Pets Plus Us has partnered with Costco to offer a cost-effective, basic pet insurance plan for Canadian pet owners who don’t mind having to file paperwork or waiting for reimbursements on their pet’s medical care. However, it is less customizable than other plans, is exclusively for cats and dogs, and is only available in Canada. U.S.-based pet owners or those who have exotic pets will need to look for another option.
- Pros and Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Product Specifications
First month free
10% to 15% rate discount for Costco members
Flat-rate premiums for animals of all ages
Lifetime renewal guarantee
Only available in Canada
Limited caps and deductibles
Long waiting time
- Offers 10% to 15% off pet insurance for Costco members in Canada
- Flat-rate premiums won’t increase as your pet gets older
- Policy auto-renews for the life of your pet
- Policies are underwritten by an AM Best A-rated insurance provider
- Coverage options for accidents and accidents and illness
- Year Founded 2013
- Average Cost $100 to $700
- Types of Policies Available Accident, accident and illness
- Additional Features 24/7 helplines, pet concierge, and emergency medical coverage
- Official Website https://www.costco.ca/pets-plus-us.html
Costco’s pet insurance is available to Canadian pet owners and Costco members through Pets Plus Us. The company offers accident insurance that covers 80% of vet bills for medically necessary services resulting from an accident. Customers also can choose accident plus illness insurance, which reimburses 70% to 90% of the cost of medically necessary treatments for illnesses, including hereditary conditions.
Costco also offers a pet hotline and a Compassion Care line.
In this review, we break down Costco’s pet insurance plans, as well as coverage exclusions, additional benefits, pricing, and more to help you decide whether they’re right for you.
Company Overview: Discount Pet Insurance for Canadian Costco Members
Pets Plus Us is a Canadian pet insurance company offering coverage for medical services and procedures along with resources for responsible pet ownership, including advice, news, and pet health tips.
It has successfully partnered with Costco to offer its accident and accident and illness at 10% to 15% off its premiums for Costco members in Canada. This coverage also extends to pets traveling with their owners in the United States.
The company offers flat-rate premiums that don’t increase as your pet ages, raising the deductible at certain age milestones instead. Policies also automatically renew every year for the lifetime of your pet, so there’s no need to requalify.
Pets Plus Us policies are underwritten by the Northbridge General Insurance Corporation, which has an A rating from AM Best, and online reviews cite the company’s quick response, easy filing process, and fixed premium pricing as some of the plan’s best features.
Complaints typically involve confusion about exclusions.
Costco’s Candian members get 10% to 15% off Pets Plus Us rates for accident and illness coverage from any veterinary practice in Canada.
Policies Available: Accident, Illness, and Flex Spending
Costco offers both accident insurance and accident plus illness insurance through Pets Plus Us.
Both Costco’s accident and accident plus illness insurance come with $1,000 in additional benefits, per incident, for each of the following:
- Pet boarding if you are hospitalized due to an accident and can’t care for him or her
- Holiday trip cancellation if your pet has a medical emergency
- Lost pet advertising and reward
- Cremation or burial (plus a $50 donation to a pet charity selected by Pets Plus Us)
If you want Costco’s accident plan, you’ll receive $5,000 in coverage per year for medical services deemed necessary to treat injuries resulting from accidents. After you pay your deductible and monthly premium, Costco will pay 80% of veterinary fees, including tax.
If you prefer accident and illness coverage, Costco’s accident and illness insurance covers medical services deemed necessary to treat injuries from accidents as well as treatments for illnesses. You can choose from either $7,500 or $15,000 in coverage per year, along with how much you want the insurance to contribute toward your bill (70%, 80%, or 90% of the bill).
|Accident Insurance||Accident and Illness Insurance|
|Specialist referred by a licensed veterinarian||✔||✔|
In addition to the accident and accident plus illness, Costco offers a Flex Care coverage plan that works like a flexible spending account (FSA). You decide upfront how much money you want to set aside per year, from $250 to $1,250, in increments of $100. Your monthly payment will be the amount you chose, divided into 12 equal payments. For example, if you choose to put $1,000 into your Flex Care account, your monthly payment would be $83.33.
There is also an annual $25 enrollment fee for the plan, and unused funds cannot be carried over into the next year and are not refundable.
