AKC Pet Insurance Review: Costs, Plan Gotcha’s and Everything Else You Need to Know

While you may not want to even think about your pet getting sick, it’s best to stay prepared just in case. Whether it’s for their regular vet checkup, age-related health decline, an accident, allergies or chronic disease, your dog will require medical health care one day.

In the same way that you would take out health insurance for your child, it’s as important that you give your dog the best chance at good quality medical care when the time comes.

akc insurance review

About AKC Pet Insurance

AKC Pet Insurance is known as one of the oldest pet insurance providers in the entire United States. They’ve been operating for almost two decades, providing comprehensive yet affordable health care insurance options to dog owners.

Of course, the success of AKC Pet Insurance is no surprise, seeing that the brand is an offshoot of the prestigious and highly popular American Kennel Club, whose mission it is to advance the health and wellness of all dogs.

However, The IHC Group acquired AKC in the first quarter of 2017 as part of their expansion into pet health.

The group has been providing all types of human health insurance solutions for over three decades and has plenty of experience on how to further develop and improve existing health insurance organizations.

Also, AKC Pet Insurance is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company & Independent American Insurance Company. It is also administered by PetPartners, Inc., a company that is committed to helping pet owners provide quality healthcare for their furry best friends.

The best part about AKC Pet Insurance is that they offer value for money with no enrollment fees, low deductibles that start at only a couple of dollars and a multi-pet discount where you save 5% on your premiums with each pet that you add to your plan.

Their policies are quite comprehensive and will cover you for costs like heartworm prevention, flea and tick prevention, spay and neuter as well as diagnostic testing. Your pet will also get complimentary cover for emergency care, cancer and intestinal obstruction treatment.

What’s more, they accept pets of all ages and have very few exclusions. You’ll also be glad to know that AKC Pet Insurance will give you up to 180 days to submit your claim, which will be processed within 14 days. This will be further explained as you continue reading.

Features

Here's what sets AKC apart from the rest:

Low Cost Cover

With AKC, you are able to get pet health insurance cover at a low monthly cost that could be anything from $5 to $90. However, this is subject to the type of policy that you choose to take out. Plus, their annual deductibles are very reasonable as well.

Coverage

When it comes to coverage, AKC pays out up to 80% of your claim, while requiring you, the policy owner, to co-pay 20% each year after your yearly deductible. The actual amount that is paid out depends on your vet bill.

Age Limits

While AKC is rather open and welcoming to pets of all ages, they do require your pet to be at least 8 weeks old in order to qualify for cover.

However, the good news is that there is no age limit after that. As a matter of fact, they even have specialized health insurance cover packages designed to cater for the unique healthcare needs of senior pets.

Exclusions

As with any insurance provider, there are a few exclusions to the AKC Pet Insurance cover. For one, they don’t cover pre-existing medical conditions, but they do offer cover for cancer in their basic policy at no extra charge.

There’s even a supplementary feature where you are able to add-on extra coverage for things like wellness care, exam fees, congenital conditions as well as inherited illnesses.

Waiting Period

AKC has a convenient waiting period of only 14 days for their illness claims, while accident claims are even better, at a 5-day waiting period. In addition, your cover will come into effect from the very next day after you enroll into the policy.

Also, your newly registered puppy will get accident and illness insurance for 30 days after they’ve registered.

Add to that the fact that AKC’s claims landline is manned by knowledgeable and friendly vets that provide superb service and you’ve got an exceptional insurer by your side.

What They Cover

Essentially, AKC has two different pet healthcare plans that they offer to pet owners. One is the Companion Plus plan, which features comprehensive cover for a variety of accident and illness related situations.

This is a cost-friendly plan in that you are able to adjust its limits and features to suit your particular preferences and budget. To be more specific, the Companion Plus plan covers:

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    Injuries
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    Accidents
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    Lab tests
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    Surgery
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    Hospitalization
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    Illnesses such as allergies, cherry eye, cancer, etc.
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    MRI’s, Ultrasounds, X-Rays and CAT scans
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    Vet-prescribed medications
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    Permanent teeth extractions
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    Chemotherapy & including radiation treatment

Your second option is the Companion Select plan, which is designed with older dogs in mind, providing cover for unexpected accidents and injuries. The full gamut of the plan is as follows:

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    Injuries
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    Accidents
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    MRI’s, Ultrasounds, X-Rays and CAT scans
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    Lab tests
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    Hospitalization
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    Surgery
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    Permanent teeth extraction
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    Vet-prescribed extractions

As you can see, the Companion Select plan is not as comprehensive as the Companion Plus plan, but it is an affordable option that covers all the basics.

Now, AKC Pet Insurance does provide you with an option to include add-ons to either plan, such as Inherited Plus. This covers your pet for hereditary and congenital conditions like diabetes, arthritis and heart disease to name but a few.

