Reviewers say Pets Best is an established pet insurance provider that offers clear plans at a reasonable rate, and its lack of upper age limits can make it a good pick for older pets. Limited coverage options make it especially worth a look for those on a budget. However, there's scant coverage for hereditary conditions and none for congenital problems, and some pet owners complain about rate hikes and slow claims.
No upper age limit. Pets Best offers accident and illness plans for dogs and cats, as well as separate cancer-only, accident-only, routine care and feline illness plans. The waiting period is three days for accidents and accident-only plans, but 14 days for all other coverage. Any pet older than 7 weeks may be insured. Standard accident and illness plans cover emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, prescriptions, cancer treatments, diagnostic tests and imaging, acupuncture and chiropractic treatments, and physical rehabilitation. Hip dysplasia and other hereditary conditions are covered only for pets enrolled before age 2.
Additional benefits include coverage of chronic conditions, behavioral conditions, pregnancy, euthanasia and cremation, prosthetics and stem cell therapy. Exclusions include pre-existing and congenital conditions, preventable conditions, experimental therapies, parasites, cruciate ligament injuries during the first 12 months, gingivitis and preventable periodontal disease.
Complaints about rate hikes. Experts say Pets Best offers competitive rates, but plan prices depend on several options. Customers can choose from a $5,000, $10,000 or $20,000 annual maximum for standard accident and illness coverage. There are also lifetime limits and limits on hereditary and holistic coverage. Cancer-only plans have an $8,000 annual maximum, feline illness plans have a $4,000 maximum, and accident-only plans have a $10,000 maximum.
Pets Best offers five annual deductibles ranging up to $1,000, and four reimbursement levels of 70, 80, 90 and 100 percent. Discounts are available for multiple-pet policies, but premiums are subject to increases based on a pet's age. Some pet owners say they were hit with steep, unexpected rate hikes when their plans renewed.
Process gets mixed reviews. Pets Best accepts claims online and via fax or mail, and offers direct deposit for reimbursements. While many customers say they have low-hassle claims and fast reimbursements, others say the process is slow, with constant requests for paperwork. Some complain that legitimate claims are denied based on rules excluding pre-existing conditions. Still, customer service receives kudos from a majority of reviewers. Experts praise the company's easy-to-use website that offers streamlined online claims processing and clear, upfront information about what is and isn't covered.
1. Canine Journal
This site praises Pets Best for a low-rate entry-level plan, and coverage of some chiropractic and acupuncture treatments plus some hereditary conditions. However, the company has frequently changed insurance carriers, has a higher lowest-available deductible and enforces waiting periods for everything.
Review: Pet Insurance Comparison, Amy B., July 15, 2013
Pets Best ranks second in this list of eight best pet insurers, with editors noting its customizable plans, easy-to-use website, reasonable rates, payment flexibility, direct deposit and online claims processing. The company is also more upfront about its exclusions than competitors.
Review: Pet Insurance, Editors of TopConsumerReviews.com, Not dated
3. Pet Insurance University
Wilkerson says Pets Best is a "strong underwriter" that offers coverage for chronic diseases and during out-of-state travels. She also likes the lack of age limit on plans, but there's no congenital coverage, little hereditary coverage and cancer coverage can be tricky. Non-routine dental is also likely to go uncovered.
Review: A Vet's Review of Pets Best Pet Insurance, Frances Wilkerson, Not dated
Pets Best gets an overall rating of 8.5 out of 10 from more than 750 customers. Most enjoy fast, low-hassle claims and speedy reimbursements, and others praise customer service. However, several reviewers complain of steep, sudden rate hikes or slow claims processing. Others say the company won't cover legitimate expenses that they said were pre-existing conditions.
Review: Pets Best Insurance, Contributors to PetInsuranceReview.com, As of August 2013
Site editors praise Pets Best as a "reputable" and "financially sound" company with competitive rates. They also like its easy-to-use, professional-looking website and lack of age restrictions.
Review: Vet Pet Insurance Reviews, Editors of Organic Pet Digest, Not dated
6. Veterinary Team Brief
Nash highlights findings from the eBook "Pet Insurance Buyer's Guide," which notes that Pets Best covers some behavioral, cancer and chiropractic treatments, and offers the option of routine care coverage. The per-incident deductible differs from other companies' annual deductibles.
Review: All-in-One Guide: Help Clients Ferret Out the Best Pet Insurance, Meg Nash, Not dated
After 220 customer ratings, Pets Best gets scores of 4.9 out of 5 for customer service, 4.5 for price and 4.8 for coverage. Editors say it stands out for its range of coverage options and stability as a company.
Review: Pets Best Pet Insurance, Contributors to PetInsuranceRatings.com, As of August 2013
Pets Best receives 3 stars out of 5 after fewer than 20 reviews. Many customers say they have fast, low-hassle claims and speedy reimbursements, and others praise customer service. However, some report a frustrating claims process including constant requests for paperwork, slow processing and loopholes used to deny claims.
Review: Pets Best Insurance, Contributors to Yelp.com, As of August 2013