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ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Review

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is a branded insurance plan that provides coverage with the ASPCA name. They cover cats and dogs with the backing of Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group.

About ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) formed a partnership with Hartville Pet Insurance in 2006 to offer a branded version of their existing pet insurance plans. The insurance plans are underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company, and they are administered by C&F Insurance Agency.

The ASPCA is not directly involved in any of the pet insurance operations; rather, they have licensed their name to be used as a recognizable brand for the marketing of these plans. The plans are the same as those offered by Hartville Pet Insurance, which is also part of Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group.

Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group has its headquarters in Akron, Ohio, where they administer all of the ASPCA plans. Policies are sold online and over the phone.

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ASPCA Pet Insurance Policies

As previously mentioned, all of the pet insurance policies offered under the ASPCA name are the same as those offered by Hartville. We have a full review of Hartville’s policy under their brand name.

The plans offered are Hartville’s Complete Coverage accident and illness insurance, an accident only plan, and a preventative care endorsement that can be added on to either of those plans.

What is Covered

Complete Coverage covers a wide range of accident and illness related services:

  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Chronic conditions
  • Prescriptions
  • Behavioral therapy

Like Hartville, the ASPCA plan does cover knee and ligament issues with only a 14-day waiting period.

Benefits

The ASPCA’s benefit choices are again exactly the same as those offered by Hartville. Annual limits range from $5,000 up to an unlimited plan option.

Reimbursement levels can be selected at 70, 80, or 90%, and deductible options are $100, $250, or $500.

Although the website states that they pay the reimbursement percentage of the actual vet bill, after deductible, the small print makes it clear that they actually pay based on a pre-determined amount. While it is not a scheduled benefit, they determine what they believe to be the average cost of any given service, and then pay the percentage of that number. This not uncommon in pet insurance, but it is a piece of the fine print many people miss when signing up, and results in expensive surprises later.

Accident Only

As a less expensive option, the accident only plan is offered to cover only services related to accidents and injuries. This plan does not offer coverage for illnesses of any kind. That means a dog hit by a car would be covered, but a cancer diagnosis would not.

Preventative Care

Again, the preventative care endorsement mirrors that of the Hartville branded pet insurance. There are three levels to choose from, each at a flat rate and each covering a long list of routine care services.

Rates

We ran our usual quotes and found the rates for ASPCA Pet Insurance to be exactly the same as the rates under the Hartville name, meaning there is no financial benefit to buying through the ASPCA brand versus the partner company.

There is a full run-down of the rate quotes found in our review of Hartville, but our general conclusion was that the rates are on the high end for the coverage that is offered.

Claims

Claims for ASPCA Pet Insurance are handled on a reimbursement basis, which is standard in the pet insurance industry.

Claims can be filed online by logging into the member center on the company website. The claims form can also be downloaded and sent in via fax, email, or regular mail. The plan offers a direct deposit system which allows reimbursements to be deposited directly into the member’s bank account rather than waiting for a check to arrive in the mail.

Enrollment

Enrollment can be handled entirely online or can be done over the phone. The company does not appear to require any sort of veterinary exam as part of the enrollment process.

Like Hartville, we were unable to find any information regarding age limits for enrolling in the plan.

Accident coverage on this plan begins the day after enrollment, while illnesses and knee or ligament conditions require a 14-day waiting period for coverage. This is the same as Hartville and is the shortest waiting period we have seen anywhere for knee and ligament coverage.

There is a 30-day money back guarantee on the plan, as long as no claims have been filed.

Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Unlike Hartville, we found a lot of customer reviews for the ASPCA branded pet health plans. Like Hartville, however, they do not have their own Better Business Bureau (BBB) page and are instead included with the Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group’s BBB page. The group has an A+ rating, with 24 complaints on file in the past three years. Those complaints include all companies in the group, and not only those for ASPCA branded products.

The Yelp page for ASPCA Pet Insurance has 121 reviews with an overall 2-star rating. Of those reviews, 89 are one-star ratings. The complaints repeatedly cite denied claims, and the use of the pre-existing conditions clause to deny many claims. These are similar to the complaints we see across the board for all pet insurance companies. There are also some positive reviews mixed in with the negative ones, but not enough to tip the balance.

There are 101 reviews on Consumer Affairs, 78 of which contain star ratings, with an overall one-star rating. 70 of those 78 reviews are one star, and again we see the same complaints regarding denial of claims and pre-existing conditions clauses.

The Bottom Line

This pet insurance is essentially Hartville, and it is important to note that the ASPCA has nothing to do with it beyond the use of the name. The plans are a bit pricey, and they have much the same in the way of complaints as do other companies. For most shoppers, there is likely a better plan available in terms of value so it is important to do your research and really compare your options.

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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

1 Comment

  1. I filed a claim for surgery performed on our dog Mambo on 11/2/2018. The surgery was to remove stones in his bladder. The claim was denied as pre-existing. My policy states: “A condition will no longer be considered pre-existing if your pet’s condition has been cured and free from treatment and symptoms for a period of 180days”. Our dog has no other medical history for the last 12 months, which his medical records show. Our vet has provided the following letter to the insurance company: “To Whom it May Concern – XXXXXX, 12y MN havanese, has been under our care here at XXXXX Veterinary Clinic since September 2017. He presented for inappropriate urination signs, and during workup it was found that he had urocystoliths. We performed a cystotomy 9/23/17, with a stone analysis which was consistent with Calcium Oxalate uroliths. The Hills C/D diet was prescribed for the first time post-operatively (again, 9/23/17). Ms. [Redacted] refilled this food several times from 9/2017 thru 10/2018. During this time, Mambo had no clinical signs of urinary disease at home. He was seen for a routine vaccination visit on 6/8/2018 and no clinical signs of urinary disease were noted. He came in for his annual exam and lab work on 10/30/18 and still reported no clinical signs of urinary disease. However, on his urinalysis, we noted hematuria and crystalluria and recommended abdominal x-rays. A second cystotomy followed on 11/2/18. I hope these details help clarify the timeline so that Ms. [Redacted]’s claim can be processed fairly. Please call me with any additional questions or if medical records are required. Take care, xxxxxx, DVM MIVC xxxxxxx” Our vet furthered with: “To Whom It May Concern, Regarding our patient xxxxxxx, his Hill’s Prescription Diet earlier this year was not prescribed for urocystolith dissolution. Please feel free to contact us for more information if required. Sincerely, xxxxxxx, DVM xxxxxxx Veterinary Clinic xxxxxxxxxx”, Seems irreconcilable to me that the Vet says we meet the condition, and the insurance company knows better????

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