Hartville Pet Insurance Review

Premium benefits at premium prices

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Hartville Pet Insurance

 Hartville Pet Insurance

overall rating
4.0

Our Take

If you’re willing to spare no expense to cover your pet’s health needs, Hartville’s premium policies include options for accident, illness, and wellness benefits with highly favorable terms.

Based on our review of nearly two dozen pet insurance companies, Hartville was not one of the best companies we found. To see other options that may be better, visit our list of the best pet insurance companies.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Key Facts
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Flat-rate accident-only coverage

  • Great online tools

  • No maximum age limit

  • Thirty-day trial period

  • Choose your own payment terms

Cons
  • No budget policy options

  • Expensive for older dogs

  • Limited preventive care coverage

Key Takeaways
  • While none of Hartville’s policies is exactly budget-friendly, older dogs in particular face steep premiums.
  • Members get access to convenient online tools that allow you to modify coverage, submit and track claims, and find nearby providers from any device.
  • Hartville’s 14-day waiting period applies to knee and ligament injuries, which most competitors consider pre-existing until at least six months after the policy start date.
Key Facts
  • Year Founded 1997
  • Waiting Period 14 days
  • Deductible $100 to $5000
  • Customer Service Forms Phone, email
  • Customer Service Telephone (800) 799-5852
  • Company Website https://www.hartvillepetinsurance.com/

While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest pet insurance option, lower-cost policies often skip out on important coverage and benefits that pet owners don’t realize are missing until it’s too late. Hartville’s policies leave pet parents with little to desire, albeit at significantly higher premiums. Does the price add up? We looked at plan benefits, terms, and exclusions to find out.  

Company Overview

Hartville has a long, proven history as a pet insurer. The company was founded in 1997 and was among the earliest dedicated pet insurance carriers in the United States. In 2006, the company partnered with the ASPCA to provide exclusive coverage to members. During that same year, the United States Fire Insurance Company (a Crum & Forster company) became the policy underwriter, and Hartville was fully purchased by Crum & Forster in 2013. Hartville was officially renamed to the Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group in 2017, although the Hartville brand was never retired.

Today, Hartville is based in Akron, Ohio, and has received numerous workplace awards, including a spot on the 2017 Best Places to Work in Insurance list by Business Insurance. The company has a strong community outreach branch that involves employee-driven volunteering and donations to both human and animal charities.

Pros Explained

  • Flat-rate accident-only coverage: Pets of all ages pay the same price for an accident-only policy.
  • Great online tools: Sign up for coverage, manage your account, and find nearby clinics with the Hartville Member Center.
  • No maximum age limit: There’s no maximum age to enroll your pet, and, unlike competitors, Hartville doesn’t limit coverage for senior animals.
  • Thirty-day trial period: Cancel within the first month and have your money refunded if you haven’t submitted any claims.
  • Choose your own payment terms: Pay your premiums monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. You’ll save up to $22 per year in transaction fees by paying upfront.

Cons Explained

  • No budget policy options: For accident and illness coverage, you should prepare to spend a bare minimum of $15 per month for cats and at least $25 per month for dogs. Several competitors offer cheaper options.
  • Expensive for older dogs: Dogs over five years of age will see a steep hike in premiums for illness benefits.
  • Limited preventive care coverage: While Hartville offers wellness riders, preventive care benefits offered are scheduled, meaning each type of treatment has a specific annual limit.

Available Plans

Pet owners who sign up with Hartville can choose between two policies: Accident-Only Coverage and Complete Coverage, which covers both accidents and illnesses. The benefits offered with each are fairly similar, with the obvious difference being that Accident-Only Coverage will only pay for these treatments if they are caused by an accidental injury. With that said, the list of covered injuries Hartville provides is longer than you might think; torn ligaments, lodged foreign objects, and toxic ingestions are all included under accident-only plans.

Customization options on each of these plans are decent. There are five annual limit options, three choices for a deductible, and three different reimbursement levels. Hartville’s online quote tool makes it easy to see how changing coverage levels will affect your monthly premium.

Both the Accident-Only Plan and Complete Coverage can be supplemented with one of two optional preventive care riders. The first of the two, Basic, includes a handful of vaccines and screening tests, deworming, dental cleanings, and wellness exams. Those who upgrade to the second level, Prime, can enjoy higher limits on these services in addition to a few more treatments.

Covered Treatment Accident-only Coverage* Complete Coverage Optional Preventive Coverage
Exam fees  
Procedures  
Lab tests  
Medication  
Continued treatment  
Genetic conditions    
Preventive care    
Microchipping    
Spay/neuter surgery    
Vaccinations    
Dental treatment    
Behavioral treatment    
Specialists  
Alternative/holistic care  
Medical boarding  
Cremation/burial  

*Only covered when resulting from an accident.

Plan Pricing

Hartville’s pricing is much higher than average, with the provider’s cheapest accident-only plans in line with some competitors’ entry-level accident and illness coverage. This is partially due to the fact that Hartville offers more expensive policy options than other pet insurers. For example, Hartville’s lowest annual limit is $5,000, while many similar companies sell policies with limits as low as $2,500 per year.

Pricing spikes as pets get older, particularly for dogs over the age of five. We found that a six-year-old dog would cost more than $100 per month to insure with an accident and illness policy with a $100 deductible, 90% coverage, and unlimited annual benefits. One silver lining: Age isn’t factored into accident-only pricing, so you won’t see premiums go up on those plans just because your pet is getting older.

