Does Pet Insurance Cover Vaccines?

pet vaccine

Pet insurance covers the cost of unplanned and unexpected medical fees for your pets. In taking out health insurance for your pet, you need to consider the various coverage and their limitations. Your aim of getting the pet health insurance is to access the care it needs to live a long and healthy life. So, checking limits on age, pre-existing issues, and hereditary conditions is necessary before you agree to a plan.

There are different levels of pet health coverage, with the lowest being the standard pet insurance. Basic pet insurance covers costs when there has been an accident and illness. It means that vaccinations are not part of this because they are regular and expected. However, your pet needs regular care to remain healthy since it is not verbal about its medical conditions, unlike humans.

Pet wellness plans are insurance options that cover routine preventive care costs, such as heartworm prevention, fecal screens, and vaccinations. This care coverage or preventative plan is rarely found in the typical pet medical insurance policy. There are pet insurers that offer medical insurance and wellness care. Some others provide either medical insurance or pet wellness plans alone.

How Wellness Plans Work

All the companies that offer wellness plans have different coverage ranges for you to choose from based on your budget and your pet’s needs. Comprehensive plans are often the highest levels in such pet insurance coverage, and they cover costs for check-ups in addition to the standard one against accidents and sickness. These plans may even account for preventive surgeries like neutering and dental care.

Wellness care is accessed either as a standalone plan or as a part of comprehensive coverage. In the policies where you obtain wellness care, you pay a premium for the program, take your pet to the vet for a routine check-up, and submit a claim to the insurer. The company then reimburses you for part or all of the costs accrued during the vet check-ups. There is a specific money reimbursement limit for each package beyond which the insurer does not provide coverage, and the pet owner will have to pay.

Pet wellness care is quite necessary if you can take advantage of all the plan procedures and never go above the maximum limit. The chances of the above happening are slim, especially in coverage that includes neutering because you can only neuter your pet once. The pet wellness plan is best used together with a comprehensive insurance program to ensure your pet is covered.

Importance of Pet Vaccinations

Vaccinations boost the pet’s immune system to fight any disease that its environment or status may expose it to. The vet introduces a vaccine in the form of antigens into the pet’s immune system. This vaccine causes the body to produce antibodies capable of fighting that particular infection type when it arises.

You should know that your pet is predisposed to several diseases, and a pet insurance wellness plan may not be able to cover vaccines for all of them. Generally, it covers only the core and most common ones. The onus now lies on the pet owner to determine the vaccines covered in the quotes of different pet insurance policies and compare it with what his/her pet will require.

After selecting the preferred option, the vet draws up a vaccination schedule that focuses on the pet’s risks depending on age, breed, health status, and environment. Cats require their first vaccination on the 9th and then the 12th week. Subsequently, they need a booster once a year as they grow. Dogs have theirs at 8 and 10 weeks and a subsequent booster shot yearly.

Types of Vaccines Often Covered by Pet Insurance

Pet Core Vaccine Common Vaccine
Dogs ●       Canine distemper

●       Canine parvovirus

●       Rabies

●       Canine hepatitis

●       Leptospirosis

●       Kennel cough

●       Lyme

Cats ●       Feline distemper

●       Feline calicivirus

●       Feline herpesvirus 1 (rhinotracheitis)

●       Feline leukemia virus

●       Bordetella

●       Feline immunodeficiency virus


Pet Insurance Plans That Cover Regular Care (Vaccination Inclusive)

Below are four pet insurance policies that cover vaccination for pets in their wellness plans.

Pets Plus Us:  The Wellness Care is a standalone coverage offered by Pets Plus Us for when you need to keep funds for your pet’s regular check-up. A pet owner could choose to combine it with an accident and illness plan. But on its own, it covers vaccinations and dental care. The coverage also allows you to select options specific to your pet’s age, breed, and your budget.

PetFirst: This pet insurer offers a wellness plan whereby each preventive procedure has a limit. PetFirst is excellent if you maintain your routine without missing a booster shot, as you are unable to carry over any unused benefits to another year. There are five levels of wellness plans in this policy that one could go for depending on his/her budget. The pet parent can also add this routine care plan to the basic accident and illness plans.

PetPremium:  The insurer offers two preventative wellness care plans that you can include in either the Accident or Total Coverage option. PetPremium reimburses the pet owner on vet fees involving wellness exams, vaccinations, dental cleanings, and other care treatments.

Pet Assure: This is a veterinary discount program that gives all program members a 25% discount on their pet’s vet fees. Since it only reduces vet bills, it applies to all pets with pre-existing conditions and no age limits. You will still have to pay the vet bills for routine vaccination, but your expenses are fewer. Though it is an alternative to traditional pet medical insurance, you can combine this discount plan with other insurance programs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Vaccination

What is the right age to stop vaccinating your dog?

Vaccines are administered to pets (dogs, for example) at a young age, with boosters applied yearly throughout the animal’s life. Some boosters and vaccines are given every three years, depending on the severity of the infection and your pet’s exposure risk. There are two major types of vaccines recommended: core and common pet vaccines. Core vaccines are recommended for every pet, while common vaccines (also called non-core) are advised based on their lifestyle. Outdoor pets that are at higher risk of infectious disease are the ones that mostly need non-core vaccinations.

Does pet insurance cover vaccinations?

The majority of pet insurance policies do not account for vaccinations and other routine services in their standard coverage. However, there are wellness plans which are covered by most insurers and which comprise procedures such as teeth cleaning, microchipping, grooming, vaccinating, and neutering. Most of these wellness care plans apply to dogs and cats, so if you have a pet other than these, you will have to check if there is coverage for it.

Are pet wellness plans worth it?

Pet wellness plans are ideal, whether your pet is young or advanced. Yet, it is especially useful for young pets as they adequately take advantage of the vaccinations at an early age. These wellness care programs involve routine check-ups, which are handy, unlike insurance plans that contain benefits that may never be redeemed. It is still best used together with an insurance plan, as you never know when an emergency will occur. Note that there is a maximum limit on each procedure, and when the fees are beyond that, the pet parent will have to pay up the difference.

What is over-vaccination?

Over-vaccination involves administering a vaccine to a pet that is already immune to it. This issue can lead to allergic reactions and skin problems in such a pet. Most vaccines have a duration period of three years, while few are for a lifetime. In such situations, the pet owner could view the idea of a yearly vaccination as over-vaccination and refuse to subject his/her pet to it. As a way for the vet and the pet owner to agree on the necessary vaccinations, a titer (blood) test can help check if the pet already has immunity against a particular disease.

Final Thoughts

Pet insurance is a crucial part of owning a pet as it involves your beloved animal’s wellbeing. It may seem that getting wellness care coverage just for the sake of a vaccination procedure is not worth the cost, but who is to say that your pet will not need some of the other treatment sooner. Procedures like deworming, teeth cleaning, and flea prevention are relatively routine and necessary, making the insurance a win-win situation.