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AKC pet insurance review 2020

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Work with a brand name in the pet world, staffed by professionals who understand your breed’s needs.

  • Get a quote if you want industry experts who have a working knowledge of vet care.
  • Pick something else if you’re concerned about this plan’s complaint history.

Dogs, Cats

Pets covered

What pet insurance coverage does the AKC offer?

The American Kennel Club’s pet policy can help you pay for basic and emergency vet care, including:

  • X-rays, ultrasounds and lab tests. Deep-dive into the medical issues your pet has with definitive testing, so they can receive treatment and feel better.
  • Hospitalization and emergency care. Take your pup or kitten to the pet ER when you’re worried about a serious illness or injury. Plus, you can leave them at the hospital for extra supervision without worrying about the cost.
  • Surgery. Move forward with procedures your pet may need to keep them healthy and happy for the long-term.
  • Prescription medicine. Pick up your four-legged friend the medicine your vet prescribes, and let your pet insurance pick up the tab.
  • Accidental injuries or illnesses. You can schedule vet appointments for both injuries or illnesses caused by an unpreventable incident.
  • Physical therapy. You can rehabilitate your pet through muscle-building and exercises when this therapy is needed.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation. If your faithful friend faces a cancer diagnosis, you can give the treatment this illness requires.
  • Teeth extractions. Remove your pet’s teeth if they get damaged in an accident or suffer a covered illness.
  • Alternative or holistic care. Your plan limits services for alternative treatments to a lower dollar amount than the rest of your coverage.

What extra benefits and add-ons does the AKC offer?

You can buy additional coverage or even land free coverage for joining the AKC:

  • 30-day AKC certificate. If you register your pet with the American Kennel Club, you’ll receive 30 days of pet insurance coverage without charge.
  • Exam. Get the cost of vet exams covered, whether they’re for sick visits or check-ups.
  • Hereditary. You can use your policy for genetic illnesses that you notice over the years by adding this coverage.
  • Wellness. The AKC offers two plans — Defender and Defender Plus — covering routine care services for heartworm and parasite testing, vaccinations, preventive medication, deworming and microchipping. The top tier also covers spaying or neutering and teeth cleaning.
  • Funeral. This policy helps you pay for burial, cremation or funeral costs to give your companion a proper farewell.

How much is AKC pet insurance?

You can expect to pay $7 to $20 per month for your cat and $10 to $30 per month for your dog if you’re using the AKC. Adding exam or funeral coverage could cost another $2 to $5 per month, and every plan comes with a $3 monthly service fee.

For context, the overall costs are less than the standard cost of pet insurance for dogs or cats. Typically, you’d pay $20 per month for a cat, and over $40 per month for a dog.

AKC pet insurance quotes

BlankBreedAgeGenderDeductibleReimbursementMaximum benefitMonthly rate
CatDomestic shorthair2 yearsFemale$1,00070%$5,000$6.61
CatDomestic shorthair2 yearsFemale$25090%$20,000$19.57
DogMixed breed2 yearsFemale$1,00070%$5,000$10.18
DogMixed breed2 yearsFemale$25090%$20,000$30.14

AKC wellness coverage

The organization’s wellness plans cost around $17 per month for the bottom tier, called the Defender plan. This plan includes a lower coverage limit for each of the service’s covered than the next plan, and it doesn’t cover spaying or neutering.

The DefenderPlus plan costs around $30 per month and includes higher limits for each routine service along with spaying, neutering and dental cleaning. These prices are standard for wellness coverage.

Which discounts can I get?

You can shave 5% off your premiums by insuring several pets with AKC.

Pros and cons of AKC pet insurance

Pros

  • Low rates. You’ll pay at or below the standard for an ample amount of pet insurance coverage with AKC.
  • No vet exam required. You can start coverage without the hassle of finding vet records or scheduling a vet visit before buying the policy, something you won’t find with all pet insurers.
  • Expert customer service and claims. Speak with trained vet technicians as your claims team when it comes time for a vet run. Many customers also praise customer service for its knowledge of pet breeds and their individual coverage needs.
  • No age limit for enrolling senior pets. Bring in your elderly pet for AKC acceptance, whereas most pet insurers have an age limit in place.
  • Free coverage for AKC registration. If you register your pet with the organization, you can receive 30 days of coverage at no charge.

