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PetPartners offers both accident and illness and accident-only coverage for cats and dogs. Although some basic coverage is missing from these policies, the company offers affordable add-on riders to extend your benefits and covered services.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
Accident-only insurance available
Add-on coverage for alternative and holistic care
30-day money-back guarantee
Unlimited annual coverage limit
Slightly complicated policy builders
Some standard coverage items only available with paid riders
- PetPartners offers accident and illness and accident-only protection for cats and dogs.
- Add end-of-life coverage to memorialize your pet with love and respect.
- Choose from two flat-rate wellness plans with fixed reimbursements for routine care.
- Year Founded 2002
- Deductible $100 to $1,000
- Types of Services Available Accident-only insurance, accident and injury insurance
- Additional Features Wellness, end-of-life, exam fee, and hereditary condition riders
- Official Website https://www.petpartners.com/
PetPartners has been providing pet insurance and preventative care coverage to dog and cat owners in the U.S. since 2002. Although it offers low premiums, the company’s pet insurance lacks some coverage that's standard with other insurers. By the time you pad your policy with PetPartners’ paid riders, you may not be saving as much as you thought you would.
We reviewed PetPartners’ coverage details and exclusions, add-on services, discount pricing, rates, customer service, ratings, and more to help you decide if its plans are right for you.
Company Overview: Affordable Pet Insurance With Add-On Coverage
PetPartners was founded in the 1980s to provide healthcare insurance for the Kennel Club of Great Britain. In 2002, it sold its first pet insurance policy in the U.S. and has the distinction of being the exclusive provider of pet health insurance for the American Kennel Club (AKC).
PetPartners offers accident and illness insurance and accident-only insurance with deductibles from $100 to $1,000 and annual limits from $2,500 to unlimited. You can also choose to be reimbursed for 70%, 80%, or 90% of your vet fees for covered services.
Most of PetPartners’ customer ratings can be found under its alternate brand of AKC Pet Insurance. While some customers rave about the company’s excellent customer service and fast claims, others state that it takes a long time to pay out claims and denies claims more often than not.
PetPartners’ policies are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company which has an "A-" (Excellent) rating for financial stability from AM Best.
Policies Available: Accident and Illness
PetPartners offers accident and illness and accident-only insurance that includes coverage for the following services as long as they were the result of accident or illness:
- Laboratory tests, X-rays, ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans
- Prescription medication
- Cancer (accident and illness policy only)
- Physical therapy
- Emergency ground pet ambulance transportation
Accident and Illness Insurance
PetPartners offers two options for accident and illness insurance: a fully customizable Companion Care plan or a more basic Companion Care Lite plan with set coverage limits.
You will need to wait two days from the start of your coverage before submitting an accident claim and 14 days for an illness claim. PetPartners also requires you to wait 180 days on claims for IVDD and cruciate ligament conditions. Claims filed before these waiting periods are over will be automatically denied.
PetPartners also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for new policies. If you haven’t received reimbursement for any claims in the first 30 days of coverage, you can request a 100% refund of all premiums you paid, no questions asked.
Companion Care lets you choose from a range of deductibles, annual coverage, and reimbursement amounts to build the policy that you want:
- Annual deductible: $100, $250, $300, $400, $500, $600, $750, $1,000
- Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, 90%
- Annual coverage limit: $2,500, $5,000, $7,500, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, unlimited
If you’re not interested in building your own policy, PetPartners also offers a premade accident and illness policy with the same coverage as the Companion Care plan but with fixed coverage limits.
The Companion Care Lite plan features an annual deductible of $100, an 80% reimbursement rate, and a maximum reimbursement limit of $500 per incident with unlimited incidents per year. Premiums for a Companion Care Lite policy cost less than that of a Companion Care policy.
Note that these policies are only available for pets younger than nine. Once your pet turns nine, they are no longer eligible for either Companion Care plan, even if they are currently enrolled.
PetPartners also offers an accident-only policy called AccidentCare that comes with a $100 deductible, 90% reimbursement rate, and an unlimited annual coverage limit. The plan is only available to pets nine years and older.
AccidentCare covers all of the same services as the Companion Care and Companion Care Lite plans listed above but only for incidents resulting from accidents or injuries.
Other Add-Ons: Wellness Plans & Multiple Riders
In addition to its insurance policies, PetPartners also offers two flat-rate preventative care plans and three paid add-on riders that can extend your coverage options.
PetPartners’ two wellness plans will reimburse you for the cost of routine and preventive care for your dogs and cats. Both plans have a flat monthly price regardless of the breed or age of your pet. The Defender plan costs $16 per month and the DefenderPlus plan for $27 per month, and each plan will reimburse you up to set limits for certain services as outlined in the chart below.
|Service||Defender Plan||DefenderPlus Plan|
|Heartworm test or FELV screen||$25||$30|
|Blood, fecal, parasite exams||$50||$70|
|Urinalysis or ERD||$15||$25|
Exam and Office Visit Coverage
PetPartners doesn’t include coverage for office visits and exams related to conditions covered in its accident and illness policies. Instead, you will need to purchase an additional rider if you want to be reimbursed for those fees.
Pricing is based on the age and type of pet and the policy terms you choose and covers the following visits:
- Primary care vets
- Emergency hospitals
- Specialty clinics
Hereditary and Congenital Coverage
Although no pet insurer covers pre-existing conditions, PetPartners allows you to purchase a rider that will cover accidents and illnesses related to hereditary and congenital conditions including the following:
- Heart disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Eye disorders
Like all of PetPartners’ riders, pricing is based on your deductible, annual, limit, and reimbursement. Only pets under the age of two are eligible for Hereditary and Congenital Coverage.
