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I got insurance the day I picked my puppy up from breeder. Two days later she had her first vet appointment. She was healthy but small. She gained weight then. At age one they discovered she had a liver shunt when doing blood work for spay surgery. Petplan denied the claim saying she was a tiny puppy at the first visit. They said this was preexisting. They knew she would die without surgery but did not care. They are very insensitive.
We've had PetPlan for over two years now. I chose them because they were the best-rated in my research at the time. Our dog is about four years old now. We've submitted several claims and have been reimbursed for all of them at the rates we expected. PetPlan has gone through two or three underwriters in the past five years. They have to have an underwriter for their insurance, and the underwriter to some extent dictates what they can do. They have to make more money than they put out. They have to or we won't be able to buy pet insurance.
We've paid about $75/month for the past two years, but we've gotten over $2200 in reimbursements. If everyone did that all the time, there would be no money left. No one would operate a business that does that, unless it's a charity. I wish they would! But they won't. So if they get too many people like us, they have to raise rates, lower coverage, lower customer service or deny claims. It seems that PetPlan chooses to raise rates and also offer lower coverage if you prefer that.
If you get pet insurance, you HAVE TO read your policy and DO WHAT THEY REQUIRE! If you don't, you are paying for nothing. You HAVE TO take your pet to the doctor each year, and you HAVE TO have your pet examined at the beginning of the insurance coverage, or PetPlan can say your pet had preexisting conditions. If you had an exam with no problems, it shows that there were no preexisting conditions. You HAVE TO keep your pet vaccinated and protected from fleas, ticks and heartworm, or they won't pay for treatment of any related conditions. There are waiting periods to ensure that people don't suddenly get pet insurance only when their pet gets sick, which would raise insurance costs for everyone, even though some people have been paying for years but never made any claims.
All this is on the website, in the FAQs and in your policy. If you get the insurance as early as possible it will save you a lot of money and hassle (and maybe heartache) in the long run. I know that isn't possible for everyone (it wasn't for me when my cats got sick). But if it is for you, get it as early as possible. It seems like most of the bad reviews are for this kind of stuff which is the buyer's responsibility, versus the company being sneaky or dishonest, labeling everything as a preexisting condition, etc. They don't seem to do that.
I really like PetPlan. We've had some hitches with them (like a delayed reimbursement when my vet's office didn't fax the entire chart) but it all worked out. If you look at PetPlan vs Trupanion, Trupanion's rating is higher, but the content of the reviews is kind of scary. PetPlan's bad reviews are about disclosed policies that anyone can go look at and plan for. Trupanion's bad reviews are mostly about them denying legitimate claims. Like, because a dog ate a sock as a puppy, that's a preexisting condition for when the dog ate a toy as an adult. That's crazy. My dog has eaten several things that she shouldn't have, and I think that's the only thing we've made claims on. PetPlan covered every incident.
Negatives about PetPlan: *Cost goes up with your pet's age, inflation and local "market conditions" (Trupanion's goes up with inflation and market but not age). You can get a vague idea of the cost of PetPlan insurance in the future by requesting a quote for your dog at 13 years old. Ours would be $800/ month. :( *You have to pay the full amount upfront and then get a reimbursement (Trupanion pays directly at clinics they've made agreements with, if you can find one). We had to pay $1900 at the emergency hospital, and it could have been more than that. It was a total fluke that I had the money. If you don't have an emergency fund, a generous relative or a credit card, you may be unable to use the insurance at all.
*The deductible is per illness/incident, per year. So if your pet has diabetes, you'll have to pay the deductible each year. If your diabetic pet hurts its paw, you'll pay the deductible for diabetes treatment, then pay it again for the paw. Trupanion has a per-condition deductible. You just pay it once. But again, they have ways of avoiding covering things (based on experiences I've read about), so I'm not sure what's actually cheaper. *You can't upgrade after you've made even one tiny claim, even if it was for something like a bump or scrape that won't continue in the future.
Positives about PetPlan: *They're honest. *They seem to cover just about every claimed injury or illness as long as it isn't legitimately a preexisting condition. They have for us, and the reviews I've read seem to confirm it. Trupanion seems to try to weasel out of what they agreed to cover. Every company has to try to make more than they spend, and I think PetPlan does that by raising prices with age, but Trupanion does it by charging more at a younger age, then not paying for things they should. *Similar coverage for a younger dog is like 40% less than it is with Trupanion. *They cover exam fees (that is, the fees count toward the deductible; many other companies don't include them). *They have great 24/7 customer service. You can call them at any time and talk to someone in the US who's totally fluent in English.
