When does pet insurance cover cancer?
If you have comprehensive pet insurance coverage and your dog or cat develops cancer, your policy should help you pay for treatment. There are typically three ways that dogs and cats with cancer are treated: surgery to remove the tumor, targeted radiation to reduce its size, or chemotherapy to destroy the tumor.
If your pet already has cancer, your insurance policy will not cover it. You'll still be able to obtain pet insurance for your dog or cat, but your policy will exclude any on-going pre-existing conditions (including cancer) from coverage. Note that coverage for diagnostic tests and exams may vary by insurer as well.
If you have an accident-only pet insurance plan, it will only cover accidental injuries, so it won't cover the costs of cancer treatment. Make sure to check your pet insurance policy to ensure that you have the right type of plan to cover cancer expenses.
Is pet insurance worth it for cancer treatment?
If you suspect your pet has a higher risk of developing cancer — for instance, if you know their breed commonly develops cancer — then pet insurance may be worth the cost. Paying out of pocket, even for minor cancer treatments, is often more than many pet owners can afford.
If your pet already has cancer, you won't find a policy that will cover it since it's a pre-existing condition. Pet insurance may cover the costs of future ailments that aren't related to the cancer treatment, but it won't cover any costs related to the cancer including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
If your dog or cat already has cancer and you can't afford treatments, there are other options that may help. Many veterinary offices offer financing plans to pay for expensive treatments, such as CareCredit, and many financial institutions will offer short and long-term loans for medical expenses.
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Please note: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of insurance. Read our editorial standards for Answers content. This information is not an insurance policy, does not refer to any specific insurance policy, and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions expressly stated in any insurance policy. Descriptions of all coverages and other features are necessarily brief; in order to fully understand the coverages and other features of a specific insurance policy, we encourage you to read the applicable policy and/or speak to an insurance representative. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. Whether an accident or other loss is covered is subject to the terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in the claim. References to average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, costs of coverages/repair, etc., are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. We are not responsible for the content of any third-party sites linked from this page.