If you have ever owned a pet then chances are you understand how much they can mean to you. They are less like an animal you take care of and more like another member of the family.
Whether you’re a cat person or dog person, you come to really care for the pets that become a part of your life and your family.
Because of this, their care matters.
You don’t want to go without health insurance for yourself or other members of your family so why would you want your pet to go without coverage?
Veterinarian bills can get plenty expensive, as well, and while your pet is injured, sick, or suffering you don’t want to worry about bills – you want to make sure they get better and help any way that you can!
Petplan is one of the largest names in the business and have been providing insurance for pets for over five decades now and counting.
They were originally a UK company who spread their mission for providing high quality pet insurance to the U.S. starting in 2003 .
What is Petplan?
Finding the best pet insurance plans can definitely take some work. That being said, it makes sense that one of the biggest providers of pet insurance in both the UK and US would have some excellent plans.
They are actually the “preferred pet insurance provider” of the American Animal Hospital Association. That is pretty high praise.
Add in a reputation for versatility when it comes to putting together a quality insurance plan that meets your pet’s specific needs and at the very least you should definitely give Petplan a serious look when it is time to go shopping for quality pet insurance.
How it Works
Petplan offers insurance plans for dogs and cats that are at least six weeks old .
There is no cap on how old your pet is before they stop offering coverage, so even old dogs and cats can pick up coverage in most situations.
At this time the pet insurance is focused on cats and dogs so if you own a snake, spider, lizard, bird, or other exotic pet unfortunately this probably isn’t the right company for you.
The first step is giving some information about your pet. Whether it’s a dog or cat, its age, breed, and of course the cute little fella’s name.
This is the starting point for figuring out the best pet insurance for your pet and getting a plan that will actually work.
Once you have Petplan insurance there are certain expectations like annual check-ups that need to be done and filed with Petplan to keep coverage running smoothly.
However, there is a process for those unexpected trips to the vet and the process is made as easy as possible.
The first is to simply get treatment from a licensed vet – everyone wants to see your pet get the treatment he/she needs!
The second step is to then file a claim which can be done by phone (they do have 24/7 support) or even the Petplan app that can be accessed via smartphone.
Then it’s simply a matter of processing the claim and getting you reimbursed for the expenses.
There are multiple coverage options for Petplan policies, and that array of options is where they really shine. Annual limits can be set in the policy, but they also offer unlimited annual limits, as well.
There are also multiple deductible and reimbursement models that range from 70% reimbursement after deductible all the way up to 100%.
The actual cost of the plan will vary based on age, animal, breed, and commonly known problems that many animals of that breed and age have.
While there are definitely “small print” type conditions that need to be paid attention to, such as the annual physical and dental checkup required for pets in order for the insurance to stay valid, and claims needing to be submitted within 90 days, as long as these are adhered to then generally the feedback has been good.
There have been some complaints that these requirements aren’t always made clear or front & center, and there is definitely some legitimacy to that argument.
There is a degree of customer responsibility there in minding the details that may or may not be excessive depending on your point of view.
Covered Conditions & Treatments
The full range of conventional approved treatments by licensed vets are going to be covered with Petplan insurance. The main potential trip ups will be with the amount of coverage chosen.
As long as the full coverage plans are selected, then even expensive and extensive treatments should be fully covered.
There isn’t a list of specific conditions that aren’t treatment.
The biggest step is making sure that within 30 days of getting the policy it is up to the pet owner to make sure to get their pet checked out by a licensed and certified vet in order to kick the insurance coverage into effect.
Things That Aren’t Covered
As of this writing the official “Not Covered” list from Petplan looks like this:
- Required wellness & routine care checks
- Preventative care
- Prophylactic teeth cleaning
- Elective treatments like ear cropping or tail docking (when not recommended by a vet for injury or illness reasons)
- Non-curable pre-existing conditions
It is worth noting that common hereditary conditions like hip dysplasia are actually not considered pre-existing conditions as long as there weren’t any signs or symptoms prior to the policy and initial waiting period. In other words, those eventual likely issues are covered.
Are Alternative Therapies Covered?
The main treatments that are covered are those given by a licensed vet for widely recognized treatments.
While this might change in the future, right now standard accepted treatments appear to be the only ones that are going to be covered under a Petplan coverage pet insurance plan.
If your pet had major surgery or some major ligament work done prior to getting the policy, then there is often a 6-month or 12-month waiting period where any injury or checkup related to that procedure or leg isn’t covered.
As long as the check-ups are done and after a year the next check up with a vet comes back as good then you should be okay for coverage to expand but this is one of those things that will be on a case by case basis.
How Reimbursement Works
The process is pretty straight forward. After visiting the vet, file a claim either online, via mail, or through the Petplan app.
Include a copy of the bill and answer the questions on the form and send it in.
Processing usually takes two weeks or less although there have been several reports of instances where it took up to a full month.
The benefit limits are going to depend on what you select as part of your plan.
