Insuring veterinary patients health: A handy comparison chart

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Pet insurance could be a wise choice for many of your clients. If youve never researched pet health insurance options, now might be a good time to start.

Pet insurance is one great way clients can plan ahead for their pets' care. And pet insurance can help boost revenue (not to mention, improve patient care and pay team members more-see Dr. Ernie Ward's 10 ways to expand revenue for more ideas). We've done some of the legwork for you by gathering the details about major providers. Now, take a look and choose the one or two that sound best for your practice. Press the Next button below to view our survey of pet insurance companies and for a downloadable PDF of this information click here.

(Note: This information was provided directly by companies themselves and has not been independently verified.)

 

Insurance brand:

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, Hartville Pet Insurance, Petshealth Care Plan, Protect Your Bubble

Accident, illness, or wellness?

Accident, illness, and wellness

Started:

1997

Where available?

United States

How many pets?

More than 100,000 pets

Customer service?

Phone Monday to Saturday; email; department for veterinarians

Waiting period?

Illness: 30 days; Accident and wellness: None; Hereditary and congenital: six months

Not covered?

Pre-existing conditions; elective procedures the ASPCA opposes, such as ear cropping, tail docking, and claw removal; treatment for dental disease (injuries are covered); costs for breeding or pregnancy; pet food; grooming; others as listed

Can pre-existing conditions be "cured"?

Yes, if the condition is cured and treatment-free for at least six months

Emergency overseas?

Yes, in Canada; travel assistance services available globally for ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Do veterinarians need to fill out any part of the claim forms?

No

Exam fees covered?

Yes

Third-party liability?

No

Basis for premiums?

Age, breed, location, species

Reimbursement?

70%, 80%, or 90%

Deductible?

$100, $250, or $500 annual

Annual or per-incident deductible?

Annual

Changes to policy?

Policyholders may change at renewal or mid-year

Discounts?

Multi-pet, veterinary staff, employee benefit, and more

"Usual and customary" clause?

Yes, determined by customary charges for same procedures in same area

Maximum payout per year?

None

Lifetime limit?

Yes, for chronic, hereditary, and congenital conditions

File claims?

Email, fax, or snail mail; one-page claim form and receipts

Reimbursement?

To client or veterinarian within about one business week

 

Insurance brand:

Embrace

Accident, illness, or wellness?

Accident, illness, and wellness

Started:

2006

Where available?

United States

How many pets?

45,000

Customer service?

Phone Mon - Sat; web; representatives to help veterinarians

Waiting period?

2 days accident; 14 days illness; no waiting period wellness; 6 month waivable waiting period for orthopedic conditions in dogs

Not covered?

Pre-existing conditions, grooming

Can pre-existing conditions be "cured"?

Yes, if condition does not recur within 12 months

Emergency overseas?

Yes, worldwide, as long as pet ordinarily resides in US

Do veterinarians need to fill out any part of the claim forms?

Yes

Exam fees covered?

Yes

Third-party liability?

No

Basis for premiums?

Age, breed, gender, location, spay/neuter status, species

Reimbursement?

70%, 80%, 90%

Deductible?

$100, $200, $300, $500, $1,000

Annual or per-incident deductible?

Annual

Changes to policy?

Policyholders may increase deductible at any time; other changes may require rewriting policy.

Discounts?

5% spay/neuter; 5% annual pay; 5% pay by electronic check; 5% veterans/military; 5% multi-pet

"Usual and customary" clause?

No, use flat pct of vet bill

Maximum payout per year?

$5,000/$10,000/$15,000/$20,000

Lifetime limit?

None

File claims?

Email, fax, USPS; claim form and itemized invoice

Reimbursement?

Wellness claims to clients within 2 business days; 95% of accident and illness claims within 15 business days; pay direct to DVM if arranged in advance

 

Insurance brand:

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation

Accident, illness, or wellness?

Injury and illness

Started:

2009

Where available?

United States

How many pets?

Undisclosed

Customer service?

Phone, web, email, fax 7 days/week

Waiting period?

15 days injury/illness

Not covered?

Pre-existing conditions, office visit/exam fees, preventative care, pre-existing cruciate ligament problems to one leg as respects the cost of future treatment for problems of the other leg.

Can pre-existing conditions be "cured"?

Yes, in some cases

Emergency overseas?

Yes, in Canada

Do veterinarians need to fill out any part of the claim forms?

No

Exam fees covered?

No

Third-party liability?

No

Basis for premiums?

Age, breed, species and zip code

Reimbursement?

90%, 80% or 70% - client chooses at enrollment

Deductible?

$100, $250 or $500 – client chooses at enrollment

Annual or per-incident deductible?

Annual

Changes to policy?

Clients may raise their pet's deductible level and/or lower their pet's reimbursement level at any time. They may do this once their policy is effective. Client's may lower their pet's deductible and/or raise their pet's reimbursement level, provided they have not previously filed a claim for their pet. They do this once their policy is effective.

Discounts?

Affinity Group & Employee Benefit

"Usual and customary" clause?

No

Maximum payout per year?

None

Lifetime limit?

None

File claims?

Mail, fax, email, upload via their Healthy Paws Online Account or paperless with IPhone App or Android App

Reimbursement?

7-10 business days for first claim, within 72 hours on subsequent claims

 

Insurance brand:

Petplan

Accident, illness, or wellness?

Accident and illness

Started:

2003

Where available?

United States, Canada

How many pets?

