Does Pet Insurance Cover Euthanasia?

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 18, 2022

Losing a pet can be as devastating as losing any family member. A pet can become such an important part of the family, that we may sometimes forget that their lives are usually much shorter than ours. While the idea of your pet leaving may be the last thing you want to think about, it’s sometimes better to be prepared for this type of tragic event in advance. Pet insurance can be a way to prepare for the day you and your pet need to part ways. Pet insurance sometimes covers euthanasia and other related expenses to help ease some of the veterinarian bills that can come after your pet has passed.  

Does Pet Insurance Cover Euthanasia?

Some pet insurance plans do cover euthanasia, but it’s entirely dependent on the coverage offered in that specific policy. Each policy is different and while some may cover euthanasia, others may not. Additionally, some other policies may cover cremation or burial costs, while others may not. Pet insurers offer a number of coverage plans and the policies offered vary from one insurer to another. Researching all of the pet insurance policy options in your area can help ensue that you’re signing onto a policy that will make it as easy as possible to say goodbye to your pet should you need to seek euthanasia services.

Euthanasia offers a humane way for your pet to be relieved of life and to end and limit suffering. It is only offered when the pet has an illness or injury that is past most other forms of treatment or when treatments may continue to cause pain to your pet. Some veterinarians offer the option to perform the euthanasia at home, though that expense will likely not be covered by your pet insurance. The procedure is rather quick, meaning that your pet’s suffering is as limited as possible. After the procedure is done, you’re able to choose whether you would like to bury your pet or have the remains cremated. Whether all of these costs are covered by insurance or not depends on the plan that you choose and what your pet insurance provider elects to cover. 

What Kind of Pet Insurance Policy do You Need?

There are a number of different pet insurance policies that can cover many different things. However, the 3 most common policies that most companies allow you to choose from offer accident and illness coverage, accident-only coverage and wellness coverage. Some accident and illness policies cover accidents, such as a broken leg or cuts, as well illnesses, such as arthritis and ear infections. While these plans can vary in coverage dependong the on the insurer, this policy may cover euthanasia in the case the reason for it is covered under your standard insurance limits. 

Wellness plans typically cover those things associated with basic wellness exams, such as vaccinations, routine dental care and preventative care. Wellness coverage is designed to cover planned veterinary care, unlike other policies which are designed to cover unexpected veterinary care. That is why euthanasia may be covered by a wellness plan, since it is more of a planned situation than an unexpected one in many circumstances.  

Riders are forms of additional coverage that you can add to your pet insurance policy to expand the scope of coverage. Coverage for euthansia and other related expenses can be added as a rider if the insurer has the option. Some policies may cover the cost of euthanasia, but not cover crememation or burial costs, but these might also be a rider you can add to your policy to extend your coverage to include these memorial services as well. 

If you’re thinking ahead, it’s important to compare pet insurance companies and policies in order to determine what exactly is covered. Most pet insurance plans do not offer coverage for pre-existing conditions. These are conditions that occurred before coverage started. Some conditions that are considered curable may be covered by certain insurers, but when the condition is considered incurable, then it usually isn’t covered.  

In the case that the euthanasia course of action is reccommended due to one of these pre-existing conditions, your insurance company may not cover the resutling ethenasia. This is why it’s important to make sure you know exactly what is covered and what isn’t with your pet’s policy. In the case your pet has a pre-existing condition, you should consider finding a policy that does cover pre-existing conditions because these policies do exist even if there may be limited options.   

It can be hard to think about the possibility of your pet being gone one day, but with coverage for euthanasia and other end-of-life costs, then you won’t have to worry about the expense if the time comes around. You also won’t have to worry about not being able to do everything you can if your pet is in pain and discomfort. Maintaining a comprehensive pet insurance policy can give you the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that you won’t need to prolong your pet’s suffering. 

Consult With Your Veterinarian

If your policy covers euthanasia, make sure you consult with your veterinarian to ensure that the decision is being made due to your pet’s quality of life becoming an issue. Most veterinarians will not suggest euthansia unless it is totally necessary, but you’ll still want to make sure that this is the best course of action to keep your furry friend from suffering anymore. Pet insurance companies will also only offer coverage for the expenses if the veterinarian deems it necessary, so you and your veterinarian need to be on the same page before you proceed with the procedure. 

While consulting with your veterinarian, be sure to understand exactly what the reason for the euthanasia is so you can confirm with your pet insurance provider whether the expenses are covered or not. You’ll also want to confirm payment beforehand, whether you’ll be paying prior to the appointment, the day of or a few days after. Stay on top of this information so you can relay it to your insurer. You’ll also likely need proof of the procedure and the reason for it to present to your pet insurer. Your veterinarian can provide you with a quality of life statement and recommendation to your insurance company.   

Compare Pet Insurance Providers

Finding the best pet insurance for your furry family member begins by exploring all of your options. Benzinga offers insights and reviews on the following pet insurance providers and companies. You may want to consider beginning your search for the right policy with a few of the links below. 

  • securely through Chewy Care Plus's website
    securely through Chewy Care Plus's website
    Best For:
    Annual Check Ups
    Rating:
  • securely through Wagmo's website
    securely through Wagmo's website
    Best For:
    Emergencies
    Rating:
  • securely through Pumpkin Pet Insurance's website
    securely through Pumpkin Pet Insurance's website
    Best For:
    Families with multiple pets
    Rating:
    Read Review

    Limitations apply. For terms and conditions, visit pumpkin.care. Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (NPN#19084749) (“Pumpkin”) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance plans underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy, and is not available in all states.

  • securely through Spot Pet Insurance's website
    securely through Spot Pet Insurance's website
    Best For:
    Prescription food and supplements
    Rating:
    Read Review
  • securely through Pets Best's website
    securely through Pets Best's website
    Best For:
    Prompt Claim Payments
    Rating:
    Read Review

Finding Pet Insurance Before You Need It

As an animal owner and lover, the last thing you want to think about is the possibility that your pet will ever be in pain. Finding yourself in a situation where you’re financially incapable of relieving your pet’s pain can be one of the most difficult situations in life. Preparing for the possibility of an injury or illness with pet insurance is a responsible step that you can take as a pet owner to improve your furry friend’s quality of life. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

What do you do if you can’t afford to euthanize your pet?

A

If you can’t afford to euthanize your pet there are a few options, including talking with your vet, visiting a local shelter or checking out some website resources. By talking with your veterinarian, they may be able to lower the cost, set up a payment plan or refer you to a lower costing veterinarian. Many shelters offer vet services at a much lower price than other veterinarians. Some online resources you can use in this situation can include non-profits or crowdfunding options that can help pay for the cost of euthanasia for your pet.

Q

Does pet insurance cover cremation?

A

Pet insurance doesn’t typically cover cremation, however, some policies may offer coverage for it. If your policy doesn’t cover it, you may be able to get coverage for cremation through a rider that you add to your policy for a few extra dollars a month. Even if your policy does offer this coverage, it may only cover some of the cost, leaving you to pay the remainder or only provide a reimbursement after you pay out-of-pocket.