USAA Pet Insurance Review

Discounts up to 25% for military members

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USAA

USAA

overall rating
4.0

Military members probably won’t find better pricing than what the USAA offers. Still, it’s always a good idea to check by comparing quotes from a few different pet insurers.

Based on our review of almost two dozen pet insurance companies, USAA 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 & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Use any licensed vet in the world

  • Choose from accident-only, accident and illness, and wellness coverage

  • Generous discounts available

  • Flexible pre-existing condition policy

Cons
  • Policies not administered by USAA

  • Only available to members of the military

  • Doesn’t offer unlimited coverage

  • Long claim processing periods

Key Takeaways
  • USAA pet insurance is only available to current and former members of the U.S. military.
  • Policies are administered by Embrace Pet Insurance, a third-party insurer.
  • USAA members usually qualify for discounts of 15% to 25% on premiums depending on location and military status.
Company Overview

USAA began in 1922 as a small group of 25 Army officers who decided to pool their resources to create an insurance fund for their vehicles. Today, more than 13 million service members have joined USAA, taking advantage of financial products that range from insurance policies to bank accounts and mortgage loans. USAA works with Embrace Pet Insurance to bring heavily discounted pet policies to its members with family pets.

  • Year Founded 1922
  • Waiting Period Two to 14 days
  • Deductible $200 to $1,000
  • Customer Service Forms Phone, email
  • Customer Service Telephone (210) 531-8722
  • Company Website www.usaa.com/inet/wc/pet-insurance

Several pet insurers offer military discounts to members of the armed forces, typically in the neighborhood of 5% to 10%. Yet as many military families know, USAA is usually the place to go to find the best available service and pricing. Through USAA’s partnership with Embrace Pet Insurance, military pets can benefit from prices that are up to 25% lower than the competition. If you qualify for USAA membership and are curious as to what a pet insurance policy entails, our review will break down everything you need to know.

Pros Explained

  • Use any licensed vet in the world: Wherever you are in the world, Embrace will cover the veterinary treatment your pet needs.
  • Choose from accident-only, accident and illness, and wellness coverage: No matter what type of coverage you’re looking for, you’ll find it with USAA.
  • Generous discounts available: Discounts generally range from 15% to 25% for USAA members depending on military status.
  • Flexible pre-existing condition policy: If a condition has been cured and asymptomatic for at least 12 months, it will no longer be considered pre-existing.

Cons Explained

  • Policies not administered by USAA: USAA doesn’t service its own pet policies. All plans are administered by Embrace Pet Insurance.
  • Only available to members of the military: Only current and former military members and their families are eligible for USAA membership. However, anyone can get insurance directly from Embrace.
  • Doesn’t offer unlimited coverage: There are no unlimited plans available from USAA. Annual limits max out at $30,000.
  • Long claim processing periods: Claims usually take 10 to 15 days to be processed, not including time to receive payment.

Available Plans

The core pet insurance plan offered by USAA is an accident and illness policy. The plan pays for most essential veterinary services that are needed to treat illnesses or injuries. If you want to add coverage for preventive care, a wellness rewards plan is available that includes reimbursement for checkups, vaccinations, and other services that aren’t considered routine.

Covered Treatment Accident and Illness Plan Wellness Rewards
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

USAA’s pet policy pricing is determined by Embrace, the company that services these plans. Overall, pricing is generally affordable, with monthly rates starting as low as $6 per month for cats and $11 for dogs. Wellness coverage is offered at a flat rate for all pets regardless of age or breed.

The pricing listed below is what Embrace offers to members of the general public. All USAA members qualify for discounts up to 15%, although discounts can be extended to 25% for multi-pet families who are current or former active-duty military members. Availability of plans and discounts can vary by state. For more specific pricing, you’ll need to get in touch with your USAA representative directly.

  Accident and Illness Plan Wellness Rewards
Dog: 1 Year $11.35 to $44.11 $18.75 to $52.09
Dog: 3 Year $11.60 to $45.06 $18.75 to $52.09
Dog: 6 Year $14.28 to $55.50 $18.75 to $52.09
Dog: 12 Year $31.13 to $120.96 $18.75 to $52.09
Cat: 1 Year $5.68 to $22.06 $18.75 to $52.09
Cat: 3 Year $6.77 to $26.31 $18.75 to $52.09
Cat: 6 Year $8.76 to $34.02 $18.75 to $52.09
Cat: 12 Year $14.71 to $57.15 $18.75 to $52.09

Waiting Periods

USAA members who purchase a policy for their pet won’t be able to start using the included benefits from day one. There’s only a two-day waiting period for injuries, so any accidents that occur will be covered fairly quickly. However, illnesses carry a slightly longer waiting period of 14 days. You’ll have to wait six months before orthopedic conditions are eligible for reimbursement under the policy.

