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

Black lab (caption: AKC Pet Insurance Review)The American Kennel Club (AKC) is well-known in the pet world for its expertise in breed, health, and training for dogs. PetPartners, Inc. partnered with AKC in 2003 and administers AKC Pet Insurance.

While both PetPartners and AKC Pet Insurance offer similar pet insurance products, AKC Pet Insurance focuses more on purebred dogs and AKC customers. Find out what an AKC Pet Insurance policy covers in our review below.

Article Overview

AKC Pet Insurance

4 / 5
AKC Pet Insurance
Policy Coverage 4.8
Customer Service & Reputation 4.1
Claim Repayment 3.5
Price of Policy 2.8
Plan Customization 5.0

Pros

  • No vet records or exam required to enroll
  • Optional wellness plan
  • BBB rating: A+ through PetPartners, Inc. (which administers AKC Pet Insurance policies)
  • Your pet is covered when they travel with you in the U.S. or Canada
  • 5% multi-pet discount
  • Claims are typically paid within 7 days

Cons

  • No illness coverage for dogs enrolled after age 9
  • Must purchase coverage for inherited/congenital conditions separately if you want them covered
  • Hip dysplasia and congenital and hereditary conditions are only available for coverage if you enroll your dog before they turn 2
  • $3-$4 monthly transaction fee (depending on state) - highest in the pet insurance space
  • Exam fee coverage is an additional fee

2 yellow dogs in grass (caption: Pet Insurance Reviews)

Alternatives To AKC Pet Insurance

Don’t like the score you’re seeing? Our experts have analyzed over a dozen pet insurance providers. Check out our pet insurance reviews to learn more about this year’s top-ranked companies.

Key Features

  • Underwriter: Independence American Insurance Company
  • Policies administered by PetPartners, Inc.
  • No exam required
  • Bilateral exclusions include cruciate ligament, lameness, and other conditions or diseases that affect both sides of the body
  • Must purchase HereditaryPlus plan if you want hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions (e.g., hip dysplasia, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, etc.) covered. You must enroll your pet in the HereditaryPlus plan before their second birthday.
  • Claims process:
    • Must submit claims within 180 days via email, fax, mail, app, or the online customer portal, and reimbursement is made via check or direct deposit
    • Aims to process claims within 3-5 days, averages 3-7 days
  • The Basic plan has a $500 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 annual. The Custom plan does not have an incident limit.
  • 30-day “Free Look” period (similar to a money-back guarantee)
  • 24/7 Vet Helpline allows pet owners to speak to a licensed vet professional
  • Other discounts available: 5% multi-pet discount, 5% discount for dogs who pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, and a 10% discount for puppies coming from breeders who participate in the AKC Bred with H.E.A.R.T or AKC Breeder of Merit programs
  • TailTrax app (Android | iOS) allows access to pet insurance portal so you can view your policy documents, submit a claim, and more
  • The three most common claims paid out by AKC Pet Insurance are:
  • Doesn’t offer pre-approval of estimates/procedures in advance of treatment

Pre-Existing Conditions

Defined by AKC Pet Insurance 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 Date, Coverage Period or during the Waiting Period.

Customer Service HoursAKC Waiting Period Chart

  • Phone and email: Monday – Friday: 8:30am-8pm (EST) and Saturday: 10am-3pm (EST)

Waiting Periods

  • 14 days: Illness
  • 180 days: Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • 2 days: Accidents
  • 180 days: Cruciate ligament events
  • 30 days: Hip dysplasia (only covered if you purchase the HereditaryPlus Plan)
  • 30 days: Alternative coverage (acupuncture & chiropractic; physical, hydro, and behavioral therapies)

What Does AKC Pet Insurance Cover?

Please know that none of the pet insurance providers in our comparison cover pre-existing conditions or cremation and burial costs. All of them cover the following items when deemed medically necessary: x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds, cat scans, MRIs, rehabilitation, specialized exams, surgery, hospitalization, emergency care, specialty care, hydrotherapy, chronic conditions, cancer, diagnostic treatment, alternative/holistic therapy, and euthanasia. However, there may be limitations to this coverage, so please check your policy.

ConditionCovered By AKC Pet Insurance
Exam Required To Set Health BaselineX
Behavioral TherapiesCheckmark
Exam FeesExtra Fee
Wellness Care Available For An Extra FeeCheckmark
Non-Routine Dental TreatmentX
Hereditary ConditionsHereditaryPlus Plan*
Congenital ConditionsHereditaryPlus Plan*
Prescription MedicationCheckmark
Breed, Whelping, PregnancyX
Cosmetic Procedures (e.g., Tail Docking, Ear Cropping, Dew Claw Removal) Unless Medically NecessaryX

*HereditaryPlus endorsement is only available for enrolled dogs who are 2-years-old and younger.

Routine Care Coverage

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

 DefenderDefenderPlus
Price Per Month$17$29
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.

  • ExamPlus: Covers primary care vets, emergency hospitals, and specialty clinics
  • HereditaryPlus: Covers heart disease, elbow dysplasia, arthritis, hip dysplasia, diabetes, luxating patella, spondylosis, eye disorders, and more
  • SupportPlus: Covers cremation, burial, urns, and memorialsDog in wheelchair on beach: Canine Hip Dysplasia

Is Hip Dysplasia Covered?

You must purchase the HereditaryPlus Plan for hip dysplasia coverage, and your dog must be enrolled before he’s two years old. There’s an additional 30-day waiting period, as long as your dog doesn’t have any symptoms or signs of pre-existing hip dysplasia.

