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The passing of your dog or cat is a devastating time for most pet owners. While pet insurance can't really help with the emotional loss, some plans may ease the financial strain by covering costs for euthanasia and cremation or burial, or even reimbursement of purchase price. Below we discuss typical costs for pet euthanasia and cremation and what might be covered by pet insurance, as well as common exclusions.
- Does Pet Insurance Cover Death?
- How Much are Euthanasia and Cremation for a Dog or Cat?
- Does Pet Insurance Cover Euthanasia and Cremation?
Pet Insurance for Death from Illness or Injury
The Death from Illness or Injury section of pet insurance, when applicable, typically covers the purchase or donation price of your pet if it dies or has to be put to sleep by a vet as a result of an illness or injury. Not all pet insurance plans include Death from Illness or Injury cover.
You may need to provide a pedigree certificate if you have one and receipt for the original purchase or donation price paid for your pet. Without this proof, you may only be reimbursed up to a fixed amount or the cost of a similar pet based on the breed, sex and date of birth at the time you became the owner of your pet. Additionally most plans will only pay up to a maximum amount for each pet, typically ranging from £500 up to £2,000 depending on the plan.
You may need to provide:
- A vet certificate stating the date and cause of death of your pet
- A receipt for any euthanasia, cremation or burial costs
- A pedigree certificate, if applicable
- Any claim if your pet dies from an illness and is over a maximum age (e.g., 9 years old)
- Reimbursement over a maximum amount (e.g., £1,000)
- Reimbursement over a maximum amount if you don't have proof of what you paid (e.g., £150 or the cost of a similar pet)
- Illnesses and injuries that first showed signs before your policy started
- Illnesses and injuries that first showed signs during the waiting period of a new policy
- Death as a result of extremes of temperature from being left unattended in a motor vehicle
- Death from or as a result of pregnancy and giving birth
- Having your pet put to sleep unless it is necessary for humane reasons to stop incurable suffering
Cost of Pet Euthanasia and Cremation
Euthanasia is an injection to painlessly put your pet to sleep peacefully when illness, injury or old age affects their quality of life and causes pain or suffering that cannot be cured or managed. Typically, euthanasia of a pet occurs at a vet surgery, although some vets make house calls so your pet can pass away in familiar surroundings.
Below are sample costs for cremation and euthanasia from a Vets for Pets branch in the South East. As you can see, pet euthanasia costs around £60 for dogs and cats. Cremation costs are a function of the size of your pet, with cremation costing around £100 for cats, £120 for smaller dogs (e.g., 10 kg) and £150 for larger dogs (e.g., 25 kg).
|How Much are Euthanasia and Cremation for a Dog or Cat?||Dog||Cat|
|Cost of Pet Euthanasia||£60||£60|
|Cost of Pet Cremation||£120 to £150||£100|
Pet Insurance for Euthanasia and Cremation
Not all pet insurance plans cover euthanasia, cremation and burial; in some cases coverage is an option for which you'll pay extra. Some plans only reimburse for euthanasia or cremation, not both, or may not cover your entire cost, leaving you to pay the remainder. For example a policy might only reimburse you up to a maximum amount of £100 for costs related to euthanasia and cremation or burial.
When there is cover to help you with end-of-life costs for your pet, it varies significantly across pet insurance companies. Here are coverage levels (subject to conditions) for some accident & illness policies from a number of pet insurance companies for fees related to euthanasia costs and cremation or burial, to give you an idea of the market:
|Pet Insurance Company||Death Expense Coverage|
|Agria||Costs for cremation, burial and a house visit by a vet to put your pet to sleep up to £150|
|Argos||Cremation up to £100|
|Asda Pet Insurance Review||Euthanasia up to £100|
|John Lewis Pet Insurance Review||Cremation up to £100|
|Lifetime Pet Cover||n/a|
|PDSA||Euthanasia up to £100|
|Pet Protect||Euthanasia up to £50|
|Scratch & Patch||n/a|
|Tesco (Standard, Extra or Premier)||Up to £200 to have your pet put to sleep and cremated or buried|
|VetsMediCover||Euthanasia covered if necessary on humane grounds|
In most cases you will not have to pay an excess on a cremation claim.
- Situations where a vet can treat a pet and it is humane to keep it alive
- Situations where a pet is put to sleep because it is aggressive or for financial reasons
If your vet won't make a home visit but you would like your pet to pass away at home, curled up in bed or another favorite spot, there are a number of at-home pet euthanasia companies who can help. It may be best to ask your local vet if they can make a recommendation.