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Accident Only Pet Insurance

Faith Boluwatife
Faith Boluwatife
Faith is an enthusiastic freelancer and regular contributor for a number of finance and insurance blogs where she writes valuable pieces to educate individuals on finance and other options. As a skilled writer, Faith has created content for diverse industries – if it exists, she’s likely written about it.

DollarGeek's goal is to help you make the best financial decisions. To help us do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations or ratings.

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Table of Contents

Accident-only pet insurance policies offer a fixed sum of money per injury if your pet has an accident. Some also provide coverage for emergency medical treatment related to accidents.

Takeaway Points

  • Accident-only pet insurance is a more affordable way to insure your pets.
  • Accident-only pet insurance will only cover for health conditions that are accident-related.
  • It is most beneficial for older and younger pets, as well as highly energetic breeds.
  • Any pet owner can still benefit from accident-only pet insurance.

What is an Accident-Only Pet Insurance?

Accident-only pet insurance is a type of pet insurance that covers and offers a fixed reimbursement for accident-related health conditions. While accident-only pet insurance may cover certain other kinds of conditions, it is mostly designed for accidents alone.

If you are not sure what pet insurance covers, you can always confirm with the insurance company or compare options online.

How Does an Accident-Only Pet Insurance Work?

Like every other kind of pet insurance and unlike human health insurance, accident-only pet insurance works by you, first of all, paying for the healthcare of your pet. Then, you will lay a claim to the insurance company you’ve signed up with, after which you will receive reimbursement of a certain percentage of the healthcare cost you’ve paid.

Some vet clinics will also allow you to pay your bill up to 30 days after your pet’s treatment. You could just request a bill from them, lay a claim for your insurance and then get your claim check which you can use to pay the bill.

Typically, for every pet insurance plan, there is a specified amount as deductible and a specified amount as reimbursement. The deductible is the amount you must always forego, that is, pay out of your pocket every time you take your pet for care.

The reimbursement percentage is the percentage of the total healthcare cost that is paid back to you by the insurance company.
That said, it means that for every time you lay a claim on your accident-only pet insurance, you end up spending your deductible and the percentage remainder that is not covered by your reimbursement. The insurance company will then deposit the remainder to you.

If your accident-only insurance plan has a 90% reimbursement rate, you will end up paying your fixed deductible plus 10% of the total healthcare costs whenever your pet is treated for an accident-related condition.

Most pet insurance providers have reimbursement rates ranging from 70% to 90%. While you can always decide the reimbursement percentage you want, you should note that the lower your reimbursement rate, the lower your insurance premium will be, but the higher you’ll have to pay out of your pocket for your pet’s healthcare.

Moreover, because of the nature of the accident-only pet insurance, you can only lay a claim for a condition that is recognized in your insurance deal with the company. This is why it is important to understand what is covered and not covered by an accident-only pet insurance.

What Does it Cover?

Although what an accident-only pet insurance covers may vary from one insurance company to another, the policy generally recognizes the following conditions:

Bone and Muscle Injuries

Broken bones, ligament rupture, strains, and sprains – these are all common issues that occur during accidents. Bone and muscle injuries can be very minor, requiring only banding and a quick massage. However, they can also be very fatal, jeopardizing the life or wholeness of your pet.
Besides, the cost of attending to fatal bone and muscle injuries can be very high. The condition could require your pet to be admitted for days, have frequent x-rays, or use movement aids. These costs are what your accident-only pet insurance would help you cover.


A laceration is a tear into the skin that causes damage to the muscles and other tissues beneath the skin. Lacerations are very common as they can happen during several kinds of accidents, from car hits to animal bites, falls, and gunshots.

They are more complicated than surface wounds and may require full anesthesia to be treated. If your pet has a cut that bleeds heavily or looks deeper than the average wound, you should seek medical attention as fast as possible.

Improperly treated lacerations would not only cause pain to your pet but will make the wound heal less fast and can result in infections that may be too late to treat.

Accidental Poisoning

Pets interact with several things that can become poisonous when ingested – plants, household chemicals, human medications, and even common foods that are not so healthy for pets.
Your pet may need more than forcing it to vomit when it ingests a poison, as some substances react quickly with the system.

With your pet insurance, you can keep your mind at rest that any extent of health damage would be catered for with you spending only a few hundred bucks.

Ingestion of a Foreign Substance

Pets can also ingest substances that can become harmful in other ways that a poison cannot. Ingesting foreign substances can cause allergic reactions, choking, and indigestion. You could double-check with your insurance policy, but most accident-only pet insurance would let you lay claim for ingestion of a foreign substance.

Animal Bites

If you are a parent to more than one pet, animal bites may occur. This is particularly true if one of them is quite aggressive or dominant. Things are much worse if all your pets are aggressive and dominant.

Pets can also be susceptible to bites from other pets when they are out of their homes and hiking pets may encounter wild animals that would like to put up a fight.
Bites cause wounds that need to be attended to. But more than that, they can also cause infections and trauma, and there may be internal and bone damage to attend to.

That said, animal bites may cause more for your pet than your eyes can see. If you think your pet were very liable, you could enroll for accident-only pet insurance to cover for that.