Pre-Existing Conditions

While USAA joins all other pet insurers in declining coverage for pre-existing conditions, there is a unique service you can take advantage of to avoid any surprises when the time comes to file your first claim. A free medical history review is offered upon registration in which you can submit the past 12 months of your pet’s veterinary records for evaluation. USAA will notify you of any conditions that might be considered pre-existing. They’ll even give you up to 30 days to back out from coverage and get your money back if you’re not satisfied with the outcome.

Certain curable conditions can be excluded from pre-existing condition rules with USAA as long as your pet goes symptom-free for at least 12 months. For example, if your pet was treated for an ear infection before you purchased a plan, you’ll be reimbursed if another one occurs as long as a full year elapses between the two infections.

Coverage Limits

Annual limits for covered services start at $5,000 and go up to $30,000. There’s no unlimited option, although the higher available limits still provide more than sufficient coverage for just about any unforeseen veterinary emergency. Your limit will reset every year, and the provider does not enforce lifetime limits.

Plan Exclusions

There aren’t any notable exclusions to USAA’s pet insurance coverage, although pets over age 14 can’t sign up for a new accident and illness policy without prior coverage. You can also be held responsible for the cost of treating illnesses for which a vaccine is available if you fail to vaccinate your pet in accordance with veterinary recommendations.

Claims

As a USAA pet insurance customer, you’ll have to file claims directly with Embrace Pet Insurance, which reviews and reimburses each bill. Embrace accepts claims through its website and smartphone app, or you can send completed forms by email, postal mail, or fax.

Embrace usually takes 10 to 15 days to process claims, which is a long time to be without the funds you used to pay your vet. To get reimbursed faster, submit claims digitally and enroll to receive payments by direct deposit.

Customer Service

USAA members that sign up for pet insurance should get in touch with Embrace for assistance related to claims and policy management. The provider is available by phone and email six days a week. You’ll also get complimentary access to a 24/7 hotline by PawSupport included with your policy. This service can be accessed by phone, video call, and web chat and is designed to give support and advice related to your pet’s health.

Third-Party Ratings

USAA has a strong reputation as a highly rated insurance carrier, so it makes sense that the company’s pet insurance partner would also get good scores from third parties. Embrace has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau; its underwriter, American Modern Insurance Group, has an A+ (Superior) financial stability rating from AM Best.

Competition: USAA vs. 24PetWatch

USAA and 24PetWatch offer similar terms and coverage with their pet policies, but when we compared quotes for the two, it became clear that their pricing couldn’t be more different. Our profile of a two-year-old dog was quoted at $41.79 monthly by 24PetWatch for a $10,000 plan with 80% coverage and a $500 deductible. The same policy was just $24.02 from USAA’s plan administrator Embrace, and most USAA members would qualify for an additional discount of 15% to 25% from this price. While this low pricing from USAA isn’t available to members of the general public, military members will certainly benefit more by choosing this provider.

  USAA 24PetWatch
Animals Covered Dogs and cats Dogs and cats
Example Cost $24.02 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, a $10,000 annual limit, and a $500 deductible $41.79 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, a $10,000 annual limit, and a $500 deductible
Coverage Type Accident and illness Accident and illness
Waiting Period Injuries: Two days;
Illnesses: 14 days
Injuries: Two days;
Illnesses: 14 days
Network Size Unlimited Unlimited
Verdict

If you or a family member are a current or former member of the armed forces, USAA’s pet policies offer competitive coverage at heavily discounted pricing. Active service members will benefit from tailored coverage even while deployed, including coverage for your pet wherever you go in the world. If you don’t qualify for USAA membership, however, you’ll unfortunately need to look elsewhere for pet insurance.

Methodology

There are many different aspects of pet insurance, so we simplify things with reviews that break down everything you need to know to buy the right coverage for your pet. Our methodology for reviewing pet insurance includes a quantified scoring system that evaluates policy pricing, coverage, limitations, and terms, comparing them to other carriers across the industry. We also ask each provider about their military discounts to see which ones are willing to offer the lowest monthly premiums to members of the armed forces. Third-party ratings and customer satisfaction scores are factored in to help assess an insurer's overall quality and value.