Pets Best Pet Insurance Review

Coverage for dogs and cats with no upper age limit

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Pets Best

Pets Best

Investopedia’s Rating
4.4

Our Take

Pets Best has multiple plans, and it doesn’t have an upper age limit. However, it has few options for annual benefit amounts, and not all pets will qualify for accident and illness coverage.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Wide range of deductibles

  • No upper age limit

  • Direct pay option available

  • 24/7 vet helpline

Cons
  • Not all pets will qualify for accident and illness plans

  • Transaction fees apply

  • Few annual benefit options

Key Takeaways
  • Pets Best sells accident and illness plans, accident-only policies, and wellness coverage.
  • Policies are underwritten by the American Pet Insurance Company.
  • Multi-pet discounts are available. 
  • Pets can be enrolled as young as seven weeks. 
  • There is a 30-day free look period.
Company Key Facts
  • Year Founded 2005
  • Kinds of Plans Accident/illness, accident-only, wellness add-on
  • Number of Plans 2
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually
  • Customer Service Phone; (877) 738-7237
  • Official Website petsbest.com

Pros Explained

  • Wide range of deductibles: Your deductible is how much you have to pay for your pet’s treatment before your insurer begins covering the cost. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium. With Pets Best, you can choose a deductible from $50 to $1,000, so you can pick the number that makes sense for your budget. 
  • No upper age limit: Unlike many other companies, Pets Best doesn’t have an upper age limit. If you have a senior dog or cat, you can enroll them in a policy. 
  • Direct pay option available: With most pet insurance companies, claims are handled via reimbursement. However, Pets Best does have a direct pay option with prior arrangement, an important benefit when you’re dealing with costly treatments. 
  • 24/7 vet helpline: As a Pets Best policyholder you have access to a 24/7 vet helpline where you can chat with a licensed veterinarian and get personalized advice for your pet around the clock.

Cons Explained

  • Not all pets will qualify for accident and illness coverage: Depending on your pet’s medical history, they may not be eligible for accident and illness coverage. Pet's with one or more of several severe chronic conditions can only enroll in accident-only plans.
  • Transaction fees apply: A $2 fee applies each time you'll pay. Choose monthly payments and you'll pay $2 more each month. If you choose less frequent payments, you'll pay less in fees each year.
  • Few annual benefit options: Pets Best only has two annual benefit options: $5,000 or unlimited. Other companies have more options so you can choose a benefit that gives you a premium you can afford.

Introduction

Pets Best provides accident and illness as well as accident-only plans for dogs and cats. You can get additional coverage by purchasing optional wellness and routine care add-ons to cover things not covered in the standard plan.

Company Overview

Pets Best was launched in 2005 by Dr. Jack Stephens, a veterinarian. In 2019, Pets Best was acquired by Synchrony, the company that issues CareCredit, a credit card used for healthcare and veterinary expenses. 

Pets Best sells policies directly to pet owners through its website. It also works with veterinarians, shelters, and employers to offer discounted policies. 

As of 2022, Pets Best has insured over 500,000 pets across North America. It insures dogs and cats that are at least seven weeks old, and it has no upper age limit. Pets Best’s policies are available in all 50 states, and it is based in Charlotte, N.C.

Available Plans

Pets Best sells two main policy options: accident and illness and accident-only.

  • Accident and Illness: Accident and illness coverage is the most common form of pet insurance. It helps pay for the treatment of unexpected accidents or injuries, such as bite wounds, toxic ingestion, ear infections, or cancer. Pets Best’s accident and illness policy also covers chronic and hereditary conditions, as long as they weren’t pre-existing conditions. 
  • Accident-Only: Accident-only plans can be a good option for budget-conscious pet owners. You can get coverage against accidents like snake bites or broken limbs, but the plans are much cheaper than accident and illness coverage. With Pets Best, accident-only plans start at $6 per month for cats and $9 per month for dogs.
Covered Treatment Accident and Illness  Accident Only  Wellness 
Live vet chat 24/7
Wellness exam      ✓ 
Genetic/congenital conditions  ✓     
Diagnostics/testing  ✓  ✓   
Heartworm/FELV/blood/fecal exams      ✓ 
Heartworm/flea/tick prevention      ✓ 
Spay/neuter      ✓ 
Vaccination/titer      ✓ 
Surgery/hospitalization   
Cancer/chronic conditions  ✓     
Specialist care  ✓     
Microchipping      ✓ 
Teeth cleaning      ✓ 
Non-routine dental  ✓   

