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Petco Review

Friday, December 9th

2022 Pet Insurance Company Reviews

Petco Review 3 Star Rating

Petco

3 Star Rating
  • Covers cats and dogs
  • Covers elderly pets
  • Covers alternative therapies
  • Coverage in US and all its territories

We all know Petco pet supply stores, which have been around since 1965 providing supplies and wellness care to pets. They expanded to include pet training, grooming, food, supplies, and even vet services throughout the years. Petco started their pet insurance feature in 2017, so it's relatively new.

Two plan choices

There's an Accident and Illness plan which is pretty comprehensive in scope, and also an Accident-Only plan for unexpected accidents.

Accident-Only Plan

You can choose the Accident-Only Plan, which would be for cuts, bite wounds, broken bones, torn ligaments, lodged foreign objects, and toxic ingestions. This more basic coverage is only for accidents, not for illness.

Costs

  • Dogs start around $32 per month (for a one-year old mixed breed)
  • Cats start around $15 per month (for a one-year old mixed breed)

Accident and Illness Plan

Petco has an accident and illness policy, which is the policy most pet insurers offer. In this policy, you'll get coverage for vet exam fees, diagnostic and testing, cancer treatment, surgery and hospitalization, chronic conditions, microchip placement, and genetic and hereditary conditions. They also cover prescription food and meds, medical supplies, and non-routine dental coverage. They even cover microchip placement, alternative therapies, behavioral therapies, and euthanasia. Your pet is covered in the US and its territories, plus Canada.

No surprises with what's not covered

An exam to set a health baseline will not be covered by insurance. Breeding, whelping, and pregnancy aren't covered, and neither are cosmetic procedures such as tail docking or ear cropping unless medically necessary. Experimental meds or procedures, organ transplants, funeral expenses, dental cleanings, boarding, grooming, and training are also not covered. Pre-existing conditions aren't covered unless your pet is symptom-free of their pre-existing condition for more than 180 days. This list might seem pretty long, but it's quite typical of pet insurance.

Optional wellness plan

Vital Care, their wellness program, comes with a welcome gift of a free bag of food, or a discount on vaccinations or full-service grooming services at one of their Petco locations. You can even get the wellness care program without getting either of the insurance plans. Check the details of this plan to see if what you gain from it will outweigh what you spend on it.

Getting a quote requires an account

Just like with most pet insurance companies, you put in the age and breed of your dog along with your zip code, and you have to give them your email address. Petco adds an additional annoyance of you having to create an account and log in, just to get a quote.

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Submitting a claim takes awhile to process

Use the online portal within 270 days of the appointment to get a reimbursement. You can use direct deposit or get a check mailed to you. A pleasant but somewhat less common option is to have Petco pay the vet directly. It can take about 30 days to process claims. This processing time is quite a bit longer than most of the other pet insurers we've reviewed.

The app is somewhat lackluster

You'll get access to the Petco app where you can check your claims status. We'd like to see more features offered than it presently does.

Pet concierge service

You can use this free service to ask Petco's vet consultants and pet health professionals about the health and wellbeing of your pet.

Waiting period is 14 days

Like most pet insurance, Petco has a 14-day waiting period. This means that from the date your policy starts, you must wait 14 days to file a claim.

Guarantee within first 30 days

There's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you haven't filed any claims. Realize that you have a 14-day waiting period plus you still cannot use the policy for the remainder of the month if you are going to consider a refund.

Discounts for multiple pets

There's a 10% multiple-pet discount if the pets are from the same family.

It's pretty new

The primary policy here, for illness and accidents, is similar in nature to that of its competitors. It's good that Petco also offers accident-only coverage as a basic option. And we like that it offers a wellness plan, but we're not sure the wellness plan will be worth the money you spend on it. Because insurance is a newer Petco product and it doesn't have much history nor a significant quantity of customer feedback, we couldn't effectively rate it higher at this time. Circle back to Petco only if you don't find the pet insurance you need with one the other providers we evaluated.

Which Pet Insurance is the Best?

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.

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Pet Insurance Company FAQ

Generally speaking, all ages are welcome when it comes to providing your pet with pet insurance. As the pet gets older rates may be more expensive than if you would have gotten coverage at a younger age. Please keep in mind some companies have age restrictions for when they can accept a dog or cat into their insurance plan. Typical restrictions are around 12+ years of age.
No one can forecast when your dog or cat is going to digest something they shouldn't have or have an accident related injury. Luckily, pet insurance helps to protect the pet owner against unexpected veterinary bills that can reach into the $1,000s.
It is recommended to get pet insurance before winter or summer seasons. During those seasons, there are more dangerous elements that are exposing your pet to potential illness and accidents. As far as age goes for the puppy, insurance companies recommend getting your pet insurance when your new best friend arrives home.
Typically, insurance companies only insure cats and dogs. But some companies will insure dogs, horses, other large animals, cats, other small animals, rodents, reptiles, and birds.
Depending on the company, a pet insurance claim can be sent via several different methods. Methods can include email, fax, or regular mail. When completing a claim make sure to include all of your paid vet bill invoices, and any other required documents. When the claim is processed it will either be accepted with a reimbursement, more information needed (i.e. incomplete claim form), or denial (i.e. due to non-coverable services)
Of course, your pet insurance travels with you, wherever you go. Some insurance companies may have restrictions when it comes to international travel. Make sure to check with your pet insurance company if you plan on taking your furry friend across the border.
It depends greatly on which company and plan you decide to go with. Most pet insurance companies cover accidents and illnesses after a waiting period. If the illness is a preexisting condition, you're likely not to receive any coverage. It's important you understand the fine print of any plan you may decide to go with.
In general, veterinarians do not handle pet insurance claims. Veterinarians and the owner make choices for the pet's medical care and overall health. If the care is covered by the insurance, the insurance company will reimburse the owner a percentage of the bill (depending on the chosen insurance plan's coverage) after the care and service has been performed.
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Continued from above...

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:

  • Your pets and their age(s). You may have a cat or dog now, but if there's a possibility of someday adding a hamster, bird, or turtle, will your pet insurance cover the exotic pet? Is there a multiple-pet discount? As your pet ages, he might be prone to diabetes, accidents, and more-frequent office visits, so be sure to ask if coverage lessens, gets more expensive, or even stops with these conditions.
  • Reimbursement. If you have a pet that might require a lot of medical bills, you should consider a plan with up to 100% covered on the vet bills.
  • Choice of vet. Similar to a human's health insurance, your pet's health insurance company may have in-network vets and others that are out-of-network that they won't cover fully or at all.
  • In-office or at home. Typical plans will offer in-office visits. You should consider telemedicine, in-home care, or availability in other countries if you plan on traveling.
  • Pre-existing conditions. See if your potential pet insurer will look at your pet's medical record to find out upfront if there are any pre-existing conditions that wouldn't be covered, so there are no costly surprises. Do this even before you purchase.
  • Type of plan. You might want your insurance to cover more than just routine vet visits. Consider accidents, wellness care, routine care, preventative care, behavioral treatment, and alternative therapies. Your pet could have better health coverage than you!
  • Discounts and rewards. Some companies will give a multiple-pet discount, and others offer rewards for wellness and routine care.
  • Helpline. Whether you're new to owning a pet, have a different breed than you're accustomed to, or just worry about your pet, some insurance companies are available 24/7 for help or even for telehealth visits.

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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