What Does Pet Insurance Cover? Here’s a Breakdown for Dog and Cat Owners

Three Minutes Jan 24, 2023

At MetLife Pet1, our pet insurance policies are designed to help you keep your furry family healthy and happy. That means covering the little things, like exam fees, as well as the big ones, like emergency care.2 That quality coverage may be part of why MetLife Pet Insurance was awarded the “Pet Insurance of the Year,” Award by the 2023 Pet Independent Innovation Awards Program. We make it easy to customize your plan, so you can rest easy knowing your pet has the coverage they need!

Pet Insurance: What’s Covered

MetLife Pet Insurance plans are designed to give you peace of mind when it comes to your cat or dog’s health care. That means some of the most comprehensive coverage in the industry.3 So how much is pet insurance and what does it cover?

MetLife Pet’s policies start at $9 per month for cat insurance and $15 per month for dog insurance.4 From there, they can be customized to include different levels of coverage. Here are some procedures, items, and circumstances that a MetLife Pet Insurance policy could cover:

Diagnostic tests

Testing and diagnostic procedures are crucial when it comes to understanding what’s wrong with your pet. MetLife Pet Insurance can provide coverage for X-rays, ultrasounds, bloodwork, CT scans, MRIs, and more. This way you could afford to get some of the most comprehensive testing possible.


Accident coverage can help pay the bills when your pet gets hurt. This could mean your pet broke a bone, tore ligaments, or ate something that they shouldn’t have. Accident coverage typically also includes the cost of related covered services like surgery, hospitalization, and emergency care. If your pet gets in trouble, you won’t have to stress as much about the veterinary bills.

Here are some accidents and injuries MetLife Pet may cover:

  • Vehicular trauma
  • Fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Cruciate ligament injuries
  • Bite wounds
  • Foreign object ingestion
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Poisoning


With illness coverage, MetLife Pet will help cover the cost if your pet gets sick with a covered illness. This can include includes congenital, chronic, and hereditary conditions. Illness coverage can also include reimbursement for the medications your pet needs on their road to recovery.

Here are a few illnesses and afflictions MetLife Pet may help cover:

  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Giardia
  • Cancer
  • Bladder stones
  • Asthma
  • Pancreatitis
  • Parvo
  • Distemper
  • Patella luxation
  • Abscesses
  • Hip dysplasia

Optional Preventive Care coverage

Not all pet insurance providers offer coverage for preventive care like routine checkups. But at MetLife Pet, we understand that prevention is key to a happy, healthy life. That’s why we offer Preventive Care as an optional add-on for your pet insurance policy.5 It covers routine veterinary care along with parasite prevention and treatment for issues such as heartworms.2 By customizing your plan, you can take steps to keep your pet healthy to help prevent serious illness or injury while getting some reimbursement for the cost.

Optional Wellness Plan

MetLife Pet also offers a Wellness Plan add-on that helps keep your pets healthy.5 It can cover most vaccinations, such as FVP and rabies, as well as spaying and neutering.2 These procedures could help increase your pets’ lifespans, along with lowering the risk of certain cancers and tumors.6

Prescription medicine

Vets will often prescribe medication to help your pet recover from an injury or illness, or to manage chronic conditions. With a pet insurance policy, you can offset the cost for some of the expenses of covered injuries or illness treatment by paying the policy premium and only paying up to your deductible.

Prescription food

Sometimes taking care of your pet’s health means carefully controlling what they eat. For conditions like diabetes or kidney disease, your veterinarian might prescribe specially formulated food to meet your dog or cat’s needs. Prescription foods often cost more than what you’d normally buy at the pet store. Fortunately, a MetLife Pet Insurance plan can mitigate the hit on your wallet and you can worry less about the expenses associated with keeping your pet eating well.

Alternative therapy

There are more options for pet care available than ever before and MetLife Pet can help you access them. With a plan from MetLife Pet, you can be reimbursed for alternative approaches to recovery, like acupuncture and hydrotherapy. It’s just one of the ways MetLife Pet goes the extra mile to support your pet’s health!

What Does Pet Insurance Not Cover?

MetLife Pet works hard to keep our exclusions at a minimum. But you still may be wondering, what doesn’t pet insurance cover? When considering a plan, make sure you review what is and isn’t included so that you can be certain it’s the right insurance policy for you and your pets. Here are some of the conditions and care that aren’t included:

Cosmetic procedures

Elective surgery, like declawing, tail docking, or ear cropping, is excluded because it doesn’t impact your pet’s health.


MetLife Pet plans do not include the costs that come with breeding or pet pregnancy.

Sport or fighting-related injuries

Pet insurance from MetLife Pet will not cover injuries caused by racing, coursing, commercial guarding, or illegal fighting.

Grooming costs

MetLife Pet insurance doesn’t cover grooming costs or medicated baths.

Organ transplants

A MetLife Pet insurance policy can’t cover organ transplants for pets.

Pre-existing conditions

Conditions that affect your pet prior to your policy effective date (regardless of medical notation, diagnosis, or treatment), or any waiting period, are not covered by MetLife Pet Insurance. However, MetLife Pet may cover pre-existing conditions for group policyholders when switching providers if the conditions were covered by the previous insurer.

Types of Pet Insurance Coverage

It’s important to note that not all of these services and conditions will be covered by every policy. Pet insurance plans typically have two main types of coverage. With comprehensive coverage, your pet will typically be insured for both injury and illness. Accident-only coverage is typically more limited, focusing mainly on injuries and accidents. Often, the trade-off is a lower monthly premium. Keep in mind that you may also customize your policy with add-ons like Preventive Care and dental coverage. Regardless of the plan you choose, MetLife Pet makes it easy for pet owners to get started with no required exams or vaccinations to sign up, and no breed restrictions.7

So, how do you choose the right pet health insurance policy? You can begin by reviewing your pet’s needs, as well as your budget, to see if pet insurance makes sense for you. The next step after that would be to get a free pet insurance quote for your dog or cat. Still have questions? Be sure to check out our FAQs for even more answers! 

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1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 Based on a January 2021 review of publicly available summary information about competitor's offerings. Competitors did not furnish copies of their policies for review. If you have questions about a particular competitor's policy or coverage, please contact them or their representative directly.

4 Calculation based upon select plans and coverages. Actual rates may vary based on pet age breed, location, deductible, reimbursement rate, and annual limits you choose. “

5 Can be purchased at an additional cost.6 Five Good Reasons Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet,

7 Based on a review of 2023 publicly available competitor policy information

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