Insure Your Furry Friend: Can You Get Life Insurance on a Dog?

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Written By kevin

A financial strategist with a knack for demystifying taxes and insurance, Kevin distills complex concepts into actionable advice.

As pet parents, we often consider our furry friends as integral members of our family. We strive to provide them with the best care possible, but have you ever pondered about securing life insurance for your dog? Yes, you read that right. Life insurance for dogs is a reality, and it’s something you might want to contemplate.

Can You Get Life Insurance For Your Dog?

Indeed, you can secure life insurance for your dog. However, it’s not akin to human life insurance where you receive a lump sum that you’ve contributed to during the policy’s lifespan once the insured individual passes away. The primary reason people secure human life insurance is to ensure that your family is financially safeguarded in the event of a tragedy. While dogs are priceless to us emotionally, their demise doesn’t significantly impact our financial future.

Mortality and Theft Insurance for Dogs

Certain companies offer mortality and theft insurance for dogs, but it’s primarily aimed at valuable show, service, or breeding dogs. With life insurance for dogs, the insurance company compensates you for your dog’s value. The purchase price, replacement cost, or assessed value of your dog will typically determine this. Some insurers will also cover euthanasia, cremation, or burial costs — but for higher premiums. However, there are strict limitations on what type of death is covered.

Limitations of Dog Life Insurance

A significant limitation with dog life insurance is that it only covers unexpected deaths from an accident or sudden illness. So you’ll face some major policy exclusions, including:

  • Pre-existing conditions – Insurance companies require a health evaluation by a veterinarian before issuing a policy. If your pet already suffers from a serious condition, you may not qualify for coverage.
  • Hereditary conditions – Some purebred dogs are prone to serious illnesses and health conditions, and deaths caused by these conditions most likely won’t be covered by dog life insurance.
  • Age – Pet life insurance policies typically limit coverage to a set time span when your dog is less likely to develop an older age-related illness.

End-Of-Life Expenses For Pets

Many people want to memorialize their beloved pets once they’re gone. Here are some ranges for costs associated with a pet’s death to help you plan financially.

Service Cost Range
Euthanasia $50-$300
Cremation $150 to $250 (individual cremation)
Urn for your pet’s ashes $50 to $400
Burial plot in a pet cemetery $400 to $600
Pet casket $100 to $500

Pet Health Insurance as an Alternative

Pet insurance is designed to cover unexpected accidents and illnesses, including emergencies, hereditary conditions, cancer, and chronic conditions. You pay monthly or annual premiums, like with human health insurance. But unlike human health insurance, most pet insurance plans don’t cover wellness visits like annual exams or teeth cleaning. They also don’t cover pre-existing conditions. However, many pet health insurance companies do cover euthanasia costs, and some even cover cremation and other end-of-life expenses.

Life Insurance for Pets: What You Need To Know

Insuring your pet’s life will cover funeral expenses. Pet policies also provide reimbursement for the animal’s value, including if it’s stolen or otherwise disappears — which are surprisingly common occurrences, given the cost of many purebred pets. And for the elite animals that strut before judges at events like the Westminster Dog Show, this pet coverage provides the same key benefit as life insurance for people: replacement of future income, in this case from product endorsements or breeding fees.

Pet Life Insurance Versus Other Coverage

Regular pet insurance — which is essentially animal health insurance — covers vets’ bills, but the odds of a payout if the animal dies are fairly slim. Most pet insurance policies don’t cover the pet’s value or the cost of burial or cremation. If they do, as is the case for a few pet insurance companies, limitations on the total reimbursements are common. (Euthanasia, though, is covered under most policies.)

What Pet Life Insurance Covers

You insure your pet’s life through what’s formally known as mortality and theft Insurance. Policies are most often bought for working pets, according to Dr. Claudine Sievert, a vet who is also a consultant with CatPet Club. “Most pets get life insurance where they have an economic value,” she says, citing show dogs as a prime example. Those animals may not make money directly from their wins, but their fame can translate into a six- or even seven-figure lifetime income from breeding and product endorsements.

What Pet Life Insurance Doesn’t Cover

As insurance on your pet’s life, mortality and theft Insurance for your dog or cat covers just those perils, and nothing more. It isn’t a health insurance policy, and so lacks coverage for the likes of acute health care, health problems among purebred dogs and cats arising from hereditary conditions and preventive care such as that for vaccinations.

What Pet Life Insurance Costs

According to Sievert, premiums vary from pet to pet, with the main determining factors being the pet’s age, breed, and species. Dog breeds with shorter life expectancies, then, could be more costly to insure than the norm. Also, as with other insurance types, the level of death benefit and size of deductible also come into play — the higher the former and the lower the latter, the more you will pay. Location is also a factor, due to geographic variations in the value of animals and the cost of funerals.

Is Pet Life Insurance Worth Getting?

Even more so than regular pet insurance, mortality and theft insurance isn’t for every pet or pet owner. Given its cost, investing in it may be especially questionable if you already have that regular pet coverage. “Pet life insurance policies can be pretty expensive,” Francies notes, and the cost of two pet policies could be prohibitive.

This is generally coverage for the priciest of pets, Francies says. “Unless your pet is highly valuable, purchasing a policy is probably not needed.” But personal preference, including your comfort with risk, also comes into play, she adds. “Even if you don’t own a Best In Show dog, you may want [a policy] if that is your heart’s desire.”


In conclusion, while pet life insurance is available, it may not be the best fit for every pet owner. It’s important to consider the costs, benefits, and limitations of such a policy. For most pet owners, a comprehensive pet health insurance policy may be a more practical and cost-effective solution. However, for those with high-value pets or those who want to ensure they can provide a proper send-off for their furry friend, pet life insurance could be a worthwhile investment. As always, it’s important to do your research and consult with professionals before making any decisions.