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Pets Best Pet Insurance Review

Pets Best is a top pet insurance company, but review the pros and cons of its products to see if it’s truly “best” for your dog or cat.

Written by Andrew Pentis / August 31, 2022
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Products featured in this article are independently selected by our team of writers. If you make a purchase using links on this page, SoundDollar will earn an affiliate commission.

Quick Bites

  • Pets Best gets a lot of attention for its name, but it deserves some spotlight for having no upper age limit for eligible pets.
  • Founded in 2005, the company also makes customizing and understanding your policy options easy via its website and mobile app.
  • Pets Best has many notable pros and cons, including a short waiting period for accidents—but a long one for ligament injuries.
  • This insurer is worth considering for your pet insurance needs, but shop around to find the best possible policy for your pet’s specific needs.

If you’re searching far and wide for the best pet insurance out there, you might stumble onto Pets Best. And true to its name, this nearly two-decade-old company is worth considering as you compare providers. Sound Dollar’s Pets Best insurance review showed high marks among the four categories we consider: eligibility, cost, coverage and customer experience.

Though maybe not the “best” option for all dog and cat owners, Pets Best stands out for having no upper age limit, reasonable pricing, transparent coverage terms and unique perks. Here’s what to know about this long-standing insurer, including its pros and cons as well as the fine print.

Inside this article

  1. Pets Best pros and cons
  2. Company overview
  3. Pets Best insurance policies
  4. Add-ons
  5. Exclusions
  6. Cost
  7. Savings, discounts
  8. Pets Best customer service
  9. Alternatives to consider
  10. Conclusion
  11. Methodology

Pets Best pros and cons

Logo of Pets Best pet insurance company
Get Pets Best
Sample quote for dogs:

$40.06

Sample quote for cats:

$18.35

Reimbursement Amount:

70% to 90%

Reimbursement limit:

$5,000 or unlimited

Deductible options:

$50 to $1,000

Waiting period:

3 days (accidents), 14 days (illness), 6 months (cruciate ligament conditions), 18 months (cured, pre-existing conditions)

Pros

  • Wide range of eligible pet ages (2 months old to 20-plus)
  • Option for accident-only coverage
  • Discounts for multiple pets, military members (5% each)
  • 24-7 pet telehealth service
  • Pre-existing conditions can be covered if cured for 18 months
  • Mobile app has positive user reviews
  • Option to have Pets Best pay your vet directly

Cons

  • Six-month waiting period for cruciate ligament injuries
  • Vet-prescribed food isn’t covered
  • Routine care reimbursement is a policy add-on ($16 to $26 extra per month)
  • $2 transaction fees for some premium payments

Company overview

If you like the idea of a pet insurance provider with staying power and a digital customer experience, you might like Pets Best. Founded in 2005 by veterinarian Dr. Jack Stephens, Pets Best claims it had insured half a million pets by January 2022. Its website also says that it had paid out $200 million in pet insurance policy claims as of February 2019. The company was acquired by financial services company Synchrony in March 2019.[1]

Pets Best combines that experience with a highly-rated mobile app where you can manage your policy. Its website makes customizing your policy terms and coverage levels easy enough as you collect and compare quotes from multiple insurers.

Pets Best also notched an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau, though it has received mixed reviews from real customers, including negative feedback about its claims process, a typically thorny issue in the insurer-customer relationship.[2]

What policies does Pets Best offer?

Pets Best stands out for offering both accident-and-illness and accident-only coverage, whereas many competitors simply offer the former. The more commonly offered accident-and-illness policy at Pets Best covers everything from cancer to hereditary conditions and prescription medication. It’s available at three levels—Essential, Plus or Elite—with graduating coverage and cost. Elite, the most expensive option, covers exam fees (where Essential doesn’t) and rehabilitative or alternative therapies (where Plus stops short).

Accident-only policy

The accident-only policy option is more affordable ($9 per month as of August 2022) and could be a last-resort option for pet owners whose canines or felines have a pre-existing condition that makes them ineligible for full coverage. Pets Best says this pared-down policy covers “medical problems directly attributable to accidental injury” and nothing more.

