- 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
Pets Best pros and cons
70% to 90%
$5,000 or unlimited
$50 to $1,000
3 days (accidents), 14 days (illness), 6 months (cruciate ligament conditions), 18 months (cured, pre-existing conditions)
- 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
- 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
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.
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.
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).
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 policy||Not covered|
|Bite (animal, insect, snake)||Cruciate ligament injuries|
|Bone fracture||Illnesses or diseases, including infectious bacterial or viral disease, parasitic infection, metabolic disorder or cancer|
|Foreign body ingestion||Pre-existing injuries|
|Hit by car or moving vehicle|
|Laceration, cut or abrasion|
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|
|Cancer, cancer treatments|
|Hereditary, congenital conditions|
|Hospitalization and surgeries|
|MRI, CAT and X-ray|
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
Just looking at quoted premiums might fool you: Some pet insurers, including Pets Best, feature policy add-ons that can increase your monthly cost.
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.
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
Boarding, transport expenses
Breeding, conditions related to pregnancy
Conditions related to racing, including track or sled racing
Cremation and burial
Experimental therapies and medications
Intervertebral disc conditions
Training, treatment of behavioral conditions (besides consultations, prescribed medication)
|Definition||Pets Best options|
|Annual limit||The maximum benefit from your Pets Best coverage per year||$5,000, unlimited|
|Reimbursement amount||The percentage of covered costs that Pets Best will pay for||70%, 80%, 90%|
|Deductible||The 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 limit||Reimbursement amount||Deductible||Premium (for "Plus" coverage)|
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.
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:
|Sample premium for dog*||$40.06||$79.59||$26.27|
|Sample premium for cat*||$18.35||$31.37||$17.31|
|Annual limit options||2 (including unlimited)||3||1 (including unlimited)|
|Reimbursement amount options||3||1||3|
|Waiting periods||3 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 claims||Take 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
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?
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?
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.