Pets Best was founded in 1981 by a vet who no longer could stand seeing families euthanize their pets because they couldn’t afford their vet bills. In 2009, a chance meeting at an animal shelter between two business executives led to the creation of Healthy Paws. Both offer customizable pet insurance with the option to reimburse vets directly so you won’t have to stress when it comes to getting your pet the care they need.
Overall, we found that Pets Best offers you more coverage for your money. You can customize a policy for your budget with more deductible and annual limit options, choose an accident-only policy, and even get reimbursed for common routine and preventive care, all at an affordable price.
We reviewed both companies based on coverage options, pricing, customer service, add-ons, customer reviews, and more to help you choose the right policy for you and your pets.
Pets Best vs. Healthy Paws: At a Glance
|Pets Best||Healthy Paws|
|Animals covered||Dogs and cats||Dogs and cats|
|Deductibles||$50 to $1,000||$100 to $500|
|Example cost||$19.09 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% reimbursement, no annual limit, and a $500 deductible*||$21.64 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% reimbursement, no annual limit, and a $500 deductible|
|Coverage type||Accident-only, accident and illness, wellness||Accident and illness|
|Additional services||Direct vet pay, 24/7 live chat||Direct vet pay|
|Waiting period||Accidents: Three days Illnesses: 14 days||Accidents: 15 days Illnesses: 15 days|
|Network size||Any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada||Any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada|
|Customer service||Phone, email, fax, mobile app||Phone, email, fax, mobile app|
|Claim turnaround||3 to 30+ days||10 days|
|Website||Pets Best||Healthy Paws|
*Pricing is for Pets Best’s Elite accident and illness policy
Pets Best vs Healthy Paws: Coverage
Pets Best and Healthy Paws both offer accident and illness insurance with a choice of deductibles and reimbursement limits. While Pets Best lets you choose between $5,000 or unlimited lifetime coverage, Healthy Paws only offers unlimited lifetime coverage.
|Pets Best||Healthy Paws|
|Deductible||$50, $100, $200, $250, $500, $1,000||$100, $250, $500|
|Reimbursement||70%, 80%, 90%||70%, 80%, 90%|
|Annual coverage limit||$5,000 or Unlimited||Unlimited|
Pets Best offers a wider range of deductibles, starting at $50 and going as high as $1,000. Along with a choice of a $5,000 annual coverage limit, this gives you more options to customize your policy to find one that meets your needs and budget.
Pets Best’s accident and illness policies are slightly more complicated than Healthy Paws’. Before selecting your deductible, reimbursement, and annual limit, you will need to choose from one of three coverage plans, each with its own premium and list of covered items.
Below you’ll find a comparison of what each plan covers:
|Coverage||Pets Best Essential||Pets Best Plus||Pets Best Elite||Healthy Paws|
Both Pets Best and Healthy Paws also offer coverage for prescription medications for accidents and illnesses as well as alternative treatments including acupuncture, chiropractic care, and hydrotherapy. Pets Best adds a few more alternative treatments to its plans, including laser therapy, cryotherapy, e-stim therapy, and more.
As is true of most pet insurers, neither Pets Best nor Healthy Paws cover pre-existing conditions or the following services and conditions in its accident and illness or accident-only policies:
- Wellness and preventative care
- Dental healthcare
- Spaying and neutering
- Cosmetic or elective procedures
- Injury or illness due to any intentional or neglectful act
- Breeding or conditions relating to breeding
- Grooming or nail trims
- Experimental or investigational treatment or medicine
- Non-prescribed special diets or pet foods
- Anal gland expression
- Any condition resulting from activities related to training for or participating in racing
- Experimental therapies and medications
- Conditions arising from a repetitive and specific activity
- Training and treatment of behavioral conditions
- Cremation and burial
One important thing to note is that Healthy Paws does not cover the cost of exams and office visits, nor does Pets Best in its base Essential policy. That means you will have to pay those fees out of pocket when you take your pet to the vet for an accident or illness.
Pets Best: Accident-Only Coverage
Pets Best also offers an accident-only insurance policy with pricing at $6 per month for cats and $9 per month for dogs regardless of age or breed. Coverage is set at a fixed $10,000 annual limit, a $250 deductible, and 90% reimbursement.
The accident-only policy covers vet exams, X-rays, surgeries, hospitalization, medications, and other treatments for conditions relating to accidents. As with its accident and illness policy, Pets Best only requires you to wait for three days before filing your first accident claim.
Pets Best: Wellness Coverage
Pets Best also offers a choice of two wellness coverage plans that cover a set dollar amount for specific routine and preventative care services up to each plan’s annual limit.
The EssentialWellness plan costs $16 per month for both dogs and cats and has an annual limit of $305. The BestWellness plan costs $26 per month and has an annual limit of $535.
The following chart indicates how much Pets Best covers for each service up to its annual limit.
|Service||EssentialWellness Plan||BestWellness Plan|
|Heartworm test/FELV screen||$25||$30|
|Blood, fecal, parasite exam||$50||$70|
|Urinalysis or ERD||$15||$25|
Pets Best vs Healthy Paws: Enrollment Process
Both Pets Best and Healthy Paws make it easy to enroll for a policy online without talking to anyone on the phone. Although Pets Best offers policies for pets of any age, your pet must be younger than 14 to be eligible for coverage through Healthy Pets. Additionally, Healthy Paws only offers a policy with a $500 deductible, 70% reimbursement, and unlimited lifetime coverage for pets over the age of six.
