Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Embrace coverage. Don't see your question listed? Ask us directly here.

Coverage

Unlike human health insurance, pet insurance has no networks. Because it works based on a reimbursement method, you pay the vet directly, submit your claim, and we pay you back - you can visit any veterinarian, specialist, or emergency hospital you like.

Only you can decide how much coverage you need. We typically recommend getting the highest coverage that you can comfortably afford.

You can downgrade your coverage at any time. Downgrading your coverage means anything that gives you “less” coverage. This could include lowering your annual maximum, lowering your reimbursement rate, or increasing your deductible.

You can also upgrade your coverage at any time; however, your policy would be subject to re-underwriting which is basically like getting a brand new policy. You would have new waiting periods and any accident or illness that started before your upgrade date (whether a claim was submitted and covered for it or not) would be considered pre-existing.

Yes. We will never drop your pet or reduce their coverage based on age, health status, or claims you’ve filed. Once you’re signed up, we do not cancel coverage for anything other than non-payment of premium.

A bilateral condition is a condition or disease that affects both sides of the body. Some examples of bilateral conditions include hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament tears. Because a pet runs a higher risk of the same condition on the other side of the body, if a pet has a pre-existing instance of a bilateral condition, we are not able to cover the condition on the other side. However, if a pet is diagnosed with one covered bilateral condition, we will also cover the condition if it occurs on the other side.

Yes, behavioral therapy and training is covered when administered by a veterinarian for a covered condition.

Yes, breed-specific, genetic, and congenital conditions are covered by every accident and illness policy as long as the condition is not pre-existing to the policy and waiting periods.

Yes, cancer treatment is covered as long as the condition is not pre-existing to the policy and waiting periods. Coverage includes diagnostics and testing, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery & hospitalization, rehabilitation, and alternative therapies.

Yes. Just like with human doctors – sometimes just walking into the vet’s office can cost you $50, $80, even upwards of $100. Embrace includes this fee in your reimbursement. Many pet insurance companies do not cover your vet’s exam fee (sometimes called an office visit fee). When a pet insurance company doesn’t cover the exam fee, it’s almost like paying an extra deductible on every single claim you file. Embrace thinks you should be reimbursed for every part of your visit, not just some of it.

Absolutely. Coverage for alternative and holistic veterinarians is included in your accident and illness policy at no extra charge. We do require that the treatment be for covered conditions and carried out either by a vet, under the direct supervision of a vet, or at a vet’s recommendation. We may need to verify that your vet recommended this treatment, but as long as they have – we’re good to go.

Alternative therapy coverage includes, but is not limited to:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathic
  • Holistic
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Therapeutic Laser Treatment
  • Reiki

One important thing to remember is that vitamins and herbal supplements (those that are not FDA approved for veterinary use) and alternative therapy options not associated with a covered condition are not covered under this portion of the policy, however Wellness Rewards does reimburse for them.

Please note: For new policies & renewals after 6/13/18 in ID and NE, alternative and complementary therapies are covered for 12 weeks following any covered injury or illness.

Pet insurance is for the unexpected, so accident and illness policies do not cover routine care costs. However, Embrace also offers Wellness Rewards, a routine care product that can be purchased in addition to your pet insurance policy. Wellness Rewards reimburses for everyday veterinary, training, and grooming costs. It works like a health savings account, helping you budget for your pet’s routine care expenses.

Every pet insurance plan has exclusions and the Embrace plan is no exception.

Here's a summary of what's not covered:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Breeding, whelping, and pregnancy
  • Injury caused deliberately by you or any other person or pet residing in your home
  • Injury or illness resulting from fighting, racing, cruelty, or neglect
  • Cosmetic procedures such as tail docking, ear cropping, and dew claw removal unless medically necessary
  • DNA testing or cloning
  • Organ transplants
  • Stem cell therapy not deemed medically necessary
  • Avian Flu or Nuclear War

For a complete list of exclusions see the Embrace terms and conditions.

A pre-existing condition is any injury, illness, or irregularity noticed by you or your veterinarian before the end of your waiting period, even if your pet never went to see the veterinarian for it. No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions.

However, Embrace does distinguish between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions. Examples of incurable pre-existing conditions include diabetes, allergies, etc. Curable pre-existing conditions include things like ear infections and undiagnosed vomiting or diarrhea. As these issues can be completely cleared up, they could be covered moving forward if the pet goes 12 months symptom free.

