Some pet insurance companies will apply the deductible first and then the copay when calculating the reimbursement amount to the policyholder. This is the method I’m most familiar with in all the health, home, auto insurance policies that I’ve had in my lifetime. Here is the actual wording from a pet insurance policy:

“Your annual deductible amount is listed on the declaration page and applies during each policy period. We subtract that deductible from covered expenses before applying the reimbursement percentage.” 

However, some pet insurance companies will apply the copay first and then the deductible when calculating the reimbursement to the policyholder and this results in a lower reimbursement. You’ll pay a little more out-of-pocket when a company uses this method. Here’s the actual wording from a pet insurance policy:

“Coinsurance is your portion of the cost of insured veterinary treatment for your pet before any deductible is applied.”

Let’s look at a potential claim amount and see how this affects the reimbursement a policyholder might expect when they file a $500 claim ($250 deductible and 10% copay):

  • Claim amount ($500) – deductible ($250) – copay (10%) = $225 (reimbursement)
  • Claim amount ($500) – copay (10%) – deductible ($250) = $200 (reimbursement)

Over the lifetime of your pet, depending on the number of claims you file, this could add up to a significant difference in your out of pocket costs. If you really like a particular company that happens to apply the copay before the deductible when calculating your reimbursement, this may not be enough to deter you from going ahead and choosing that company to insure your pet, but you need to be informed so you aren’t surprised when you file a claim.