It’s easy to think pet insurance will cover all of your pet’s care. However, pet insurance works differently than human health insurance. Preventative care often isn’t covered under pet insurance policies. When the pet insurance industry talks about preventative care, it often refers to treatments like basic wellness checkups, vaccinations and heartworm pills. In short, pet insurance with preventative care isn’t a given.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find any preventative care coverage for your pet. Companies often allow you to add on wellness plans that cover preventative care. So if preventative care coverage is a priority for you, read on to learn more about what pet insurance companies consider as preventative care, examples of when you might need preventative care coverage and companies that offer pet insurance with preventative care.
- Preventative Care Defined
- Do You Need Preventative Care Coverage?
- Pet Insurance that Covers Preventative Care
Preventative Care Defined
What constitutes as preventative care can seem a little murky. Does a vet exam count as preventative if it’s treating an illness and screening for potential problems, for instance?
An easy way to think about pet insurance with preventative care is that it covers anything that treats or scans for potential problems down the line. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance and Petplan give several examples of what could be considered preventative health care for your pet. They include:
- Dental cleanings
- Flea/tick/heartworm prevention
- Regular checkups
- Wellness blood screenings
- Fecal screens
As you can see, these cover a wide range of the types of services your vet performs for your pet. However, if you’re still wondering if preventative care is right for you, below we’ll discuss cases where pet insurance with preventative care makes the most sense.
>>MORE: What does Pet Insurance Cover?
Do You Need Preventative Care Coverage?
Preventative care coverage is often offered separately from traditional pet insurance. According to Petplan, pet insurance normally covers treatments for accidents, injuries and illnesses. If you want pet insurance with preventative care, the preventative care coverage is typically an add-on to other plans or a separate plan altogether.
For instance, you’ll often see preventative coverage called a pet wellness plan. These plans may even functional differently, like Embrace’s wellness program that acts as a reimbursement model.
With all the extra hassle, you may be wondering if you should even spring for wellness plans. However, there are many different situations in which someone might decide to add pet insurance with preventative care. Some of the times you might want to get preventative care include:
- You live in an area where cost of living is high and even basic vet bills tend to be more pricey. A reimbursement plan might be crucial in this scenario.
- You just want the peace of mind of having more comprehensive coverage. After all, preventative care is a large percentage of what your vet does for your pet.
- Pets that are aging often need more preventative care measures, like senior blood panels, so you might seek preventative coverage.
- Your pet may be predisposed to needing a high degree of certain preventative treatments. For instance, some breeds with thick or curly fur need to be professionally groomed regularly to maintain skin health.
- Pet insurance is also notorious for not covering pre-existing conditions. The best way to avoid this issue is to get your pet insured early and keep up on preventative care.
These are just a few examples of when someone might want to get pet insurance with preventative care. Ultimately, you need to make the choice for you and your situation. However, if you are interested in wellness programs and preventative care, below are some companies that offer these.
Pet Insurance that Covers Preventative Care
ASPCA: ASPCA offers preventative care as an add-on to other plans. It currently advertises that you can add on preventative care for as little as $9.95 per month. The add-on plans come as several options that each have a list of services covered. Each service has a maximum annual benefit amount.
Nationwide: With Nationwide, you can get wellness, routine and preventative care. You just need to purchase a wellness plan as a rider on another plan or individually.
Embrace Pet Insurance: While not technically an insurance plan, Embrace does offer a wellness rewards plan. This plan reimburses you for training, grooming and certain preventative veterinary costs like vaccines. The plans gives you a certain allowance each year, running from $250 to $650 for a single pet annually. The wellness rewards plan is completely separate from pet insurance and does not have a copay or count towards insurance deductibles.
PetFirst Healthcare: PetFirst has a routine care rider that you can add on to a pet insurance plan. It covers things like routine exams, vaccines, teeth cleaning, parasite preventative treatments and even training.
Pet Partners Insurance: Pet Partners has a wellness care plan. It’s structured as a preventative care endorsement that gives discounts when you go in for preventative care.
Trupanion: While Trupanion doesn’t offer pet insurance with preventative care, it does suggest the alternative of talking to your vet. Veterinary hospitals or clinics themselves may offer wellness plans that can be tailored to your animal.
Trupanion also suggests talking to your vet about what routine care the pet will need each year and how much that will cost. Sometimes the preventative care plan can end up costing more than routine care for your animal. If this is the case, you can set aside enough money each year in a savings account.
- Pet insurance typically only covers accidents, illness and injury. Preventative care, like routine exams, vaccinations and flea/tick preventions, are typically not covered under core policies.
- Since much of what your vet does is considered preventative, you might want to strongly consider some type of pet insurance plan that offers a means of preventative coverage.
- If you do want pet insurance with preventative care, many companies offer options to add it to other coverage as a rider, the option to purchase preventative coverage individually or some type of discount/reimbursement plan for preventative care.
- There are also alternatives to pet insurance with preventative care, such as wellness plans that your vet clinic or veterinary hospital may offer to you. Also, you might think about setting up a savings plan for routine yearly vet care.