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Does pet insurance cover vaccines

The essentials

  • Routine vaccinations aren’t covered under pet insurance — Most vaccines, however, are covered under wellness plans.
  • Wellness plans are pet policies for preventative care — These can be singular policies or add-ons to your regular pet insurance.
  • These plans can help cover portions of your routine vet care — This includes vaccinations, which can run upwards of $100-$200 per year per pet.

Keeping up with your pet’s vaccinations is a vital part of their health. Vaccine visits can get costly after the exam fee, shots, and other preventative medicine. While most pet insurance policies don’t cover this kind of preventative or routine care, there are wellness plan policies that can help alleviate some of the cost.

What is a wellness plan?

Unlike pet insurance, wellness plans don’t help with injuries, accidents, or illnesses. They do, however, cover a portion of the cost of routine vet care, such as annual exams, spaying/neutering procedures, vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, and microchipping. The amount your policy covers depends on the type of wellness plan you get, but it can cover up to 90% of routine costs.

It’s important to note that, like traditional pet insurance, most wellness plans won’t cover anything for pre-existing conditions. If you think your pet is going to be predisposed to any conditions, it’s smart to get them started with a policy as early as possible.

What is preventative care?

Preventive care is anything that we do medically to prevent disease in our pets and maintain their good health. This can include:

  • Parasite control. Common medicines in this category are over-the-counter flea and tick preventatives, as well as deworming
  • Vaccinations. Every pet needs a series of vaccines every year as they grow up.
  • Heartworm medication. Monthly heartworm meds are necessary to prevent heartworms, which can be fatal.
  • Grooming or nail trimming. Proper grooming and nail trims will help maintain a healthy coat and prevent skin problems or broken nails. Wellness plans typically don’t cover grooming and nail trimming.
  • Dental care. Proper pet dental care  can help prevent severe dental issues in the future, such as gum disease or gingivitis
  • Neutering or spaying. These procedures are considered elective, so they aren’t covered under typical pet insurance plans. However, many wellness plans will help cover the cost.

Average cost of vaccinations 

The price of vaccinations can vary depending on where your pet gets their shots and where you live.

Rabies $20-$25
Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, Parvo (DHPP) $30-$35
Bordetella $25-$30
H2N2, H3N8 influenza $45-$50
Leptospirosis $20-$25
Lyme disease $35-$40

Why you should vaccinate your pet

Vaccines give your pet immunity against deadly and highly contagious diseases, helping lessen the symptoms or preventing the diseases altogether. Vaccines can help you avoid costly treatments for the diseases that can be prevented by these vaccines, prevent these diseases from being passed between animals or from animals to humans, and help keep your pets protected from diseases that are prevalent in wildlife. In many states, certain pet vaccinations are required, such as those for rabies.

Pet insurance companies that cover vaccines

It’s become more common for pet insurance companies to offer wellness plans as add-ons to their traditional policies or one-off policies for pet owners who are only looking for routine coverage. Some of the best pet insurance companies that offer wellness plans include:

  • Pets Best. Offering a couple of different pet insurance plans, Pets Best also offers routine care and pet wellness coverage that covers vaccinations and shots. It pays between $30 and $40 per year toward vaccinations with no deductible depending on the plan you choose.
  • Embrace. Embrace offers a Wellness Rewards program through its Routine Care package, which covers vaccinations and other shots. Pet owners have the option of three different payout amounts per year: $250, $450, or $650.
  • Nationwide. Nationwide offers basic and “plus” wellness plans that cover preventive care, including vaccines.
  • Lemonade. Lemonade offers two different levels of coverage. The base plan starts at $10 a month for cats and $15 a month for dogs which includes vaccinations.
  • ASPCA. The group offers two wellness plans: basic and prime. Both have set rates to reimburse pet owners for a portion of their out-of-pocket costs for routine care such as vaccinations, dental cleanings, and wellness exams.

Frequently asked questions

Does pet insurance help with shots?

Traditional pet insurance doesn’t cover the costs of routine care like shots or exams, but many pet insurance companies also offer wellness plans that help cover those preventative care costs.

How much is pet insurance reimbursement?

Most reimbursement rates (the amount of money you’re given back from the insurance company) range from 60% to 100% depending on the plan you choose. Reimbursements are often around 80% to 90% of your total vet bills.

What vaccines should my dog get?

Core vaccines for dogs include canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk, including Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Leptospira bacteria.

How much does it cost for pet vaccines?

The average cost of one round of multiple dog vaccines ranges from $75 to $100.

What is a pet wellness plan?

Wellness plans don’t help with injuries or illnesses like traditional pet insurance. They do, however, cover a portion of the cost of routine vet care, such as vaccinations, annual exams, spaying/neutering procedures, flea and tick prevention, microchipping, and more.