24PetWatch Pet Insurance Review

Broad but pricey coverage with a wellness add-on

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24PetWatch Pet Protection Services

24PetWatch Pet Protection Services

Investopedia’s Rating
4.1

Our Take

24PetWatch offers good basic pet health insurance but lacks standalone wellness coverage, and in a head-to-head comparison, most other companies offer better coverage with lower premiums.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Four plan tiers covering accidents and illnesses

  • Online claim submission

  • No restriction on eligible veterinarians

  • Premium may be lowered if no claims are filed

Cons
  • Wellness plans are only available as add-ons and have low annual limits

  • Plans tend to be more expensive than competitors’

  • Maximum age of 10 years for newly enrolled dogs and 12 years for cats

Key Takeaways
  • 24PetWatch offers accident and illness insurance along with a wellness add-on.
  • Discounts are offered to multiple-pet families as well as microchipped pets.
  • Lifetime pet recovery assistance is available for a one-time fee.
  • Pre-existing conditions within the past 24 months are not covered.
Company Key Facts
  • Year Founded 2003
  • Kinds of Plans Accident/injury with add-on wellness
  • Number of Plans 1
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly
  • Customer Service Chat, email, phone: (866) 375-7387
  • Company Website www.24petwatch.com
24PetWatch Pet Protection Services

24PetWatch Pet Protection Services

Investopedia’s Rating
4.1

Pros Explained

  • Four plan tiers covering accidents and illnesses: 24PetWatch offers four different levels for its accident/injury plans. The medical treatments covered by all four levels are the same—the plans differ only in the annual coverage limits and deductible amounts.
  • Online claim submission: Customers file all claims and necessary paperwork online through the customer portals. Paper submissions are not allowed.
  • No restriction on eligible veterinarians: You are allowed to use any licensed veterinarian in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Premium may be lowered if no claims are filed: According to a customer service representative, your premium may be lowered if no claims are filed over a specific time frame.

Cons Explained

  • Wellness plans are only available as add-ons and have low annual limits: If you’re looking for a plan to cover general wellness, such as yearly exams, routine vaccinations, and de-worming, 24PetWatch only offers wellness as an add-on to an existing accident or injury policy.
  • Plans tend to be more expensive than competitors’: Though not the priciest on the market, 24PetWatch’s premiums tend to be on the higher side when compared to other pet insurance companies.
  • Maximum age of 10 years for newly enrolled dogs; 12 years for cats: If you have a senior pet that you wish to cover, 24PetWatch will not write coverage for any dog over 10 or cat over 12 years, so this would not be the company for you.

Introduction

24PetWatch offers a set of accident and illness plans that come with varying deductibles and annual coverage limits. Though it may require higher policy premiums than competitors, 24PetWatch does offer some unique add-on options like lifetime lost pet recovery.

Company Overview

24PetWatch was founded in 2003 under the umbrella of PetHealth Inc. The Ontario-based company offers pet health insurance plans in the U.S. and Canada; it issues coverage for both accidents and illnesses, and wellness plans can be added for additional premiums. 

The plans cover only dogs and cats; exotic pets are not eligible. 24PetWatch provides additional perks you don’t often see, such as a lost pet recovery service, for an additional charge. This service reunites up to 3,000 lost pets with their owners every month, according to the insurer. Instant quotes, as well as customer service and account management, are easily accessed through the website.

Available Plans

24PetWatch offers four accident and illness insurance plans—Extra, Classic, Super, and Champion. They all cover the same types of medical treatments, but they have different levels of deductibles and annual limits. This enables pet owners to choose the financial commitment that suits their ability to cover veterinary expenses. 

The following treatments are covered by 24PetWatch's basic plans and its optional wellness add-ons.

Covered Treatment Accident/Illness Plans  Routine Wellness Plan  Advanced Wellness Plan 
Live vet chat 24/7    
Exam fees  ✓     
Wellness exam fees/blood screening   
Fecal screen    ✓  ✓ 
Genetic conditions     
Surgery/hospitalization  ✓     
Rehabilitation/alternative care  ✓     
Prescription medication/diets ✓     
Heartworm/flea prevention    ✓ 
Behavioral problems     
Dental cleaning    ✓ 
Vaccinations    ✓ (some) ✓ (more than Routine) 
Spay/neuter    ✓ 
Lab testing     
Boarding/trip cancellation fees  ✓     

Some details of the wellness plan may differ depending on if you have a cat or a dog or if you live in Florida.

Riders and Add-Ons

  • Wellness add-ons: Pet owners may add an optional wellness plan that covers preventative care, which is offered in two tiers. These plans cost a flat rate, which is added to the monthly premium for the accident/illness policy. In many cases, the “Advanced” wellness plan offers higher coverage limits than the “Routine” plan. 
  • Pet Recovery Assistance: Pet Recovery Assistance is a lost pet recovery program that connects you with specialists who can help reunite you with your pet if it gets lost, 24/7. You can pay a one-time fee of $94.95 for a lifetime subscription to this service, or you can pay annually: $29.95 the first year, and $19.95 every year thereafter. Your pet needs to be microchipped to participate in this program.

