It’s difficult to know which insurance company will do right by your dog. Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you—here’s everything you should know about Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.

Brand Overview

With an A-plus from the Better Business Bureau, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance has been helping our furry friends since 2009. Located in Bellevue, Washington, Healthy Paws partners with one of the largest insurance brokers, the Aon Corporation.

The company began after the founders, Rob Jackson and Steve Siadek, met at an animal shelter. Not only did they share the vision to help homeless animals, but they also realized the strain on owners to pay extravagant medical costs for their pet’s treatment. From this vision came Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.

Although they include plans that cover a variety of different pets, Healthy Paws’ dog-specific policies are designed to reimburse customers through almost every step of the process—from diagnostic treatment to hospitalizations and prescription medications.

While they won’t cover pre-existing conditions or hip dysplasia in dogs over the age of six, one thing that does set Healthy Paws apart is their “no-cap” policy. Unlike some companies, which

2019 Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review

Before you pull out your wallet, it’s always a good idea to understand a company’s strengths and weaknesses—and Healthy Paws Pet Insurance is no exception to that.

Pros:

  • Genuine customer service representatives and insurance agents that care
  • Reimbursement checks are typically sent out quickly
  • Submitting a claim is easy (and does not require an actual claim form)

Cons:

  • Dogs older than fourteen cannot be enrolled in a Healthy Paws plan
  • Hold times and customer service response can vary

What do customers like about Healthy Paws?

Here’s what real customers have liked about Healthy Paws:

“There honestly aren’t words to describe this insurance company. I never thought I’d say that in my life, but I really mean it. We have 3 dogs insured by them, all who developed extremely expensive special needs after being rescued (blood disease, tumor, cataracts, diabetes, hypothyroidism, pancreatitis, chronic eye issues in all three, honestly, you name it…), and they’re bills have easily surpassed $100k over the past 6 years, but any pet owner knows that they’re basically children, and treating these issues wasn’t an option for us. 

Rather than fighting tooth and nail over coverage, Healthy Paws called and emailed us along the way with genuine concern about how they are doing. 

They ask for pictures to post in their office. They sent us a tiny painting of our dog after we weren’t sure if he was going to make it. No questions asked, their issues were covered time and time again. I would pay 5x what I am for the same service and coverage. Another company could hand me a gold bar, and I would stick with Healthy Paws. They genuinely care, and want your pets to continue being healthy members of your family, no matter what.”  – Lisa F on Better Business Bureau.

“I have had Healthy Paws for 4 years now and always thought is was great. Submitting a claim is super easy, reimbursement checks are sent out quickly. They cover what the say they will and I have never had any difficulty or denial of a claim. 

Then just last month Healthy Paws saved my dog’s life! She was diagnosed with Leptospirosis that attacked her kidneys and the only way to pull her through was dialysis and an extended hospital stay with an estimated cost of $15K-30K. 

I contacted Healthy Paws right away and not only did they answer all of my questions and provide me the necessary information to process such a large claim and NOT have to layout the money and wait on a reimbursement check (they paid the hospital directly), they were genuinely concerned and made several follow up calls to check on Emma’s progress. I am happy to say she is home and doing great and on the road to a full recovery and if it wasn’t for Healthy Paws the outcome would have been very different.”  – Nicole B on Better Business Bureau

“Healthy Paws is amazing in their words and actions. They truly care and respond very quickly and filing a claim is quite fast and simple.”  – Stephen T on Better Business Bureau 

What do customers dislike about Healthy Paws?

Not everyone has the same experience—here are what real customers have disliked about working with Healthy Paws:

“This company was great until about 2 years in when my dog had a couple larger claims. I sent 3 emails and 2 phone calls with no response at all. It seems they’ve gone severely downhill in their customer service.”  – Laurie H on Better Business Bureau

“My cat just turned 14. Healthy Paws won’t take any cat over the age of 13. Meanwhile other insurance companies will. So I guess if anyone decides to adopt an older cat (a wonderful gesture), this company won’t support that.”  – Marie R on Better Business Bureau

How Does Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Work?

