About Figo Pet Insurance
Figo Pet Insurance was created in the Google Tech Hub Network facility 1871 located in Chicago, a membership-only location dedicated to advancing businesses through technology. The founders of Figo intended to create a pet insurance plan that made the best use of today’s technology not just for insurance but to improve lives of pets and pet owners.
Pet Cloud is Figo’s online system, available as a mobile app or for your computer, created to provide easy access to veterinary history in addition to handling policy management and claims. This is part of the company’s general approach to making pet insurance cutting edge; they also pioneered a GPS collar attachment that links to their system and tracks your pet.
Policies from Figo are underwritten by Markel Specialty, an insurer that focuses on specialty risks. Figo’s headquarters is located in Chicago, where the company was founded, and policies are sold online and over the phone.
Figo offers three levels of pet insurance plan, all of which are major medical: Essential, Preferred, and Ultimate. They do not offer any options for routine care at this time. Dogs and cats are the only pets eligible for coverage.
What is Covered
Figo covers accidents and illnesses, with the option to add coverage for exam fees. Some of the extensive list of covered services on all plans are:
- Diagnostic tests
- Prescription medication
- Cancer treatment
- Hereditary conditions
- Chronic Conditions
- Joint injuries and conditions including ACL and hip dysplasia (waiting period for ACL)
- Non-routine dental care
- Alternative treatments
- Behavioral treatments
As with all similar companies, Figo excludes pre-existing conditions. They do have the option to waive the six-month waiting period for ACL coverage if a veterinarian certifies the pet has healthy knees at the time of policy issue. They will also reinstate coverage on a case-by-case basis after 12 months cured and symptom-free.
The Preferred Plan adds:
- Emergency Boarding
- Lost Pet Advertising and Reward
- Lost Pet due to theft or straying
The Ultimate Plan covers everything offered by the previous two, and also adds emergency vacation cancellation and a death benefit for a covered illness or injury.
Each plan increases the annual maximum, starting at $10,000 for the Essential, up to $14,000 for Preferred, and with unlimited coverage at the Ultimate level.
Coverage percentage can be selected from options that range from 70% all the way up to 100% reimbursement. Deductibles range from $100 up to $750. Any of these options can be applied to any of the three coverage levels.
Exam fee coverage is included only if it is selected and for an additional premium.
The plan will pay up to the percentage of covered costs that have been selected after the deductible is met, based on the actual cost of the services.
To compare rates, we ran our usual sample of a one-year-old dog, medium-sized mixed breed, living in California. The plan recommended in the quote is the Preferred, with a $200 deductible and 80% reimbursement. This came back at $36.95 monthly. Exam fee coverage with this plan can be added for $7.41/month.
The highest level of coverage, the Ultimate plan with a $100 deductible and 100% coverage, came back at $100.89 a month, plus $20.23 to add exam fee coverage.
The least expensive option offered by Figo was the Essential plan at 70% reimbursement and with a $750 deductible. That plan was rated at $18.95 a month for our sample dog, with an extra $3.80 a month for exam fee coverage.
We then ran a quote for a one-year-old mixed breed cat, and were returned the same recommended choice; the Preferred plan with 80% coverage and a $200 deductible. That came in at $17.43 a month, plus $4.13 for exam fee coverage.
The high-end Ultimate plan quote came back at $46.33 a month, plus $9.29 if you want to add exam fee coverage.
Our low-end, least expensive option quote was $9.65 a month, with an extra $1.33 a month for exam fees.
Finally, since the highest coverage offered by most plans is 90%, we ran that for both pets with an average $200 deductible. Our cat came back at $21.59/month, and our dog at $45.77/month. Both of these rates were for the Preferred plan. The Ultimate plan was just a little more expensive, about $10 a month more.
There are a lot of numbers and a lot of variables to make sense of here, but the breakdown is this:
Figo’s Preferred plan is a fairly good value, although we have seen plans with unlimited coverage fall in this same price range.
The Ultimate plan falls in line with other similar plans price-wise but is very expensive when you choose the 100% reimbursement option, jumping by nearly double. The 90% choice is a better value overall, and about what we would expect to see for the coverage offered.
In keeping with its technology-rooted background, Figo offers a simple, paperless claims system.
A claim can be started by simply uploading a photo or a scan of the veterinary bill and fill out a form explaining what happened. Claims can also be filed over the phone, and for those who prefer, they do offer a claim form for download, which can then be faxed or emailed back to Figo.
Figo will the request medical records from the vet, process the claim, and direct deposit the reimbursement into a designated bank account. There is also an option to have a check sent in the mail.
The website states that claims take an average of 7-10 business days to be processed.
Figo covers dogs and cats 8 weeks of age and up and has no age limit for new policies. They do ask that senior pets follow a recommended exam schedule.
The policy has a 5-day waiting period of accidents and a 14-day waiting period for illness. In addition, there is a 6-month waiting period, previously mentioned – for cruciate and patella injury. That can be waived with a veterinary exam.
Figo does not require that your pet have an exam before coverage starts, but if 12 months of medical records prior to coverage are not available, then the first exam after coverage starts will be used to determine pre-existing conditions. It is therefore in your best interest to submit a clean bill of health at the start of the policy and avoid any future disagreements as to what may have been pre-existing.
Figo does offer a 30-day money back guarantee with all of their policies, as long as no claims have been filed in that time.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Figo Pet Insurance an A- rating, having docked the company for having five complaints filed. Those five, in fact, are the only complaints in the past three years, which even for a small company is not a lot.
On Yelp we found 53 reviews resulting in a 3.5-star rating overall. 28 of the reviews are 5-star, 18 are 1-star, and the rest fall in between. Positive reviews are repeatedly glowing, describing excellent customer services and easy claim handling. The negative reviews focus the exact opposite; slow response to emailed requests, slow claim processing, and claim denials. A look through them gives the impression that there were some misunderstandings regarding what is covered by the policy, especially in terms of pre-existing conditions. That’s a common issue with pet insurance.
Google has 43 reviews for this company, with an overall 3.8-star rating. Again, there are many positive reviews and some negative ones, mostly citing the same issues. The company does appear to take the time to respond to many complaints publicly.
For a relatively young company, Figo appears to enjoy a good reputation overall, earning a strong number of positive reviews.
The Bottom Line
Figo offers some of the most comprehensive coverage out there, and if you select the right combination of deductible and reimbursement level, it can be a good value as well. They do appear to have experienced some trouble with speed of response time, but as a young company we would expect to see that improve – and the many rave reviews speak to their efforts. Figo is well worth putting on the list.