This table is not a comprehensive summary of covered services. Please see your policy documents or contact the company to learn more.

Available Riders/Add-Ons

Pets Best’s main plan has three different tiers: Essential, Plus, and Elite. Purchasing Plus over Essentials adds coverage for exam fees and purchasing Elite over Plus further adds coverage for acupuncture, chiropractic care, and rehabilitation.

Also, available are wellness plans that add coverage for routine care that is not otherwise covered. Wellness coverage reimburses you up to an annual benefit limit for common procedures like microchipping, wellness exams, and some vaccines. 

There are two levels to the wellness plan: Essential and Best. With the Essential Wellness plan, the maximum annual benefit is $305. With the Best Wellness plan, the maximum annual benefit is $535. 

Waiting Periods

Like other companies, Pets Best has waiting periods before accidents or injuries are covered. The waiting periods begin after the policy effective date.

  • Illnesses: 14 days
  • Injuries: 3 days
  • Cruciate ligament conditions: 6 months

The wellness plans have no waiting periods.

Cancellation Policy

Pets Best offers a 30-day free look period to give you a chance to try a plan. You can decide to cancel your policy within that period and receive a full refund of all premiums paid. 

Once the free look period ends, you can cancel your policy by contacting Pets Best. You’ll be issued a prorated refund based on the cancellation date. 

Plan Exclusions

Like other insurers, Pets Best doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. It also excludes bilateral conditions, meaning if your pet is diagnosed with a condition on one side of the body—such as a torn ACL or cataracts—treatment for the other side will not be covered. 

Pets Best’s policies don’t cover foods, vitamins, diets, or supplements. 

Pre-Existing Conditions

Pets Best defines a pre-existing condition as any issue that was evident during the 18 months before your pet was enrolled in a policy. Any conditions that were diagnosed during that time—or during the policy waiting period—are pre-existing and excluded from coverage. 

Not all of Pets Best policies offer dental coverage for injuries or dental diseases, so read your policy documents carefully and follow the exam and cleaning requirements to ensure your pet’s care is covered. 

Plan Pricing

Pet insurance policies from Pets Best have two annual benefit maximum options: 

  • $5,000
  • Unlimited

For accident and illness and accident-only plans, you can choose a reimbursement percentage of 70%, 80%, or 90%. Annual deductibles range from $50 to $1,000. 

In general, we found Pets Best’s premiums to be in line with industry averages (using average costs for three pet personas: two dogs and a cat). And it offers a 5% multi-pet discount, potentially lowering your premiums. 

If you enroll in a Pets Best policy through your veterinarian’s referral code, you can save up to 10% on your premiums. 

How Premiums Are Set

There are several factors that affect your pet’s premiums: 

  • Species: Cats are generally less expensive than dogs to insure. 
  • Breed: Purebred animals are usually more expensive to insure than mixed breeds, and breeds that are prone to hereditary issues have higher premiums. 
  • Age: Your premiums will increase as your pet ages as they become more likely to develop health issues. 
  • Location: Premiums can vary by state and zip code. Areas with a higher cost of living—and higher veterinary costs—will usually have more expensive premiums. 
  • Benefits: You can usually adjust your premiums by changing your annual benefit limit, reimbursement percentage, and deductible. 

Claims

With Pets Best, you must submit claims within 180 days of the treatment date. You can submit a claim through the customer portal (online or in the mobile app) or you can download the form and submit it by email, fax, or mail.