One of Healthy Paw’s greatest benefits is how easy they make their sign-up process. Once you’ve made an account on the Healthy Paws website and entered in the information about your dog, you’ll enter into a short waiting period after your policy effective date.

For accidents or sudden illnesses, this waiting period is only fifteen days, but if your pup is suffering from hip dysplasia, it’ll be a year. Interestingly enough, customers who live in Maryland or New Hampshire may not have to deal with this waiting period.

When you register your dog on the website, you’ll have to answer a set of standard questions—your dog’s gender, birth year, and breed. Keep in mind that dogs older than fourteen cannot enroll with Healthy Paws and that purebred dogs may cost more to insure than mixed breeds.

Before your dog can be approved for coverage, he’ll need to undergo a physical vet exam. While this exam can take place within the first year after enrollment, it’s not a great idea to wait around. Healthy Paws won’t reimburse any costs if your pet hasn’t undergone their vet exam yet.

After your policy goes into effect, it’s a good idea to download the Healthy Paws app—especially since this is likely where you’ll be filing any claims you have. Unlike some insurance companies, which require you to fill out complicated forms when you need to submit a claim, filing a claim with Healthy Paws is fairly straightforward.

After your pup has received treatment, all you need to do is take a picture of the paid invoice and submit it through the Healthy Paws app or the “Customer Center” section of their website. If you need to, Healthy Paws also accepts claims through email. The majority of claims and reimbursements are processed within ten days but some claims may take a little longer.

If you get a discount from your veterinarian, Healthy Paws will typically apply it to the non-covered items on your bill.

Healthy Paws Pricing Details

Now that you understand how signing up and filing a claim works, it’s time to talk about pricing and how you can get the best bang for your buck.

How much does it cost per month for their best plan?

There is no one-plan-fits-all solution. After you’ve entered your dog’s information, Healthy Paws will customize a policy to fit your dog’s needs.

Although monthly premiums can vary based on your dog’s age and breed, Healthy Paws is able to cover up to 90% of treatment costs in a best-case scenario. For a medium-sized dog, a monthly premium may be as low as $40 a month with a $250 annual deductible.

Keep in mind that, the older the dog is, the more expensive your premiums might be (and the less you may be reimbursed).

Are there any coupons, deals or incentives to sign up?

Healthy Paws can provide discounts to customers on insurance plans if they happen to be enrolled in select organizations (such as AAA or AMAC). Some businesses may also include Healthy Paws on their voluntary benefits program.

What’s the deductible? Is it an annual or per visit?

In addition to the monthly premium you’ll have, you’ll also an annual deductible as well. Oftentimes, the older your dog is, the more your deductible may be.

Do you have to pay a co-pay or are claims covered 100%?

When you take your pup in for treatment, you will be responsible for paying your clinic’s “walk-in fee” or exam fee—however much that may be. For this reason, no claim is ever covered 100% but many of them are reimbursed up to 80-90%.

Will the rates go up over time?

While it can vary from pet to pet, insurance plans and premiums are subject to change over time.

Healthy Paws Coverage Details

Now that you’ve got a closer look at pricing, it’s time to consider what your policy will cover—and what it won’t.

Does it cover regular vet office visits and routine check-ups or only unexpected emergencies?

While Healthy Paws will cover any treatment your pet needs from an unexpected accident or illness, they do not cover regular exams or walk-in fees.

Does it cover dental and teeth cleaning?

Healthy Paws does not currently cover regular teeth cleaning and dental appointments.

Does it cover hip dysplasia?

Healthy Paws will cover hip dysplasia in dogs under the age of six. That being said, there is a twelve-month waiting period for hip dysplasia and if your veterinarian notes symptoms or signs of the condition before the waiting period is over, Healthy Paws will consider hip dysplasia to be a pre-existing condition and will not cover it.

Does it cover spaying and neutering?

Healthy Paws does not currently cover spaying and neutering.

Does it cover pre-existing conditions?

