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PetFirst vs Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

When enrolling in a new pet insurance policy, there are many companies to choose from and it can be hard to know where to start.

Comparing Healthy Paws vs PetFirst coverages, benefit limits, deductible options, and pricing can help make this decision. 

As with anything new policy, home, auto or pet, it’s always best to compare what each policy has to offer.

PetFirst and Healthy Paws are a great place to start as they are both top insurance providers with excellent coverage.

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FACT: Pet insurance pays up to 90% of vet bills when your pet is sick or injured!

Comparing PetFirst vs Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

PetFirst Overview:

petfirst logo

PetFirst offers an enrollment process that is easier than most. They do not require a vet exam, and accident coverage starts in 24 hours which is quicker than most other providers.

PetFirst does not have an upper age limit on enrollment and there are no waiting periods for a few conditions many other providers just don’t cover.

PetFirst also has a healthy pet discount for every year you don’t make a claim!  The upper-tier plans are a bit on the pricier side and the company does not offer unlimited coverage.

Healthy Paws Overview:


Healthy Paws is one of the top pet insurance companies and most popular among veterinarians.

Healthy Paws has no limit to how much its plan will pay out each year, and a 15-day waiting period for injury and illness coverage. It offers comprehensive illness and accident coverage which is our favorite and unlimited benefits with no caps on the claims.

And all of this is included in their standard plan!

Healthy Paws has an excellent customer satisfaction rating (an A+) and the highest-rated and most reviews.

PetFirst coverage includes all of the following:

Medical Conditions:

Accidental, Illness, Hereditary, Congenital, Cancer, Chronic, Accidental Dental

Medical Treatments:

Diagnostic Testing, Surgery, Hospitalization, Prescription Medications, Emergency Care, Specialty Care, Alternative Care, Behavioral Care, Physical Therapy.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws coverage includes all of the following:

Medical Conditions:

Accidental, Illness, Hereditary, Congenital, Cancer, Chronic, Accidental Dental

Medical Treatments:

Diagnostic Testing, Surgery, Hospitalization, Prescription Medications, Emergency Care, Specialty Care, Alternative Care

Healthy Paws also covers treatments for hip dysplasia for pets under age six if it is not a pre-existing condition.




PetFirst Coverage Details

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.  Healthy Paws has a 12-month waiting period for hip dysplasia.

PetFirst 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.

You can choose from three routine wellness packages that can be utilized to help offset some of the veterinary expenses you know you are going to incur.

Your pet is covered anywhere in the United States, so if you travel and your pet gets ill or injured, it’s nice to know that you can get affordable care while away.

PetFirst is unique in that holistic care is included in all three of their Lifetime plans at no extra cost. Most of the other pet insurance companies, including Healthy Paws, only offer alternative treatment coverage at an additional fee or optional rider.

Holistic coverage includes treatment like chiropractic work, hydrotherapy, and other alternative treatments and medications if the treatment you choose is offered by a licensed veterinarian.

Therefore, PetFirst is a great choice for older pets who might need hydrotherapy or other alternative treatment.

Healthy Paws Coverage Details

Healthy Paws covers cats and dogs with one of the most comprehensive coverage policies available without any limits or caps on coverage.

Their policies cover all accidents and illnesses, and there are no restrictions for hereditary or congenital conditions, including cancer.

The policy also covers emergency care, hospital stays, and surgeries. All of their plans cover up to 90 % of your veterinary bill and is based on actual costs.

Healthy Paws doesn’t have any limit as to how much they will pay out each year, and it typically has a 15-day waiting period for injury and illness coverage.

This can really help if your dog or cat has an emergency situation and the hospital bill is bigger than you thought it would be.

It’s reassuring to know that even if another emergency occurred in the same calendar year, you would still be covered because their payout plan is for your pet’s lifetime and unlimited!

With Healthy Paws, you will have continuous, seamless coverage for the life of the policy.

