Pets Best Pet Insurance Review

Pet Insurance May 4, 2022
Written by | Updated May 8, 2022
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Pets Best Pet Insurance Review

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Being a pet owner can be expensive, but it’s well worth the price to have your furry friend by your side. That being said, no one wants to have to deal with unexpected costs and veterinary costs can add up quickly. If you’re looking for something to give you peace of mind in the event of an accident or unexpected illness, pet insurance might be something to consider.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about Pets Best to decide if it’s the right option for you.

Pets Best Pet Insurance
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • Broad Coverage. Choose from three different plans with customizable deductible/reimbursement level (70% to 90%).
  • Wellness Plan. In addition to 3 plans, you can add optional wellness coverage.
  • Multi-Pet Discount. Receive 5% off your monthly premium for multiple pets.
  • No Age Limits. Enroll any puppy or kitten over 7 weeks with no upper age limits.
Cons
  • Alternative Therapy. This company doesn’t offer coverage for alternative and holistic therapies except for limited options with their Elite plan.
  • Transaction Fees. Each payment will incur a $2 transaction fee.
  • Slow Payments. Numerous reviews comment on slow claims processing.
Pros
  • Broad Coverage. Choose from three different plans with customizable deductible/reimbursement level (70% to 90%).
  • Wellness Plan. In addition to 3 plans, you can add optional wellness coverage.
  • Multi-Pet Discount. Receive 5% off your monthly premium for multiple pets.
  • No Age Limits. Enroll any puppy or kitten over 7 weeks with no upper age limits.
Cons
  • Alternative Therapy. This company doesn’t offer coverage for alternative and holistic therapies except for limited options with their Elite plan.
  • Transaction Fees. Each payment will incur a $2 transaction fee.
  • Slow Payments. Numerous reviews comment on slow claims processing.
Price
Coverage
Waiting Period
Policy Options
Customer Support

About Pets Best Pet Insurance

Pets Best was founded by Dr. Jack Stephens in 2005. As a practicing physician, Dr. Stephens had the unfortunate experience of euthanizing a dog named Buffy because her owners couldn’t afford the diagnosis and treatment of a sudden illness. The experience changed his life and sent him on a quest to develop a solution that would prevent other pet owners from having to make such a choice.

Dr. Stephens launched the first pet insurance company in North America in 1981 and later partnered with now CEO Greg McDonald to found Pets Best. Together, they changed the pet insurance industry to make it better and more relevant for pet owners.

Today, Pets Best follows this mission:

“To end economic euthanasia by helping to ensure pet owners are financially prepared when their pets need unexpected veterinary care. We strive to give pet owners peace of mind by taking the financial worry out of owning a pet, so you can make the best decisions for your dog or cat.”

Pets Best is devoted to delivering quality insurance coverage, prompt claim payment, and unsurpassed service. Read on to learn the basics about Pets Best, their pet insurance plans, and their coverage.

How Does Pets Best Pet Insurance Work?

As a pet owner, you expect to have certain expenses. On top of feeding your pet every day, you plan to take him to the vet at least once a year. When it comes to unexpected injuries and illnesses, however, the costs can add up quickly. If you’re not planning for these costs, you could be hung out to dry.

Pet insurance is similar to health insurance for people in that it helps the policyholder offset costs. The primary difference is that most pet insurance plans don’t pay the provider directly in the same way health insurance companies do. Pet owners are responsible for paying the costs on their own but can then submit a claim to be reimbursed for covered expenses.

Pets Best offers coverage for dogs and cats, both for unexpected accidents or illnesses and for routine care. Here are the details you need to know for Pets Best pet insurance:

  1. Pet Insurance Plans

Pets Best currently offers three different types of plans for pet health insurance. When requesting a quote, you can adjust the annual limit, annual deductible, and reimbursement level to customize your monthly premium. Reimbursement level ranges from 70% to 90%, annual deductible from $50 to $1,000, and the annual limit will be either $5,000 or unlimited.

Here’s a quick overview of the three plan options:

  • Essential – The most economical of the three plans, the Essential plan doesn’t include optional benefits like exam fees, rehabilitative care, or homeopathy.
  • Plus – The most popular plan, the Plus plan includes coverage for all the major categories as well as coverage for accident and illness exam fees.
  • Elite – The most comprehensive plan from Pets Best, the Elite plan includes additional coverage for rehabilitative, acupuncture, and chiropractic care.

