PetFirst Pet Insurance Review
22 May, 2018
best wellness pet insurance

by:  Lisa Fimberg

PetFirst Healthcare LLC, founded in 2004, is a pet insurance company based in Jeffersonville, Indiana. PetFirst offers accident and illness coverage for cats and dogs and operates in all 50 states.  They also offer discounts for multiple pets and you can choose any vet you want without pre-approval. PetFirst policies are underwritten by American Alternative Insurance Corp. and it is A+ rated by the BBB.

PetFirst Quick Overview

PetFirst offers an enrollment process that is easier than most. They do not require a vet exam, and accident coverage starts in 24 hours which is quicker than most other providers.  We love that the company does not have an upper age limit on enrollment, and no waiting periods for a few conditions many other providers just don’t cover. PetFirst also has a healthy pet discount for every year you don’t make a claim!  The upper tier plans are a bit on the pricier side and the company does not offer unlimited coverage.

Let’s break it down for you to get a real feel of their excellent pet insurance policies:

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION RATING

What better way to know if an insurance company performs than from its customers.  PetFirst has an extremely strong customer satisfaction rating and owners with older pets love that there is no upper age limit on any of their policies.

COVERAGE

Petfirst offers accident and illness coverage that is pretty much industry standard for the price. What really makes PetFirst stand out is that is they don’t have any waiting periods for hip dysplasia, patella issues or orthopedic conditions. The company also offers a wellness plan as an add-on rider to any of their plans to cover vaccinations, neutering and spaying and other more routine vet visits.

PetFirst coverage includes all of the following:

Medical Conditions Covered

Accidental

Illness

Hereditary

Congenital

Cancer

Chronic

Accidental Dental

Medical Treatments Covered

Diagnostic Testing

Surgery

Hospitalization

Prescription Medications

Emergency Care

Specialty Care

Alternative Care

Behavioral Therapy

Physical Therapy

What sets PetFirst apart is that holistic care is included in all three Lifetime plans at no extra cost! Many other policies only offer alternative treatment coverage for an additional fee or optional rider.  Holistic coverage includes treatment like chiropractic work, hydrotherapy and other alternative treatments and medications If the treatment you choose is offered by a licensed veterinarian.

This is what PetFirst does not cover (and pretty typical among insurance plans)

Pre-existing conditions

Routine veterinary visits

Pre-existing cruciate ligament problems to one leg as respects the cost of future treatment for problems of the other leg.

Preventative care

Spaying and neutering

Preventive healthcare including vaccinations or titer test, flea control, heartworm medication, de-worming, nail trim, and grooming.

Parasite control including but not limited to internal and external parasites for which readily available prophylactic treatments are available.

Dental health care when it is routine, preventative dental, but will cover the cost if caused by accident or illness.

After a 12-month wait period, your pet is also covered for:

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Anterior Cruciate Ligaments

Medical Cruciate

Posterior Cruciate Ligaments

Cranial Cruciate Ligaments

PetFirst offers routine wellness care coverage for their policyholders as an “add-on” to any of their plans.  You can choose form three routine wellness packages which can be utilized to help offset some of the veterinary expenses you know you are going to incur.

Your pet is covered anywhere in the United States, so if you travel and your pet get ill or injured, it’s nice to know that you can get affordable care while away.

BENEFIT LIMITS

Petfirst does not restrict you to per incident or per illness limits which is great, but they do have annual limits.  Petfirst lets you choose $5,000, $10,000, and $20,000. This is the maximum amount PetFirst will reimburse you per policy year.

While the $5,000 limit plan has a monthly deductible in the average pet insurance price range, the two higher limit plans get pricey. In fact, there are unlimited plans we have reviewed such as Healthy Paws that tend to cost less than Petfirst’s $20,000 limit plan.

PetFirst has no lifetime limits and no per-incident limits which is a great benefit.

As with the higher benefit level comes the higher premium.

