Pet Dental Insurance

Contributor, Benzinga

Did you know many of our readers end up choosing Lemonade Pet Insurance for their pet insurance coverage?

If you have a furry friend, odds are that you already know that pet insurance exists. But did you know that pet dental insurance also exists? Pet dental insurance can help you pay for your pet’s oral health needs, including routine cleanings, disease and any possible surgeries. Investing in dental insurance for your pet can potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars if your pet runs into a major dental care need. 

Does Pet Dental Insurance Exist?

Pet dental insurance does exist. However, you can’t purchase a stand-alone dental insurance plan for your pet in the same way that you can purchase an individual dental insurance plan for humans from companies like Humana or Ameritas. Some insurance providers offer dental insurance for your pet as added coverage with a regular pet insurance plan. Some plans offer dental coverage as a standard policy inclusion, while others require an added premium for dental coverage. 

Most providers only cover injuries and reconstructions and don’t cover dental disease. Unfortunately, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of dental disease within the first 3 years of their lives, according to research from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Therefore, you will likely need to pay for dental disease care for your pet at some point in your pet’s life, which may not be covered by your pet insurance plan if you don’t specifically seek dental coverage. 

Petplan, Embrace Pet Insurance, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Trupanion, Progressive and Nationwide are a few examples of insurance companies that offer pet insurance with dental injury and illness coverage along with their policies. Providers such as Figo and AKC Pet Insurance only offer some coverage for tooth extractions after an accident. 

Each insurance plan and provider offers a different way to cover dental issues for your pet. You’ll need to read your policy to see what types of instances and dental needs are covered and which are not. Certain providers may not offer reimbursement for the invoice but instead will offer reimbursement in accordance with the geographical average for what your pet had done at the vet.   

Dental insurance plans for your pet usually come in 3 different options: accident-only plans, illness plans and wellness plans. Accident-only plans offer coverage for dental accidents or injuries after a traumatic accident (for example, being hit by a car). Illness plans offer coverage for hereditary diseases that result normally and not as a result of an accident (for example, periodontal disease). Wellness plans sometimes offer coverage for routine cleanings and basic, preventative dental care needs. Some policies don’t offer coverage for pre-existing conditions or diseases. In addition, only certain providers offer insurance for exotic pets.     

What is the Annual Maximum?

When you sign onto a pet insurance plan, your plan usually will include an annual maximum that caps the total amount of benefits you can claim from your insurance provider in a single year. If your pet has health or dental needs that exceed your annual maximum, you’ll be responsible for paying for any remaining care needs out of pocket. When the new year arrives and you renew your plan, your annual maximum resets and you can use your coverage again.

For many pet insurance plans that include dental coverage, the annual maximum that you can claim for a single year is $1,000. While that may seem like a lot if you don’t have $1,000 in emergency savings, any pet owner who has needed to seek emergency veterinary care knows that many emergencies require more than $1,000 worth of treatment. Be sure to read and review your policy terms as well as the average cost of common pet health treatments in your area to determine whether investing in an insurance plan for your pet will be financially beneficial for you. 

How do you File Claims?

You file claims for pet insurance just like you would for your own homeowner’s insurance, car insurance or other type of nonhealth insurance. Some providers handle their claims differently from others, so make sure you know how your provider handles them before you need to use your coverage. It’s important to keep in mind that most plans do have copays and deductibles that you must pay before your insurance kicks in and starts paying for any treatments your pet needs. 

Most pet insurance providers work on a reimbursement model. This means that when your pet needs treatment, you’ll be responsible for paying any veterinarian bills you receive at the office. Then, you’ll submit your proof of payment to your insurance provider, which will then review your coverage and ensure that the treatments you’ve received are covered on your insurance plan. The insurance provider will then provide you with a reimbursement according to your policy terms and limits and less your deductible and any applicable copays. 

Before you receive reimbursement, you’ll need all invoices and documentation for the vet visit that you want covered. Some providers require you to take a photo of the documents and email the photos, while others will require you to mail or fax copies. Make sure you know exactly what your provider requires so you don’t miss out on claiming benefits you’re entitled to.   

Select pet insurance companies offer special accounts that allow you to use a specific debit card for veterinary-related expenses. This allows you to access benefits faster and prevents the need to save thousands of dollars in case of an emergency. However, these types of policies are less common when compared to reimbursement-based policies.  

Who Needs Pet Dental Insurance?

If you don’t have an adequate emergency fund that can cover a medical emergency for your pet, you should consider investing in a pet insurance policy that includes dental-care coverage. Oral care is essential for a pet’s health, as dental diseases can be deadly. Oral disease from inadequate oral care can lead to the lungs, kidneys or even the heart being affected.  

At the end of the day, whether or not you’ll benefit from pet insurance depends on balancing monthly costs versus the cost of an emergency treatment. No matter what, your pet will need the care required, so it’s really a matter of whether you can afford to pay for the care out of pocket. You never know what could happen, especially because you can’t communicate with your pet and may not be able to tell whether there is something seriously wrong until it’s too late, and the vet bill has grown exponentially.

