What Does Pet Insurance Actually Cover?

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Are you trying to figure out if pet insurance is worth it for you?

With so many pet insurance choices available, it is challenging to know which pet insurance plan is best for you.

And the real question when sorting through the different options is:

What does pet insurance actually cover?

I am a big supporter of pet insurance, but I also know that after researching several plans, it can also make you go cross-eyed.

Because pet insurance coverage is an overwhelming subject, I have put together a list of standard procedures and conditions covered.

Additionally, I have highlighted different pet insurance companies, how they work, and summarized what each of them offers for coverage.

What does dog pet health insurance actually cover accident illness diseases

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

The majority of pet insurance plans cover accidents, illnesses, and unexpected incidents.

However, some pet insurance plans do offer coverage for wellness care, though those plans are a bit more unique.

Additionally, pet insurance usually only covers cats and dogs, though a few do offer coverage for exotic pets such as birds, reptiles, and bunnies.

Though that is a broad spectrum answer, there is always going to be a unique plan that covers what others do not, but it will usually come at a higher cost.

The Four Most Common Pet Insurance Plans

#1 – Accidents Only

This is just like what it sounds like.

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If your dog is injured or falls ill due to an accident such as eating something that they shouldn’t, such as foreign bodies (squeaky toys, bones, etc.) or poisoning, this plan will cover you.

#2 – Accidents and Illnesses

This includes all of the above plus illnesses like pancreatitis, Cushing disease, Lyme disease, and diabetes.

#3 – Limited Comprehensive Plan

This would include the two above and some wellness care such as vaccines, flea and tick and heartworm preventative, and death benefits such as cremation.

#4 – Riders or Add-Ons

These are ala carte coverage options that can be added to your base plan.

For example, I have a cancer rider plan for Sophie since her base policy does not cover it.

Medical Procedure Coverage

Below is a list of standard medical procedures and whether or not most pet insurance plans cover them.

  • Spay and Neuter Surgery – Only under comprehensive or rider plans.
  • ACL or Hip Dysplasia Surgery – Depends on if it is considered a hereditary condition and whether or not your policy covers those conditions.
  • Dental Cleanings – Most plans do not, but there are some with riders available.
  • Lump Removal – As long as it is for medical reasons and not cosmetic reasons, if you have illness coverage, lump removal would be covered.
  • Broken Bones – Yes; most if not all coverage plans would cover accidents resulting in broken bones. The only time it wouldn’t be is if it was a pre-existing condition. For example, when we took Ginger in, her femur had been broken, and since she had it before getting insurance, it was not covered.

Conditions Covered by Pet Insurance

  • Infections – Such as UTIs, yeast, ear, etc.
  • Allergies – As long as your policy doesn’t exclude hereditary conditions it will include allergies. Some dogs are predisposed to allergies and may not be covered, based on your specific plan.
  • Kidney or Heart Disease – It depends on if the condition is considered a congenital issue, and whether or not those are covered.
  • Irritable Bowel Disease, Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes – These are covered under illnesses, and coverage often includes diagnosis as well as treatment.
  • Arthritis – Yes, diagnosis and prescription medication is covered. Some plans offer coverage for alternative medicine treatments such as acupuncture and laser therapy. Also, some pet insurance coverage includes supplements.
Does pet insurance cover wellness care health checkups eyes dental

What Does Pet Insurance Not Cover?

The short answer is that most pet insurance companies do not cover:

  • Preexisting conditions
  • Hereditary or congenital conditions or diseases
  • Wellness or preventative care
  • Cosmetic surgeries

Though all insurance plans are different, these are the most common things not covered.

Hereditary Pet Insurance Coverage

Since I have mentioned hereditary coverage a few times, I felt it was important to discuss what genetic coverage is a bit more in-depth.

Often when talking about hereditary coverage, congenital coverage is also included.

Conditions falling into the hereditary and congenital coverage groups include diseases or conditions associated with specific breeds.

For example, Golden Retrievers are a breed predisposed to hip dysplasia, which is considered a hereditary condition.

Understanding pet insurance verbiage is essential before signing up for a plan to ensure you are getting the best pet insurance coverage for your dog.

