Hispanic woman sitting on couch with her two dogs

Why pet owners are switching to online vet care with Dutch

  • Prescriptions delivered free to you

  • Fast access to Licensed Vets over video

  • Unlimited video visits and follow-ups

Whether it’s swallowing a hair tie, chewing on a cable, or eating your box of chocolates, cat and dog-related accidents are a scary disaster waiting to happen. Not only can they be emotionally distressing, but they can also take a big hit on your finances, especially if your animal is not covered by insurance.  

If this is something that you are concerned about, accident-only pet insurance may be the solution. In this article, we will discuss what accident-only pet insurance is, the types of accidents it covers, its advantages versus full-coverage insurance, and whether or not it's the right choice for you. Read on to get the ins and outs of accident-only pet insurance explained.

What Does Accident-Only Pet Insurance Cover?

Accident-only pet insurance covers medical emergencies that aren’t related to pre-existing conditions or illnesses. The definition of an accident is rather broad, but it can be defined as an unforeseen or unexpected event that results in injury or harm

It’s helpful to understand which accidents are covered by insurance so you can determine if it’s the best option for your pet. The types of accident-related injuries often covered by accident-only pet insurance include: 

  • Swallowing objects
  • Bite wounds 
  • Broken nails 
  • Poisoning 
  • Eye injuries 
  • Dental injuries 
  • Bee stings 
  • Heat stroke 
  • Fractures
  • Car accidents

It’s also important to make sure that your pet is the right kind of candidate for this type of insurance, as, depending on their health, environment, and other circumstances, full-coverage insurance might be a better option for you. Nonetheless, your animal could be a good candidate for accident-only pet insurance if they: 

  • Don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions 
  • Do not take regular medication 
  • Are not a breed that is susceptible to hereditary illnesses 
  • Are easily excitable and prone to get into dangerous situations
  • Regularly eat or chew on strange objects

If you find that your pet is otherwise healthy but does have certain behavioral conditions that make it more prone to accidents, then accident-only pet insurance could be the right choice. What’s more, pet owners agree! Accident-only insurance is the most common type of coverage people get for their pets1

What Doesn’t Accident-Only Pet Insurance Cover? 

As the name suggests, accident-only pet insurance is only accessible in the event of an emergency. This means that there are a whole host of medical bills that it cannot reimburse you for. These are not only related to the type of injury that your pet has but also certain parts of the process outside of the medical invoice. Non-coverage varies by provider but can include things like: 

  • Pre-existing injuries 
  • Intentional injuries or harm 
  • Illness or disease 
  • Certain prescriptions and over-the-counter medications 
  • Boarding and transport costs 
  • Preventable issues 
  • Complications stemming from medical treatment 
  • Alternative, holistic, and experimental therapy 
  • Injuries resulting from repetitive and specific behavior 
  • Cremation and burial costs 
  • In the unlikely event of war, terrorism, or civil unrest 
  • Injuries arising from chemical or nuclear disaster 
  • Administrative charges 
  • Injuries related to training for racing events

How Much Does Accident-Only Pet Insurance Cost?

On average, accident-only pet insurance is around $17/month for dogs and $10/month for cats2. Cats are often cheaper as they are likely to see the vet less than dogs, and less likely to become accidentally injured. Dutch’s rates are in line with this market average, costing $16.67/month for dogs and $13.67/month for cats. This is billed at $204/year (or four easy payments of $51) for dogs and $192/year for cats (or four easy payments of $48). 

This offer is not only about insurance but also comes with a host of benefits, including:

  • Unlimited Calls with an online vet who writes prescriptions
  • Free shipping on pharmacy orders
  • Customized treatment plans
  • Virtual care for up to five pets 
  • $10,000/year accident insurance 

These additional perks make a subscription with Dutch much more advantageous than traditional pet insurance companies, especially as telemedicine for pets can be more convenient and just as effective as in-person consultations. 

Accident-Only vs. Full-Coverage Pet Insurance

As accident-only coverage can only be used in the event of emergencies, this means that the likelihood of it being activated remains pretty low. As a result, full-coverage pet insurance can be much more expensive than its accident-only counterpart. On average, accident and illness insurance for dogs comes in at $48 per month, while cats will set you back $28 a month. This translates to around $576 for dogs and $336 for cats per year. 

This price can differ depending on the age, breed, and size of your pet. For example, dogs prone to disease such as French bulldogs or rottweilers can cost significantly more than a small mixed-breed dog. As for cats, prices aren’t as severe for different breeds and sizes, but mixed-breed cats are still cheaper to insure than any pure breeds3.

