A Vet's Review of PurinaCare® 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 PurinaCare®, see PurinaCare®'s Comparison Sheet.

Note: PurinaCare is No Longer in Business as of May 1st, 2013
They are transferring their policyholders to PetHealth Inc., the owner of 24PetWatch Pet Insurance.
If you have a PurinaCare policy, contact PurinaCare to see how this transfer will affect you at renewal time. Questions to ask: Will you have the same medical and monetary coverage or will it be reduced? Will your premium go up?



Overview

PurinaCare has offered pet insurance since 2008. This review refers to the following plans: PurinaCare Plus Preventative Care; PurinaCare Without Preventative Care



Coverage Overview

In general, PurinaCare 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.

Non-routine dental coverage is limited.



Coverage For Chronic Diseases & Continual Coverage For Chronic Diseases

PurinaCare 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 annual maximum payout per policy year.



Hereditary & Congenital Coverage

PurinaCare 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 annual maximum payout per policy year.


Cancer Coverage

PurinaCare covers cancer conditions as long as the condition is not pre-existing, has not occurred during the waiting period, and you have not reached your annual maximum payout per policy year.



Coverage For Breed Specific Conditions

PurinaCare 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 annual maximum payout per policy year.





Maximum Payout Structure

PurinaCare has an annual maximum payout structure that offers an annual maximum payout of $20,000. That means you get $20,000 each year. There are no per-incident limits. This payout structure will meet most people's calculated "Worst Case Scenario Costs". If your "Worst Case Scenario Costs" could be more than $20,000 in one year, this plan may not fit your needs (See: Picking the Right Maximum Payout)



Summary of Coverage and Payout Structure

Gotchas

  • Newer Company
  • Non-routine dental coverage is limited



Good Points

  • Strong underwriter
  • Coverage when travel out of state
  • Generous 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 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 | Healthy Paws | PetFirst | PetPlan | Pets Best | Purina | 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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