Pet Partners Pet Insurance Review

Custom-built policies for your furry family

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Pet Partners

Pet Partners

overall rating
3.8

Our Take

PetPartners has a lot of great customization options and its plans can be very budget-friendly. Just make sure you don’t fall for a low-price trap and end up getting less coverage than you bargained for.

Based on our review of almost two dozen pet insurance companies, PetPartners 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
  • Customizable policies

  • Low base premiums

  • Multi-pet discount

  • Thirty-day free look period

Cons
  • Less-inclusive plans

  • Limited options for older pets

Key Takeaways
  • With five optional riders and fine-tunable policy terms, PetPartners makes it easy to get customized coverage that fits your exact needs.
  • The standard base policy covers significantly fewer services than most entry-level accident and illness plans, so it’s important to read the fine print and understand what is and isn’t included. You may need to purchase policy add-ons to reach the level of coverage you need.
  • PetPartners doesn’t offer a method of filing claims digitally. Instead, policyholders are required to print and fill out a form that can be submitted by email, mail, or fax.
Key Facts
  • Year Founded 2002
  • Waiting Period Two to 14 days
  • Deductible $100 to $1,000
  • Customer Service Forms Phone, chat, email
  • Customer Service Telephone (866) 774-1113
  • Company Website https://www.petpartners.com/

Finding the right pet insurance is a delicate balance between finding the coverage you need and keeping prices affordable. PetPartners offers a buildable approach with bare-bones accident and illness policies that can be purchased on its own or used as the base for a more customizable plan. If you understand the limitations, this can be a great value to help you find affordable coverage for your pet. There are just a few things you should know first.

Company Overview

PetPartners is a North Carolina-based pet insurer that began selling policies to U.S. animal lovers in 2002. However, the company was involved in pet insurance in the United Kingdom for years before this, offering plans as far back as the 1980s. Today, PetPartners is the official insurance provider for both the American Kennel Club and the Cat Fanciers’ Association. Policies can be purchased in all 50 states.

Pros Explained

  • Customizable policies: PetPartners policies can be finetuned with precise coverage levels and various upgrades.
  • Low base premiums: In the quotes we received, basic accident and illness coverage was as little as $12.24 per month for dogs and $8.08 for cats.
  • Multi-pet discount: Families with multiple pets get a 5% discount for enrolling them together.
  • Thirty-day free look period: PetPartners lets you try coverage for 30 days and get a full refund if you aren’t happy and haven’t filed any claims.

Cons Explained

  • Less-inclusive plans: The base-level plan available through PetPartners lacks coverage for common needs like exam fees and genetic conditions.
  • Limited options for older pets: PetPartners removes some coverage options for new enrollments starting at age five and limits plans entirely for pets age nine and up.

Available Plans

PetPartners insurance policies are centered around the provider’s accident and illness plan, called CompanionCare. This base plan offers very limited coverage for the procedures, tests and medications required to treat a defined list of conditions. Certain common benefits like exam fees, inherited disorders, and end-of-life expenses are notably absent from the list and instead require the separate purchase of additional upgrades.

The upgrades available from PetPartners include ExamPlus, SupportPlus, Defender and DefenderPlus. ExamPlus covers exam fees for primary care vet visits and SupportPlus pays for expenses in the event that your pet passes away. Defender and DefenderPlus are the provider’s preventive care riders that offer wellness benefits including health screenings, regular checkups and vaccinations.

The table below shows which treatments are covered under CompanionCare and which require the purchase of an upgrade.

Covered Treatment CompanionCare ExamPlus HereditaryPlus SupportPlus Defender DefenderPlus
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          

Plan Pricing

PetPartners’ pricing may look incredibly cheap at first, but it’s important to keep in mind that the base policy includes remarkably less coverage than a typical accident and illness plan.

To give an example, we were quoted just $21.60 per month to get CompanionCare for a two-year-old dog with a $500 annual deductible, $10,000 limit, and 80% reimbursement. However, if we wanted to add coverage for exam fees, end-of-life expenses, and full wellness benefits, the cost skyrocketed to $42.97, almost twice as much the original quote.

Expert Tip

When comparing pet insurance quotes, make sure you look at the pricing for all the benefits you need, not just the sticker price on each base policy. This makes it much easier to gauge how much value you’re getting for your money.

Animal Covered CompanionCare ExamPlus HereditaryPlus SupportPlus Defender DefenderPlus
Dog: 1 year $15.57 to $26.93 $2.43 to $4.20 $1.88 to $3.26 $2.00 $16.00 $27.00
Dog: 3 year $15.52 to $26.83 $2.42 to $4.19 N/A $2.00 $16.00 $27.00
Dog: 6 year $28.89 to $49.95 $4.51 to $7.80 N/A N/A $16.00 $27.00
Dog: 12 year $32.75 $3.94 N/A N/A $16.00 $27.00
Cat: 1 year $11.10 to $19.19 $1.73 to $2.99 $1.34 to $2.32 $2.00 $12.00 $22.00
Cat: 3 year $10.24 to $17.69 $1.60 to $2.76 N/A $2.00 $12.00 $22.00
Cat: 6 year $14.39 to $24.88 $2.25 to $3.88 N/A N/A $12.00 $22.00
Cat: 12 year $14.77 $1.78 N/A N/A $12.00 $22.00

Waiting Periods

The waiting periods on PetPartners policies are right in line with industry norms for accidents and illnesses. After signing up, you’ll have to wait two days before accident benefits go into effect. Illness benefits kick in 14 days following enrollment.

