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PetFirst Pet Insurance Review 2020

BravoDollar Editor rating:

PetFirst is a name you’ll see pop up on pet insurance lists across the internet. It’s one of the most well-known pet insurance brands. However, how does it compare in terms of pros and cons, getting a quote, price and coverage? Below we’ll take an in-depth look at this company as part of our PetFirst Pet Insurance review.

About PetFirst Pet Insurance:

The company was started around 2003 after its founder had to put down his dog, Midnight. He wanted to help people with the sudden financial stresses that can come from owning a pet. 

PetFirst Healthcare administers and underwrites the policies on behalf of New Hampshire Insurance Company.

Pros:

  • Has a 14-day money-back guarantee
  • All pet insurance plans have waiting periods, and while PetFirst’s has a common 14 days for illnesses, accident coverage begins the very next day after payment
  • Has a referral program, where you can get $25 if you refer a friend.
  • Has a wide range of discounts, like $10 off your first month.

Cons:

  • The $2,000 to $10,000 annual limit coverage is on the lower end for this benefit type.
  • The quote system is a little harder to use than competitor sites.
  • Only covers wellness and routine care under a reimbursement program rider.

>>MORE: Is there Pet Insurance with No Waiting Period?

PetFirst Pet Insurance Review Ratings:

PetFirst Healthcare has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2006. It currently has an A+ rating through the BBB.

Consumers Advocate gives PetFirst a 4.4/5 (Excellent) rating. They state that PetFirst does not require a vet exam and like that accident coverage begins the next day. 

The company currently has around a 2.5 star rating with Yelp as part of the site’s PetFirst Pet Insurance review. Many people state it is worth the monthly investment to have the vet bills covered. Complains revolve around communication issues with the company, like missing paperwork. 

PetFirst is also a ConsumerAffairs accredited brand. They like the no age or breed restrictions, that it’s available in all 50 states and the 80 percent reimbursement rate. However, for cons, they state it doesn’t cover routine wellness exams or pre-existing conditions.   

>>MORE: Pet Insurance That Cover Preventative Care

How Much does PetFirst Pet Insurance Cost?

We took 12 quotes the company’s quoting system on its website, comparing between the location, breed, and pet’s age. For the location, we looked at Texas, Florida and California. For breed, we compared Labrador Retrievers, representing small/medium dogs, and German Shepherds, representing big dogs. Finally, we also looked at the price differences for a 1-year-old dog versus a 5-year-old dog. 

  • Texas, 1-year-old, small/medium dogs: $120 per month 
  • Texas, 5-year-old, small/medium dogs: $127 per month 
  • Texas, 1-year-old, big dogs: $120 per month 
  • Texas, 5-year-old, big dogs: $127 per month 
  • Florida, 1-year-old, small/medium dogs: $65 per month 
  • Florida, 5-year-old, small/medium dogs: $83 per month 
  • Florida, 1-year-old, big dogs: $53 per month 
  • Florida, 5-year-old, big dogs: $67 per month 
  • California, 1-year-old, small/medium dogs: $62 per month 
  • California, 5-year-old, small/medium dogs: $89 per month 
  • California, 1-year-old, big dogs: $56 per month 
  • California, 5-year-old, big dogs: $79 per month 

In general, the price stays the same between breed in Texas. However, in Florida, big dogs are less expensive. But small/medium dogs are more expensive in California. As is common with pet insurance, the price increases as the dog ages from a 1-year-old to a 5-year-old in all locations and breeds. For the location, Florida and California are about on even footing for the price, but Texas is drastically more expensive. 

>>MORE: How Much does Pet Insurance Cost?

How PetFirst Pet Insurance Quotes Compare with Other Companies: 

To get an idea of how PetFirst’s prices hold up against competitors, we compared it against Nationwide and ASPCA on the 12 quotes.

In order to keep prices even, we chose a $250 deductible across all quotes. We also selected the highest annual benefit possible for each, so $10,000 for PetFirst and ASPCA, and unlimited for Nationwide.