Your Flex Care benefits can be used for the following medical services:
- Three wellness/vaccination exams per year for puppies and kittens
- One wellness/vaccination exam per year for adult dogs and cats
- Six-month exam for senior dogs and cats
- Fecal exams
- Flea prevention
- Dental care
- Nail trimming
Other Add-ons: Hotlines and Subscriptions
All Costco pet insurance plans include Pets Plus Us Blue Ribbon Benefits free of charge. The service provides 24/7 nurse and poison helplines, compassionate care phone support for pet owners dealing with serious pet health issues or bereavement, and, if your pet gets lost, $1,000 in pet insurance coverage should your pet suffer a life-threatening injury while missing.
Blue Ribbon Benefits also offers a subscription to either Modern Dog or Modern Cat magazines.
Plan Exclusions: No Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions
Like most pet insurance, Costco doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions but will cover some hereditary conditions under its accident plus illness plan. The company performs an extensive review of your pet’s medical records during underwriting, so you’ll know exactly what is and isn’t covered with your plan.
Costco’s pet insurance also requires a 48-hour waiting period for accidents and a 14-day waiting period for illnesses before offering coverage.
Cost: Flat-Rate Premiums Plus Discounts for Costco Members
Costco’s Pets Plus Us plans offer flat-rate premiums that won’t increase as your pet ages. Only the deductibles will increase based on set age milestones. Costco Gold Star and Business members receive an additional 10% off the premiums below, and Executive members receive 15% off.
The first-month premium is free for all Costco members.
Accident Insurance Pricing
Costco’s accident insurance plan offers $5,000 in coverage per year with an annual $100 deductible. Premiums are fixed regardless of the age of your pet.
|Accident Insurance Premiums|
|Dog (any age)||$22.06 per month|
|Cat (any age)||$19.73 per month|
Accident Plus Illness Insurance Pricing
You can choose from either $7,500 or $15,000 in accident and illness coverage per year as well as how much reimbursement you want for medical expenses.
This plan also comes with deductibles, which vary based on your pet’s age and the reimbursement rate you select. The younger your pet and the less you want the insurance to contribute toward your bill, the lower your deductible. For example, the deductible on a five-month-old kitten with a 70% reimbursement rate will be $100, whereas you’ll pay $700 per month for an 11-year-old Golden Retriever at a 90% reimbursement rate.
Costco will never raise your premium as your pet ages, only your deductible.
Customer Service: Phone and Email With 24/7 Pet Hotlines
Costco’s Pets Plus Us offers email and phone customer support and claim filing Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST and Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. Claims can also be submitted via fax. You can also log into your member portal anytime to make a claim or review the status of existing claims.
It’s important to note that Costco’s Blue Ribbon Benefits offered with both its accident and accident and illness insurance also gives you access to 24/7 hotlines for a variety of pet health, emergency, and support issues.
Competition: Costco Pet Insurance vs. Petplan
We compared Costco’s Pets Plus Us insurance plans to Petplan, which offers similar accident and illness coverage. Petplan had slightly lower deductibles. Petplan also offers these deductibles and annual limits on a sliding scale, allowing customers to customize their insurance. By contrast, Pet Plus Us offers set tiered limits and deductibles. Petplan’s pricing flexibility along with its availability in both Canada and the U.S. makes us consider it a better option than Pet Plus Us.
|Costco (Pets Plus Us)||Petplan|
|Animals Covered||Dogs and cats||Dogs and cats|
|Deductibles||$100–$700||$250, $300, $500|
|Coverage Type||Accident and illness||Accident and illness|
|Waiting Period||Accidents: 48 hours Illnesses: 14 days||Accidents: 15 days Illnesses: 15 days|
|Network Size||Unlimited (Canada)||Unlimited (U.S. and Canada)|
Based on our methodology, Costco’s Pets Plus Us pet insurance is a decent choice if you’re a Costco member in Canada due to the discounts you’ll receive on premiums and 24/7 hotlines. However, because it may be priced higher than its competitors and doesn’t allow you to customize your insurance, you may want to shop around to find the rates and coverage you want.
AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Ratings of Northbridge Financial Corp and Its Subsidiaries." Accessed Oct. 10, 2021.