Petplan vs. Healthy Paws

Choose the right accident and illness coverage from top providers

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Looking for straightforward, uncomplicated pet insurance? Petplan and Healthy Paws are both excellent choices for pet parents who simply want to insure their dog or cat without navigating complex coverage options. Each provider sells a single accident and illness policy that will help pay for your pet’s unforeseen veterinary bills, treating a wide range of conditions from broken limbs to cancer.

Petplan and Healthy Paws sell very similar policies, but there are a few nuances that might make you lean toward one over the other. While Healthy Paws offers the best price for a high-limit, low-deductible policy, Petplan gives you coverage for more expenses such as exam fees, dental treatment, and trip cancellation.

Our review covers these differences and more, walking you through everything you need to know before choosing between Petplan and Healthy Paws. We’ve provided an easy-to-read breakdown of the most important factors in choosing pet insurance, including coverage, cost, reputation, and service.

Petplan vs. Healthy Paws: Coverage, Costs & Features

Petplan vs. Healthy Paws
Petplan vs. Healthy Paws

Petplan


PetPlan

 PetPlan

Pros
  • Many ways to customize

  • Coverage for adverse events, including comprehensive dental coverage

  • Helpful online resources

  • No network limitations

Cons
  • Only one plan available

  • No preventive care coverage

  • Restrictions on older animals

Healthy Paws


Healthy Paws

 Healthy Paws

Pros
  • Unlimited annual benefits

  • Quick, easy claims process

  • Automatically compares rates with competitors

  • Backed by Chubb

Cons
  • Single policy offered

  • Limited coverage levels

  • Requires an exam

  • Not ideal for older pets

Petplan vs. Healthy Paws: Coverage

Petplan and Healthy Paws are alike in the amount and type of coverage they offer. Both providers opt for simplicity with a single accident and illness policy that pays for the necessary treatments if your pet becomes injured or sick. No accident-only or preventive care options are sold by either company.

Petplan does cover a few more costs than Healthy Paws. Most notable is that exam fees are eligible for reimbursement; pet parents are responsible for paying these fees out of pocket with Healthy Paws. Petplan also includes up to $1,000 in trip cancellation coverage if your pet becomes seriously ill during a scheduled vacation. Similar coverage isn’t available from Healthy Paws.

Although Healthy Paws doesn’t cover the same variety of services as Petplan, the former does offer more favorable terms. For example, every Healthy Paws policy comes with unlimited annual benefits, an option that is only available from Petplan at higher price points. Healthy Paws’ deductibles also skew lower than Petplan’s when comparing policies in similar price ranges. (Keep reading for a more detailed cost comparison.)

The table below outlines which treatments are and aren’t covered by accident and illness policies from Petplan and Healthy Paws.

Covered Treatment Petplan Healthy Paws
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    

Petplan vs. Healthy Paws: Enrollment Process

Signing up for coverage with Petplan and Healthy Paws is fast and easy thanks to convenient online quote tools. Simply visit either provider’s website, enter your pet’s information, and select the coverage that best fits your needs and budget. If you find a policy you’re happy with, all you need to do is enter your payment information and you’ll be enrolled.

Both Petplan and Healthy Paws ask pet parents to submit proof of a recent veterinary exam upon signing up for coverage. These records are used to identify any conditions that would be considered pre-existing under your policy.

Healthy Paws requires a checkup within 12 months prior to the coverage start date (30 days if your pet is six or older at signup). If you don’t have any records from this period, you’ll be asked to schedule a vet visit within 15 days or your policy will be void. Petplan’s window is much smaller at just six months, although you’ll be given a full 30 days to have your pet examined if it’s been longer since their last appointment. Pets ages six and up at enrollment will need an exam no more than 30 days before or after the policy start date.

Age is certainly a factor to take into consideration when signing up for coverage with either Petplan or Healthy Paws. Both providers limit options for pets after a certain age. With Healthy Paws, pets that are enrolled after their sixth birthday are only eligible for a policy with unlimited annual benefits, 70% reimbursement, and a $500 deductible. No pets are allowed to sign up after the age of 14. Petplan limits pets ages 10 and older to a policy with $15,000 in annual benefits, 70% reimbursement, and a $750 deductible, although there aren’t any maximum age limits for enrollment.

Petplan vs. Healthy Paws: Claim Filing

Both Petplan and Healthy Paws offer digital claim filing experiences. With Healthy Paws, you can either upload bills to the provider’s website or take photos with your smartphone and submit them directly through a mobile app. Processing time is extremely quick; nearly all claims are turned around in less than 48 hours.