Insurance is also great for people who have multiple pets because healthcare for more than a single pet can be expensive. Dental insurance also can keep you on track with your pet’s regular care needs. If you have the insurance, then you’ll be more inclined to take advantage of it, which can result in increased wellness examinations and being on top of your pet’s health. Just like humans need to go to the dentist for teeth cleaning twice a year, pets need to receive regular routine care to avoid more expensive issues down the line. 

Those who do not brush their pet’s teeth regularly or use certain dental chew toys need dental insurance. Plaque and tartar buildup can be detrimental in the future if left untreated. The buildup can lead to infected teeth, gingivitis and even periodontal disease. 

Benzinga’s Best Pet Insurance

If you don’t have pet insurance, you might want to research coverage for your furry friend. Consider starting your search with a few of Benzinga’s favorite pet insurance providers using the chart below. 

get started securely through Lemonade Pet’s website
Disclosure: Lemonade is currently available in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin,
Best For
Top-rated pet insurance
N/A
1 Minute Review

Lemonade offers easy-to-understand coverage options for dogs and cats. It’s even better for those who already have Lemonade renters or homeowners insurance as you get a discount for bundling your policies. 

Insurance companies keep extra dollars for profit, but Lemonade is unique in that after it pays your claims and its expenses, it gives any remaining premiums to a charity that you choose when you sign up for a policy. You can select charities like the American Red Cross, the Trevor Project, and many pet-centric causes. The downside to Lemonade pet insurance is that you can only insure dogs and cats (no exotic animals). 

Best For
  • Those who want to bundle with their home policy
  • Pet owners who prefer to buy and manage their policies online
  • Pet owners who want to customize their pet’s policy
Pros
  • Super customizable so you get everything your pet needs without paying for stuff you won’t use
  • Discount for having Lemonade home or renters insurance
  • Very high cap on annual limits
Cons
  • Only offers coverage for dogs and cats
  • Not available in all states
Get started securely through Spot Pet Insurance’s website
Best For
Prescription food and supplements
N/A
1 Minute Review

Spot Pet Insurance’s innovative approach provides user-friendly access to customizable coverage. Your dog or cat is covered without completing a medical exam. The policies cover veterinary bills, either partially or in full, when your pet goes in for a check-up or routine vaccination or needs care for injury, chronic illness or prescription coverage. Spot also covers implanting a microchip in your pet. You’ll also get 10% off of each additional pet you insure.

Best For
  • Cats and dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages
  • Insuring multiple pets
  • Customizing an insurance plan
  • Prescription food and supplements
Pros
  • Multiple pet discount
  • Covers prescription food and supplements
  • No upper age limit for coverage enrollment
  • 30-day money-back guarantee*
  • More reimbursement options: 70%, 80% and 90%
Cons
  • Doesn’t cover exotic pets
get a quote securely through Pumpkin Pet Insurance’s website
Disclosure: Limitations apply. For terms and conditions, visit pumpkin.care. Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (NPN#19084749) (“Pumpkin”) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance plans underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy, and is not available in all states.
Best For
Families with multiple pets
N/A
1 Minute Review

Pumpkin Pet Insurance offers traditional pet insurance as well as optional preventive care coverage at an additional cost. While Pumpkin does offer a wide range of coverage options, you’ll notice some limits to be aware of. All Pumpkin Pet Insurance plans have an annual coverage limit and all of its policies come with a high reimbursement rate.

Best For
  • Families with pets who don’t expect their bills to go higher than Pumpkin’s coverage limits
  • Families with multiple pets who can benefit from their discount for each additional pet’s policy
Pros
  • Always 90% reimbursement rate
  • No upper age limits or breed restrictions
  • Multiple pet discount
  • An extensive list of covered procedures
  • Fast and easy claims processing
Cons
  • Plans only cover cats and dogs — no other pet types
Get started securely through Trupanion’s website
Best For
N/A
N/A
1 Minute Review

Trupanion offers comprehensive pet insurance policies for cats and dogs of all sizes, breeds and ages. The cost of your cat or dog’s policy will depend on its age, breed, gender and the cost of veterinary care where you live. You can expect a 5-day waiting period for injuries and a 30-day waiting period for illnesses.

Best For
  • Cats and dogs of all sizes, breeds and ages
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Illnesses and injuries
Pros
  • Available in all states
  • Covers diagnostic testing
  • Easy claims process
  • Can pay veterinarians directly at checkout
Cons
  • More expensive than most other providers

Where to Find Dental Care for Pets

If you’ve recently begun searching for dental insurance for your pet, don’t get frustrated if the first few providers you consider don’t offer dental options. Though many pet insurance companies don’t provide any type of insurance coverage for your pet’s oral health needs, there are options available. PetFirst might be a great option for you if you’re searching for pet insurance that includes a comprehensive range of dental care needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Does any pet insurance cover dental?

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Does any pet insurance cover dental?
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A
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There are pet insurance plans that cover dental care. However, most plans do not offer it. If a provider does offer dental, it usually makes that clear as it is an incentive for pet owners. Some plans do offer coverage for accidents and illnesses that result in the need for tooth extraction but do not extend to regular dental care needs. 

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Q

Does pet insurance cover periodontal disease?

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Does pet insurance cover periodontal disease?
asked
A
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Most pet insurance companies do not cover periodontal disease. PetFirst is one of the only insurance providers that does offer this coverage at the time of writing. 

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