Pets Best Insurance Review

Low-premium policies from the first pet insurance company in the U.S.

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Pets Best

Pets Best

overall rating
3.9

Our Take 

Pets Best offers low-premium accident and illness pet insurance along with a flat-rate accident-only policy and two wellness rider options. Although it can be a bit complicated to customize your policy, it’s worth the effort if you want to take advantage of some of the lowest rates in the industry. 

  • PROS & CONS
  • KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • SPECIFICATIONS
PROS & CONS
Pros
  • Low premiums

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • Flat-rate accident-only and wellness coverage

  • 24/7 pet help hotline

  • No age limits for pet coverage

Cons
  • Complicated policy options

  • Small selection of annual coverage limits

  • Exam fees not included with some policies

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Pets Best offers affordable pet insurance with add-on wellness coverage.
  • An optional wellness rider covers prescriptions and rehabilitative treatments.
  • Reimbursements can be paid directly to your vet.
  • 24/7 phone, chat, or email support is available from licensed vets.
SPECIFICATIONS
  • Year Founded 2005
  • Deductible $50 to $1,000
  • Types of Services Available Accident-only insurance, accident and illness insurance
  • Additional Features Wellness rider
  • Official Website www.petsbest.com

Pets Best has been providing dog and cat owners with comprehensive, affordable pet insurance since 2005. The company offers deductibles as low as $50, tiered policies, and flat-rate pricing options to fit any budget and need.  

We reviewed Pets Best’s coverage details and exclusions, add-on services, discounts, rates, customer service, ratings, and more to help you decide if its plans are right for you.      

Company Overview: The Original Pet Insurance Company

After veterinarian Dr. Jack Stephens was forced to euthanize a family’s dog because they couldn’t afford their vet bill, he launched the first pet insurance company in North America in 1981. It was rebranded as Pets Best in 2005 with a mission to “end economic euthanasia by helping to ensure pet owners are financially prepared when their pets need unexpected veterinary care.”

Pets Best offers policies with no age limits for pets and only a three-day waiting period for accident claims. You can also get affordable unlimited annual coverage and choose from 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement on vet bills for covered services.

Pets Best’s consumer ratings are mixed. Trustpilot rates the company excellent, while Yelp rates it below average. Some Yelp reviewers complain that Pets Best can take months to review and resolve claims. On the other hand, pleased Trustpilot reviewers praise Pets Best for easy claims processing and fast reimbursement.    

Pets Best’s policies are underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company. Although the underwriter is not yet rated by AM Best, it received an A rating by Demotech, which also evaluates property and casualty insurers.      

Policies Available: Accident and Illness

Pets Best offers customizable accident and illness insurance and flat-rate accident-only policies for dogs and cats. You can build a custom accident and illness policy with the online quote builder and choose from the following coverage options:

  • Deductible: $50, $100, $200, $250, $500, $1,000
  • Annual Coverage Limit: $5,000, Unlimited
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, 90%  

Pets Best requires only a three-day waiting period for accident claims, which is shorter than most other pet insurers, and a standard 14-day period for illnesses. You will also need to wait six months for cruciate ligament and related condition claims. Pets Best will automatically deny any claim you file before your waiting periods are up.

Be sure to review your policy carefully as Pets Best doesn’t cover exam visits in its basic accident and illness plan.

Accident and Illness 

Although Pets Best allows you to customize your deductibles, annual limits, and reimbursements, you will need to choose from one of three coverage plans, each with its own premium list of covered items.

Coverage Essential Plan Plus Plan Elite Plan
Accidents
Illnesses
Cancer treatments
Hereditary conditions
Emergency care
Surgeries
Prescription meds
Exam fees  
Acupuncture    
Chiropractic care    

Accident-Only

Pets Best also offers an accident-only insurance policy with flat-rate pricing and a three-day waiting period. This plan provides fixed coverage amounts, including a $10,000 annual limit, a $250 deductible, and 90% reimbursement. Pricing is $6 per month for cats and $9 per month for dogs of any age or breed. 