This table compares what is covered and not covered by an accident-only pet insurance.

Covered Not Covered
Accidents Illnesses
Surgery Hereditary conditions
Hospitalization Congenital conditions
X-rays, blood Tests, and other diagnostic Tests Chronic conditions
Prescription medications Routine vet visits
Emergency care Pre-existing conditions
Specialty care Cancer
Alternative treatment Preventative care

Before opting for accident-only pet insurance from an insurance company, you may want to have a careful comparison of the different conditions covered across insurance companies so you can go for the option that is most suitable for you.

What Isn’t Covered by an Accident-Only Pet Insurance?

An accident-only pet insurance does not cover certain conditions which you may consider very essential. This is why it is crucial to understand what is covered and not covered by an insurance before you opt for it.

As you already know, accident-only pet insurance only covers accident-related healthcare costs. Therefore, any health condition that is not induced by an accident will not be considered. Here are some popular pet conditions that are not covered by accident-only pet insurance:


Illness-related claims will not be covered by your accident-only pet insurance, since they are not accident-induced. Fevers, cold, oral conditions, and infections are examples of common pet illnesses. However, an accident-only pet insurance does not cover any of that.

If you’d want your pet to be insured for common illnesses, you should consider the standard pet insurance that covers for both accidents and illnesses.

Hereditary and Congenital Conditions

Congenital health conditions are those that occur at or before birth. These kinds of conditions will not be covered by your accident-only insurance, and neither will the insurance cover for illnesses that are induced by those conditions.

In the same vein, hereditary conditions like diabetes and mast cell cancer cannot be laid claim for with accident-only pet insurance.

For standard pet insurance, the insurance company may also have rules guiding hereditary and congenital conditions for each of their policies. If the symptoms of the condition were already present before enrolling for the insurance, then the policy may not cover for it.

Routine Vet Visits

You cannot lay a claim for routine vet visits with accident-only pet insurance. Even for a standard pet insurance, you may want to confirm if routine vet visits will be covered for.
The accident-only pet insurance is strictly for emergencies, and of course, only emergencies that are related to accidents.

Preventative Care

Cancer screenings, blood pressure and other diagnostic tests, oral care, maternity visits, and all other kinds of prophylactic care will not be catered for by an accident-only pet insurance.

Pre-existing Conditions

The accident-only pet insurance will not cover any pre-existing health conditions of your furry friend, even if they were accident-induced. If you consider your pet to be very prone to accidents, whether due to age, breed, or activity, you should consider signing up for an accident-only pet insurance early enough.

Which Pet Types/Breeds Benefit the Most from Accident-Only Pet Insurance?

While any pet parent can benefit from the accident-only pet insurance, especially when they own a cat or a dog, it is particularly more beneficial for certain kinds of pet owners. This depends on the factors like the type or breed of pet they own, the activity of the pet, and the age range or development level.

Older Pets

Many insurance companies specifically have the accident-only insurance plan available for older pets. Owners of older pets can therefore benefit from this, even if they cannot afford or are not eligible for a standard insurance plan that covers other illnesses.

Due to age-related issues like failing eyesight, degenerating nervous response, and loss of mobility, older pets become more prone to accidents as they can no longer fend for themselves and respond to situations as much as they used to.

This is why it is important to consider an accident-only pet insurance for your old pet, especially when you cannot afford the standard one.

Younger Pets

Younger pets are filled with energy and are constantly seeking stimulation. Their tendencies for fun can make them highly prone to accidents. Besides, their nerve endings are still very much developing and this may make their response in the face of situations to be very slow.

In 2014, the Animal Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty (ASPCA) received over 167,000 calls regarding pets that had been exposed to poisonous substances. 16% of these calls were related to the accidental ingestion of human medications.

Close up shot of a puppy

Younger pets are most prone to eating poison and other non-edibles that could be dangerous to their health. Toys could also potentially become dangerous and can cause choking and blockages.

On the other hand, some food types are potentially dangerous to young pets. As they keep scavenging around and picking up everything they find, they become highly susceptible to ingestion-related accidents.

Their high-energy levels can also push them into extending their limits, resulting in accidents like tears, lacerations, and broken bones. Accident-only insurance, therefore, seems a suitable option for younger pets.

Energetic Breeds

Perhaps, the accident-only pet insurance is most beneficial for energetic pets. Certain breeds are known to be very active and playful, highly mischievous, and/or extremely curious.

If you own those kinds of pets, you’d already know what they’re capable of doing.

Like hyperactive children, there’s no limit to what stunt they can be trying the next minute, especially when the pet parent is not home.

Even with proper guidance, accidents are accidents and can still manage to happen. For pets that love to jump and explore, injuries are likely to happen occasionally. While most of them would be minor, you’d never know when a major injury that would require extensive medical care would occur.

Also, because energetic and intelligent breeds are used for rigorous and risky activities such as security, shopping, and hiking companions, and intelligence, they are more exposed to circumstances that can cause accidents, such as vehicle hits, gunshots, insect and animal bites, punctures, and sprains.

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