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Embrace vs 24 Pet Watch

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EMBRACE

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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24 PET WATCH

When we first considered 24 Pet Watch several years ago, their hard-to-use, incomplete website was an immediate turn-off. Since then, this provider of both pet insurance and microchip plans has improved their site by leaps and bounds, making it easier to see what they have to offer.

But, you'll still have to jump through quite a few hoops to determine what your premiums will be. You can enter your state and download a sample plan if you want an overview before giving them your contact information, but the simplest route is to choose the Get a Quote button. You'll be asked to provide basic details like your pet's breed and gender, birthdate, and if there are any preexisting conditions. Got a microchip? Enter the number during the quote process and get a 5% discount.

What will you pay for an insurance plan? That depends on where you live, so take the following prices just as a ballpark estimate:

  • Essential: for $18.36/month and a $100 deductible, our dog was covered for Hospitalization/Surgeries, Hereditary/Congenital Conditions, Physical/Rehabilitative Therapies, Lab Tests/X-Rays/Ultrasounds, Medications, Accidents and Illnesses, Alternative Treatments, Ambulance/Paramedical Services, Exam & Diagnostic Fees - up to a yearly limit of $1500
  • Extra: for $27.62/month, our dog would be covered for all of the same items in the Essential plan, but with an increased annual coverage limit of $3000.
  • Classic: again, this plan covers the same things, but increases the monthly premium to $38.74/month and the annual limit to $5000.
  • Super: $46.12/month gives you the same coverage, but with an annual limit of $10,000/year
  • Champion: to have a total coverage limit of $20,000 per year, expect to pay somewhere around $63.15/month.

Be aware that none of these plans cover wellness services, like vaccinations or annual checkups. If you want coverage to help pay for dental cleaning, heartworm tests, or fecal screening, you'll need to add either Wellness Care Routine or Wellness Care Advanced to your plan, at a cost of $12 or $26 extra per month, respectively.

Pet insurance is worth the money if you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, we found many complaints about 24 Pet Watch's ability to deliver service on the plans they sell. More than one customer said that their premiums almost doubled unexpectedly, or that a plan they'd been paying on for years was cancelled out of the blue. Even worse, some people were told that their coverage had been terminated only when they called to make a claim - but they had been paying their premiums on time and had no reason to think they were no longer covered.

24 Pet Watch also has no rating with the BBB.

With so many companies offering reliable, affordable pet insurance, 24 Pet Watch just doesn't measure up. We think you'll find greater peace of mind with one of the higher-ranked pet insurance providers in our review.

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Best Pet Insurance

To help you find the Best Pet Insurance, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Embrace and 24 Pet Watch.

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.

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!



How Pet Insurance Can Save You Money

If you asked every pet lover you encountered in a day how they feel about their pets, they'd likely tell you they view them as family members, not pets. As such, most pet owners want their furry family members to live long and healthy lives.

One of the best ways to make sure that happens is by investing in a pet insurance policy.

Like their human counterparts, animals can get sick or be involved in accidents which can cause severe injury. They also need routine preventative healthcare in order to stay healthy - all of which can cost a pretty penny. Pet insurance plans are designed to help shoulder the burden of these costs, helping pet owners to have the choice in caring for their pet, versus euthanasia due to insufficient funding to pay for necessary medical procedures.

Currently, only one percent of the U.S. pet population - just under 3 million animals - is insured. However, industry trends indicate that pet health insurance policies are growing in popularity in the U.S., with an anticipated increase of up to 10 percent within the next five years.

The first official pet healthcare policy was sold in Britain in 1947. Britain trails only Sweden in the number of pet owners who provide insurance for their pets. Dogs are the most-insured pet, followed by cats and small exotic animals. While it is sold under the name "healthcare insurance," pet health insurance is actually under the insurance umbrella for property. According to insurance laws, pets are seen as property, so the insurance policy which covers them is similar to that for any other property owned by an individual.

Most pet owners understand that cost for care, as well as the likelihood that the pet will suffer from certain diseases and conditions, significantly increases as the pet ages. However, not many pet owners have stopped to ask themselves what they would do if their pet suffered a serious or unexpected injury. Average cost for mending a broken leg, for instance, can run between $2,000 and $5,000 without insurance coverage. Dogs, which are known for eating and swallowing items which can be harmful, may need emergency surgery to remove the item and repair any internal damage that may have been caused. That kind of procedure can cost up to $3,000. Many pet owners cannot afford such high up-front costs and most veterinarians require payment in full at the time of the procedure. That leaves many pet owners struggling with what to do for their pet when they can't afford the procedure that could help them.

Other conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, are on the rise in the pet population. One out of every 400 dogs and cats will be diagnosed with diabetes at some point in their lives. With the advent of medical procedures and interventions not previously available to our pets, many are living longer, which increases their chances of developing age-related conditions and injuries. Take for instance, a pet which develops diabetes. That animal would require insulin injections, much as its human counterpart diagnosed with the same condition would need. Monthly costs between insulin and the syringes needed to administer it can cost a couple hundred dollars. Then there is the glucose monitoring system required to keep track of your pet's insulin levels. Animal-specific monitors such as AlphaTrak can cost $200 by the time you purchase the monitor, the lancets and the testing strips.

Most pet policies cover these issues and many more, making them a good investment for pet owners. With a variety of plans from which to choose, pet owners can find one that is not only affordable to them, but which also covers their pet's annual medical needs.

 



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