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PetFirst Dog Insurance Review

petfirst dog insurance review
  • Value
  • Coverages
  • Flexibility
4.8

Summary

PetFirst dog insurance is the best in class for too many reasons to summarize. With policies like no restrictions on breeds/ages of pets and no initial exam required for coverage, they’re really an insurance company for all pet owners. They offer the shortest wait periods in the industry and always have the health of your dog at the top of their concerns. An online claims portal makes getting reimbursed easy.

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One common pain we have been feeling across the United States is the rising cost of healthcare – and not just for the humans in our family!

Dogs have slowly moved from being a household pet to a member of the family over the last several decades to the point where we pay much closer attention to their health. Not only are we paying more attention – we’re also prepared to shell out more money for treatment.

A 2018 survey of pet owners between 21-37 years old found that pet owners are ready to spend $2,000 for their pet’s medical treatment if required. 10% of pet owners are prepared to spend up to $10,000!

I know the cost of emergency care for dogs all too well. When Kartoffel had a seizure we took him in to the emergency vet for an overnight stay which cost over $600. Then when he later was having auto-immune reactions to phenobarbital (seizure medication), he had to stay at the emergency vet over a weekend. That entire trip cost more than $3,600! That was certainly an expensive year of pet ownership that I had to pay all out of pocket.

Had I been aware of dog health insurance like those offered from PetFirst, I could have saved a ton of money. For that reason, I want to take a deeper look and review PetFirst dog insurance to see if it might be a good fit for your dog.

What Does PetFirst Dog Insurance Cover/Not Cover?

The first thing you need to know about an insurance plan is what exactly you’re paying for. PetFirst details their coverage on this page, and I’ve summarized all the details I could wrangle up across their website below.

PetFirst dog insurance covers

  • Accidents
  • Illnesses
  • Hospital stays
  • Surgeries
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Exam Fees
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Medications
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Emergency Care

After 12 months of holding a policy on a dog some additional coverage kick in –

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • ACL, MCL, PCL, and CCL ligament issues

Another way of understanding what’s covered by the PetFirst insurance policy is that anything not explicitly excluded is covered by the policy. The best resource for the full list of what isn’t covered is this PDF document.

I’ll give a brief summary of the excluded medical costs-

  • Pre-existing conditions (if you or your vet were aware of the condition before coverage)
  • Elective Procedures (including nail trimming)
  • Expression of anal glands
  • Breeding related issues and expenses
  • Pet food, vitamins, supplements, etc
  • Grooming
  • Parasite/Tick/Worm prevention, illnesses, and treatment
  • Teeth removal/orthodontics
  • Time and travel expenses
  • Behavioral training
  • Routine Wellness and Preventative care
  • Organ transplants

How Much Does PetFirst Dog Insurance Cost and What Are the Deductibles/Limits?

PetFirst currently offers three different plans for different levels of coverage for your pet. The thing I really love about PetFirst is you can get a quote online in just a minute! Simply click this link, give some basic info about your dog, and you’ll be given a quote. No phone calls, no lengthy questionnaire, just right down to giving you the information you want.

I ran Pidgy’s information through their quote system and got the following quotes. The policies range from $39.95 to $101.95 monthly depending on what you want the annual maximum payout to be.

Pidgy’s quote – yours will vary

On the cheaper end, the most PetFirst will pay out is $2000, the middle tier will pay out up to $5000, and for the top tier they will pay out up to $10,000. On all plans there is a $250 deductible that gets paid out of your pocket before coverage kicks in, at which point PetFirst will cover 80% of all eligible expenses until you hit the maximum annual benefit.

Your coverage premium and benefits may vary depending on your location, dog breed, age, and size of your pet. You can also customize your plan to your liking.

By adjusting the annual benefit, deductible, reimbursement %, and routine care benefit, you can come up with a blend of cost and coverage that’s just what you’re looking for. What’s even better is they give you these new rates as you adjust the plan – no time spent waiting and wondering what your customized rate will be!

There are a number of other insurance riders you can add and if you insure multiple pets you could get a discount of around 30%. If you have a complex situation or are interesting in getting certain coverages added, it would likely be best to call the phone number listed on their site to see what’s possible.

Can My Dog Be Denied Coverage?

Your dog won’t be denied coverage, but pre-existing conditions of your dog won’t be covered. There is no initially veterinary exam required to cover your dog.

When you sign up for a policy, accident coverage begins the next day. There is a 14-day waiting period for illnesses, however. If an illness is discovered in that 14-day window then it will be considered pre-existing and won’t be covered.

While there is no age limit on pets PetFirst will cover, it will be a more expensive monthly premium to cover older pets as they usually require more healthcare.

How Does PetFirst Reimburse Medical Expenses?

PetFirst makes submitting a medical claim easy with their online MyPets Claims Portal – no need to mail or sign any documents (mailing and email is an option though if needed). For your first claim you will need to provide at least 12 months of medical history from your vets office as well as the itemized receipt from your vet visit.

It’s also worth noting here that all veterinarians are covered – there’s no networks or anything like that, it just has to be a licensed, professional vet you’re seeing.

You can track your claim through the Claims Portal online and most claims are reimbursed within 10-14 days of filing all required information. You’ll receive a check in the mail for your covered amount.

PetFirst has provided this PDF checklist for submitting a claim to give you an idea of what it all entails.

Final Thoughts on PetFirst Dog Insurance

My thoughts on PetFirst insurance is that I sure which I had signed Kartoffel up when we first got him! The coverage would have already paid for itself many times over with his trips to the emergency vet, and now those conditions are pre-existing and sadly can’t be covered.

If you’re in a position where your dog needs an expensive treatment or surgery that would cost several thousand dollars, could you afford it? If such a sudden expense would greatly impact you, I would highly recommend getting coverage from PetFirst. Many pet owners are hit with these expenses and are forced to put their dog down instead because they simply can’t afford it.

When it comes down to the details of the insurance policy, PetFirst is simply best in class and most fair to dog owners. You can compare them against other insurance companies and see for yourself why we recommend PetFirst.

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