DEDUCTIBLES

Petfirst offers flexible deductibles of $50, $100, $250, and $500. Not many other pet insurance providers offer the option of such a low deductible.  If you do choose the lower deductible, it would translate into higher premiums, but it could be a valuable option if you know you can afford to fit the monthly premium into your budget, but not sure about the extra cash for a higher deductible.

PetFirst allows you to upgrade or downgrade coverage at any time during your policy which is a nice benefit. Further, since they don’t have a per-condition limit, if your dog has an ear infection, for example, you only pay a deductible for the first treatment.  Every further vet visit about the ear infection, PetFirst will pay you back the full reimbursement percentage of the amount you paid at the vet.

REIMBURSEMENT

Petfirst gives you the option of setting your reimbursement at 70%, 80%, and 90%. This is a consistent feature of the best pet insurance providers.  Only Figo offers a 100% reimbursement level of all the pet insurance companies that we reviewed.

PetFirst also pays out on the actual vet bills as do the other top providers.

As with deductibles, the higher the monthly premium, the more you will get reimbursed for that claim.

PRICING

Petfirst’s lower annual limit plans offer pretty much average monthly deductibles when compared to similar plans. However, their higher limit plans are on the pricier side compared to some other providers.

Plans currently start at $17 per month for dog insurance and $9 per month for cat insurance. The upper tier plans tend to be pricier than similar plans offered by other insurers. You can earn a $20 discount for purchasing your policy online.

Available Discounts: $10 to $20 off for pet parents who purchase their pet health insurance policy online, 5% to 10% corporate employee member discount, 10% animal care employee discount,5 % military discount, and a 5 % discount when adding another pet and a 10% discount on your third pet! By paying your entire annual bill up front, you can save $24.

CLAIMS & SERVICE

Petfirst stands out in the claims department as it is one of the few pet insurance providers that offer a healthy pet discount every year you don’t make a claim.  We love that!

And another really nice benefit is that Petfirst does not increase your premium due to amount of claims you filed during the year.  Therefore, if your dog or cat has to see the vet multiple times for a specific illness or injury, you aren’t penalized for it.

The claims procedure is standard of most.  You pay your vet bill up front, then submit the claims form with all the relevant invoices and receipts by email or fax.   All claims and documents need to be submitted within 90 days of the treatment or invoice date. There are several options for submitting your claim and veterinary records, including their PetFirst’s online MyPets portal, email, fax, or standard mail.

Once they have processed your claim, PetFirst will send you a reimbursement check by mail from 10 to 14 days from the date they processed your claim (you can always check the status on-line thru the MyPEts portal.

ENROLLMENT & WAITING PERIODS

PetFirst has the shortest waiting period for accidents and illnesses! Pet insurance rarely covers genetic conditions like hip dysplasia within the first year of enrollment. But PetFirst covers it after only 14 days. Figo is similar with this short waiting period and no upper age limit, but it is not standard in the industry.

Petfirst has a particularly painless and lenient enrollment process when compared to other companies. First, they do not require a vet exam.  And their accident coverage begins midnight the day of enrollment and illness 14 days after. There is no fee to cancel. And Petfirst is one of only a handful of companies that has no upper age limit. Cats and dogs of any age can be covered for life.

Your dog or cat must be at least 8 weeks old to enroll and as we mentioned, there is no upper age limit for your pets.

As is standard to most pet insurance providers, PetFirst gives you a 30 day free-look period. The free-look period means that if you change your mind after enrolling, you can get a full refund.  This helps if you are not sure if your dog or cat’s illness is a pre-existing condition and have time to confirm.

Your policy will renew automatically each year on your policy effective date.  If you don’t want to renew, you need to let them know in writing 30 days prior.

Customer service is available Monday through Friday, 8am – 9pm EST and Saturday, 10am – 6pm EST

Make sure to go to PetFirst to get a quote to see if they are the right pet insurance company for you.  You can also call them at:  866.937.7387.  Have your questions ready and see if they can meet the needs for you and your dogs and cats!

Want to learn more about pet insurance and what to look for in coverage?  Than read our guide!

 

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