AKC Pet Insurance Review (2023)

We want to leave every vet’s office visit with our pets (and wallets) still intact. With vet costs rising for even the most basic services, we sometimes feel like we have to pick and choose how to best care for our furry friends. Luckily, pet insurance is a quickly growing financial tool for pet parents

We’ve compiled this AKC Pet Insurance review to help you compare the company to other providers on the market. As the exclusive pet insurance provider of the American Kennel Club, AKC Pet Insurance is an option for pet owners seeking coverage backed by a long-standing figure in the pet world.

In this review, we’ll discuss:

  • Plans and costs
  • Coverage options
  • State availability
  • Real customer reviews
  • FAQs

Our Review for AKC Pet Insurance

Overall, AKC Pet Insurance is a top contender for plan customizability and add-on options. Customers can choose from a wide range of annual limits and deductibles, as well as several reimbursement rates. The provider also has a 24/7 Vet Helpline staffed by licensed veterinary professionals if you have questions about potential or existing policies.

AKC Pet Insurance has a few limitations for shoppers to consider. For now, it only covers dogs and cats. You may also encounter add-on limitations depending on what state you live in. We’ll cover all these factors and more in the following sections.

Pros and Cons of AKC Pet Insurance

Pros:

  • Comprehensive add-ons
  • Pre-existing condition coverage
  • Customizable plans
  • Unlimited annual coverage option
  • 24/7 veterinary support line

Cons: 

  • No exotic animal coverage
  • Add-ons not available in all states

AKC Pet Insurance Plans and Coverage

In this section, we’ll discuss the plan and coverage options that set AKC apart from its competitors. The company offers a wide range of highly customizable plans, so you can choose the coverage and price that works best for you.

Like all pet insurance providers, AKC has its limits. We’ve done a deep dive into the provider’s website and sample policies to parse out any preventative care limits or coverage exclusions you need to know about. We’ll also go over the good stuff, like discounts and add-ons you can add to your AKC Pet Insurance plan.

Plans and Costs

AKC Pet Insurance offers base plans, add-ons, and plan customization. You can use these features to build a plan that works best for your pet’s health needs and your financial needs. 

CompanionCare is the best base plan option with AKC Pet Insurance. CompanionCare provides coverage for your pet’s unexpected accidents and illnesses. CompanionCare covers diagnostic treatments such as X-rays, lab tests, prescription medications, surgeries, hospitalization, emergency care, and more.

Every CompanionCare plan automatically includes AlternativePlus, a coverage add-on for alternative, holistic, and behavioral therapies. Note that your pet is ineligible for CompanionCare if it’s 9 years or older or has Cushing’s disease, feline leukemia, or diabetes. If your pet is excluded from accident/illness coverage, you can enroll it in AccidentCare, which covers only unexpected accidents and injuries.

Once you’ve selected a CompanionCare or AccidentCare base plan, you can choose from an impressive list of add-ons to enhance your pet’s coverage and fit its health needs. 

Here is a summary of AKC’s add-on options, prices, and coverage:

Add-On Price (per month) What it Covers
Defender $16 Expenses related to routine wellness visits and preventative care
DefenderPlus $27 Expenses related to routine wellness visits and preventative care, including spay/neuter and teeth cleanings
ExamPlus $2.01 Exam fees for primary care, emergency, and specialty clinics
HereditaryPlus $1.56 Congenital, chronic, and hereditary conditions that unexpectedly develop over time
SupportPlus $2 End-of-life expenses like cremation, burial, urns, and memorials
BreedingCoverage $9.22 Accidents, illnesses, or complications related to or caused by breeding, pregnancy, whelping or nursing

We want to note that you can choose between Basic or Custom options when choosing a plan. All pricing samples in this section are generated using the Basic option. It’s designed for customers who want a cost-effective, easy-to-understand plan without having to choose their own limits. The Basic Plan includes a $100 annual deductible, 20% coinsurance, $500 incident limit, and unlimited annual limit. This predetermined set of factors is useful for explaining prices that may already vary across geographic locations.

Like your base premium, your add-on prices will vary depending on the deductible, coinsurance rate, and annual limit you choose. We will show how these prices can vary in the Plan Customization section.

Samples of Prices for Four Species/Breeds

For now, take a look at these sample quotes* from a Basic Plan for a 3-year-old pet in Orlando, Fla.

Species/Breed Sample Price for Medium Mixed Breed Dog Sample Price for Golden Retriever (Dog) Sample Price for Domestic Shorthair Cat Sample Price for Domestic Longhair Cat
Accident and Illness Plan $17.76 $26.08 $12.24 $12.24
Accident and Illness Plan With Preventative Care $32.76-$45.76 $41.08-54.08 $23.24- $35.24 $23.24- $35.24
Accident and Illness Plan With Vet Exam Fees  $20.29 $29.80 $13.99 $13.99

*Quotes do not include AKC Pet Insurance’s $3 monthly service fee. Preventative care costs vary due to Defender and DefenderPlus options.

