Purina Pet Health Insurance Review

In 2008, the 85-year old Purina PetCare Company launched PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance. Covering cats and dogs as young as 8 weeks of age, this pet insurance company offers PurinaCare Without and PurinaCare With Preventative Care plans.

PurinaCare Without Preventative Care is their basic pet insurance plan, which covers accident and illness costs related to diagnostic procedures, prescriptions, surgery, hospital stays, and treatment. This also includes hereditary and breed-specific maladies. Depending on the location, age, type and condition of your pet, monthly costs starts at $22 per dog but can go as high as $90. You can customize your deductible from $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 per year but this affects your premium. 80% of approved expenses are reimbursed after your yearly deductible is met; your deductible is calculated annually and not per incident and your annual benefit limit is $20,000 per pet. An important note: your premium goes up when your pet turns 5, 8 and 10 years of age.

In addition to what’s covered under the basic PurinaCare plan, with Preventative Care, your dog or cat is also covered for wellness and routine-based procedures such as: annual exams, flea and heartworm prescriptive medication, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and more. Like the basic plan, PurinaCare With Preventative Care can start out at $28 per pet but can go as high about $100.00, so there’s definitely a wide range between monthly costs. The other costs remain exactly the same as the PurinaCare Without Preventative Care plan but note that even after the annual deductible is met, some of the wellness/routine procedures can still be costly, i.e., you still have to pay out of your own pocket after the deductible is met:

  • Dental scaling/polishing: $200
  • Vaccines for dogs and cats less than 9 months of age: $250
  • Dog spaying: $150

There are a couple available discounts – If you insure 2 pets on the same plan, you get a 5% discount; if you insure 3 pets or more on the same plan, you get a 10% discount.In terms of exclusions, there are quite a few but here’s just a sample:

  • Any pre-existing condition
  • Costs related to breeding and pregnancy
  • Alternative care, such as: rehabilitation, acupuncture, holistic/homeopathic treatment, chiropractic treatments, etc.
  • Elective procedures, like tail docking, declawing and ear cropping
  • All supplements, vitamins, natural remedies
  • Preventable diseases by vaccination
  • Intentional accidents or injuries by policy holder
  • Dogs and cats under the age of 8 weeks
  • Accidents that happen before 12:01 am on the 3rd day following coverage’s effective date
  • Illnesses that appear before 12:01 am on the 15th day following coverage’s effective date

PURINACARE PET HEALTH INSURANCE: PROS

  • You can receive a full refund on your premium within 14 days of enrollment, as long as no claims were filed
  • There’s no waiting period for Preventative Care Benefits only; coverage begins at 12:01 the day after your policy goes into effect
  • Hereditary and breed-specific ailments are covered but ONLY if manifested after enrollment; if your pet had hereditary and breed-specific ailments prior to coverage, it is considered “pre-existing” and is not covered
  • You can choose any licensed veterinarian within the U.S.
  • You choose your deductible

PURINACARE PET HEALTH INSURANCE: CONS

  • All preventable conditions are excluded but like many other pet insurance companies, these specific conditions are not detailed so there’s a lot of room for interpretation. This is the main complaint among PurinaCare’s clientele – their claims were denied because of the loose interpretation
  • There is no coverage in the following states: Alaska, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington
  • Only dogs and cats are covered

OUR RATING: 3.5 out of 5 stars

James Hunt, DVM is a graduate of College of Veterinary Medicine at OSU and has an established practice in Phoenix, Arizona. He specializes in small animal care and is the proud owner of two dogs. You can read a detailed PurinaCare Review or use VetAdviceToday’s unique pet insurance comparison tool.

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