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Does Pet Insurance Cover Euthanasia? Does It Cost More?

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

Dog being euthanized

The last thing that we want to think about as pet owners is putting our pets to sleep. This is a devasting decision that most of us will have to make, no matter how much we wish our pets could live longer.

However, beyond losing a loved one, there’s also the expense. If you’re considering getting pet insurance, you might be wondering if it covers the cost of euthanasia.

It depends on the pet insurance company — some will cover euthanasia and others will not. It depends on the policy and the coverage that you’ve opted into.

Here, we discuss how euthanasia might be covered, along with other additional costs that can occur at this difficult time.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Many pet insurance companies have comprehensive plans that cover everything from chronic illnesses to hereditary conditions. Most companies tend to have accident-only coverage, accident-and-illness coverage, and wellness coverage.

Basically, pet insurance can cover the cost of injuries from unexpected accidents, such as a broken bone; health conditions, like allergies or diabetes; and sudden illnesses, like ear infections and cancer. Many of them can also cover your annual wellness visits to your vet.

However, most pet insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions. So, if your pet is suffering from an illness and then you opt into insurance, that illness will not be covered.

As long as your pet hasn’t shown symptoms or been diagnosed with something before your insurance policy’s effective date and the additional waiting period has passed, any illness, accident, or death might be covered.

Are you searching for the right pet insurance plan? One company that you may want to consider is Lemonade, which offers customizable plans and responsive customer service.

Pet insurance form
Image Credit: Ekaterina_Minaeva, Shutterstock

It All Depends on the Plan

How pet insurance companies handle a pet’s death does depend on your coverage and the manner of the death.

Basic pet care, such as routine dental care, vaccinations, and preventative care, are typically covered if you opt into a wellness plan. For the most part, wellness plans are designed to cover basic veterinary care, while other policies are meant for unexpected expenses.

So, if you have opted into a wellness plan, it’s more likely that euthanasia will be covered because it falls under the planned wellness scope.

Different companies will have different coverage:
  • ASPCA offers discounted rates for euthanasia for low-income pet owners.
  • Embrace will cover euthanasia if it’s needed for humane reasons.
  • Figo will cover euthanasia but not cremation or burial.
  • GEICO does cover euthanasia but not cremations and burial.
  • Healthy Paws covers euthanasia but it doesn’t cover burial or cremation.
  • Lemonade pays for not only euthanasia but also cremation and items to memorialize your pet.
  • Nationwide will pay for euthanasia but only when medically necessary.
  • Pumpkin offers euthanasia, cremation, and burial.

Many of these companies do cover euthanasia but not the additional expenses of cremation and burial.

Keep in mind that some pet insurance companies will not cover euthanasia if your pet is over a certain age or give you accident-only options.

No matter the age of your pet, when getting pet insurance its always worth comparing plans to see which one is right for you. You can check these top-rated pet insurance companies to start your comparison:

Top Rated Pet Insurance Companies

Most Affordable
Our rating: 4.3 / 5
Best Dental Plans
Our rating: 4.8 / 5
Best Customer Service
Our rating: 4.0 / 5

Read the Fine Print

When shopping for pet insurance, you’ll want to read everything carefully. If you’re looking for an end-of-life package, check the company’s website to ensure that it offers the coverage that you want. You’ll also want to get the right plan for your pet overall.

Online Pet Insurance Application
Image Credit: rawpixel.com, freepik

Accident Only

This will cover anything that constitutes an accident, such as the ingestion of a foreign object or poison, being hit by a car, cuts and punctures, and so on. Many owners with pets over the age limit of most insurance companies typically prefer accident-only policies.

Accident and Illness

This is a comprehensive package that covers the aforementioned accidents and helps pay for treating diseases and illnesses. Many pet owners add a wellness plan to their accident-and-illness policy.

Add-Ons

Some insurance companies have a wellness plan as a separate policy, while others treat it as an add-on. Add-ons can include physical therapy, vet visits, dental illness, and end-of-life treatment.

Every insurance company will have different add-ons, and you’ll pay extra for each one.

Does It Cost More?

Whether adding euthanasia to your policy will cost more depends on the company. It will cost more if you need to opt-in to an additional wellness plan for this kind of service. But if it’s already considered a part of the plan that you’re interested in, it shouldn’t cost extra.

As a reminder, if your pet is already in poor health and you want to start coverage, virtually no insurance company will cover anything related to your pet’s current condition.

pet insurance policy
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

Speak to Your Vet

It can help if you speak to your vet before you lock yourself into a policy. You need to ensure that the clinic can work with the insurance company regarding payment. Some companies can pay your vet directly, so it’s good to double-check that everyone is on the same page.

Remember that many insurance companies won’t cover the cost of euthanasia without confirmation from a vet. Putting a pet to sleep is usually done because the pet is suffering in some way, so it’s considered a medical necessity.

You might also need proof from your vet, so just keep on top of the entire situation, including paperwork and how payment will work.

Conclusion

At this heartbreaking time, the last thing that you want to do is worry about how to afford to have your beloved pet put to sleep. Pet insurance is a great way to deal with the unexpected and expected costs of taking care of a pet.

If you have a puppy or kitten, it’s a good idea to enroll them into pet insurance before they develop any health conditions. This way, you can take full advantage of your plan from the very beginning and know that you’re giving your best friend the best possible care.


Featured Image Credit: Shannon Y, Shutterstock

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