However, some specific types of treatments are subject to much longer waiting periods. A few serious types of spine and joint conditions have a 180-day waiting period, although this is more typical with pet insurance plans.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Practically no pet insurer covers pre-existing conditions and PetPartners isn’t an exception to the rule. A pre-existing condition is defined as any condition that would otherwise be covered, but first appeared prior to the beginning of coverage. Any condition that appears during a waiting period is also considered pre-existing, which is why it’s important to keep those varied waiting periods in mind.

Our Expert Lisa Says

Any condition that appears during a waiting period is also considered pre-existing, which is why it’s important to keep those varied waiting periods in mind.

Coverage Limits

PetPartners offers great options for coverage limits. Annual limits start at $2,500 per year and go all the way up to include unlimited benefits, depending on how much you’re willing to pay. Lower limits carry a less expensive monthly premium, and vice versa.

Expert Tip

Not sure how much annual coverage you need? Look at your pet’s veterinarian bills for the past year to gauge your typical expenditures. Remember to leave some wiggle room for unforeseen medical emergencies.

If you’re enrolling your pet after a few years of ownership, there are a few age-related limits you should be aware of. Some upgrades start becoming unavailable for newly enrolled pets age five and older, and those who are at least nine at signup are required to purchase a policy with 90% coverage, a $100 deductible, and unlimited annual benefits.

Plan Exclusions

There isn’t much that PetPartners excludes entirely from its plans. The real problem is figuring out which combination of riders you need to purchase in order to make it happen. If you only purchase the CompanionCare base policy, for example, you’ll be in for a surprise when you submit a claim for an injury exam and reimbursement is denied. It’s important to read all the fine print and understand exactly what is and isn’t included in the policy you purchase.

Claims

PetPartners offers state-of-the-art customer service options, including when it comes to filing claims. Policyholders can make a claim via the online portal or via a form available on its website, which pet parents are required to fill out and submit by email, mail, or fax along with the corresponding receipts. 

PetPartners recommends that policyholders print a few extra claim forms to keep in their car in case of an emergency vet visit. In this day and age, we’re used to insurance providers offering more rapid digital filing methods, including online forms and even smartphone apps.

Customer Service

In addition to traditional customer service methods like phone and email, PetPartners also offers its customers a live chat service option. All three are monitored during business hours, which run from Monday to Friday and for a few hours on Saturday.

In emergency situations, PetPartners won’t leave you stranded. Policyholders get complimentary access to a 24/7 vet helpline that is accessible by phone and chat. You can use the service to get support from a licensed veterinarian, including advice on whether your pet needs urgent medical attention for a specific concern.

Our Expert Lisa Says

Policyholders get complimentary access to a 24/7 vet help line that is accessible by phone and chat.

Third-Party Ratings

PetPartners performs well with the Better Business Bureau, maintaining an A+ rating and four complaints closed in the last three years as of July 2021. The provider’s first listed underwriter, Independence American Insurance Company, does quite well with financial rating service AM Best. The insurer gets an A- rating, the agency’s second-highest tier for financial strength. It indicates that the insurer has "an excellent ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations." However, AM Best placed the A- rating under review in May 2021 because Independence American Insurance Company's parent company, Independence Holding Company, is selling its interest in PetPartners to another company.

Competition: PetPartners vs. PetFirst

PetFirst is a strong PetPartners competitor that offers similarly low-priced policies designed for pet parents on a budget. In the price battle alone, PetPartners wins; the provider’s policy is cheaper per month for similar coverage with a slightly higher limit. However, further examination proves that PetFirst comes out on top overall. Despite slightly higher monthly prices, the plan includes costs like exam fees and genetic conditions that aren’t included in the PetPartners equivalent.

  PetPartners PetFirst
Animals Covered Dogs and cats Dogs and cats
Example Cost $13.62 to insure a two-year-old dog with 70% coverage, a $2,500 annual limit, and a $500 deductible $16.59 to insure a two-year-old dog with 70% coverage, a $2,000 annual limit, and a $500 deductible
Coverage Type Accident and illness Accident and illness
Waiting Period Injuries: 2 days; Illnesses: 14 days Injuries: 1 day; Illnesses: 14 days  
Network Size Unlimited Unlimited
Final Verdict

Taking coverage amounts into consideration, PetPartners offers reasonably priced policies even if you do need to purchase additional riders. Our main issue is that exclusions aren’t well explained until you read the policy's fine print, which could lead some pet parents to inadvertently sign up for a policy that includes less coverage than they originally thought. Pricing aside, we’re all for the plan customization and additional services PetPartners offers. This could absolutely be the right policy for your pet as long as you know exactly what you’re buying.

Methodology

Price is important, but it isn’t the only thing we consider when reviewing pet insurers. Our methodology for reviewing pet insurance includes careful examination of the details of every policy, comparing benefits and looking for potential exclusions. We use a variety of factors to rate each company’s customer service, including our own evaluation and third-party data. We compile all of these factors into a quantitative scoring system that helps us choose the best pet insurance carriers out there.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Better Business Bureau. “PetPartners.” Accessed August 3, 2021.

  2. AM Best. "Guide to Best's Financial Strength Ratings - (FSR)." Accessed August 3, 2021.

  3. AM Best, "AM Best Places Credit Ratings of Independence Holding Company and Its Subsidiaries Under Review With Developing Implications." Accessed August 3, 2021.