Finding good pet insurance is an excellent way to safeguard against the financial burden of owning a pet. Luckily, there are hundreds of pet insurance companies around the US, offering varying amounts of coverage to suit your needs. They typically cover for accidents, pet illnesses, and even some routine care.
Yet, there are some other vet-related pet expenses that may or may not be covered by pet insurance policies and providers. One such example is vaccines. Pet vaccines might or might not be a part of a pet insurance plan, and it all depends on the provider itself.
However, to paint you a better picture and evaluate all your options, here is everything to know about pet vaccines and the coverage thereof as part of a pet insurance plan.
Are Vaccines Covered by Pet Insurance Providers?
Vaccinations are part and parcel of the basic preventative care for humans and pets alike, and many of them are mandatory. This then begs the question – does pet insurance cover vaccinations?
Unfortunately, there is no clear and simple answer to this question.
At the end of the day, it all depends on the particular pet insurance company, the state you reside in, your pet’s species, breed, gender, and age, as well as the available insurance plans offered.
Basically, there are three possible scenarios:
- The pet insurance provider covers pet vaccinations as part of one or more insurance plans;
- The pet insurance provider doesn’t cover pet vaccinations in any shape or form;
- The pet insurance provider covers pet vaccinations, but only if you opt for a wellness care, or preventative care plan. This can either be purchased independently or as an add-on to the basic insurance plan you’ve chosen.
Realistically speaking, the first option is definitely the most ideal one, as pet owners would not have to worry about getting separate coverage for vaccines. All that will automatically fall under the umbrella of the already wide variety of expenses covered by the regular insurance plan.
However, the most commonly encountered scenario is the third one.
Most pet insurance providers offer flexible plans, meant to suit both pet owners who can afford to pay more for the insurance and pet parents who are on a tighter budget. That’s why an optional wellness plan or a preventative care coverage pack is the most practical solution. Vaccination coverage is available, but only if you need it and are able to afford it.
Be that as it may, you’ll have to think this through, as many pet vaccines are mandatory, so your pet will have to get them one way or another. This can be a major factor when deciding which pet insurance provider to go for.
Which Pet Vaccines are Mandatory?
Every pet parent needs to know that there is a list of mandatory vaccines for dogs and cats. Some of these have to be received by all pets, while others are heavily recommended, albeit not required.
Depending on your financial situation and lifestyle, a pet insurer who can cover them may be your best bet.
When it comes to pet vaccines, most should be received when the puppy or kitten is between 5 and 10 weeks old. Adult dogs and cats, as well as elderly pets, also need to get jabs, but most of these are boosters.
The mandatory vaccines for puppies are:
The recommended vaccines for puppies are:
- Lyme disease
- Canine influenza
- Kennel cough
The mandatory vaccines for kittens are:
- Feline herpesvirus
- Feline calicivirus
- Feline viral rhinotracheitis
The recommended vaccines for kittens are:
- Feline leukemia
- Feline influenza
- Feline infectious peritonitis
- Feline parvovirus
How Much Do Pet Vaccinations Cost?
The cost of these vaccines varies according to both the type of vaccine, but also to your state of residence.
In that sense, some of these are significantly more expensive than others, but routine mandatory vaccines tend to be either less or more expensive.
For example, the first year of most routine vaccines is expected to be around $220, while all following vaccines should estimate about $180 on average.
Conversely, the first year of distemper vaccine for puppies should be around $25 on average, whereas the subsequent ones are around $50.
The rabies vaccine is only taken once, and it’s rather cheap, estimating around $20 on average. At the same time, other vaccines like flea and tick prevention ($120 on average), or heartworm ($78 on average), are done annually, every year.
Still, none of this is set in stone, as everything depends on your particular pet and location. Make sure to do thorough research on which vaccines are required for your pet in your area, and how much they cost.
What Pet Insurance Covers Vaccinations?
And now for the main part, let’s discuss some examples of pet insurance companies that do offer coverage for pet vaccinations.
Therefore, some providers which include vaccinations are:
- Spot – as part of their preventative care pack
- PetFirst – as part of a wellness coverage add-on
- PetsBest – covering $30-$40 per year for vaccinations, depending on your plan of choice
- Nationwide – as part of their Whole Pet and Wellness Plan
- ASPCA – as part of their preventative care add-on
- Embrace – as part of their Wellness Rewards for Routine Care Pack, covering vaccinations for an annual amount of $250, $450, or $650, depending on your choosing
In addition to these, most other pet insurance companies also offer packs, add-ons, or plans which cover vaccinations, at least partially.
Some, however, like Figo or Healthy Paws, do not have pet wellness plans or preventative care coverage options, thus they do not cover vaccines.
Still, with proper research and the right pet insurance plan at hand, you will be able to narrow down a few viable options that will ensure your pup or kitten gets all the pet vaccinations they need, without you overspending at the same time.