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Sunday, October 17th
Based in Indiana, Pet First has helped thousands of families to better afford their pets' veterinary costs since 2004. They partner with numerous animal shelters throughout the country, making it easier for new adoptive pet families to get insurance right away.
As you go through the quote process, you'll see several options for additional discounts. If you purchase your policy online (rather than calling their toll-free number or signing up at an animal shelter), you'll save $10 on your first payment. If you're an active/retired member of the military, you're eligible to save another 5% on your monthly premiums. Finally, if you are a veterinarian or any other kind of animal welfare worker, you're qualified for another discount - but the amount wasn't specified, and the discount didn't show up on our policy summary page. In order to get to the final policy total, we had to enter our credit card information - which we didn't particularly like. We'd like to see Pet First show the premium breakdown throughout the quote process and not make customers wait until after giving their payment information.
You're going to want any discounts you can get. Pet First consistently comes in higher than most of the competition. Kitten plans start at $8.35/month, which is double what the lowest-priced plans charge. Adding to your cost is the deductible: you'll pay that deductible on every claim, not as an annual maximum amount. In other words, if you have 10 claims in a year, you'll pay your $50, $100, or $500 deductible 10 times (if your total bill is over $500).
For our own four-legged friend - a 7-year old mixed breed, medium-sized male - we were given rates ranging from $15.55/month on the low end and $110.95 on the high end. The rate itself is comparable with other pet insurance providers, but when you figure that Pet First plans have a maximum annual limit of $10,000 and those every-time deductibles, their plans are much more spendy for the same monthly premiums.
Aside from cost, how does Pet First stack up against the competition? Every pet insurance company has people who complain about claims being denied - it's the nature of the business, whether you're dealing with pets or people. Pet First does have an A+ record as an accredited BBB company, which is encouraging. But, we found more than a few reviews from people who were encouraged to buy Pet First plans when adopting from an animal shelter; when those newly-adopted critters wound up developing problems not long thereafter, many of the claims were denied as pre-existing conditions.
At the end of the day, Pet First is just average when it comes to pet insurance, and you'll almost certainly spend more out of pocket because of their per-claim deductibles and limited annual reimbursement options. You'll probably get much more for your money with another provider of pet insurance policies.
Medical care is rarely cheap - and the same goes for our four-legged friends. While pet owners are grateful for advances in technology and medicine that make it possible to keep their "fur kids" healthy, these procedures and prescriptions often come with a hefty price tag.
Without pet insurance, a simple blood test can cost well over $200. Even a standard yearly checkup can set you back by hundreds of dollars. How's your wallet feeling now? Chances are, you would do almost anything to take care of your beloved pet - but you might find yourself having to make difficult choices, especially if your dog or cat experiences a traumatic injury or life-threatening illness.
Just like their owners, pets can be protected with pet insurance plans that help ease the financial strain of medical care. Pet insurance has become very popular in the last few years, with dozens of companies offering to help you keep your pet healthy for a long time. But, every pet insurance plan is different with respect to deductibles and fees, covered services, and claims processing.
As you decide which pet insurance company is the best fit for you and your pet, keep in mind the following criteria:
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