Pets Best vs Healthy Paws

Pets Best vs. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance (2022)

Pets Best and Healthy Paws are two leading pet insurance companies that have been around since the mid-2000s, but their coverage details certainly aren’t cut from the same cloth. While Pets Best guarantees customizable coverage with three tiers of accident-illness plans and two wellness add-ons, Healthy Paws offers a stand-alone catch-all policy with standardized unlimited annual payouts, but sans preventative care of any kind.  

Our comparison of Pets Best vs. Healthy Paws pits these leading pet insurance companies against one another in order to tease out everything there is to know about how each provider’s insurance policy terms size up, including: 

  • Overall rank
  • Coverage inclusions and exclusions
  • Plan customizability
  • Monthly rates to expect for cats and dogs
  • Preventative care
  • Available discounts
  • Company-sponsored philanthropy
  • Verified customer testimonials 

Pets Best vs. Healthy Paws: What Are The Main Coverage Differences?

Pets Best and Healthy Paws have a few granular differences when it comes to their inclusions and exclusions, but before we home in, here’s an overview of how they compare in terms of cost and coverage.

Plan Features Pets Best Healthy Paws
Our rating 4.1 4.6
Monthly cost $35-$58 for dogs; $22-$46 for cats ~$40 for dogs; ~$20 for cats
Annual limit $5,000 or unlimited Unlimited
Deductible $50-$1,000 $100-$1,000 (based on age)
Reimbursement 70, 80, or 90% 50-90% (based on age)
Preventative/wellness option? Yes No
Pre-existing condition coverage No No
Multipet discount? 5% off No

Pets Best Coverage Overview

Pets Best was founded in 2005 by Dr. Jack L. Stephens, who was determined to find a solution to economic euthanasia or the involuntary decision to euthanize a pet due to unaffordable vet bills. Having now insured over 100,000 pets nationwide since its establishment, Pets Best is helping pet parents avoid the unimaginable through inclusive pricing, an unlimited annual coverage choice, and the ability to have direct payments made out to a vet in lieu of typical reimbursements. 

For those looking for no-frills coverage, Pets Best does offer accident-only coverage, but with no latitude for customizability given that its coverage details consist of a predetermined annual limit of $10,000, a $250 deductible, and a reimbursement rate of 90%. 

Pet owners who invest in a more comprehensive plan for their pets are, in turn, rewarded with enhanced control over their policy build. Offering three incremental tiers of accident-illness coverage — Essential, Plus, and Elite — prospective customers who select Pets Best’s more robust plan customizations will receive a personalized premium that considers standard qualifiers such as a pet’s species, breed, age, and location.

Nonetheless, price modification can still be achieved by playing around with its six deductible options and adjustable annual reimbursement rates of up to 90%. However, your control over annual limits is a bit narrower, with two options of either $5,000 or unlimited coverage, but no in-between. 

Pets Best also delivers more affordable pet insurance by offering direct vet payment opportunities for its members. Part of what differentiates pet insurance from human healthcare is how expenses are settled; whereas human healthcare entails direct payments to healthcare providers from patients, pet insurance typically operates around a reimbursement basis. But, for policyholders who perhaps don’t have the means to make larger upfront payments, Pets Best bridges that financial gap by paying the vet directly on behalf of its policyholder instead.

What Does Pets Best Cover?

Pets Best’s accident-only plan covers unforeseen injuries, including broken bones, poisoning, car accidents, lacerations, or foreign object ingestion. Most providers, including Healthy Paws, disqualify treatment for accidents that occur during commercial use of animals — Pets Best abides by some of the same limitations as well, with an exception for an animal injured while hunting or in the line of service. 