Deductibles

Your deductible is the dollar amount you must satisfy out-of-pocket before the provider starts covering expenses. If you choose the Basic Plan, you will automatically have a $100 deductible. With the Custom Plan, you can choose from $100, $250, $300, $400, $500, $600, $750, or $1,000 deductibles. 

Keep in mind that with a higher deductible, you will have a lower monthly premium. In this case, you would pay less for the plan per month but would have to reach $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses before coverage kicks in. According to the AKC Pet Insurance quote calculator, a plan with a $100 monthly deductible and unlimited annual limit costs $37.30 per month. The same plan with a $750 deductible costs $23 per month.

Preventative Care Limits

AKC Pet Insurance doesn’t cover preventative care or wellness services under any of its base plans. For preventative care coverage, you’ll need to purchase one of AKC Pet Insurance’s two wellness plan options, Defender and DefenderPlus. 

On average, Defender costs $15 per month and provides reimbursement for basic preventative care expenses. DefenderPlus costs an average of $28 per month and offers more reimbursement on preventative care services, including spay/neuter procedures and teeth cleanings. Coverage from these add-ons only applies to the expected services your pet receives during routine checkups.

Wellness coverage isn’t subject to deductibles or waiting periods but instead operates on a maximum dollar amount system. This means you’re allotted a certain dollar amount to use on your pet’s wellness care throughout the year. These amounts are called annual limits and vary between preventative services. 

Take a look at the annual limits associated with each of these preventative care services:

Defender DefenderPlus
Covered Item Annual Limit
Wellness exam $50 $50
Flea/tick prevention $50 $65
Heartworm prevention $30 $30
Heartworm Test $25 $30
Blood work, fecal, and parasite exam $50 $70
Three Vaccines $30 $40
Spay/Neuter and teeth cleaning $0 $150
Total  $235 $435

Coverage Exclusions

Unless you purchase add-ons, AKC base plans don’t cover preventative care expenses or chronic, congenital, or hereditary conditions. Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, vitamins, chiropractic work, and holistic therapies have a $1,000 maximum annual benefit. 

AKC Pet Insurance is one of the only providers to cover pre-existing conditions, but this coverage has limitations. Your pet is eligible for AKC’s pre-existing condition coverage after a 12-month waiting period and only if its condition is curable. This includes sicknesses like ear infections, gastrointestinal issues, upper respiratory infections, and some cancers. 

Other chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease are covered only if you purchase the HereditaryPlus add-on, which is available to pets under 2 years old. In this case, the pre-existing condition coverage doesn’t apply to pets that have a congenital illness and are over two.

AKC Pet Insurance doesn’t cover elective procedures like ear cropping, tail docking, declawing, or dewclaw removal. The provider also excludes diet pet food from coverage. Cosmetic procedures and prescription pet food are covered only if deemed medically necessary and prescribed by a licensed veterinarian. 

Plan Customizations

We discussed the Basic option you can select when building a plan. With Basic, you’re given a set deductible, annual limit, and reimbursement rate. The Custom option, on the other hand, allows you to choose any combination of deductibles, reimbursements, and annual limits. 

You can build a personalized plan by mixing and matching the following options: 

  • Deductible –  $100, $250, $300, $400, $500, $600, $750, or $1,000
  • Coinsurance – 10%, 20%, 30%
  • Annual limit – $2,500; $5,000; $7,500; $10,000; $15,000; $20,000; unlimited

Let’s take a look at how different combinations affect your monthly premium. We retrieved these sample quotes for a 2-year-old Labradoodle in Kansas City, Mo.

Combination Monthly Premium

$1,000 deductible

30% coinsurance
$2,500 annual limit

 

$8.51

$400 deductible

20% coinsurance
$10,000 annual limit

 

$20.56

$100 deductible

10% coinsurance
Unlimited annual limit

 

$36.58

These are just three of the many combinations you can choose with a custom plan. Considering the variety of available add-ons, you’ve got an impressive level of personalization at your fingertips.

Discounts

AKC Pet Insurance offers a few discounts. You’ll automatically receive a 5% multi-pet discount at checkout if you enroll more than one pet

As the exclusive pet health insurance provider of the American Kennel Club, the provider’s other discounts are tailored mainly to registered AKC members. 

AKC Pet Insurance offers registered breeders a 10% discount on full-term policies. Registered breeders can enroll in the AKC Breeder Rewards Program to earn up to $10 for each puppy sold. 

