Prudent Pet Insurance Review

Customizable policies with optional add-ons

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Prudent Pet Pet Insurance

 Prudent Pet Pet Insurance

Investopedia’s Rating
4.3

Our Take

Prudent Pet insurance doesn’t have age or breed restrictions, and it has customizable policies with optional add-ons and up to 100% reimbursement.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Option for unlimited annual benefits

  • Multiple add-ons available

  • No age or breed restrictions

  • 24/7 veterinary support

Cons
  • Doesn’t cover parasite treatment

  • It can take up to 30 days to receive reimbursement

  • Annual health and dental exams required

Key Takeaways
  • Prudent Pet offers accident-only and accident/illness plans.
  • All policies have a 30-day free look period.
  • The Ultimate plan includes added benefits like vacation cancellation coverage.
  • Deductibles range from $100 to $1,000.
  • Policies are underwritten by Markel Insurance Company and Markel American Insurance Company.
Company Key Facts
  • Year Founded 2018
  • Kinds of Plans Accident-only, Accident/illness, optional add-ons
  • Number of Plans 3
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly
  • Customer Service Email, phone; (888) 820-7739
  • Official Website prudentpet.com
Prudent Pet Pet Insurance

 Prudent Pet Pet Insurance

Investopedia’s Rating
4.3

Pros Explained

  • Option for unlimited annual benefits: With pet insurance, you typically choose an annual benefit amount, such as $10,000. That number is the maximum the insurance company will cover in claims for the year. With Prudent Pet, you can opt for an unlimited annual benefit plan, and the company will reimburse you for all of your eligible veterinary costs beyond your deductible and coinsurance amounts. 
  • Multiple add-ons available: Prudent Pet’s policies are customizable. You can add optional riders to your policy to get more coverage, such as veterinary exam fees or wellness coverage. 
  • No age or breed restrictions: While many companies have age restrictions—most insurers don’t offer accident and illness policies for pets over 12—Prudent Pet has no age or breed exclusions. 
  • 24/7 veterinary support: A free 24/7 veterinary chat feature is available to all policyholders. You can use the chat feature to ask licensed veterinarian questions about your pet’s health and get advice. 

Cons Explained

  • Doesn’t cover parasite treatment: Parasites like tapeworms, ticks, and fleas are common, even with preventative care. However, Prudent Pet doesn’t cover the costs or fees of parasite-related treatments. 
  • It can take up to 30 days to receive reimbursement: As with most other companies, Prudent Pet insurance works via reimbursement, so you have to pay for veterinary care upfront. According to Prudent Pet, it can take up to 30 days to receive reimbursement—a longer period than some other insurers, although your claim may be processed relatively quickly. 
  • Annual health and dental exams required: Prudent Pet requires policyholders to take their pets for annual health and dental exams and, if necessary, ultrasonic scaling and polishing of teeth. Otherwise, it may deny your claims. 

Introduction

Prudent Pet insurance offers a variety of accident and illness policies for pets. It has customizable plans with optional benefits, and it doesn’t have age or breed restrictions.

Prudent Pet Health Insurance

Investopedia/Design by Amelia Manley

Company Overview

Compared to some other insurers, Prudent Pet is a young company. It was founded in 2018, and it’s based in Downers Grove, Illinois. Prudent Pet issues policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

Prudent Pet’s policies are sold directly to consumers through its website or over the phone. It only offers coverage for dogs and cats, and it sells both accident-only and accident and illness plans. Treatments are covered at any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada.

Prudent Pet doesn’t underwrite the policies it sells; instead, its policies are underwritten by Markel Insurance Company and Markel American Insurance Company. Markel is a financial holding company founded in 1930 and offers a range of personal and business insurance products.

Available Plans

Prudent Pet has three plans for dogs and cats: 

Accident-Only

Accident-only policies tend to be much less expensive than accident and illness policies. They’re designed to cover treatments for unexpected injuries resulting from accidents, such as broken bones or bite wounds. The annual benefit for an accident-only policy from Prudent Pet is $10,000. 

Essential

The Essential plan is the basic accident and illness policy. It covers unexpected injuries and illnesses, such as cancer, digestive illnesses, joint issues, and hereditary conditions. The Essential plan will also cover up to $250 per year to treat eligible behavioral disorders. The Essential plan’s annual benefit limit is $10,000.

Ultimate

The Ultimate plan is an accident and illness policy. It includes all of the coverage of the Essential plan, but with an unlimited annual benefit. 