Pets Best’s most comprehensive policy, the BestBenefit plan, covers an array of veterinary services related to eligible accidents and illnesses, including:

  • Accidents (as aforementioned)
  • Chronic illnesses — cancer, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, cruciate ligament injuries, skin and ear infections, UTIs, and epilepsy
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions — hip and elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, cherry eye, IVDD, wobbler syndrome, and glaucoma
  • Emergency care, hospitalization, and surgery
  • Pre-anesthesia blood work and maintenance of vitals
  • Prescription medications
  • Exams, bloodwork, MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, and pathology reports 
  • Reproductive issues in unspayed/unneutered pets — prostate problems, hormonal skin conditions, perianal tumors, mammary tumors, uterine and ovarian conditions, injury due to aggressive behavior
  • Behavioral conditions
  • Dental coverage (only with a diagnosis of periodontal disease)
  • Prosthetic devices and wheelchairs
  • Acupuncture and chiropractic care
  • Physical rehabilitation — hydrotherapy, cold laser, and physical therapy
  • Euthanasia

What Does Pets Best Not Cover?

First and foremost, Pets Best does not cover pre-existing conditions, a.k.a any health complications that precede or occur during the provider’s set 14-day waiting period for accidents and illnesses. 

Pets Best also does not reimburse medical costs related to:

  • Elective and preventative procedures — anal gland expression or removal, ear cropping, tail docking, nail trimming, feline declawing, dewclaw removal, etc. 
  • Testing, treatment, and prevention of parasites like fleas, ticks, worms, and mites
  • Non-veterinary expenses 
  • Prescription food, specialty diets, vitamins, and supplements
  • Herbal, holistic, or alternative treatments/experimental therapies 

How Much Does Pets Best Cost?

Policyholders with purebreds or senior animals often get stuck with pricier premiums because of the higher level of risk their animals present for the provider. To mitigate upcharges in price for pets with higher propensities for health issues, Pets Best offers flat-rate accident-only coverage at just $9 per month for dogs and $6 for cats, regardless of age or breed. Its two levels of elective routine care coverage are also preset at $16 per month for primary preventative care and $26 per month for more comprehensive protection.  

Across its three tiers of accident-illness plans, Pets Best policies cost an average of $22 to $46 per month for cats and kittens and $35 to $58 per month for dogs and puppies.  

Discounts Available

  • 5% multi-pet discount — For those with more than one uninsured pet, Pets Best extends 5% off the monthly premium for each additional pet they enroll.
  • 5% military discount — To those who can provide the proper identification, Pets Best formally recognizes the service of both active duty military members and veterans with an additional 5% off. This discount is not available in Tennessee, Alaska, or Hawaii per individual state restrictions. 

Sample Monthly Pricing

To give you a more matter-of-fact look into how species and breed can impact the monthly premium you’ll pay for accident-illness coverage, we’ve used the online Pets Best quote generator to customize a sampling of estimates for four common pet profiles.

The below quotes are based on the persona of a pet owner located in Florence, South Carolina, selecting Pets Best’s most intermediate plan customizations with an 80% reimbursement rate, an unlimited annual payout, and an annual deductible of $250. 

We selected the $16 per month EssentialWellness plan for both rows that tack on preventative care since vet fees and physical therapy are standard inclusions for any dimension of Pets Best accident-illness coverage.

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 $26.45 $34.65 $15.66 $15.66
Accident and Illness Plan With Preventative Care $42.45 $50.65 $31.66 $31.66
Accident and Illness Plan With Vet Fees and Physical Therapy Coverage $42.45 $50.65 $31.66 $31.66

Healthy Paws Coverage Overview

Unlike Pets Best, Healthy Paws reserves its coverage for solely tackling unexpected veterinary costs rather than predictable costs like routine care. For that reason, Healthy Paws operates under one accident-illness plan featuring fixed unlimited annual payouts for all policyholders but with no options for preventative care. Although unlimited annual coverage allows for sure-fire veterinary care no matter the price, it also poses some limitations for those who might prefer to customize their coverage options to meet a specific budget. 

Pet owners who pursue a policy through Healthy Paws will still be able to somewhat manipulate their premiums with their deductible and reimbursement rate selections. However, the range of those customizations will be dictated by the pet’s age at initial enrollment. 

For example, Healthy Paws offers up to 90% cash back and a range of deductibles between $100 to $500 for pets under the age of five, but for other pets over the age of eight, that maximum reimbursement level drops to 60% with a minimum deductible of $750. Also, eligibility for hip dysplasia coverage is capped if your pet isn’t enrolled by its sixth birthday. 

