

    Go Compare's Rhys Jones says it can result in cancellation cover not being included, and this is one of the main reasons people claim on their insurance policy. Pre-existing conditions might be ...