Beyond the typical accident and illness coverages, the Ultimate plan has some notable extra benefits: 

  • Vacation Cancellation: Vacation cancellation coverage applies if your pet is ill or injured and needs lifesaving treatment that causes you to cancel, delay, or interrupt vacation plans. This benefit will reimburse you for up to $1,000. 
  • Mortality Benefit: If your pet dies as a result of a covered illness or accident, Prudent Pet will reimburse up to $1,000 to cover cremation or burial expenses and the price of the animal. 
  • Loss Due to Theft or Stray: If your pet is lost or stolen and not found within 30 days, Prudent Pet will reimburse you for the price you paid for your pet, up to a maximum of $500. 
  • Boarding Fees: If you are sick or injured and in a hospital, Prudent Pet will reimburse you up to $500 to pay for boarding fees for your pet. 
  • Advertising and Rewards: If your pet is lost or stolen, Prudent Pet will reimburse you up to $500 for the cost of advertising or provide a reward for the animal’s return.
Covered Treatment Accident-Only  Essential  Ultimate 
Live vet chat 24/7
Genetic conditions    ✓  ✓ 
Surgery  ✓  ✓ 
Rehabilitation/alternative care  ✓  ✓  ✓ 
Prescription medication  ✓  ✓  ✓ 
Behavioral problems    ✓  ✓ 
Non-routine dental  ✓  ✓  ✓ 
Prescription supplements    ✓   
Boarding fees     
Vacation cancellation      ✓ 
Mortality      ✓ 
Advertising and rewards      ✓ 
Loss due to theft or stray      ✓ 

Available Riders/Add-ons

With some pet insurance companies, you can add optional riders or add-ons to get additional coverage. Add-ons allow you to get the coverage you want, or you can skip them to keep your premiums low. 

Prudent Pet has two add-ons: 

  • Veterinary exam coverage: Veterinary exam coverage will reimburse you for exam or consultation fees. Under the standard accident-only and accident and illness policies, veterinary exams aren’t covered. 
  • Wellness coverage: With wellness coverage, you can be reimbursed for a portion of your pet's routine and preventative care, such as vaccinations, wellness exams, microchips, spaying/neutering, and dental cleanings. 

Waiting Periods

Like other pet insurance companies, Prudent Pet’s policies have waiting periods before your pet’s treatments are covered. The length of the waiting period varies based on the type of ailment. Accident coverage has a five-day waiting period, while illness coverage has a 14-day waiting period.

Treatments for damage or ruptures of cruciate ligaments, luxation of the patellas, or other soft tissues of the knee are not covered if the condition occurs within the first six months the policy is in effect. However, this waiting period is waived if your pet is examined within 30 days of the policy effective date and the veterinarian specifically notes that the pet doesn’t have any pre-existing knee conditions at that time. 

Cancellation Policy 

Prudent Pet has a 30-day free look period. If you cancel your policy within 30 days of the policy's effective date, the company will send you a full refund as long as you haven’t filed a claim. 

After the free look period, you can cancel any time by notifying Prudent Pet in writing. The company will return prorated premiums to you based on the date of cancellation. 

Plan Exclusions

Prudent Pet’s policies don’t cover: 

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Prescription diets
  • Bilateral conditions
  • Dental crowns and root canals
  • Treatments for conditions related to parasites unless there is no preventative medication available
  • Experimental treatments

Pre-Existing Conditions

Prudent Pet defines pre-existing conditions as medical conditions that first occurred or showed clinical signs before the policy effective date or during the policy’s waiting periods. 

If your pet has clinical signs of cruciate or soft tissue injuries prior to the policy effective date or during the first six months the policy is in effect, treatments for those conditions are excluded from coverage. And the other knee is excluded from coverage for 12 months after the date of last treatment to the affected knee (this is the bilateral condition exclusion). 

Conditions will be considered “cured” and no longer pre-existing (and therefore eligible for coverage) if they’ve had no symptoms or treatment for 365 days—with the exception of knee and ligament conditions.

Plan Pricing

In general, we found that Prudent Pet’s policies were significantly more expensive than other companies, with monthly premiums well above the industry average. 

The Essential policies ranged from a low of $7.58 per month for a young mixed-breed cat to $42.11 per month for a three-year-old Labrador Retriever. 

For the Ultimate policy, which has an unlimited annual benefit, rates ranged from a low of $81.53 per month for a young cat to $292.56 per month for an eight-year-old mixed-breed dog. 

But take note that these are just examples, and your monthly premium will be based on several factors, including: 

  • Location
  • Pet’s age
  • Breed
  • Gender
  • Deductible amount
  • Reimbursement percentage
  • Annual benefit maximum

Prudent Pet’s reimbursement percentages range from 70% to 90%, and its annual deductibles range from $100 to $1,000. Its accident-only and Essentials plan has a $10,000 annual maximum, while the Ultimate plan has an unlimited maximum. 

With Prudent Pet, you can get a quote for coverage completely online. If you plan on insuring more than one pet, Prudent Pet does offer a 10% multi-pet discount, and there’s also a 10% discount for being an active or retired military member.

