24PetWatch provides accident and illness pet insurance as well as optional preventative care coverage for cats and dogs. While it offers short waiting periods and reimbursement for personal expenses connected to emergencies, its limited policy options, age exclusions, and few discounts put it behind the competition.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
Next-day accident coverage
Short waiting periods
Lost pet recovery subscription available
Covers trip cancellation and boarding fees
Complicated pricing plans
Pets can age out of coverage
Limited reimbursement for preventive care
- 24PetWatch offers accident and illness insurance for dogs and cats.
- An additional wellness rider also covers boarding and trip cancellation fees.
- Claims can be filed within three days for some common illnesses.
- Year Founded 2003
- Deductible $100 to $1,000
- Types of Services Available Accident and illness insurance
- Additional Features Wellness coverage
- Official Website https://www.24petwatch.com/pet-insurance
A subsidiary of pet microchipping company Pethealth Inc., 24PetWatch offers pet insurance policies and wellness plans for cats and dogs that include boarding and lost pet recovery costs. The company has shorter waiting periods than most pet insurers and deductibles as low as $100.
We review 24PetWatch’s coverage details and exclusions, add-on services, discount pricing, customer service, ratings, and more to help you decide if its plans are right for you.
Company Overview: Pet Insurance With Lost Pet Recovery Services
24PetWatch has been offering both pet insurance and pet protection services for cats and dogs since becoming part of Pethealth Inc. in 2003. In addition to insurance, the company also offers a lifetime pet protection membership that includes a 24/7 vet helpline, lost pet recovery specialists, and microchip registration.
24PetWatch’s accident and illness policies offer deductibles as low as $100 and maximum coverage of $20,000, depending on the policy you choose. The company has a flat 80% reimbursement for vet bills for covered services, unlike other pet insurers that offer a choice of 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement rates.
Both Yelp and ConsumerAffairs rate 24PetWatch below average based on customer reviews. Most complaints involve customers claiming to have difficulty canceling their policies or being enrolled for a free trial without their knowledge after adopting a pet from a shelter. Conversely, most positive reviews praise 24PetWatch for its fast and easy claim process and excellent customer service.
24PetWatch’s pet insurance policies are underwritten by Crum & Forster, a property and casualty insurer with an A rating from AM Best.
Policies Available: Accident and Illness
24PetWatch offers basic accident and illness coverage for cats and dogs. Unlike other pet insurers that let you mix and match deductibles, annual coverage limits, and reimbursements, 24PetWatch only lets you choose from four plans. Each comes with a preset annual limit, a limited choice of deductibles, and a fixed 80% reimbursement for vet fees.
|Extra Plan||Classic Plan||Super Plan||Champion Plan|
24PetWatch requires you to get a veterinary exam for your pet within the first 30 days of coverage if you have no medical records for your pet or if it hasn’t been seen by a veterinarian within the past 12 months. The company will also only insure dogs between eight weeks and 10 years of age and cats between eight weeks and 12 years.
Make sure your pet has been to a veterinarian in the past 12 months or you’ll need to pay for an exam within the first 30 days of your policy to keep your coverage.
Services covered include:
- Exam and diagnostic fees
- Hospitalization and surgeries
- Physical and rehabilitative therapies
- Hereditary and congenital conditions
- Lab tests, X-rays, and ultrasounds
- Prescription medications
- Therapeutic food (50% off; $500 per year)
- Alternative therapy ($1,000 per year)
24PetWatch has more liberal waiting periods than other pet insurers. You can make an accident claim the day after the effective date of your policy and illnesses after 14 days. There is only a 14-day waiting period for cruciate ligament and musculoskeletal claims due to illness, which is shorter than the 60 days many other providers require.
Any claims filed before these waiting periods will be automatically denied.
24PetWatch also offers coverage for these common illnesses on the third day following enrollment:
- Ear illnesses
- Eye illnesses
- Intestinal parasites
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Parvovirus/feline panleukopenia
- Tick-borne diseases
- Heartworm disease
Other Add-Ons: Wellness Coverage
In addition to accident and illness insurance, 24PetWatch offers optional add-on wellness care coverage that reimburses you for preventative pet care. You can choose between the Routine plan with $200 in annual coverage or the Advanced plan with $400 in annual coverage. Both plans offer fixed reimbursement rates for certain services.
The prices below indicate how much 24PetWatch will pay for each service depending on whether you choose the Routine or Advanced plan.
Coverage Per Policy Term
|Service||Routine Plan||Advanced Plan|
|Heartworm test or FELV screen||$15||$15|
|Microchip and/or urinalysis||$20||$20|
|Spay or neuter procedure and/or wellness blood test||$80||$100|
|Wellness blood screening*||$80||$80|
|Canine Bordetella vaccine/titer or feline FELV vaccine/titer||N/A||$15|
|Canine DHLPP vaccine/titer or feline FVRCP vaccine/titer||$15||$15|
|Rabies vaccine/titer and/or canine Lyme Disease vaccine/titer or feline FIP vaccine/titer||$15||$15|
* Only available in Florida
Unique Features: Deductible- and Copayment-Free Benefits
In addition to the coverage in its accident and illness policies, 24PetWatch also offers reimbursement up to the stated limits for the following veterinary services with no deductible or co-payment required:
- Boarding kennel fees ($500 per incident)
- Trip cancellation ($500 per incident)
- Additional living expenses ($500 per incident)
- Lost pet recovery costs ($500 per incident)
- Euthanasia and cremation ($200)
- Accidental death ($1,000)
24PetWatch will reimburse you for personal expenses related to emergencies, including boarding and trip cancellation fees as well as other living expenses.
