PetFirst

Customizable coverage limits, online tools, and an array of discounts make for an appealing provider.

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InsuranceRanked Score 4.8
Year Founded 2003
AM Best Rating A+

PetFirst 2020 Review


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PetFirst Pet Insurance Review – Pros, Cons and Coverage

Customizable coverage limits, online tools, and an array of discounts make for an appealing provider.

PetFirst is one of the top insurance companies for pet owners in the United States. If you are looking for insurance for your dog or cat, PetFirst may be a great option.

We really love how easy PetFirst makes it easy to choose a plan and manage your policy. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about buying pet insurance, what it covers, and what makes PetFirst stand out.

PetFirst: What You Need to Know

Accidents can happen. Vet bills can easily exceed $1,000 at one visit. PetFirst dog and cat insurance helps you plan for the unexpected.

With PetFirst you can take your pet to any licensed veterinarian in the United States, as well as any emergency animal hospital or clinic.

PetFirst is an agency that underwrites and services pet policies. It is backed by the New Hampshire Insurance Company (NHIC), Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (ISOP) and the Independence American Insurance Company in Delaware.

How Does PetFirst Pet Insurance Work?

PetFirst offers insurance for dogs and cats. Similar to auto insurance, pet owners pay a monthly premium for a certain amount of coverage. If a covered illness or an accident happens, PetFirst reimburses all or some of the vet bill.

It is important for pet owners to read their policies and exclusions to understand what is and is not covered. For instance, pre-existing conditions are generally not covered.

Customers can pay online monthly or annually, add multiple pets to their policies, and change their coverage limits anytime. It’s easy to manage their policies through the MyPets portal.

Where is PetFirst Insurance Available?

PetFirst pet insurance is available in all 50 states plus Washington D.C.

How Much Does PetFirst Cost?

PetFirst costs less for cats than for dogs. Cat insurance starts at $26/month, and dog insurance starts at $32/month.

Here is an overview of PetFirst’s plans:

  • Cost Conscious
    • $2,000 annual benefit
    • $250 deductible
    • 80% reimbursement
  • Recommended
    • $5,000 annual benefit
    • $250 deductible
    • 80% reimbursement
  • Additional Coverage
    • $10,000 annual benefit
    • $250 deductible
    • 80% reimbursement

Customization

Customers can also customize their own policies.

  • Annual benefits - $2,000, $5,000, or $10,000
  • Deductible - $50, $100, $250 or $500
  • Reimbursement - 70, 80, or 90%
  • Routine Care Benefit Rider - none, $125, $250 or $400

What Does PetFirst Pet Insurance Cover?

PetFirst is there for you if your pet comes down with an unexpected illness or has an accident.

It’s important to point out that PetFirst pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions and routine wellness care unless it’s added as a rider.

This means if your pet had the condition before your policy started, it won’t be covered.

Pre-existing conditions are covered after 12 months only if they are considered curable. Incurable pre-existing conditions are not covered.

Incurable conditions like diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease are covered if they weren’t present before the policy started.

Coverage

PetFirst’s pet insurance covers:

  • Accidents
  • Illnesses
  • Hereditary, congenital & chronic conditions
  • Hospitalization costs
  • Surgeries
  • Exam fees
  • Diagnostic tests
  • X-Rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Medication
  • Alternative therapies and holistic care
  • Emergency services

Waiting Period

After a 12-month waiting period, coverage is extended to the following:

  • Curable pre-existing conditions (such as UTIs and upper respiratory infections)
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
  • Cruciate Ligaments (ACL, MCL, PCL, CCL)
  • Elective procedures
  • Breeding or breeding-related conditions
  • Costs of grooming and bathing, including medicated baths, expression or removal of anal glands or anal sacculitis
  • Parasite prevention and treatment of parasite-related illnesses (fleas and ticks)
  • Pet food, special diet, vitamins, and mineral supplements
  • Orthodontics, endodontics, and tooth extraction
  • Illness or injury related to commercial or gaming use of your pet
  • Behavioral training
  • Routine wellness and preventative care
  • Organ transplants

Riders

  • Routine care rider: Coverage for annual exams, vaccines, teeth cleaning, microchipping, preventive parasite treatment, spaying and neutering, and behavioral training

PetFirst Pet Insurance Features

  • Headquartered in Indiana
  • Founded in 2003
  • Partners with shelters and adoption agencies to offer free 30-day pet insurance
  • MyPets portal makes it easy to manage policies and check on claims
  • Covers any vet or animal hospital in the U.S.
  • No lifetime or per-incident limit
  • 14-day money back guarantee
  • Holds adoption events around the country
  • No age limits - pets ages 8 weeks and older can enroll

Pros and Cons of PetFirst Pet Insurance

Here are some pros and cons we found of PetFirst pet insurance.

Pros

  • MyPets Portal is easy and convenient
  • No age limit on coverage
  • Multiple ways to contact customer service and file claims
  • Can pay monthly or annually
  • Covers all cat and dog breeds
  • Helpful online resources

Cons

  • By default doesn’t send policy documents in the mail
  • Monthly payments subject to a $2 service fee
  • Hard to figure out if a condition is “pre-existing” or “incurable”
  • The 30-day free policy does not cover illnesses transmitted in shelters
  • All policies have annual limits
  • Spaying and neutering is only covered with routine care rider
  • Customers report being “upsold” by customer service agents

Discounts on PetFirst Pet Insurance

PetFirst offers the following discounts.