Whereas Pets Best covers all cats and dogs, young and old, with no upper age limits, Healthy Paws curbs initial enrollment eligibility at 14 years old. Pets located in New York will not be allowed to enroll in coverage if they are older than 4 years old. 

Like Pets Best, Healthy Paws also offers direct vet payment if upfront veterinary costs are too lofty for a pet owner to shell out all at once. Healthy Paws boasts a prompt claim processing period of only two days, which can be expedited for direct veterinary payments as long as your veterinarian complies. 

Because Healthy Paws operates in tandem with its own 501(c)(3) foundation, one feel-good feature of this provider is that its Every Quote Gives Hope initiative will donate toward medical care costs for homeless pets on behalf of every person who generates a free quote. To date, Healthy Paws has managed to donate $1.6 million to nonprofit animal welfare organizations. 

What Does Healthy Paws Cover?

Although Healthy Paws doesn’t reimburse vet visit fees like Pets Best, it still offers a rather extensive list of inclusions related to eligible accidents and illnesses such as:

  • Diagnostics — X-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs
  • Hospitalization, emergency care, and surgery
  • Alternative therapies
  • Non-routine dental treatments
  • Prescription medications
  • Congenital and hereditary conditions — hip and elbow dysplasia, cherry eye, IVDD, congenital heart disease, cruciate ligament events, etc. 
  • Chronic conditions — allergies, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, glaucoma, hypothyroidism, arthritis, asthma, etc. 
  • Cancer treatment — cancer diagnostic, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy
  • Euthanasia

What Does Healthy Paws Not Cover?

In addition to pre-existing conditions and veterinary expenses associated with wellness coverage of any kind, Healthy Paws also does not cover:

  • Exam fees 
  • Elective cosmetic procedures — tail docking, ear cropping, declawing, aesthetic dentistry, etc.
  • Boarding, kenneling, or transportation expenses
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Microchipping
  • Diseases preventable by vaccine or prophylactic medications — heartworm, lice, internal parasites, fleas, etc. 
  • Specialty diets, foods, vitamins, or supplements
  • Conditions related to pregnancy, breeding, whelping, or queening
  • Behavioral modification or training  

How Much Does Healthy Paws Cost?

On average, a Healthy Paws policy costs $20 per month for cats and kittens and $40 per month for dogs and puppies. 

Healthy Paws aims to slash overall monthly costs for its policyholders by excluding preventative care from its coverage scope. However, premiums seem to creep back up into the higher-than-average threshold due to its fixed unlimited annual maximums. 

Discounts Available

Healthy Paws doesn’t currently sponsor any unique discounts for multiple pets, military members, or loyalty rewards. 

Sample Monthly Pricing

Now, to dissect how monthly premiums for Healthy Paws’ stand-alone accident-illness policy vary between different breeds of cats and dogs, we’ve generated another test group of quotes for four common pet profiles, so you can see how they compare side-by-side. 

For the sake of consistency, the following prices are also based on the persona of a pet owner located in Florence, South Carolina, selecting middle-of-the-road plan customizations including an annual reimbursement rate of 80% and a deductible of $250 per year. Remember, annual coverage limits are automatically unlimited for all policyholders. 

Because we think Healthy Paws policies are best suited for younger pets, each alias pet, in this case, was inputted as 2 years old. 

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 $37.97 $56.11 $17.73 $17.73

Why Choose Pets Best?

Pets Best is upfront about its month-long claim turnaround time, but based on customer feedback, it seems that its processing period can sometimes take up to 45 days to finalize a reimbursement. Suppose an extended delay on your reimbursement might place strain on some of your other financial obligations. In that case, you may be better off finding a provider with a prompter promised claim review time frame. 

However, if waiting on reimbursement poses no threat to your budget, then Pets Best is a great choice if you’re in search of comprehensive accident-illness coverage with a 5% discount for each additional pet you enroll. 

