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Monday, December 5th
Embrace sold its first pet insurance policy in 2006, and it came about as the winning business plan in the 2003 Wharton School of Business competition. The claims process is super simple and quick as it's done through their app and there are no claims forms to print and send. With every new policy created, a small donation will be made to an animal charity. Although there's a Wellness Rewards service that covers routine services, there's no wellness care insurance coverage here.
Waiting period of 14 days
Just like most pet insurance companies, they have a waiting period between when your policy starts and when you can make claims. Embrace requires only a two-day waiting period for accidents - that's practically unheard of - and 14 days for illnesses, six months for orthopedic issues.
Covers pre-existing conditions
Many pet insurance companies won't cover pre-existing conditions, but if your cat or dog has been free of symptoms and treatment for a full year, you can be covered by Embrace.
If your pet requires alternative or holistic therapies such as chiropractic care, Embrace covers it. There's even $1,000 covered annually for dental illness.
Their regular insurance plan goes to age 15
Embrace's insurance plan will cover accidents and illness for puppies and kittens until your pet turns 15.
Embrace covers pets under the regular policy until their 15th birthday. This sounds cruel, but many companies drop elderly pets starting at age 10, so Embrace is actually generous. After the 15th birthday, the pet won't be dropped totally. They'll be eligible for the Accident-Only policy, so illnesses won't be covered. If you're looking for care throughout your pet's senior years, there are other policies that we've rated highly that have that option.
This plan covers care for poisoning, cuts, vehicle-caused injuries, and the like. After the $100 annual deductible, this plan covers 90% of veterinary bills, up to $5,000 per year. Embrace will allow pets aged 15 years or older to have their accident-only policy. They'll cover the exam fees, diagnostic tests, surgery and hospitalization, prescription meds, and behavioral therapy if needed.
Customize your plan
You can choose your limits to either keep costs down or coverage high. Your annual deductible can be from $200 to $1,000, the reimbursement limit can be between $5,000 and $30,000 - higher than most competitors - and a reimbursement percentage from 70% to 90%, which is typical of most companies' plans.
Wellness Plan - but it's not insurance
This isn't actually an insurance plan, but rather a budgeting tool, which covers care such as neutering/spaying, wellness exams, vaccinations, teeth cleaning, nutritional supplements, grooming, and nail trimming. It doesn't affect your deductible or your annual maximum coverage since it's not part of the insurance. When you sign up for this offer, you can earn a $25 annual enrollment reward that you can use to pay for routine pet expenses.
What's not included
Embrace's policies are similar to others where they don't cover pre-existing conditions unless they are symptom/treatment free for a year, cosmetic procedures, DNA testing, breeding, pregnancy care, or whelping (birthing). Although pre-existing conditions aren't covered, congenital conditions are.
Pricing here tends to be higher than average
Embrace can cost a lot more than other pet insurance companies. You can help offset a high premium by choosing the 70% reimbursement rather than the 80% or 90% reimbursement.
Discounts for various situations
You can get several discounts if your situation applies. There's a multiple-pet discount of 10%, 5% for active military and veterans, up to 15% for eligible USAA customers, 5% if you pay annually (and live in NY), and 10% if your company offers Embrace as an employee benefit. The best discount is that your deductible is reduced by $50 annually if you don't receive a claim payment. Check each discount according to the state in which you reside, as that can limit or increase your discounts.
There's an enrollment fee of $25 and a waiting period once your policy has been approved. Both of these are pretty common with pet insurance. There's also a $1 transaction fee, but that can be waived if you pay your premium in full annually. If one leg has a pre-existing condition, such as CCL (ACL) injury prior to enrollment, the other leg won't be covered as the condition itself is pre-existing.
Reimbursements for claims can take a while
You'll file a claim online, wait 10-15 days for them to process a claim, then they will send you a check for reimbursement for qualified claims.
Refunds in first 30 days
If you are unhappy with Embrace or change your mind about enrolling in pet insurance, there's a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you've filed a claim within those 30 days, you can get a prorated refund.
The Embrace website has a blog with resources, a quote tool, and a help center for FAQs. You can submit a claim, make payments, change your pet's coverage, or add a pet to your policy, all online. If you're interested in contacting a real person, there's no online chat or 24/7 customer support.
Customer sentiment is mixed
Some customers are happy with Embrace, giving kudos for good customer service and timely claims payouts, while others are quite upset. Many who complain are upset that once their pet had a claim, everything in that claim was now a pre-existing condition and wouldn't be covered in the future, including what seems to be "common" ailments such as vomiting and diarrhea. Also, as pets age, they are more prone to illness and accidents, so premiums can rise greatly from one year to the next. In addition, there are complaints about claims not being paid in a timely fashion - with people waiting months to be reimbursed.
Good plans, bad feedback
Embrace is a good pet insurance company, keeping it simple by offering two choices of policies, a policy for your older pet, Wellness Rewards, and online services. There's no 24/7 live help, and customers have consistent complaints regarding the breadth of what Embrace considers pre-existing conditions. There's a 30-day refund policy, but with the waiting period, there's not much of a chance to try out the product to see if you like it before you can cancel. You may want to look at your other options for pet insurance before you get onboard with Embrace.
We love our fur babies and want to help them live as long and as healthy as possible. Pets take daily care, and they also require vet visits, whether for wellness, to update vaccinations, if they are ill or in an accident. Veterinarian bills can be expensive, so many owners have chosen pet insurance.
Pet insurance has only been around since 1982, so if you don't know much about it, that's understandable. Pet insurance can be similar to human health insurance where you can see a provider for wellness visits, illness, or accidents. There are in-office visits, telehealth, and 24/7 availability for answering questions.
However, you should be aware of some essential differences between human health insurance and pet insurance. The vet doesn't file a claim, like your own provider would. You pay the vet bill, submit the claim online or on your phone, and then you're reimbursed by the insurance company - the vet doesn't get involved. Wellness care can be an add-on rider to cover a routine exam, vaccinations, spay/neuter, teeth cleaning, and so on.
Although accidents are the most common to be covered, many companies don't cover illnesses such as diabetes, allergies, or infections. Younger pets may cost less to insure, but that will greatly increase as they age; and when they are elderly, the company may even drop the coverage, so be sure to ask about aging pets, even when your pet is young. You can choose your deductible, copay, max annual reimbursement, and optional add-ons. Find out what coverage they recommend for your breed, and ask about multiple-pet or other discounts.
More dogs have pet insurance than any other animal, and the rate for cats is about half that of dogs. Owners of indoor cats might think they don't need pet insurance, but older felines can have chronic or recurring conditions which might require costly care or frequent vet visits.
While you might not expect your pet to become ill or have an accident, those vet bills can be quite costly, especially if a procedure, surgery, or ongoing care is needed. Unless you're budgeting in anticipation of these, pet insurance could be quite the relief for when you need it. If you have an older pet or pet prone to certain conditions, prices can vary greatly between companies, so we suggest getting quotes from a couple of your favorite companies before you make your final decision. In addition, even if you are getting a puppy or kitten, ask about coverage and premiums as if they were older so you get a look into the future.
When choosing which pet insurance provider is right for you, here are a few things to consider:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed the best pet insurance companies available today. We hope this information helps you to get the best pet insurance for your fur baby so they can be well cared for in a long, happy, and healthy life!
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