Pet insurance is becoming more popular by the day as a means of caring for our four-legged friends.
Maybe you are considering buying some for your dog and wonder if it will cover a cancer diagnosis.
Or maybe you already have pet insurance, and your fur baby was recently diagnosed.
Now you are wondering if your policy will take care of everything.
Regardless of why you need to know, we’re here to help you get the answer you’re looking for.
Cancer in Dogs
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death among older cats and dogs, but it can happen at any age.
About a fourth of pets suffer from cancer at some point in life.
Fortunately, most forms of cancer in pets are treatable, according to the type of cancer and how far along the disease has progressed.
Some of the most common types of pet cancer include:
- Mast cell tumor
There are several potential treatments, depending on your dog’s needs.
These include everything from radiation and chemotherapy to alternative therapies.
When caught and treated early enough, your pet can experience a longer and healthier life.
How Much Does Canine Cancer Treatment Cost?
Prices will vary according to the treatment, the vet, and the location.
However, you can expect to spend up to $250 on a consultation, $600 per dose of chemotherapy, and up to $6,000 for radiation.
When you add up all of the treatment costs, initial appointments, and follow-up, you can easily face $10,000 or more.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Cancer in Dogs?
Sometimes. Most insurers offer several types of pet insurance coverage, and some of these include coverage for cancer.
If it’s not included, it can often be added on as an insurance rider.
Of course, coverage depends on your specific policy, but you should be able to find some that takes care of the following:
- Initial consultation fees
- Testing and diagnostics
- Surgery and hospital stay
- Follow up appointments
You will have to check your policy to determine how much of these costs your insurance will cover.
Most often, just like with human insurance, you’ll have to pay copays and deductibles.
These will either come in the form of percentages or flat amounts.
For example, an insurer may agree to cover 85% of the costs.
Or they may agree to cover all costs after you reach a $500 deductible.
What that means is that you pay $500 of the costs out of pocket. The insurer takes care of the rest.
You’ll likely also have to pay a copay for each appointment, treatment, or hospital stay.
All of these costs can quickly add up.
However, when you are faced with needing thousands for cancer treatment, sharing these costs with your insurer can literally be a lifesaver.
Is There Ever a Time Pet Insurance Doesn’t Cover Cancer?
Again, whether or not your dog is covered depends on your policy, but there is at least one time no insurance covers cancer.
That is if your dog was diagnosed with it prior to the purchase of the policy.
This is known as a pre-existing condition, and no known pet insurer provides coverage for these.
In other words, if you are trying to purchase insurance now to help cover a recent diagnosis, you are pretty much out of luck.
If you had the insurance policy before the diagnosis, then yes, your insurer should cover you.
Be sure to take a good look at your policy, though, to be sure.
Sometimes, the insurer will make certain specifications to the coverage.
For example, the find print of your policy may state that it does not cover cancer in certain breeds.
These are usually breeds that are genetically prone to cancer.
There may be other specifications, too, such as timeline of coverage.
Some insurers may not pay for cancer treatment the first year of coverage.
The bottom line is that whether or not your pet is covered depends on its policy, its condition, and other factors.
The best option is to carry pet insurance from the time your dog is just a pup. Click here for our recommended pet care plan.
Be sure that your dog’s breed is not disqualified for any type of coverage according to the policy.
Otherwise, you might find yourself paying out of pocket for any necessary care.