Pet Insurance Coverage by Company

What Does Eusoh Pet Insurance Cover?

  • Emergency Care
  • Accidents
  • Illnesses
  • Orthopedic Issues
  • Hereditary and Congenital Conditions
  • Prescription Medications
  • Routine Care
  • Alternative Treatments
  • Cancer
  • Annual Checkups

What Does Petplan Pet Insurance Cover?

  • Illness[1]
  • Online Vet Appointments
  • Comprehensive Periodontal Disease
  • Alternative, Holistic, & Homeopathic therapies
  • Accidents
  • Diagnostic Treatments
  • Prescription Medications
  • Hereditary and Congenital
  • Imaging – MRI, CAT scan, and Ultrasound
  • Cancer
  • Non-Routine Dental Procedures (i.e., Root canal and broken teeth)
  • Surgery and Rehabilitation
  • Referral and Specialist Treatment

What Does Embrace Pet Insurance Cover?

  • Accidents and Illness[2]
  • Breed Specific Conditions
  • Alternative Therapies and Rehabilitation
  • Diagnostic Testing and Imaging
  • Emergency Care
  • Hereditary and Congenital
  • Curable Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Specialist and Referral Medicine
  • Prescription Medications
  • Cancer
  • Preventative/Routine Care (Wellness Rewards Add-On coverage)
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Surgical, Hospitalization, and Nursing Care
  • Chronic Illnesses and Conditions
  • Consultations and Exams
  • Dental Issues, Not Including Routine Care

What Does Trupanion Pet Insurance Cover?

  • Injuries and Illnesses[3]
  • Hereditary Conditions – Hip Dysplasia, Diabetes, Thyroid disease
  • Unidentified Issues – Even if there is no official diagnosis for the illness
  • Congenital Conditions – Heart Disease, Liver Disease, Cataracts
  • Diagnostic Testing
  • Hospital Stays
  • Veterinary Supplements
  • Herbal Therapy
  • Prosthetic devices and carts
  • Medications

What Does Banfield Pet Insurance Cover?

  • Comprehensive Physical Exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Diagnostics
  • Fecal Test
  • Deworming
  • Dental Cleaning
  • Urine Testing
  • Preventative X-Rays
  • Eye Pressure Test
  • Electrocardiograms
  • Unlimited Office Visits
  • Spay and Neuter Surgery

Coverage by Condition

Since not all plans or companies cover the same conditions or procedures, I have listed various issues and which companies offer coverage.

Does dog insurance cover health conditions cancer spay neuter flea tick

Routine Vet Office Visits

Not traditionally covered, except by:

  • Banfield
  • Embrace – Add-On
  • Eusoh


Not usually covered, except by:

Spay and Neuter Surgery

Not traditionally covered, except by:

Cancer Treatment

Most pet insurance plans cover cancer treatments, including:

Dental and Teeth Cleaning

Usually plans only cover accidents or disease, but not preventative care.

  • Banfield – Preventative care
  • Petplan – Non-routine
  • Embrace – Non-routine

Pre-Existing Conditions

Most pet insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions, except:

  • Embrace – will cover curable conditions that have been treatment-free for twelve months

Hereditary and Congenital Conditions

Some companies have limitations based on diseases and conditions associated with specific breeds.

However, the following offer coverage on these issues:

  • Eusoh
  • Embrace
  • Petplan
  • Trupanion

Flea and Tick and Heartworm Preventative

This is not commonly covered, except by:

  • Embrace – Add on


Pet insurance is a great way to help offset costs for unexpected vet bills.

And, speaking from personal experience, there can be a considerable number of unforeseen expenses associated with having dogs in your life.

And with so many pet insurance policy options, it is easy to find one that will meet all of your needs.

Personally, if I were in the market to sign up for pet insurance, I would go with Embrace with the add-on wellness program since it provides the most comprehensive coverage.

So to answer the question, what does pet insurance actually cover? Quite a bit when you choose a comprehensive pet insurance plan.

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!


  1. https://www.gopetplan.com/blogpost/what-does-pet-insurance-cover
  2. https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/coverage/pet-insurance-plan
  3. https://trupanion.com/pet-insurance/pet-insurance-coverage

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