We’re disappointed that AKC Pet Insurance requires you to purchase an add-on plan to obtain hip dysplasia coverage. Most companies cover hip dysplasia in the standard accident and illness plan offered.

Is My Dog Eligible For AKC Pet Insurance?

All dog breeds are eligible for AKC Pet Insurance. However, there are some age restrictions for coverage through AKC Pet Insurance.

  • Pets must be at least 8 weeks old for coverage to begin
  • Pets must be younger than 2 years old to be enrolled in the hereditary/congenital endorsement
  • Pets must be younger than 5 years old to be enrolled in the SupportPlus endorsement
  • Pets must be younger than 9 years old to be enrolled in accident and illness coverage

Pricing Quotes

We’ve gathered some sample prices from AKC Pet Insurance for its accident and illness coverage plan.

  • Deductibles: start at $100 and go up to $1,000
  • Reimbursement Levels: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Annual Coverage Limit: 2,500 up to unlimited

Below are the prices for random breeds in various locations with different limitations and no upgrades added. Quotes are from December 2020.

BreedLabrador RetrieverEnglish Cocker SpanielGerman ShepherdMixed Breed Cat
Age2 years8 years4 years2 years
LocationFlorida (33601)Illinois (60290)California (90001)Washington D.C. (20001)
Reimbursement Level80%80%90%80%
Annual Deductible$250$500$500$250
Annual LimitUnlimited$7,500$5,000Unlimited
Price Per Month$49.55$71.34$58.05$24.78

You can get personalized price quotes for your pet(s) from reputable companies when you fill out just one short form. You can also visit our pet insurance quotes page to see how the cost of AKC Pet Insurance stacks up against the competition.

Coupon Code

Looking for a AKC Pet Insurance promo code? Click here for the best deal we could find.

Miniature Poodle in green sweater vestReimbursement Examples

Below are two real-life pet insurance claims from AKC Pet Insurance.

Miniature Poodle, 7 Months Old

  • Location: New Jersey
  • Diagnosis: Gastroenteritis
  • Treatment Cost: $2,618.30
  • AKC Pet Insurance Reimbursed: $2,094.56
  • Final Cost For Pet Parent: $523.74

Pomeranian, 1 Year Old

  • Location: Virginia
  • Diagnosis: Bone Fracture
  • Treatment Cost: $4,419.67
  • AKC Pet Insurance Reimbursed: $3,333.99
  • Final Cost For Pet Parent: 1,085.68

AKC Pet Insurance Customer Reviews

Positive Reviews

I’ve known about AKC for years. My experience with them has been great. I had gotten like a free 30-day and it had lapsed and thankfully, I was still in the grace period. I didn’t realize that, but my mom had died and other things had been on my mind. AKC was very kind and let me go ahead and get my policy backdated with no lapse. I was impressed with the understanding and support. – M. of Oh, Consumer Affairs 9/27/2020

thank you AKC and (name redacted) for taking the time to help us with our claims. (Name redacted) thank you for your compassion and patience during this time. You made this difficult time easier for us. Talking to you and getting help with our policy/claims was huge weight off of our shoulders. – Rose F., Trustpilot 12/6/2020

Negative Reviews

We got our first dog and fell into the trap of getting AKC pet insurance instead of a more reputable brand. Our puppy had a severe illness a couple of months later, and not a single cent was reimbursed by the insurance plan – which was above and beyond the basic coverage at about $80/month. So, not only did we have expensive vet bills, but we just flushed nearly $500 down the drain for this “insurance plan.” Our vet clinic couldn’t believe the claims were denied. I am only writing this review to save others from the frustration and financial burden. – Patrick, Consumer Affairs 10/15/2020

So we have been with AKC Pet Insurance for approximately 4 years now, and I honestly could have made a commercial for them. Unfortunately my last claims experience was a bit unsettling. We had a $177 claim that was reimbursed $0. The explanation of benefits said that they did not cover my dog’s diagnosis- but that is alarming as it was an emergent visit. Specifically, our dog began drooling EXCESSIVELY…. I am used to slobber as I favor wrinkly pups, but our puppy was soaking through a full sized towel while trying to sleep, and the drool was pouring out of his mouth when he stood- his neck, chest and paws were soaked. The vet said to bring him in because she feared dehydration could set in, and that perhaps it was some chemical exposure so they wanted to run tests! We got him in, and the tests run indicated that his organs were all functioning properly, and there was no known cause for the excess drooling. They told us to watch him over the weekend and if it continued more tests would be run to check for salivary gland issues. Thankfully it subsided, but the insurance paid nothing on the claim because the only thing the vet could positively note was that he was “shedding” multiple teeth. There was no conclusive diagnosis as to what caused the drooling, so they paid nothing. My concern is that it seems they would encourage owners to wait to seek treatment unless there is some certainty of what is causing a symptom! That is no way to care for a pet! I am shocked at the philosophy so I cannot recommend the product any more. I can say that if you are considering pet insurance, you may want to ask if testing is covered even if results are negative and cannot confirm an immediate diagnosis. – Jean S., Trustpilot 11/13/2020

AKC Pet Insurance Competitors

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 Pet Insurance requires additional fees for coverage we’ve come to expect in a standard pet insurance plan. Find out how AKC Pet Insurance compares against other top pet insurance providers in our pet insurance reviews article.

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