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A How-To Guide by Embrace Pet Insurance



We wrote this guide to help you learn about and choose a pet health insurance plan that’s right for you and your pet. Pet insurance isn’t a way to save money on veterinary bills, it’s actual insurance, just like for your car or home. This means that it works best when it protects you against the unexpected, expensive things that can happen. There are lots of pet insurance plans available but they aren’t all the same. There are differences in what they cover, what they exclude, what they cost, their level of customer service, and how they pay claims. In other words, don’t just pick a plan because it’s the cheapest!

Each year, 38% of the pets insured by Embrace Pet Insurance have a claim.

And remember, pet insurance is the one thing you can’t get when you need it the most. Planning ahead and doing your homework on pet insurance now are essential to getting the best, most comprehensive coverage for your pet before something happens.

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Why Should I Get Pet Insurance?

The average claim amount at Embrace Pet Insurance is $858.

Every year more than 1 in 3 pets falls ill or is injured. And while it’s amazing what veterinarians can do for our pets these days, a visit to the emergency room can run up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a very short space of time. Many of us are not prepared financially to afford the level of care that modern veterinary medicine can provide and sometimes we compromise by giving our pets a level of care that is far from the best. With pet insurance, you never have to choose between an expensive treatment and your pet’s life. Just because your pet is happy and healthy today, doesn’t mean things will always be that way. Pet insurance helps you prepare for any eventuality.

Pet Insurance for Purebred Dogs If you have a purebred dog such as a Labrador Retriever, Boxer, Pug or Chihuahua, your dog is especially prone to certain genetic conditions. There are literally hundreds of these conditions, some of which include hip dysplasia, luxating patella, and cardiomyopathy. You may not even know your dog has a genetic condition until signs or symptoms reveal themselves months or years after you acquire your dog. The care and treatment of a genetic condition can be very, very expensive. For example, corrective surgery for bilateral hip dysplasia

can easily cost over $5,000. Embrace plans will pay for the treatment of these diseases provided your dog is healthy at enrollment. Ask your veterinarian to explain the risks of genetic diseases to you. Beware! The majority pet insurance plans do not cover genetic conditions. Choose a plan that covers them for peace of mind.

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What Does Pet Health Insurance Cover?

Pet insurance plans can cover:

• Treatment for accidents, illnesses and diseases • Treatment for allergies • Cancer and chemotherapy • Surgery, hospitalization and nursing care • Laboratory and diagnostic tests including X-rays and MRI scans • Medications

Some pet insurance plans, including Embrace, also cover:

• Treatment for genetic conditions • Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, holistic and homeopathic veterinary medicine • Chronic and recurring conditions that last more than one policy period, such as allergies, diabetes and hyperthyroidism • Routine wellness care such as vaccinations and dental cleanings

What’s not covered? Pet insurance plans usually will not pay for:

• Cosmetic, elective or preventative procedures such as de-worming, tail docking, ear cropping, and declawing (except where medically necessary) • Veterinary fees related to pregnancy, breeding or whelping • Orthodontic or endodontic procedures such as root canals or crowns • Behavioral problems • Prescription diet food • Pre-existing conditions (more info on next page)

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Pre-Existing Conditions Explained

Are pre-existing conditions covered? One of the most difficult issues that pet parents face when shopping for pet insurance is pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is one that your pet had, was diagnosed with, or showed symptoms of before enrolling or during the waiting period. Unfortunately, pet insurance does not cover preexisting conditions but you may still be able to get coverage for your pet’s other conditions. It’s always best to enroll your pet before she develops any kind of major condition or illness, this way there are usually no pre-existing conditions and you can maximize your coverage.

Pet Insurance is the one thing you can’t get when you need it the most; insure your pet as soon as you can.

Some companies offer coverage for acute pre-existing conditions if you go a certain period of time without requiring treatment for, having symptoms of or being diagnosed with that condition again.

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How Do I Choose A Pet Insurance Plan?

There are lots of companies offering pet insurance today and there are many differences. You want to pick a policy that’s right for your needs and your budget. The best way to find out is to call the company or go online to their website to answer the following important questions: 1. What is and is not covered? Is it clearly stated on the company’s website or over the phone? The last thing you want is to make a claim and only later find out that the company won’t cover your pet’s condition for one reason or another. 2. Does the plan cover genetic and breed-specific conditions? You want these covered, even for mixed breeds, because sometimes it’s not clear what is and isn’t hereditary or breed-specific. Some examples of these conditions are hip dysplasia, luxating patellas and cardiomyopathy. Embrace Pet Insurance covers genetic and breed-specific conditions provided your pet did not show signs or symptoms of them prior to enrollment. 3. Does the plan cover chronic and recurring illnesses? Watch out! A few plans consider things that happened in your first year of coverage to be pre-existing in the second year. All Embrace Pet Insurance policies come with Continuing Care coverage to give your pet a lifetime of care.