Covered on accident-only policyNot covered
Bite (animal, insect, snake) Cruciate ligament injuries
Bone fractureIllnesses or diseases, including infectious bacterial or viral disease, parasitic infection, metabolic disorder or cancer
Foreign body ingestionPre-existing injuries
Hit by car or moving vehicle
Laceration, cut or abrasion
Poisoning
Torn nail
Trauma
Wound

Waiting period: As with all pet insurers, there is a delay between when you enroll in benefits and when those benefits actually convey. Pets Best beats out many competitors with a 3-day waiting period for accidents. It also has a 14-day waiting period for illness and six months for cruciate ligament injuries. Also like other pet insurers, Pets Best won’t cover pre-existing conditions (unless your dog or cat has been symptom-free for a year and a half).

What’s covered, what’s not: Below is a full accounting of what Pets Best covers on its traditional accident-and-illness policy. Note that exam fees are covered by the Plus and Elite plans, while alternative therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic care are only included with Elite-level policies.

Covered under accident-and-illness policy
Accidents
Cancer, cancer treatments
Emergency care
Hereditary, congenital conditions
Hospitalization and surgeries
Illnesses
Lab tests
Medication injections
MRI, CAT and X-ray
Outpatient care
Prescribed medications
Specialist care
Surgeries

What Does Pet Insurance Cover—And Not Cover?

What Does Pet Insurance Cover—And Not Cover?

As with any kind of insurance, it can be hard to tell what you’ll be reimbursed for when you file a claim for your pet’s care. Here’s a look at what you can expect.

Find out more

Add-ons

Just looking at quoted premiums might fool you: Some pet insurers, including Pets Best, feature policy add-ons that can increase your monthly cost.

Routine care

If your dog or cat is a regular at the vet, perhaps for preventive measures like vaccinations, you might consider this add-on. Pets Best advertises BestWellness ($26 per month, as of August 2022) and EssentialWellness ($16) to cover other basics like spaying and neutering, microchipping, bloodwork and heartworm testing.

Exclusions

Beyond conditions that occur during your waiting period (see above), here are exclusions listed in Pets Best’s sample policy:

  • Alternative and holistic treatments

  • Anal gland expression

  • Bedding, housing, crates, cages, ramps, bowls, feeding, exercise, pet foods, supplements, grooming, nail trims, toys, clothes, leashes, collars, biohazardous waste fees and treats

  • Bilateral conditions

  • Boarding, transport expenses

  • Breeding, conditions related to pregnancy

  • Chronic conditions

  • Conditions related to racing, including track or sled racing

  • Cremation and burial

  • Experimental therapies and medications

  • Intervertebral disc conditions

  • Preventive care

  • Training, treatment of behavioral conditions (besides consultations, prescribed medication)

Cost

Your premium—the cost for coverage—is affected by how you choose to customize your policy’s annual limit, reimbursement amount and deductible

DefinitionPets Best options
Annual limitThe maximum benefit from your Pets Best coverage per year $5,000, unlimited
Reimbursement amountThe percentage of covered costs that Pets Best will pay for 70%, 80%, 90%
DeductibleThe amount you pay out of pocket before Pets Best’s coverage kicks in $50, $100, $200, $250, $500, $1,000

At Pets Best, the dollar-and-cents premium could swing wildly based on those choices. For example, below are sample Pets Best “Plus” premiums for a 5-year-old, female, mixed-breed, medium-sized dog, as of Aug. 29, 2022:

Annual limitReimbursement amountDeductiblePremium (for "Plus" coverage)
$5,00070%$1,000$19.39
$5,00080%$500$38.28
Unlimited90%$100$88.23

It’s worth noting, too, that your quotes could look different because of your pet’s age, breed, size and location. Premiums head northward for older pets, for example. We also noticed lower rates by location: Southern Arizona dogs and cats cost less per month to insure, as compared to those with Northern California zip codes.

Savings, discounts

Pets Bet allows you to discount your quoted premium by 5% if you have multiple pets on the policy or if you’re a military member.

Pets Best customer service

Pets Best takes customer phone calls Monday through Friday, with limited hours on Saturday. Its bot chat function online could also be helpful if you have general questions about your policy.

Like some competing insurers, Pets Best also makes a 24-7 helpline available by phone, live chat or email. The service is run by veterinary experts (not veterinarians, per se) who can help with questions about your pet’s behavior.