Real Cost Savings from Nationwide Clients


Nationwide insurance saved his parents


Senta got a bone disease called hypertrophic osteodystrophy. Therapy and drug treatment cost $7,770. Senta is now back to his playful self.

Healthy Paws vs Pet First Benefit Limits

PetFirst does not restrict you to per incident or per illness limits which is great, but they do have annual limits.

PetFirst lets you choose $5,000, $10,000, and $20,000. This is the maximum amount PetFirst will reimburse you per policy year.

While the $5,000 limit plan has a monthly deductible in the average pet insurance price range, 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 which is a great benefit if you have a dog or cat that has an illness that needs to have a continuous treatment like cancer or diabetes.

The higher the benefit level equates to a higher premium.

Healthy Paws vs PetFirst is one of the few insurers that offer policies with no limits or caps, including annual, lifetime, or per incident caps.

While other pet insurance policies offer unlimited benefits, it typically is with their most expensive plans.

With Healthy Paws, the unlimited benefit option is included in their standard plan which is an excellent option whereas PetFirst tops at $20,000.

As with other pet insurance policies, as long as the condition your dog or cat is being treated for is not a pre-existing condition, they will pay your entire bill (or 80 – 90 % of it).

That really gives you peace of mind when a serious pet injury can cost as much as $15,000 or more.

Pet First vs Healthy Paws Deductibles Compared

PetFirst offers flexible deductibles of $50, $100, $250, and $500. Not many other pet insurance providers offer the option of such a low deductible.

If you do choose the lower deductible, it would translate into a higher premium, but it could be a viable option if you know you can afford to fit the monthly premium into your budget, but not sure about the extra cash for a higher deductible.

PetFirst allows you to upgrade or downgrade coverage at any time during your policy which is a nice benefit and unusual among pet insurance providers.

Further, since they don’t have a per-condition limit, if your dog has an ear infection, for example, you only pay a deductible for the first treatment. 

Every further vet visit about the ear infection, PetFirst will pay you back the full reimbursement percentage of the amount you paid at the vet.

Healthy Paws offers an annual deductible which you pay once per year.  You can choose the level of deductible, which can help you control your premium costs.

The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

Healthy Paws allows you to choose the deductible that works the best of you and your needs. 

Deductibles can be set at $100, $250, and $500 (the highest).  

Therefore, if you choose the $100 deductible you’ll get a higher payout per incident, but you are going to be paying a higher monthly premium as well.




Reimbursement Compared To Healthy Paws vs PetFirst

Healthy Paws offers reimbursement levels of 70%, 80%, or 90% and they reimburse you based on the actual veterinary bill after you have met your deductible (and your co-pay). 

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

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

Pricing Pet First vs HealthPaws

PetFirst’s lower annual limit plans offer pretty much average monthly deductibles when compared to similar plans. However, their higher limit plans are on the pricier side compared to some other providers.

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, and a 5 % discount when adding another pet and a 10% discount on your third pet!

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

The average starting premium for dogs is $17 and for cats is $9 per month.

Healthy Paws plans are reasonably priced plans when you take into account that they have no limits of any kind and offer a customized payout percentage and deductible model.

There are 10% lifetime discounts offered for the following:

Animal Welfare Volunteers, Association or Alumni Organizations, membership groups such as:

  • AAA
  • AARP
  • Costco
  • Military service.

They offer a 15 % lifetime discount for employer-sponsored plans.

The average starting premium for dogs is $32.80 and for cats is $17.19.

Sample Quotes For Healthy Paws vs PetFirst

All of these quotes when possible used the following factors in calculating the estimated pet insurance premium cost for your dog in 2021. 

When possible the data we entered for these prices was as follows; a female, puppy under the age of 12 months, with unlimited coverage (or max offered when unlimited not an option), a $500 deductible, and 70% reimbursement. We did not include the wellness checkup add-on when available. 

Keep in mind that insurance rates are ever-changing and what seems like minor changes such as, your zip code or breed can actually make a major impact on the cost of pet insurance. 

