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      December 15, 2018

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Petplan vs Pet First

Best Pet Insurance

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

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Pet Insurance, please Click Here

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.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2018

Pet Insurance Reviews

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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2.5 stars
Pet First

PET FIRST Visit Site

Cost:

Plans starting at $8.35/month

Per-incident deductibles of $50, $100, $250, or $500

Military and Animal Welfare Worker discounts available

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.

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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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