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Pet Insurance 101

Differences between insurance and preventive care

You’ll want the best coverage for your pet

As a pet parent, you want the best possible care for your best friend, and have likely heard both pet insurance and preventive care thrown around. We get it — it can be confusing to understand what the actual difference between the two are. 

The simplest way to think about it is that pet insurance covers the unexpected, big-ticket trips to the vet when your pet is sick or hurt. Things like when your dog  swallows a sock or when your cat develops cancer — health problems can cost you thousands of dollars. Preventive care plans, on the other hand, cover planned or routine costs, such as spaying or neutering and vaccines. 

But how do you know which option is best for your pet? We broke down the key differences below:

What does pet insurance cover?

Unlike preventive care plans, pet insurance picks up the tab when your pet suddenly becomes sick or hurt and those costs can quickly add up. If your dog develops hip dysplasia, for example, treatment can range from $1,700-$4,700. Treating a cat suffering from urinary tract disease could set you back $400 or more. If your pet has comprehensive insurance coverage, you can expect to get up to 90% of your pet's treatment covered.

Does pet insurance cover preventive care?

Preventive care isn't included in any pet insurance plan's core coverage, since some people prefer to plan for those more manageable costs on their own. Instead, typical pet insurance plans focus on protecting pet parents from the financial stress of vet bills when emergencies strike.

We’re excited to announce that Fetch will be offering preventive care coverage as an add-on to our pet insurance plans for an additional cost later this year. This means your best friend will be protected during both the routine and unexpected moments in their life.

The best pet insurance, period.

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What does a preventive care plan cover?

Preventive care plans cover your pet’s routine care such as annual vet checkups, teeth cleanings, behavior training, grooming and preventatives, like flea and tick solutions. Because vaccinating a cat, for example, can set you back $60-$90 on average, and grooming a dog can cost anywhere from $40-$100 each visit, a preventive care plan can be a helpful budgeting tool for these everyday expenses.

Does pet insurance cover spaying?

Spaying and neutering are not typically covered by pet insurance core plans, because they’re not considered emergency treatments. What’s the Fetch difference? Spaying or neutering will be covered under Fetch’s preventive care plan — highlighting a great benefit of adding preventive care on to your insurance plan.

How much do preventive care plans cost?

Preventive care plans typically cost around $20-$25 per month depending on certain factors such as the type of pet, its age, and location. Coverage often begins as soon as you sign up.  

Are preventive care plans worth it?

Depending on the recommended care for your pet, the frequency of treatment and how much you spend annually on such costs, a preventive care plan could save you money. However, if your pet’s routine care needs would exceed what is covered by the plan, a preventive care plan might not be for you. When considering a preventive care plan, make sure you understand exactly what is and is not covered in order to make the decision that works best for you and your pet.

Should I get pet insurance or a preventive care plan?

There are pros and cons to both, but because life is unpredictable, pets of any age can benefit from pet insurance. It only takes one unfortunate incident for pet parents to realize how valuable injury and illness protection can be. You also shouldn’t have to worry about the expense of your best friend’s care when they are sick or hurt. But on the other hand, preventive pet coverage should save you money for your pet’s routine care moments.  

When it comes to preventive care coverage, kittens and puppies may have the most to gain. From vaccinations and microchipping to spaying and neutering, welcoming a new, young pet into your home is often the most expensive time for a pet parent.

Does it pay to have both pet insurance and a preventive care plan?

Preventive care plans encourage pet parents to be more proactive about caring for their best friends, since it is much less expensive to prevent a problem than it is to treat it. Having coverage for day-to-day treatments ensures your pet will be healthier long-term. 

Even with diligent preventive care, one-in-three pets will require a sudden visit to the vet each year.* Pet insurance helps protect you from these unexpected costs; with an affordable monthly payment, you’ll be covered if any serious health issues do occur.

*According to Datamonitor.

Team Fetch



Pet Health

Pet Insurance

Preventive Care


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