You’ve got a new puppy or pet, so there’s a list of things you need to get. Food, water, toys, a leash and collar, and… pet insurance? Pet insurance isn’t a big thing in the United States yet, but people are discovering the benefits of making sure even your furry family is all covered.

If pet insurance isn’t on your list of necessities for your new family member, take note. Pets can cause a great deal of financial burden if you don’t have an emergency fund for when disaster strikes. Pets get sick. Pets get hurt. Vet bills can cost thousands of dollars, and the last thing you want is to make decisions for your pet’s care based on finances.

Pet insurance can help you prepare for your pet’s future by allowing you to think of things other than how much a particular procedure is going to cost. PetPartners offers insurance to dogs and cats and could help you plan for the future. Let’s take a look at what they have to offer to see if it’s the right plan for your pet.

Brand Overview

PetPartners began in the United States in 2002, but it has a long history of operations in Great Britain before that. In the 1980s, John Spurling developed a pet insurance company for the Kennel Club of Great Britain, helping dog owners offset the cost of veterinarian care for decades before making the trip to the United States.

Now, PetPartners is the exclusive provider of AKC pet insurance and the Cat Fancier’s Association. In 2009, PetPartners began offering insurance plans to individuals and other groups, such as employer benefits. If your pet already belongs to these associations or you plan to purchase one registered here, this could be a streamlined option for you.

They’re underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company and the American Pet Insurance Company. They both have excellent ratings from independent insurance reviewers and provide a long list of services for the insurance world. PetPartners has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and offers plans in all 50 states.

2019 PetPartners Pet Insurance Review

PetPlan offers insurance to all 50 states, including wellness and preventative care riders as upgrades. They’re the trusted partner of AKC and The Cat FAnciers Association, but their plans are somewhat restrictive for age and payouts. Be sure you read all the fine print in your plan before you decide to purchase.

Pros:

  • Multiple deductible options
  • Trusted partners
  • Often a benefit of belonging to the AKC

Cons:

  • Age restrictions
  • Yearly payout limits are smaller

What do customers like about Pet Partners?

Customers like that the AKC has a streamlined and customized option for them. It’s easy to use and offers customizations.

“A vet recommended AKC to us. We customized our plan, and the insurance came in handy because my dog ended up having an accident. This was caused by another dog that was aggressive. My dog turned out okay, and the claim was handled so well. The fact that you could do it on your own then call and check on it was pretty great.” (Camillah) Consumer Affairs

“We got a purebred Bichon and we registered her with the AKC and then we got some information on the pet insurance. We went with AKC because it was convenient. They gave us one month of free pet insurance as well. The free month was up, so I extended it. Our experience with them was good.” Susan (Consumer Affairs)

“Received my insurance as promised! The process was very simple!” Oscar (BBB)

What do customers dislike about Pet Partners?

They often have trouble understanding what the waiting period or deductible terms are and don’t feel PetPartners makes the terms understandable.

“My wife and I just canceled our plan. After submitting covered items to PetPartners, they conveniently decided that they would not cover over a “waiting period” that originally said 3 days and they updated to 14 only after we submitted our paper work. Don’t waste your money” Chris (Consumer Advocate)

“I feel I’m locked into it because of pre-existing conditions. My dog Cleopatra is an English mastiff, and she had surgery because of entropion. AKC said it was a pre-existing condition. That’s not necessarily true because she had conjunctivitis, and that could’ve caused it. Other companies would’ve covered it” Joanne (Consumer Affairs)

How Does Pet Partners Pet Insurance Work?

PetPlan is AKC based insurance and often offered to people who register puppies with the AKC. They offer two base plans, Accident and Illness, to allow you to cover your veterinarian care for different purposes.

Accident Only vs Accident and Illness

Accident insurance is probably better known as catastrophic insurance or major medical. It covers accident care in an emergency setting through deductibles and reimbursements. For older pets, this is an excellent option because it has no age restrictions and is a low-cost alternative to expensive plans with few reimbursements.

