Pet Insurance, Should I, or Shouldn’t I?

Pet Insurance, Should I, or Shouldn’t I?

Article by: Dave Anderson, Companion Animal Hospital

As a full service veterinary hospital there are many questions we are asked with regularity. One of them is, “How old does my pet have to be to begin vaccines?”, another is, “Does my pet really have to be seen by the doctor before medication can be prescribed?” Most of these questions are very easy to answer, and we answer them daily. But a more difficult question to answer, has been, “Is pet insurance worth it, what is covered and who do you recommend?” Well, we are now prepared to answer these questions better than ever.

First, “Yes, pet insurance is worth it.” It is worth it, if and that small word has big meaning, if you want to be able to say “yes” to whatever care your pet may need, at any time in your pet’s life. We encounter clients that have received the bad news that their pet has a condition, disease, or medical abnormality that will require corrective surgery, ongoing care, or ongoing testing and life-long medication. These costs add up. We understand. Some clients simply cannot commit to this level of ongoing care because no preparation has been made to cover these costs. That is not uncommon for many pet owners. This is why the pet insurance industry has continued to grow. Relative to the second questions, what is covered has a great deal to do with the insurance provider.

We have done additional research on pet insurance options. I won’t go into all the commercial insurance companies trying to improve their bottom line by adding pet insurance. To answer the final question, we suggest Pumpkin Pet Insurance to our staff. We don’t suggest it because it is the least expensive, it is not. We suggest Pumpkin because, compared to other insurances, it pays out benefits in more situations and it pays out more benefits in these situations. Below is additional information on Pumpkin Pet Insurance. By the way, they are owned by Zoetis Pet Care, the company that has brought us products like Proheart 6, Proheart 12, Simparica and Simparica Trio. This company is laser focused on pet care, and that is why the recently purchased Pumpkin.

Understand there are options available to you with any pet insurance provider. You will want to connect directly with Pumpkin to get your questions answered. You can call them directly at 866-273-6369, or email them at Described below is an optional Preventative Essentials Pack offering, an add-on to Pumpkin Pet Insurance that covers most of what our clients have done with regularity each year.

Pumpkin’s Preventative Essentials Pack – Unlike pet insurance, which helps cover unexpected accidents and illnesses, covers routine care your pet needs to stay healthy all year. Why not get paid back for things you’re getting anyway?

Pumpkin’s Preventative Essentials Pack includes:

  • Annual Wellness Exam – Full refund for the exam fee when you take your pet to the vet for a yearly check-up, vaccines & tests – key for checking head-to-tail health and catching issues early.
  • Vaccines at the Vet – Full refund for any 2 vaccines you and your vet choose each year – key for protecting against common preventable illnesses and diseases.
  • Lab Test to Detect Intestinal Worms – Full refund for 1 yearly fecal “poop” test to screen for intestinal worms – key for detecting these dangerous parasites early.

Now Let’s Talk About Actual Pet Insurance From Pumpkin – Pumpkin Recommends the Content Below from Their Materials:

Six Key Things You Want to Know Before You Commit to Any Pet Insurance Plan
Before you commit to any pet insurance, make sure you know the answers to these 6 questions. This may require taking a closer look at that not-so-fun-looking sample insurance policy, but trust us – a lot of key coverage exclusions and conditions get buried in the fine print.

  1. What Is Not Covered? – Some pet insurances do not cover key things your pet may need, or charge an extra monthly fee to cover them. Some of these include dental illnesses, behavioral issues, hereditary conditions, alternative therapies and sick visit exam fees. Pumpkin covers all of them at no extra cost.
  2. Are There Upper Age Limits? Is Your Pet Covered for Life? – Some insurances will not enroll pets over the age of 10 or 12 years, or will reduce coverage as pets age (or they may drop the pet altogether)! Pumpkin proudly accepts all seniors and never reduces or cancels coverage. 
  3. Are There Preventative Care Requirements? – Some insurances may decline to cover your pet if they are not up to date on annual wellness exams, annual dental exams or vaccines. Not Pumpkin!
  4. Are There Extended Waiting Periods for Certain Conditions? – Some insurances have extended waiting periods of up to 365 days for common conditions, like knee injuries or him dysplasia. Pumpkin’s waiting period is the same for all conditions – 14 days. 
  5. What is Their Policy on Pre-existing Conditions? – Some insurances will never cover a condition that was symptomatic or treated before enrolling or during the waiting period. However, Pumpkin will cover most “curable” pre-existing conditions if they’re cured and free of symptoms and treatment for 180 days. Pumpkin can cover it if in the future it occurs again, with the exception of knee and hind leg ligament conditions. 
  6. Will Your Veterinarian Accept Them? – Unlike some insurances, Pumpkin does not have a network of providers. That means you can keep going to Companion Animal Hospital with Pumpkin! Not only that, you can go to any licensed veterinarian, specialist, or emergency clinic in the U.S.A or Canada. Pumpkin allows you to fee free to travel with your pet!

Additional Coverage
Finally, Pumpkin will cover some things that other pet insurances will not cover, including:

  • Hereditary Conditions
  • Dental & Gum Disease
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Six Exam Fees
  • Prescription Food & Supplements
  • Alternative Therapies (example: Acupuncture)
  • Advanced Care (example: Chemo)

All this in addition to what you would expect, including:

  • Accidents & Illnesses
  • Diagnostics & Treatments
  • Prescription Medications
  • Emergency & Hospitalization
  • Specialized Care

Needless to say, there is a lot to consider relative to pet insurance. Yet, there is a great deal to be benefited from the “right” pet insurance. I hope this content has helped to clarify pet insurance. One final note, Companion Animal Hospital does not handle any of the insurance processing. If you have Pumpkin Pet Insurance, you simply see Dr. Anderson as you would normally, have whatever services completed that are necessary for your pet, then send your receipt and invoice to Pumpkin to have your claim processed. You are reimbursed directly from Pumpkin. Pumpkin does not pay the doctor, or hospital.

Contact Pumpkin at: 866-273-6369, or email them at, or on the web at