   NationwideASPCA Pet Health InsurancePetFirst
TexasSmall/Medium Dog1 year old$99$54$120
5 years old$136$66$127
Big Dog1 year old$99$50$129
5 years old$136$61$127
FloridaSmall/Medium Dog1 year old$111$48$65
5 years old$127$59$83
Big Dog1 year old$111$44$53
5 years old$127$54$67
CaliforniaSmall/Medium Dog1 year old$91$50$62
5 years old$126$60$89
Big Dog1 year old$91$46$56
5 years old$126$55$79

PetFirst is all over the place in how it compares to other companies, depending on location. In Texas, PetFirst is more expensive than Nationwide for the younger animal, but the reverse is true for the older animal. However, it’s over double to price than ASPCA in Texas on average. Then it’s drastically cheaper than Nationwide and slightly more expensive than ASPCA in Florida. In California, PetFirst is far less expensive than Nationwide, but more expensive than ASPCA. 

The general takeaway is that PetFirst shows some of the most random pricing structures in the pet insurance market. Whether it’s the choice for you will depend greatly on your location, breed, and age of your animal.   

>>MORE: Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

PetFirst Pet Insurance Review of the Quote Process:

PetFirst’s online quote system is, quite frankly, clunky. If you’ve ever looked for a quote through PetFirst before, it loads the old quote information automatically and then immediately loads a pop-up screen asking if you’d like to enter your phone number to save your quote. We’re a little confused as to why you’d need a phone number to save a quote, but at least it allows you to select “No, thanks!” On top of that, the entire quote process refused to load for us for a few days, but that seems to have been resolved.  

However, if you hit the “go back” option enough times, you get the beginning of the quote process, which looks like this:

It’s a pretty basic information form to fill out, with information like breed, your pet’s age and your zip code. Once you enter that information, you get this screen:

A positive is that the company is fairly liberal with the discounts, having one for animal welfare personnel, one for military members (active and inactive) and one for first payment. Once you select any discounts that apply, you see this page after a loading ring spins for a few seconds:  

It looks pretty barebones at first, but if you scroll down, it outlines what’s covered and not covered:

Further, if you hit the customize button, you get this screen:

Changing the sliding scales does update the monthly payment at the bottom of the screen in real-time, though not the top on our end. That can potentially be confusing.   

>>MORE: Is there Pet Insurance for Low-Income Families?

PetFirst Pet Insurance Review Coverage Assessment:

As far as customization goes, the annual benefit is a bit of a concern, as $2,000 may not be enough to cover all expenses if your pet is sick enough or is injured very badly. $10,000 also seems a bit low for a maximum annual benefit amount. The deductible range and reimbursement options tend to be common, though a $50 deductible is fairly unique. Though it is nice that you can choose a routine care benefit.      

The website is a bit confusing on its stance on routine, wellness and preventative care, however. It is listed under the “what’s not covered” header. However, you can choose a routine care benefit amount. But the quote page doesn’t explain what that is, exactly. Once you search the site more in detail, you can find that it’s a “rider”. Basically, you get money back for routine care. 

A common concern is also whether a plan covers dental care. PetFirst states that it does not cover orthodontics, endodontics and removal of deciduous teeth. However, the routine care rider does cover teeth cleaning or polishing.   

>>MORE: The Best Pet Insurance for Cats

Final Thoughts in Our PetFirst Pet Insurance Review:

  • The company has been around for over 15 years. It is somewhat unique in that it underwrites its own policies.
  • The company is also well-rated online, most notably being BBB accredited and currently holding an A+ rating with the agency.
  • Prices comparisons for this company vary drastically by location, making it important to compare this company to its competitors based on your location.
  • Where PetFirst has issues is that its quote process is more confusing than other pet insurers. It doesn’t clearly outline what the routine care benefit option is. The site can sometimes lag and not load. Plus, the site also has intrusive pop-ups and requires you to hit multiple back buttons to redo quotes.
  • The $2,000 to $10,000 annual limit options seem a bit low compared to other companies. However, the low $50 deductible option is hard to come by.  
  • Routine care and dental coverage are limited. PetFirst offers routine care as a money-back program and that’s added as a rider onto main plans.

>>MORE: Rabbit Pet Insurance: Where to Find and How Much?

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