Nobody knows what the future holds. If we get sick or have some other medical issue, we visit the doctor. So naturally, we do the same for our cats, dogs, and other pets.
But a visit to the vet is much more expensive than a visit to the doctor. Plus, many of us have health insurance that can cover every expenditure, which cannot be said of pets.
Although our furry companions don’t initially have the same privilege, the world has improved to the point where today a fully covered medical treatment is available for pets too!
Pet insurances are the best way to protect your pet and your pockets! But since the first pet insurance, the market has become flooded with different companies and types of pet insurance – including the leading PetFirst!
In this PetFirst pet insurnace review, we will go through one of the most prominent pet insurances on the market – PetFirst! Are they good? What can you expect? Wonder no more – read on!
What Is PetFirst Pet Insurance?
Since its founding in 2004 in Jeffersonville, IN, PetFirst has become a widespread company, reaching more than 40,000 pets all over the USA. In 2021, it even climbed
the 6th place on the 2021 Best Pet Insurance Companies list.
It was a year before the company reached this milestone when they were acquired by MetLife. This opened up many possibilities, not only in the pet insurance market but internally, as well by providing even more jobs.
PetFirst is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (IAIC) and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (MetGen).
This company takes pride in providing insurance that is affordable, easy to use, and with the chance to customize the deductible charges, as well as other features!
How Does PetFirst Pet Insurance Work?
The process here is the same as with other pet insurance companies. PetFirst provides different packages for all breeds of cats and dogs. The only limit they impose is the 8 weeks old restrictions to be eligible for full coverage.
PetFirst Pet Insurance Pros
The benefits of using PetFirst as your first choice for pet insurance are multifold.
- Discounts – if you order your pet insurance online, you can get a discount on your first month. You can also get a 5% discount if you insure more pets, or 10% if you’re someone who works with animals.
- No age or breed limits – any dog or cat breed can be insured with PetFirst. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about their age i.e. you can insure them at any time that you feel they might need it. There is only one obstacle – you can only insure your pet if they are 8+ weeks old.
- Affordable – PetFirst offers deductibles that start at $50 per year. However, generally, they reduce by $25 for every year that you don’t file a claim with them and meet the pre-set conditions. Plus, PetFirst is known as a company that offers insurance plans at a reasonable price.
- Available all over the USA – Pet owners from all 50 states in the USA can reach out and pay for this insurance. Located in Jeffersonville, this company spread out even further the moment they merged with MetLife.
- High reimbursement rate – PetFirst has a high reimbursement rate of 80%.
- Trial period – you get 14 days to decide whether you like their service or not.
PetFirst Pet Insurance Cons:
This won’t be an honest review if we just show you the good sides! Here are the disadvantages of PetFirst:
- Doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions – everything that is deemed by the company as a pre-existing condition, meaning any medical issue that occurred before you purchased the policy, won’t be covered by the insurance.
- Low limits – you can only get reimbursed up to $10,000 per year.
- More complex plans – the plans that are offered don’t cover basic emergencies like a trip to the vet for a routine wellness exam or even hip dysplasia in some cases.
- Monthly fee – if you are opt-in for the monthly payment option you will have to pay a $3 fee every month in addition to your plan. This doesn’t apply to the annual payment.
- The premium increases over time – as your pets get older, the premium on your plan will start increasing as well.
PetFirst Pet Insurance Available Plans
You first have the option to choose between purchasing a plan for your dog or your cat. After you decide on it, the next step is choosing the plan. PetFirst stars 2 plans that they offer:
- The recommended plan – annual benefit of $5,000;
- The cost-conscious plan – annual benefit of $2,000.
They cover accidents and illness – all depending on what you have chosen!
You can also customize the deductibles, limits, and even the payout percentage which ranges from 65% to 100%. Aside from comprehensive treatments, PetFirst’s plans include alternative treatments as well, as long as you have a licensed vet.
For every other type of medical issue, you can add a rider. Remember that utilizing this extra feature means paying a higher premium!
What Does PetFirst Pet Insurance’s Plan Cover?
The list of covered medical issues includes accidents, surgeries, diagnostic tests, exam fees, MCL, CCL, PCL, etc. All of them are disclosed on their website.
However, although the list of covered medical issues is long – for both cats and dogs – there is also an extensive list of medical problems that do not fall under “insured”.
For example, even though your pet is covered in case of surgeries, if it is deemed as pre-existing, then you won’t be able to activate the insurance policy.
