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      January 17, 2019

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Embrace vs Pet Premium

Best Pet Insurance

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

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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

2019

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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3.5 stars
Pet Premium

PET PREMIUM Visit Site

Cost:

Plans starting at $8.46 for Accident-Only coverage

Plans starting at $9.91 for Total coverage

Pet Premium wants to be your top resource for pet protection, from insurance to helpful articles, and even to help you find your next furry mascot.

When it comes to pet insurance, Pet Premium has some pros and cons. For example, you're free to use any licensed veterinarian you like, but be aware that Pet Premium reimburses you based on a specified incident limit for the condition being treated, not for what you actually paid. In other words, if you have a world-renowned vet who charges more for her expertise, you probably won't be reimbursed for as much of the bill. That's not nearly as customer-friendly as pet insurance providers that pay out based on actual costs.

You'll choose between two types of coverage: Accident-Only and Total Coverage. Once you know which kind you want, you'll then be able to further customize your premiums according to the deductible, reimbursement level, and annual coverage limit. For our dog, a 7-year-old, mixed breed male, we were quoted $27.93/month for a plan that reimbursed 70% of each claim, with a deductible of $500 and an annual coverage limit of $2500. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we'd pay $104.02/month for a plan with no coverage limits, a $100 deductible, and a reimbursement level of 90%.

If you have a kitten or a puppy, you can expect to pay much less. We entered information for a 6-month-old kitten at the highest deductible, lowest coverage limit, and lowest reimbursement level and were quoted less than $10/month for the Total coverage plan.

One plus with this provider: Pet Premium's deductibles are annual, not per visit or per condition.

Unlike some pet insurance policies, Pet Premium's come with add-on coverage for preventative/wellness care. Your cost depends on your pet's details, but you can expect to find Basic, Standard and Prime options; for our dog, we would spend anywhere from $9.95 to $24.95 per month for that additional service. Depending on what your pet actually needs during a year (a health certificate? Urinalysis? Deworming?), the extra premiums may not be worth what you get, so check the details carefully.

How does Pet Premium's reputation compare with insurance providers with a longer history? Overall, you could say that it's "so far, so good". Even though they've only been in business since 2013, Pet Premium is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and had an "A+" rating at the time of our review. There are also hundreds of reviews on the Pet Premium site with ratings of 4- and 5-stars; it's worth noting, though, that most of those seem to be collected before the customers have had a reason to use their pet insurance plan.

We look forward to getting more feedback from Pet Premium clients in the future, to better establish how well the provider does on paying on claims, not just having an easy process for becoming a policyholder. Until then, they stay in the middle of the pack among pet insurance companies.

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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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