  • Employee benefit groups - 5-10% discount
  • Military - 5% discount (excluding TN and NY)
  • Animal care employee discount (employees of shelters, vets, and animal rescues) - 10% discount (excluding HI and MD)
  • Multiple pet policy discount - 5% after the first policy, 10% after the 2nd, 3rd, etc.
  • Online policy discount - buy online and save $10 or $20 off your first month (excluding Alaska)

PetFirst Pet Insurance Customer Reviews

Because customers are likelier to comment when something goes wrong than when something goes right, we take some of the negative reviews with a grain of salt.

On the Better Business Bureau website, PetFirst has 26 customer complaints. There are 16 customer reviews with an average rating of one star.

It has two out of five stars on Yelp.com for a total of 81 customer reviews. Many customers’ claims were denied due to pre-existing conditions. Others complained about the 30-day free coverage that didn’t cover shelter-induced illnesses.

Some noted that PetFirst changed their policies without prior notification.

“Save yourself time, and money. If you enjoy getting the runaround to get claims approved then go for it. Not worth the investment (and I was a customer for over a decade). Every year your premiums go up then the coverage becomes less and less.” - Rosemarie F.

_“I also would give 0 stars if I could. We adopted a dog and called to activate our free insurance that was offered by the rescue. I was upsold to a higher cost policy that I was told would cover everything and was recommended because "One never knows" with a rescue dog. The dog developed Cystitis and we spend over $300 getting it looked after, as well as $150 on insurance premiums only to have our claims denied as a pre-existing condition. There is absolutely no point to insurance coverage. Save that premium to cover whatever comes up. I'll be doing everything I can to get my premiums refunded”. _- Elena P.

Of course, not all experiences were bad.

_“None of us want a need for insurance, but one came and I am very pleased that the coverage was complete. I was reimbursed within a week. I was very impressed with the efficiency. It made a difficult situation for my cat a little easier.” - _Richard W.

How to Apply for PetFirst Pet Insurance

Customers can apply over the phone by calling at 855-270-7387. They can also get a free quote and purchase a plan at www.petfirst.com.

Online

  1. Go to getquote.petfirst.com
  2. Enter your pet’s type, color, age, breed, size, and your email address and phone number.
  3. Check off any applicable discounts (shelter or clinic employees, military, first payment discount).
  4. Select a plan (or customize your coverage limits) and add a wellness rider if desired.
  5. Add additional pets to your policy if desired.
  6. Enter your billing and shipping address.
  7. Enter payment information (credit or debit card).
  8. Confirm and purchase your pet’s policy!
  9. Note: there is a 14-day waiting period on illness coverage, but accident coverage starts immediately.

How to File an Insurance Claim with PetFirst

If your cat or dog has recently visited the vet for an injury or illness, this is what you need to send PetFirst.

  1. The completed and signed claim form
  2. Veterinary medical records (also called SOAP notes) from the incident
  3. An itemized invoice

Veterinary records from the past 12 months are required when submitting your first claim. If your pet was adopted, you must submit the adoption and vet records from the adoption facility.

Claims (claim form, vet records, and invoice) can be submitted in a variety of ways:

  • By logging into your MyPets account
  • By email - [email protected]
  • By fax - 877.281.3348
  • By mail - PetFirst Pet Insurance, 400 Missouri Avenue, Jeffersonville, IN 47130

Checking the Status of Your Claim

If you have a MyPets account, select “Claims” on the menu to see the status of your claim and if any additional documentation is necessary. Check your email to find out more information.

If you don’t have a MyPets account, call PetFirst at 866-937-7387.

How to Contact PetFirst

Address: PetFirst Pet Insurance 400 Missouri Avenue Jeffersonville, IN 47130 Call center: 866-937-7387 877-281-3348 866-937-7387 877-281-3348 For customer service, dial option 2 Hours: Monday - Friday, 8am - 9pm, EST Saturday, 10am - 6pm, EST Sunday, 12pm - 6pm, EST Fax: 877-281-3348 Email: [email protected] Twitter: @petfirst Facebook: facebook.com/petfirsthealthcare Live Chat: On www.petfirst.com, select Live Chat during business hours.

Does PetFirst Offer Other Kinds of Insurance?

No. PetFirst only offers pet insurance.

Summary

Some customers have better experiences than others. Pet owners must read their policies carefully. Customer service may paint a rosier picture than is real.

Often pet owners are required to accept PetFirst insurance as part of the adoption process. Yet there is a 15-day waiting period on illnesses.

Some negative reviews could be avoided if this was explained better. PetFirst might keep more customers if minor illnesses were covered during this time, especially common ones like diarrhea.

Overall this provider does a good job of being reachable and accessible. Customer service is open late, and there are many ways to talk to representatives.

In conclusion, PetFirst is a solid choice for dog and cat owners looking for affordable rates who don’t need massive amounts of coverage. As always, customers have to read the fine print!

Frequently Asked Questions

I bought my policy a week ago and want to cancel. Can I?

Yes, you can cancel within the first 14 days with no penalty as long as you haven’t filed any claims.

My dog is 15 years old and in poor health. Can I buy a policy for her?

Yes! There are no age limits or health exams required to buy a PetFirst policy.

Can I change my deductible or reimbursement level after I enroll?

Yes, you can change your deductible or reimbursement level at any time. Call PetFirst at 866-937-7387 to make the changes.

Will I receive my policy documents in the mail?

Most of our customers are paperless and can access their policy documents under MyPets. If you don’t have an email account on record with us, we will mail your policy documents.

My dog has a congenital heart condition. Will it be covered?

Congenital or hereditary conditions that were known about by you or your vet before the policy started are considered “pre-existing” and are not covered.

If your dog only started to show symptoms of the condition after the policy started (and after the waiting period), it will be covered.

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