Dutch Annual + Insurance by Pets Best 

Dutch offers virtual vet care with insurance from our partner Pets Best. This is an accident-only plan with coverage up to $10,000 per year. This coverage can be used for multiple visits over a year. After you have paid your medical bills at any vet in the country, you can easily make a claim through the Pets Best website. Once you have paid the $250 annual deductible and 10% coinsurance bill, they will reimburse you for the costs of coverage. If you can’t pay the bill upfront, you can also use the Vet Direct Pay option to have the vet paid directly by Pets Best. This offer comes with all the pros also involved in Dutch’s annual telemedicine plan


What are the three different types of pet insurance? 

The three different types of pet insurance are accident-only, illness and disease, and wellness insurance. We’ve covered the first two in detail already, while wellness insurance covers annual wellness exams, flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, teeth cleaning, spay/neuter surgery, and vaccinations. It’s worth figuring out if this insurance is necessary for you before scheduling a consultation. 

Is there a waiting period for accident-only pet insurance?

With Dutch and Pets Best, the accident-only pet insurance policy has a three-day waiting period from the day the policy begins until coverage is available. After the waiting period is met, it is waived for continuous and uninterrupted policy renewals, including, at the provider’s discretion, policy renewals from other pet insurance providers. 

What is the difference between an accident and an “accidental”  injury? 

Insurers use the terms accident and accidental to determine if a pet is liable for coverage. An accident refers to an event that happens without intention; something that is unexpected and unforeseeable. Conversely, accidental means refers to acts that caused harm to your pet but were themselves accidental. Insurers use accident means to precisely define an “accident”, which is a strict understanding of the term rather than merely an unforeseen event. Accidental means looks at the cause and effect of the event to truly define if it's an unforeseen accident. For example, if you know your pet is going to cause itself harm, but you do nothing to prevent it, then you may be liable.

Who should get accident-only pet insurance?

It is definitely recommended for all pet owners to make sure that their four-legged friends are insured, no matter if they are completely healthy or not. Without insurance, you could be paying significantly out of pocket, especially as 42% of pet owners cannot cover a surprise vet bill4. Nonetheless, if you believe that your pet is otherwise healthy and happy, then accident-only insurance could be the right option for you in the event of an unexpected and unforeseen emergency. 

What is the best type of insurance for my pet?

The type of insurance you choose to get for your pet is complex and depends on a variety of interlocking factors, including age, size, and breed. It is recommended to get accident-only insurance if you don’t foresee any health issues for your pet. Conversely, if you have a pet that’s prone to illness, such as a French bulldog, you could save money over the long term by making sure that they’re fully covered. 

Woman smiling while holding cat

Keeping Your Animal Insured

Everyone wants to make sure that their pet is as healthy as possible and lives a long and happy life. But accidents still happen, even with the healthiest cats and dogs and the most careful pet owners. That’s why accident-only pet insurance adds that extra level of security to give you that crucial peace of mind, especially if your dog or cat has a habit of chewing things or getting into things they shouldn’t.

If you are interested in accident-only pet insurance, it is certainly worth finding coverage that works within your budget. To get more information about this process, it’s worth getting in touch with an expert at Dutch and booking an online vet consultation today!



  1. Vines, Brian. “Pet Insurance Buying Guide.” Consumer Reportswww.consumerreports.org/money/pet-insurance/buying-guide/#:~:text=Accident%20coverage%2C%20the%20most%20popular,care%2C%20covering%20surgery%20and%20hospitalization.&text=Illness%20coverage%20includes%20treatment%20for,that%20are%20not%20pre%2Dexisting.&text=Wellness%20care%20covers%20routine%20vet%20visits

  2. Lizknueven. “How Much Is Pet Insurance? Here’s What You Need to Know about the Cost to Cover Your Cat or Dog.” CNBC, CNBC, 4 Dec. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/select/pet-insurance-cost/

  3. Metz, Jason. “How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost? (2024).” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 16 Jan. 2024, www.forbes.com/advisor/pet-insurance/pet-insurance-cost

  4. Metz, Jason, “42% Of Pet Owners Can’t Cover A Surprise Vet Bill Amid Inflation,” Forbes, Forbes, 18 Aug. 2023,  https://www.forbes.com/advisor/pet-insurance/pet-cost-inflation/

Memberships to keep your pet healthier

billed $132 yearly
20% off of all memberships
billed monthly

All memberships include:

  • Fast access to licensed vets
  • Virtual care for up to 5 pets
  • Customized Rx treatment plans
  • Unlimited video calls & follow-ups
  • Guaranteed low prices on medication
  • Free shipping on every order

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

What is a visit with Dutch like?

When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

After your video call, the vet will send you a message with a custom treatment plan to help your pet feel better, including a link to buy any recommended prescription or over-the-counter medications. Place your order and we’ll ship it free.

How much will it cost for Dutch to treat my pet?

The Dutch membership starts at $11/mo for unlimited access to the vet. No more long waits for appointments or surprise bills.

In addition to the base membership plan, our veterinarians may also recommend additional medication (Rx and/or OTC) that you will have the option of adding to your plan at an additional cost.