Petplan’s policy brings simplicity to pet insurance, but make sure coverage includes everything you’re looking for.
- Pros and Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Key Facts
Many ways to customize
Coverage for adverse events
Helpful online resources
No network limitations
Only one plan available
No preventive care coverage
Restrictions on older animals
- Petplan’s insurance options consist of a single policy with no optional add-ons.
- Accident and illness coverages are included, but wellness options aren’t available.
- Pets ages six and up have relatively few options for coverage.
- Some claims made on the provider’s website may be inaccurate or misleading.
- Year Founded 2003
- Waiting Period 15 days
- Deductible $250 to $1,000
- Customer Service Forms Phone, chat, email
- Customer Service Telephone (866) 467-3875
- Company Website www.gopetplan.com
Pet insurance policies can be overly complicated. For pet owners who want a simple, straightforward plan with no frills, there’s Petplan. This provider sells a single policy that covers most of the accidents and illnesses your pet might encounter. While wellness coverage isn’t offered, there are plenty of other perks that are well worth considering.
Petplan was founded in 2003 by a young couple whose sick cat incurred an unexpected $5,000 veterinarian bill. The pair created a plan to offer accident and illness coverage to other pet owners for financial protection from unforeseen events. Petplan now sells this plan in both the United States and Canada; policies in both countries are underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance Company.
- Many ways to customize: Choose the coverage you need from a combination of 16 deductibles, seven annual limits, and three reimbursement levels.
- Coverage for adverse events: Petplan will reimburse you for a variety of different unexpected costs, such as trip cancellation if your pet becomes sick or boarding fees if you’re admitted to the hospital.
- Helpful online resources: The Petplan website includes in-depth resources on pet health that include informational articles, a symptom checker, and an insurance provider comparison tool.
- No network limitations: Visit any licensed veterinarian in the United States or Canada and you’ll be reimbursed according to your policy structure.
- Only one plan available: Petplan offers only one pet insurance policy with no options to add benefits.
- No preventive care coverage: Unlike the majority of pet insurers, Petplan doesn’t sell any form of preventive care coverage.
- Restrictions on older animals: Although Petplan’s claim to have no upper age limit is accurate, older pets being enrolled for the first time are subject to significant restrictions on reimbursement terms. Those enrolled at age six and up must also undergo a veterinary exam within the 30 days before or after the policy start date.
Petplan sets itself apart from the competition by offering one single plan and no optional riders for supplemental coverage. The policy includes treatment for most injuries and illnesses, reimbursing expenses such as exam fees, diagnostic tests, treatment, and prescriptions. Certain services like preventive care and end-of-life costs are excluded from coverage entirely.
|Covered Treatment||Included in Plan|
Since Petplan only sells one policy, pricing is fairly straightforward. Monthly premiums are determined by your pet’s age, breed, and location, in addition to the limit, deductible, and reimbursement amount you choose. Pets ages 10 and up are limited to a policy with a $15,000 annual limit, $750 deductible, and 70% reimbursement for covered services.
Since Petplan only sells one policy, pricing is fairly straightforward. Monthly premiums are determined by your pet’s age and breed, in addition to the limit, deductible, and reimbursement amount you choose.
A more curious aspect of Petplan’s policy premiums is that a minimum price of $20.16 per month is applied to policies below a certain coverage level. A one-year-old cat, for example, would be charged this rate for any type of coverage—whether it’s a plan with a low $2,500 annual limit, $1,000 deductible, and 70% reimbursement or an unlimited plan with the lowest possible $250 deductible and 90% coverage. This means that owners of pets that would typically be less expensive to insure could end up overpaying significantly for the coverage they select.
|Dog: 1 year||$24.03 to $83.01|
|Dog: 3 year||$27.32 to $95.76|
|Dog: 6 year||$43.20 to $157.27|
|Dog: 12 year||$256.66|
|Cat: 1 year||$20.16|
|Cat: 3 year||$20.16 to $64.69|
|Cat: 6 year||$27.75 to $112.69|
|Cat: 12 year||$114.23|
Pet parents who sign up for coverage with Petplan will need to wait 15 days before the policy becomes effective. This is the longest waiting period that insurers typically require; many begin accident benefits just two or three days after the start date. Any type of knee condition won’t be covered until six months after the enrollment date.
