Table of Contents
- Losing a pet can be both emotionally and financially taxing
- The cost of pet cremation typically ranges between $100 – $200, but could vary
- Whether pet insurance covers end-of-life services such as cremation will depend on the insurance company and the plan in which your pet is enrolled
- Enrolling early and understanding your coverage is key for making the best decisions for both you and your pet at the end of their life
Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is an emotional experience. And when the time comes, you may want to lay your furry family member to rest the same way you would other loved ones, such as with cremation. However, the financial aspect of the loss of a pet can also cause difficulty during this sad time.
But in the same way it can help you care for your pet throughout their life, pet insurance can also be a valuable tool in helping them cross the rainbow bridge. Many pet insurance plans cover different aspects of end-of-life care for your pet, and the financial relief may give you the space you need to grieve and heal.
Understanding Cremation Coverage Under Pet Insurance
Understanding what end-of-life care is covered by your pet insurance plan is key, although finding those answers can feel complex. Many plans cover euthanasia for humane reasons, but only some of those plans also cover burial or cremation.
Every pet insurance company is different, and the different plans they offer may be different as well. For those reasons, consulting directly with your plan details or with a representative is often the best way to determine exactly what end-of-life care your plan covers.
Which services your pet insurance plan covers could depend on any of the following:
- The insurance company
- The individual insurance plan in which you enroll your pet
- The age of your pet
- Pre-existing conditions
- Your deductible, plan limits, or lifetime maximum
- Add-on plans selected for an additional cost
- Exclusions or terms specific to your plan
Typical Costs of Cremating a Pet
Both euthanasia and cremation have financial costs associated with them, although exact figures will depend on where you live, who performs the procedure, and the size of your pet.
In an area with an average cost of living, euthanasia procedures typically fall in the following ranges:
- Small pets: $75 – $150
- Large pets: $100 – $200
Home visits and after-hours procedures may have additional fees associated with them. Conversely, animal shelters or other nonprofits may offer euthanasia at a discounted rate.
If you decide to cremate your pet privately, the cost typically falls in the following categories:
- Small pets: $100 – $125
- Medium pets: $125 – $150
- Large pets: $150 – $200
Purchasing an urn may come at an additional cost. Conversely, communal cremation may be less expensive but often means your pet’s ashes will not be returned to you.
Coverage Details for Different Pet Insurance Options
Covered services under your pet insurance plan will depend on various factors, and not all plans will cover both euthanasia and cremation. Additionally, some plans may only offer partial coverage or have maximum limits on reimbursement when you file a claim for cremation.
Some examples of pet insurance options and what they cover are below:
- Lemonade: Covers any end-of-life or rememberance expenses up to $500
- Pets Best: Covers euthanasia for humane reasons
- Pumpkin: Covers end-of-life care such as euthanasia and cremation
- Paw Protect: Covers euthanasia as a standard and cremation as an add-on up to a selected deductible ($250, $450 or $650 per year)
- Figo: Covers euthanasia as a standard and cremation with an up to $250 with add-on
- Healthy Paws: Covers euthanasia when medically necessary
- Spot: Covers euthanasia and cremation when caused by a covered condition
- Embrace: Covers euthanasia when caused by a covered condition and cremation with add-on
Common Exclusions to Consider
Although euthanasia is covered by most pet insurance plans, there are some cases when a plan may not cover the procedure. In these cases, cremation likely would not be covered either.
Situations when a pet insurance plan likely would not cover euthanization or cremation could include:
- Euthanizing a pet when vets do not recommend euthanization or when it would be humane to keep the pet alive
- Euthanizing a pet due to aggressive behavior
- Euthanizing a pet due to financial hardship
- Euthanizing a pet due to illness or injuries that manifested before enrolling in pet insurance or during the plan’s required waiting period
Petplan’s Coverage for Euthanasia and Cremation
Petplan recognizes the difficulty of the end of a beloved pet’s life and provides coverage to make this period more manageable.
If a veterinarian recommends putting your pet to sleep due to illness or injury, Petplan insurance plans cover the cost of euthanasia. However, Petplan does not currently offer coverage for additional end-of-life services such as cremation or burial.
Recommendations for Pet Owners
As with any insurance plan, the exact details of your coverage will depend on a variety of factors. Always check the terms and wording of your policy to understand your coverage and any limits before financially committing to any services.
Additionally, an ill or injured pet can be stressful, and the end of your pet’s life can be emotionally exhausting. Before making any decisions about your pet or their end-of-life care, consider the emotional and financial implications those decisions may have on you.
Comparing pet insurance options and understanding the coverage each plan will provide you with is an important part of your pet’s care. Whether you are looking to enroll your young pet in an insurance plan for the first time or are making end-of-life arrangements for your senior pet, choosing your coverage can make the experience much less stressful and costly.
As a pet owner, you’ve always strived to make the best decisions for your pet. Even at the end of their life, be sure you’re making the most informed choices so they can have the most painless and comfortable transition into their next stage of being.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Will I Know When Euthanasia Is the Right Choice for My Pet?
Choosing to euthanize your pet can feel challenging due to all the emotions that accompany the decision. Often, your veterinarian or other pet professional will be able to guide you toward the right decision for your pet.
Other considerations may include their life expectancy due to illness and expected quality of life during that period.
How Far in Advance Should I Enroll in Pet Insurance Before the End of My Pet’s Life?
Because many pet insurance companies have waiting periods to enroll, do not cover pre-existing conditions, and have age limits, enrolling your pet in pet insurance while young is often the best option. However, it is never too late to get started.
What’s the Difference between Private Pet Cremation and Communal Pet Cremation?
Private pet cremation is when a pet is cremated individually. Afterward, their ashes are collected and returned to the owner.
Communal pet cremation, however, is often a less expensive option that will cremate many pets at the same time. Those ashes are collected and spread together as opposed to being returned to the owners.
Is Pet Burial Less Expensive Than Cremation?
Pet burial may be less expensive than cremation, depending on the type of burial you wish to pursue. Burying your pet at home on your own land is often free.
However, buying your pet in a dedicated cemetery or in a family plot will require purchasing the plot of land, the headstone, and paying cemetery maintenance fees, which together are often significantly more expensive than cremation.
Where Can I Go to Have My Pet Cremated?
Many veterinary offices offer pet cremation services as part of their end-of-life care. However, there are also independent companies that can provide cremation services in your area. Discussing your options with your vet or local facilities can help you make the best decision.
How Long Does Pet Cremation Typically Take?
If you choose to do private cremation for your pet, you can often expect to have your pet’s ashes returned to you within 1 to 2 days. However, exact timing will depend on the facility, so it’s often best to ask your provider directly for an estimate.
What Can I Do With My Pet’s Ashes After Cremation?
Deciding what to do with your late pet’s ashes is a personal decision and often differs from pet to pet and owner to owner. You may decide to keep them in an urn in your home, spread them in a meaningful location, or find another creative way to keep their memory alive.
Find out more
- Life Insurance for Pets – Explore options that might cover end-of-life expenses.
- Does Pet Insurance Cover Service Dogs? – Special considerations for service dogs, including cremation.
- Pet Insurance for Multiple Pets – Considerations for end-of-life costs for all your pets.
- Pet Insurance Spaying Neutering – Understanding the full scope of coverage, from routine care to end-of-life.
- Fetch by The Dodo Review – Fetch’s policies on end-of-life services.
- Pets Best Review – Pets Best’s take on cremation coverage.
- Spot Review – Spot’s end-of-life benefits for pet owners.
- Trupanion Review – Trupanion’s coverage options for pet cremation.