August 26, 2010

PetPlan : FAST Customer Support. Looks like Good Pet Insurance.

I've looked at pet insurance before and decided it wasn't a very good value.   The problem seemed to be that the policies had maximum payouts for specific procedures that were lower than the actual costs.   But a recent comment on FreeMoneyFinance made me look again.  Someone recommended PetPlan insurance and pointed to a website with very positive reviews.   The site has many customer reviews and scores for different pet insurance providers.   PetPlan has the highest rating with a 9.3 out of 10 average score and many hundred reviews. 

First impression: FAST and Good Customer Support

While researching PetPlan I was looking for the 'fine print' details of their coverage but couldn't find it on their website.  So I decided to send them an email and ask for it.   ONE minute later I got a response with the document attached.   Usually when I write a company an email asking a support question I expect to get an automated response that tells me that they got my mail and will answer me as soon as possible.  And in the world of customer support that usually means I'll get a reply within a day... or two.   Then when you do that the reply half the time it seems like they didn't read your question or just copy/pasted a semi-related FAQ off their own website that I just looked at.   But right off the bat PetPlan has way exceeded my expectations for customer service  by giving me a useful and clear response almost instantly.  He answered my request with an attached document detailing the terms and conditions of the policy, filled in details on what they do and don't cover and gave me his phone # if I want to ask questions or sign up.  I mean seriously it was ONE minute later and heres' a screenshot of my email inbox showing my message at 2:20 and their reply at 2:21.

This definitely counts as a point in their favor.

Reasonably affordable

I checked out the PetPlan website and got a quote for coverage for my cat.   You can pick between Bronze, Silver and Gold coverage plans.   The Bronze plan has $8000 benefit max in a year while the Silver pays up to $12,000 and Gold max is $20,000.    You can also pick different deductibles of $50, $100 or $200 and reimbursement rates of 100%, 90% or 80%.   I figure the higher deductible Bronze plan with 80% reimbursement would be the best value.   Our cat is 9 years old and a 'Bronze' plan with 20% coinsurance and $200 deductible and annual maximum of $8,000 would run about $185 a year.  That seems like an OK price to me.      I got a quick quote for another pet insurance company and their rate was $189 a year for their 'basic' plan with $50 deductible but they have limits on payments for individual illnesses or injuries.   PetPlan does NOT have limits for individual illnesses or injuries.   Overall Petplan looks like a much better value and a reasonable price than the other pet insurance I've seen.

What does PetPlan insurance Pay?

If I got a plan with a $200 deductible then of course I'd have to pay any bills under $200.   THe coverage also doesn't cover routine care so I can't get insurance money for stuff like normal checkups.   The insurance should help kick in when you get high bills.   The PetPlan website has a 'claim calculator' that estimates your benefits.   I used that to see what I'd get for insurance payment on a $5000 vet bill with my example Bronze plan coverage with $200 deductible and 20% co-insurance.   They would pay $3800 of the bill.   I would have to pay $1200 which is the $200 deductible and 20% of the total bill. 

No 'catch' found.

I tried to find a 'catch' in the terms of the PetPlan policy but I don't see one.   You do have to meet the terms of their coverage and that means getting annual checkups and some misc. things like that.   They don't pay routine care which some people might assume they would.   You gotta read the policy contract so you understand how the insurance works and what they do and don't cover.   Whats in their terms doesn't strike me as unusual or odd and there no surprise fine print that I can see.   No I don't see a 'catch'.  

On a slightly humorous note, when I looked at my old article discussing pet insurance where I decided it wasn't worthwhile, the Google Adsense showed a banner ad from PetPlan right under my article.

Bottom Line:   PetPlan pet insurance has high customer ratings and their insurance does look like a decent value for pet insurance.   They have already impressed me with their fast and high quality customer service.

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