Pet insurance is a relatively new product but has essentially become a must-have for any responsible pet owner. It does a great job of preparing you to financially handle any unexpected and potentially expensive illness or accident that your pet might suffer.
Pet insurance is now offered by all kinds of companies. There are some of the biggest players in the insurance industry such as Nationwide as well as interest groups such as the APSCA, each of which offers a wide variety of policies. Still, there are standalone insurance providers specializing in pet insurance.
The following is a detailed comparison between two of the biggest insurance providers specializing in pet insurance:
- Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws was established back in 2009. It was founded by 2 men that met at a no-kill animal shelter in their city. One of the men was the shelter’s director while the other was an insurance executive .
Both had a shared passion for pet health and shelter animals compelled them to establish Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation.
Healthy Paws is a company that has broken ground in the areas of customer service and ease-of-claims, and is constantly rated among the top pet insurance companies by customers that were surveyed by independent reviewers (read our review here). The Healthy Paws foundation has issued grants to hundreds of animal rescue organizations and shelters.
Healthy Paws might be currently just a decade old, but it is on solid financial ground. The company has partnered with Aon Corporation, which is a $30 billion global insurance broker, and the massive insurance company The Chubb Group underwrites its policies.
Petplan was established back in 2003 and has a compelling back story. It was founded by a couple who received a $5,000 vet bill for their sick cat and decided that enough was enough. The company is a subsidiary of Petplan UK, which is the largest pet insurance company in the world .
Petplan provides insurance coverage for organizations such as the U.S. Humane Society. A+ rated insurance companies, AGCS Marine Insurance (Member of the Allianz Group, which is the third-largest financial services company in the world) and XL Specialty Insurance, which s a multi-billion-dollar company underwrite all of Petplan’s policies.
It might be tempting to make a purchasing decision regarding pet insurance on price alone, but the most important criteria should always be value for money.
When it comes to pet insurance, value for money can be determined by what the policies will and won’t cover. You should also have a realistic expectation regarding what the insurance company won’t cover with regards to the health of your pet.
Healthy Paws covers both dogs and cats and doesn’t have caps on claim payouts. The policies the company offers cover both illnesses and accidents, except pre-existing conditions. In addition, there aren’t any restrictions on congenital or hereditary conditions, cancer included.
Healthy Paws also covers hospital stays, emergency care, surgeries, hip dysplasia for pets below age 6 (if it isn’t a pre-existing condition), along with alternative treatments such as chiropractic services, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture.
Petplan offers very comprehensive coverage for both cats and dogs compared to most other pet insurance companies. The policies cover both illnesses and accidents with no restrictions when it comes to congenital or hereditary conditions.
Petplan’s coverage extends to advanced testing, hospital stays, as well as all non-routine veterinary examinations. It also covers dental injuries along with periodontal disease, but your pet must first undergo annual checkups for coverage to apply.
Which One Has Better Coverage?
Petplan and Healthy Paws have virtually identical coverage options, which can make it difficult to choose a clear winner. Petplan, however, manages to edge out Healthy Paws when it comes to coverage since it offers more comprehensive dental coverage in its plans.
Deductible and Monthly Costs
The deductible refers to the amount of money that you are required to pay for health treatment before insurance kicks in. Deductibles generally vary widely depending on the plan chosen and the company that you are insured under. So, always ensure that proactively figure out what yours is to help you know what you will be responsible for under normal circumstances.
Healthy Paws has 3 different deductible levels: $100, $250, or $500 on any policy. The higher the deductible, the lower the amount you will pay in premiums. All deductibles are typically based on annual spending as opposed to the “per-condition” or “per-incident” basis used by many pet insurance companies.
Healthy Paws has monthly premiums starting at $17.19 for cats and $32.83 for dogs. The company even offers discounts for AMAC and AAA members.
Petplan has a flexible deductible schedule that lets you choose between $250 and $1,000 in $50 increments. The deductibles with Petplan policies are per condition, which means that you will be required to meet a deductible whenever your pet is treated.
Petplan’s monthly premiums start at $19.66 for both cats and dogs.
However, you should note that the actual price of a policy varies from one pet to another, based on age, breed, and other factors.
Petplan offers discounts for partners such as AARP, Best Friends Animal Society, National Police Dog Foundation, AAHA, and military personnel or medical service pets.
Which One is Cheaper?
Petplan’s pricing is competitive and you can save money if you register online or by using the numerous discounts offered for partners.
Healthy Paws, on the other hand, has unlimited benefits and reimbursement level options. Petplan is the cheaper option here since it has lower starting monthly premiums and has many discount options that allow you to spend even less on pet insurance.
You should always check with your insurance provider when your pet requires emergency medical care or ongoing treatment to find out whether you can make a claim. You should try not to delay the call since it can help to let your insurance provider know as soon as possible that you plan to claim on the policy. You can start the claim’s process by calling your pet insurer’s helpline.
Healthy Paws claims can be filed either online or via a mobile app. The company reports that up to 99 percent of all its claims are actually process in as little as 2 business days.
Petplan states that its claims reimbursement timeframe is 30days. If your claim is accepted immediately, however, it can be faster, i.e. from 5 to 14 days.
Still, 30 days is the longest that it can take. You can expedite the processing by submitting your claim using its mobile app. All claims have to be submitted within 90 days of treatment.
Who Has the Better Claims Process?
When it comes to claims, both Petplan and Healthy Paws have a relatively speedy turnaround.
Healthy Paws, however, is the clear winner here since its claims are processed within a very short amount of time (2 days) as opposed to Petplan’s claims that can take up to 30 days.
It is always a good idea to first check out what former and current customers of a given pet insurance company have to say regarding the quality of service. You can use those sentiments to make an informed decision regarding which company to choose since it is relatively reliable information from actual users of the company’s products.
Healthy Paws has mostly positive customer ratings, but there are major complaints regarding availability of the customer service team.
The company’s customer support team is only reachable on Monday to Friday from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and Saturday and Sunday 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. PST.
It therefore means that you will be out of luck if your pet has a medical emergency at night and you need to ask a question regarding pet insurance.
Petplan today has mostly positive reviews, but this wasn’t always the case. Back in 2016/2017, the company had quite a few negative reviews after changing underwriters, which resulted in price increases for existing customers.
Petplan has since bounced back with customers coming to terms with the new premiums. The company has extensive options for customer support including a live chat option.
The customer support team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Which One is Rated Better
Petplan and Healthy Paws both have the use of a smartphone app that you can use to alter your policy or make claims. Petplan, however, has the better rating since it offers 24/7 customer support that includes live chat.
In contrast, Healthy Paws only operates within business hours.
Petplan and Healthy Paws are both great pet insurance company.
However, Petplan manages to beat Healthy Paws in many of the areas featured here. Petplan has attractive premiums with minimal limitations, great customer service, and better coverage options.
Healthy Paws, however, still manages to put up a great fight with decent coverage and perhaps even comparable prices. While Petplan is the winner here, you won’t be too disappointed with your experience if you choose Healthy Paws.