The breakdown of the $10 reward is:

  • $2 per puppy buyer who completes AKC registration
  • $5 per puppy buyer who contacts the company for pet insurance
  • $3 for each new owner who downloads the TailTrax mobile app

New owners who register their puppies with the American Kennel Club are eligible for a 10% discount off pet insurance.

If you register your breeder-certified puppy, you’ll be eligible for 30 days of initial coverage with shortened waiting periods and lower deductibles. The deductible is $250 with a one-day accident waiting period and a five-day illness waiting period. After the offer is up, you can enroll your puppy in a customized full-term policy.

Note that if you’re eligible for multiple discounts, your maximum discount can’t exceed 15%.

AKC Pet Insurance State Availability

AKC Pet Insurance offers coverage in all 50 states. The company will reimburse you after you’ve paid the full vet bill, so you can visit any vet you choose. When shopping for a plan, you can review a sample policy for your state to ensure there are no exclusions. You can also search by specific area code when customizing your plan.

Coverage may vary in correspondence with individual state regulations, so be sure to read the fine print of your policy. The multi-pet discount is currently not available to Alaska residents. The 30-day Free Look Period is available in all states. 

The 30-day initial coverage offer for AKC-registered puppies is not available in all states and only applies to United States residents. In Washington state, policy limits for the 30-day initial coverage offer are a $100 deductible, $500 incident limit, $8,000 term limit, and 20% coinsurance.

AKC Pet Insurance Reviews

To remain unbiased in our review process, we’ve considered how AKC Pet Insurance outshines its competitors, as well as how it falls short. Don’t just take it from us – below are reviews from real AKC Pet Insurance policyholders, highlighting both the good and bad aspects of the company. 

Customers report satisfaction with the claims process, saying claims are fulfilled within days. One policyholder gave the customer service team an A+ for timely responses, friendly attitudes, and helpful insights. Other customers expressed disappointment with rising costs. Unfortunately, prices are increasing across the market in response to rising veterinary care costs. 

“I have submitted 4 different claims to AKC and they have processed and covered each claim within days of submission. They have taken away the financial stress of going through these issues with our baby. I highly recommend AKC Pet Insurance to anyone and if you are on the fence about having pet insurance at all, I say go for it. You may not need it, and that is great if you don’t. But if you do, you will be grateful you have it.” —Stephanie L., TrustPilot

“I had questions on how to file a claim. I’ve never had pet insurance before but I now have 3 Siberian Huskies and I make sure they are in good health. When I called, the girl took me step by step through what to do. Thank you so much for caring, and taking time with me.” —Millie C., TrustPilot

“The customer service staff is always super friendly and kind. I just lost my English bulldog, and when I called to let AKC know, they were very empathetic, advised me to take my time submitting medical claim forms and invoices, and sent a very lovely card with handwritten sentiments from the staff. I used them for twelve years with my other bully, and will always use AKC for pet insurance.” —Michael and Allison, TrustPilot

“The people are always very helpful when I call in with questions, however I am a little frustrated with the fact the price has doubled since I started with the program. I think you are way overpriced for what is offered. I am currently looking for another more affordable carrier.” —Stephanie, TrustPilot

Final Thoughts

We hope this AKC Pet Insurance review helped you better understand your options when it comes to top-notch pet care. Knowing the ins and outs of any pet insurance policy is a crucial step in making the best decision for you and your furry friend. 

AKC Pet Insurance is a good option for pet parents seeking customizable coverage and a wealth of add-on options. It’s even better for registered American Kennel Club members who are eligible for exclusive discounts.

We like AKC Pet Insurance’s customer service focus, which has gained it several shining reviews from real policyholders. The company has a 24/7 customer service line and convenient mobile app for on-the-go pet parents. It also provides samples of claim forms and policies you can review before signing up.

No matter what plan or provider you choose, you can rest assured knowing you’ll be more prepared for your pet’s unexpected and costly accidents.

AKC Pet Insurance vs. Competitors

In case you’re wondering how AKC Pet Insurance stacks up against other pet insurance companies, we’ve compiled information on a few top providers. The table below shows side-by-side comparisons of important factors like average monthly costs, discounts, mobile accessibility, and more.

