As the pet insurance industry grows, providers are continually adding new types of coverage and benefits. But at their core, pet policies are designed to protect owners financially in the face of unexpected accidents and illnesses. Healthy Paws is an insurer that has stayed true to these roots by offering a single plan that does just that. While Healthy Paws doesn’t give pet parents the opportunity to customize coverage as many competitors do, this simplicity can be attractive to those who don’t want to deal with complicated features they won’t need or use.
Healthy Paws was founded in 2009 as a pet insurer and nonprofit. The company’s co-founders met while volunteering at an animal shelter and decided to pursue a shared dream of helping pet owners and rescue organizations better afford veterinary care.
In addition to selling insurance policies, Healthy Paws remains highly involved in various charitable efforts. For example, the company makes a donation to its Every Quote Gives Hope medical grant program every time someone gets an online quote. The grant benefits hundreds of shelters and rescues across the United States.
- Unlimited annual benefits: The Healthy Paws policy comes with no annual limit to the value of benefits you can receive.
- Quick and easy claims process: According to Healthy Paws, 99% of claims are processed within two days when submitted via the provider’s mobile app or website.
- Automatically compares rates with competitors: Healthy Paws isn’t the best choice for every pet. Their online quote tool will let you know if they think you’d be better off with another provider.
- Backed by Chubb: Policies are underwritten by Chubb, a well-established global insurance provider.
- Single policy: Healthy Paws offers just one accident and illness policy with no way to add auxiliary coverage.
- Limited coverage levels: When you purchase a policy, the choices for coverage are slim. There are only three options for deductibles and reimbursement levels, and the annual limit can’t be customized at all.
- Requires an exam: Pets that are enrolled with Healthy Paws must undergo a medical exam for which the grace period varies by age.
- Not ideal for older pets: Many pet insurers reduce benefits for senior pets, but Healthy Paws imposes severe restrictions for any animal over the age of five.
Only one plan is available for purchase through Healthy Paws. The plan covers accidents and illnesses, but not wellness visits or any related preventive care. Owners are also responsible for paying exam fees out of pocket, which can add up quickly over time. The table below gives an overview of the types of treatments you can expect to have reimbursed with Healthy Paws.
|Covered Treatment||Included in Plan|
Since Healthy Paws policies vary only between reimbursement levels and deductibles, price ranges are fairly small. For pets ages six and up, only one price is available. This is because coverage is limited to 70% reimbursement and a $500 annual deductible, so there’s no way to adjust benefits to change your monthly premium.
These limited options mean that older pets won’t usually get the best price. But there’s some good news. If you use Healthy Paws’ online tool to get a quote, the provider will automatically compare its prices with several competitors. If the quote you receive is significantly higher than comparable coverage with another company, Healthy Paws will let you know and give you the opportunity to shop around with recommended alternative providers.
|Dog: 1 year||$20.33 to $43.08|
|Dog: 3 year||$23.74 to $50.37|
|Dog: 6 year||$34.11|
|Dog: 12 year||$155.74|
|Cat: 1 year||$8.01 to $17.04|
|Cat: 3 year||$9.36 to $19.93|
|Cat: 6 year||$13.74|
|Cat: 12 year||$61.31|
Healthy Paws’ waiting periods are among the longest of any pet insurer we’ve evaluated. Coverage for injuries and illnesses doesn’t begin until 15 days after you start paying premiums, which means you’ll be on your own until this time has passed. Some specific conditions aren’t covered until much later. For example, symptoms of hip dysplasia are considered pre-existing until an entire year after you begin your policy.
Our Expert Lisa Says
To screen for potential pre-existing conditions, Healthy Paws requires all pets to undergo a veterinary exam within a certain window before or after coverage begins.
No pet insurer covers pre-existing conditions. These are defined as any illness or injury your pet shows symptoms of before the policy began or during a waiting period. To screen for potential pre-existing conditions, Healthy Paws requires all pets to undergo a veterinary exam within a certain window before or after coverage begins. Animals under the age of five must be examined no more than 12 months before or 15 days after the policy start date. For pets ages six and over, the window is much shorter; if an exam has not taken place within 30 days prior to coverage beginning, you’ll also need to submit proof of a vet visit within the first 15 days.
