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Does Pet Insurance Cover Distemper?

Written by: Z


Z is a Special Project Coordinator of HomeLife Media and a writer for She has 3 dogs namely Skye, Luna, and one of them is a rescue, named Tesla.Read more
| Published on August 27, 2023

Pet insurance has become an increasingly popular option for pet owners looking to provide the best possible care for their furry companions. As responsible pet owners, we strive to ensure our pets are protected from various health risks, including infectious diseases like distemper. But does pet insurance cover distemper? In this article, we will delve into the specifics of pet insurance coverage for distemper, its importance, and how to navigate the world of pet insurance to make informed decisions for your pet’s well-being.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Distemper?

Understanding Canine Distemper:

Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs and other animals such as ferrets, raccoons, and foxes. It primarily spreads through airborne exposure to respiratory secretions, direct contact with infected animals, and contaminated surfaces. Distemper can lead to a range of symptoms, including fever, coughing, nasal discharge, lethargy, loss of appetite, and even neurological symptoms like seizures and paralysis. The disease can be severe, and without prompt and proper medical attention, it can be fatal.

Related: What’s the best pet insurance carrier?

The Importance of Pet Insurance:

Pet insurance serves as a safety net for unexpected veterinary expenses, helping pet owners manage the costs associated with medical treatments, surgeries, and medications. It provides peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your pet’s health rather than worrying about the financial burden of necessary medical procedures. While pet insurance typically covers a wide range of medical conditions and accidents, it’s essential to understand the specifics of the coverage, including whether distemper is included.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Distemper?

Whether pet insurance covers distemper depends on the insurance provider and the type of policy you have. Most comprehensive pet insurance plans do cover the diagnosis and treatment of distemper, along with a variety of other illnesses and injuries. These plans usually reimburse you for a percentage of the eligible expenses, which can include veterinary visits, diagnostic tests, medications, and hospitalization.

It’s important to note that coverage can vary widely among different insurance companies and plans. Some policies might have waiting periods before they cover certain illnesses, including distemper. This means that if your pet contracts distemper shortly after obtaining the insurance, you might not be eligible for coverage during the waiting period.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Pet Insurance:

  1. Coverage Details: Carefully review the terms and conditions of the pet insurance policy. Look for comprehensive coverage that includes illnesses like distemper, as well as other common health issues.
  2. Waiting Periods: Understand if there are waiting periods before specific illnesses, including distemper, are covered. Waiting periods vary between insurers and policies.
  3. Deductibles and Reimbursement Rates: Take note of the deductible amount you’ll need to pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. Additionally, understand the reimbursement rate – the percentage of eligible expenses that the insurance company will cover after the deductible is met.
  4. Maximum Payouts: Some policies have annual or lifetime maximum payouts. Make sure you’re aware of these limits to avoid surprises.
  5. Pre-existing Conditions: Most pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions, which can include illnesses your pet had before getting coverage. Since distemper is a viral disease that can be contracted after obtaining insurance, it’s typically not considered a pre-existing condition if it develops during the policy period.
  6. Wellness Coverage: While distemper coverage is crucial, also consider policies that offer wellness coverage for routine preventive care, vaccinations, and check-ups.

Steps to Take if Your Pet Contracts Distemper:

  1. Consult Your Veterinarian: If you suspect your pet has contracted distemper, consult your veterinarian immediately. Quick action is essential for effective treatment.
  2. Review Your Policy: If you have pet insurance, review your policy to understand the coverage for distemper-related expenses.
  3. Document Everything: Keep thorough records of all veterinary visits, diagnostic tests, treatments, and medications. These records will be crucial when filing a claim with your insurance provider.
  4. File a Claim: If your policy covers distemper, file a claim with your insurance provider according to their guidelines. Provide all necessary documentation to support your claim.

Next Step: Compare the best pet insurance carriers here


Pet insurance can offer vital financial support in the event of unexpected health issues, including infectious diseases like distemper. While coverage for distemper is generally available in comprehensive pet insurance policies, it’s crucial to carefully review the terms, waiting periods, and coverage limits before making a decision. By being informed about your pet insurance policy, you can provide your furry friend with the best possible care without the added stress of financial concerns during challenging times. Remember that prevention is key, so regular veterinary visits and adherence to vaccination schedules can help safeguard your pet’s health against preventable illnesses like distemper.

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