Over 130,000

Customer service?

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Waiting period?

Accident: 24 hours; Illness: 14 days

Not covered?

Pre-existing conditions, elective procedures, routine and preventive care, grooming

Can pre-existing conditions be "cured"?

Yes, in some cases

Emergency overseas?

Yes, in the United States and Canada

Do veterinarians need to fill out any part of the claim forms?

No

Exam fees covered?

Yes

Third-party liability?

No

Basis for premiums?

Age, breed, location

Reimbursement?

80%, 90%, or 100%

Deductible?

$50, $100, or $200

Annual or per-incident deductible?

Per-incident

Changes to policy?

Policyholders may increase coverage once per policy term and at renewal; coverage can be decreased at any time.

Discounts?

5% online, 5% AARP member, 10% multi-pet, 10% medical services animal, 10% veteran/military, 15% veterinary professional and group discounts.

"Usual and customary" clause?

No

Maximum payout per year?

$10,000, $14,000, or $22,000

Lifetime limit?

No

File claims?

Paperless claims through the Petplan Claims app (no claim form needed) or by email, fax, or snail mail; one-page claim form, medical records, invoices and proof of payment.

Reimbursement?

95% of claims paid within five business days or less to the client (or veterinarian directly if requested)

 

Insurance brand:

Pets Best

Accident, illness, or wellness?

Accident, illness, and wellness

Started:

2005

Where available?

United States

How many pets?

157,000 policies sold

Customer service?

Phone and web Monday to Saturday; Claims preauthorization available

Waiting period?

Accident: 3 days; illness: 14 days; wellness: 14 days. With veterinary exam 10% discount certificate, accident: none; illness: 7 days

Not covered?

Pre-existing conditions; conditions preventable by vaccine; nonmedical veterinary expenses

Can pre-existing conditions be "cured"?

Yes, in some cases

Emergency overseas?

Yes, worldwide

Do veterinarians need to fill out any part of the claim forms?

No

Exam fees covered?

Yes

Third-party liability?

No

Basis for premiums?

Age, breed, location

Reimbursement?

70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%

Deductible?

$0, $50, $100, $200, $500, or $1,000

Annual or per-incident deductible?

Annual

Changes to policy?

Policyholders may change anytime

Discounts?

5% multi-pet, 10% discount for signing up 10 days or fewer after physical exam, 5% veterinary web link discount, veterinary team discount (5% to 12%)

"Usual and customary" clause?

No

Maximum payout per year?

$20,000

Lifetime limit?

$200,000

File claims?

Email, fax, online upload; or snail mail; claim form, medical records needed in less than 10% of cases

Reimbursement?

To client in three to five business days; veterinarians can receive payment directly

 

Insurance brand:

Trupanion

Accident, illness, or wellness?

Trupanion

Started:

2000

Where available?

United States, Canada, Puerto Rico

How many pets?

207,843

Customer service?

Phone 24/7; online, chat and email; territory partners and hospital support teams to help veterinarians

Waiting period?

Injury: 5 days; illness: 30 days

Not covered?

Pre-existing conditions, elective procedures, routine care, grooming

Can pre-existing conditions be "cured"?

Yes, in some cases

Emergency overseas?

Yes, in Canada, Puerto Rico, any region under U.S. and Canadian control such as military installations/bases in foreign countries.

Do veterinarians need to fill out any part of the claim forms?

Yes, unless veterinary hospital is enrolled in Trupanion Express

Exam fees covered?

No

Third-party liability?

Yes, in optional Pet Owner Assistance Package

Basis for premiums?

Species, breed, age at the time of enrollment, gender, location and spay/neuter status

Reimbursement?

90%

Deductible?

$0 to $1,000

Annual or per-incident deductible?

Per-incident

Changes to policy?

Policyholders may change deductible/premium amount anytime

Discounts?

No

"Usual and customary" clause?

No

Maximum payout per year?

None

Lifetime limit?

No

File claims?

Electronically through Trupanion Express, fax, email, or send photo of claim form

Reimbursement?

Paid directly to veterinary practice within minutes or to client within seven to 10 business days for first claim; subsequent claims within 24 hours

 

Insurance brand:

VPI (Nationwide)

Accident, illness, or wellness?

Injury, illness, and wellness

Started:

1982

Where available?

United States

How many pets?

523,000

Customer service?

Phone Monday to Saturday; email and mail; dedicated department to help veterinarians

Waiting period?

Standalone Wellness & Injury: next day; Illness: 14 days

Not covered?

Pre-existing conditions, grooming, elective procedures, congenital conditions, behavioral conditions, preventable conditions (if vaccine available and recommended by DVM)

Can pre-existing conditions be "cured"?

Yes, if the condition is curable and doesn't recur within six months

Emergency overseas?

Yes, worldwide

Do veterinarians need to fill out any part of the claim forms?

No

Exam fees covered?

Yes

Third-party liability?

No

Basis for premiums?

Age, location, size (as adult), species, deductible

Reimbursement?

100%

Deductible?

$0 to $1,000

Annual or per-incident deductible?

Annual

Changes to policy?

Policyholders may change anytime

Discounts?

Multi-pet (5% for two or three, 10% for four or more), group discounts

"Usual and customary" clause?

No

Maximum payout per year?

$7,000 to $14,000

Lifetime limit?

No

File claims?

Email, fax, or snail mail; claim form and itemized invoice

Reimbursement?

To client or veterinary provider within 14 business days

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