As a pet owner, the health of your furry friend can feel as important as your own, which is why pet insurance can be a smart investment to ensure the protection of your pet during accidents and illnesses. It can also provide peace of mind that you won’t have to pay expensive, unexpected veterinary bills out of pocket.
Keep reading to learn about American Kennel Club (AKC) Pet Insurance and its history, insurance coverage, pricing, and customer satisfaction, in addition to how it stacks up against the best pet insurance companies in the industry.
AKC Pet Insurance has been in operation since 2003 and is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. It provides pet health insurance policies administered by PetPartners, Inc. that are underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company and Independent American Insurance Company.
Through a strategic partnership, PetPartners uses the AKC (registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States) brand and logo as a way to connect with pet owners across the country and share the same vision to advance the health and well-being of all pets. In 2017, PetPartners was acquired by the IHC Group, which is a financially strong company with an A- (excellent) rating according to AM Best.
Pros & Cons of AKC Pet Insurance
|✔ Doesn’t have an age limit for older pets||✘ Charges a $3-per-month service fee|
|✔ Has a 30-day money-back guarantee||✘ Only offers accident coverage for pets with a certain medical history|
|✔ Offers a per-incident deductible option to help lower premiums||✘ Doesn’t cover hereditary or congenital conditions in standard policies|
Our Rating for AKC Pet Insurance
We compared AKC Pet Insurance to other companies in the industry on key metrics, including customer service, reputation, coverage, plan options, affordability, and eligible species, giving it a score of 89.5 out of 100. We like the provider’s overall coverage and plan customizability, from multiple deductible and annual limit choices to a selection of four to five add-ons.
However, we found that AKC’s plans can be complicated and come with limitations. For example, its accident-only plan is only offered to pets with a certain medical history, and the coverage limits and deductibles aren’t customizable. AKC’s accident and illness coverage is the only option for healthy pets. Additionally, the extra coverage option for hereditary conditions is only available to pets under two years of age.
AKC Pet Insurance Plans and Coverage
AKC Pet Insurance offers two plans: the CompanionCare Plan and the AccidentCare Plan. Rather than letting customers choose between the two plans, AKC Pet Insurance only offers the AccidentCare Plan to pets with certain diseases, and the CompanionCare Plan is only for healthy pets.
The AccidentCare Plan is only available to pets that have been diagnosed with or shown symptoms of diabetes, Cushing’s disease, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), or feline leukemia virus (FELV). This plan includes coverage for procedures, treatments, and vet bills related to the following:
- Toxic ingestions
- Eye injuries
- Broken bones
- Snake bites
- Bee stings
- Bite wounds
The CompanionCare Plan isn’t available to pets with diabetes, Cushing’s disease, FIV, or FELV. It covers all accidents in the AccidentCare Plan in addition to the following conditions:
- Digestive issues
- ACL injuries
- Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) if manifested after coverage starts
- General illnesses
The covered treatments, procedures, and other expenses for both plans’ eligible incidents or conditions can include:
- Prescription medications
- Emergency or specialist care
- Physical therapy
- CT scans
- Laboratory tests
For additional coverage options, pet owners can add ExamPlus to pay for vet visits and exam fees and SupportPlus for end-of-life expenses for an additional $2–$8 extra per month. Pet owners who purchase the CompanionCare Plan and have animals under two years old also have access to HereditaryPlus, which covers hereditary and congenital conditions, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and heart disease, that aren’t included in the standard plan.
Customers can also add the Defender or DefenderPlus add-ons to their plan for preventative care coverage. Here are the covered expenses and the per-item limits for each add-on:
Wellness Plans Coverage Limits
|Dental cleaning or spay/neuter||$0||$150|
|Blood or fecal exam||$50||$70|
|Urinalysis or early renal damage (ERD) test||$15||$25|
AKC Pet Insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, which it defines in a sample policy as “any illness or injury which occurred, reoccurred, existed, or showed symptoms, whether or not diagnosed by a veterinarian, prior to the pet original start data, coverage period, or during the waiting period.” This means that any conditions that show up before your policy’s coverage officially begins are considered pre-existing conditions.
Here are a few other items that are excluded from AKC Pet Insurance policies:
- Exam fees (unless you add ExamPlus to your policy)
- Elective procedures
- Cosmetic procedures
- Breeding or pregnancy-related expenses
- Organ or tissue transplants
- Any conditions related to teeth, such as gingivitis or periodontal disease
AKC Pet Insurance Pricing
AKC Pet Insurance prices can vary depending on your dog or cat’s age, breed, and location. If your pet only qualifies for the AccidentCare Plan, you won’t be able to customize your premium, but the CompanionCare Plan offers a handful of options that allow policyholders to only pay for what they need.
Here are some customization options you have with the CompanionCare Plan:
- $100, $250, $300, $400, $500, $600, $750, or $1,000 annual deductibles
- 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement rates
- $2,500, $5,000, $7,500, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, or unlimited annual coverage limits
- $500 per-incident limit
Additionally, the Defender add-on costs an extra flat rate of $17 per month, and the DefenderPlus add-on is an additional $29 per month to your premium.
