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Does Pet Insurance Cover Shots?

Updated Dec 9, 2022

Updated Dec 9, 2022

Home > Pet Insurance > Does Pet Insurance Cover Shots?

One of the best things you can do for your dog or cat is to ensure they receive recommended vaccinations from their veterinarian. Vaccinations protect your pet against dangerous diseases and infections, which can lead to worse health problems. 

However, vaccinations can cost up to $100 per shot in addition to the cost of the vet visit, making planning for these necessary health expenses for your pet important to do now. Some vet clinics offer packages for vaccinations to help reduce costs. However, routine care costs can still add up. 

So, does pet insurance cover shots? Below, we break down what kind of pet insurance plans cover shots so that you can prepare yourself financially and give yourself peace of mind that your pet is covered. 

Does Pet Insurance Cover Shots & Vaccines?

Yes, pet insurance can cover shots and vaccines, which is great news for pet owners because vaccines and wellness costs quickly add up. However, standard accident and illness policies won’t cover shots, so it’s essential to read the fine print of your policy and understand what is and isn’t covered. 

Why Is Coverage for Vaccinations Important?

cat getting a vaccine shot by a vet
Image Source: Canva

Most puppies are recommended or legally required to have at least nine vaccines by 2 years old. This figure does not include optional but recommended vaccinations, such as vaccines for Lyme disease, Bordetella, and coronavirus. Kittens and cats also need many vaccinations to stay healthy, especially if they go outside or interact with other cats. 

As a result of the number of required vaccinations throughout your pet’s lifetime, you could easily spend several thousand dollars just on shots. For many pet parents, this cost could be enough to make them hesitate to have their pets vaccinated or put them in debt trying to do so. Pet insurance can protect your finances and help you keep your pet up-to-date on shots and other preventative care. 

However, you’ll need to consider what veterinary care is covered under your pet insurance. Specific pet insurance plans only cover accidents, such as an accident-only plan. At the same time, other pet insurance plans specialize in illness coverage to help with veterinary bills associated with hereditary conditions, chronic conditions, cancer, and other illnesses. 

Types of Pet Insurance

Most pet insurance plans fall into one of these categories: 

  • Accident-only coverage: This policy only helps with costs that occur when a pet is injured or in an accident. Examples include broken bones, being hit by a car, accidental poisonings, or animal bites. 
  • Accident and illness policy: This policy covers both accidents and illnesses. For example, your pet would be covered for treatments for cancer, broken bones, diabetes, etc. 
  • Comprehensive coverage: This is the most comprehensive plan and covers accidents, illnesses, and wellness costs, such as vaccinations and diagnostic tests. 
  • Wellness plans: Wellness plans can usually be added to an accident-only coverage or accident and illness policy to extend your coverage to wellness-related costs, like vaccinations, parasite prevention, and vet checkups. 

Remember that pet insurance plans will never cover pre-existing conditions or illnesses, or accidents contracted during the waiting period before the insurance becomes active. 

What Is a Wellness Plan?

If you’re interested in pet insurance that covers vaccinations, you’ll want to look into a wellness plan, also known as wellness coverage or wellness rewards. 

Most pet health insurance companies offer wellness plans as an add-on to an accident-only or illness plan, but they’re occasionally offered as a stand-alone product. Usually, you’ll pay a premium for the wellness plan, and your pet insurance provider will reimburse you for the vet bills associated with routine vet visits and preventative care. 

Wellness plans typically cover the following: 

  • Annual checkups or wellness exam fees
  • Vaccinations and boosters
  • Routine blood work 
  • Spaying or neutering your pet
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Microchipping
  • Routine dental cleaning
  • Grooming or nail trimming
  • Flea and tick medication
  • Screenings
  • Anal gland expressing

A considerable benefit of preventative care or wellness care coverage is that there is no deductible or coinsurance payment associated with these plans, unlike traditional pet insurance. 

If you’re interested in a wellness plan, we recommend enrolling your pet into a preventative care or wellness package as early as possible. Most pet insurance companies allow pets to be enrolled as early as 8 weeks old. Therefore, enroll early so you can immediately begin benefiting from the wellness coverage and protect your pet from developing pre-existing conditions that your provider won’t cover under an accident or illness plan.  

What Is Not Covered by a Pet Wellness Plan?

dog and cat on a couch
Image Source: Canva

Wellness plans will not cover anything considered an accident or illness as these fall outside of routine or preventative care. 

Here are common exclusions for a pet wellness plan: 

  • Accidents, such as broken bones or accidental poisoning
  • Vet visits for diagnosing illnesses or accidents
  • Hospitalizations
  • Hip dysplasia
  • X-rays for diagnosing diseases or accidents
  • Prescription medications for chronic conditions, such as diabetes
  • Alternative therapies, such as chiropractic care or acupuncture
  • Cosmetic procedures, such as claw removal or tail docking
  • Breeding costs 
  • Pre-existing conditions (not covered by any pet insurance plan)
  • Surgeries, other than neuter/spay procedures

What Pet Insurance Providers Cover Vaccinations?

The majority of pet insurance providers offer comprehensive pet insurance plans or wellness plans, which will cover routine vaccinations. 

Here are a few pet insurance companies that offer wellness plans: 

Is a Wellness Plan Worth It?

For many pet parents, wellness plans are an excellent way to reduce the costs associated with routine and preventative care for their pets, such as vaccinations and wellness checkups. We recommend researching many pet insurance companies and comparing free quotes to ensure you get the best deal on a pet insurance policy. The best pet insurance provider for you will depend on your pet, location, and desired coverage, so take your time comparing plans, getting insurance quotes, assessing coverage limits, exclusions, and more.

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