Many pet owners go with the limitless coverage because if you can afford it full coverage is great and takes care of all the potential future health problems you can’t possibly plan for.
How Much Does it Cost?
Deductible levels are anywhere from $100 to $1000 per year with 70%, 90%, and 100% (full) models of reimbursement.
The minimum monthly premiums for pets is $19.66 as of this writing.
It is worth noting that over time they do offer continued 2% annual credits up to 10% for each 12 month span where no claim is made.
Depending on the pet, pet’s age, and overall health those numbers do go up for coverage.
An example of some common numbers (these are general averages from multiple sources, not set in stone numbers) also show the variance.
For many common mixed breed cats, the price might be $34 a month on overage while a young black lab is close to $90.
State location matters, potential dangers matter, and the variance is quite huge. A decent smattering of examples can be found here under the “Price Quotes” section .
This is one of the few areas where Petplan may not always be the top choice. They can often be more expensive than some of the other options out there, but with insurance you often get what you pay for.
Petplan Pros and Cons
We’ve gone over a lot of these already in this review, but a summary never hurts.
There are a lot of things to really love about the plans that Petplan has to offer when it comes to pet insurance, but there are also a few areas where there could potentially be some room for improvement.
- There’s no lifetime limit on claims
- There’s no “per condition” limit on what they will cover
- Claims normally are paid within 5-7 business days, although a month is the given “time frame”
- The 2% per year no claims credit can add up over time
- The coverage plans offer a lot of coverage with some excellent flexibility
- The Petplan app really is convenient and outstanding
- Strong reputation as one of the best in the industry
- E-mail, chat, and phone services available 24/7
- Starting premiums can be high for some animals, especially as they age
- The 48 hour timetable to get your pet to a licensed vet can be difficult, especially in isolated areas
- Failing to do the annual checkups can lead to denial of coverage
- Issues with getting coverage for CCL/ACL issues on a pet’s leg, especially if another leg has been affected before
- No wellness plan offered
- There’s really no excuse in this day and age to have processing fees for credit card payments
While overall the coverage plans are generally thought of as very good, they are far from perfect.
Understanding which options are best for your pet and what the comparison in both coverage and price will be is important to make sure you’re getting the best fit.
Whether from Petplan or from one of the competitors.
Customer Testimonials: Positive + Complaints
When it comes time to do your research on what real customers are saying about PetPlan, there are plenty of reviews out there for you to read.
For the purposes of our review, we went to a trusted third-party source that collects verified customer reviews, called Trustpilot .
Petplan has a “great” rating there, based on 410+ reviews. While the majority of what we read was positive, there were a few complaints posted as well; here’s a quick look at both.
Petplan has been a lifesaver! Our dog Ruthie has had problems since she was just a few month old. She has been in and out of the hospital. She has had to have multiple x rays, seen a neurologist, undergone an MRI, and been on pretty expensive medicine for almost a year now. We are so thankful for Petplan. They have been there the whole way with the treatments for Ruthie. It has always been a very easy process and they pay right away no extra questions asked. I am forever grateful for Petplan, without them we would be in a huge amount of debt.
I’m so glad I signed up for Petplan Pet insurance for my dog Kimber. Not even four years old, she needed surgery to remove multiple lumps from her back and legs. One thing I didn’t need to worry about was how I was going to be able to afford her surgery. Within days of submitting my claim, a check was in the mail. The claim submission process was quick and easy. Worth every penny!
Don’t waste your money! Have had 3 separate policies (2 cats, 1 Dog) with Petplan for several years at a cost of $1600+ per year. Just made my first claim ever in the amount of $700 before deductible. It was denied because we went 15 months between checkups instead of the required 12 months. 3 policies now cancelled.
So what’s to make of all this?
From what we have seen, most folks seem to have had a positive experience with Petplan. In fact, 83% of reviewers on Trustpilot gave them a 5-star rating.
Based on that, and on our own research, we feel confident that they’re a company worth considering, and one that we recommend as a trusted source for pet insurance coverage.
All in all there is a lot to like about the Petplan insurance plans, but there are some areas where there could be improvement.
For many pet owners these insurance plans are a great option and offer the full protection you want for those furry four-legged family members.
That being said, for some people the pricing is going to be a little bit prohibitive, especially as their pet tends to age up.
There’s a pretty good balance here and overall the reputation for standing behind the policies is a good one, which is always important.
While it’s always important to look at the competition and shop around for the best insurance, you can do a lot worse than going with Petplan.
- Petplan Pet Insurance, GoPetplan.com. Retrieved at https://www.gopetplan.com/
- Kimberly Alt, Petplan Insurance Reviews: Is It The Most Comprehensive? Canid Journal. Retrieved at https://www.caninejournal.com/petplan-insurance-reviews/
- Petplan Pet Insurance Review, Consumers Advocate. Retrieved at https://www.consumersadvocate.org/pet-insurance/c/pet-plan-review
- Petplan Pet Insurance, Trustpilot. Retrieved at https://www.trustpilot.com/review/gopetplan.com