Pet insurance policies can be comprehensive, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a traditional pet insurance policy that covers neutering or spaying.
You’ll typically need to purchase a wellness package or preventative care add-on for spaying or neutering to be covered by your pet insurance. This will increase your premium a bit but may also cover things like annual checkups and vaccinations.
If you’re in the market for pet insurance that covers spaying or neutering, here’s what you should know.
Why does pet insurance exclude spaying and neutering?
Pet insurance includes three types of coverage levels.
Basic pet insurance policies: These usually only cover unexpected accidents and injuries, like broken bones or when your dog accidentally eats a toy.
Accident and illness policies: These policies are still for only unplanned expenses, but they offer more comprehensive coverage, extending to potential illnesses, diseases, and conditions your pet might develop. Accident and illness policies usually cover prescriptions, X-rays, and diagnostic testing, too.
Wellness and preventative care plans: These are typically add-on packages to one of the above policies and are designed to cover planned expenses, elective procedures, and general medical care your pet needs. Spaying and neutering fall into this “planned expense” category.
Learn More: What Is Pet Insurance?
What type of pet plan covers spaying and neutering?
Pet wellness plans, sometimes called preventative care plans, cover spaying and neutering. They’re typically add-ons to an existing pet insurance policy, but some hospitals and insurance providers offer pet wellness plans as standalone policies.
The exact cost varies by provider and animal, but according to Pets Best, you can expect to pay between $14 and $30 per month, depending on where you live.
The cost of a pet wellness plan is in addition to the premium you pay for your base pet insurance policy, so make sure to factor that in when budgeting.
Wellness plans cover most of the planned expenses of pet ownership — things like exams, heartworm preventatives, microchipping, and, yes, spaying and neutering — up to your total allowance for the year. Your policy may also have limits as to how many of each service your pet can receive (like two vaccines per year, for example) or a dollar limit per each item.
Like traditional pet insurance policies, wellness plans are reimbursement-type plans, so you’ll take your pet for the service or care they require and file a claim, and your insurer will pay you back at a later date. The exact process for reimbursement depends on your insurer.
What a pet wellness plan covers
Pet wellness plans don’t cover everything, but they’re usually quite comprehensive.
Depending on your provider, you can expect a wellness plan to include:
Some wellness packages even include teeth cleanings and other dental services, so be sure to shop around if this is something you’d like covered for your pet.
Learn More: Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?
What a pet wellness plan excludes
Wellness plans are separate from accident, injury, and illness plans, so they won’t cover the various services and treatments that fall under those umbrellas.
Pet wellness plans will likely not cover:
Treatment for unexpected illness or injury
Treatment of chronic conditions
Emergency veterinary care
X-rays and diagnostic testing
Generally speaking, any unexpected or sudden costs aren’t typically covered by wellness plans.
Read More: 10 Dog Breeds With the Least Health Problems
Are pet insurance and wellness plans worth it?
The cost of pet insurance — plus a wellness plan — may be worth it for some pet owners. Though spaying and neutering procedures vary in cost depending on location and the type and weight of your animal, you can expect to pay between $75 and $200 for a dog and between $55 and $80 for a cat.
While the cost of pet insurance and wellness plans alone will most likely exceed these costs, if you use your plan for other covered services, it may work in your favor. The average premium is $348 per year for cats and $564 per year for dogs.
Additionally, wellness plans can have other benefits that aren’t financial. They can help ensure your pet gets regular care and screenings, which can mean a longer, healthy life for them. They can also help you prevent unwanted pet pregnancies, which can strain your wallet.
Learn More: Is Pet Wellness Insurance Worth It?
The cost of common pet health procedures
If you use your pet wellness plan to its full extent and take advantage of all your covered services each policy period, it could save you a significant amount of money over the course of a year.
For a better idea of what your coverage could save you, here’s a look at what common preventative veterinary care services cost:
Spay/neuter: $75 to $200 for dogs; $55 to $80 for cats
Microchipping: $25 to $90
Vaccinations: $15 to $22 each, $75 to $100 total
Annual checkup: $32 to $49
Fecal test: $20
Heartworm test: $25
Anal gland expression: $19
The exact cost of each service will depend on the size and type of your animal, as well as where you live and get veterinary care. Higher-cost areas may see higher veterinary costs. 
Learn More: Puppy Vaccination Schedule: What Shots Does Your Puppy Need?