Pet Travel Insurance – Do I Need It?

Takeaways

  • Pet travel insurance is offered by companies you hire to relocate your pet.
  • It covers expenses that occur, like accidents and illnesses, between the starting point and end point of your pet’s travel.
  • Some traditional pet insurance plans may offer coverage for travel-related incidents, including the cost of canceling a trip due to a pet’s illness.
  • It’s best to use a company with proper insurance, but in most cases, it won’t be worthwhile to purchase an entirely new policy specifically to have travel coverage.

Pet travel insurance is provided by pet transportation companies to cover accidents and illnesses that may arise while moving your pet from one place to another. Before working with a transportation company, make sure they have the proper insurance, and if not, you may want to verify that your traditional pet insurance coverage offers travel protection.

What Does Pet Travel Insurance Cover?

Pet travel insurance covers expenses related to the loss, injury, or death of your pet while traveling. For example, if you’re relocating to a new city and transporting your pet by airplane, pet travel insurance would cover expenses incurred between Point A and Point B.

Given the variety of transportation methods, expenses may include issues such as:

  • Motion sickness
  • Heat stroke
  • Infections
  • Stress-induced illnesses such as vomiting and diarrhea
  • Broken bones

In most cases, the policy will cover expenses both domestically and internationally. Some policies will only provide coverage when your pet is traveling unaccompanied, while others will cover times you travel together.

How Much Does It Cost?

Only businesses can purchase pet travel insurance, so you won’t pay an out-of-pocket premium simply for travel insurance on its own. Instead, you’ll pay the business transporting your pet a fee, which includes the insurance cost.

If you’re traveling with your pet, your standard pet health insurance plan might cover travel-related expenses as well. In that case, you’d simply pay your normal premium.

If you don’t have traditional pet insurance, you’d need to enroll and pay the standard pricing for the duration of your travels. This would cost you anywhere from $19 to $50 per month depending on your pet’s breed, age, location, and level of coverage.

Who Can Get Travel Pet Insurance?

Travel pet insurance can be purchased by companies that transport pets. This will provide coverage for:

  • Older pets
  • Both domestic and international travel
  • Pets with special purposes, such as service animals and emotional support animals

That said, it’s good to have your own traditional pet insurance policy with travel coverage as an additional layer of protection.

Pets with pre-existing conditions typically aren’t eligible for coverage. However, it varies based on the provider. Always double check before purchasing a policy.

How Do I Make A Claim On My Pet Travel Insurance?

If you opt for a traditional pet insurance plan with travel coverage, you’d need to make a claim as you normally would. This might involve submitting an online form, mailing in documentation, or calling your pet insurance company.

If you decide to use a business with travel protection to transport your pet, you’d need to call them directly to ask about their specific claims process.

Exclusions and Limitations

For pet insurance policies with travel coverage, what is and is not excluded will vary. Some providers may have more comprehensive coverage, offering reimbursement if you need to cancel your trip because something happened to your pet. Others might only cover accidents and illnesses that occur while traveling.

Most insurance providers will allow you 90 to 180 days to submit the claim, but the sooner the better.

Is Pet Travel Insurance Worth It?

It depends. Traveling brings about a host of potential issues — exposure to new germs, potentially dangerous environments, and increased stress for your pet. So, in some cases, it’s nice to have pet insurance to give you peace of mind.

If booking with a pet transportation service, always make sure they have the proper insurance to cover incidents that may happen to your pet. If you’re debating purchasing a new pet insurance policy with travel coverage, you might want to think twice.

The likelihood of needing additional travel protection is slim. If you believe the benefit outweighs the cost, it’s worthwhile to purchase. If you’re not confident of that, set aside a pet emergency fund instead and be prepared to use it during times of travel.

Photo of author
Grace Lemire

Grace is a lover of pups and personal finance. She’s passionate about helping people navigate the financial side of life decisions — from budgeting for a furry friend to making decisions about pet insurance.