Coverage for exams and office visits as well as for hereditary and congenital conditions are not included by default and have to be purchased with add-on riders.
Final Respects Coverage
While the previously paid add-on riders cover situations and conditions that other pet insurers wrap into their policies, PetPartners’ Final Respects Coverage is unique. The rider offers a maximum of $300 coverage with no deductible or co-payment for the following end-of-life services.
Only pets under the age of five are eligible for this coverage.
Unique Features: Alternative & Holistic Care Coverage
More and more pet insurers are including coverage for a variety of alternative and holistic treatments and services in their policies and PetPartners is no exception. The company’s AlternativePlus coverage is automatically added to all Companion Care policies and covers the following alternative, holistic, and behavioral treatments:
- Vitamins and supplements
- Herbal therapy
Important: PetPartners covers acupuncture, chiropractic, supplement, and herbal treatments for covered conditions.
Plan Exclusions: Pre-Existing Conditions
PetPartners excludes coverage for pre-existing conditions, which is standard among pet insurers, as well as the following services and conditions:
- Hereditary or congenital conditions
- Exam fees
- Routine and wellness care
- Costs related to breeding
- Elective or cosmetic procedures
Cost: Low Premiums & Paid Riders That Add Up
At first glance, PetPartners’ premiums look pretty low. Once you add the Exam and Office Visit and Hereditary and Congenital coverage riders, the overall price is more in line with its competitors.
Here’s a breakdown of two policies we built using PetPartners’ online quote tool.
Accident and illness insurance for a mixed-breed, three-year-old, female dog with $15,000 coverage, a $500 deductible, and 80% reimbursement came to $27.10 per month. The price increased between $43.10 and $54.10 per month after adding one of the wellness plans and the riders listed below:
- Defender: $16.00 per month
- DefenderPlus: $27.00 per month
- ExamPlus: $4.06 per month
- SupportPlus: $2.00 per month
Accident and illness for a domestic longhair, one-year-old, male cat with $15,000 coverage, a $500 deductible, and 80% reimbursement came to $18.61 per month. The monthly premium increased between $30.61 to $40.61 after adding one of the wellness plans and the riders listed below:
- Defender: $12.00 per month
- DefenderPlus: $22.00 per month
- ExamPlus: $2.91 per month
- HereditaryPlus: $2.25 per month
- SupportPlus: $2.00 per month
PetPartners gives you a discount of 5% off your monthly premium when you insure two or more pets. This is a bit less than other insurers that offer a 10% discount for multiple pets or for each pet you add.
Customer Service: Phone, Email, and 24/7 Help Line
PetPartners’ support is a bit more basic than that of other pet insurance providers. You can use the online portal to manage and update your policies, but in order to file a claim, you will need to download a claim form and send it by email, fax, or mail.
PetPartners also offers a 24/7 vet helpline where you can connect to a licensed vet by phone or chat for advice on general health, behavioral, training, and nutrition questions at any time. Standard email and phone support are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST.
Competition: PetPartners vs. Embrace
We compared PetPartners Pet Insurance with Embrace Pet Insurance since both offer similar policies with slightly different approaches to wellness coverage.
Although pricing looks similar for both providers, PetPartners makes it a little more confusing to build the policy you want. For instance, you have to pay extra to get reimbursed for accident and illness exams and office visits which Embrace includes in its policies. And because the dog we chose in our quote is already over two-years-old, you wouldn’t be able to pay for hereditary and congenital condition coverage, which Embrace includes in its policies.
The two also differ in how they handle wellness coverage. PetPartners offers flat-rate pricing in its plans, but only limited coverage for preventative care. Embrace, on the other hand, has no limit per service, setting a maximum annual limit of $650 divided into 12 equal monthly payments instead.
Overall, we would choose Embrace over PetPartners since it makes it easier to build a policy and to know what coverage you’re getting for your money.
|Animals covered||Dogs and cats||Dogs and cats|
|Example cost||$45.86 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, a $10,000 annual limit, a $500 deductible, veterinary and exam fee coverage, and a basic wellness plan||$42.77 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, a $10,000 annual limit, and a $500 deductible, and $250 in wellness coverage|
|Coverage type||Accident-only, accident and illness, wellness||Accident-only, accident and illness, wellness|
|Waiting period||Accidents: Two days
Illnesses: 14 days
|Accidents: Two days
Illnesses: 14 days
|Network size||Any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada||Any licensed vet in the U.S.|
Based on our methodology, we found PetPartners to be more trouble than it’s worth. Although its premiums appear to be on the low end, your monthly bill will quickly add up after you pay for the riders that will make your coverage comparable to its competitors.
With that said, we do like PetPartners’ end-of-life coverage, automatic reimbursement for alternative and holistic care, and unlimited annual limit options. Its flat-rate wellness plans are also affordable although they only offer limited coverage for each service.
We would like to have seen PetPartners simplify its policy builder and include an exam and office visits and hereditary and congenital condition coverage as standard rather than as paid add-ons. The company also lags behind with a meager 5% discount for two or more pets compared to the 10% discount per pet some of its competitors offer.
In short, we recommend you shop around and search for a pet insurance company with simpler policies that cover standard services and conditions without making you pay extra.
Business Wire. “AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Independence Holding Company and Its Subsidiaries,” Accessed October 5, 2021.