A Vet's Review of Pets Best Pet Insurance
by Frances Wilkerson, DVM
This review discusses coverage and payout structure
To get the most from this review, please read
the Guide to Pet Insurance
For a detailed look at Pets Best, see Pets Best's Comparison Sheet.
Pets Best has offered pet insurance since 2005. This review refers to the following plans: BestBenefit Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3
In general, Pets Best Pet Insurance covers examinations, diagnostics
and lab tests, surgery, treatments, hospitalization, and prescription
medications for accidents/injuries and illnesses as long as the condition
is not pre-existing, has not occurred during the waiting period, and
you have not reached your maximum payout limits.
Non-routine dental coverage is limited.
Pets Best Pet Insurance offers chronic
diseases coverage and continual coverage for chronic conditions
as part of the base policy, as long as the condition is not pre-existing,
has not occurred during the waiting period, and you have not reached
your maximum payout limits.
At this time, Pets Best has limited coverage for hereditary & congenital conditions in certain states
...so if your pet develops a chronic hereditary or congenital condition and you live in one of those states, coverage
may be limited.
Full hereditary & congenital coverage is available in certain
In these states, seven conditions have a one-year waiting period
from the policy effective date. These conditions are: cruciate ligament
injuries, luxating patellas, portosystemic shunts, elbow dysplasia,
hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans and cardiovascular defects.
The waiting period may be waived if a veterinarian confirms the
condition is not present.
In the remaining states, Pets Best has no congenital coverage, does not cover certain hereditary conditions
for pets enrolled after their 2nd birthday, and has limited payout
for certain hereditary conditions.
Full Hereditary and congenital coverage
is an important piece of coverage that must be part of any pet insurance
plan (See: 5 Points of
Coverage Your Pet Insurance Plan Must Have).
If you plan on using Pets Best for pet insurance, check to see if full hereditary & congenital coverage is available in your state.
Pets Best Pet Insurance provides cancer coverage as part of the base
policy, as long as the condition is not pre-existing, has not occurred
during the waiting period, and you have not reached your maximum payout
limits. However, the hereditary and congenital limitations in certain
states make it difficult to know if a cancer caused by a hereditary
or genetic disorder will be covered in those states.
Breed specific medical conditions often occur as hereditary/congenital
In states with full hereditary & congenital coverage, coverage for breed specific conditions is high.
Note: In these states, there is a one-year waiting period for
seven conditions: cruciate ligament injuries, luxating patellas, portosystemic
shunts, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans
and cardiovascular defects. The waiting period may be waived if a
veterinarian confirms the condition is not present.
At this time, in the remaining states, Pets Best Pet Insurance does
not cover congenital conditions and has limited payout for certain
hereditary conditions. Coverage for breed specific conditions in these
states is low.
Pets Best has a maximum annual
payout structure combined with a maximum
lifetime payout structure. Pet Best offers a plan with a maximum
annual payout of $20,000 with a maximum lifetime payout of $200,000
which will probably work for most people.
Summary of Coverage and Payout Structure
- No congenital coverage, limited hereditary coverage, and limited payout for certain hereditary conditions in certain states
- Offers cancer coverage, but the hereditary and congenital limitations
in certain states make it difficult to know if a cancer caused by a
hereditary or genetic disorder will be covered in those states
- Non-routine dental coverage is limited
- Full hereditary & congenital coverage in certain states
- No upper age limit for enrollment
- Strong underwriter
- Coverage when travel out of state or to another country
- Provides continual coverage for chronic diseases
Additional Comments Regarding All Pet Insurance Companies:
- Make sure you research what customers are saying about the company.
A company may have the 5 components that should be part of a pet insurance
plan, but the company may not be a hit with customers. Sites to check
include but are not limited to, Yelp.com and PetInsuranceReview.com.
Things to look for include but are not limited to: How fast are payments
paid?, What are customers saying about the pre-existing conditions policy?,
How often are claims denied and for what reason?, What is the customer
service experience like?
- Make sure you understand what the waiting periods are.
- Make sure you understand their bilateral conditions policy.
- Make sure you understand any requirements that you must adhere to
to maintain coverage.
- Make sure you read the terms and conditions to get a thorough understanding
of all exclusions.
- Make sure you understand how and when your premium
- If you change plan levels, there is a possibility that all medical
conditions present under the old plan will be considered pre-existing
in the new plan. Make sure you ask the company if this is the case.
- For some companies, pre-existing conditions can be based on symptoms
alone, a diagnosis is not needed. For example, if your pet had a cough
before you applied for pet insurance and this cough was discussed and
written in the pet's medical record, there is the possibility that all
future cough conditions, no matter what the cause, would be considered
pre-existing - even if there was no treatment given. Make sure you ask
the company if this is the case.
- Pet insurance companies are businesses. The top priority of any business
is to make a profit for their stakeholders. Pet insurance companies
can and may change your rates and terms to meet that top priority. A
change of business ownership or underwriters can also be a catalyst
for changes in your rates and terms.
When you purchase pet insurance make sure you have a realistic understanding
of this and how it can affect you.
AKC | ASPCA
| Embrace | Figo | Healthy Paws | PetFirst
| PetPlan | Pets Best
| Trupanion | VPI
| 24 Pet Watch
**Disclaimer:This review is meant to supplement not replace your
own due diligence. Please read all terms and conditions of the pet insurance plan before you buy.
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