To give you an idea of pricing for each AKC plan, we listed some examples of sample premiums below. These quotes are for four-year-old animals of various species and breeds located in Raleigh, North Carolina, with a chosen $500 deductible, 80% reimbursement, and $10,000 annual limit.
Sample Monthly Premiums
|Species/breed||Dog - Medium Mixed||Dog - Golden Retriever||Dog - Yorkshire Terrier||Cat - Domestic Short Hair|
|Species/breed||Dog - Medium Mixed||Dog - Golden Retriever||Dog - Yorkshire Terrier||Cat - Domestic Short Hair|
AKC offers a 5% discount for adding more than one pet to your policy. It also offers a 10% discount on your premium if you have a puppy that comes from a breeder that participates in the AKC Breeder of Merit Program or the AKC Bred with H.E.A.R.T. Program. These qualifying breeders can offer a specific group discount code when you take home your new pet.
Note: These discounted premiums aren’t available in Florida, Washington, or Tennessee.
AKC State Availability
AKC Pet Insurance policies are available in all 50 states. However, the exact details of your policy may vary depending on your ZIP code. Review the details in your policy before purchasing coverage to ensure you’re receiving the protection you need.
AKC Pet Insurance Reviews
Although AKC Pet Insurance doesn’t have its own Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, its administrator, PetPartners, Inc., has an A+ rating and accreditation with the organization. The company’s profile doesn’t show many reviews from customers, so we checked other third-party review sites, such as Yelp and Trustpilot, to learn what customers had to say about their experience with the provider.
Reviews from satisfied customers typically mention affordable rates and an easy claims filing process, whereas unsatisfied customers complain about denied claims and a hard-to-reach customer service team.
Here are some AKC Pet Insurance reviews from Trustpilot:
“Our [six-month-old] puppy swallowed part of a Nylabone and began to vomit throughout the day. An expensive trip to an emergency vet hospital followed. Our pup received an exam, X-rays, and medication and was fine within a couple of days. We filed a claim, which was easy to do, and received information about our coverage within days. Our insurance covered a large part of the expenses. Very happy with our insurance and their customer service.” — Amy M.
“I have paid over $1,100 per year for pet insurance for my [two] AKC-registered canines for [six] years. Recently I came home to my Rottweiler yelping in agony. After a trip to the emergency vet for [an] initial assessment, we took him to his regular vet the following morning. He had prostatitis and needed an emergency neutering to relieve the pressure. After filing my claim, AKC Pet Insurance reimbursed me $0.00!” — Lou D.
Although AKC offers decent coverage for your dog or cat and provides more plan options and add-ons than most pet insurance providers, it limits protection based on your pet’s health, medical history, or age. For example, you’ll only be offered an accident-only plan if your pet has been diagnosed with or shown symptoms of certain diseases, and your pet won’t get access to coverage on hereditary conditions if it’s more than two years old.
Compare Pet Insurance Companies
|Get a quote||Not available through This Old House||Lemonade.com||HealthyPawsPetInsurance.com|
|Sample monthly premium*||$28.17||$18.50||$45.88|
|Number of plans and add-on options||7||3||1|
|Waiting period||2 days for accidents and 14 days for illnesses||2 days for accidents and 14 days for illnesses||15 days for accidents and 15 days for illnesses|
|Customer service||Email and phone with limited hours||Email and chat on mobile app||Phone, email, and live chat with limited hours|
*Based on sample quotes for a mixed four-year-old dog in Raleigh, North Carolina
**Based on scores pulled from each company’s BBB profile as of May 6, 2021
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews team is dedicated to thorough, in-depth reviews of each product or service that we detail in our content. Determined to build trust with our readers through transparency, accuracy, and accountability, we’ve built a detailed rating system to score pet insurance brands. Included in this methodology are the following six factors with their respective scoring weights:
- Coverage (25)
- Plan options (20)
- Monthly cost (20)
- Company reputation (15)
- Customer service (10)
- Species eligibility (10)
Our researchers keep all data in each company’s score up to date, making any changes to our content when necessary to provide our readers with the most accurate information on relevant metrics, such as plan options, customer service, reputation, and monthly cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does AKC Pet Insurance cover pre-existing conditions?
AKC doesn’t cover any pre-existing conditions that have occurred or re-occurred before enrollment or during the dedicated waiting periods. This means you’ll only be covered for future conditions or incidents after purchasing a policy.
How long are the waiting periods for AKC Pet Insurance plans?
AKC Pet Insurance has a short waiting period of two days for accidents, but its illness waiting period is 14 days, which is in line with the industry standard.
How much does AKC Pet Insurance cost?
The price of your AKC policy can vary depending on your pet’s details and location, in addition to your customizable selection for reimbursement percentages, deductibles, and annual limits. However, we found that average premiums for the CompanionCare Plan typically range from $25–$50 per month for dogs and $13–$25 per month for cats.
How do I file a claim with AKC?
The process for filing a claim on your policy starts with filling out a claim form and submitting it along with any vet bill invoices and other relevant documents through email, postal mail, fax, or the AKC customer portal. The claim will be assigned to a representative within two business days of the submission. A representative will reach out to you for any additional information and a decision on the payout.
How do I reach AKC’s customer service?
AKC Pet Insurance can be reached by email or phone. The customer service call center is open during the following hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST. It’s closed on Sundays and major holidays.
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