Pet Insurance Deductible: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Three Minutes
Sep 01, 2022

Knowing what deductibles are and how they work is key to understanding pet insurance. Luckily, a pet insurance deductible isn’t too difficult to figure out! In this article, we’ll break down what a deductible is, the different types of deductibles that exist, how they work, and how to choose the best pet insurance deductible for you and your pet.

What Is a Pet Insurance Deductible?

A deductible is the amount of money an insurance policy holder is expected to pay before their benefits kick in. For pet insurance, the deductible is what you’ll pay on a veterinary bill before you’re reimbursed.

Most pet insurance plans have deductibles — either a standard amount across all plan options or a flexible range you can choose from. Some pet insurance companies also offer zero deductible plans. Keep in mind that the lower your deductible, the higher your premium will be.

At MetLife Pet Insurance,1 our plans are fully customizable. You may be able to select a deductible between $0 and $2,500 based on your needs and budget.2 We also offer a diminishing deductible benefit for each year you’re claim-free.3

How Does a Pet Insurance Deductible Work?

Pet insurance deductibles work just like a traditional health insurance deductible. Once you satisfy your deductible, you would no longer be responsible to pay for expenses up to your annual benefit limit. Keep in mind you would still be responsible for your co-pay — the difference in percentage from your reimbursement rate.

There are two types of pet insurance deductibles: annual and per-incident. MetLife Pet Insurance has annual deductibles for both dog insurance and cat insurance policies.

How annual deductibles work

An annual deductible is the amount of money you would be expected to pay for covered incidents each year. This type of deductible resets every year your pet has coverage making your out-of-pocket cost a bit more predictable.

For example, let’s say you have pet insurance with a $250 annual deductible and a 100% reimbursement rate. You submit a pet insurance claim from a recent trip to the vet that cost $600. You haven’t met your deductible yet, so you’re responsible for the first $250 of the bill. After the claim is processed, you receive $350 back. Your next vet trip costs $150, but because you met your annual deductible, you get the full amount reimbursed.

How per-incident deductibles work

A per-incident deductible — sometimes called a per-condition deductible  — is the amount of money you’d pay for each illness or injury your pet may have. Rather than having one set amount to reach each year, you have to reach the deductible for each new condition or incident.

For example, let’s say you have pet insurance with a $100 per-incident deductible and a 100% reimbursement rate. You take your pet to the vet for an accidental injury, and the bill is $500. You’d be responsible for your $100 deductible and would receive $400 back after the claim is processed. Your next trip to the vet is for a different concern that costs $700. Because it is a separate incident, you must meet your $100 deductible again and would receive $600 back.

A border collie sits with its owners on the couch.

Can Multiple Pets Be Covered Under One Deductible?

Most pet insurance agencies require each pet to have its own policy, so they wouldn’t be covered under one deductible. At MetLife, however, we do things differently.

MetLife stands apart as a pet insurance company, allowing multiple pets to remain under one deductible.4 You can cover all of your dogs and/or cats under one policy with our unique family plan option.

Choosing the Right Pet Insurance Deductible

Pet insurance is worth the investment when it works for you and your pet’s unique needs. That includes your deductible.

If your budget allows, a lower deductible can bring peace of mind knowing you won’t have to pay much during emergencies. But if your bottom line is more important to you, you could pay less in monthly premiums with a higher deductible and reimbursement rate. Either way, you should choose a deductible you’d be comfortable paying when faced with unexpected and costly vet bills.


Choose your Deductible

Coverage in 3 Easy Steps

¹ Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Deductible options range include: $0 – $750 in $50 increments and $1,000, $1,250, $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500

3 Your pet’s deductible automatically decreases by $25 (for IAIC underwritten policies) or $50 (for MetGen underwritten policies) each policy year that you don’t receive a claim reimbursement. May not be available in all states.

4 Based on a January 2022 review of publicly available summary information about competitors’ offerings. Competitors did not furnish copies of their policies for review. If you have questions about a particular competitor's policy or coverage, please contact them or their representative directly.

Virtual veterinary services are provided entirely by AskVet, a third-party partner; MetLife is not responsible for any pet guidance or advice provided or taken through Askvet.

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