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PetFirst Pet Health Insurance Review

PetFirst offers accident and illness coverage that is pretty much industry standard for the price.

What really makes PetFirst stand out is that is they don’t have any waiting periods for hip dysplasia, patella issues or orthopedic conditions.

The company also offers a wellness plan as an add-on rider to any of their plans to cover vaccinations, neutering and spaying, and other more routine vet visits.

Like many of the best pet insurances, PetFirst covers genetic conditions, such as hip dysplasia.

What sets PetFirst apart is senior pet coverage, short waiting periods, and reimbursement for vet exam fees, medication, and holistic care.

Highlights of PetFirst Coverage

Exam Fee Reimbursement

Pet insurance rarely pays for exam fees. Vet exams range from $50 to $150 for your regular vet, and up to $300 for veterinary specialists. If your pet sees the vet often, Petfirst provides you significant cost savings.

Medication Coverage

Some companies exclude prescription coverage, but PetFirst pays for medications. Like exam fees, if your pet takes medication regularly, PetFirst insurance will save you money.

Covers Older Pets

While researching PetFirst reviews, our vets love that PetFirst has no age exclusions. Even your senior pet receives full medical coverage. This is huge benefit if you’re enrolling your pet later in life, since some insurances have upper age limits.

Holistic Care Included

Holistic care is included in all three Lifetime plans, at no extra cost to you. Many other policies only offer alternative treatment coverage for an additional fee or optional rider.


Like all pet insurance companies, PetFirst does not cover pre-existing conditions. Also, puppies and kittens must be at least 8 weeks old in order to receive coverage.

Routine Coverage & Wellness Plans From PetFirst

Proper pet care includes preventative exams and treatments.

Most pet insurances don’t cover routine care, but PetFirst offers wellness insurance options that you can add to your policy.

PetFirst’s routine coverage is offered at three different annual benefit levels, $125, $250, or $400, to reimburse you for:

  • Routine vet exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Flea and heartworm prevention
  • Microchipping
  • Behavior training
  • Spay or neuter
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Routine health screens

If you’re considering PetFirst’s routine care riders, keep in mind that there are reimbursement maximums for each of the treatments listed.

For example, the $250 routine care benefit will reimburse you up to $50 per year for vaccinations:

Routine Coverage$125$250$400
Routine vet exams$15$25$35
Flea/heartworm & microchip$50$60$100
Behavior training$35$50$75
Spay/neuter & teeth cleaning-$50$100
Routine screens-$15$15

Fetch a Quote with PetFirst

Hereditary and Congenital Conditions

PetFirst, similar to the other top pet insurance providers will cover hereditary and congenital conditions as long as they are not pre-existing.

Benefit Limits

Benefit Limits are one of the more important items to look out for under coverage as they are the total amount that you will be reimbursed for the year or for the pet’s life.

PetFirst offers 3 different benefit limit schedules $5,000, $10,000, and $20,000. This is the maximum amount PetFirst will reimburse you per policy year.

PetFirst does not restrict you to per incident or per illness limits which is great, but their annual limits can restrict you if your pet gets very sick or injured.

The $5,000 limit plan has a monthly deductible in the average pet insurance price range, yet the two higher limit plans get pricey.

In fact, there are unlimited plans we have reviewed such as Healthy Paws that tend to cost less than PetFirst’s $20,000 limit plan.

PetFirst has no lifetime limits and no per-incident limits.

Reimbursement Method

Petfirst gives you the option of setting your reimbursement at 70%, 80%, and 90%.

This is a consistent feature of the best pet insurance providers.

Only Figo offers a 100% reimbursement level of all the pet insurance companies that we reviewed.

PetFirst also pays out on the actual vet bills as do the other top providers.

As with deductibles, the higher the monthly premium, the more you will get reimbursed for that claim.


PetFirst has a per-incident deductible, and you choose the amount: $50, $100, $250, or $500.

With per-incident deductibles, you only have to pay one deductible per incident, even if the incident happens again.

For example, if your dog has a recurring ear infection, you only pay a deductible for the first treatment.

Thereafter, PetFirst pays you back the full reimbursement percentage of the amount you paid at the vet.

PetFirst allows you to upgrade or downgrade coverage at any time during your policy which is a nice benefit.

How Much Does PetFirst Pet Insurance Cost?

PetFirst’s lower annual limit plans offer pretty much average pricing when compared to similar plans.

However, their higher limit plans are on the pricier side compared to some other providers.

Plans currently start at $17 per month for dog insurance and $9 per month for cat insurance.

The upper tier plans tend to be pricier than similar plans offered by other insurers. You can earn a $20 discount for purchasing your policy online.