Covered services include vet exams, X-rays, surgeries, hospitalization, medications, and other treatments from accidents resulting in the following:

  • Trauma
  • Poisoning
  • Bite (animal, insect, snake)
  • Hit by car or moving vehicle
  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Bone fracture
  • Laceration, cut, abrasion
  • Wound
  • Torn nail
  • Medical problems directly attributable to accidental injury

Other Add-Ons: Wellness Coverage  

Pets Best also offers two wellness coverage plans that will reimburse you a set amount for certain routine and preventative care services. 

Both plans are priced at a flat rate for both dogs and cats and come with a set maximum limit. The EssentialWellness plan costs $16 per month and offers an annual limit of $305, while the BestWellness plan costs $26 per month and has an annual limit of $535. 

The following chart indicates how much Pets Best will pay for each service (up to your annual limit) depending on the plan. 

Service EssentialWellness Plan BestWellness Plan
Spay/neuter N/A $150
Teeth cleaning N/A $150
Rabies $15 $15
Flea/tick prevention $50 $65
Heartworm prevention $30 $30
Vaccination/titer $30 $40
Wellness exam $50 $50
Heartworm test/FELV screen $25 $30
Blood, fecal, parasite exam $50 $70
Microchip $20 $40
Urinalysis or ERD $15 $25
Deworming $20 $20

Unique Features: Prescription Coverage

Pets Best is among a growing list of providers that offer reimbursements for prescription medications used to treat covered conditions in its accident and illness and accident-only policies. The company offers a list of covered medications to help you quickly see if what your vet prescribes will be covered.

However, Pets Best does not cover prescriptions for non-covered conditions or for general health and wellness, including prescription food for weight loss or other health conditions.      

Unique Features: Alternative Treatments of Rehabilitative Care

More and more pet insurers are offering some type of coverage for alternative treatments beyond drugs and medications, and Pets Best is no exception. The company provides reimbursement for alternative physical therapy or rehabilitative treatments to “promote mobility and functional ability for physical impairments and disabilities.” 

The following treatments are covered:

  • Acupuncture
  • Electro-acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • E-stim therapy
  • Treadmill therapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Stretching
  • Joint mobilization
  • Gait training
  • Therapeutic ultrasound therapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Heat therapy

Plan Exclusions: Pre-Existing Conditions 

Pets Best offers the standard exclusions for pre-existing conditions in its accident-only and accident and illness policies. The following events, items, and services are also excluded from coverage: 

  • Injuries due to any intentional act, including organized dogfighting
  • Breeding and conditions related to pregnancy
  • Boarding and transport expenses, including ambulance transportation
  • Anal gland expression
  • Pet supplies and pet food
  • Any condition resulting from activities related to training for or participating in racing
  • Alternative and holistic treatments
  • Experimental therapies and medications
  • Conditions arising from a repetitive and specific activity
  • Training and treatment of behavioral conditions
  • Cremation and burial

Cost: Low Premiums With Semi-Customizable Coverage

Pets Best offers some of the lowest premiums in the industry. Its flat-rate accident-only policies are also a great deal at only $6 per month for cats and $9 per month for dogs of any age or breed.

We used Pets Best’s online quote generator to create the following two policies.

Accident and illness insurance for a mixed-breed, medium-sized (20–55 lbs.), three-year-old, female dog with unlimited annual coverage, a $500 deductible, and 80% reimbursement is priced as follows: 

  • Essential: $20.24 per month
  • Plus: $23.61 per month
  • Elite: $24.70 per month

EssentialWellness coverage adds an extra $16 per month to each plan for $305 of annual coverage, and BestWellness adds $26 per month for $535 of annual coverage.