Because each of these plans offers different levels of coverage, it’s important to read carefully before selecting a plan and signing up. To give you a better understanding of Pets Best insurance, we’ll provide some details about their most comprehensive plan, the Elite plan.

The Pets Best Elite plan covers the following major categories:

  • Accidents and illnesses
  • Cancer treatments
  • Emergency and specialist care
  • Hospitalization and outpatient care
  • Surgeries
  • Lab tests and imaging tests
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Acupuncture and chiropractic care
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions
  • Prescription medications

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

EssentialPlusElite
Accidents and IllnessXXX
CancerXXX
Hereditary ConditionsXXX
Emergency CareXXX
Surgery and HospitalizationXXX
Prescription MedicationsXXX
Accident/Illness Exam FeesXX
Rehabilitative, Acupuncture, & ChiropracticX
Annual Coverage LimitUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited

All pet insurance plans have limits and exclusions. Pets Best doesn’t include routine care coverage in these three plans, but they do offer a standalone wellness plan. None of their plans cover pre-existing conditions – any condition for which your pet has shown symptoms, received treatment, or been diagnosed for in the past.

  1. Pricing

While many pet insurance companies only offer a single plan, Pets Best has three plans to choose from as well as an additional wellness plan. With three coverage options to choose from, you can customize your monthly premium by adjusting the annual limit, annual deductible, and reimbursement level.

The best way to find out how much Pets Best costs is to request a quote. 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:

Essential Plan

Reimbursement %Annual Reimbursement LimitAnnual DeductibleMonthly Premium
70%$5,000$50$31.12
70%Unlimited$100$29.07
80%$5,000$200$24.35
80%Unlimited$250$24.94
90%$5,000$500$17.38
90%Unlimited$1,000$11.45

Plus Plan

Reimbursement %Annual Reimbursement LimitAnnual DeductibleMonthly Premium
70%$5,000$50$36.31
70%Unlimited$100$33.92
80%$5,000$200$28.41
80%Unlimited$250$29.10
90%$5,000$500$20.27
90%Unlimited$1,000$13.36

Elite Plan

Reimbursement %Annual Reimbursement LimitAnnual DeductibleMonthly Premium
70%$5,000$50$37.99
70%Unlimited$100$35.49
80%$5,000$200$29.73
80%Unlimited$250$30.45
90%$5,000$500$21.22
90%Unlimited$1,000$13.98

Here’s the breakdown of the cat plan pricing:

Essential Plan

Reimbursement %Annual Reimbursement LimitAnnual DeductibleMonthly Premium
70%$5,000$50$18.42
70%Unlimited$100$17.21
80%$5,000$200$14.42
80%Unlimited$250$14.77
90%$5,000$500$10.29
90%Unlimited$1,000$6.78

Plus Plan

Reimbursement %Annual Reimbursement LimitAnnual DeductibleMonthly Premium
70%$5,000$50$21.49
70%Unlimited$100$20.08
80%$5,000$200$16.82
80%Unlimited$250$17.23
90%$5,000$500$12.00
90%Unlimited$1,000$7.91

Elite Plan

Reimbursement %Annual Reimbursement LimitAnnual DeductibleMonthly Premium
70%$5,000$50$22.49
70%Unlimited$100$21.01
80%$5,000$200$17.60
80%Unlimited$250$18.03
90%$5,000$500$12.56
90%Unlimited$1,000$8.28

As you can see from the tables above, prices for these plans vary greatly depending which options you choose. On top of these costs, know that each payment will incur a $2 transaction fee whether you pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. If you have more than one pet, you’ll receive a 5% multi-pet discount.

  1. Waiting Periods

Most pet insurance companies institute waiting periods to prevent fraud. In other words, your policy may not become active immediately when you sign up – you may have to wait 24 hours for the policy to become “effective” but may still have to wait 7 to 14 days (or longer) to file your first claim. This is designed to prevent pet owners from purchasing a policy when their pet gets sick to be able to receive coverage – pet insurance is designed to offset costs for unexpected pet health care.