The second plan is Accident plus Illness, which covers non-routine care for illness and prescriptions as well. This option is useful if you’ve got a little more room in your budget and want more of your unexpected occurrences covered.

Plan Terms

You can choose between annual deductibles or per-incident deductibles to start. Once your deductible is met, your co-pay is 10% or 20%, depending on your individual plan. Deductibles go from $100 to $1000 with the most options under $500 of just about any other pet insurance.

Pet Partners has a slightly confusing payout cap. They have both annual and per-incident caps, so be sure you read the fine print when you’re choosing your plan. You can have a high annual cap, but if you choose lower per incident cap, you may be paying out of pocket for certain procedures.

Wellness Rider

The plan doesn’t cover wellness options, but if you add the optional routine care rider, those things are covered. It’s intended for reimbursements for routine care such as vet visits, spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and other annual care situations.

The plan covers both dogs and cats. You also have the option to add other chronic care riders, including things like diabetes and hereditary disease care. You’ve got quite a few options here. Pets can be insured at any age for accidents, but if you want illness coverage, your pets must be below age 9.

Reimbursements

The plan works through reimbursements. You don’t need to have a vet that works with insurance. You can visit any reputable veterinarian and receive care. Once you’ve paid for your services, submit a claim, and Pet Partners will reimburse you. This process makes it easier because you do’ t have to find a particular veterinarian.

Because the plan allows you to mix and match your coverage and offers reimbursements, it’s an easy way to ensure that your pet’s individual needs are covered and that you’re prepared financially for the cost of your new pet. The AKC makes it easy by offering free months for eligible members who have new animals.

Pet Partners Pricing Details

Let’s take a look at what it might cost you to enroll with Pet Partners. They do have some options to help you balance your premium costs with coverage, and their plans are easy to scope out online.

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

Their best plans could easily cost you $100 or more a month, especially if you add on accident and illness with the wellness riders and low deductibles: the higher your annual cap, the higher your premium costs.

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

At the moment, there aren’t any coupons to sign up, but Pet Partners does offer a multi-pet discount for those of you who need to insure more than one pet in your household. Talk to your agent or get a quote for both to find out how much you might be able to save off your monthly premium.

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

They have manageable annual deductibles ranging from $100 to $1000. The increments are in $25 until you reach $250. From there, you have $500 and $1000, giving you lots of options for how much you want to pay out of pocket. Pay attention to what your caps are when you sign up as well so that you don’t back yourself in the corner.

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

Co-pays are 10% and 20%, depending on what your plan terms are. Once you’ve met your deductible, the plan covers either 90% or 80% of the rest of your cost.

Will the rates go up over time?

The company doesn’t advertise that rates go up over time, but as with any company, as underwriters or leadership changes, this could be the case. If you decide to use automatic drafts for premium payments, keep an eye on things.

Pet Partners Coverage Details

Here’s what to expect when you decide to become a Pet Partners customer. Their plans are customizable to allow you to balance your budget with your coverage needs.

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

If you don’t have the wellness rider, accident, and illness coverage only covers non-routine care. With unexpected emergencies under the Accident plan, it’s only injuries and major medical events. The Illness option covers unexpected illnesses like cancer, as well.

Does it cover dental and teeth cleaning?

Accident and illness coverages will reimburse you for dental issues that stem from accidents or injuries. It doesn’t cover routine dental care. The wellness rider will cover routine dental care if that’s something you’re concerned with.

Does it cover hip dysplasia?

The Accident and Illness plan will cover hip dysplasia, but you must submit to a waiting period. It cannot be considered a pre-existing condition, but if your pet is symptom-free and remains so through the waiting period, it will be covered if your dog develops it later.

Does it cover spaying and neutering?

Wellness coverage will cover spaying and neutering, but Accident and Illness will not. Spaying and neutering are considered routine medical care.

Does it cover pre-existing conditions?

No pet insurance covers pre-existing conditions. Your pet must be checked by a veterinarian and subject to a waiting period to see if specific symptoms arise. Once your pet has passed those tests, you’ll be reimbursed for hereditary and chronic diseases or accidents.

