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 first.
For a detailed look at Pets Best, see Pets Best's Comparison Sheet.



Overview

Pets Best has offered pet insurance since 2005. This review refers to the following plan: BestBenefit Accident and Illness Plan.



Coverage Overview

In general, Pets Best Pet Insurance covers diagnostics, lab tests, surgery, treatments, and hospitalization

Examinations (This is optional - To get Exam Fee coverage, you must purchase a plan with this option).

Prescription medications (This is optional - To get Prescription Medication coverage, you must purchase a plan with this option)



Coverage applies to 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 limit.

Non-routine dental coverage is limited.



Coverage For Chronic Diseases & Continual Coverage For Chronic Diseases

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 limit.



Hereditary & Congenital Coverage

Pets Best covers hereditary and congenital conditions as long as the condition is not pre-existing, has not occurred during the waiting period and you have not reached your maximum payout limit.



Cancer Coverage

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 limit.



Coverage For Breed Specific Conditions

Pets Best covers breed specific medical conditions as long as the condition is not pre-existing, has not occurred during the waiting period, and you have not reached your maximum payout limit.



Maximum Payout Structure

Pets Best has a maximum annual payout structure. Pet Best offers plans with a maximum annual payout of $2,500, $5,000, $10,000 and Unlimited. These choices of maximum payout will meet everyone's calculated "Worst Case Scenario Costs". (See: Picking the Right Maximum Payout)







Summary of Coverage and Payout Structure

Gotchas

  • To get exam fee coverage, you must remember to purchase a plan that includes this optional benefit.
  • To get Prescription Medication coverage, you must remember to purchase a plan that includes this optional benefit.
  • Any Prescription Medications that are not included in their formulary of covered medications are not covered.
  • Non-Routine dental coverage is limited.



Good Points

  • Coverage when travel out of state, to Puerto Rico, or to Canada
  • Offers an unlimited annual maximum payout structure
  • Provides comprehensive coverage in the 5 important areas as part of the base plan:
    1. Chronic disease
    2. Continual coverage for chronic disease
    3. Hereditary/congenital conditions
    4. Cancer
    5. Breed specific conditions



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 can increase.
  • 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.


Additional Reviews:

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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