Top5 Review

PetFirst Pet Insurance Review

Last updated November 7, 2018

PetFirst is a pet insurance company based in Jefferson, Indiana, that provides coverage to both dogs and cats. Founded in 2004, the company is known to have an easy enrollment process. It does not require a vet exam prior to coverage, and accident coverage begins within 24 hours of registration (although illness coverage has a two-week waiting period). The company does not have any upper age limits on enrollment and rewards you for keeping your pet healthy and accident free: It offers a discount for every year that you do not make a claim.

Pros

Petfirst pet insurance

  • Wellness plan option
  • No vet exam required for enrollment
  • Accident coverage begins the day after enrollment.
  • BBB rating: A
  • No transaction or one-time fees
  • Discount offered for every year that you do not make a claim
  • PetFirst is one of the few pet insurance companies that has no upper age limit; cats and dogs of any age can be covered for life.
  • 5 percent military discount

Cons

  • 14-day waiting period for illness
  • 12-month waiting period for CCL surgery
    • If one leg has a CCL (ACL) injury prior to enrollment, the other leg will not be covered even if there are no prior issues. It is considered a pre-existing condition.
  • Does not cover any non-routine dental treatments
  • Must purchase routine care coverage for behavioral therapy coverage
  • The upper tier plans are pricier than competitors’.
  • Company does not offer unlimited coverage
  • Must be at least eight weeks old to be covered

Product Stats

Petfirst pet insurance options

  • Underwriter: New Hampshire Insurance Company and The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania 
    • A.M. Best rating: A
  • Exam period:
    • Unlike many pet insurance companies, PetFirst does not require a vet exam prior to coverage. Accident coverage begins at midnight the day of enrollment, and illness coverage begins 14 days after.
  • Pre-existing conditions defined by PetFirst:
    • PetFirst distinguishes between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions, which benefits your pet. Incurable pre-existing conditions typically require lifelong care and will not be eligible for coverage if your pet is already experiencing symptoms or has been diagnosed prior to the effective date of their pet insurance policy.
    • “Curable pre-existing conditions are issues that can be completely resolved. These type of pre-existing conditions are eligible for coverage once they have been completely resolved and free from symptoms for a period of time.”
  • There are three plan levels to choose from, each of which has an increasing annual benefit maximum:
    • The base plan starts at an annual coverage of $2,000, with $5,000 and $10,000 limits available at the next two levels.
    • Deductible options range from $50-$500, and the reimbursement level can be 70, 80 or 90 percent on any of the plans.
  • Claims are processed within 14 days: The standard claims procedure is to pay your vet bill up front and then submit the claims form with all relevant invoices and receipts.
  • Healthy pet discounts and premiums: PetFirst offers healthy pet discounts every year you don’t make a claim. It does not increase premiums due to the amount of claims made, either.
  • Cancelation fees: There are no fees to cancel your pet insurance plan.

Features

Petfirst vet visit

What Is Covered

  • Accidents
  • Illnesses (including hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions)
  • Hospitalizations
  • Surgeries
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Exam fees
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Medications
  • Holistic care and alternative therapies
  • Emergency care

After a 12-month waiting period, your pet is also covered for the following:

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
  • Anterior cruciate ligaments
  • Medical cruciate
  • Posterior cruciate ligaments
  • Cranial cruciate ligaments

What Is Not Covered

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Elective procedures
  • Expression or removal of anal glands or anal sacculitis
  • Breeding or conditions related to breeding
  • Pet food, special diet, vitamins or mineral supplements
  • Grooming costs and bathing (including medicated baths)
  • Parasite prevention, parasite treatment and illnesses transmitted by parasites (including fleas and ticks)
  • Orthodontics, endodontics and removal of deciduous teeth
  • Behavioral training
  • Illness or injury which arises out of racing, coursing, commercial guarding or organized fighting of your pet
  • Routine wellness and preventative care
  • Organ transplants

Waiting Periods

Unlike many of the other pet insurance companies, PetFirst provides coverage nearly immediately for accidents.

  • Accidents: Routine care and accident coverage begins at midnight following the activation of your pet’s policy.
  • Illness: Coverage begins 14 days after the policy effective date.

 

Costs

Petfirst dog and cat

Sample Rates by Breed

As different breeds tend to have different ailments and injury, PetFirst’s monthly rates vary based upon the breed of your pet. Your pet’s age and physical location can also affect your monthly rate. Below are sample rates for common breeds so you can get an idea of the variances. To get an exact quote for your pet, contact PetFirst. You will be able to enter your pet’s information to obtain a base quote and then make changes to reimbursement rate, annual deductible and annual limit to see how that will affect your monthly rate. 

Breed

Labrador Retriever

English Cocker Spaniel

German Shepherd

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Mixed Breed Cat

Age

2 years

8 years

4 years

6 years

2 months

2 months

2 years

Location

Florida

(zip code: 33134)

Illinois

(zip code: 60290)

California

(zip code: 90001)

New York

(zip code: 10001)

New York

(zip code: 10001)

Illinois

(zip code: 60290)

Washington D.C.

(zip code: 20001)

Price Per Month

$24.95

$59.95

$94.00

$84.00

$68.00

$114.95

$51.95

Reimbursement Level

80%

80%

90%

90%

90%

90%

80%

Annual Deductible

$250

$250

$250

$250

$250

$250

$250

Annual Limit

$2,000

$2,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

Deductible

Reimbursement rates, annual benefit and annual deductible amounts vary, but unlike some pet insurance providers, they are not dependent upon the age of your pet at enrollment. Additionally, you can select the rates you would like. 

PetFirst recommends three base plans but also gives you the option to change the annual benefit, deductible and reimbursement rates, all of which can affect price. The plans are as follows:

  • Lowest Monthly Premium
    • Annual benefit: $2,000
    • Deductible: $250
    • Reimbursement: 80 percent
  • Mid-Tier Plan
    • Annual benefit: $5,000
    • Deductible: $250
    • Reimbursement: 80 percent
  • Top-Tier Plan
    • Annual benefit: $10,000
    • Deductible: $250
    • Reimbursement: 80 percent

Petfirst pet insurance animals

Conclusion

We appreciate the fact that accident coverage from PetFirst starts immediately, no vet visit is required prior to coverage and there are no upper age limits. However, while we appreciate the customizable plan options, we are disappointed PetFirst does not offer unlimited lifetime coverage rates like some pet insurance companies.

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