Does pet insurance cover emergency vet care?

January 18, 2023 - 4 min read
Pet Insurance and Emergency Vet Care
Pet Insurance and Emergency Vet Care

In short, yes! ManyPets insurance covers emergency veterinary care.

More specifically, we don’t draw a distinction between emergency and non-emergency veterinarians — a vet is a vet! As long as you visit a licensed veterinarian, we’ll cover any qualifying claims. 

And whether you visit your regular vet, a specialist, or an emergency clinician, you’ll be covered under the same copay percentage that you selected when you purchased your policy. 

CTA _2

Nose-to-tail pet insurance

Coverage for every wag and whisker

Get great coverage for all your furry family members and enjoy peace of mind with no annual payout limits or pesky hidden fees.

CTA _2

ManyPets Covers Accidents and Illnesses

To qualify for coverage, insurance claims must be related to an accident or illness. 

Some quick definitions of those terms:

  • Illness: Any sickness or disease that isn’t related to an accident — everything ranging from an upset tummy to cancer.

  • Accident: Any unexpected incident that causes injury, trauma, or sickness. Poisonings and road accidents are common examples (and common causes for emergency vet visits).

To reiterate, ManyPets covers poisonings, i.e., instances when your pet has eaten something toxic or dangerous. We cover not just treatment but also the pet's exam. We’ll even cover poison control consults, whether they’re performed at an emergency clinic or via a virtual vet visit. Indeed, ManyPets covers virtual visits in general.  

Your Coverage Percentage Never Changes

If you have your own health insurance plan, you know how things work when it comes to human health care: You’ll issue a co-pay directly to your care provider, and that co-pay will likely be lower for a general care practitioner than it will be for a specialist, an urgent care provider, or an emergency care provider.  

Pet insurance is different. You’ll select a coverage percentage when you first purchase your policy, and this percentage will remain the same (unless you actively decide to change it at some point) regardless of which vet you visit. ManyPets offers coverage percentages of 90%, 80%, or 70%. So after you've met your deductible, the amount you'll pay on each qualified claim will be 10%, 20%, or 30%, depending on which coverage option you select. This percentage is your co-pay.

So let’s say you pick a 80% coverage rate (i.e., a 20% co-pay) when you first choose your plan. After you’ve visited your vet, simply submit your invoice to ManyPets online. We’ll reimburse any qualifying claims directly to your bank account (or mail you a check if that’s what you prefer). Once you’ve met your deductible, we'll cover 80% of any qualifying claims over the remainder of your 12-month policy period, no matter which type of vet you’ve visited.

Just be aware, emergency and after-hours vet visits often cost a bit more than standard vet visits.

No Networks 

Human health insurance plans often restrict patients to specific doctors or specific hospitals. With ManyPets, you can visit any licensed vet at the emergency or after-hours clinic of your choice. 

That’s great news in an emergency — you can simply take your pet to the nearest emergency care center without sparing a second thought about whether the provider is in-network. There are no networks!

Which Emergency Claims Don’t Qualify for Coverage?

ManyPets insurance policies don’t cover routine or preventative care (though our Wellness Plans do!). Of course, emergency care is essentially never routine or preventative, so it’s highly unlikely that this particular exclusion will apply to an emergency vet visit. (If your emergency clinician happens to administer a preventative treatment in addition to emergency care, that preventative treatment may be covered under our Wellness Plan but not under insurance.) 

But there are other exclusions you should be aware of. Like all other pet insurance companies, ManyPets doesn’t cover conditions that predate your pet’s insurance coverage. So if your pet’s emergency visit is related to a pre-existing health condition, treatment will not be covered.

Also, keep in mind that you’ll be subject to a waiting period immediately after you purchase your plan. During this period, any condition that becomes symptomatic or receives treatment—including at an emergency clinic—will be considered pre-existing and will therefore not be covered. If you have our non-insurance Wellness Plan, you can begin using benefits and submitting claims for reimbursement the day after you purchase your plan.

Here’s the good news: If your pet has been free of symptoms, treatment, and diagnosis for 18 months, the condition in question will be eligible for coverage, as ManyPets will no longer deem it a pre-existing condition. 


Pre-existing conditions and insurance - how does it work?

ManyPets has exclusions for pre-existing conditions, but past conditions don’t always prevent future coverage. Get the details.


When Should I Seek Emergency Veterinary Treatment?

An emergency visit is often a no-brainer—say, when your pet has eaten something toxic or suffered a severe injury. But sometimes a health condition that might not seem like an emergency is in fact an urgent matter. In such instances, letting your pet go too long without treatment will allow the condition to worsen or even become irreversible.

You should immediately take your pet to the vet if you notice any of the following:

  • Severe gastrointestinal problems (e.g., persistent vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite)

  • Fainting or sudden unconsciousness, seizures, and disorientation

  • Extreme/excessive panting

  • Sudden difficulty standing or walking (including wobbliness or dragging legs)

  • Limping

  • Coughing, choking, trouble breathing

  • Bleeding/swelling of the eye, nose, or mouth

  • Swelling of the limbs

  • Persistent and unexplained whining or shaking

  • Serious injury (including bleeding and/or broken bones)

  • You think your pet has eaten something toxic

If you’re uncertain, feel free to call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center before heading out the door. You might learn whether there’s anything you should do before leaving your home, like induce vomiting if your pet has eaten something toxic. 

One last note: The details of your insurance coverage have no bearing on when you should seek emergency vet care. When it comes to your pet’s health, you should always err on the side of caution. 

Emergencies happen, even when we're careful. Make sure you can always afford vet care — get a ManyPets quote today.

David Teich
Lead Editor

David oversees content strategy and development at ManyPets. As Lead Editor, he focuses on delivering accurate information related to pet care and insurance. David’s editorial background spans more than a decade, including a pivotal role at Digiday, where he wrote content and managed relationships with media and tech companies. As an Associate Editor at Cynopsis Media, David wrote the Cynopsis Digital newsletter and interviewed executives and digital marketing experts in the TV industry. His background also includes film journalism. His diverse experiences in journalism and marketing underpins his role in shaping content within the pet care industry.