Below are a few verified customer reviews, both positive and negative, from actual Pets Best users to help you conceptualize what your pet insurance experience might be like:

“We have been very pleased with Pets Best. Prices on packages for insurance are very reasonable. The mobile app also makes it very easy to submit claims and they take care of them quickly, usually between 7-10 days. Also, love that they have a vet online 24/7 and customer service where you can actually talk to someone. Very happy that we chose Pets Best over the other insurance companies out there.” -Patrick M., Trustpilot

So far, my experience with Pets Best has been great! It took about 2 months to hear back on a claim I filed. But once I got a response, reimbursement was directly deposited a couple of days later. It covered a huge chunk of the dental surgery my cat needed. Super helpful!” -Jessica J., Trustpilot

“Pets Best is reliable and they stand by their policy (no loopholes or pushback on coverage.) They are one of the few insurers that cover senior dogs. My dog is 16 years old. The only criticism I have is that their time to reimburse is 4-6 weeks, but they communicate this upfront.” -Emily N., Trustpilot

Why Choose Healthy Paws?

Given such stringent limitations on older pets, a Healthy Paws policy is probably not the ideal choice for pet owners looking to enroll their senior cat or dog in comprehensive pet healthcare as their medical needs become more advanced. 

With that being said, a more suitable candidate for a policy through Healthy Paws might look more like someone seeking emergency insurance for their adolescent pet but with no trouble providing necessary preventative care out-of-pocket.

Again, here are a few snippets of feedback from current Healthy Paws customers that we’ve included to give you a more solidified sense of what to expect before signing up:

“When our cat was showing signs like fatigue and low appetite, we did not hesitate to bring him for a checkup because we knew that Healthy Paws had our back if something was seriously wrong. After an x-ray revealed that something that was not food was blocking his stomach from draining, the vet was able to get it out with an endoscopy and our baby is feeling great! The claims process was extremely easy and reimbursement took less than a week. I wish my human insurance was this easy…” -David A., Trustpilot

“My wife and I got pet insurance through Healthy Paws for our Dachshund mix puppy, Hugo, after a good experience with them with our previous dog, Chewie. Hugo recently underwent surgery, and Healthy Paws has been helpful with our questions and efficient in reimbursing us (80% of a very expensive procedure, once we met our deductible.) Thank goodness we had Healthy Paws to make this difficult time just a little bit easier!” -Josh P., Trustpilot

“Since our initial purchase of this insurance, our premiums have almost doubled, and contacting a representative for an issue lately seems next to impossible. I tried calling and emailing, and all I ever receive is an automated message, which is not helpful.” -John W., Trustpilot

Final Thoughts

As we’ve uncovered in this Pets Best vs. Healthy Paws comparison, each pet health insurance company has its own strengths and shortcomings that might make either better suited for one pet owner over another. For example, we wouldn’t recommend a Healthy Paws policy to someone looking to prioritize full-scale preventative care for their pet because Healthy Paws doesn’t include routine care in its coverage terms. Therefore, Pets Best might be more fitting for those wellness needs. Customers who prefer a simple plan selection process might be confused by Pets Best’s multiple plan variations and would rather have a more convenient experience with Healthy Paws’ stand-alone base plan.

Because pet insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all product, finding a policy that accommodates your pet’s healthcare needs while also keeping within the margins of your budget can be a particularly grueling process. But, the plus side of having so many different plans to choose from is that you won’t have to worry about being over or underinsured as long as you take the time to do your due diligence for a policy that fits just right. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is Healthy Paws insurance each month?

For accident-illness coverage through Healthy Paws, policies start at just $12 per month for cats and a little over $25 per month for dogs. As usual, your pet’s age, breed, and location will all factor into what your personalized premium will look like.

How much is Pets Best insurance each month?

Accident-illness protection through Pets Best averages $35 to $58 per month for dogs and $22 to $46 per month for cats. Like with any other pet insurance provider, your premium is subject to change based on your pet’s profile and location. 

Is Pets Best provided by Progressive?

No. Pets Best is administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC and underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company. However, Progressive does market its own pet healthcare services, which are serviced by Pets Best. 

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.