Your pet will not be denied coverage if there is a pre-existing condition present, and the plan will cover hereditary diseases later on after the premium is installed and the waiting period has passed.

Does it cover cancer?

Simple accident coverage does not cover cancer. You must have Accident and Illness coverage for reimbursement of chronic diseases. The diagnoses must happen after the waiting period and cannot be considered a pre-existing condition.

Does it cover prescription medications?

Accident and Illness coverage will reimburse you for non-routine medications and maintenance care for chronic conditions not associated with a pre-existing condition. If you have a wellness rider, you’ll be reimbursed for routine treatments such as flea and tick medications.

What else does it cover?

It covers most non-routine incidents and illnesses (if you have illness coverage)

  • Accidents
  • Lab tests
  • X-rays
  • Surgery
  • Diagnostics
  • Euthanasia
  • Extractions
  • Illness
  • Cancer

What else does it NOT cover?

You’ll need a Wellness rider for routine care but there are other things it doesn’t cover.

  • Routine care
  • Flea and tick treatments
  • Spay and neutering
  • Elective surgeries
  • Injuries from dogfighting
  • Vaccinations
  • Dental cleanings

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

Dogs must be eight weeks, and cats must be ten weeks to begin coverage. If your dog or cat is above the age of nine, you are not eligible for wellness or illness options. You can only sign up for accident coverage.

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

The waiting period ensures your pet does not have any pre-existing conditions before signing up. Your pet must wait from 14 to 30 days, depending on your terms, and if symptoms show up during that period, the condition is considered pre-existing. Make sure you know exactly what your limits are.

Is it easy to cancel if I change my mind?

You need to submit cancellations in writing or speak with an agent about your local requirements. In many places, you can receive a prorated refund of your premium, but be sure to double-check if you have outstanding reimbursements.

How does Pet Partners compare to other pet insurance companies?

Pet Partners offers fairly standard insurance, but it is one of the few that offers only catastrophic coverage. If your pet is older, something is always better than nothing, but it excludes many of the chronic illnesses pets develop as seniors.

However, if you need some wiggle room for your premiums or you don’t want to pay for coverage you feel you don’t need, it does offer customization that some other insurance companies don’t have. Plus, it’s backed by the AKC.

Would you recommend this pet insurance company for dogs?

This is good insurance to have if you want to be able to customize the type of coverage your pet has. It’s great for members of the AKC and dogs that are eligible for wellness, accident, and illness. If you don’t feel you need things like illness coverage, it’s excellent emergency insurance for less than the cost of some other plans.

What about coverage for other animals?

Pet Partners doesn’t cover insurance for other animals. It’s only available for cats and dogs, so if your household is a multi species house, you may have to continue to shop around.

Do they offer coverage for cats?

They do offer coverage for cats. It works a lot like their dog coverage with Accident only, Accident and Illness, and Wellness coverage. Premiums are determined by your plan deductible, annual caps, and co-pay options.

We may not think cats will require insurance like dogs do, but in reality, cats can develop serious problems as well. They’re just as subject to injuries and illness. You might find your cat racking up the vet bills just as much as your dog.

It can be challenging to choose insurance for cats, but Pet Partners is associated with the Cat Fanciers Association, a trusted group for cat lovers. Consider what your cat needs and go from there. 

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

At the moment, Pet Partners offers only insurance for cats and dogs. Other types of animals are excluded, and the AKC has no plans to expand coverage to other species. You should keep shopping around for specific insurance for your species.

Pet Partners offers insurance for dogs and cats at affordable rates and customizable plans. They allow you to balance your budget needs with your coverage needs so that you don’t pay out of pocket what you can’t afford.

Pet Partners has Accident only plans, which could be useful for those of you who have trouble finding coverage for your senior pet. Accident and Illness cover a variety of chronic conditions, and a wellness rider ensures that even routine issues are covered satisfactorily. It’s a good idea to be prepared for the future, and PetPartners can help you do that with the help of the AKC.

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