AKC Pet Insurance Review: Does It Offer The Best Coverage At The Lowest Price?

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Dog looking upThe American Kennel Club (AKC) is well-known in the pet world for its expertise in breed, health and training for dogs. It started offering pet insurance in 2003, but did it spread itself too thin offering less coverage at a higher price? That’s exactly what we’ll dive into here.

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Article Overview

Key Features

  • Underwriter: American Pet Insurance Company (same as Pets Best & Trupanion)
  • This pet insurance policy is also commonly sold under the brand name PetPartners
  • No exam required
  • Pre-existing conditions defined by AKC:
    • any Illness or injury which occurred, reoccurred, existed or showed Symptoms, whether or not diagnosed by a Veterinarian, prior to the Pet Original Start Date, Coverage Period or during the Waiting Period.
  • Bi-lateral exclusions include cruciate ligament, lameness and other conditions or diseases that affect both sides of the body
  • Claims are typically paid within 5-14 days, although it allows up to 30 days
  • Claims must be submitted within 180 days
  • 30-day “Free Look” period (similar to a money back guarantee)

AKC Review

3.3 / 5
AKC Review
Policy Coverage 3.3
Customer Service & Reputation 3.0
Timeliness of Claim Payment 3.8
Price of Policy 3.3

Pros

  • No vet records or exam required to enroll
  • Option to add on a wellness plan, exam fee, euthanasia and hereditary condition coverages
  • BBB rating: A+ through PetPartners, Inc. (AKC’s other name)
  • Your pet is covered when they travel with you in the United States or Canada
  • 5% multi-pet discount

Cons

  • No illness coverage for dogs enrolled after age 9
  • 14-day waiting period for illness, 2 days for accidents
  • Coverage for inherited/congenital conditions must be purchased additionally
  • Hip dysplasia and congenital and hereditary conditions are only available for coverage if you enroll your dog at 2-years-old or younger
  • Limits per incident reimbursements over the lifetime of the pet
  • $4 transaction fee, highest in this comparison
  • Among the most expensive
  • 6-month waiting period for CCL injuries

What Is And Isn’t Covered By AKC?

Covered by AKCNot Covered by AKC
SurgeriesPre-existing conditions
HospitalizationCosmetic procedures
CancerNail trim, grooming
Prescription medicationsPregnancy and whelping costs
Diagnostic treatment and testing (x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds, etc.)
Accidents
Illnesses
Chronic conditions
Specialty care
Emergency care
Rehabilitation
Behavioral therapies
Alternative/Holistic treatment
Vaccinations, titer test, flea control, heartworm medication, de-worming (Optional DefenderPlus Coverage)
Spay/neuter procedures (Optional DefenderPlus Coverage)
Hereditary and congenital conditions (Optional HereditaryPlus Coverage)
Exam fees (Optional ExamPlus
Coverage)
Wellness and routine care (Optional DefenderPlus Coverage)

Routine Care Coverage

AKC Pet Insurance offers 2 wellness care plans shown in the table below. Included are the maximum amounts that AKC Pet Insurance will pay for that specific routine care.

 DefenderDefenderPlus
Price Per Month$16$26
Rabies$15$15
Flea/Tick Prevention$50$65
Heartworm Prevention$30$30
Vaccination/Titer$30$40
Wellness Exam$50$50
Heartworm Test of FELV Screen$25$30
Blood, Fecal, Parasite Exam$50$70
Microchip$20$40
Urinalysis or ERD$15$25
Deworming$20$20
Spay/Neuter - Teeth Cleaning$0$150
Total Annual Benefits$305$535

Other Add-On Packages

Prices vary based on the pet insured.

  • Exam: Covers primary care vets, emergency hospitals and specialty clinics.
  • Hereditary: Covers heart disease, elbow dysplasia, arthritis, hip dysplasia, diabetes, luxating patella, spondylosis, eye disorders and more.
  • Final Respects: Covers cremation, burial, urns and memorials.

Coupon Code

There are not any active AKC Pet Insurance coupon codes at this time.

Sample AKC Price Quotes

We have gathered some sample prices from AKC Insurance for their accident and illness coverage plan.

Sample Dog Quotes

For dogs, you have the option to choose from a wide range of deductibles ($100, $125, $150, $175, $200, $225, $250, $500 or $1,000). You can choose your reimbursement level as well: 80% or 90%. For annual coverage limit you can choose $8,000 to $16,000 (in $1,000 increments) or unlimited.