Healthy Paws does not cover pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions are any illnesses that may pop up before your dog is enrolled at Healthy Paws and has completed the waiting period. A vet examination must take place before you enroll or file your first claim. This initial exam can help weed out what those pre-existing conditions might be.

Keep in mind that there doesn’t necessarily have to be a diagnosis for the company to rule it as “pre-existing”. If your vet notes signs or symptoms on a past exam that later end up being indicative of a more serious illness, Healthy Paws may consider it a pre-existing condition.

Does it cover cancer?

Healthy Paws does cover cancer-related costs: this includes diagnostics tests, chemotherapy, medications, and any surgeries your dog may need to have.

Does it cover prescription medications?

Healthy Paws will cover any prescription medications that your pup receives as part of their treatment.

What else does it cover?

There’s a lot of costs that Healthy Paws is willing to cover—and that includes:

  • Chronic conditions
  • Cancer treatment
  • Diagnostic treatment
  • Tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and blood work
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Specialty care (such as visiting specific treatment centers or specialty veterinarians)
  • Congenital conditions
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Emergency care
  • Illnesses
  • Accidents
  • Alternative treatments (such as acupuncture)

What else does it NOT cover?

Healthy Paws won’t be able to pay out on everything. Here’s what they won’t cover:

  • Vet exam fees
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Annual teeth cleanings
  • Injuries or illnesses that occur within the first fifteen days after the policy effective date (or during the waiting period)
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • If your pup has a cruciate ligament injury on one leg prior to enrollment, any injuries to the cruciate ligament in the other leg will not be covered
  • Preventative care such as vaccines, flea control, heartworm medication, flea control, and grooming appointments
  • Dental health care that isn’t caused by an accident
  • Parasite control (both internal and external parasites)
  • Anal gland expression
  • Any fees related to elective procedures or body modification (such as tail clipping or micro-chipping)
  • Any fees due to injuries that stem from neglect or abuse by the owner
  • Costs that deal with training, behavior modification, or boarding
  • Special diets, vitamins, or dog food

Are there any restrictions on breed-specific conditions or age?

There are no restrictions on breed-specific conditions but dogs older than fourteen cannot enroll in the Healthy Paws program. Along those same lines, hip dysplasia is not covered in dogs that are older than six.

Is there a waiting period? How soon can I start using the insurance after I sign up?

There’s a waiting period of fifteen days after you sign up. However, these fifteen days do not begin immediately after you sign up but on the following day (which is your policy effective date). Once the fifteen days have passed, you can begin filing claims. Any accidents or illnesses that your dog may have during the waiting period would not be covered.

Hip dysplasia has a waiting period of 12 months. If your dog begins showing signs or gets a diagnosis of hip dysplasia before they’ve had a year of treatment, it won’t be covered.

Is it easy to cancel if I change my mind?

Canceling the policy is fairly simple: all you need to do is email or call Healthy Paws and let them know you’d like to cancel your plan. Once the cancellation has been processed, you won’t be able to access your account.

How does Healthy Paws compare to other pet insurance companies?

Healthy Paws holds up well in comparison to other pet insurance companies. Unlike many companies, Healthy Paws has no maximums on payouts per-incident or during your dog’s lifetime. They also insure all new accidents and illnesses and currently have no restrictions when it comes to congenital or hereditary conditions.

Would you recommend this pet insurance company for dogs?

With a wide range of different services, a sincere customer service center, and no caps on payouts, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance is a company worth recommending to dog owners across the country.

What about coverage for other animals?

Many pet owners file policies for multiple animals, and it’s important to know whether or not Healthy Paws will cover all your furry friends.

Do they offer coverage for cats?

Healthy Paws does currently offer cat insurance and will allow owners to add multiple pets to a policy. However, if you aren’t sure where to start looking for the best coverage for your feline, you can try reading about some of the best insurance companies for cats here.

Do they offer coverage for horses, birds, reptiles and other exotic animals?

Although Healthy Paws does offer coverage for cats and dogs, unfortunately, they do not cover exotic animals, reptiles, birds, or horses.

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