I don't know what I'm going to do when the insurance gets too expensive. I started looking around because I wanted to get something that would stay affordable as my dog ages. But I'm afraid to go to Trupanion because of the horror stories I've read. I live chatted with a PetPlan rep, and she said I could lower my coverage as needed to make the payments more affordable, but if my dog has a condition in the future, that may cost more. It's like a lottery. But for now I think it's best to stay with PetPlan.
I have 4 dogs insured for over 4 years and during this time insurance premiums continue to go up. I have 2 that are brothers so I called and they offered to switch to a annual deductible on one but not his brother! The reason was a previous claim. That makes no sense considering they changed to a annual deductible on my other 2 dogs who are sisters but one had previous claims. This was when they hiked up premium amounts before I've had this insurance for over 4 years on all 4 dogs and if they are going to change the way they pay and continue to increase amounts they should have at least offered to change coverage on all 4. Not pick and choose as they see to.
So we have 2 cats, cover both, but guess what? They won't cover your pets, you can pay for months and if they happen to not have vet records in the past 2 years, then you're out of luck. What bothers me is that they should require the vet records to begin a policy and not spring that on a policy holder after they have been paying for a policy they have no intention of paying out on. Basically, the policy is buyer beware. That is no way to run a reputable business. If they would have simply said that from the start, then I wouldn't have felt I paid for months of coverage for nothing. Don't accept a customer's money if they haven't met the requirements to begin the policy. Look out for your customers. Don't let that happen to them. How many policy holders are left paying for premiums for a policy that will not cover their pets? Shameful.
Thousands of $$$ spent on my Boxer girl with a $200 deductible and 80% coverage, as my policy dictates. I called to open a claim while standing by my fax machine and was told I no longer had to fax the vet's invoice, that Petplan would contact the vet and obtain all records and invoices. That Petplan rep never logged my call... no record. I contacted them again in May and a woman told me exactly the same procedure and not to worry Petplan would take care of it ALL. It is now the end of August. I just put the phone down after being told a claim was never opened since I didn't fax them any invoices! Don't trust Petplan. I have 3 dogs and Petplan will now only insure my girl with pre-existing. I am looking for a new insurer for my others.
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I was happy until I had to put a claim in. After sending it in two times and contacting customer care 3 times, I finally got a denial for my claim. What they fail to tell you (if you don't know to click on 5 different links to see this information) there is a two week waiting period before they will cover you. So you pay for almost half a month for your policy but you cannot use it. But they do send you an email as soon as they take your money to let you know you are covered. Please don't make the same mistake I did.
I have been policyholder since 2007 with two pets, now three. Premiums went up each year, but that was expected. However, this year the company changed underwriters, and premiums exploded with deductibles going up for the same premium price. I could almost put the money I spend on premiums in a pet medical savings account and come out ahead. The thing that has put me over the edge, however, is a major change in upgrades. Before, you could downgrade your coverage anytime, but only upgrade to higher coverage at contract renewal date, which was understandable. However, with the new underwriter, you can only upgrade at the initial new contract renewal date; basically, it's now or never. This was not communicated in any shape or form to current policyholders; I found out the hard way!
New contract was not mailed to current policyholders and could only be found online, if you had a reason to look. Current policyholders were never told to check the policy for changes or given summary of changes; in fact, we were told if we were happy with what we had, do nothing (does this sound familiar?). I had always recommended Petplan to others before, but no more. There has got to be more affordable coverage out there, but I have older pets with health issues so pre-existing conditions are a big detriment to me. I will not insure any new pets in the future.
Bunch of liars. I was a member of Petplan Insurance and wanted to cancel my membership. I called on December 13, 2016, to Petplan Customer Service and canceled. I was told I would receive a pro-rated amount back onto the payment method that Petplan was using to withdraw the money from my account. NEVER HAPPENED. A couple of weeks later, on December 27th, 2016, Petplan debited my checking account AGAIN, even though the plan had been canceled. This incurred an overdraft fee of $30.00. I called Petplan and spoke with Jenny, who apologized, and agreed the policy was indeed canceled on December 13th, 2016. She told me to attach proof of the overdraft fee and they would take care of that as well. I did so within a few minutes of our phone conversation.