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether a condition is or isn’t pre-existing. Generally, providers look for the event that triggered the illness or injury to decide whether it’s covered. If your dog experiences knee pain from an injury that occurred before you purchased insurance, this would be considered pre-existing. On the other hand, if your cat eats a toxic plant before being insured and then repeats the behavior while your policy is in effect, treatment for the second incident will be reimbursed.
Healthy Paws is among a handful of pet insurers that choose not to offer any plans with an annual limit. In other words, there’s no cap on the dollar value of covered services that the policy will reimburse you for each year. You’ll have some extra peace of mind knowing that even a major illness that requires costly, long-term treatment will never exceed the plan’s benefits.
The vast majority of providers give pet owners the option to purchase a plan with an annual limit, usually somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000. The advantage is that these policies reduce risk for the insurer and therefore result in more affordable monthly premiums.
There are quite a few services that are excluded from coverage under the Healthy Paws plan and can’t be purchased with a policy add-on. Most notable is that exam fees must be paid out of pocket, even if the visit is related to an illness or injury. The plan also excludes all forms of preventive care including wellness visits, vaccinations, and microchipping. Finally, in the unfortunate event that your pet becomes terminally ill, Healthy Paws won’t cover any end-of-life costs such as cremation or burial.
Healthy Paws makes the claims process extremely fast and convenient. All you need to do is take a photo of your veterinarian bill and upload it via the provider’s smartphone app or website. There’s no claim form to fill out, and no printing, emailing, or scanning is required. This process allows the company to reimburse 99% of claims within 48 hours.
Our Expert Lisa Says
Healthy Paws makes the claims process extremely fast and convenient. All you need to do is take a photo of your veterinarian bill and upload it via the provider’s smartphone app or website.
With robust digital tools at your disposal, managing your Healthy Paws account is usually as easy as logging in from a phone or computer. If you do need assistance, customer service representatives are available by phone or email seven days a week during daytime hours.
While we always caution against taking third-party ratings at face value, Healthy Paws leads the industry with its scores. The provider has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and written reviews from customers are overwhelmingly positive. Chubb, the underwriter for Healthy Paws policies, holds an A++ financial stability rating from AM Best, the highest possible score.
Competition: Healthy Paws vs. Figo
Figo is another pet insurer that chooses to offer one core accident and illness policy, although an optional rider can be purchased to cover exam fees. When we compared plans that included unlimited benefits with 90% coverage and a low $100 deductible, we found that Figo was several dollars cheaper per month. In addition to a lower premium, Figo offers shorter waiting periods, more coverage choices, and reimbursement for a few additional services like behavioral treatment and end-of-life expenses. Figo is the clear winner in this scenario.
|Animals Covered||Dogs and cats||Dogs and cats|
|Example Cost||$47.39 to insure a two-year-old dog with 90% coverage, no annual limit, and a $100 deductible||$41.29 to insure a two-year-old dog with 90% coverage, no annual limit, and a $100 deductible|
|Coverage Type||Accident and illness||Accident and illness|
Injuries: 15 days;
Illnesses: 15 days
Injuries: Three days;
Illnesses: 14 days
Healthy Paws makes pet insurance simple with one policy and few details to worry about. Some pet owners may prefer the streamlined purchasing process, while others will be disappointed by a lack of control over the amount and type of coverage. Before getting a quote from Healthy Paws, make sure the coverage offered lines up with your pet’s needs and don’t be afraid to shop around for the best price.
Our methodology for reviewing pet insurance uses a variety of elements that matter most to pet parents. Plan availability, benefits, and exclusions are all taken into consideration. We compare these factors to quoted premiums for various types and ages of animals to see who gets the best price. We also use third-party data to analyze customer service and financial stability.