Plan Exclusions: Pre-Existing Conditions
24PetWatch will not cover pre-existing conditions, which is typical of most pet insurance. It will also not insure dogs over the age of 10 and cats over the age of 12. 24PetWatch also won’t cover the following in its accident and illness policies:
- Accident or illness resulting from breeding, racing, hunting, organized fighting, coursing (the pursuit of game by your pet), law enforcement, or guarding
- Mistreatment, injury, or neglect
- Elective and cosmetic procedures
- Medical conditions arising from a failure to follow a preventative health care plan
- Dental care, grooming
- Breeding, whelping, fertility treatment, and care related to pregnancy
- Medical conditions preventable with sterilization (spaying or neutering)
- Training and any other behavioral modification techniques considered experimental
- Dental and orthodontic health care
- Experimental or investigational medical procedure, treatment, or service
- Euthanasia or destruction of a pet deemed "dangerous" or due to financial reasons
- Additional memorial options at the time of cremation including urns, caskets,
- paw prints, and memorial stones
- Medical condition that arises due to repetitive activity requiring repeated treatment
- Natural or man-made disasters
Cost: Few Discounts and Low Annual Limits
24PetWatch offers fewer discounts than other pet insurers. It offers 5% off of your premiums if your pet is already microchipped and a total savings of $30 in monthly fees if you pay your policy annually rather than monthly.
Here’s a breakdown of two policy quotes we got from 24PetWatch’s website:
Accident and illness insurance for a mixed-breed, medium-sized (up to 44 lbs.), three-year-old, female dog with $10,000 coverage, a $500 deductible, and 80% reimbursement came to $43.99 per month. Routine wellness care added an extra $10 per month for $200 of preventative care coverage for a total of $53.99 per month. Choosing the Advanced wellness care raised the cost by $25.00 per month for $400 of coverage, bringing the total price of coverage to $68.99 per month.
Accident and illness for a domestic longhair, one-year-old, male cat with $10,000 coverage, a $500 deductible, and 80% reimbursement came to $21.07 per month. Routine wellness care added an extra $10 per month for $200 of preventative care coverage for a total of $31.07 per month. Advanced wellness care added an extra $25.00 per month for $400 of coverage for a total of $46.07 per month.
Your price will vary based on the age and breed of your animal along with the plan and wellness care option you choose.
Customer Service: Online Portal, Email, and Live Chat
24PetWatch allows you to file a claim electronically at MyPethealth.com. You can also fax or email a printed and completed claim form. Customer service is available by phone or live chat from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday EST.
Competition: 24PetWatch vs. Hartville
We compared 24PetWatch to Hartville Pet Insurance, both of which offer similar accident and illness policies, wellness riders, and coverage in Canada as well as the U.S.
The first difference is that a policy from Hartville costs almost $10 less per month than the same one from 24PetWatch. Hartville also offers an accident-only policy that 24PetWatch does not.
The biggest difference, however, is in the coverage each offers. Hartville lets you choose from a range of deductibles, annual limits, and reimbursement amounts to build the policy you want. 24PetWatch offers only four plans, each with a set annual limit and not with the same choice of deductibles.
The most significant difference, though, is 24PetWatch’s lack of coverage for older pets. Even though Hartville’s premiums rise sharply as your pet gets older, you won’t be denied coverage when your dog reaches age 10 or your cat hits age 12. 24PetWatch doesn’t give you that option.
|Animals Covered||Dogs and cats||Dogs and cats|
|Example Cost||$54.29 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, a $10,000 annual limit, a $500 deductible, and $250 in wellness coverage||$46.63 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, a $10,000 annual limit, a $500 deductible, and $250 in wellness coverage|
|Coverage Type||Accident and illness, accident-only, wellness||Accident and illness, accident-only, wellness|
|Waiting Period||Accidents: Next day
Illnesses: 14 days
|Accidents: 14 days
Illnesses: 14 days
|Network Size||Any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada||Any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada|
Based on our methodology, 24PetWatch had the potential to impress us but fell short in some key areas. The fact that it reimburses pet owners for some personal costs like boarding and trip cancellation due to emergencies shows compassion and caring. Its short waiting periods for accident and common illness claims also go above and beyond what other pet insurers offer.
Where the 24PetWatch loses us, however, is in its policies. We found the named plans confusing, especially since each had its own choice of deductible. We also struggled to find its 80% reimbursement and only found it buried in a sample policy. Not giving its customers the choice to mix and match terms puts 24PetWatch behind many of its competitors.
We were also disappointed to see a maximum age limit for insuring pets, a restriction becoming less common among pet insurers. We would rather have seen 24PetWatch give its customers a choice of either increased premiums or deductibles for older pets.
With that said, 24PetWatch’s lifetime pet protection membership offers a great way to get support in caring for and protecting your pet. Since there’s no option to bundle the protection with your insurance, however, we recommend shopping around for pet insurance with more affordable and flexible terms.
A.M. Best. "AM Best affirms credit ratings of Fairfax Fianancial Holdings Limited and its core subsidiaries." Accessed Aug. 19, 2021