AKC Pet Insurance Review

Pet Insurance Dec 21, 2020
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Written by Kate Barrington | Updated Dec 21, 2020
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AKC Pet Insurance Review

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You love your pet like family, and you want to make sure your pet gets the veterinary care he needs when he needs it most. Unfortunately, veterinary care can be expensive, and you may not always be able to pay for those unexpected vet costs out of pocket. That’s where pet insurance comes in.

Pet insurance is similar to health insurance for humans, but you get reimbursed for a certain percentage of fees related to care for accidents and illnesses. There are plenty of pet insurance companies to choose from but one of the best-known names in the pet industry is AKC.

Read on to learn what you need to know about AKC to decide if it’s the right option for you.

AKC Pet Insurance
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • Fast Payment. Claims are generally processed within 7 business days.
  • Custom Plans. Customize your coverage according to your needs.
  • Preventive Care. Add optional coverage for routine and veterinary care.
Cons
  • Age Restrictions. Some conditions aren’t covered over the age of 2.
  • No Hereditary Coverage. Must purchase an add-on package for inherited/congenital conditions
  • Transaction Fees. Monthly fee of $3 per transaction on top of premium.
Pros
  • Fast Payment. Claims are generally processed within 7 business days.
  • Custom Plans. Customize your coverage according to your needs.
  • Preventive Care. Add optional coverage for routine and veterinary care.
Cons
  • Age Restrictions. Some conditions aren’t covered over the age of 2.
  • No Hereditary Coverage. Must purchase an add-on package for inherited/congenital conditions
  • Transaction Fees. Monthly fee of $3 per transaction on top of premium.
Price
Coverage
Waiting Period
Policy Options
Customer Support

About AKC Pet Insurance

The American Kennel Club (AKC) was founded in 1884 by a group of dedicated sportsmen whose dogs had each held a benched show or run field trials. The club grew quickly, as did its standards. By 1905, over 110 member clubs had formed, and the organization had over 500 associate members. Before long, the AKC had (literally) set the standard for dogs in show.

AKC pet insurance isn’t directly administered by the American Kennel Club, but it is affiliated in name. Administered by PetPartners, Inc., AKC Pet Insurance became one of the first pet insurance providers in the United States. By 2002, they had become one of the most comprehensive as well, offering affordable pet heath coverage to cats and dogs in all 50 states.

Today, AKC Pet Insurance is based out of the AKC corporate headquarters in Raleigh, NC and has served as the exclusive pet insurance provider of the AKC since 2003. The company works very closely with the AKC itself to further the mission of advancing canine health and the wellbeing of all dogs.

Here are some of the benefits AKC has to offer:

  • Available to cats and dogs in all 50 states
  • No upper age limits or breed-specific exclusions
  • Optional coverage for wellness and hereditary/congenital conditions
  • Add-ons for alternative, holistic, and behavioral coverage
  • Customizable plans with adjustable limits and deductibles
  • Use any veterinarian you want at any time

If you’re looking for a pet insurance company that enables you to completely customize your coverage (or you want to go with a basic plan), AKC may be the right fit.

Read on to learn the basics about AKC, their plans, and their coverage.

How Does AKC Pet Insurance Work?

When it comes to pet insurance, most plans work in a similar way. Rather than paying your provider directly like health insurance, pet insurance plans typically reimburse the member at a certain percentage. You may be required to meet an annual or per-incident deductible and pay a fixed amount or a percentage of the bill, but the plan will generally reimburse up to 90%. AKC insurance is similar.

Here are the details you need to know for AKC pet insurance:

  1. Pet Insurance Plans

When shopping for AKC pet insurance, you’ll find that they have two options for dog and cat coverage. You can choose the CompanionCare Basic plan which has preset limits, or you can customize your plan.

With the Basic plan, you’ll have a $100 deductible per year, a $500 incident limit, and you’ll pay 20% of the cost – this means you’ll be reimbursed for up to 80% after you’ve met your deductible. There is no annual limit for coverage. With the CompanionCare Custom plan, you can adjust your deductible, coinsurance, and annual limit which effectively changes your reimbursement rate.