Accident and illness insurance for a domestic longhair, one-year-old, male cat with unlimited coverage, a $500 deductible, and 80% reimbursement is priced as follows: 

  • Essential: $11.98 per month
  • Plus: $13.98 per month
  • Elite: $14.63 per month

Again, EssentialWellness coverage adds an extra $16 per month to each plan for $305 of annual coverage and BestWellness adds $26 per month for $535 of annual coverage.

Discounts

Pets Best is a little light on discounts, offering only 5% off your total premium if you insure more than one pet. You can also pay your premium monthly, quarterly, or annually. Because Pets Best charges $2.00 per transaction, you can save up to $22 by paying your premium upfront and in full for the year rather than monthly.    

Pets Best also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. As long as you haven’t been paid for any claims, you can cancel your policy within 30 days and get reimbursed for any premiums you paid. 

Customer Service: Online Portal, Mobile App, and 24/7 Help Line

Pets Best does a good job leveraging technology to help its customers. A convenient online portal and mobile app let you file or check the status of a claim, change payment methods, add pets, and more. You can also download, print, and fill out a claim form and submit it by email, fax, or mail. 

Pets Best can also have your reimbursement directly deposited to your account instead of mailed to you as a check. Reimbursements will be directly deposited to your bank in as little as two days or in five to seven days by mailed check once your claim is processed. Finally, if you get hit with a large bill that you can’t pay out of pocket, you can have your vet paid directly for any reimbursement using Vet Direct Pay.  

Pets Best offers phone, email, and live chat support Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. MT. You also get 24/7 access to licensed veterinary professionals via phone, live chat, and email through a helpline. 

Pets Best can pay your vet directly for any claim reimbursement so you won’t have to pay for a big expense out of pocket first. 

Competition: Pets Best vs. Hartville 

We compared Pets Best to Hartville, both of which offer similar accident and illness policies, wellness riders, and coverage in Canada as well as the U.S.

At first glance, Pets Best has Hartville beat for price, offering unlimited annual coverage and an additional $50 in wellness coverage for about the same price. There are a few places, however, where Hartville pulls ahead.

For example, Hartville offers $100 reimbursement for dental cleanings, spaying, and neutering in its basic wellness plan, which Pets Best does not cover, and the plan costs $6 less per month than Pets Best. Hartville also offers a 10% discount for each additional pet you insure rather than the flat 5% discount for multiple pets offered by Pets Best.

Although Pets Best and Hartville both have no age limits for pets and allow even older pets to enroll for accident and illness insurance, Hartville does have a reputation for charging steep premiums for senior pets. We recommend you request a quote from both insurers and compare them carefully to see which one offers you the coverage you need for the price you want.     

  Pets Best Hartville
Animals Covered Dogs and cats Dogs and cats
Example Cost $41.61 to insure a two-year-old, medium-sized dog with 80% reimbursement, unlimited annual coverage, a $500 deductible, and $305 in wellness coverage $47.24 to insure a two-year-old, medium-sized dog with 80% reimbursement, unlimited annual coverage, 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: Three days
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
Final Verdict: Low Premiums, Confusing Coverage Builder

Pets Best impressed us with its low premiums and flat-rate pricing for some of its services. Not having to worry about your pet being dropped or being forced into an accident-only policy when it’s older shows the company’s commitment to pet owners and compassionate care. 

Pets Best is also budget-friendly with deductibles as low as $50. We would like to have seen more options for annual limits besides $5,000 and unlimited, however, especially if it lowers prices even more. 

We were also a little concerned about its three base accident and illness policies. If you’re not paying careful attention, it would be easy to choose the lowest plan and be surprised by having to pay out-of-pocket for accident and illness exam visits. Adding coverage for dental services and prescription foods would also have rounded out Pets Best’s wellness plan and given it an edge over its competitors.    

All of these shortcomings are pretty minor, however. Shop around if you like, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find more budget-friendly, hassle-free, and comprehensive pet insurance for your pet than Pets Best.