Also, if you need to file a claim against your Pets Best policy, you can do so through email, mobile app, fax or snail mail. The company’s Vet Direct Pay feature could also be useful, particularly for bigger bills.

Alternatives: Pets Best vs. Pumpkin vs. ManyPets

Even if Pets Best sounds like a good bet, comparing costs, coverage and customer service among at least a few providers can help you get the best possible deal. You might start by pitting Pets Best versus Pumpkin or ManyPets, a couple of other digitally-oriented providers. Here’s how they stack up:

Pets BestPumpkinManyPets
Sample premium for dog*$40.06$79.59$26.27
Sample premium for cat*$18.35$31.37$17.31
Annual limit options2 (including unlimited)31 (including unlimited)
Reimbursement amount options313
Deductible options633
Waiting periods3 days for accidents, 14 days for illness and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions 14 days for all conditions 15 days for accidents or illness, 18 months for symptom-free pre-existing conditions
Note on claimsTake a picture of your paid vet bill and upload to the Pets Best mobile app “Reimburse my vet” direct payment possible in some cases Online or by phone, and no forms to complete

*5-year-old, female, medium-sized, mixed-breed, northern California-based dog without major medical history, as of May 23, 2022

**5-year-old, male, mixed breed, medium hair, northern California-based cat without major medical history, as of May 24, 2022

***Quotes were product of selecting a $750 deductible, 80% reimbursement amount and $5,000 reimbursement limit, or the closest available options

****Quotes do not include supplementary coverage for wellness, preventative care

Conclusion

Pets Best insurance could be worth considering in your shopping-around process if you…

  • Want a customizable insurance quote

  • Have an older dog or cat 

  • Have multiple pets

  • Value digital perks like mobile claim filing, 24-7 telehealth service and Vet Direct Pay

  • Are looking for accident-only coverage

With that said, Pets Best coverage could leave you wanting more. If you have an anxious dog, for example, you might be disappointed to learn that the company doesn’t cover treatment for behavioral issues. Or if a big chunk of your pet budget goes to health food—organic chow isn’t cheap—you might not like that it wouldn’t be covered by Pets Best.

Read the fine print of policies to ensure that what you want covered will actually be covered. Your priorities are highly dependent on your pet’s age, breed, size, health history and behavior, so there is no-one-size-fits-all best pet insurer (even if “best” is in the company name). To check whether another insurer might be a better fit, review our best pet insurance rankings.

Does Pets Best insurance cover neutering or spaying?

Pets Best pet insurance doesn’t cover neutering or spaying your dog or cat. However, you could add the BestWellness routine care add-on, which covers neutering or spaying, with a maximum annual benefit of $150.

How much is Pets Best pet insurance?
How long do Pets Best claims take?
Where can you find Pets Best insurance claims forms?
How do you cancel Pets Best insurance?

Methodology

As with all pet insurance companies, Pets Best was graded by Sound Dollar across four categories: eligibility, cost, coverage and customer experience. Given that they’re most impactful to your wallet, the cost and coverage categories were triple and double-weighted, respectively, in our formula. You can find the full details of our methodology here.

As part of our research on Pets Best, we collected 23 company-specific data points; requested a variety of premium rate quotes; peppered their customer service representatives with questions; and reviewed third-party resources.

Finally, our end goal at Sound Dollar is to help you make the best financial decisions for your situation. As we review products like Pets Best, that’s our guiding principle.

Article Sources
  1. “Synchrony Acquires Pets Best to Expand CareCredit Platform in Rapidly Growing Pet Market,” Synchrony, March 6, 2019, https://www.synchrony.com/synchrony-acquires-pets-best-to-expand-carecredit-platform.html.
  2. “Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC,” Better Business Bureau, https://www.bbb.org/us/nc/charlotte/profile/pet-insurance/pets-best-insurance-services-llc-0473-92020974.

About the Author

Staff editor Andrew Pentis headshot

Andrew Pentis

Andrew Pentis has used his journalism background to write about personal finance topics since 2015. His work has appeared in over 40 publications, including LifeHacker, U.S. News & World Report and Marketwatch.

Full bio

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