Some quotes we ran also included an incident limit (which we aren’t fans of because you never know how costly an incident may be). These incident limits are over the lifetime of the pet, not annually. Incident limits included: $1,500, $2,000, $2,500, $3,000, $5,000 and $8,000.

Sample Cat Quotes

For cats, you have the option to choose your deductible, either $100, $250, $300, $400, $500, $600, $750 or $1,000. You can choose your reimbursement level as well: 70%, 80% or 90%. For annual coverage limit you can choose $2,500, $7,500, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 or unlimited.

Below are the prices for random breeds in various locations with different limitations. Quotes are from July 2018.

BreedLabrador RetrieverEnglish Cocker SpanielGerman ShepherdMixed Breed Cat
Age2 years8 years4 years2 years
LocationFlorida
(zip code: 33601)
Illinois
(zip code: 60290)
California
(zip code: 90001)
Washington D.C.
(zip code: 20001)
Reimbursement Level80%80%90%80%
Annual Deductible$200$500$500$250
Incident Limit$2,500$10,000$5,000N/A
Annual LimitUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Price Per Month$37.67$84.42$61.17$20.60

Is Hip Dysplasia Covered?

Hip dysplasia is only covered if you purchase the InheritedPlus Plan and your dog is enrolled before they reach 2-years-old. There is an additional 180-day waiting period as long as your dog does not have any symptoms or signs of pre-existing hip dysplasia.

We’re disappointed with this because most companies cover hip dysplasia in the standard accident and illness plan offered. Instead, AKC requires you to purchase an add-on plan to obtain hip dysplasia coverage.

Waiting Periods

  • 14-days: Illness
  • 2-days: Accidents
  • 6-months: Cruciate ligament events
  • 180-days: Hip dysplasia (only covered if you purchase InheritedPlus Plan)

What Do People Think Of AKC Pet Insurance?

Positive Reviews

When I registered my puppy through AKC, I saw an advertisement for their pet insurance and I got a policy from them. But after three months of having the policy, I had to cancel it because I couldn’t afford it, although I thought I could. When I contacted them to cancel my policy, my experience with the rep was pretty good. – Christopher, Consumer Affairs 7/10/2018

My 11 month old Yellow Lab was treated for a drug toxicity and I was so afraid the extensive vet bills would certain break me! I was so pleased and relieved when I received a substantial reimbursement on the claim! It was so fast and easy! I would recommend this insurance to anyone. It has already more than paid for itself! – Stacey, Trustpilot 7/10/2018

Negative Reviews

Poor customer experience. Submitted claim on 2/14/2017 and claim was finalized on 05/09/2017. Every time I would ask for clarification on what the policy covered, I would not get a straight answer. Disappointing that it had to take this long to be finalized and still have not been received benefits yet. I talked with Amy (customer service rep) and she could not tell me where or when I would receive, just that the EOB would be mailed out with the check. I talked to supervisor Adam on 5/2/2017 and he told me that I would receive a email of the EOB the next day and that did not happen; lack of communication. I would recommend looking at all your options before going with this company. – Shaun, Consumer Affairs 5/12/2017

I found that there was very little explanation of the plan I purchased and never having had pet insurance I didn’t know the right questions to ask. Not until I needed it to cover a surgical expense was I told the bottom line of the coverage and all the “uncovered” specifics. Also I was never told that the premiums would increase with the age of the pet. They have requested copies of my pets files from the vet and she’s has written numerous letters to obtain coverage of services or prescriptions. It very annoying and time consuming for the vet. The customer service people are always very nice but I would never again purchase an insurance plan from Pet Partners. It is the integrity of the corporation that I have a problem with. My advice for pet owners is to create a savings account for your pet by putting the amount of monthly premiums in that account for future use. – Claudia, Trustpilot 5/16/2018

AKC Competitors

Visit AKC Website

AKC Pet Insurance has some great things going for it. With a big name backing this product, customers are instantly intrigued by its offerings. However, AKC requires additional fees for coverage we’ve come to expect in the standard pet insurance plan.

Find out how AKC compares against other top pet insurance providers in our Pet Insurance Reviews article. We review 10 of the best pet insurance companies.

Why are you considering signing your pet up for AKC pet insurance?

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new pet health insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.
Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She and her husband adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and she has brought so much joy into their lives. Life as pet parents has been very rewarding.

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