Updated: Feb 3
While pet insurance can't help with the emotional loss when a cherished pet dies, they can ease the financial strain. Like human health insurance, pet insurance helps alleviate some of the costs of keeping your pet healthy, and, of necessary services when they finally pass. The key to choosing pet insurance is to do your homework and be sure you’re covered for your unique needs, especially if cremation is one of them.
Do all pet insurance policies cover cremation?
While some pet insurance plans cover the cost of cremation selecting a pet cremation service, many do not. And when it comes to coverage for end-of-life costs for your pet, it can vary greatly depending on your insurance provider and policy type - and some will only cover up to a certain amount.
Typically, pet insurance has coverage levels. Be sure that you understand what you’re getting for the level of coverage you choose. Often times you need to go to a higher, more expensive, premium level if you want coverage for things like wellness visits, cremation or burial. Ask questions and check your policy wording carefully to be sure you’re getting the coverage you need.
What does pet insurance typically cover?
The fact is that coverage will depend on your specific pet, the policy details, pre-existing conditions, waiting periods and more. But here’s a list of things that pet insurance “generally” covers:
Death (Euthanasia is usually covered, but cremation and burial costs are typically not)
Routine Care (Vaccines, Medications, Etc.)
Spaying & Neutering
Vet Visits (Wellness visits are not usually covered)
Is pet insurance available to all sorts of pets?
The answer is, yes. Pet insurance is not just for dogs and cats. An insurance company will cover all sorts of pets, as long as it has suitable policies for them. There’s insurance for every type of animal, like rabbits and small, exotic mammals like hamsters, guinea pigs and even gerbils. Of course, there are also policies for large mammals as well, like llamas and horses. There are even companies that offer specific plans for reptiles like snakes, tortoises, lizards and iguanas. And if your pet has wings, some offer policies for exotic birds and even birds of prey.
Are some breeds excluded from pet insurance?
Unfortunately, pet insurance is not available to all pet owners. Each pet insurance company has its own list of excluded animals and breeds. Actually, all pet insurance policy providers have the right to refuse to insure a pet without specifying any reasons. Typically, you can find a list of exclusions directly on the company’s website. If it’s not there, they should be able to provide it to you upon request.
If you look at an insurance carrier’s exclusions list, you’ll find that excluded breeds are mainly dog breeds. The reason for this is the aggressiveness of dogs in general. And certain dog breeds are more likely to attack humans, pets and other animals, causing serious injuries.
If the breed of your pet is on the list of exclusions, the insurer will simply refuse to cover it. However, if a breed is present on one list, this doesn’t mean that all insurance companies will refuse to cover pets from that breed. Shop around.
What dog breeds are typically excluded from coverage?
Most commonly, pet insurance companies won’t cover breeds related to Pit Bull Terriers. This breed includes American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Pit Bull Mastiff. Other related excluded breeds include Dogue Brasileiros, Cane Corso, Korean Jindo, Shar Pei and Tosa Inus.
How do you shop for a reputable pet insurance company that covers cremation?
There’s a lot of pet insurance agencies out there. With so many, it can be hard to compare and ultimately choose. To make your work a bit easier, turn to trusted consumer advocate organizations like Buyers Guide’s list of Best Pet Insurance companies
What can you do if you don’t have cremation insurance for your pet?
Pet owners who don’t have pet insurance, or their policy doesn’t cover cremation costs, still have options. Some make a habit of placing money into a savings account each month to cover unexpected and end-of-life pet costs. Another option is to shop for a crematorium that allows pet owners to either pay the total amount in one payment, or spread the payments out over time.
If you’re considering pet insurance for cremation, don’t sign anything until you’ve read the fine print and fully understand your plan. Doing your research up front will save you from disappointment later on. Saying goodbye to your beloved pet is hard enough, having to battle with your insurance carrier is the last thing you want to worry about.