Types of Pet Insurance - Accident Only Pet Policies


Bryan Huynh

- Updated February 20, 2024

Types of Pet Insurance - Accident Only Pet Policies

As pet owners, we wholeheartedly embrace the love, companionship, and joy that our furry friends bring into our lives. Our four-legged companions become cherished members of our families, and their health and well-being are paramount to us. However, like us, pets are not immune to accidents and unforeseen mishaps. Accidents can happen when we least expect them, whether it’s a sudden injury during playtime or an unexpected fall, and the cost of veterinary care in such situations can become daunting.

That’s where the concept of pet insurance comes into play. It’s a financial safety net that can alleviate the burden of unexpected medical expenses for our beloved companions. Among the array of pet insurance options available, one type, known as “accident-only pet insurance,” stands out for its specific focus on covering injuries resulting from accidents.

What is Covered Under Accident-Only Policies?

Accident-only pet insurance policies cover many injuries and accidents that may befall our furry companions. While these policies don’t provide comprehensive coverage like some other pet insurance plans, they play a crucial role in addressing the financial burden associated with sudden and unexpected accidents. Here are some common scenarios typically covered under accident-only pet insurance.

Injury Accidents

Accident-only pet insurance policies often cover injuries resulting from accidents such as falls, slips, and trips. From a broken bone due to a misstep to a sprain while playing fetch, these policies step in to handle the expenses of diagnostic tests, treatments, and hospitalization required to nurse your pet back to health.

Bite Wounds and Animal Fights

If your pet gets into a scuffle with another animal or sustains a bite wound, accident-only coverage can help offset the costs of veterinary care, including wound treatment and potential infection management.

Foreign Object Ingestion

Pets are curious creatures, and sometimes their explorations lead them to swallow objects they shouldn’t. Accident-only policies often cover expenses related to removing foreign objects from your pet’s digestive tract.

Lacerations and Abrasions

Pets may suffer lacerations or abrasions due to various situations, such as running through bushes, encountering sharp objects, or getting scratched. Accident-only pet insurance policies provide the necessary medical attention and wound care.

Hit-by-a-Car Incidents

Tragically, pets may occasionally get hit by cars, leading to severe injuries requiring immediate veterinary attention. Accident-only coverage can ease the financial burden of emergency care and treatment for these traumatic situations.

Burns and Scalds

Accidents at home, like hot liquids or heating equipment mishaps, can cause burns and scalds on our pets. Accident-only policies can contribute towards the expenses for treating these painful injuries.

Poisoning (Accidental Ingestion)

In case your pet accidentally ingests toxic substances, accident-only pet insurance policies may cover the costs associated with treatment and supportive care.

It’s important to note that accident-only pet insurance policies vary among providers, so it’s crucial to read the policy terms and conditions carefully to understand the specific accidents covered and any limitations or exclusions. Also, remember that illnesses, pre-existing conditions, and routine preventive care are typically not covered under accident-only policies. As such, pet owners should carefully assess their pet’s needs and consider other insurance options for more comprehensive coverage.


The Pros and Cons of Accident-Only Coverage

Accident-only pet insurance policies come with their own advantages and limitations, making them a suitable option for some pet owners while not the best fit for others. Understanding the pros and cons can help you decide whether accident-only coverage is the right choice for your beloved companions.



One of the most significant advantages of accident-only pet insurance is its affordability. Compared to comprehensive policies that cover accidents and illnesses, accident-only plans generally have lower premiums, making them a budget-friendly option for pet owners seeking basic coverage for accidents.

Coverage for Accidents

As the name suggests, accident-only pet insurance excels at providing coverage for unexpected injuries resulting from accidents. If your pet encounters any mishap, such as fractures, bites, or cuts, the policy can offer financial support for necessary medical treatments.

Quick Claims Processing

Since accident-only policies have a straightforward focus on accidents, claims related to such incidents are often processed quickly. This swift claims processing can be particularly beneficial during stressful and urgent situations when your pet requires immediate medical attention.

No Age Restrictions

Unlike some comprehensive policies that may impose age restrictions, accident-only pet insurance is generally available to pets of all ages. This inclusivity allows pet owners to secure coverage for their senior pets, which might be challenging under other insurance options.


Limited Coverage Scope

The most significant drawback of accident-only pet insurance is its limited coverage scope. Unlike comprehensive plans, accident-only policies do not cover illnesses, pre-existing conditions, or preventive care. Common veterinary expenses, such as vaccinations, regular check-ups, or chronic illness treatments, will not be covered.

Exclusions for Certain Activities

Some accident-only policies may include exclusions for specific high-risk activities or sports. If your pet is actively engaged in activities like agility training or competitive racing, you must carefully review the policy to ensure these incidents are covered.

No Coverage for Illnesses

While accidents can be expensive to treat, illnesses can also lead to significant veterinary bills. With accident-only insurance, pet owners must be prepared to bear the total cost of medical care for illnesses, which can be financially challenging in the long run.