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4. Are there per-incident limits that restrict the amount you could receive back? For example, some plans have a $3,000 per-incident limit. If you had a claim for $5,000 with one of these plans then the most you would get back would be $3,000. Embrace plans do not have per-incident limits. 5. D  oes the plan reimburse claims based on a benefit schedule or the actual veterinary bill? If you choose a plan with a benefit schedule you should understand that you may not get very much money back as the benefit schedule can limit your reimbursement for certain diagnoses at amounts less than you’ll commonly find, especially in metro areas. Try to find a plan that reimburses you based on your actual veterinary bill, like Embrace Pet Insurance does.

Actual Claims Example Benefit Schedule

(how embrace works)

Total Claim Amount



Maximum Reimbursement







Amount Reimbursed



As % of Total Bill



Deductible Co-pay

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Actual Bill

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6. How are Wellness claims handled? Embrace Wellness Rewards are completely separate from Accident & Illness plans so there’s no deductible and no copay. You can get 100% reimbursement for general office visits, vaccinations, flea/tick/heartworm meds, spay/neuter, microchipping, dental cleanings and routine diagnostic tests. There’s no per item maximum so you can use the annual allotment as you choose. All cats and dogs are eligible for Wellness. 7. Are there other restrictions that apply? Some plans may not accept pets over a certain age or, if they do, they may only offer coverage for accidents. Some plans charge you signup fees or monthly billing fees, beware! Other plans may have a lifetime maximum which can certainly be met well before you’d expect to. You may also be penalized for visiting an ER, specialist or referral clinic; exactly what you don’t want. Be sure to ask about discounts too! 8. What are other pet parents saying about the company? Visit and read customer reviews of all the pet insurance plans. is not affiliated with any pet insurance company.

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How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

Pet insurance prices vary widely but on average you can expect to pay around $30 per month for dogs and $20 per month for cats. Adding on a wellness plan typically costs a little more. You shouldn’t compare pet insurance plans based on price alone. In general, plans that cost more also cover more and reimburse you more when you claim. Pet Insurance companies also may offer discounts for things like:

• Enrolling multiple pets • Paying annually for your policy instead of monthly • Enrolling a microchipped pet • Being full-time in the military • Enrolling a service pet (like a guide dog for the sight impaired) • Enrolling through your company with an employee discount

Before you enroll, ask the pet insurance company which discounts you and your pets might be eligible for.

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How Do I Get Started? Sign Up via Internet or by Phone It’s never been easier to purchase a pet insurance policy. You can get a quote and sign up over the internet or phone. When you sign up with Embrace Pet Insurance you will receive your policy documents via e-mail straight away. Monthly and annual payments are available. Get through the Waiting Period All pet insurance plans have waiting periods for new pets. Embrace Pet Insurance has a 14-day waiting period for accidents and illnesses. Orthopedic injuries for dogs have a 6-month waiting period but this can be waived if your veterinarian gives your pet the orthopedic ‘all clear’. Visit Your Veterinarian for Treatment Visit any general, specialist or emergency veterinarian in the country. There are no networks and you do not need approval first. Bring along a claim form and get the veterinary staff to complete it. Embrace Pet Insurance makes this process hassle-free by providing you with claim forms that are simple to fill out and submit because they come pre-populated with your pet’s information so you don’t have to fill much out. Submit a Claim Fax or mail your claim form and invoice. For quickest turnaround, Embrace Pet Insurance has a toll-free fax number to submit your claim directly from your veterinarian’s office. Receive a Reimbursement Check or Direct Deposit Claims processing times can vary by the type of claim and how long you’ve been a customer. Embrace Pet Insurance gets you a check mailed out within 10-15 business days once we’ve received all necessary documents, even faster for wellness claims and if you’re an existing customer. Embrace can also deposit your claims check directly into your bank account.

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We hope this guide has been helpful in understanding the world of pet insurance.

Please contact Embrace today for a quote! Or call toll free: 800.511.9172 Our Customer Care Embracers are happy to help you pick the perfect plan for your pet.

Remember, not all pet insurance companies are the same. Be sure to take the time to find one that’s right for you.

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Jump In To Pet Insurance  

Pet insurance doesn't have to be confusing. Embrace Pet Insurance explains everything you ever wanted to know about pet insurance in this ha...

Jump In To Pet Insurance  

Pet insurance doesn't have to be confusing. Embrace Pet Insurance explains everything you ever wanted to know about pet insurance in this ha...