Why is everything so expensive now? As if adulting weren’t hard enough, now the cost of living is skyrocketing. Like many millennials my age, I have a brood of pets to care for on top of my other living expenses. My pets are my family, and I want to give them the best care possible, so I’ve started looking into the costs and benefits of pet insurance.
I’ve compiled a list of the top 17 things you should know about my chosen provider, AKC Pet Insurance, including their coverage and costs, so you don’t have to do the work yourself. You’re welcome.
1. Pet Insurance Premiums Vary
Premiums on pet insurance can vary wildly based on the type of pet you have, their age, and breed, as well as the company you work with. Ultimately, comparing coverage and costs for pet insurance is a time-consuming process because there are so many options. Before you start your research, make a list of “must-haves,” “nice to haves,” and your comfortable monthly budget because you’ll need to get an official quote before you know the true cost of coverage.
AKC Pet Insurance (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company) offers customizable insurance plans so you can build the coverage that most suits your needs at a cost that you’re comfortable with. I chose them as my pet insurance provider for my dogs and cat because their prices were fair and their claims process is so simple. Get a quote yourself and see what options are best for you.
2. AKC Pet Insurance Plans Offer Discounts for Multiple Pets
I have four dogs. You read that right, four. I also have a cat, so 5 total animals with an age range of 4 months to 12 years. Needless to say, their medical needs are varied and unique.
Knowing how many animals I have and their individual needs, I started my research into pet insurance costs by looking for a company that offered discounts for covering multiple pets. AKC Pet Insurance offers a 5% discount* on premiums if you have multiple pets, which helps me afford coverage for all my animals.
*Not available in all states. New and current policyholders may receive a 5% multi-pet discount if they get coverage for more than one pet or add an additional pet to an existing policy. Multi-pet discount is automatically applied at checkout when enrolling multiple pets on one policy.
3. There Are No Enrollment Fees with AKC Pet Insurance
When I signed my pets up for coverage through AKC Pet Insurance, I didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Enrollment was easy and there were no surprise fees to get them started on their coverage.
4. I Can Keep My Vet
Unlike switching health insurance providers for myself, when I signed up for coverage through AKC Pet Insurance, I was able to keep my veterinarian. There were no “out-of-network” costs, because there is no network. The coverage is 100% claims based, so my pets can continue going to the vet they’re already comfortable with.
5. AKC Pet Insurance Offers Discounts on Pet Prescription Costs
My plan included enrollment in PetGeniusRx, a Pet Prescription Discount Program. It gives me great deals on the prescriptions my pets occasionally need and covers both name-brand and generic options. My oldest dog, Miloche, has arthritis in his back, so this has already saved me money on his prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.
6. My Pet Insurance Costs Include 24/7 Phone Support
Last week, my puppy (Bliss) got into trouble in the middle of the night, and we weren’t sure how to handle it. My pet insurance plan includes 24/7 veterinary support via phone and chat through the 24/7 Vet Helpline. I was able to give them a quick call at 2 a.m. and determine that Bliss was fine and we didn’t need to rush her to the emergency vet. We were all able to calm down and get back to sleep, and I avoided an unnecessary emergency vet visit.
7. Emergency Vet Visits Are Included in My Base Pet Accident and Illness Coverage
If that 2 a.m. call had resulted in an emergency vet visit, I knew that my Pet Accident and Illness Coverage would reimburse a portion of the costs. While waking up in the middle of the night to a pet medical emergency wasn’t fun, I never had to worry about being able to afford to take care of her thanks to my coverage through AKC Pet Insurance.
8. Accident and Illness Plans Cover a Lot of Common Pet Health Issues
One of the reasons I went with AKC Pet Insurance for my larger than average pet family is because of the robust coverage they offer at such an affordable price. The coverage included in their base package, also called Accident and Illness Coverage, is amazing.
These are some of the coverage highlights that really sold me on the plan:
- Pet Allergies
- Digestive Issues, including accidental ingestion
- ACL Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Toxin Ingestion
The plan also covers the diagnostic tests including:
- Lab Tests
It doesn’t matter if these tests are performed by your primary care veterinarian, an emergency hospital, or even a specialist vet, because the plan will provide reimbursement for the eligible care provided by any licensed veterinarian in the U.S. and Canada.
While I was researching options, I saw that some plans offered a watered-down “accident-only coverage option,” but that didn’t cover the day-to-day medical needs of all my pets. The pet insurance coverage offered by AKC Pet Insurance gave me the best of both worlds at one amazing price.
