Does Pet Insurance Cover Pregnancy & Breeding Expenses?
Are you thinking about expanding your fur family? Well, you may want to read this blog first. There are a few important exclusions you’ll need to know about beforehand!
Ah, there really is nothing quite like watching your fur baby give birth. Watching your pet become a parent is not only a joyous time but definitely signals a brand new chapter for your entire household. But before you go about breeding and starting a cute list of names for the new additions, it’s important that you revert back to your pet insurance plan. There’s an important exclusion that I hope you didn’t miss.
What could you have missed?
Alright, if you’ve been reading my blogs for some time now, then you know that I always stress the importance of knowing and understanding your pet policy plan. It is the holy grail! So if you haven’t, take some time out to familiarise yourself with its contents.
But if you’re hoping to get a quick summary on what it says about pregnancy, here it is:
Pet insurance has been created to help cover medical and wellness-based costs. Essentially pet insurance steps in for those unpredicted incidents and events. And while another pup or kitten being born brings much delight to insurance companies, pregnancy is considered ‘preventable’. This means that your insurance company will not cover the pregnancy of your pet as it is not an unforeseen circumstance, incident, illness or accident.
Basically: this is a medical bill you’ll be covering out-of-pocket!
It’s also important to note that it isn’t just the pregnancy itself that isn’t covered. It also includes the costs associated with the pregnancy. Necessary x-rays, exams, progress monitoring or lab work will also have to be covered out-of-pocket when your fur baby is expecting.
Let’s look at the numbers
Okay, so now that you know that you’ll most likely be footing this expense, you’ll probably want to know more about the costs involved. Now before you go neutering your pet in a panic, it’s important to note that for the most part, your pet giving birth is practically free. The costs really are close to zero.
But that may not always be the case.
So where do the additional costs come in?
Well, if you are an intentional breeder that requires a veterinarian’s assistance, you can expect some additional costs. Or in the event that there are serious complications with the birthing process as well. For example, any breed undergoing an emergency c-section can cost you a couple of thousand Rands.
Your pet may also require emergency or prenatal care and necessary medication like anaesthetic and antibiotic treatment. That can also get a little costly if you haven’t already put aside money for these procedures.
Am I covered for breeding costs?
The simple answer is no.
Most (if not all) pet insurers will not cover the costs of any vet fees that relate to breeding in any way. So if you are choosing to breed your pet for commercial use, just keep in mind that this may be against the terms and conditions of your entire policy! Again, make sure you know every detail of your policy plan. I truly cannot stress this one enough!
Risk-based costs associated with breeding
These health risks do not occur in every birthing scenario (obviously) but it’s important to understand the risks, and the costs, associated with pet pregnancies:
- Testicular cancer
- Prostate disease
- Ovarian and uterine cancer
- Mammary gland tumours
- Injury via mating-related behaviours
What do you do if you still want to breed?
Again, in case you missed it: you are going to cover these costs. So it’s best that you mentally (and financially) prepare for that responsibility. This includes the breeding to the pregnancy, birthing, nursing and treating of the offspring as you are expected to cover the costs.
But that shouldn’t deter you from safely breeding if you wish to. Instead, I suggest having a conversation with your local vet. Ask them for specific recommendations for pregnancy testing, prenatal care and what you should expect when your pet is expecting. Knowledge is power, right? So empower yourself (and you an additional family member) with a well-thought-out pregnancy plan. You really won’t forget it!
With the potential to sound like a broken record here, it’s important that you take away one crucial piece of information. Are you ready?
Read your exclusions.
Skimming through it or merely flipping past that page is not only incredibly reckless but costly too. It is important that you remember that while pet insurers look to cover you as comprehensively as possible, there are going to be a few exclusions. Some of which may not be that obvious (like pet pregnancy), so make sure to be aware of this information at all times – it will save you and your pet!
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team