What Will Pet Insurance Cover in Canada?

If your beloved dog or cat is feeling under the weather, you want to get them to veterinary help immediately. When you receive the bill later, it may shock you. Global News surveyed vets across Ontario, asking them how much it would cost to neuter a 60-pound Golden Retriever. Prices varied from $258 to $800. Pets with serious health conditions can incur bills running into many thousands of dollars. So, what is the answer? Pet insurance can help -- but before you buy, do your homework, compare policies, and know how the insurance can benefit you and your pet.

What services will pet insurance cover?

Most pet insurance policies in Canada provide reimbursement for treatment and care. Most pet insurance policies do not cover routine exams, but they will cover non-routine and emergency visits. You can find policies which provide coverage for dental treatment, medications, and even advanced testing. Pet insurance can also cover hospital stays for surgery or other veterinary treatment.

Policies with added benefits may cover:

• Behavioral conditions
• Lost pet advertising
• Pet boarding
• Death or loss benefits
• Alternative/holistic medicine (acupuncture, stem cells, hydrotherapy)
• Pet prescriptions
• Dental treatments (injury or disease)
•MRI, CT scans, ultrasound

What about pre-existing conditions?

Some breeds are known for certain health problems, and these conditions may affect pet insurance premiums and coverage. For example, bulldogs may suffer from breathing problems, and some ongoing breathing difficulties related to the dog's shortened face will be exceptions to most pet insurance coverage. When you're shopping for pet insurance, be aware if your dog or cat has any breed-specific health problems that could be excluded from insurance coverage. Similarly, policies will also exclude a health problem that was uncovered prior to taking out a policy as a "pre-existing condition." Even though some pre-existing conditions may be excluded from pet insurance, policies may still benefit animals with chronic health challenges.

Why is it important to get pet insurance quotes?

You may find considerable variation in monthly premiums for pet insurance.  Prices will be influenced by your dog's breed, the amount of coverage and deductible, age, health, and home address. You may also find that prices change due to pre-existing conditions. Pet insurance prices and benefits differ between provinces and regions, and different companies specialize in different services and benefits.

What are additional benefits of pet insurance?

Some pet insurance companies offer reimbursement for well pet benefits, including annual exams and vaccinations. Services like flea and tick prevention, nail trimming, and dental care may be included.

Pet insurance may also provide pet registry services which offer microchipping and affiliation with pet networks that can help to locate a lost dog or cat. Other services can include helplines for compassionate care, accidental poisoning, and telephone/online emergency support.

The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) reported that more than two million pets were insured in the U.S. and Canada in 2018. Pet insurance can provide you with peace of mind and it can also help in case of serious injury or illness. Investigate policies that will benefit you and your dog or cat using Kanetix.ca's online comparison tool.