Here are the waiting periods Pets Best requires:

  • 3 days for accidents
  • 14 days for illnesses
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament

The only exception is for wellness plans. Routine care coverage begins on the policy effective date which is 12:01 Mountain Time the day following your enrollment. In other words, if you purchase an insurance plan on January 1st, your policy will become effective at 12:01 AM Mountain Time on January 2nd.

  1. Claim Limits

Many pet insurance companies set a limit on the amount you can request reimbursement for per accident or illness. When you sign up for Pets Best, you have the option to choose from two claim limits: $5,000 or unlimited. These limits reset annually.

Pets Best does not have any upper age limits for their policies, but pets must be at least 7 weeks of age to receive coverage. The older your pet gets, the more likely he is to develop health problems so monthly premiums for older pets may be higher than for younger pets.

  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. Most pet insurance plans offer several different deductibles so you can adjust your monthly premium as needed. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium will be and vice versa.

Pets Best offers the following deductible levels:

  • $50
  • $100
  • $200
  • $250
  • $500
  • $1,000

Like the claim limits, these deductibles reset annually. Your monthly premium will not count toward your deductible, and neither will non-covered expenses.

  1. Medical History Review and Pre-Existing Conditions

No pet insurance plan covers pre-existing conditions. The details on what qualifies for a pre-existing condition may differ from one company to another, as well as the period of time they require the pet to be symptom-free in order for the plan to cover the condition – this usually ranges from 12 to 18 months.

Here’s what Pets Best has to say about pre-existing conditions:

“In determining which Conditions are Pre-Existing, we look at the 18 months preceding the Policy Effective Date and exclude any Conditions that were present during that period. Conditions that are present during the policy Waiting Period are also deemed to be Pre-Existing Conditions.”

Included in their list of pre-existing conditions, Pets Best specifically mentions chronic conditions, bilateral conditions, and intervertebral disc conditions. Bilateral conditions usually include joint/ligament issues like an ACL tear. When this injury happens on one side of the body, many pet insurance companies consider it a pre-existing condition and won’t cover it on the other side.

  1. Optional Coverage

Pet insurance plans are designed to help pet owners offset unexpected costs, so they don’t usually cover things like annual check-ups or vaccinations. Pets Best offers policies for illness and accident coverage, but they also offer add-on pet wellness coverage for routine veterinary care.

The Essential Wellness package averages about $16/month and pays up to $50 on certain services. The plan doesn’t cover spay/neuter surgery or teeth cleaning, but does offer some reimbursement for vaccines, heartworm and flea/tick prevention, wellness exams, and various diagnostic tests. The Best Wellness plan costs an average of $26/month and offers a higher rate of coverage. It also reimburses up to $150 for spay/neuter surgery and teeth cleaning.

Pets Best describes these plans as, “an excellent way to budget for your pet’s expected medical expenses during the youngest phase of their life.”

  1. Pets Covered

Pets Best only offers coverage for cats and dogs. You can enroll any puppy or kitten over 7 weeks of age and there are no upper age limits. Just keep in mind that the price of your monthly premium may change depending on your pet’s age and may go up over time.

Pets Best Customer Reviews

When shopping for any pet product, it’s important to do your research. Not only do you want to make sure you end up with something good for your pet, but you don’t want to waste your money. This is particularly true with something like pet insurance for which you pay a monthly fee.

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

Positive Reviews

“After some research, I found Pets Best to be the best cost-effective health insurance for my pet. I’ve been with them for almost 3 years now. I needed it to use it about 3 times already, and Pets Best helped me to save a lot of money on vet bills, and the reimbursement for each claim took an average of 30 days to be processed, which is longer than I expected. But aside from that, I recommend their services to all my family and friends.” – Pedro E.

“We have had Pets Best for the past 2 years and needless to say we’ve had our fair share of claims thus far. Being new pet owners she has been quite the handful and in a family full of dog cousins and siblings they are always up to something. Pets Best has been responsive and reliable and very thorough throughout all of our dealings with them, and they have never hesitated to receive, process, or reimburse us as needed for any of the ups and downs we’ve had. They are a great company with many policy options and so far have always felt that they care just as much for our little girl as we do.” –Rob B.