Waiting Periods

One nice feature of 24PetWatch is that there is no waiting period for accident coverage. Illness coverage comes with a waiting period of 14 to 30 days, however, depending on the option chosen when enrolling.

Cancellation Policy

24PetWatch policies may be canceled by calling the company or by sending a notice in writing at any time. Any unused premium will be refunded as long as a minimum of one month’s premium has been paid. The add-on wellness plan may not be canceled on its own during the term; the wellness and accident/illness plan must be canceled together. If wellness coverage is canceled at the time of policy renewal, there is a 12-month waiting period before it may be purchased again.

Plan Exclusions

24PetWatch offers rather comprehensive coverage, but there are some notable exceptions. For conditions that may affect both sides of the body (bilateral conditions), including cruciate ligament injury, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and patellar luxation, coverage will not be approved if previously diagnosed on the other side of the body—regardless of cause. 

Supplements, dental accidents, root canals, and crowns are not covered either.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Pets with pre-existing conditions may be insured with 24PetWatch, but no coverage will apply to any health or genetic issue that was present in the 24 months prior to enrollment. Veterinary records and a veterinary exam are required prior to coverage commencing.

Plan Pricing

24PetWatch covers only one set of medical treatments with its accident and illness plans, but you may choose from four different levels of coverage limits and deductible amounts. These plans tend to all be somewhat higher in price than those of other insurers—we found 24PetWatch to have an average premium of $70.24, using an average of three different pet personas from around the country (two dogs and a cat). But keep in mind that premium costs can vary greatly due to the species, breed, and age of your pet, along with where you live.

You may qualify for a discount on your premium if you don’t file a claim in a certain period of time. You can also get a 5% discount for microchipping your pet, with another discount for insuring multiple pets. 

Plan Tier Annual Limit  Deductible Options 
Extra $3,000 $100, $250
Classic  $5,000  $100, $250, $500 
Super  $10,000  $100, $250, $500, $1,000 
Champion  $20,000  $100, $250, $500, $1,000 

Claims

Claims must be filed online via the customer portal at mypethealth.com. Paper claims are no longer accepted. All required documents must be submitted before the claim will be assessed. Reimbursement is available via mailed check or direct deposit. According to customer support, it typically takes around 16 to 18 days for reimbursement to be disbursed after all the paperwork has been submitted.

Customer Service

If in need of customer service, clients may call 24PetWatch Monday through Friday at (866) 375-7387. There are also options for email and “online chat,” though the online chat option is answered hours later via email.

Third-Party Ratings

In our independent survey of pet owners, clients of 24PetWatch had both positive and negative comments, including “it was convenient,” “premiums are too expensive,” and complaints about the website being glitchy.

Alternative Choices

Choosing to purchase pet health insurance is a big decision. It is essential to evaluate your pet’s and your family’s needs. Plans can vary significantly in what they do and do not cover, how much they cost, and how much of your medical expenses will be reimbursed. Customer service and ease of filing claims should also be considered. Though plans with low premiums may seem like the obvious choice at first, some of these plans do not cover common treatments or conditions and can leave your pet vulnerable.

Competition

   24PetWatch AKC Trupanion
Annual Deductible Options $100, $250, $500, $1,000 $100, $250, $300, $400, $500, $600, $750, $1,000 $0 to $1,000
Reimbursement Percentage  80% 70%, 80%, 90% 90%
Average Claim Turnaround Time  16–18 days 5 days 5–7 days
Illness Waiting Period  14–30 days 14 days 30 days
Injury Waiting Period  0 days 2 days 5 days
Exam Coverage  Yes Add-On No
Dental Illness Coverage  No No Yes
Max Enrollment Age Limit  10 years None 14 years
Final Verdict

24PetWatch, on average, costs pet parents more than some other pet insurance options. It has some things going in its favor, like fairly comprehensive coverage with four easily customizable plan levels. The company also has a user-friendly website that makes getting quotes and submitting claims hassle-free. 

However, with no mobile app, age limits for older pets, no dental coverage, and wellness coverage only available as an add-on, we find it difficult to justify the higher premiums. Customers will likely find comparable coverage with another provider at a lower cost.

Our Methodology: How We Review Pet Insurance Carriers

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of pet insurance companies. We rated 25 providers and collected over 2,000 data points, including information about plan options, company features, and fees and limits, to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions for their pet insurance needs.

Our full pet insurance methodology, including our data collection process and weighted data points, is available for review.

Article Sources
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  1. 24PetWatch. "Lost Pet Services: Pet Protection & Recovery."

  2. 24PetWatch. "Dog Insurance: Health Plans For Your Dog." 

  3. 24PetWatch. "Insurance Policy Terms and Conditions."