Petplan also accepts claims through its website and mobile app. The company doesn’t give a concrete time frame for reimbursement, simply stating that most claims are processed “within a few days.” Just don’t put it off for too long—claims are only accepted within 90 days of the treatment date.

Petplan vs. Healthy Paws: Reviews

As one of the best-rated pet insurance companies, Healthy Paws easily surpasses Petplan among third-party reviews. Although both have a high rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)—Petplan has an A- rating and Healthy Paws, an A rating—customers are more favorable in their opinions of Healthy Paws, giving the company a 3.4-star average review score. As can be expected, the most frequent comment is praise regarding the provider’s fast claim processing time.

Petplan’s average review score with the BBB is a mere 1.06 stars due to a flood of negative comments about the company. The most common complaint is that rates sharply increase as pets get older. This makes customers feel trapped with the company because if they switch to a cheaper insurer, any conditions their pet was already treated for under Petplan will be deemed pre-existing and not be covered.

Healthy Paws also performs better than Petplan in financial stability, although not by much. AM Best gives Healthy Paws’ underwriter, Chubb, the topmost rating of A++. Petplan’s primary underwriter, XL Specialty Insurance Company, receives an A+, which is still considered a superior rating.

Petplan vs. Healthy Paws: Costs

Petplan and Healthy Paws price their policies within a comparable range. The primary difference is that Healthy Paws gives you a lower deductible and higher annual limit for the same price, while Petplan covers a wider range of costs that includes exam fees, dental treatment, and trip cancellation.

To give an example, we compared premiums between the two providers for an accident and illness policy with no annual limit, 80% coverage, and a $250 deductible. The cost of insuring a two-year-old, medium-sized dog in Dallas, Texas, was only $33.16 per month with Healthy Paws, but Petplan’s policy was over 50% more expensive at $52.33 per month.

One final cost consideration is that Petplan has a minimum monthly premium of $20.16. You won’t be able to purchase a policy for less than this amount, even by choosing a smaller annual limit, higher deductible, or lower reimbursement level. If the company’s online quote tool returns this value, try increasing coverage to see if you could get more favorable policy terms for the same price.

  Petplan Healthy Paws
Dog: 1 year $20.16 to $45.65 $20.33 to $43.08
Dog: 3 year $20.16 to $57.86 $23.74 to $50.37
Dog: 6 year $20.16 to $98.86 $34.11
Dog: 12 year $160.46 $155.74
Cat: 1 year $20.16 $8.01 to $17.04
Cat: 3 year $20.16 to $24.17 $9.36 to $19.93
Cat: 6 year $20.16 to $40.38 $13.74
Cat: 12 year $40.90 $61.31

FAQs

What Are Petplan and Healthy Paws?

Petplan and Healthy Paws are two popular pet insurance companies. Pet insurance is a solution for animal owners who want to make sure their pet’s veterinary expenses will be covered in case of a medical emergency.

How Do Petplan and Healthy Paws Work?

Both Petplan and Healthy Paws offer simplified accident and illness policies, a type of pet insurance that helps pay for veterinary expenses if your furry family member becomes sick or hurt. Depending on the policy, each company will reimburse 70% to 90% of eligible expenses up to a certain annual limit after you’ve met your deductible.

Who Should Use Petplan or Healthy Paws?

Petplan and Healthy Paws each provide value in different ways. For better coverage of basic veterinary expenses, Healthy Paws is the way to go; you’ll get a higher limit and a smaller deductible compared to a Petplan policy at the same price.

Petplan makes up for this shortcoming by covering a wider range of costs. If you’d like to avoid paying exam fees out of pocket every time you visit the vet, go with Petplan over Healthy Paws. Frequent travelers should also consider Petplan for the $1,000 in trip cancellation coverage included in every policy.

How We Evaluated Petplan vs. Healthy Paws

We evaluate pet insurers like Petplan and Healthy Paws using a standardized scoring method. Our quantitative analysis assigns ratings on a scale of 1 to 5 in categories like types of coverage, limitations, pricing, quality of service, and more. We use a weighted average of these scores to compare providers and help you pick the best coverage for your pet.

Learn more: Read our full Pet Insurance Review Methodology here.

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. "Fetch, Incorporated." Accessed June 29, 2021.

  2. Better Business Bureau. "Healthy Paws Pet Insurance LLC." Accessed June 29, 2021.

  3. AM Best. "Chubb Insurance Company of New Jersey." Accessed June 29, 2021.

  4. AM Best. "XL Specialty Insurance Company." Accessed June 29, 2021.