Available Discounts:

  • $10 to $20 off for pet parents who purchase their pet health insurance policy online
  • 5% to 10% corporate employee member discount
  • 10% animal care employee discount
  • 5% military discount
  • 5% discount when adding another
  • 10% discount on your third pet

By paying your entire annual bill up front, you can save $24.

How To File A Claim

PetFirst stands out in the claims department as it is one of the few pet insurance providers that offer a healthy pet discount every year you don’t make a claim.

The claims procedure is standard of most. You pay your vet bill up front, then submit the claims form with all the relevant invoices and receipts by email or fax.

All claims and documents need to be submitted within 90 days of the treatment or invoice date.

There are several options for submitting your claim and veterinary records, including their PetFirst’s online MyPets portal, email, fax, or standard mail.

Once they have processed your claim, PetFirst will send you a reimbursement check by mail from 10 to 14 days from the date they processed your claim (you can always check the status on-line thru the MyPets portal.

When you compare pet insurance, it’s important to read the fine print.

All three Lifetime policies are straightforward, so there’s no confusion about coverage when your pet needs medical care.

Enrollment and Waiting Period

PetFirst has the shortest waiting period for accidents and illnesses!

Pet insurance rarely covers genetic conditions like hip dysplasia within the first year of enrollment.

But PetFirst covers it after only 14 days.

  • Accidents: 1 day
  • Illnesses: 14 days
  • Hip dysplasia: 14 days
  • Patellar luxations: 14 days
  • Cruciate ligaments: 1 year
  • Intervertebral discs: 1 year

Petfirst has a particularly painless and lenient enrollment process when compared to other companies.

First, they do not require a vet exam. And their accident coverage begins midnight the day of enrollment and illness 14 days after.

There is no fee to cancel.

And Petfirst is one of only a handful of companies that has no upper age limit. Cats and dogs of any age can be covered for life.

Your dog or cat must be at least 8 weeks old to enroll and as we mentioned, there is no upper age limit for your pets.

As is standard for most pet insurance providers, PetFirst gives you a 30 day free-look period.

The free-look period means that if you change your mind after enrolling, you can get a full refund.  This helps if you are not sure if your dog or cat’s illness is a pre-existing condition and have time to confirm.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Does PetFirst Cover Cruciate Ligament Issues?

When insuring with PetFirst, cruciate issues are covered for the life of your pet after a 12-month waiting period for our pet insurance plans.

In fact, they will also cover costs for bi-lateral cruciate and recurring cruciate injuries for your pet’s entire life, provided there aren’t any lapses in coverage.

If your pet had a cruciate injury during one policy year, then another in a subsequent policy year and the injury in question is unrelated or secondary to the previous injury, it’s covered, granted it was not pre-existing.

If the condition is pre-existing or manifests within the 12-month wait period, it will not be covered.

The condition will not be covered if it is a result of a pre-existing leg/cruciate injury on the leg in question or the opposite leg.

If your pet has a cruciate injury that is pre-existing but injures another leg after the 12-month waiting period, it will not be covered.

Does Your Pet Need A Vet Exam To Qualify For Coverage?


PetFirst does not require a veterinary exam to qualify for your coverage to begin.

Does PetFirst Offer Any Discounts?

If you enroll multiple pets in a family plan, you can save an average of 30%.

Opt to pay a whole year’s bill at once and save $24.

Have a healthy pet? You may qualify for a one percent discount off your premium for every year your dog or cat goes claim free.

You can also purchase online and receive up to $20 off your purchase.

Does PetFirst Cover Spaying And Neutering?

PetFirst does not cover the cost of spaying and neutering in any other their plans, but they will help you with some of the costs if you have their routine 250 and 400 riders.

You’ll need to have those already in place in order to receive reimbursement for spaying and neutering.

What Is A Pre-Existing Condition?

Pre-existing conditions are accidents or illnesses that have shown signs to be present prior to the start of coverage or during the waiting periods.

A pre-existing condition means that the condition first occurred or showed clinical signs or symptoms (there doesn’t need to be a diagnosis) before your pet’s coverage started (including wait periods).

A pre-existing condition can also be an injury or recurrence of an injury that occurred prior to enrollment or during waiting periods.

All pet insurance companies will not include a pre-existing condition.

How Do You Get In Touch With PetFirst?

You can either go to their site or give them a call Monday through Friday, 8am – 9pm EST and Saturday, 10am – 6pm EST: 866.937.7387.

How Do They Determine What Will Be Considered “Pre-Existing”?

If an accident or illness and the symptoms weren’t present at the time of enrollment or during the waiting periods, the condition is eligible for coverage with us.

They review each case and claim individually, keep in mind that pre-existing conditions may be eligible for review if your veterinarian hasn’t observed any signs or symptoms for a while.

Get a list ready of all your questions and see if PetFirst is the right pet insurance company for you and your pet!

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