We define what conditions are pre-existing for your pet by requesting their medical records for the 12 months (or less, if they are a new addition) prior to the purchase of the policy. If you’d like, you can request that we do a Medical History Review, which involves one of our claims adjusters reviewing your pet’s medical records to let you know what – if any – conditions would be considered pre-existing. It’s important to note that we don’t automatically do these Medical History Reviews, you must request one. However, they are free of charge and available to anyone who has a policy.

Policy Parameters

Dogs and cats age 14 and younger are eligible for full accident and illness coverage. Pets over 14 years of age are eligible for an accident-only policy.

Once your pet is signed up with Embrace, coverage is locked in for life. If your pet is eligible for accident and illness coverage when enrolling today, that full coverage will continue as long as your pet remains insured with us. We will not drop your pet's coverage at a certain age, nor will we change it. Any policy changes are totally up to you.

The annual deductible is the amount that you are responsible for before reimbursements start. Like most other types of insurance, you are responsible for part of the cost. Our deductible is annual which means you only have to meet your deductible once per policy term – not every vet visit, or once for every different type of condition, which is how some pet insurance companies operate.

No. Only charges for covered accidents and illnesses are applied to your deductible. Routine care/preventative care items (such as vaccinations, spay/neuter, heartworm/flea/tick preventative, etc) are not covered by the insurance policy, making them ineligible to be applied toward your deductible.

Your annual limit is the most Embrace will reimburse, after you meet your deductible, in a policy year.

No. You may have heard terms like “Schedule of Benefits” or “Usual, Customary, and Reasonable Standard (UCR)” when researching pet insurance. In layman’s terms, these are lists of what certain pet insurance companies think vets should charge for treatment, and they only reimburse you for what THEY think you should have been charged. Embrace doesn’t believe in using any of these tactics. We reimburse you based on a direct percentage of your vet bill.

A reimbursement rate is the percentage of the vet bill that you’ll get back after you meet your deductible. One way to look at a reimbursement rate is to think of it as the opposite of a copay. For example, if you have an 80% reimbursement rate, that’s like having a 20% copay. You pay 20% of the bill. Embrace pays 80%.

Embrace calculates claim reimbursements by first subtracting the deductible and then taking off the copay, so you get the most back.

No. There is only an annual maximum, which you're able to choose.

This term refers to insurance that has a high deductible and therefore a lower premium. This is a good option for pet parents mostly looking to protect against major, expensive events, such as an $8,000 vet bill for cancer, as opposed to smaller events, such as a $300 vet bill for an ear infection.

Yes, policy premiums do increase over time for a few reasons. There are several factors that can affect premiums, including:

  • The pet getting older
  • Increases in veterinary costs
  • Changes in overall trends in the pet population

We do not raise rates due to submission of claims.

Waiting Periods

In most states, policies have a 2-day waiting period for accident coverage and a 14-day waiting period for illness coverage. There are some states that have a 14-day waiting period for both accidents and illnesses. See the Waiting Periods page to find out where your state falls.

If you have a dog, you’ll also be subject to the orthopedic waiting period. Orthopedic means anything related to your dog’s bones, joints, ligaments, etc. The standard orthopedic waiting period (OWP) is 6 months. However, if you have our Orthopedic Exam Report Card completed, you are able to shorten that OWP to 14 days. Simply take your dog to your vet after you purchase the policy, have your vet perform an orthopedic exam, and have our Orthopedic Exam Report Card completed. Once we get the form, we waive the rest of the OWP. It’s not required, but it’s recommended.

When you purchase a policy, you’ll receive an Orthopedic Report Card for each of your dogs. Cats do not have an orthopedic waiting period. Your Orthopedic Report Card needs the following in order to be considered valid:

  • An examination has taken place after the purchase of your policy
  • The report card needs to be completed, stamped, and signed by your vet

If your orthopedic exam reveals there are pre-existing conditions that impact coverage in such a way that you don't wish to continue the policy, you can take advantage of our 30-day money-back guarantee. If your orthopedic exam is conducted after the first 30 days of your policy term and you choose to discontinue your policy, we will issue you a refund of unused premium.

No, you are not required to have x-rays performed for the Orthopedic Report Card to be accepted. This form only requires the results of what your vet sees on examination of your pet.

  • Online: Your MyEmbrace Account
  • Email: claims@embracepetinsurance.com
  • Fax: (800) 238-1042)
  • Mail: PO Box 22188 Beachwood, OH 44122

Please send in a letter from your veterinarian clarifying the situation, along with any other new information that could help. Once this is received we will present the information to our underwriters for review. Occasionally, additional diagnostics may be required to overturn a decision – this will be discussed with you in detail if this proves to be the case.