So, a couple of weeks go by, now it's approaching the one month mark. I called and spoke to a Petplan rep, and she said that 2 gift cards for $25.00 each were sent to me for the overdraft inconvenience, and I should be receiving the money in my bank account. A few days later, after nothing showing up in the mail or in my bank account, I emailed Jenny at Petplan, and told her perhaps the money didn't go into the account at the bank because my debit card expired 12/31/16, gave her the updated expiration code, and asked her to find out. She emailed me back, and said the accountant said it never went into my account, due to the card expiring, so they would send a check, for $58 and change, so I said, "Ok thanks."
That was two weeks ago, still waiting on the check and gift cards. I emailed Jenny on Sunday, this past weekend, and never got a response. I called the Customer Service line yesterday and was told a supervisor would be calling me back, which, guess what? NEVER CALLED. I WANT MY MONEY AND THE TWO GIFT CARDS PROMISED TO ME DUE TO THE OVERDRAFT FEE.
Be very careful going with this company. They are trying to claim my pet has a pre-existing condition when my veterinarian wrote and letter explaining how it is not and they will not reimburse me... SCAM!!!! They pay vets to just say whatever they want so they do not have to reimburse you when boarded veterinarians at specialty hospitals say it isn't pre-existing. Don't waste your time appealing either.
I obtain insurance for my dog Aug-2015. As most sales people do they answered all my questions and stated that everything but pre-ex conditions were covered. I said fine. Paid my bill. My dog had an onset new illness. The bill was 325.00. I submitted a claim and 2 years of Medical Records. I received a check for 44.00. I called and they said I have a 200.00 deductible per NEW condition so that means each time I go to the vet IF my dog needs services I have to pay 200.00. I never nor would I ever agree to that. When I first signed up I was supposed to receive a policy. I never did. I eventually did get a copy of the policy but it's so vague. I bought the highest plan they have. Why would I pay for insurance if each time I go I have to pay 200. The average onset illness is 250.00. My dog is very healthy and has his regular maintenance. He has been sick 2 times in 4 years. These people will say anything to get you to sign up. Buyer Beware!
Your article, "Pet Insurance: Is It Worth the Cost?" did not examine PetPlan Insurance (which, in my opinion, is the best of all and the largest worldwide) and glossed over the companies you did talk about. While the article is informative to a degree, it really lacks comparisons. If you're doing an article, you should really compare what you're talking about by using a chart showing what the plans offer and don't to the others with costs.
It was impossible to satisfy the amount of documentation they needed from the vet, there was never enough. Too many phone calls and emails on my part to ask the status and no matter how much information was sent to them from my vet, it was never enough. They never paid one cent on my claim for my dog’s condition. They said it was a pre-existing condition although there was no evidence of this, an unscrupulous company.
Petplan expert review by Matthew Brodsky
Drawing on more than 35 years of experience in the pet insurance industry, through their relationship with sister company Petplan UK, Petplan offers policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As the insurer of choice for rescues and animal shelters nationwide, they are an industry leader in the pet insurance space.
High annual limits: With annual expense reimbursements reaching up to $22,000 per year, pet parents will have access to a high level of care.
Tiered pricing: Get as much or as little coverage as needed, based on personal circumstances. For those that have access to in-home care, Bronze coverage gives them the same health benefits without the added costs for boarding coverage.
Customizable coverage: In addition to tiered coverage, there is also considerable customization available. Choose a deductible and reimbursement level based on personal finances and affordability.
No networks: Petplan policyholders can pick and choose their pet health provider. There are no networks or preferred providers.
Fast reimbursement: Vet bills can cost thousands of dollars, so quick reimbursement can be crucial. Petplan typically processes and pays out on claims within 14 days.
Best for: Dog lovers, cat lovers and multi-pet households.
Insurance Contributing Editor
Matthew Brodsky is an established expert on insurance, having written hundreds of articles and other pieces of content on the subject, interviewed countless practitioners, and attended dozens of conferences and events. He served as an editor at industry magazine Risk & Insurance for six years.
Petplan Company Information
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- 3805 West Chester Pike, Suite 240
- Newtown Square
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (866) 467-3875