Any condition that showed symptoms before the policy start date or during the applicable waiting period is considered pre-existing and will be disqualified from coverage. This is standard across all pet insurance plans.
The good news is that Petplan will waive pre-existing limitations on any condition that has shown no clinical signs for at least 12 months. This is certainly beneficial, although many competitors advertise similar policies with curable exclusionary periods as short as six months.
Two different annual limits are available through Petplan, one at $5,000 and one at $15,000, plus a more expensive option with unlimited annual benefits. The lower your annual limit, the less you’ll pay in monthly premiums.
If you’re having trouble choosing an annual limit, add up your veterinarian bills for the past year and give yourself some additional wiggle room for unexpected injuries or illnesses.
Since Petplan doesn’t provide any add-on coverage options, there are several exclusions to the policy that you should know about. No form of preventive care is covered, which includes wellness exams, vaccinations, and microchipping. Petplan also declines to offer reimbursement for end-of-life expenses such as cremation or burial.
Petplan claims on its website that most pet insurance providers don’t cover routine and preventive visits, but this simply isn’t true. Among the pet insurers we’ve reviewed, more than two-thirds offer some form of wellness coverage, usually through an optional preventive care rider.
Petplan’s claims policy is fairly strict, and there are a few guidelines that pet owners are expected to abide by if they want to receive reimbursement for qualified expenses. The most noteworthy is that a veterinarian must be seen within 48 hours of the first sign of any illness or injury. Since some conditions show symptoms gradually and many aren’t urgent, this can be difficult to achieve, especially with the busy schedule of an average working adult. Receipts must then be submitted within 90 days showing the services rendered and proof of payment.
Claims can be filed via the free Petplan app or by downloading a form from your account portal on the provider’s website.
You can reach customer service at Petplan 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST Monday to Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST on Saturday. If you prefer, you can also contact the company by email or live chat.
However, one cause for concern is the prevalence of potentially misleading claims on Petplan’s website. Petplan makes some claims about its competitors that should be taken with a grain of salt. As previously mentioned, the company occasionally misrepresents the availability of wellness coverage among pet insurance companies. Petplan also uses its illness waiting period as a comparison tool against other insurers but fails to disclose that its accident waiting period is significantly longer than industry averages.
Petplan gets overall positive ratings from third parties. The provider has an A+ rating with the BBB, although there are dozens of complaints that mostly cite billing errors and miscommunications. Petplan’s policy underwriter, XL Specialty Insurance Company, gets an A+ rating from AM Best, indicating superior financial stability.
Competition: Petplan vs. Healthy Paws
Pet insurer Healthy Paws takes a similar approach to Petplan in only offering one accident and illness plan with no policy upgrades. Since both cover similar types of treatment, we compared monthly premiums to see how the costs added up. For an unlimited policy with 80% reimbursement and a $250 annual deductible, Healthy Paws came in 30% cheaper than Petplan. This just goes to show how important it is to compare quotes using your pet’s information and a standard level of coverage.
|Animals Covered||Dogs and cats||Dogs and cats|
|Example Cost||$42.36 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, no annual limit, and a $250 deductible||$29.39 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, no annual limit, and a $250 deductible|
|Coverage Type||Accident and illness||Accident and illness|
Injuries: 15 days;
Illnesses: 15 days
Injuries: 15 days;
Illnesses: 15 days
There are plenty of things to like about Petplan; the provider’s single policy is straightforward and easy to understand, and customization is still available by adjusting coverage levels. Reimbursement is also available for non-standard expenses like trip cancellations and owner hospitalization. Still, you should keep in mind that wellness coverage isn’t even an option and will require purchasing a separate policy from another provider if this is something you need.
Every pet insurance provider offers unique types of coverage, so our methodology for reviewing pet insurance companies uses a quantitative scoring method to review them all on a standardized basis. Our model takes information such as pricing, benefits, and exclusions into consideration, ensuring each policy matches the level of coverage you expect for your pet. We also evaluate providers using customer service and financial strength data from third parties to help aid our assessment.
Better Business Bureau. "Petplan." Accessed November 30, 2020.
AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of XL Bermuda Ltd and Its Main Property/Casualty Subsidiaries." Accessed December 18, 2020.