Medical History Review

A medical history review is when the claims department reviews your pet’s medical history and then provides you with a list of any exclusions to your policy. This must be requested and usually takes 5-10 business days following the receipt of your pet’s medical history.

If you have not submitted your pet’s medical history in the past, we will need one full year of your pet’s medical history prior to the purchase of your policy before a medical history review can be completed. The medical history we need to complete this review includes doctor's and/or chart notes, where the doctor writes down examination findings, tests that were run, and test results each time your pet visits the vet.

Your insurance policy requires that your pet has been seen by a vet within the 12 months prior to the purchase of your policy or during the 14-day waiting period. Along with the notes from that visit, any additional medical history you have from the 12 months prior to the policy (if received from the breeder/shelter/rescue) should also be sent in. If you do not have any additional medical history, that is fine.

Healthy Pet Deductible

With Healthy Pet Deductible your pet's annual deductible goes down automatically by $50 each year that you don't receive a claim reimbursement. Healthy Pet Deductible is included with every policy at no extra charge.

Once your pet's deductible decreases to $0, that's as low as it can go. We'll automatically apply any Healthy Pet Deductible credits you've earned when you're eligible for reimbursement. Once you receive an accident or illness claim reimbursement greater than your current Healthy Pet Deductible credit, the Healthy Pet Deductible credit resets to zero for your next policy year.

For the most part, you'll want to submit claims as you normally would. If your pet is sick or injured, please contact your veterinarian immediately. To help maximize the benefit from Healthy Pet Deductible, you can submit claims at any point in the policy year they occurred, plus 60 days into your next policy term. Whether or not you submit your claims is totally up to you. We will process whatever you send us.

Accident Only Plan

Pets who are too old for full accident and illness coverage can purchase an accident-only policy.

Coverage for this policy includes, but is not limited to:

  • Bloat
  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Hit by car
  • Poisoning
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Etc

An Embrace accident-only policy reimburses you up to $5,000 each year. There is a $100 deductible that you pay once per year and then you're reimbursed 90% of your veterinary bills. These parameters are not editable.

Wellness Rewards

Items that can be reimbursed via Wellness Rewards include, but is not limited to:

  • Wellness exams
  • Vaccinations & titers
  • Flea, tick, & heartworm medication
  • Spay/neuter surgery
  • Fecal exams
  • Routine blood tests
  • Microchipping
  • Umbilical hernia repair
  • Gastropexy
  • Toe nail trimming
  • Routine anal gland expression
  • Routine chiropractic care, reiki, massage therapy, acupuncture
  • Teeth cleaning & dental illness
  • Prescription diet food purchased at your veterinarian
  • OFA & PennHIP exams and X-rays
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Medicated shampoos
  • Behavioral/obedience/specialty training
  • Pet activity monitors
  • Grooming
  • Cremation/burial

There are three annual allowance options for Wellness Rewards reimbursement:

  • $250 allowance per policy year
  • $450 allowance per policy year
  • $650 allowance per policy year

No. You can use your Wellness Rewards plan for any allowable product or service up to your annual allowance.

No. Wellness Rewards is not currently available for standalone purchase. You must be an Embrace Pet Insurance policyholder to purchase Wellness Rewards.

whiskerDocs

whiskerDocs is the leading 24/7 pet help line providing instant, real-time access to veterinary experts. whiskerDocs provides decision support to pet parents with questions about their pet’s behavioral changes, possible poisoning, signs of an emergency, and more. whiskerDocs pet experts offer guidance on when, where, and how to use healthcare resources appropriately. whiskerDocs is unable to diagnose a condition or prescribe medications.

Embrace Pet Insurance offers unlimited access to this complimentary service to all current policyholders for their insured pets only.

Download our whiskerDocs overview flyer.

When you call or use the live chat feature, the whiskerDocs agent will begin by collecting your basic contact information. You will then be asked the reason for calling or chatting, and the veterinary expert will help you make a decision for your pet’s care. whiskerDocs staff does not have access to your pet’s veterinary records or claims data.
Veterinary experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. On average, 90% of calls are answered in 45 seconds or less; 90% of chats are answered in 30 seconds or less; and emails are answered within 24 hours.
Effective May 1, 2018, Embrace Pet Insurance is discontinuing the VetLIVE option.