Having a pet is proven to come with an impressive set of health benefits, ranging from heart strength to psychological well-being. Of course, every coin has two sides. Pets also come with a variety of expenses, ranging from food to medical care. Regular veterinary visits are essential to overall health; but, even with proper love and care, unexpected illness can occur. From accidents to medical concerns, the shock of your pet hurting is hard enough. Throw on a hefty vet bill and the stress can really add up.
While you can’t tell what the future holds, pet insurance is a way to mitigate the risk of hefty expenses. It is, however, important to choose the right plan and company. This breakdown details what you need to know about Pets Plus Us, so you can determine if it’s a good fit.
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Pets Plus Us
Affiliated with the Canadian Kennel Club and Modern Dog and Modern Cat magazines, Pets Plus Us positions itself as a modern insurance provider. The company aims to build relationships with pet owners, even offering counselling upon the loss of a pet. Founded by dedicated animal enthusiasts, Pets Plus Us aims to ‘be a pet owner’s best friend’.
Its site focuses largely on community involvement, including its charitable arrangements with the Canadian Federation of Humane Society and several other pet-care nonprofits. The Pets Plus Us site also offers a lot of information related to pet care and ownership.
At the end of the day, however, Pets Plus Us is an insurance company. It offers coverage in the event of illness and accident, helping pet owners buffer potentially costly veterinary treatment.
Interested in other pet insurance providers? Check out our review on Trupanion.
Types Of Pet Insurance Offered By Pets Plus Us
There are four unique plans offered through Pets Plus Us, differing in both cost and coverage. Choosing the right plan depends on everything from the breed to the age of your pet.
Accident And Illness
This plan offers the most thorough coverage, enabling you to customize it according to your budget. There are no breed exclusions, automatic renewal every year, and the company reviews your pet’s records to tell you if there are any coverage exemptions.
- Coverage amount: Coverage ranges from $7,500 to $15,000 depending on the plan.
- Payout percentage: You can choose how much the insurance pays out. The options are 70, 80, and 90 percent.
- Deductible range: The set annual deductible means that, once you pay that amount, you do not pay another deductible for the rest of the year. It is based on age, where older dogs and cats come at a higher cost. For dogs, the lowest deductible is $100 and the highest is $700. For cats, the lowest is $100 and the highest is $500. Each age group has three payment options from which to choose.
- What’s covered: Covered issues include injuries and accidents, hospitalization and surgery, hereditary issues, diagnostic medicine, prescriptions, alternative therapies, and behavioural treatment. Additional benefits of $1,000 are available for each incident of lost pet advertising and reward, boarding costs for the pet, trip cancellation due to veterinary emergency, and burial or cremation.
- What’s not covered: Though the plan is comprehensive, it does not cover everything. Exempted matters include wellness care, dental treatment, any pre-existing conditions, and anything that comes up within the waiting periods (two days for accidents, two weeks for illnesses).
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Designed to protect against issues related to accidents, this is a highly affordable coverage. Statistics show that millions of households drive with their pets. In 2018 alone, there were 108,371 injuries due to motor vehicle collisions in Canada, highlighting the risk of accidents involving pets. Though this plan doesn’t cover illness, it does provide substantial security at a good cost.
- Coverage amount: This plan comes with $5,000 of annual coverage to address medically required services due to an accident.
- Deductible: The annual deductible is $100, meaning if there are multiple claims, you only pay the amount once.
- What’s covered? This plan covers emergency care, extending from consultations to exams to hospitalization. It also pays for medication, surgery, anesthesia, and referrals to specialists. An extra $1,000 is available for each incident related to pet boarding due to the owner’s hospitalization, trip cancellation, lost pet advertisement and reward funds, as well as burial or cremation.
- What’s not covered? The Accident coverage plan doesn’t work for illnesses or preventative pet care and wellness checkups. If the condition existed prior to your coverage, the plan won’t deal with those issues. Because of the plan type, if the veterinary concern didn’t arise due to an accident, or occurred during the 48-hour waiting period, it is not covered.
- Cost for dogs: $22.06 per month
- Cost for cats: $19.73 per month
Not sure which pet insurance policy is right for you? Then you should consider working with an insurance broker.
Meant as an optional add-on to the Accident and Illness plans, the Flex-Care arrangement comes with extra perks. It lets you flesh out the coverage to include wellness care and cover pre-existing conditions. The plan lets you pay for pet care monthly, with a predetermined amount.