The AKC pet policy covers the following major categories:

  • Accidents/Illnesses – AKC offers two different plans, both of which cover treatments and diagnostic teasting related to accident and illnesses.
  • Hereditary/Congenital Conditions – CompanionCare covers hereditary and congenital conditions – issues related to breed or genetics.
  • Surgery/Hospital Stays – The plan covers emergency care including surgery and hospital stays related to a covered accident or illness.
  • Medications – Prescription medications are covered for eligible accidents/illnesses.
  • Alternative Therapies – Both plans cover alternative therapies including acupuncture, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, and herbal supplements/vitamins.

Here’s a quick review of the coverage AKC pet insurance offers:

Companion Care Optional Coverage
Accidents X
Illnesses X
Diagnostic Testing X
Hereditary/Congenital Issues X
Alternative Therapies X
Prescription Medication X
Surgery/Hospitalization X
Routine/Preventive Care X
End of Life Expenses X
Exam Fees X

As you can see from the table above, AKC’s CompanionCare plan is fairly comprehensive. Both the Basic and Custom options offer the same coverage in terms of what the plan will pay for, it’s just the amount you pay that differs. You’ll learn more about optional coverage in a later section.

  1. Pricing

What many customers like about AKC pet insurance is that they have flexible pricing. If you want to keep things simple, just choose the basic plan. If you want to customize your plan, however, that’s an option. You can adjust your monthly premium by making changes to your coinsurance percentage, your annual limit, and your annual deductible. You can also choose add-on coverage or not.

The best way to find out how much AKC costs is to request a quote by filling in your pet’s specific information. To give you an example of two different pets, we’ll use a 3-year-old mixed-breed male dog weighing 50 pounds and a 2-year-old female mixed-breed cat.

Here’s the breakdown of the dog plan pricing:

CompanionCare Custom Coverage

Coinsurance % Annual Limit Annual Deductible Monthly Premium
10% $2,500 $100 $34.24
10% $7,500 $500 $32.35
10% Unlimited $1,000 $29.09
20% $5,000 $250 $31.09
20% $10,000 $600 $26.55
20% $20,000 $1,000 $23.00
30% $2,500 $100 $26.24
30% $7,500 $500 $22.57
30% Unlimited $1,000 $19.87

Here’s the breakdown of the cat plan pricing:

CompanionCare Custom Coverage

Coinsurance % Annual Limit Annual Deductible Monthly Premium
10% $2,500 $100 $21.51
10% $7,500 $500 $20.32
10% Unlimited $1,000 $18.27
20% $5,000 $250 $19.52
20% $10,000 $600 $16.69
20% $20,000 $1,000 $14.45
30% $2,500 $100 $16.48
30% $7,500 $500 $14.18
30% Unlimited $1,000 $12.44

On top of these costs, you can also add optional coverage for things like exam fees, routine and preventive care, and even end of life expenses. When you sign up with multiple pets, you’ll receive a 5% multi-pet discount. You’ll be charged a $3/month service fee for each transaction.

  1. Waiting Periods

A waiting period is a time during which new customers can’t submit a claim. It generally begins from the day the policy becomes effective (usually the next business day after enrollment) and when it ends you can begin submitting claims. The idea is to prevent insurance fraud by preventing customers from purchasing a plan when their pet gets sick and then using it immediately.

At AKC pet insurance, there is a 14-day waiting period for illnesses and a 2-day waiting period for accidents. The only exceptions are for IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) and cruciate ligament conditions, both of which have a 180-day (6-month) waiting period.

  1. Claim Limits

Many pet insurance companies set a limit on the amount you can request reimbursement for per accident or illness. When shopping for AKC insurance, you can choose your claim limit. The Basic Plan has an unlimited annual limit, but a $500 incident limit which applies to an individual illness or injury over the life of your pet. With the Custom plan, you can choose a limit as low as $2,500 or go all the way up to an unlimited plan.

  1. Deductibles

A deductible is the amount you pay for covered services before the plan starts to offer reimbursement – deductibles are on top of your monthly premiums. In other words, if your first vet bill is for $500 but you have a $100 deductible, you’ll only be eligible for reimbursement on $400 of the bill.

