What Does Pet Insurance Cover? A Paw-some Guide For New Owners

Did you know that around 40% of Canadians don’t own life insurance? On the other hand, pet life insurance has increased in popularity.  If you’re a pet owner in Canada, you must have asked yourself “What does pet insurance cover?”. 

In general, pet insurance can help cover the costs of veterinary care if your pet becomes ill or help reimburse you for the cost of boarding your pet while you’re away on vacation. So if you’re thinking about getting pet insurance, be sure to read our detailed guide before signing up!

Let’s dive in!

What Does Pet Insurance Cover in Canada?

Your pet insurance coverage will vary greatly depending on the specific policy that you have. However, there are some general things that most policies will cover:

Accidents and injuries: This is the most basic type of coverage and usually covers things like broken bones, poisonings, and emergency care.

Chronic illnesses: If your pet develops a chronic illness like cancer, pet insurance can help cover the cost of treatment.

Common illnesses: Most pet insurance policies will also cover the cost of treatment for common illnesses like colds, ear infections, and stomach problems.

Serious illnesses: Some policies will also cover the cost of treatment for serious illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.

Hereditary conditions: Conditions that are passed down from your pet’s parents are covered by plenty of pet care insurance policies.

Testing and diagnostics: Many policies make sure to cover the cost of testing and diagnostics, such as X-rays and blood tests.

Procedures: Common procedures like spaying and neutering are often covered when signing up for pet health insurance.

Holistic and alternative procedures: Some pet insurance companies will also cover the cost of holistic and alternative treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic care.

Wellness procedures: Some policies will also cover the cost of preventive care, such as vaccinations and routine check-ups.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover

Still, there are a few things that pet insurance doesn’t cover, such as:

Pre-existing conditions: When you sign up for pet insurance, it’s important to be aware that some providers will not cover pre-existing conditions.

Experimental treatment: Some insurance providers will not cover experimental treatments that have not yet been proven to be successful.

Behavioural training: Many pet insurance providers will not cover the cost of behavioural training, such as obedience lessons.

Dietary expenses: Personal pet insurance generally does not cover the cost of special diets or supplements.

Non-veterinary expenses: Most pet insurance policies will not cover non-veterinary expenses, such as grooming, boarding, and daycare.

Read More: What Is Life Insurance?

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Now that you know what pet insurance covers, you may be wondering how it works. In general, pet insurance works like any other type of insurance. You pay a monthly premium, and in exchange, the insurance company agrees to cover certain expenses if your pet becomes ill or injured.

Pet insurance is essentially a reimbursement program. You’ll pay in advance for your pet’s medical expenses, as with most pet insurance plans. For instance, the average cost of a vet visit for a dog is $80-$120 annually for a routine check-up. 

After paying the amount, you can visit a qualified veterinarian of your choice and submit a claim to be reimbursed for conditions that are covered by the pet insurance plan.

Of course, there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to pet health insurance. Most policies have a deductible, which is the amount you have to pay out of pocket before the insurance company starts covering expenses. And some procedures may only be covered up to a certain limit.

For example, let’s say you have a policy with a $500 deductible and a $2000 limit for surgeries. That means that if your pet needs surgery that costs $3000, you would have to pay the first $500, and the insurance company would cover the remaining $2500.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

Although pet insurance might seem costly at first, it is possible to get it for a reasonable price. In Canada, the typical monthly insurance premium for a dog will set you back $39 and $29 for a cat. This monthly fee may appear cheap, but the cost can quickly escalate depending on the following factors:

Age: Younger pets are typically cheaper to insure than older pets. As your pet grows older, it becomes more prone to illnesses, which will result in higher pet insurance rates when your policy renews.

Breed, type, and gender: Some breeds of animals are more prone to certain conditions than others. Large dog breeds, for instance, are more likely to suffer from heart and hip ailments and require more expensive treatment.

Coverage: The amount of pet insurance coverage you choose will also affect the cost of your pet insurance policy. For example, a policy with comprehensive coverage is going to be more expensive than a policy with basic coverage.

Pre-existing conditions: If your pet has any pre-existing conditions, it may be more difficult to find an insurance company that is willing to cover them. However, if your pet has been treated for an earlier injury or sickness, their insurance may still payout.

Deductible: The higher the deductible on your pet insurance, the lower your monthly premium will be. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay more out of pocket if your pet needs treatment.

Reimbursement level: The reimbursement level you choose (70%, 80%, or 90%) will also affect the cost of your policy. A higher reimbursement level means a higher monthly premium, but you’ll be reimbursed for a greater portion of your pet’s medical expenses.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into pet insurance rates. The best way to get an accurate quote is to speak with a pet insurance agent or use an online pet insurance calculator.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Now that you know what pet insurance covers and how it works, you can decide if it’s the right choice for you and your pet. If you have a young, healthy pet, the cost of premiums may not be worth it. However, if you have an older pet or a pet with a chronic condition, pet insurance could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Only you can decide if pet insurance is right for you, but we hope this article has helped you to understand the basics of how it works.

Read More: Car Insurance Statistics


Does pet insurance cover vaccines?

Most pet insurance policies will cover the cost of vaccinations, as they are considered preventive care. However, there may be some limitations on which vaccines are covered and how often they can be given. For example, some policies may only cover one set of shots, while others may cover all core vaccinations. 

Does pet insurance cover neutering?

Neutering is typically covered by pet insurance since it is also considered a preventive measure. However, there may be some limitations on how much coverage is available. For example, some policies may only cover the cost of neutering if it is done before a certain age. 

What does pet insurance cover in Canada?

In Canada, pet insurance typically covers veterinary expenses related to accidents and illnesses. This includes things like surgeries, X-rays, prescription medications, and more. Some policies may also cover preventive care, such as vaccinations and routine check-ups.


When Biljana first started off her career, she was focused on economics, which was also her area of professional study. However, in time, she started to familiarize herself with the concept of insurance, which instantly struck a chord, allowing her to constantly upgrade her knowledge and eventually become an insurance aficionado. When she's not writing, she loves to go on hikes and explore various natural surroundings.

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