Vaccines are a vital part of your pet’s routine care to help keep your pet healthy. You may be wondering if your pet insurance covers this yearly expense. The answer is that it depends on the coverage you have.
Pet insurance accident and illness coverage does not cover vaccines and other preventive veterinary care. To receive vaccine reimbursement, you must add a wellness plan to your policy. Fortunately, most of the best pet insurance companies offer wellness add-ons.
Keep reading to learn more about pet vaccines, including how much they cost, how to get reimbursed for them and what insurance companies offer the best vaccine coverage.
Table of contents
Does pet insurance cover vaccinations?
Standard pet insurance covers vet bills if your pet is injured or sick. This type of pet insurance policy alone won’t cover vaccines or other routine care your pet receives each year. However, you can purchase a wellness add-on for that coverage.
Here’s a breakdown of the difference:
- Standard accident and illness pet insurance: Covers treatment and vet visits due to unexpected accidents and illnesses (e.g., vomiting, cancer, a broken bone and more)
- Wellness rider: Covers routine care (e.g., vaccines, wellness exam fees, routine dental cleanings, spay or neuter procedures and more)
With a wellness plan, you would pay for your pet’s vet bills and then submit a pet insurance claim to be reimbursed for the covered amount included in your plan. Keep in mind that pet vaccine coverage can vary by company and wellness plan specifics. For example, you may have a limit on how many vaccines will be covered each year.
What vaccines does my pet need?
Your pet’s recommended vaccines depend on where you live and your pet’s risk of contracting certain diseases. Always discuss immunizations with your veterinarian to help determine which ones your pet should get.
The most common vaccines for cats and dogs are listed below, but remember that not all pets need all of these vaccines.
Common dog vaccines:
- Canine distemper
- Canine parvovirus
- Canine parainfluenza virus (CPIV)
- Lyme disease
- Canine influenza virus (CIV)
Common cat vaccines:
- Feline calicivirus (FCV)
- Feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1)
- Feline panleukopenia (FPV)
- Feline leukemia (FeLV)
Pet vaccine costs
How much do pet vaccines cost without insurance?
Cat and dog vaccines cost about $20 to $60 for each dose.
In total, you will likely pay more for vaccinations in the first year of owning your pet. That’s because a vaccine schedule for a puppy or kitten may include multiple rounds of initial boosters to build immunity. Once they are adults, they may require boosters every one to three years to stay protected.
Does pet insurance reimburse for vaccines?
You can get more affordable pet vaccines with a pet wellness plan that reimburses some of the cost.
The table below lists pet wellness plan providers and their vaccine reimbursement details.
Annual Vaccine Reimbursement
Up to $75 for 3 vaccines or $150 for 6 vaccines
100% reimbursement up to your allowance limit
100% reimbursement for up to 4 puppy vaccines or 2 adult dog vaccines, 100% reimbursement for 1 kitten or adult cat vaccine
$20 – $25 per covered vaccine
Pet insurance policy costs
According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s (NAPHIA) State of the Industry Report, pet insurance with a wellness plan costs an average of $94.52 per month for dogs and $51.14 per month for cats.
To put the cost into perspective, the table below compares average pet insurance costs with and without wellness coverage.
Average monthly pet insurance costs in the U.S.
Insurance with wellness coverage
Accident & illness pet insurance
Accident-only pet insurance
Keep in mind that premiums vary significantly by company and coverage details, including the pet insurance deductible and reimbursement rate you choose. Before choosing a plan, compare quotes from multiple pet insurance providers to find the best value.
What are the best pet insurance companies that cover vaccines?
The companies with the best pet wellness plans all offer vaccine coverage. For the most updated list, view our ranking of the best pet wellness plans.
Best pet wellness plans:
Does Pet Insurance Cover Vaccines? FAQs
Are pet vaccines really necessary?
Many states require all pets to receive the rabies vaccine, but other shots may be optional. Ask your veterinarian for their recommendations.
Does pet insurance cover puppy shots?
Most pet insurance companies offer wellness riders you can add to your pet insurance policy to receive some coverage for routine care such as vaccines, wellness checkups, dental cleanings, heart-worm prevention, tick prevention, microchipping and more.
Does pet insurance cover wellness visits?
Standard pet insurance doesn’t cover the cost of a wellness visit because it’s part of your pet’s routine care. For wellness exam coverage, you can purchase a pet wellness plan. This plan will reimburse you for routine care your pet receives each year, including an annual physical exam.
Summary of Money’s guide to whether pet insurance covers vaccines
Vaccines are an essential part of routine pet care, and you may be able to get reimbursed for them depending on your pet insurance coverage. Standard accident and illness pet insurance plans don’t cover the cost of vaccines, but wellness plans typically do.
If you’re considering a plan, get pet insurance quotes from multiple providers to compare your offerings. Routine care plans are usually only available as a pet insurance rider, but some companies offer standalone plans.