Cons

  • No online claims tool. To file your claim, you’ll fill out a paper form and email your reimbursement request. Many customers find this process less convenient and more time-consuming than other companies’ claims processes.
  • Mixed customer reviews. For the most part, the AKC receives high praise from customers interacting with its service when buying. However, its insurance backer’s high number of complaints could mean trouble during the claims process.
  • Extra fees. AKC tacks on an extra $3 per month or $36 per year in service fees with each policy.
  • Exam coverage and hereditary illnesses aren’t standard. Many other policies include these as standard. Yet AKC requires you to add them to your policy for a few extra dollars per month.

AKC pet insurance reviews and complaints

The American Kennel Club holds an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as of August 2020, although it has no BB accreditation. On Trustpilot, AKC Pet Insurance has seen 975 customer reviews with an overall score of 4.6 out of 5. Many customers applaud the company for its friendly and helpful customer service when applying for pet insurance.

However, the AKC’s policies are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company. Independence American holds a 7.03 score on the 2019 National Association of Insurance Commissioners complaint index.

The NAIC complaint index assigns scores to businesses based on their number of complaints compared to business size. Since 1.00 is the national standard score, anything above that score shows too many customer complaints.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up for a policy online or customize it by phone with a rep to better fit your needs. How to sign up online:

  1. From the homepage, click Get Quote.
  2. Enter your pet’s basic details like its name, breed and age. Click Choose coverage.
  3. View different coverage levels and add-ons to customize your policy, or choose the basic plan.
  4. Once you’ve added all the coverage you need, click Add to cart or Email quote.
  5. Enter your personal details and payment information. Click Enroll now.

What’s not covered?

AKC keeps a standard list of exclusions for its policies:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Routine care, unless you buy add-on coverage
  • Elective or cosmetic procedures
  • Accidents or injuries related to bathing, grooming or elective services
  • Treatments that your vet doesn’t recommend
  • Treatments for obesity
  • Breeding or pregnancy
  • Behavioral issues, unless you buy add-on coverage
  • Experimental treatments
  • Pet food or supplements, even if prescribed
  • Air ambulance or any nonemergency pet ambulance
  • Illnesses or injuries caused by acts of war
  • Administrative or cleaning fees from the vet
  • Any other condition covered by optional coverage that you didn’t buy

Alternatives to AKC pet insurance

Name Product Pets covered Seniors accepted Hereditary conditions Chronic illness
Petplan
Dogs, Cats
Cover unexpected vet bills from emergency exams, injuries, surgery and more.
Embrace
Dogs, Cats
Enjoy extra benefits with coverage for exam fees, curable conditions and wellness visit reimbursement.
Pet Assure
Dogs, Cats, Horses
Save up to 25% on all vet bills including wellness and dental visits for as little as $10/month.
PetFirst
Dogs, Cats
Get coverage starting at $9 per month for cats and $15 for dogs. Talk to an agent at 888-738-0683.
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Frequently asked questions about AKC pet insurance

Expert review

Sarah George

Review by


Sarah George is a writer at Finder who unravels complicated topics about insurance, business and finance. She's been wordsmithing for nearly five years, after earning an English education degree. Her insurance know-how has been featured on CarInsurance.com. You can usually find Sarah sipping hot tea and talking through movie plots in her downtime.

Expert review

The AKC works as a solid option for pet parents needing affordable insurance for their pets. While it offers a basic plan for low-cost coverage, you can customize its standard plan with wide-ranging deductibles, reimbursement rates and annual limits. Plus, you get the benefit of getting your pet insurance and AKC member benefits all with the same company.

On the other hand, you won’t find convenient claims features like an app or online tool to file for reimbursement. Some customers say this led to confusion and unreimbursed claims. Either way, compare multiple pet policies to find the best fit.

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