Negative Reviews

“I have never had to wait so long for a claim to be processed. I called several times with the hope of speaking to a customer service agent, and frequently had to hang up after waiting for 30 to 45 minutes because I had to get on with my life. I finally continued holding until I got through with a representative which took an hour and 10 minutes. This is inexcusable!”- Sarah S

“I love having pet insurance and will forever have it for as long as I have pets but I don’t feel like I am getting my money’s worth on my Wellness policy. The maximum payouts are disappointing since that’s preventative care. This is the first pet insurance company I have used and am going to start shopping around to see if I can get better wellness care.”- Whitney D.

How Do You Sign Up?

Signing up for pet insurance is generally pretty easy. You’ll need to provide some basic information about your pet to get a detailed quote which may vary depending where you live as well as your pet’s species, age, and current health status.

Here’s the information you’ll need to provide:

  • Your pet’s name and age in years
  • Your pet’s species (dog or cat)
  • Your pet’s sex and breed
  • Your primary veterinarian’s name
  • Your name, zip code, and email address

In addition to this information, Pets Best may ask about pre-existing conditions including the following:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Feline Leukemia
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Once you’ve chosen your plan, you have the option to add another pet for a 5% discount. You may also receive a discount for being a member of the military. You can choose to pay monthly, quarterly, or annually but know a $2 transaction fee will be applied to each payment.

Is Pets Best Pet Insurance Worth It?

It’s difficult to say whether pet insurance is worth it for every pet owner because it depends on your monthly cost and whether you use those benefits. What many pet parents love is that it gives them peace of mind knowing they’ll have help with unexpected vet bills.

Overall, Pets Best seems to offer comprehensive coverage and we like that they have three plans with plenty of options for customization. That being said, we’ve seen numerous reviews about their claims process and how slow the company is in regard to claim processing. Though we haven’t experienced this as a customer, it’s an important point to consider when shopping for pet insurance.

It’s up to you as a pet owner to decide whether pet insurance policies like this are worth the cost. If you have a pet prone to breed specific issues, it may well be worth it to pay a monthly fee knowing you’ll some day need the coverage. If your pet is very healthy, however, you may be better off saving what you’d pay in monthly premiums and putting it away for emergencies.

Click Here to Get A Quote on Pets Best Pet Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Pets Best pet insurance?

Pets Best Insurance was founded by Dr. Jack Stephens. It is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company (APIC) and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC.

How to cancel Pets Best pet insurance?

You can cancel your Pets Best insurance plan at any time by filling out a form online – you can also cancel by phone, chat, or email.

Does Pets Best pet insurance cover cremation?

No, Pets Best doesn’t offer coverage for mortality expenses like cremation or burial. They do, however, cover euthanasia when medically necessary.

Does Pets Best pet insurance cover hip dysplasia?

Yes, Pets Best covers hip dysplasia as long as it isn’t a pre-existing condition or a bilateral condition.

Does Pets Best pet insurance cover allergy testing?

Yes, all three Pets Best insurance plans cover allergy testing as long as your pet’s allergies are not a pre-existing condition.

Does Pets Best pet insurance cover blood work?

Yes, all three Pets Best insurance plans cover diagnostic tests like blood work and other lab tests, even imaging tests like MRI, CAT, and x-rays.

Does Pets Best pet insurance cover dental?

Yes, Pets Best pet insurance plans cover dental related to accidents and illnesses like dental trauma and periodontal disease. Your pet must be free from all dental disease at the time of enrollment. Pets aged 0 to 2 do not require a teeth cleaning, but pets 3 and older need records showing a teeth cleaning under general anesthesia within the previous 13 months for coverage.

Does Pets Best pet insurance cover emergency visits?

Yes, all three Pets Best insurance plans cover emergency visits including specialty care, hospitalization, and surgery.

Does Pets Best pet insurance cover neutering?

No, Pets Best doesn’t cover spay or neuter surgery under their pet insurance plans. They do, however, offer up to $150 off surgery if you have their Best Wellness routine care coverage plan.

Does Pets Best pet insurance cover medication?

Yes, all three Pets Best insurance plans cover prescription medications.

Does Pets Best pet insurance cover prescription food?

No, Pets Best doesn’t cover prescription pet 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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