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Does pet insurance cover vaccinations?

Vaccines are a key part of keeping any pet healthy, but vaccines are rarely covered by pet insurance. Big or small, indoor or outdoor, your pets can be exposed to a variety of diseases and illnesses in their lifetime.

Find out more about how pet insurance affects vaccinations below.

Provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc

What pet insurance covers vaccinations?

While their natural immune system will do what it can, vaccinations and regular boosters can prevent some of the worst illnesses from ever taking hold. But how do vaccinations affect pet insurance, and can you pay for your pet’s jabs and boosters with insurance? 

Typically, your pet insurance won’t cover your pet’s vaccinations. Most pet insurance policies won’t cover routine treatments, instead focusing on specific forms of treatment. It’s highly likely you won’t be able to use insurance for spaying, dentistry or grooming either. 

This is the case regardless of your level of cover, as inoculations fall under the category of routine treatments. You should also know that if your pet falls ill as a result of a missed vaccination, Sainsbury’s Bank won’t be able to cover the cost of treatment.

Likewise, you’ll need to carry out the recommendations of your vet, including any advised vaccinations to make sure your pet has the best chance possible.

Do I need to vaccinate my pet? 

While your pet insurance is unlikely to cover vaccinations, it’s still important that you protect your pet from illnesses. Vaccinations are there to prevent your pet from catching highly contagious diseases that could seriously harm, or even be fatal, for your pet. For some pets, there’s even a risk that some diseases, such as rabies, could hurt you or other humans.

Vaccinations won’t guarantee your pet won’t fall ill, but they will go a long way to preventing a range of common illnesses and diseases. Your vet may also advise you to get booster vaccinations for your pets. These can reinforce your pet’s immune system, making sure they stay protected long after their first vaccination.

The best time to vaccinate your pet is generally when they’re between the ages of eight and 10 weeks old. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best time to get these vaccinations and should be able to advise on any boosters.  

Vaccinating your dog

Your dog will need vaccinations when they’re a puppy but will likely require yearly boosters as they get older. Puppies are best vaccinated between the ages of eight and ten weeks old, and then will need a second boost two to four weeks later. The vaccines your puppy gets might include:

  • Leptospirosis – A bacterial infection that affects the kidneys and other vital organs.
  • Canine distemper – An infectious viral disease that can cause long lasting issues.
  • Canine parvovirus – A virus that affects the intestines of young dogs and puppies.
  • Kennel cough – Rarely fatal, but still uncomfortable for your dog, this is often required before you can leave your dog in a kennel.

The average cost of vaccinating your puppy will be around £80. The average cost for booster jabs is £65, though prices may vary.

Vaccinating your cat

As with dogs, cats will need vaccinations when they’re young and then boosters as they get older. A kitten’s first vaccinations will be needed around nine weeks old, followed by another set at three months old. Cats usually get the following vaccines: 

  • Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) – Can cause a variety of symptoms but at its worst, can lead to cancers.
  • Feline parvovirus (FPV) – Is passed between pregnant cats and their kittens, and risks kittens being born blind and with tremors.
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV) and feline herpesvirus (FHV) – The common cause behind cat flu, this can be fatal in older cats and kittens.

While prices can vary the cost of vaccinating your kitten will be roughly £70, with yearly boosters costing around £50.

Vaccinating your rabbit

Rabbits also need vaccinations to help keep them happy and healthy. These vaccinations will generally occur when your rabbit is five weeks old, and then another set at ten weeks old. Your vet will likely provide vaccinations for these potential illnesses:

  • Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) - Typically fatal, and untreatable, RHD causes internal bleeding, liver disease and fever in rabbits. Vaccinations are the best protection.
  • Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease 2 (RHD2) – A new strain of RHD, that is less deadly but is harder to spot as symptoms are fewer.
  • Myxomatosis – An infamous disease amongst rabbits that can cause facial swellings. There’s no existing cure and is almost always fatal.

The cost of vaccinating your rabbit can be roughly £85 though the price can vary depending on your local vets.

Is my pet insurance valid without vaccinations? 

Vaccines are there to prevent your pets from catching common, and dangerous diseases. While the cost of a vaccine and boosters may be an initial deterrent, if your pet falls ill the cost of any further medical treatment will no doubt be higher. 

It’s crucial that you don’t put your pet at risk. Take them for regular annual check-ups and carry out the advice given by your vet, including any vaccines. Because of this, if your pet requires treatment for an illness that a vaccine could have prevented, Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance  , provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc, unfortunately won’t be able to help you with payments. 

Find out more on how vaccines affect pet insurance. Please note that terms, conditions, excesses, exclusions and limitations apply to all insurances

Frequently asked questions

Can I insure my unvaccinated dog?

You can insure your pet if he or she isn’t vaccinated, but if your dog falls ill you’ll need to be honest about its past medical treatment. However, the current vaccination status of your pet isn’t something you’ll need to tell us.

Is it illegal to not vaccinate your dog in the UK?

You’re not legally obliged to vaccinate your dog in the UK. However, vets strongly suggest you vaccinate your dog to keep them healthy and reduce the risk of catching a disease. If your dog is travelling outside of the UK, you’re legally required to vaccinate it against rabies. 

What vaccinations are mandatory for pets in the UK?

No vaccination is compulsory for pets in the UK. However, you’re legally required to vaccinate your pet against rabies when taking them in and out of the UK – at least 21 days before travel. You must also be able to provide a vaccination record or an updated pet passport with all the relevant details.

Are kitten vaccinations covered by insurance?

Unfortunately, no. The majority of pet insurance policies won’t cover routine pet care like vaccinations, as they are in place as a preventative procedure. If you have pet insurance, you’re required to have up-to-date vaccinations to keep your policy valid.


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