In general, accident-only coverage can cost around 60% less than an accident and illness policy.

Claims

Like most pet insurance companies, Prudent Pet works on a reimbursement model. You pay for your pet’s veterinary care upfront at the vet’s office and submit a claim with Prudent Pet afterward. If Prudent Pet deems your claim as an eligible expense, it will reimburse you via check or direct deposit. 

You can submit claims online through the customer portal, or by email, postal mail, or fax. Reimbursement checks are sent through the mail or by direct deposit. 

It may take up to 30 days for reimbursement to be provided after a claim has been processed, but according to customer support, the claim turnaround time is often as quick as one to three business days.

Customer Service

Customer service can be reached by online chat, email, or phone.

Current policyholders can use Prudent Pet’s customer portal to submit claims, update their policy, and make payments.

Prudent Pet partners with employers, shelters, and membership associations to offer pet insurance at discounted rates.

Third-Party Ratings

Policies are underwritten by Markel Insurance Company and Markel American Insurance Company. 

In 2021, AM Best, a credit rating agency that is focused on the insurance industry, affirmed Markel’s A (Excellent) rating. That rating indicates that AM Best believes Markel has an excellent ability to meet its policy obligations. 

Neither Prudent Pet Insurance nor Markel are the subject of any complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Prudent Pet Insurance has a high rating—4.8 out of 5—on Trustpilot. 

According to one customer, via Trustpilot: 

Excellent plans, pricing, customer service, and extremely quick reimbursements. Made one of the worst experiences of my life a little easier when I lost my baby. They even called to check in on me and offer resources a few days later, which I really appreciated.”

Alternative Choices

While Prudent Pet may be a good fit for some pet owners, it’s wise to shop around and compare its policies to other insurers’ options. When researching policies, consider the following variables: 

  • Waiting periods: Waiting periods vary by company. Depending on the insurer and the condition, waiting periods can range from a few days to several months. 
  • Exclusions: No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions, but other exclusions vary by insurer. Read the policy agreements carefully to see what treatments and conditions are covered, and what the requirements are for your claim to be approved. 
  • Annual and lifetime maximums: Most insurers have caps on annual or lifetime benefits, such as $5,000 per year and $50,000 over the pet’s lifetime. If you’re concerned about major medical bills, a higher annual and lifetime benefit may be worth the added cost. 
  • Age restrictions: Most insurers will not cover pets younger than eight weeks or older than 12 years. If an insurer does offer coverage for senior pets, there may be additional care requirements and higher premiums. 

Ready to check out your options? See the top-rated companies on the market with our picks for the best pet insurance providers.

Competition

  Prudent Pet Companion Protect  MetLife 
Annual Deductible Options $100, $250, $500, $1,000 $100 $0 to $2,500
Reimbursement Percentage  70%, 80%, 90%  90%  50%–100% 
Average Claim Turnaround Time  3–30 days  4–6 days  10 days 
Illness Waiting Period  14 days  No waiting period  14 days 
Injury Waiting Period  5 days  No waiting period  No waiting period 
Exam Coverage  Add-On  Yes  Yes 
Dental Illness Coverage  Yes  No  Yes 
Max Enrollment Age Limit  None  24 years 11 months  None 

The first pet insurance policy was sold in the United States in 1982 by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), which was purchased by Nationwide in 2017.

Final Verdict

Prudent Pet’s policies are comprehensive and provide coverage for senior pets. While some pet owners may find the company’s add-ons appealing, Prudent Pet is more expensive than most other pet insurance companies, and its high premiums may be cost-prohibitive for some.

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. Prudent Pet. "Sample Preferred Policy," Page 7. 

  2. Prudent Pet. "Pet Insurance Plans." 

  3. Prudent Pet. "FAQ." 

  4. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "A Regulator's Guide to Pet Insurance," Page 20. 

  5. Prudent Pet. "Sample Preferred Policy," Page 6. 

  6. PRNewswire. "Prudent Pet Partners With Markel Insurance Company." 

  7. Markel Corporation. "Our Story." 

  8. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "A Regulator's Guide to Pet Insurance," Page 16.

  9. Prudent Pet. "Sample Ultimate Policy," Page 3 

  10. Prudent Pet. "Sample Ultimate Policy," Page 6. 

  11. Prudent Pet. "Sample Ultimate Policy," Page 9. 

  12. Prudent Pet. "Sample Ultimate Policy," Page 7. 

  13. North American Pet Health Insurance Association. "Average Premiums." 

  14. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "A Regulator's Guide to Pet Insurance," Page 16. 

  15. Prudent Pet Insurance. "The Basics." 

  16. AM Best. "Markel Insurance Company." 

  17. Trustpilot. "Prudent Pet Insurance."

  18. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Consumer Complaint Database." 

  19. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "A Regulator's Guide to Pet Insurance," Page 4.