PetFirst Pet Insurance Review (2022)

PetFirst Pet Insurance Review

PetFirst Pet Insurance Review (2022)
Best For:
Pets with Chronic Conditions, military members
Coverage
Limits
Deductibles
Reimbursements
Claims
BEST FEATURES
Military members get discounts
Covers routine care with inexpensive riders
No limits for incidents or lifetime
WORST FEATURES
Ligament and disc problem exclusions limit animals this plan will cover.
4.3
OVERALL

Pet insurance can help you provide the best veterinary care for your pet if it has an emergency, accident, or develops an illness. However, it can feel overwhelming to choose a pet insurance provider with the many companies out there. 

Our PetFirst pet insurance review can help you decide if it’s the best pet insurance for you and your pet. PetFirst pet insurance was founded in 2004 and offered pet insurance to dogs and cats. Recently, it was acquired by MetLife in 2020. Today, it’s continuing to offer pet insurance and is underwritten by the Independence American Insurance Company. 

In this PetFirst Pet Insurance Review, we’ll cover the following topics: 

  • Pros and Cons of PetFirst Pet Insurance
  • PetFirst Pet Insurance Plans and Coverage
  • Deductibles
  • Preventative Care Limits
  • Coverage Exclusions
  • Plan Customizations
  • Discounts
  • PetFirst Pet Insurance Reviews
  • PetFirst vs. Competitors
  • Company History
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Our Review for PetFirst Pet Insurance

Every pet insurance provider has different pros and cons. To help you look at PetFirst pet insurance from all angles, we’ve created a list of its most significant pros and cons so that you can see where PetFirst shines and falls short. 

Pros and Cons of PetFirst Pet Insurance 

Pros

  • No exam required before enrollment
  • Many discounts offered, including an employer, military, internet purchase, first responder, veteran, healthcare worker, and animal care discount
  • No incident or lifetime limits
  • Easy enrollment through a three-step application
  • Deductible typically goes down each year that you don’t submit a claim

Cons

  • Does not cover exotic animals
  • More specific ligament and disc problem exclusions than other providers
  • $3 monthly fee if you choose to pay monthly rather than annually

PetFirst Pet Insurance Plans and Coverage 

Next, we’re going to discuss the different plans that PetFirst pet insurance offers and its costs, coverage options, and much more. 

PetFirst Plans and Costs

PetFirst offers an accident and illness pet insurance plan, which helps with the cost of developed illnesses, chronic conditions, and accidents. These plans won’t cover wellness or routine care costs. However, you can opt for a wellness add-on, which we’ll discuss later. 

Each PetFirst accident and illness plan’s monthly premium will vary significantly based on your pet’s age, breed, location, and the amount of coverage you choose. PetFirst will also reduce your deductible by $25 to $50 if you go claim-free for a full policy year. On average, we found that PetFirst will typically cost around $40 to $60 per month for dog insurance and $25 to $40 per month for cat insurance.

PetFirst plans cover things like: 

  • Accidental injuries
  • Illnesses
  • Vet exam fees
  • Surgeries
  • Medications
  • Ultrasounds
  • Hospital stays
  • X-rays and diagnostic tests
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hereditary conditions 
  • Congenital conditions
  • Holistic care
  • Chronic conditions
  • Alternative therapies

Samples of Prices for Four Species/Breeds

The following numbers are estimates based on spayed and neutered cats and dogs that are 4 years old and living in Wisconsin. These sample prices are based on accident and illness plans with a $250 deductible, 80% reimbursement rate, and $5,000 annual benefit. 

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 Mediumhair Cat
Accident and Illness Plan $32.36 per month $44.10 per month $23.11 per month $23.11 per month
Accident and Illness Plan With Preventative Care $59.76 per month $71.50 per month $35.59 per month $35.59 per month

Deductibles 

PetFirst pet insurance has many deductible options, ranging from $50 to $500. A $50 deductible is lower than what many pet insurance providers offer, so if you’re looking for a very low deductible, PetFirst may be a great choice. 

Preventative Care Limits 

PetFirst offers the option to add a routine care rider to your pet insurance plan. You can add a preventative care plan at checkout for your pet insurance plan with PetFirst. At the time of writing this article, we could not find an exact breakdown of the total yearly benefits of PetFirst wellness plans. 

However, PetFirst lists that its wellness plans help cover the costs of treatments, services, procedures for preventing injury or illness, and general health benefits. 

Coverage Exclusions

Like all pet insurance providers, PetFirst will not cover pre-existing conditions, which are defined as any conditions your pet had before its plan with PetFirst became active. 

Other coverage exclusions include: 

  • Elective procedures
  • Expression or removal of anal glands
  • Breeding or conditions related to breeding
  • Special diets, bathing materials, prescription pet food
  • Removal of dead teeth, orthodontics, or endodontics
  • Travel time to vet clinic
  • Any injury or illness from fighting or racing your pet
  • Behavioral training
  • Routine vet visits, tests, screenings, vaccines, teeth cleaning without a preventative care plan
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Disc or ligament problems
  • Treatment by an unlicensed vet
  • Diagnosis or treatment for organ transplants

Plan Customizations

In terms of plan customizations, you can choose from many deductibles, annual benefits, and reimbursement percentage options. 

