Does Pet Insurance Cover Surgery?


  • Pet insurance can cover surgery for your pet in certain situations. 
  • Different pet insurance policies offer different levels of coverage and benefits, so it’s important to research the type that is best for you and your pet. 
  • Before getting a policy, make sure you understand what is covered and when it applies, as well as any limits on coverage. 
  • Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that your pet is taken care of in case of an unexpected illness or accident.

Whether or not pet insurance covers surgery depends on the type of coverage and the type of surgery. Most standard pet insurance policies will cover emergency life-saving surgery, for other surgery types, you might need higher coverage.

What is An Alternative to Pet Insurance?

If you just can’t get down with the idea of forking over a monthly premium, consider these alternatives to pet insurance here

How Does Surgery Coverage in Pet Insurance Work?

When it comes to pet insurance, surgery coverage is typically part of the overall policy you choose. It’s important to keep in mind that some procedures may not be covered or may have a separate deductible. 

Most policies are designed to cover emergency and elective surgeries needed for your pet’s health. Emergency procedures typically include surgeries needed to save your pet’s life, such as removing a tumor or repairing an internal organ after trauma.

No owner likes to think of their beloved pet undergoing surgery, but there are many conditions which require surgical management, from gastrointestinal obstructions to cancer care and trauma recovery. Surgery is often a very costly expense, and can easily run into thousands of dollars. As a veterinarian with many years of experience in pet medical care, I would advise all pet owners to consider surgical coverage under their insurance plan.

Dr. Lizzie Youens, Veterinary Surgeon

Elective surgeries, on the other hand, are usually non-life threatening but can improve your pet’s health. Examples include:

  • Orthopedic surgery for a torn cruciate ligament
  • Skin grafts after severe burns
  • Removal of bladder stones

Remember, pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. This means that any condition your pet had prior to getting the policy will not be covered, even if it requires surgery. Spay and neuter surgery is usually not covered by pet insurance, unless under an additional wellness plan.

What to Consider before Getting Pet Insurance That Covers Surgery

Before getting a pet insurance policy that also covers surgery, it is important to review the terms and conditions of coverage carefully. Pet insurance policies vary from one insurer to another, so it pays to shop around for the best coverage at the best price. 

Here are some factors to consider when reviewing pet insurance policies with surgical coverage: 

  • What types of surgery are covered? Make sure you understand which surgeries are eligible for coverage and any limitations or exclusions that may apply so you’re not shocked if the worst does happen. 
  • Is there a waiting period for the coverage to take effect? Most policies will have a waiting period before certain types of treatments, such as surgery, are covered. Some surgeries, such as cruciate ligament repair, can have long waiting periods such as 6 months or more.
  • Does the policy have a deductible? Pet insurance policies typically require a deductible amount to be paid before surgery can be covered.
  • Is pre-authorization required for surgery? Find out if your insurer requires any type of authorization before the procedure can be performed.
  • Are there any additional charges that may apply? Ask about any fees associated with the surgery, such as anesthesia fees, medications and post-operative care.
  • Are there any specific requirements that must be met before coverage is provided? It’s important to understand exactly what your insurer requires in order for you to receive coverage for the surgery.

By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing a pet insurance policy that covers surgery and ensure your pet receives the best possible care.

How Much Do You Have to Pay for Surgery?

When it comes to pet insurance, the amount of coverage you have for surgery depends on your policy. Some policies may cover the entire cost of a surgery, while others will only provide partial coverage. 

Most pet insurance companies will have a deductible you’ll need to pay first before any other benefits kick in. This means that you’ll be responsible for paying this set amount before your pet insurance company picks up any of the tab.

After the deductible has been met, your policy may cover a certain percentage of the surgery costs. The exact percentage depends on your policy, so make sure to read the fine print. 

Finally, some policies will also have a maximum benefit limit for surgeries—so no matter how much the surgery costs, your policy won’t cover more than a certain amount. 

Think about how much you can realistically pay out of pocket if your pet needs surgery. You should use this information to shop around for pet insurance policies that fit your budget and cover the cost of surgery accordingly.

 Surgery is often expensive. Common surgeries for dogs include ACL repairs, which can cost up to $4,000, and tumor removals, which can cost up to $2,000—possibly more. Even more minor surgery, such as bladder stone removal, can cost hundreds of dollars.

As you consider the cost of pet surgery, remember that pet insurance can offer you valuable financial protection in the event your pet needs surgery. Before deciding which policy to get, make sure you know exactly how much coverage you will have for surgery and if there are any pre-existing condition exclusions or benefit limits applied.  

This way, you can make sure you are getting the right type of coverage for your pet so that if they ever need surgery, you’ll be financially prepared.

Should You Take Out Pet Insurance for Your Pet That Covers Surgery?

Pet insurance can be a great way to provide your furry companion with the best care possible, but it’s important to understand what pet insurance covers before signing up. 

When it comes to surgery, many pet insurance policies will cover some or all of the costs associated with emergency surgeries and procedures. Depending on the policy you choose and the severity of the procedure, you may be able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on pet care.

The most comprehensive pet insurance policies will cover all types of surgeries and procedures that are deemed medically necessary for your pet’s well-being. So be sure to check with your insurance provider to see what they cover before you commit.

Photo of author
Dog Advisory Council

A team whose main goal is to serve knowledge about the canine world. Together since 2012, we thrive to transform and inform, so each dog can live a happy and fulfilling life. Read more about us.