These Pet Insurance Company Price charts are a good tool, not a guarantee of rates, do your own research before you buy. 

*PetFirst first monthly payment has an additional $10-$15 startup fee, the number in this chart is the monthly cost after paying the first-month extra charge.

**Trupanion only offers 90% reimbursement, all other companies’ sample quotes are based on a 70% reimbursement policy which is why Trupanion may appear to cost more. 

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance vs PetFirst – Small Mixed Breed Costs Compared

CompanyMonthly Premium
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance$20.37
PetFirst Pet Insurance$31.05

Medium Crossbred Dogs Price Differences For Pet First Pet Insurance vs Healthy Paws

CompanyMonthly Premium
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance$29.71
PetFirst Pet Insurance$34.17

Comparison Of Cost For Large Mixed Breed Dogs – Healthy Paws vs PetFirst

CompanyMonthly Premium
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance$36.05
PetFirst Pet Insurance$40.40

Labrador Retriever Costs PetFirst Insurance vs Healthy Paws Insurance

CompanyMonthly Premium
PetFirst Pet Insurance$41.36
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance$43.89

German Shepherd Costs Pet First vs Healthy Paws

CompanyMonthly Premium
PetFirst Pet Insurance$37.22
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance$43.89

Poodle Costs Healthy Paws Insurance vs PetFirst Pet Insurance

CompanyMonthly Premium
PetFirst Pet Insurance$34.79
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance$36.05

Beagle Costs Healthy Paws Pet Insurance vs PetFirst

CompanyMonthly Premium
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance$32.63
PetFirst Pet Insurance$42.55

Dachshund Costs Healthy Paws vs PetFirst Insurance

CompanyMonthly Premium
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance$32.63
PetFirst Pet Insurance$36.28

HealthyPaws vs PetFirst is a great price comparison because each company offers the best prices is breed categories. 

Generally, if you have a mutt, crossbreed, or mixed-breed, you will find better rates with Healthy Paws. 

However, if you have a medium to large-sized purebred dog there is a good chance that PetFirst will be a bit cheaper. 

Healthy Paws tends to have better rates for smaller purebred dogs than Pet First. 

Enrollment and Waiting Periods HealthyPaws vs Pet First

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 while with Healthy Paws is 12 months.

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.

Healthy Paws starting age for pets is eight weeks and older.

They do have an upper age of coverage which is 13 years old.  Healthy paws has a 15 day waiting period for accidents and illnesses.

The waiting period for hip dysplasia is 12 months.

Healthy Paws vs PetFirst Claims and Service

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.

In fact, PetFirst does not increase your premium due to the number of claims you filed during the year.

Therefore, if your dog or cat has to see the vet multiple times for a specific illness or injury, you aren’t penalized for it.

The claims procedure is standard of most. 

You pay your vet bill upfront, then submit the claims form with all the relevant invoices and receipts by email or fax.

There are several options for submitting your claim and veterinary records, including their Pet First’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.

Healthy Paws is known for reimbursing its claims fast and with as little fuss as possible compared to other pet insurance companies.

Their customer support is efficient and courteous and available 7 days a week (but not after hours).

Claims are generally processed within a few days.

Both Healthy Paws and PetFirst are excellent pet insurance companies with differences mostly in the benefit limits and age limits.

If you are looking to get a quote from another top pet insurance company, check out our top pet insurance companies.

Other articles you may find helpful: 

Is Exotic Pet Insurance Necessary? 

The Best Pet Insurance By State 

What Is Pet Insurance?

Fun Facts, Dog FAQ’s, And Unsolicited Dog Advice

5 Training Commands to Save Your Dog’s Life

The Ultimate Guide to Safe Foods for Dogs

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Cat Health Problems

Cat Breeds

You may find helpful one of our other Best Pet Insurance Reviews which include over 35 top insurers compared with cheap and affordable pet insurance and discounted mixed breed pet insurance

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