At AKC insurance, you can choose your deductible. If you go with the Basic Plan, you’ll have a $100 deductible per year. With the Custom Plan, you can choose between $100 and $1,000, with several options in between. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium will be.

  1. Pre-Existing Conditions

No pet insurance company will cover pre-existing conditions, though each plan has a slightly definition of what that means. Generally speaking, the term refers to a condition your pet already had before they enrolled in the plan but some companies take it as far back as 12 to 18 months before your pet even enrolled in the insurance plan.

Here’s how AKC pet insurance defines “pre-existing condition:”

“Pre-existing Condition means any Illness or Injury which occurred, reoccurred, existed or showed Symptoms, whether or not diagnosed by a Veterinarian, prior to the Pet Original Start Date, Coverage Period or during the Waiting Period.”

In the sample policy provided, AKC mentions specific examples of pre-existing conditions including IVDD and bilateral conditions. A bilateral condition is a condition that presented on one side of the body but is likely to occur on the other side – such as an ACL tear.

  1. Optional Coverage

In addition to their two CompanionCare options, AKC offers several upgrades to your monthly pet insurance plan. These upgrades can help cover the cost of exam fees for sick and injured pets or fees related to the end of your pet’s life. They also have a plan for routine and preventive care.

Here’s and overview of additional coverage options:

  • ExamPlus – This add-on averages between $5 and $10/month extra and covers the cost of exam fees for your sick or injured pet, even at specialty clinics and ERs.
  • SupportPlus – This program covers expenses incurred when saying goodbye to your pet.
  • HereditaryPlus – This program is designed to cover hereditary health issues and congenital conditions related to breed.
  • DefenderPlus – This coverage is designed for routine and preventive care expenses, including spay/neuter surgery and dental cleanings.
  • Defender – A more economical version of the plan above, this option excludes spay/neuter surgery and dental cleanings.

In some states, AKC also offers AccidentCare which only offers coverage for accidents, not illness. You can find sample plans and state availability on the AKC website.

  1. Pets Covered

At this time, AKC only offers coverage for cats and dogs. When you sign up, your monthly premium will be determined by several factors including your pet’s age. You may find that your policy premium goes up as your pet gets older but AKC doesn’t stop coverage for pets of a certain age.

AKC Customer Reviews

Choosing a pet insurance company can be tricky, especially with so many options out there. It’s important to do your own research to determine whether the company seems trustworthy and whether the product suits your needs, but it’s also a good idea to see what past and current customers say about their experience with the company.

Here are some positive reviews and negative reviews from real customers:

Positive Reviews

“I like my experience with AKC Pet Insurance. I called them to find out about the insurance and what to do. They were always polite, very nice, helpful, and understood what I was looking for. We have the wellness because my dog has a lot of issues. He had a torn ACL, which was 3,500 and I got 2,000 back. They cover a lot of the shots.”Jennifer of Hicksville, NY

“Right after we got our Golden Retriever, she contracted something from some other dogs at a dog park and she was really sick. We took her to the doctor and the AKC health insurance really helped us a lot. It saved us quite a bit of money. The bill was gonna be like $2,400 and after the insurance, it only cost us $900. Then recently, my wife took our dog in for a hurt foot. We weren’t able to file a claim ‘cause it wasn’t big enough but we had met the deductible.” – Peter of Germantown, TN

Negative Reviews

“We got our first dog and fell into the trap of getting AKC pet insurance instead of a more reputable brand. Our puppy had a severe illness a couple of months later, and not a single cent was reimbursed by the insurance plan – which was above and beyond the basic coverage at about $80/month. So, not only did we have expensive vet bills, but we just flushed nearly $500 down the drain for this “insurance plan.” Our vet clinic couldn’t believe the claims were denied.”Patrick of Atlanta, GA

“If AKC can find reason to deny a properly submitted claim they will! You purchase a one year policy only to be told many of the more expensive conditions requiring extensive treatment require a 6 month waiting period, i.e. torn ACL which is rather common in big dogs. It doesn’t take 6 months to weed out preexisting conditions with any policy, particularly when trauma related. Paid for one year of coverage but my $3500 surgery bill was denied because it occurred at 4 months rather than in the 7th month.” Mike of Barrington, IL

How Do You Sign Up?

