Navigating Pet Insurance Claims: Tips for a Smooth Claims Process


Ru Chen

- Updated February 26, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Double check your claim form before submitting
  • Include all the necessary documents
  • File claim ASAP to adhere to deadlines (usually 90 days post-vet visit)
  • Monitor claim status and communicate clearly with pet insurance company
Navigating Pet Insurance Claims: Tips for a Smooth Claims Process

As valuable as pet insurance can be, the claims process can be equally daunting. From applying for reimbursement and checking coverage details, many pet owners find themselves wishing for a clear-cut guide on how to file a pet insurance claim. If that sounds like you, this guide is perfect for you.

Let’s dive right into how to navigate the pet insurance claims process so you can maximize your chances of a successful experience.

Understanding the Pet Insurance Claims Process

Each pet insurance company has its own claims process, but these are the typical steps to filing a pet insurance claim:

1. Pay the veterinarian for their services

Most pet insurance companies require you to first pay a vet for their services. You can pay the invoice via cash, check, or credit at most vets.

If your pet insurance company offers direct pay, that means that you can give the insurer’s information to your vet’s office. Your pet insurance company will be directly billed by your vet. However, if the vet does not accept direct pay from insurers, you will have to use your insurance company’s reimbursement claims process instead.

2. Fill out a claims form

After your pet has received veterinary care, you need to file the claims form within a designated time period. Usually, pet owners get 90 to 180 days after getting billed before they can no longer file a claim for vet expenses.

Most pet insurance companies allow you to conveniently fill out the claims form either on their official website or using a mobile app. The form will ask for your information, your pet’s information, and what treatments or vet services you need covered.

3. Provide necessary documents

Your pet insurance company will ask you to provide documentation that supports your claim. Make sure you attach the necessary documents, such as:

  • Vet invoice and receipts
  • Medical records
  • Pet information

4. Submit claims form and wait for approval

Submit the claims form according to the pet insurance company’s directions. Submission may be done online, via mobile app, email, fax, or by mail. After you submit the form, you should receive a notification that the claims form has been received by your insurer within 48 to 72 hours.

If it is your first time submitting a claim for your pet, you can expect the claims process to take longer. The pet insurance company will likely take additional time to review your vet visit’s details and documentation.

5. Receive reimbursement for an accepted claim

If your claim has been approved in full or in part, you will receive the reimbursement. The pet insurance company may send you the reimbursement through a direct deposit into your chosen account or by sending you a check.


Documentation Requirements

Before submitting your claim, check whether you have included the necessary supporting documents. Here are the commonly requested documents for a pet insurance claim:

Invoices and itemized receipts

Pet insurance companies expect to see itemized receipts and invoices from your vet. This will help them see what amount they should reimburse you if your insurance claim is accepted. Receipts may be for:

  • Treatments
  • Medications
  • Procedures
  • Tests and checkups

Medical records

Many pet insurance companies refuse to cover conditions that were diagnosed before you started the insurance plan. Because of this, you will need to provide comprehensive medical records of your pet. The records need to prove that the vet expenses are for a new diagnosis, condition, or reason.

To prove your pet’s medical history and conditions, it is typically enough to submit your pet’s annual physical exam. However, the pet insurance company may ask for additional information, especially if your vet expenses are for treatment of chronic or breed-specific conditions as opposed to accidents.

New diagnostic test results

If your pet receives a diagnosis for a new condition, you will need to submit relevant diagnostic test results to your pet insurance provider. Most pet insurance providers don’t provide reimbursements for treatments of conditions that were diagnosed before you obtained active coverage. Your pet receiving a new diagnosis is important information for an insurance company.

Other relevant documents

Pet insurance companies may request additional information, such as your vet referral notes. If you have any questions about the documents, reach out to your pet insurance provider for detailed information and individualized assistance.

Claim Submission Procedures

Thoroughly read the pet insurance company’s coverage details and restrictions

Most pet insurance providers offer policies and plans that have exclusions and restrictions. Before you file a claim with an insurance company or purchase an insurance plan, it’s best to have a good idea of the policy details.

These are the most common conditions and restrictions you might encounter in a standard pet insurance policy:

  • Pet insurance providers will not cover pre-existing conditions and diagnoses
  • Age restrictions
  • Breed restrictions
  • No dental coverage unless you get an add-on
  • No coverage for behavioral issues
  • Waiting period (coverage won’t be active until the period is over)

Double check your claims form and documentation

If you have missing or inaccurate information in your pet insurance claim form, it can result in the claim being delayed or rejected. Before you submit your insurance claim with your pet insurance provider, take the time to review all of your information and documents.

Document and date everything

As with all types of insurance, it is a good idea to document all of your interactions with your pet insurance and vet. Keep all records, emails, and additional forms of communication so that if you need to dispute a claim result in the future, you have adequate supporting evidence.