To file a claim, you need to submit the veterinary invoice and, upon request, supply all of your pet’s medical records. 

If your claim is approved, reimbursement will be sent via check or direct deposit. Direct deposit arrives in as little as two days. You can expect payment in five to seven days after your claim is approved, if you select a check. 

Enroll in direct deposit to receive your claim reimbursement faster, in as soon as two days. 

Veterinary Direct Pay

Pets Best is one of the few pet insurers that offers veterinary direct pay. If you make prior arrangements, you can have Pets Best pay your veterinarian directly, eliminating the need to pay for your pet's care upfront and wait for reimbursement. 

To take advantage of this feature you must make arrangements ahead of time, and your vet must complete Pets Best’s form.

Customer Service

Pets Best’s customer service center is available via phone or chat

Customer support can be reached by phone at (877) 738-7237 during the following hours:

  • Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. MST
  • Saturdays from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. MST

Third-Party Ratings

Pets Best’s policies are underwritten by the American Pet Insurance Company (APIC). APIC has been evaluated and rated by Demotech, a credit rating agency focused on insurance companies. APIC has an “A” (Unsurpassed) rating, meaning it is likely to be able to honor current and future claims. 

Customers generally have positive things to say about Pets Best. The company has received over 2,800 reviews on Trustpilot and it has a TrustScore of 4.0 out of 5, giving it a “Great” rating. Reviews highlight quick claims processing, responsive customer service, and a straightforward application process. 

We found similar opinions in our independent survey of pet insurance customers. One Pets Best client said they chose it due to its “pricing and ease of signing up.” Another chose it for the prices and coverage options.

Alternative Choices

Many companies offer pet insurance, and they all have different policy structures, exclusions, and rates. As you compare insurers, consider the following variables to make an informed decision: 

  • Payment method: Throughout the pet insurance industry, claims are usually handled through reimbursement; you’re responsible for paying for your pet’s care at the time it's provided, then you can submit a claim. If the insurer approves the claim, it will send you a reimbursement check for eligible expenses, or issue you the money via direct deposit. However, there are a few companies—including Pets Best—that will pay your veterinarian directly. 
  • Exclusions: Each insurance company has its own coverages and exclusions, so read the policy documents carefully to ensure you get the coverage you need for your pet. 
  • Waiting periods: Most pet insurance companies have waiting periods before they will cover treatments for qualifying injuries or illnesses. Waiting periods can range from a few days to several months, so be sure to understand when coverage will actually go into effect. 
  • Annual and condition limits: Before choosing a plan, pay attention to the benefit limits. Some companies have annual or lifetime limits, while others have per-condition limits, covering only up to a certain amount for certain illnesses or injuries. 

Competition

  Pets Best MetLife  ASPCA 
Annual Deductible Options  $50–$1,000 $50–$2,500 $100, $250, $500
Reimbursement Percentage  70%, 80%, 90%  70%, 80%, 90%, 100%  70%, 80%, 90% 
Average Claim Turnaround Time  2–7 days  Within 10 days  30 days or less 
Illness Waiting Period  14 days  14 days  14 days 
Injury Waiting Period  3 days  Next day beginning at midnight 14 days 
Exam Coverage  Upgrade Yes  Yes 
Dental Illness Coverage  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Max Enrollment Age Limit  None  None  None 
Final Verdict

For owners of senior pets, Pets Best could be a solid choice since it has no upper age limit, and you can choose between accident and illness and accident-only policies. Plus, Pets Best has an optional wellness plan you can add to your policy for additional coverage. 

However, Pets Best has few annual benefit options, and not all pets will qualify for accident and illness coverage. If you’re looking for more options, you’ll likely have to work with another insurer. 

Find pet insurance that meets your needs with our picks for the best pet insurance companies and plans available today.

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
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. Demotech. "American Pet Insurance Company." 

  2. Trustpilot. "Pets Best Pet Health Insurance."