9. My Flea and Tick Medication Is Covered
Bliss is a Beagle, which means she loves to be outside and in the woods. We take her on hikes with us, and there isn’t a bush she won’t burrow into, nor a hole she won’t make deeper. While we find her antics adorable, the truth is that they come with some added risk of flea and tick infestation.
We added the Wellness option to our plans for an additional fee and got coverage on our pet’s flea, tick, and heartworm medication. Our pets are more comfortable because they don’t get random bouts of fleas, and we’re more comfortable knowing they’re safer and less likely to get a tick-borne illness.
10. I Was Able to Get My Puppy Microchipped Under My Pet Insurance Plan
The Wellness add-on I selected also included coverage for microchipping. My older pets already have a microchip, but our puppy, Bliss, did not. When she was old enough to have it implanted, we had our vet do it during one of her puppy wellness exams.
11. Exam Fees Are Covered
Because Bliss is so young and Miloche is so old, we went ahead and added AKC Pet Insurance’s optional Veterinary Exam Coverage. This coverage fills the gap by reimbursing me for the exam fees and office visit charges regardless of whether our vet performed any diagnostics or treatments. This coverage is also extended to our primary vet, emergency vet, and specialist visits. Even though this add-on comes at an additional cost, we’ve already saved over $50 on each visit for each pet!
12. Dental Care Is Available with the Wellness Add-on
Taking care of your pets’ teeth is important. Plus, a good dental cleaning is a great way to freshen up your dog’s horrible breath (I’m looking at you, Miloche). Professional pet dental care can be expensive, so I knew I wanted dental cleaning coverage, and I was able to get that through AKC Pet Insurance. This is all included in the Wellness add-on, so that one small monthly fee has covered a lot of extra benefits for my pets.
13. AKC Pet Insurance Offers Pre-Existing Condition Coverage
I had pre-existing condition coverage on my “must-haves” list, because I knew Miloche would need it. AKC Pet Insurance has the industry’s best pre-existing condition coverage**. There is a waiting period, but so many plans don’t offer coverage for pre-existing conditions at all.
**Not available in all states. Pre-existing condition coverage available after 365 days of continuous coverage.
14. I Was Able to Add Optional Hereditary Condition Coverage
With the exceptions of Bliss the Beagle and LadyCat, my other three dogs are all Japanese Chins. Their breed has flat noses and that can cause some hereditary and congenital issues that many pet insurance providers don’t cover. These conditions don’t quite fit the “illness and injury” definition, so some providers just leave them out altogether. AKC Pet Insurance offers optional Hereditary Condition Coverage in addition to your premium which includes:
- Heart Disease
- Luxating Patella
As all my pets age, any number of these conditions may come up, but I won’t have to worry about coverage because of my add-on.
15. AKC Pet Insurance Plan Costs Are Customizable
Don’t let all the talk of add-ons fool you, finding the best plan for your budget is entirely possible without sacrificing coverage. AKC Pet Insurance offers customizable deductibles and coinsurance costs to help manage your monthly premium costs and your out-of-pocket costs after filing a claim.
16. You Can Get Coverage With No Annual Limits
Like I mentioned, I have A LOT of pets, so my use of these benefits will add up quickly. And (heaven forbid) one of my animals have a major accident or diagnosis, those costs will go up even more. But, through AKC Pet Insurance, I don’t have to worry about running out of coverage. I picked a plan with no annual limits, so I know I’ll be covered regardless of how often I need to use my plan.
17. Filing a Claim is Easy
It is so easy for me to file a claim through AKC Pet Insurance. They are an award-winning pet insurance company for several reasons***, but one is definitely the ease of use. Once I pay my vet, I simply file a claim. I like to use the customer portal through the app, but email, fax, and mail options are available. They take it from there. I was able to get reimbursed by direct deposit in just a few days!
I am so happy that I put my trust in AKC Pet Insurance. Compared to many other pet insurance plans, they offer the best coverage for my needs at an amazing price. I have been grateful to have them when I needed them, and my peace-of-mind is worth the cost of my pet insurance premiums. If you’re considering pet insurance, get a quote from AKC Pet Insurance now!
The author of this article is a pet lover and employee of PetPartners, Inc., the administrator of AKC Pet Insurance plans.
***Voted one of America's BEST pet insurance companies by Forbes magazine. Forbes, Sept. 29, 2021, "America's Best Insurance Companies"