There’s also Exam Cost Coverage, which you are able to add on to cover costs like visits to the vet and medical exams. You are able to use it at emergency rooms, at your regular vet, at vet universities and specialty clinics.

Lastly, the Wellness Coverage is a nice add-on that enables you to take care of your pet with routine preventative care and without worrying about the cost.

Reimbursement

To initiate the reimbursement process, you first have to pay your veterinarian as you normally would. However, it is very important that you have visited a licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada and that you have asked and received your itemized invoice.

After that, move on to a claim form. As for me, I was able to download and print it out directly from the AKC Pet Insurance company’s official website.

To fill out the form, you have to provide information such as your insurance policy number, diagnosis, the treatment date as well as personal details.

After you have completed the claim form with all the necessary information, submit it via email, mail, or fax, along with the invoice in the next 180 days following the treatment.

In the meantime, my veterinarian was asked to send all the relevant medical records describing the course of my pet’s treatment. Then, the company evaluated the claim, based on all the documentation received and the veterinarian’s recommendations as well.

The company’s staff will make sure your claim is processed as quickly as possible. In fact, you will most likely receive an “Explanation of Benefits” within the next 30 days from filing a claim.

After this, your claim will be approved and you will receive the reimbursement amount directly, in the form of a check. Even in situations when the invoice from my veterinarian was lower than my deductible, the company’s representatives advised me to go ahead and file a claim.

This is due to the fact that it will go towards my annual deductible if eligible. That way, if another incident occurs later on in the year, I will automatically have less of the deductible to meet.

Pros

Trial Period

From time to time, AKC Pet Insurance offers new clients a free one to three-month trial period. I was fortunate enough to take advantage of this and during that time, I was able to think and decide whether the company was actually a perfect fit for me and my pets.

It gets even better:

If you don’t want to continue using their services after the trial period has ended, you will not be bothered by the company’s representatives, nor would you be obliged to give your feedback before moving on.

Customer Service

The company invests in its human resources and provides the highest quality of service through its well-trained customer service representatives.

Variety of Insurance Plans

AKC Pet Insurance offers many different insurance plans to choose from. This means that no matter if you wish to spend as little as possible or you want to spare no expense when it comes to your pet’s insurance, you are very likely to find the right fit with this company.

What’s even better is that I was able to choose if I wanted to insure my pet only against accidents, illnesses, or both.

In addition to that, it doesn’t matter if one of your dogs is purebred and another one has a mixed breed, both of them are eligible to be enrolled in the pet insurance program.

There is also an option of keeping two or more different animals on the same insurance policy, which I found very useful as well.

A Renowned Company

AKC Pet Insurance is a reliable company, which many pet owners recognize. People are very pleased with the service they provide. In fact, there are many positive feedbacks all over the internet to prove it.

Preventive Care

When you own an animal that is one of the active types, the preventive veterinarian check-ups are a must. Thankfully, AKC Pet Insurance will have you covered here as well, so you will be able to save a lot of money and have healthy, active pets at the same time.

Simple Reimbursement Process

All of the paperwork is reduced to minimum, so you will be able to file a claim and start the reimbursement process soon after the treatment.  

The company understands the troubles of dealing with a sick animal and will give you a fair amount of time – 180 days to file a claim and get compensated, as mentioned.

Cons

Exclusions

Some of the illnesses and conditions are excluded from the insurance policies altogether, which may be a serious issue with some pet owners.

Young Pets

The company accepts to issue an insurance policy only to a relatively young pet. If your dog is, for example, more than nine years old, he or she will not be eligible to enroll in any of the insurance options AKC Pet Insurance offers.

Limitations

The company is organized in such a way that the pet insurance is set up to be limited per incident, rather than on an annual basis. This presents a big problem for some pet owners who would prefer the policy to be the other way around.

Website and Customer Service

Some of the customers complain that the company’s website is complicated to get around. In fact, they even say that they haven’t been able to find all the information there. They also point to the fact that there is no app to manage the insurance process more efficiently.

Even though the customer service representatives are always polite and there to help you, I would also prefer to be able to get the answers online, rather than having to make a phone call every time.

Conclusion

Having insurance for my pets did not seem like a brilliant idea at first and I have even thought about it as another unnecessary expense in my budget. However, when I took a better look at AKC Pet Insurance, I realized that there are many valid reasons to reconsider them.

This is due to the fact that with this company, I am able to provide my pets with adequate health care, even though I don’t wish to pay a fortune for it. The reimbursement process takes only a few steps, as most of the paperwork is left for the veterinarian and company to deal with.

AKC Pet Insurance Review: Costs, Plan Gotcha’s and Everything Else You Need to Know
9 Total Score
We rated AKC Pet Insurance Based On

Cost
9.5
Exclusions
10
Benefits vs Cost
9.5
Claim process
9.5
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