Having health insurance is something that you probably budget for, but what about pet insurance? Many pet owners are turning to pet insurance to help reduce their veterinary costs, but some find that the deductibles and restrictions on pre-existing conditions can be problematic. One answer to this quandary is Pet Assure, which is a pet insurance alternative that is easy to use and might be a good value for your pet.
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|Monthly Premium||From $8 for cats and $10 for dogs. A multiple pet discount applies.|
|Discount||25% of covered services|
In this review, we’ll talk about what we like and dislike about Pet Assure, what’s covered, how much it costs, and what their customers have to say. You can use this information to make the best decision about whether this type of pet insurance alternative is right for you.
In This Article
What We Like
If you are looking to an alternative to pet insurance, Pet Assure might be the right program for you. This is a veterinary discount plan, which means that there are no claim forms to fill out and no waiting on reimbursement. Instead, you go to a participating veterinarian and pay a discounted fee for each procedure or service. Here are some of the things we really like about Pet Assure:
- There are no deductibles. Traditional pet insurance usually includes deductibles that must be paid either every year or every time you see the veterinarian for a new health issue. With Pet Assure, you do not pay a deductible at all, just your annual or monthly premium.
- All types of pets can participate. Most pet insurance companies insure only cats and dogs, but Pet Assure covers all feathered, scaly, and furry animals. Lizards, llamas, parakeets, you name it.
- No forms to fill out. Once you’re signed up, you’re covered and there is no further documentation needed. You do not have to fill out claim forms; you simply pay your veterinarian the contracted reduced price for each procedure.
- Pre-existing conditions are not excluded. Unlike most traditional pet insurance, Pet Assure makes no distinction between conditions that are pre-existing or new. There are also no waiting periods for any types of coverage.
- No age limitations. Whether your pet is 20 days old or 20 years old, they are eligible for Pet Assure.
What We Dislike
There are, of course, a few things about Pet Assure that we don’t love. Keep in mind that every pet insurance or veterinary discount program will have some features that not everyone appreciates.
- You have to use approved veterinarians. Just like with some health insurance policies for humans, you are limited to the veterinarians who are contracted with Pet Assure. There might or might not be a participating vet in your area, so it is necessary to find out before purchasing the plan.
- Lab services might not be covered. If your veterinarian sends blood work and tissue biopsies out to a lab, those procedures will not be covered. Only services done by your veterinarian in their office will be covered.
- Specialty services might not be covered. If your pet needs to see a specialist, you would need to find one that is participating with the plan or else it will not be covered.
- Prescription foods and medications are not covered. This includes routine prescriptions, such as heartworm prevention, as well as medications prescribed for illnesses or injuries, such as insulin, pain medication, or antibiotics. These would be your full responsibility to pay for.
Keep in mind that Pet Assure is not traditional pet insurance, which means that you will not be submitting claims. Instead, you’ll pay for a membership that will entitle you to a reduced fee at a participating veterinary office. The reduction is 25 percent off of covered procedures, so if your vet’s normal charge for a procedure is $200, for example, then you would pay $150, and so on.
What Is Covered?
Anything done in-house at your participating veterinary office or clinic is covered, including:
- Routine vaccinations
- Spay or neuter surgery
- Dental work
- Cancer care
- Wellness visits
- Allergy treatment
- Sick visits
- Emergency care
- Injury care
- X-rays done in-house
What Isn’t Covered?
Anything that is done outside of your participating veterinarian’s office is not covered. These services include:
- Visits with non-participating veterinarians, including veterinary specialists
- Prescription medication
- Prescription food
- Lab work done out of the office
- Mileage to drive to and from the vet’s office
How Much Does Pet Assure Cost?
Pet Assure’s fees do not depend on the age or health status of your pet. Instead, it depends solely on the type of pet you have, the number of pets you have, and whether you want to pay monthly or annually.
The monthly price for one cat is currently $8.45, but if you pay it annually, you’ll pay $67.15 for the whole year. The monthly price for one dog is currently $10.15 per month or $84.15 per year. Small animals (reptiles, birds, and rodents, for example) will be charged the cat price and large animals (farm animals or pot-bellied pigs, for example) are charged the dog price.
If you have more than one pet, you will pay about $15-19 per month or $126-170 per year, depending on how many animals you have.
Discounts, Promotions, or Coupon Codes
Pet Assure occasionally offers promotions or discounts on a short-term basis. For example, at the time of this writing, there is a 15 percent discount as part of their Back to School promotion.