Factors

AKC

Spot

Lemonade

Embrace

Healthy Paws

ASPCA

Quote

Visit Site

Visit Site

Visit Site

Visit Site

Visit Site

Visit Site

Our Score

4.1/5

4.9/5

4.8/5

4.7/5

4.6/5

4.5/5

Average Monthly Cost for Dogs

$40

$30-$50

$37

$30-$40

$39

$49

Average Monthly Cost for Cats

$23

$18-$25

$15

$15-$20

$12

$29

Waiting Period

2 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, 30 days for congenital conditions, 6 months for cruciate ligament events, and 12 months for pre-existing conditions

14 days for accident and illness, 14 days for knee or ligament events

2 days for accidents, 14 days for illness, 6 months for cruciate ligament events

2 days for accidents, 14 days for illness, 6 months for orthopedic conditions

15 days for accident and illness, 12 months for hip dysplasia events

15 days for all accident and illness coverage

Multi-pet Discount 

5% off

10% off

5% off

10% off

No

10% off

Mobile App 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Wellness Add-on 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Online Chat 

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

BBB Rating

A+

A

F

A+

A-

N/A

About AKC Pet Insurance

Based in the AKC Operations Center in Raleigh, NC, AKC Pet Insurance takes pride in offering comprehensive coverage to pets across the United States. AKC Pet Insurance serves as the exclusive pet insurance brand for the American Kennel Club, a registry service for purebred dog pedigrees. The AKC Pet Insurance story began in 1984 when John D. Spurling founded a pet insurance agency exclusively for the Kennel Club of Great Britain. Eventually, the company began serving pet parents in the United States under the name PetPartners. In 2003, the company began operating as AKC Pet Insurance and became the American Kennel Club’s exclusive pet insurance brand.

The provider developed the AKC Pet Insurance Breeder Support Program to help certified breeders choose pet insurance for their animals. Through this program, pet insurance professionals partner with breeders nationwide to promote safe breeding practices and pet healthcare. AKC Pet Insurance also partners with the AKC Breeder of Merit Program and Bred with H.E.A.R.T. to promote outstanding canine health standards and dedication to purebred dogs.

The American Kennel Club is the oldest nonprofit canine breed registry in the world, with over 5,000 clubs and affiliate organizations. It runs several goodwill projects, including the AKC Canine Health Foundation and the AKC Rescue Network, which donate to canine health research and dog rescue events. The American Kennel Club also contributes to education efforts by running the AKC Museum of the Dog and the AKC Library, a comprehensive collection of dog encyclopedias.

AKC Pet Insurance is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company and administered by PetPartners, Inc. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of AKC’s pet insurance?

One advantage of AKC Pet Insurance is its comprehensive and customizable plan options. With an impressive list of add-ons and countless plan combinations to choose from, the provider gives customers the chance to build truly personalized policies. 

Additionally, the company is backed by the American Kennel Club, a long-standing authority in the pet world. In terms of discounts, AKC plans are especially good for AKC members and registered breeders seeking affordable, specialized coverage. 

How do I file a claim with AKC Pet Insurance?

To file a claim with AKC Pet Insurance, you’ll pay your veterinarian upfront and get an itemized invoice. You’ll then submit a completed claim form and invoice via email, postal mail, fax, or through your online customer portal. You’ll receive a confirmation receipt regardless of how you submit your claim. 

The company will assign your claim to an agent within two days of submission. Your reimbursement should be initiated within one day of assignment but could be delayed if your claim requires further review or additional documentation. You can check the status of your claim in your customer portal.

Does AKC offer exotic pet insurance?

AKC Pet Insurance covers dogs and cats. Birds and other exotic animals such as reptiles, amphibians, and rodents are not covered under any AKC Pet Insurance plan.

Does AKC Pet Insurance offer a free trial?

AKC Pet Insurance doesn’t currently offer any free trials, but it does have a 30-day Free Look Period. If you aren’t happy with your policy, you can cancel risk-free after 30 days, and the provider will refund 100% of your monthly premiums. The refund only applies to policyholders who didn’t file any claims within the 30-day trial period, so keep that in mind when considering plan cancellation.

What happens to my policy if my pet passes away?

If your pet passes away mid-policy period, you need to contact AKC Pet Insurance’s Customer Care Team right away. As long as you’re able to provide official documentation of your pet’s death, the provider will cancel your policy and refund any premiums charged after the event.

Does AKC Pet Insurance have a mobile app? 

AKC Pet Insurance has a mobile app called TailTrax. In the app, you can access your pet insurance documents and utilize your customer portal for claim submission and tracking. You can also use the app to store your pet’s AKC registration info, microchip ID numbers, and medical records. TailTrax provides you access to AKC Pet Insurance’s 24/7 Vet Helpline, which is staffed with licensed vet professionals ready to answer your questions.

Our Methodology

The 365 Pet Insurance research team looks at all pet insurance policies and comes up with our reviews based on coverage, plan options, cost, reputation, customer service, and species eligibility. We’ve also created a rating system to score pet insurance brands.

We’ve consulted with pet experts and dug into plans to develop what we think are the best overall plans, complete with ratings on coverage, how they handle claims, reimbursements, deductibles, limits, and more.

To make our list, pet insurance companies must have:

  • A variety of plan options
  • Affordable monthly rates

Our team revisits each company’s information at the end of every month to make updates and ensure the information is as accurate as possible.