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Pets Best vs Healthy Paws Pet Insurance: Which One’s Best?

Review Summary

Pets Best and Healthy Paws are widely considered to be two of the best pet insurers in the country today. They both offer unique plans and coverage that will be ideally suited to different owners and different pets.

Although the two companies are both rated highly and both offer good pet coverage, they do appeal to different types of policyholders. Pets Best policies are more heavily customizable so that you can create precisely the coverage you want from your policy. They also offer more comprehensive and wide-ranging coverage. Healthy Paws, on the other hand, specializes in the provision of simple policies backed by good customer service.

Pets Best offers some very low premium policies and includes direct veterinarian reimbursement so you won’t be out of pocket. Healthy Paws has a simple claims procedure and promises to compare the rates of its single policy against its competitors to ensure that you’re getting the best deal.

Read on to see how these two pet insurance companies stack up against one another, see which of them is better suited to your requirements and whether there is any reason to steer clear of one, or both insurers.

divider 9At a GlancePets Best vs Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Pets Best
  • Online policy administration and claims
  • Accident-only plans
  • Wellness programs
  • Discounts available
  • Direct veterinarian reimbursement
  • End-of-life expenses aren’t covered
Healthy Paws
  • Unlimited annual coverage
  • The claims process is simple
  • Compares rate with competitors automatically
  • Direct veterinarian reimbursement
  • Includes holistic and alternative treatment
  • Only offers a single plan
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Overview of Pets Best:pet best

 

Pets Best was founded in 2005 by Dr. Jack Stephens, who was responsible for establishing the first-ever US pet insurance company, VPI. The company became the first to offer electronic claim filing back in 2011 and Pets Best was bought in 2019 by CareCredit.

Coverage

Coverage is what matters most with insurance policies. In the case of Pets Best, they offer three types of plans. As well as accident only and wellness benefits, that we look at below, they also offer accident and illness coverage.

Three accident and illness policies are available:
  • Essential covers initial and ongoing treatment, tests, medication, and it covers genetic conditions, and that’s it, although it is possible to customize your policy by adding extra features and by increasing the coverage offered.
  • Plus offers the same as the Essential Plan with the added inclusion of examination fees.
  • Elite plans also include chiropractic and other holistic and alternative treatments.

Costs do vary greatly according to your pet, where you live, and if you want any additional coverage, but they regularly come out as being some of the cheapest premiums.

Customer Service

Customer service options include a phone line and live chat, both of which are staffed 6 days a week. They also offer a veterinary helpline that is staffed by vet experts who are on hand to answer questions on all aspects of pet ownership.

Wellness and Accident Only Plans

Pets Best does offer both wellness and accident-only plans. Accident-only coverage has a $10,000 annual limit, $250 deductible, and 90% reimbursement. You can also add routine care to your accident and illness plan, which includes chipping, vaccinations, and other preventative care treatment, although the plans do have limits.

Pros
  • Low-cost premiums
  • Online account and claim management tools
  • Accident-only plans available
  • Wellness programs available
  • Direct veterinarian reimbursement
Cons
  • Tiered plans, with add-ons, are complicated
  • No coverage for end-of-life costs

Divider 8Overview of Healthy Paws:Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws joined the market in 2009 as a nonprofit. The company founders met while volunteering at a shelter and set up the business with the aim of providing more affordable veterinary care to owners and shelters. Their policies are simple, if a little limited, but they are cheap and they offer some generous benefits that have helped make Healthy Paws a popular choice with owners.

Coverage

Healthy Paws only offers a single plan. This is great for transparency and simplicity, but not so great if you’re looking for something more or less than is offered because you cannot customize the plan.

It covers accidents and illness and it does not cover examination fees. Considering most accidents and illnesses will require some form of examination before and during treatment courses, this means that the costs will soon add up if your cat or dog requires treatment. However, the plan does cover initial and ongoing treatment, tests, medication, and genetic conditions. Policies include 70% reimbursement, a $500 annual, and that’s it. You’ll be paying anywhere from $8 per month, for a one-year-old cat, to $150 per month for a 12-year-old dog.

Customer Service

Like Pets Best, there is a customer service email and phone number, but Healthy Paws’ customer services team is available a full 7 days a week.

Additional Plans And Features

There’s nothing additional offered in the Healthy Paws insurance plan. On the one hand, the simplicity of Healthy Paws is such that policies are easy to understand and policyholders won’t be baffled with coverage levels and policy types. But, on the other, it is impossible to customize a policy to get precisely the coverage you want. You can’t even pay extra to get examination fee coverage.

Pros
  • Very simple to follow
  • Easy claims process
  • Unlimited annual limits
  • Automatically compares policy premiums with competitors
Cons
  • No wellness program
  • No accident-only policy
  • Only a single policy available
  • Long waiting periods with new policies

Divider 4How Do They Compare?

Policy Options

Edge: Pets Best

There’s really no competition here. Pets Best could be accused of offering complexity in its policies, but that does mean that you can choose from a variety of policy types and you can extend or reduce the coverage you get. They also offer accident-only and wellness programs. In contrast, Healthy Paws has a single policy, does not offer wellness or accident-only plans, and doesn’t offer package customization. If Healthy Paws doesn’t offer exactly what you’re looking for, you will likely want to shop around.

Waiting Periods

Edge: Pets Best

Again, there isn’t much competition. Pets Best has a 3-day waiting period for injuries and 14 days for illnesses. Cruciate ligaments aren’t covered for 6 months.

Healthy Paws has some of the longest waiting periods in the industry. Illnesses and injuries have a 15-day waiting period while several conditions specifically have longer periods. This includes hip dysplasia with a 1-year waiting period.

What the Users Say

We’ve looked at reviews from other websites and actual policyholders to determine what other people think of the two companies and to see which comes out best for real-world use cases. As well as checking review sites, we have looked at comparison sites, blogs, and forums, and other discussions.

When talking about Pets Best, people have criticized the complexity of the plan coverage and limits but praised the low premiums and the range of available customizable coverage options. The ability to reimburse the veterinarian directly is also praised.

Policyholders are somewhat divided on Healthy Paws. Some appreciate the simplicity of only having a single policy with no confusing options or alternatives. However, the lack of wellness programs, the fact that there is no accident-only plan, the high cost and exclusions of older pets, and the excessively long waiting periods, have come under fire.

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Conclusion

Unless Healthy Paws offers precisely the level and type of coverage you require, they are unlikely to be the best option for you. In contrast, Pets Best has better coverage, offers cheap rates, and does not have some of the same prohibitive policies as Healthy Paws. In most cases, it will be the preferred company of choice, and this is further aided by their low prices.