Our Review of Petfirst Healthcare
Petfirst Healthcare is one of the fastest growing pet insurance providers in the United States. They rank shoulder to shoulder with similar companies in their class and were recently acquired by a major American insurance firm, providing them with greater stability and strength in the market.
Founded in 2003 following the death of a co-founder’s beloved dogs, Petfirst offers easy entry to coverage, with policies starting as low as $9 per month, and offers flexibility for additional services via their rider add-ons to their standard policies.
Petfirst’s website is very accessible on both desktop and mobile formats, providing a simple application process requiring basic information, as well as allowing customers to submit claims with ease.
Breadth of Coverage
Petfirst Healthcare provides comprehensive coverage for all breeds of cats and dogs. However, in line with many other national and international pet insurance providers of its kind, Petfirst does not offer coverage for reptiles or other exotics.
Petfirst’s coverage begins at 8 weeks old for puppies and kittens with no upper age limit for senior pets (though the low-end policy option may not be a viable option for older pets, given the health needs that normally come with advanced age).
Petfirst has no breed-specific exclusions according to what is available on their website, and coverage is available all across the United States.
Petfirst has flexible options within their three main tiers of coverage via the Routine Care add-ons that can be included with any policy at additional cost. They do not cover pre-existing conditions and the standard plans do not include routine care. Prescription pet food is not covered inside of regular plans, but can be added on as a rider at additional cost.
The website lists the details that are covered under the plans, including accidents and injuries, illnesses (including hereditary and congenital conditions), ultrasounds, medications, alternative therapies, surgeries, diagnostic tests, and others. After one year, customers also receive coverage for various cruciate ligament services and IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease).
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Accessibility of Products
Petfirst offers three main coverage tiers, of which the “Cost Conscious” tier runs as low as $15 per month for dogs and $9 for cats.
Petfirst accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express, as well as debit cards. There is employee payroll deduction available for participating employers who will deduct the premium from the customer’s paycheque on their behalf, as well as voluntary employee deductions available directly from Petfirst.
The Petfirst FAQ does not refer to rules around switching plans for pets, with those details likely handled by a live customer service agent via their phone number.
Petfirst provides discounts for other pet care providers such as veterinarians and shelter workers.
On their website’s landing page, Petfirst Healthcare offers links for dog insurance from $15 per month and cat insurance from $9 per month, with links that lead to further, easy-to-read details on their coverage packages. Petfirst offers three tiers of coverage of $2,000, $5,000, and $10,000 annual benefits respectively, with the option of adding on riders for additional services not covered by the pre-packaged offers. Petfirst covers up to 80% of costs with a $250 deductible and displays this rate openly on their website in several places.
Obtaining a specific quote involves a straightforward, five-step process that involves providing basic information (contact data, email address, pet’s age and breed, etc.) in a very easy-to-use interface.
Petfirst has a FAQ section that’s readily accessible simply by scrolling to the bottom of the website on any page that users may be on during their shopping process. In addition, during the five-step quote and application process, there are “learn more” links that provide additional details on the plan itself. Further, Petfirst anticipates user concerns about items that are not covered and provides two lists – “What’s Covered” and “What’s Not Covered” – that appear on the first page of the quote process, allowing users to know up front what to expect.
Ease of Use
Petfirst’s website is very easy to read and navigate both on desktop and mobile platforms, loading within less than a second on a high-speed connection.
Pricing, limitations, and coverage are readily available and easy to find from the Petfirst landing page. The FAQ section is easy to read and comprehensive, with the option to call a Petfirst customer service representative should there be any questions not visible on the site.
Customer reviews are featured on the “Resources” page, with photos and names of the reviewers and links to their stories. There are also short “Claim Tales” (case studies) visible on the landing page, describing Petfirst customer experiences and how much they were reimbursed from their coverage.
A floating banner with a “Get a Free Quote” button sits at the top of the website, allowing users to begin the five-step quote process easily and at any time during their browsing. Upon entering some basic details about your pet on the next page, the process takes you to a Discounts page where you qualify for a $10 first claim discount as well as an Animal Welfare Discount (for vets and shelter personnel), after which the site presents you with your coverage options as well as add-ons. Users can complete and submit their application within 10-15 minutes at most using the website.
Petfirst has an online portal system called “MyPets”, which allows users to file claims and manage accounts. Users can also submit claims and accompanying documentation via email.
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The Petfirst Blog provides good articles on a variety of pet-related topics, including meal ideas, how to cope with a pet who has passed away during the holidays, and other similar topics. The articles are ghostwritten, with “Petfirst Pet Insurance” named on the by-lines, and many of them end with a CTA to purchase insurance plans from Petfirst.
Petfirst does not appear to support any particular charities based on the information on the website, but does offer partnership opportunities for shelters and pet rescues, veterinary services, and employee benefits offerings, as well as an Animal Welfare Discount (for vets and shelter personnel).
Overall, the Petfirst leadership team and the organization as a whole appear to genuinely care about the well-being of animals, with the company’s own origin story rooted in a co-founder’s own experience paying to put down his own dog in 2003.
Petfirst was founded in 2004 and their status as one of the fastest-growing pet insurance providers in the U.S. indicates a very strong company.
In November 2019, Petfirst was acquired by insurance giant Metlife, which will provide them with global resources and added stability.
Petfirst ranks alongside many of the other top pet insurance companies in the U.S, and provides comparable breadth and scope of services as the other industry players in their class.