Pre-existing Condition Exclusions

As with most pet insurance policies, accident-only plans typically exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. This means that any injury or condition your pet had before the policy’s inception will not be covered, leaving you responsible for those expenses.

Accident-only coverage offers essential coverage for accidents, providing a cost-effective solution to address unexpected injuries. However, the limited scope of coverage and the absence of benefits for illnesses and pre-existing conditions may not be suitable for all pet owners. Before deciding on the right insurance plan, carefully assess your pet’s health, age, and lifestyle while also considering your budget and the required coverage level.

Cost of Accident-Only Pet Insurance Policies

The cost of accident-only pet insurance policies can vary depending on several factors, including the pet's age, breed, location, and coverage limits. Generally, accident-only plans are considered more affordable than comprehensive pet insurance policies, primarily due to their limited scope of coverage.


Accident-only pet insurance policies typically have lower premiums compared to comprehensive plans. Since they focus solely on coverage accidents, the risk to the insurance provider is lower, resulting in more accessible and budget-friendly premium options for pet owners. Premiums can range from a few dollars per month for cats and small dogs to slightly higher amounts for larger dog breeds.


Like most insurance policies, accident-only pet insurance comes with deductibles, which you must pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. Higher deductibles generally lead to lower premiums, while lower deductibles may result in higher monthly costs.

Coverage Limits

Accident-only policies may have a maximum coverage limit for each accident or a limit per policy year. When choosing a policy, consider the coverage limits, and ensure they adequately align with potential veterinary expenses in the event of an accident.

Age of Pet

The age of your pet can also impact the cost of accident-only coverage. Younger pets are generally less prone to accidents and may have lower premiums than older pets. Some insurance providers may also have age restrictions, limiting the availability of accident-only policies for senior pets.


Certain dog breeds may be more prone to accidents due to size, physical characteristics, or activity levels. As a result, your pet's breed can influence the cost of accident-only pet insurance.


The cost of veterinary care can vary by location, which can be reflected in the premiums for accident-only pet insurance. Urban areas or regions with higher veterinary expenses may have slightly higher insurance costs.

It’s essential to compare quotes from different insurance providers to find the best value for your pet’s accident-only coverage. Additionally, consider your pet’s specific needs, lifestyle, and potential risks when determining the appropriate coverage and deductible level.

Exclusions and Limitations

Exclusions and limitations are essential aspects of any accident-only pet insurance policy. These provisions outline the specific scenarios and circumstances where the insurance coverage will not apply. While accident-only policies offer valuable protection for accidents, pet owners must understand these exclusions and limitations to avoid surprises and ensure they have appropriate coverage for their pet’s needs.

Illness Coverage

The primary exclusion in accident-only pet insurance policies is coverage for illnesses. These policies focus solely on accidents, meaning that medical expenses related to illnesses, such as infections, chronic conditions, or hereditary diseases, will not be covered. If your pet requires treatment for an illness, you must bear the total cost of veterinary care.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Like most insurance plans, accident-only pet insurance typically excludes coverage for pre-existing conditions. If your pet has experienced an injury or illness before the policy’s start date, the plan will not cover any medical expenses related to that condition. Insurance providers use this exclusion to prevent pet owners from purchasing coverage after an accident has already occurred.

Routine and Preventive Care

Accident-only policies do not cover routine and preventive care, such as vaccinations, check-ups, dental cleanings, and flea prevention. These are considered essential aspects of pet healthcare, but they fall outside the scope of accident-only insurance coverage.

High-Risk Activities

Some accident-only policies may exclude coverage for injuries sustained during certain high-risk activities or sports. For example, if your pet participates in activities like agility training, hunting, or racing, these incidents may not be covered under the policy. It’s essential to carefully review the policy’s terms and conditions to understand which activities are excluded.

Waiting Periods

Many accident-only pet insurance policies have waiting periods during which specific accidents or conditions may not be covered. This waiting period often lasts around 14 days from the policy’s start date, and it helps prevent fraudulent claims.

Age and Breed Restrictions

Some insurance providers may impose age and breed restrictions on accident-only policies. For example, they may not offer coverage for pets above a certain age or may exclude coverage for specific high-risk breeds.

Accident-Only Pet Insurance Policy Examples

There are several scenarios in which accident-only pet insurance policies can come into play. While the exclusions can vary depending on many factors (mainly the insurance provider), here are some of the things that are typically covered by accident-only pet insurance policies:

  • Injury Accidents
  • Bite Wounds and Animal Fights
  • Foreign Object Ingestion
  • Lacerations and Abrasions
  • Car Accidents
  • Burns and Scalds
  • Poisoning/Accidental Ingestion

The Claim Process for Accident-Only Pet Insurance

The claim process for accident-only pet insurance is designed to be straightforward and efficient, providing pet owners with quick access to reimbursements for veterinary expenses resulting from accidents. Here are the typical steps involved in the claims process:

Seek Immediate Veterinary Care

The first and most crucial step in the claim process is to ensure your pet receives prompt medical attention following an accident. Take your pet to a licensed veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic, depending on the severity of the injuries. Ensure you keep all the relevant medical records, invoices, and receipts from the visit.