Use online portals and mobile apps for convenience

If you want to avoid delays and miscommunication, using the pet insurance company’s official online portal or mobile app can be a good option. This way, you can receive quick notification of when the claims form has been received. Online portals also give you the option to easily check the status of each claim.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Here are the most common mistakes pet owners make when filing a pet insurance claim. They can delay or complicate the claims process, resulting in a rejected claim or slow reimbursement.

Incomplete documentation

It’s necessary to submit a complete and accurate set of documents when submitting a pet insurance claim. For example, you might be asked to upload your pet’s medical records. Make sure you hand in the requested documentation about your pet.

Missed deadlines

Pet insurance companies usually give fewer than 90 or 180 days for pet owners to submit a claim. Try to file a pet insurance claim after you receive your vet invoice as soon as possible. That way you won’t miss any crucial deadlines for claim submission.

Inaccurate information

If you give your pet insurance company inaccurate information, this could lead to a claim denial. Before handing in your claim form, take the time to double check all of your pet’s information and submitted details. If you find a mistake, it is best to fix it before submitting the insurance claim.

Lack of communication with the pet insurance company

If the pet insurance company requests additional information or clarification regarding your claim, try to respond as quickly and accurately as possible. If you don’t regularly monitor your claim’s status using the pet insurance provider’s online portal or mobile app, you might miss an important update or message.

Tips for a Smooth Claims Process

Ask About Your Policy Coverage

Before filing a claim, you might want to reach out to a pet insurance representative. This research process can help you better understand your pet insurance policy’s coverage and exclusions. Here are some key points of the insurance policy you should jot down for future reference:

  • Deductible
  • Reimbursement rate
  • Coverage limit
  • Restrictions

Keep Detailed Records

Keep organized records of all your veterinary visits, treatments, as well as expenses. If you receive medical records or vet notes for your pet, keep copies of them in case you need them for when you file an insurance claim.

If you lack the necessary evidence for a claim, your pet insurance company might reject your claim due to inadequate information. In this case, you might have to take your pet to the vet again to obtain necessary medical records and vet information.

Submit Claims Promptly

Time is of the essence when it comes to all types of insurance claims. After you take your pet to receive veterinary treatment, try to submit your insurance claim as soon as you have the necessary documents and receipts. Make sure you adhere to any deadlines that are specified by your pet insurance provider.

Follow Up on Claim Status

Once you have submitted a pet insurance claim, follow up on the status of your claim. Check in regularly to see if there are any updates, delays, or messages from your pet insurance company.

If you believe there is an issue with your claim process or result, you may be able to file a dispute or raise the concern with the pet insurance company. In some problematic cases, you might want to obtain legal help from an insurance attorney. Ideally, pet owners and insurance providers both want to avoid escalating a miscommunication or disagreement.


Pet Insurance Providers

When looking for the best pet insurance provider for your pet, consider the deductible, premium, breed restrictions, and benefits of each insurer. You can check out our expertly curated top pet insurance companies for detailed reviews. Our favorite five pet insurance companies include:

1. Pumpkin Pet Insurance

Pumpkin Pet Insurance offers a 90% reimbursement rate. That is a tremendous amount of value in a pet insurance plan. Without upper age or breed limits, Pumpkin has quickly become a pet owner favorite across the United States. Plus, you can receive a multi-pet discount, which makes it even better for those with big pet families.

2. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is a wonderful, affordable choice for pet owners who want accident-only or preventive care insurance. With ASPCA pet insurance, you can visit any vet in the country, including specialists, which means wide-range coverage for your beloved pet.

3. Embrace Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance has a high reimbursement rate, letting you get up to 90% back on vet bills from any vet. Not only are there popular $100 deductible and unlimited coverage options available, but you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Plus, pet owners can enjoy the peace of mind supplied by Embrace’s 24-hour pet health support line any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

4. Lemonade Pet Insurance

Lemonade is a pet owner favorite. The insurance company offers speedy claim reimbursements and everything else, powered by AI to bring you high quality service with no delays. The policies are highly affordable, starting at only $10 a month. If you want more comprehensive coverage, Lemonade also offers optional packages and add-ons so you can customize your pet insurance policy.

5. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation

Healthy Paws is trusted by over 600,000 pet owners. Without maximum payout limits (either annual or lifetime), Healthy Paws is a good choice for those seeking long-term insurance coverage. This insurance provider processed over 1.3 million claims in the last year and has excellent customer reviews.



Pet insurance claims can help pet owners save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on covered claims. When navigating a pet insurance claim, make sure you:

    1. Pay your vet’s bill
    1. File the claim
    1. Include necessary documents (e.g. pet records and test results)
    1. Submit claim and wait for results
    1. Monitor claim status
    1. Obtain reimbursement

Remember to double-check all your information and documents before you submit your claim. Inaccuracies and incomplete information can complicate and delay your claim.

About The Author

Ru Chen

Ru Chen

Content Writer

Ru Chen is a content writer with several years of experience in creating engaging and well-researched articles. She mostly writes about insurance, business, digital marketing, and law. In her free time, she can be found watching horror movies and playing board games with her partner in Brooklyn.

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