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- Coverage: This plan adds dental treatment coverage, annual checkups and vaccines, treatment of concerns excluded from your primary plan. It also covers the cost of bloodwork, collection and diagnostics. You get reimbursed for 100 percent of all scheduled care. The coverage is available for pets of all ages, with the checkup schedule based on animals in each different age demographic.
- Cost: Price ranges from $250 to $1,250, increasing in increments of $100. Your monthly payment is one twelfth of the full cost for the year. There is also an administrative fee of $25, payable when you enroll or re-up the contract.
- Duration: This is a one-year contract. You can only cancel this arrangement at the end of the year’s term.
This plan is well-suited to those with pets that have pre-existing conditions. Especially if your pet requires frequent veterinary care, this plan can result in substantial savings.
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Blue Ribbon Benefits
This unique program is designed to offer affordable access to services that make caring for a pet simpler. Coming free with any Pets Plus Us insurance plan, it offers things like:
- Help phone access: The Blue Ribbon plan offers access to trained veterinary nurses over the phone. It’s available around the clock and can help you manage an emergency.
- Compassionate care: The company has a professional counsellor on staff, helping pet owners work through the emotional distress of managing a pet’s sickness or death.
- Poison control: Access to an all-hours poison helpline lets you speak to a toxicology pro over the phone. If a pet ingests something risky, treating it properly, right away, can drastically improve your chances of success.
- Concierge service: If you need to track down a specific pet-related item or service, you can contact Pets Plus Us directly to learn about local options.
- Emergency medical coverage: Should your pet become injured while lost, this program offers an extra $1,000 of coverage.
- Lifestyle perks: The plan comes with a subscription to either Modern Dog or Modern Cat Magazine. This provides up-to-date insight into the world of pets, keeping you in the loop on trends and innovations in the area.
Not sure if Pets Plus is for you? Check out Petsecure.
Benefits Of Choosing Pets Plus Us
In addition to the features that come with the insurance plan itself, this company boasts other perks. These include:
- 4lifeGuarantee: All plans come with the benefit of automatically guaranteed coverage access every year. As soon as you enroll, the plan renews every year, so you don’t have to worry about qualifying for coverage.
- No breed exclusions: Every breed is covered by Pets Plus Us insurance. If there are health concerns common to a specific breed, the plan would cover the issue, so long as it was not pre-existing.
- Blue Ribbon benefits: Enrollment in an insurance plan comes with automatic access to Blue Ribbon benefits.
- Annual deductible: The deductible re-ups annually, meaning you only pay the deductible once a year; and, regardless of how much care your pet needs for the rest of the year, you don’t have to pay to access the coverage.
- Clear underwriting: The professionals review your pet’s veterinary history and inform you, upfront, of any exempted services. It takes the guesswork out of understanding the claims process and lets you know, in advance, if you will benefit from the plan.
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How Do You Submit A Claim With Pets Plus Us?
The claims process is very straightforward, requiring only three steps:
- Take your pet to the veterinarian. So long as they are licensed in Canada or the United States, you can use the insurance. You must pay the vet in full at the time of treatment since Pets Plus Us uses a reimbursement-based approach to paying out its claims. Get a final invoice, complete with all provided treatments, an invoice number, and the pet’s name. It must be clearly printed or the claim can suffer significant delays.
- Submit your insurance claim: It takes between two and three weeks to complete the claim, starting upon receipt of the documents. To expedite the process, send your itemized invoices and medical documents. You can use the online portal to file your claim, but there are also paper forms that you can print off and send via regular mail, email, or fax.
- Get reimbursed for vet expenses: You can set up automatic deposits with Pets Plus Us to speed up the reimbursement. Dealing with mailed-out cheques takes substantially more time than using the deposit feature.
Pets Plus Us Insurance FAQs
Can I carry over my wellness care limit if I don’t use it all?
What is co-pay insurance?
Learn more about the different types of insurance and find out which one is right for you.
Choosing pet insurance is all about balancing risk and cost. You know that your pet needs regular care, but determining whether you will face a covered issue is another matter. These policies offer the chance to plan ahead and avoid the costly expenses of veterinary care. The only substantial downside of this plan is that it doesn’t pay the veterinarian directly. As a result, you end up paying the whole amount out-of-pocket when the care is issued.
If you are able to deal with this type of expense, the plans have a lot of benefits. However, if you are concerned with cash flow issues, finding a provider that does direct payments. Everyone’s pet insurance needs are unique, so take your time, do your research, and find the coverage that fits your needs.