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      November 15, 2018

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Embrace vs Petplan

Best Pet Insurance

To help you find the Best Pet Insurance, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Embrace and Petplan.

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Who has the Best Pet Insurance? 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.

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Best Reviews

2018

Pet Insurance Reviews

4.5 stars
Embrace

EMBRACE Visit Site

Cost:

$25 enrollment fees

Plans starting at $6.94/month (plus $1/month billing fee on all policies)

Deductible is reduced every year no claims are made

Since 2006, Embrace has ensured more than 100,000 dogs and cats throughout the United States. At the time of our review, they had a strong reputation with the Better Business Bureau as an accredited, "A+" rated company.

Embrace's rates are fairly competitive with most providers of pet insurance. You can customize your pet insurance policy according to your desired annual deductible ($200 to $1000), annual reimbursement limit ($5000 to $30,000), and reimbursement percentage (70% to 90%). For our 7-year-old dog, the three main packages recommended by Embrace were a little higher than some of their competitors', but we were able to tweak our preferences for deductible and reimbursement to get a monthly premium we liked.

If your pet has already been spayed or neutered, you may save 5% on your policy. You can also request this discount later if your pet undergoes the procedure after you start your coverage.

Wellness/routine care options exist, but they are a "supplementary, non-insurance benefit". It works similarly to an HSA (Health Savings Account), where you pay every month towards your account and those funds can be used to reimburse you for vaccinations, routine visits, grooming, and so forth. You can choose annual limits of $250, $450, or $650. With each of these plans, if you maximize the benefit you'll spend approximately 86% of the value that you receive. In other words, for the $250 plan, you'll pay about $216 out of pocket, and see a savings of about $34.

A few other features we liked about Embrace pet insurance:

  • Embrace follows a "deductible then copay" reimbursement model in contrast to some other pet insurance companies that use a "copay then deductible" model. Embrace's reimbursement could mean saving an additional $50 on a $1,000 claim.
  • Embrace uses an annual deductible, while some competitors use a per-condition deductible. An annual deductible only needs to be met once per year, regardless of how many claims you make. Plans with a per-condition deductible require you to pay a new deductible every time you go to the vet for a new condition. If your pet has an unlucky year, your out-of-pocket costs could be higher by a few hundred dollars with a per-condition deductible.
  • Embrace offers a 24/7 pet help line. This provides you with instant, real-time access to veterinary experts and decision support for any questions you might have about your pet's behavioral changes, possible poisoning, emergencies, and more. This policyholder benefit is valued over $99 a year and is included with every policy at no extra cost.

Another way to save is through Embrace's Healthy Pet Deductible. With this feature, your annual deductible will automatically decrease by $50 after every year that you don't make a claim on your policy. So, if you start out with a deductible of $200 per year, it would drop to $150 in year 2, $100 in year 3, and so on. Once you make a claim, however, your deductible for the following year is reset to your original amount. This is included with every Embrace policy at no extra charge.

We were surprised to see a $1/month "Billing Fee", evidently to cover the cost of monthly payment processing. We're not aware of any other pet insurance company that charges for that. There was also an enrollment fee of $25. Neither of these charges amount to very much money, but are still something you should be aware of.

As with many pet insurance providers, Embrace gets its fair share of complaints about claims being denied as pre-existing conditions. If you have a good medical history for your pet - and possibly a clean orthopedic exam - you shouldn't have any issues. The happy customers we found said that they were treated with the utmost respect and care, and that their claims were approved and paid very quickly.

Embrace does a lot of things right. Starting with an excellent reputation and comprehensive pet insurance plans, they add features such as their 24 hour help line, wellness coverage, and a Healthy Pet Deductible that few competitors can match. For all these reasons, Embrace is an outstanding option when it comes to pet insurance plans.

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3 stars
Petplan

PETPLAN Visit Site

Cost:

Average of $21.93 to $124.35/month (depending on pet's breed/age/condition)

No enrollment fee

5% discount for signing up online

Petplan has been offering insurance coverage for dogs and cats for more than 14 years. As an "A+" rated, accredited business with the BBB, they've demonstrated that they respond appropriately to customer concerns and are trustworthy in what they provide.

When you're deciding if Petplan is the best insurance for your pet, you can use their handy Claim Calculator to see what you'd pay with various configurations of coverage limits, deductibles/reimbursement levels, and so on. We liked that we could get an idea of what we'd pay in premiums and out-of-pocket before giving them our contact information.

You'll be offered three plan packages to choose from:

  • Basic - this includes $5000 in annual coverage, a deductible of $500, and reimburses you for 80% of the total bill per claim. In our case, this was priced at $38.89/month.
  • Recommended - this level of coverage includes an annual limit of $15,000, a deductible of $300, and 80% reimbursement. For our pet, the monthly costs for this plan was $59.09.
  • Premier - for unlimited yearly coverage, a deductible of $250, and 80% reimbursement, we'd pay $80.15/month for our pet.

You can also use the Customize tool below your three-plan quote, to change your annual limits (anywhere from $2500 to unlimited), deductible ($250 to $1000), or reimbursement percentage (70% to 90%).

Every plan covers imaging, surgery/rehabilitation, prescription medications due to an accident or illness, non-routine veterinarian exam fees, accidents/injuries/illnesses, cancer treatments, and diagnostic treatments. You'll also get 24/7 veterinary assistance through PetCoach, and round-the-clock Petplan customer support.

However, Petplan does not cover wellness care, such as annual visits or vaccinations, because their plans are "designed to give you comprehensive protection against unexpected vet bills for injuries and illnesses". Your pet will also be ineligible for coverage if they have a pre-existing condition.

Despite their solid history at the BBB, customer reviews were mixed overall. We found more than a few people that said Petplan waited months to make a determination on a claim (all while still charging monthly premiums) only to then deny the claim anyway. Others said that they were asked to provide documentation starting from their pet's birth, in order to rule out a pre-existing condition, but their dog was a rescue and didn't have any; their claim was denied.

Given that Petplan's monthly premiums are almost always much higher than competitors with similar coverage, you could be paying a lot of money if you don't pay attention to the particular exclusions.

Petplan is a reputable provider of pet insurance, and we appreciate their strong reputation with the BBB and easy-to-use website. But, it seems that they also put a lot of effort into denying claims and taking a long time to do it. And, if you're looking for any kind of routine/wellness coverage, you won't find it with Petplan.

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Continued from above

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:

  • Cost. What will you pay for your coverage? Is there a deductible, and is it annual or per incident? Will you pay any enrollment fees?
  • Coverage. What services and procedures are covered in the plan you have selected? Does it cover preventative measures like annual checkups? Are there any noteworthy exclusions? Does the company offer a variety of plans to meet your needs?
  • Reputation. Is the pet insurance provider rated by the Better Business Bureau? What do other customers say about their experience? Are claims paid quickly, or do you have to jump through a lot of hoops to file paperwork? Do many claims get denied? Are the company's customer service representatives knowledgeable and friendly?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Pet Insurance companies available today. We hope this information helps you find the best pet insurance plan for you and your animal companion!

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