  Accident-only Coverage Complete Coverage Optional Preventive Coverage
Dog: 1 year $16.31 to $43.32 $27.10 to $78.39 $9.95 to $24.95
Dog: 3 year $16.31 to $43.32 $29.04 to $83.99 $9.95 to $24.95
Dog: 6 year $16.31 to $43.32 $38.72 to $111.99 $9.95 to $24.95
Dog: 12 year $16.31 to $43.32 $87.11 to $251.98 $9.95 to $24.95
Cat: 1 year $11.55 to $29.04 $15.35 to $46.42 $9.95 to $24.95
Cat: 3 year $11.55 to $29.04 $15.35 to $46.42 $9.95 to $24.95
Cat: 6 year $11.55 to $29.04 $20.46 to $61.90 $9.95 to $24.95
Cat: 12 year $11.55 to $29.04 $44.76 to $135.40 $9.95 to $24.95

Waiting Periods

The waiting period on all accident and illness benefits with Hartville is 14 days across the board. This is both good and bad news. On one hand, most pet insurance policies involve a two-day average waiting period for injuries, so this is a bit longer than we’d typically expect. On the other hand, this 14-day waiting period also applies to ligament and knee conditions. The vast majority of competitors don’t cover these benefits until six months or even a year after the policy start date, so this is a major point for Hartville.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Hartville, just like all pet insurers, doesn’t cover any pre-existing conditions that your pet had before the policy start date (or that appeared during a waiting period). Since Hartville’s waiting period is so short for orthopedic conditions, you don’t need to worry too much about these being excluded from coverage after your policy begins due to a poorly timed injury. For all conditions except those related to the knee and ligament, if symptoms disappear and no treatment is required for at least 180 consecutive days, it is no longer considered pre-existing.

Expert Tip

Most pet insurers don’t require an exam to begin coverage, but it’s still a good idea to have a copy of vet records from the 12 months prior to your policy start date. This can be used to prove that a condition wasn’t pre-existing in case any issues arise.

Coverage Limits

Hartville’s lowest policy limit is $5,000 per year, which is a bit higher than other providers’ lowest limits. For a higher premium, you can increase this annual limit or even purchase an unlimited policy. There are no lifetime limits on any policies.

Plan Exclusions

The benefits included in Hartville’s policies are expansive, but as with any insurance policy, there are a few exclusions. Hartville spells out all applicable exclusions in its policy documents; they usually include breeding complications, experimental treatments, and prescription pet foods, just to name a few. Overall, none of these exclusions is anything outside the norm for a pet insurance policy.

Claims

Hartville makes filing claims fast and easy through its online tools. All pet parents get access to the Member Center as soon as they enroll, which can be accessed from any type of device to file claims and track their status. If technology isn’t your forte, a printable claim form is also available to submit expenses via mail, email, or fax.

Our Expert Lisa Says

Hartville clearly establishes itself as a premium pet insurance carrier with comprehensive benefits and high-value policy terms.

Customer Service

Although Hartville’s online enrollment and account management tools are more digitally advanced than most, the company stops short of offering similar customer service options. Service is available via phone or email during business hours, but there are no live chat or 24/7 service options.

Despite this, it’s worth noting that Hartville does manage a helpful online resource center to help owners better understand pet insurance. Educational materials include guides on common insurance terms, costs of pet ownership, and making the best choices for your pet’s health.

Third-Party Ratings

Third-party ratings shouldn’t always be taken at face value, but they can be helpful in identifying common complaints about businesses. Unfortunately, Hartville isn’t represented by name on most ratings websites. Its parent company, Crum & Forster, does have a profile with the Better Business Bureau, where it receives an A+. The insurer is also listed with AM Best with an A rating for financial stability.

Crum & Forster underwrites pet policies for a variety of brands, including the ASPCA and 24PetWatch. These third-party reviews should be considered representative of the entire group, not just Hartville specifically.

Competition: Hartville vs. Geico

To see if Hartville’s prices were as steep as they appeared, we compared coverage to Geico, a provider that offers pet insurance with similar policy terms. We received quotes for accident and illness plans with equal coverage, limits, and deductibles and found that Hartville’s monthly premium was 50% more expensive. As far as we could tell, the only major differences were that Geico’s policy doesn’t cover microchipping or behavioral treatments, while Hartville includes both. Geico is also limited to fewer customer service options and no accident-only plan. Still, we don’t think these benefits are worth the extra cost you’d pay with Hartville.

  Hartville Geico
Animals Covered Dogs and cats Dogs and cats
Example Cost $27.10 to insure a two-year-old dog with 70% coverage, a $5,000 annual limit, and a $500 deductible $18.41 to insure a two-year-old dog with 70% coverage, a $5,000 annual limit, and a $500 deductible
Coverage Type Accident and illness Accident and illness
Waiting Period

Injuries: 14 days;

Illnesses: 14 days

 

Injuries: 2 days;

Illnesses: 14 days

 

Network Size Unlimited Unlimited
Final Verdict

Hartville clearly establishes itself as a premium pet insurance carrier with comprehensive benefits and high-value policy terms. The price you’ll pay each month can easily put the provider out of your budget entirely, even for the most affordable plans. But aside from high premiums, there’s not much else to dislike about Hartville. Between generous policy terms, convenient online tools, and options for pets of all ages, the price may be worth it for those who can make enough room in their budget.

Methodology

We use more than just pricing to review pet insurance companies. Our methodology for reviewing pet insurance companies utilizes a quantitative scoring method to analyze all the important aspects of pet policies, such as species covered, benefits included, enrollment limits, policy exclusions, and more. We also take each company’s customer service rating and reputation into account to make sure you won’t experience hiccups when you file claims.