What is a Deductible?


By Frances Wilkerson, DVM


The deductible is the amount of the veterinary bill you must pay before the insurance company starts paying benefits.


There are two types of deductibles:


1. Per-Incident Deductible - This is the amount you must pay for each new illness or injury.


For some companies, the per-incident deductible is per policy year. This means that if your pet has, for example, chronic kidney problems you will pay a per-incident deductible each year you send in a claim for chronic kidney problems. 


For other pet insurance companies, the per-incident deductible for a medical condition is paid only once for the life of the policy. So if your pet has chronic kidney problems, for example, you will pay a per-incident deductible once for the life of your pet insurance policy.  


2. Annual Deductible - This is the amount you must pay each year regardless of the number of new incidents.


Each pet insurance company differs on the type and monetary amount of the deductible offered. It is important to research each company to find a deductible structure and amount that works for your situation.


The higher the monetary amount of your deductible, the lower your premium will be. Adjusting your deductible can be a good way to reduce the premium you pay. 


If you opt for a very high deductible, make sure the deductible type is annual. If you pick a per-incident with a very high deductible, your insurance may never kick in.



Dr. Wilkerson is the author of Pet-Insurance-University.com. Her goal is to help pet owners make informed decisions regarding pet insurance. She believes that everyone can make great decisions when given good, reliable information.


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