They also offer a free Lost Pet Recovery Service to all covered pets. This is an ID tag you can attach to your pet’s collar so that if he is ever lost, someone finding him can call the toll-free number, give them the ID engraved on the tag, and get in touch with you to have your pet returned.
There is also a discount available if you have AAA. Contact Pet Assure to find out more.
Whenever you purchase any type of service, it is helpful to check customer reviews so you know what you might expect. We have gathered a sampling of both positive and negative reviews to help our readers understand the pros and cons of purchasing Pet Assure.
Customers tend to like the customer service and the ease of use of Pet Assure. Another appreciated benefit is that multiple pets are covered without having to pay a high fee for each pet.
First off, I never leave reviews, anywhere. Let me say that this company went above and beyond to help me. I went into my local vet, that is under their participating vets list, to get my new puppy her first checkup/shots/etc. There was some confusion at the checkout. The receptionist told me they do not accept that card. I tried to explain to her that it was not insurance (she kept referring to it as insurance and telling me I need to get a hold of them for a reimbursement). Came home, contacted Pet Assure to let them know about this situation and what happened. They emailed me every single day keeping me informed on each step they were taking to work with the vet to figure out what had happened! I have never worked with a company like this and am so pleased to see a company actually listen and help! I was not expecting this kind of response at all. Long story short, I did get my discount and am going to continue going to this vet. Pet Assure did not stop until the problem was solved. Thank you Amanda from Pet Assure! -Pricsilla, 7/3/19, Yelp
EXCELLENT for people with a circus of animals like I do and intends to take them in for periodic visits or 1 or 2 major issues (as there is an annual limit). Its pretty easy to find participating vets who take the discount card as well. I would recommend doing a search for participating vets in your area before buying (they have a map on their site that lets you search participating vets before you click buy). From there, you could narrow it down to the best vet offices. When I bought Pet Assure, I did have to switch vets (from Union Hills Animal Hospital to Academy West Animal Hospital), however I don’t think I had to sacrifice quality of care to do so. I will say that my cat’s ophthalmologist (yes, he goes to a special animal eye doctor…) doesn’t take the plan. So if your pet has to go to a specialist for some reason, they may not take it. -Emily S., 12/12/18, Yelp
The main complaint about Pet Assure seems to be that people need to switch to a different veterinarian if their current vet does not participate. Also, in some areas, there are few (or no) participating vets.
Buyer Beware! Turns out, you can buy Pet Assure health insurance, but you can’t actually use it! I purchased insurance and when I took my dog to the vet, they said they’d never heard of Pet Assure, but that many insurances were super easy to work with – just send a snapshot of the receipt or keep a claim form of theirs at the office. Great service from my vet! When I went on the website, it turns out – NONE of the vets I’ve been to are on the list of “approved vendors.” So if you have a great vet – too bad! Pet Assure won’t work with them! I called (a little disbelieving the service could truly be that limited) and the customer support guy was like, “Yeah. Maybe return the card for a refund?” What a load of garbage. – Farrah, 11/7/17, Consumer Affairs
The only vets that participate with them are grossly over-priced. Be sure to check a few other vets around the immediate area before committing $10-$20 a month of your hard earned money (for Pet Assure) to end up at a vet that you would have never considered, that ends up charging you 3X more than the vet down the street. Not to mention that the vet can decide at any given time that anything on the Pet Assure website listed as qualifying they can decide not to discount at their own discretion and with blatant proof that there are multiple qualifying items not being discounted. Pet Assure will ultimately side with the vet and say that they don’t see them as having done anything wrong. This sham of an insurance, is a disgrace. Take my advice and avoid it. I have multiple receipts with hundreds of dollars in discount not given. -Sharon, 9/11/15, Consumer Affairs
The Final Verdict
We believe that Pet Assure is a great plan for those who fully understand that it is not pet insurance. Instead, it entitles you to a 25 percent discount on included services at participating veterinarians. This can be very helpful when budgeting for your pet’s needs. We also like that pets other than cats and dogs can also be covered, since it is difficult to find a plan that will cover your iguana, hamster, parrot, or alpaca.
Do keep in mind that you have to choose a participating veterinarian; since that tends to be the biggest complaint among consumers, look into which vets in your area are participating before purchasing the plan. This can help you avoid unpleasant surprises later. All in all, Pet Assure is a company to keep in mind if you are looking for an alternative to pricier pet insurance options.