Pets Best does not require you to get an exam to qualify for coverage. With Healthy Paws, however, you will need to get a full exam for your pet based on the age of your pet:
- Five and under: Within the last 12 months or within 15 days after enrollment
- Six and over: Within the last 30 days or within 15 days after enrollment
Pets Best vs Healthy Paws: Claim Filing
Pets Best and Healthy Paws both offer convenient mobile apps that let you file a claim right from your phone. You can also file claims online or by email, fax, or mail.
Most customer reviews state that Pets Best pays out reimbursements for claims within seven days of receiving all documentation, however, some reviewers complain about claims processing periods of up to 40 days. Healthy Paws can take up to 10 days. Both companies can also reimburse some vets directly so all you need to pay is your deductible and/or reimbursement during your visit.
Pets Best vs Healthy Paws: Reviews
Although Pets Best’s underwriter, American Pet Insurance Company, is not rated by AM Best, it has an A (Exceptional) rating for financial stability from Demotech, which also evaluates property and casualty insurers.
Healthy Paws’ insurance policies are underwritten by Chubb, which has an A++ (Superior) rating for financial stability from AM Best.
Pets Best vs Healthy Paws: Costs
Both Pets Best and Healthy Paws let you build a policy quickly and get a quote online. Note that your quote may vary based on your location, age of pet, and other variables.
Pets Best Costs
An accident and illness policy from Pets Best for a mixed-breed, medium-size (20–55 lbs.), three-year-old, female dog with unlimited annual coverage, a $500 deductible, and 80% reimbursement is priced as follows:
- Essential: $15.64 per month
- Plus: $18.24 per month
- Elite: $19.09 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.
An accident and illness policy from Pets Best for a domestic longhair, one-year-old, male cat with unlimited coverage, a $500 deductible, and 80% reimbursement is priced as follows:
- Essential: $9.71 per month
- Plus: $11.33 per month
- Elite: $11.85 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.
Healthy Paws Costs
An accident and illness insurance policy from Healthy Paws for a mixed-breed, medium-size (31–59 lbs.), three-year-old, female dog with unlimited coverage, a $500 deductible, and 90% reimbursement came to $38.60 per month.
An accident and illness insurance policy from Healthy Paws for a domestic longhair, one-year-old, male cat with unlimited coverage, a $500 deductible, and 90% reimbursement came to $17.73 per month.
Healthy Paws also charges a $25 one-time administration fee to start your policy and offers no discounts, unlike Pets Best which gives you 5% off of your total premium if you insure more than one pet. Healthy Paws will also donate $25 on your behalf to help homeless pets when you refer a friend. The referral program is not available in Maine, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Vermont, or Washington.
Both companies also offer a full refund of any paid premiums if you cancel your policy within 30 days and haven’t been paid for any claims during that time.
What Are Pets Best and Healthy Paws?
Pets Best and Healthy Paws are pet insurance providers that help you get reimbursed for your vet bill if your dog or cat gets sick or injured. Additionally, Pets Best offers a lower-priced accident policy as well as wellness plans that cover a portion of routine care services.
Both companies offer policies with annual deductibles that you will have to pay first before your insurance kicks in. Pets Best offers a wide range of deductibles, starting as low as $50 and going as high as $1,000, while Healthy Pets lets you choose a deductible of $100, $250, or $500.
Once you reach your deductible, both companies will reimburse you between 70% to 80% of the services covered in your policy, depending on what percent you choose when you enroll. Pets Best and Healthy Paws can also work with some veterinary practices to reimburse them directly at the time of checkout so all you’ll need to pay is your deductible and/or the remainder of your bill based on your reimbursement percentage.
How Do Pets Best and Healthy Paws Work?
Both Pets Best and Healthy Paws will reimburse you for the cost of most vet bills if your pet becomes ill or hurt in an accident. Healthy Paws will not cover the cost of your exam or vet visit, however, nor will Pets Best’s lowest-tier policy, so you will have to pay those fees on your own.
Once you complete your office visit, simply send a copy of your bill along with a completed claim form to get reimbursed. Both companies offer a convenient mobile app you can use to file claims. Additionally, Healthy Paws lets you file by just sending a picture of your bill; no claim form is required.
Once you submit your claim and supporting documents, you can expect to be reimbursed within seven to 10 days, either by check or through direct deposit to your bank account.
Who Should Use Pets Best or Healthy Paws?
Any cat or dog owner looking for an insurance policy to offset the costs of veterinary care should consider Pets Best and Healthy Paws. However, given the choice between the two, we prefer Pets Best. It offers more policy customization options, coverage for exams and office visits with most plans, and no exam requirements for enrollment or policy limits based on age, all for a lower price.
Pets Best also allows you to add a preventive care package to extend your coverage for just a few extra dollars per month. Overall, Pets Best simply offers more choices and more coverage for your money than Healthy Paws.
How We Evaluated Pets Best vs. Healthy Paws
In comparing Pets Best to Healthy paws, we began by looking at the options each offered for building a policy. We also compared costs side-by-side to see which provider offered a better deal for similar coverage.
We also made sure to compare any add-on coverage, perks, and discounts offered by each company as well as limits and exclusions that could make it harder to cover certain pets or conditions. Finally, we combed through customer reviews on popular third-party sites to learn what actual customers were saying about their experiences with both companies. Based on our methodology, Pets Best came out as the clear winner. It offered more coverage options, greater policy customization, and fewer limits, all for a lower price than Healthy Paws.