Contacting the Insurance Provider

After your pet has received medical care, you’ll need to contact your accident-only pet insurance provider to initiate the claims process. Most insurance companies offer multiple channels for claim submissions, such as online portals, phone hotlines, or email. Provide the necessary details, including your policy number, your pet’s information, the date and nature of the accident, and a description of the injuries sustained.

Submitting Documentation

Along with your claim form, you must submit supporting documentation, such as veterinary invoices, receipts, and medical reports. Ensure that all documents are accurate and legible, and include a breakdown of the services and associated costs.

Claims Evaluation

Once your insurance provider has received your claim and supporting documents, they will evaluate the information to determine whether the accident and related expenses are covered under your policy. They may review the policy terms and conditions to verify your pet’s medical history and assess the incident to ensure it meets the criteria for an accident claim.

Reimbursement or Payment

If your claim is approved, the insurance company will process the reimbursement or payment. The amount covered will depend on your policy’s terms, including the deductible and coverage limit for accidents. Reimbursements are typically issued via check, direct deposit, or an electronic payment method, depending on your preference and the insurance provider’s options.

Reimbursement Rates and Deductibles for Accident-Only Policies

Reimbursement rates for accident-only pet insurance policies typically depend on the specific coverage limits and the percentage of eligible expenses the insurance provider covers. Most accident-only pet insurance policies offer a fixed percentage reimbursement for accident-related veterinary expenses. For instance, if your pet incurs $1,000 in eligible medical bills for an accident and your policy provides an 80% reimbursement rate, you would receive $800 back from the insurance provider. Remember that some accident-only pet insurance policies may have reimbursement caps per accident or policy year, limiting the total amount you can claim for accidents during a specific period.

Accident-only pet insurance policies require pet owners to pay a deductible before the insurance coverage comes into effect. The deductible is a fixed amount, and it is the portion of the veterinary expenses you are responsible for paying out of pocket. For example, if your policy has a $150 deductible and your pet incurs $800 in eligible medical bills for an accident, you would pay the first $150, and the insurance provider would reimburse the remaining $650. Typically, higher deductibles result in lower monthly premiums, while lower deductibles may lead to higher monthly costs. It’s essential to consider your budget and potential risks when selecting a deductible amount that aligns with your financial capabilities.

Waiting Periods for Accident-Only Policies

Waiting periods are common in accident-only pet insurance policies and refer to the period that must pass before coverage for certain accidents becomes effective. During this waiting period, any accidents that occur will not be eligible for reimbursement. The waiting period is put in place by insurance providers to prevent pet owners from purchasing coverage only when their pets are already injured, which would be considered a pre-existing condition. Waiting periods for accident-only policies typically range from 14 to 30 days, but the specific duration may vary among different insurance providers. Pet owners need to be aware of the waiting period and carefully time their policy purchase to ensure that they can access the full benefits of the coverage in case of an accident.

Renewal and Cancellation of Accident-Only Policies

Renewal and cancellation policies for accident-only pet insurance vary among insurance providers. Accident-only policies are usually annual contracts that automatically renew each year unless the pet owner decides to cancel the policy. Renewal ensures continuous coverage for your pet without any interruption. However, some insurance companies may require you to confirm your renewal or update your policy details each year.

On the other hand, pet owners can typically cancel their accident-only policies at any time. If you choose to cancel, you may be entitled to a prorated refund for any unused portion of the policy period. It’s essential to review your insurance provider’s specific renewal and cancellation terms to ensure you are aware of any requirements or potential fees associated with these processes. Regularly assessing your pet’s healthcare needs and reviewing your policy can help you make informed decisions about renewing or canceling your accident-only coverage.


Comparing Accident-Only Pet Policies

When comparing accident-only pet insurance policies, it’s crucial to consider several key factors to find the best fit for your furry friend. Start by assessing the coverage details, including the types of accidents covered, reimbursement rates, deductible amounts, and any coverage limits per accident or policy year. Review waiting periods and consider whether the policy has any exclusions or limitations that may affect your pet’s specific needs.

Price is also a factor, so compare premium costs across different insurance providers. Take the time to read customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the quality of service and claims processing. A comprehensive comparison will help you make an informed decision, ensuring your pet receives the best accident-only coverage tailored to their well-being and your budget.

About The Author

Bryan Huynh

Bryan Huynh

Product Tester & Writer

Bryan Huynh is a dedicated Product Tester & Writer. Just as insurance has your back, Bryan works to review and inform you about the wide range of insurance products available, ranging from business, auto, health, home, pet, to life insurance.

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