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.
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:
- Diagnostic tests
- Hereditary conditions
- Chronic conditions
- Behavioral therapy
Like Hartville, the ASPCA plan does cover knee and ligament issues with only a 14-day waiting period.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.