In addition, routine wellness exams are not covered in the basic plan. But on the plus side, after a year of using the plan, your pet is eligible for coverage of some types of ligament damage and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
PetFirst Pet Insurance Plan Exceptions
As we mentioned, when it comes to pre-existing conditions, your pet won’t be insured. A pre-existing condition is any injury that has occurred before the time of purchasing the insurance plan.
But, you have to be careful because this doesn’t just mean the moment you buy the plan. Any injury that happens before the moment your plan is active – meaning before 1 day of you purchasing the plan; 14 days for illnesses; 6 months for IVDD – will not be covered by the insurance.
Aside from the basic plan coupled with the adjustable payout percentage and deductibles, there is also the chance to adjust your annual limit. This is the amount the company can pay you back in case of activating the insurance.
But remember, it doesn’t mean that they will pay you the total but rather that your receipts from the vet can only be covered to their amount. Everything above the annual amount is on you.
PetFirst offers 3 annual amounts to choose from: $2,000, $5,000 and $10,000.
On the other hand, even though PetFirst’s plans only cover some issues, there is the chance to add a wellness rider – Routine Care Rider. This way your furry friend is going to be covered for every routine check, too – vaccines, neutering, regular visits, etc.
PetFirst Pet Insurance Pricing
PetFirst plans are affordable and start at $15 per month for a dog and $9 for a cat.
You have to have in mind that because of the option to adjust the deductible, the limit of your plan, and the payout percentage, the price for the plans will change. Plus, the older your pet is the higher the premium – considering that this raises the possibilities of frequent visits to the vet.
As we mentioned, you can attach an add-on that covers the routine checks. But have in mind that this also increases the initial amount of the insurance plan.
PetFirst Pet Insurance Waiting Period
One of the things you should look for when purchasing pet insurance is the time needed to activate it. When it comes to accidents, PetFirst’s plans activate the next day after you buy the plan.
But if we are talking about more serious issues, then this period is prolonged. Hence, for illnesses, you would have to wait up to 14 days for the plan to activate. This, however, is not uncommon with other pet insurance companies as well.
And if we are talking about more serious illnesses, like IVDD, then the period is 6 months. So, after half a year, this part of the plan activates, and only afterward you can get a full reimbursement – assuming the IVDD happened after these 6 months.
When you’re done with your trip to the vet, your next step should be filing a claim. PetFirst offers 4 types of contacting options, such as through e-mail, phone, fax, or through their online customer support.
All you have to do is send a copy of the invoice from the vet 90 days after the treatment. The usual time to process a claim is 10 days after which you can expect a check in your mailbox, assuming that the claim was approved.
PetFirst is one of the rare companies that offer customer care on Sundays. Not only are they available 7 days per week during daytime hours, but the customer support team is more than happy to help.
You can ask your questions away via e-mail, phone, or simply use their chat option on the website.
A big plus is their user-friendly website, where you can find almost every answer to your questions. They even have a quote tool that can help you compare and choose the right plan for you and your pet.
PetFirst Pet Insurance Review: FAQs
All you have to do is go to their website and sign up. From there you can choose the plan you want and customize its features. You can also call them and purchase your plan via phone.
No, PetFirst also includes insurance for cats. The best part is that you can secure your furry friends of all ages.
You can cancel a plan at any time. All you have to do is contact customer support and request a cancelation form. Fill it out and send it back. If you cancel the plan within the first 30 days, you get a full refund.
The period for them to reimburse the claim is usually 10-14 days. However, you also get an additional 10 days until you receive the check in the mail. Sometimes, this period can be prolonged.
The amount for a plan is determined by what you choose as part of it. However, when it comes to claiming back money, there is an annual limit of $10,000. There are also pre-treatment limits that differ based on the plan.
Final Verdict: Is PetFirst Worth It?
All pets love to jump around and play. But when they get hurt, the problems start piling up. Veterinarian bills are expensive and can cost you thousands of dollars. And in those moments, a good and reliable pet insurance company is what you’d want to have your back!
PetFirst boasts an 80% reimbursement rate for some illnesses, which is more than what other companies will offer. This way your vet bills will be drastically lowered.
What’s more, if the plans don’t cover your every need, you can always choose an additional rider and protect your pet and wallet in every scenario. The fact that this is one of the more affordable pet insurances, is what put PetFirst as no. 6 on the Best Pet Insurance Companies of 2021 list.
So, if your dog or cat is prone to illness, PetFirst might be just up your alley!