Signing up for pet insurance is generally pretty simple, especially if you’re just looking for a quote. With AKC, as with many companies, you just provide some information online then customize your plan. Once you’re happy, simply provide your billing and payment information.

Here’s the information you’ll need to provide to get a quote:

  • Your pet’s name
  • Your zip code
  • Your pet’s species (dog or cat)
  • Your pet’s breed and age
  • Your email address

You’ll also need to specify whether your pet has ever been diagnosed with or shown signs of diabetes, Cushing’s disease, or FELV/FIV.

From there, choose between Custom or Basic coverage. If you choose Basic coverage, you’ll have a fixed deductible, coinsurance, incident limit, and annual limit. With Custom coverage, you can choose between several options in these categories. You can also add upgrades to cover exam fees, end of life expenses, or routine/preventive care costs.

If you’re satisfied with your plan choice, you’ll move on to providing your billing and payment information. You can choose how you want to pay, but you’ll be charged a $3 per month service fee.

Is AKC Pet Insurance Worth It?

Pet insurance is an added expense for pet owners, but it could end up being worth it in the long run. If your pet has an unexpected accident or serious illness, the vet bills could add up quickly and you’ll be forced to pay all of that out of pocket. The alternative is to pay a set monthly premium in exchange for coverage – you could be reimbursed for up to 90% of those unexpected costs.

Whether pet insurance is worth it is different in any given situation. For young, healthy pets you may end up paying more in monthly premiums than you would to pay for your pet’s care – especially if all he needs is an annual checkup. For pets with healthy issues or unknown genetic history, however, having pet insurance could give you peace of mind knowing you have a backup plan if you need it.

One of the benefits of AKC pet insurance in particular is that their plans are customizable. You can adjust your monthly premium by changing your deductible, coinsurance, and annual limit. If you want a simple plan you can go with the Basic option or your can add on optional coverage to suit your needs. When pet insurance is on your list of things to research, we think you should include AKC on the list of options.

Click Here to Get A Quote on AKC Pet Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns AKC pet insurance?

AKC pet insurance is underwritten and issued by Independence American Insurance Company. The plans are offered and administered by PetPartners, Inc., a licensed insurance agency.

How to cancel AKC pet insurance?

You can cancel AKC pet insurance at any time by providing the company with advanced notification of your intention to cancel or not renew. If you don’t cancel, the policy will automatically renew.

Does AKC pet insurance cover cremation?

No, AKC pet insurance doesn’t cover the cost of cremation unless you add the optional SupportPlus package to your plan at enrollment.

Does AKC pet insurance cover hip dysplasia?

It depends. AKC pet insurance may cover hip dysplasia if it isn’t a pre-existing condition, but only if you purchase the optional Hereditary Plus plan.

Does AKC pet insurance cover allergy testing?

Yes, AKC pet insurance covers diagnostic testing which includes allergy testing as long as it isn’t a pre-existing condition.

Does AKC pet insurance cover blood work?

Yes, AKC pet insurance covers diagnostic testing which includes bloodwork as long as it isn’t for a pre-existing condition.

Does AKC pet insurance cover dental?

No, AKC insurance doesn’t cover anything related to your pet’s teeth except medically necessary extractions related to a covered accident. You can purchase optional coverage which provides some reimbursement for dental cleanings, however.

Does AKC pet insurance cover emergency visits?

Yes, AKC pet insurance covers emergency visits for accidents and injuries.

Does AKC pet insurance cover neutering?

No, AKC pet insurance doesn’t cover spay/neuter surgery unless you purchase the optional DefenderPlus package.

Does AKC pet insurance cover medication?

Yes, AKC pet insurance covers prescription medication related to covered accidents and illnesses.

Does AKC pet insurance cover prescription food?

No, AKC pet insurance doesn’t cover prescription food.

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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