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Does Pet Insurance Cover Emergency Visits?

If you have a pet at home, chances are you’ve been to the vet and came back with a wad of bills in your hand. If you went on an emergency visit to the vet, those bills will have much bigger numbers on them. Healthcare is pretty expensive. To offset the cost, you can cover your furry friend with pet insurance. But, what if there’s an unexpected injury? Will pet insurance cover emergencies? Read on to find the answer!

What Does Pet Insurance Cover? 

There are a variety of pet insurance plans available. Some are short and sweet, others are comprehensive. Depending upon your purchase, the policy can cover a wide range of health problems. Here’s a list of treatments that are covered by pet insurance plans:

Accidents

This covers injuries and unusual behaviors that require urgent care. Such as:

  • Choking on toys or treats 

  • Broken bones

  • Harmful or poisonous ingestions 

  • Cuts and scrapes 

  • Animal bites

  • Bloating

  • ACL tears or sprains

Since most of these are life-threatening, visits to the veterinary ER for unexpected accidents and illnesses will be covered by pet insurance.

Seasonal Illnesses

This covers medical expenses for illnesses that can occur from time to time. For instance:

  • Diarrhea

  • Heatstroke 

  • Vomiting 

  • Eye and ear infections 

  • Urinary tract infections

Such health problems are common in domestic pets. So, having them covered by pet insurance is a great way to streamline your budget. 

Fatal Illnesses

Also known as chronic illnesses, this note covers the healthcare expenses for the following diseases:

  • Cancer

  • Allergies 

  • Seizures 

  • Strokes 

  • Heart conditions

  • Cardiac arrest

  • Diabetes

Because these illnesses are very serious in nature and can rack up a hefty amount of medical bills, it’s wise to have them covered by a pet insurance plan beforehand. 

Lifelong Illnesses

Some diagnoses affect a pet’s whole lifespan. Such as:

  • Arthritis 

  • Skin abnormalities 

  • Seizures 

  • Digestives distress 

  • Obesity 

  • Hyperthyroidism

Needless to say, the medical expenses for a pet with a chronic or lifelong disease can add up pretty quickly. So, make sure it’s covered by the insurance policy. 

Genetic Disorders

Some animals, especially dogs, are prone to a wide array of genetic disorders. These may include but aren’t limited to:

  • Elbow and hip dysplasia 

  • Lymphoma 

  • Umbilical hernias 

  • Blood disorders 

  • Eye conditions 

  • Epilepsy

Pet insurance plans may cover hereditary conditions in a pet unless they exist before the purchase. 

Surgeries

Not a common occurrence for most pets, however, it is one of the most expensive medical procedures. Pet insurance plans may cover:

  • Hospital admissions 

  • Chemotherapy 

  • Nursing or neonatal care 

  • Dental extractions

  • Endoscopies

Lab Tests

Under this header, the insurance plan will cover:

  • Ultrasounds 

  • CT scanning

  • Blood work 

  • X-rays 

  • MRI

Training and Therapy

If you have a rescue dog or a brand-new litter, chances are they’ll be enrolled in obedience training and behavioral therapy for:

  • Excessive barking 

  • Family bonding 

  • Aggression

Wellness and Holistic Treatments

Some pet insurance plans may also cover alternative health procedures such as:

  • Chiropractor 

  • Spaying or neutering 

  • Laser therapy

  • Routine vaccinations 

  • Anti-flea and heartworm treatments

What Insurance Plan Should You Buy?

Some pets like pugs and turtles are quite low-maintenance and do not require as much healthcare. While other animals like Rottweilers need the vet almost every week. Keeping that in mind, pet insurance companies have come up with three types of coverages so you only pay for what you need:

Allergens and Accidents Coverage

The most common insurance policy covers all seasonal illnesses (such as allergies or heatstroke) as well as accidental injuries (like choking). Because this plan covers a lot of common diseases and chronic disorders, it is considered one of the best for high-maintenance pets like dogs. 

Just Accidents Coverage

Perfect for low-maintenance pets, this policy covers unexpected illnesses including emergencies (for instance broken bones or ACL tears). Be aware that accident-only plans don’t cover lifetime disorders or genetic conditions. So, if your little pooch is prone to any cancers or eye infections, this may not be a good pick for you.

Routine Wellness Coverage

Great for newborns, this type of insurance plan covers medical expenses for holistic and wellness treatments (for example spaying/neutering or vaccinations). If your furry friend is about to become a parent, it’d be wise to purchase this policy or extend the ‘accidents and illnesses’ plan by adding this one.

Will Pet Insurance Cover All Your Vet Bills?

This depends upon the care coverage you’ve opted for. For a pet insurance plan: you’ll first pay the complete bill at the vet then file a claim along with the medical records so the insurer can reimburse you a percentage of the bill — if the treatment falls under the policy you’ve paid for. 

Generally, the more comprehensive a veterinary care insurance policy is, the less you’ll have to pay and the higher the reimbursement will be. Plus, you might get paid-for benefits including prescription medication!

Be mindful of the waiting period though — some insurance coverages take a few hours or even a month to kick in. 

What Does Pet Insurance Not Cover?

There are a few procedures that pet insurance plans do not include in their policies:

  • Grooming services

  • Pre-existing conditions 

  • Vitamins and dietary supplements 

  • Non-veterinary certifications

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an average emergency visit to the vet cost?

An average emergency vet visit can cost anywhere between $100 to over $4000. This depends upon the service that’s required as well as the vet and exam fees.

Will pet insurance cover liabilities?

Pet insurance plans usually don’t cover liabilities like dog bites to another human. However, they do cover the expenses for behavioral therapy. So, if your pooch is acting up, it may need some extra help from the professionals and that’s okay! 

So, Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Absolutely! We advise everyone to embrace pet insurance because you never know when your furry friend may get sick and need urgent care. It’s actually cheaper to pay a monthly insurance fee than to cover a single surgery for your pooch!

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