Plan customization options: 

  • Deductibles: choices ranging from $50 to $500
  • Annual benefits: options ranging from $2,000 to $10,000
  • Reimbursement rates: choices ranging from 70% to 90%

Discounts 

PetFirst has many discount options that we don’t see offered from other pet insurance providers. These options include: 

  • Animal Care Discount: 10% discount for vets, shelter personnel, etc.
  • Military Discount: For military, veterans, first responders, healthcare workers, and more.
  • Internet Purchase Discount: $1 monthly discount if you purchase online.
  • Employer Benefit Discount: Amount isn’t listed, depends on the employer.
  • Family Plan/Multi-Pet Discount: For a slightly higher monthly premium, you can have multiple pets listed under one plan rather than multiple individual plans, which can save substantial money in the long run. 

PetFirst State Availability

PetFirst pet insurance is offered throughout the United States. 

PetFirst Pet Insurance Reviews

There are always positive and negative reviews of pet insurance providers. To help keep things as unbiased as possible, we included multiple customer reviews from PetFirst pet insurance customers that are both happy and unhappy with their experiences. 

“I’ve had Petfirst for several years even before it became part of MetLife and they have always had the best rates, customer service, and ease of claims. I adopted my dog 10 years ago and they saved me on any expensive procedures and also covered him at the end of his life. I have nothing but good things to say about them and definitely worth it! 5 stars” —Liz D., Trustpilot

“I couldn’t give 0 stars and still post a review but PetFirst has been absolutely horrific about paying a claim. I have sent documents repeatedly (I have an email showing at least one that they claim they never got.). I have called several times. I have asked for supervisors. Both of my vets have called several times each only to be told each time they had never called before. Find a better company. I’m not sure you could do worse.” —Leana Janney, Trustpilot

“I was not a big fan of their claims process.. but they listened to their customers and now it is just so easy.. love your agility to respond to your own problems and in turn help the customers. Would definitely recommend to others” —Ajit Karve, Trustpilot

“Horrific to deal with–they will put up roadblocks every step of the way to wear you out and will do anything to not reimburse you for a dime. Their little notes on my account and to me throughout the process are downright disrespectful and rude. Not worth your time and money. I might get a nice rep here and there but this has been a gut-wrenching process. Avoid at all costs.” —Ty D., Yelp.com

Final Thoughts 

We hope that our PetFirst pet insurance review helps you decide if PetFirst is the right pet insurance provider for you and your pet. Pet insurance is a highly personal choice that only you can make for your pet. We recommend gathering several free quotes from multiple pet insurance providers before choosing which plan to go with. 

PetFirst vs. Competitors

So, how does PetFirst compare to other pet insurance providers? Here is our breakdown of the average prices, discounts, and many other key factors that each major pet insurance provider offers compared to PetFirst. 

Factors PetFirst Spot Lemonade Embrace Healthy Paws ASPCA
Quote Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site
Our Score 4.1 4.9/5 4.8/5 4.7/5 4.6/5 4.5/5
Average Monthly Cost for Dogs $40-$60 $30-$50 $37 $30-$40 $39 $49
Average Monthly Cost for Cats $25-$35 $18-$25 $15 $15-$20 $12 $29
Waiting Period 14 days for accidents and illnesses, many conditions are listed as 12 months or longer 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  Offers family plan bundles 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 D- A F A+ A- N/A

About PetFirst

PetFirst pet insurance was founded in 2004 and was recently acquired by MetLife in 2020. PetFirst offers pet insurance to dogs and cats, including accident and illness pet insurance and wellness care plans. Its plans are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, while PetFirst Healthcare administers the pet insurance plans. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of PetFirst‘s pet insurance? 

PetFirst has a unique family plan, which allows you to add multiple pets to one pet insurance plan at a much lower cost than having individual pet insurance plans. It also offers comprehensive accident and illness plans and a wellness plan option. We also love that it has so many types of discounts, including military, healthcare worker, first responder, multi-pet, and even an Internet purchase discount. 

How do I file a claim with PetFirst?

PetFirst claims must be submitted through its mobile app, online portal, email, fax, or snail mail. Simply submit the pet insurance claim form within 90 days of the treatment or invoice date. Then, PetFirst will process the claim and provide you with your payout within two weeks. 

Does PetFirst offer exotic pet insurance?

No, at this time, PetFirst does not offer exotic pet insurance. It only insures dogs and cats. 

Does PetFirst cover vaccinations?

Yes, with a PetFirst wellness rider you can receive coverage for wellness care, like vaccinations, teeth cleaning, and heartworm preventatives. 

What are PetFirst’s waiting periods?

Accident and illness coverage has a 14-day waiting period. Other conditions like ACL, MCL, intervertebral disc disease, cruciate ligaments, and more have a six-month waiting period, which will be detailed in your PetFirst policy. 

Does PetFirst cover pre-existing conditions?

No, like all pet insurance providers, PetFirst will not cover pre-existing conditions, which are conditions your pet had on its medical record before the plan with PetFirst became active. 

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.