Healthy Paws vs Pets Best: A Tight Race to the Finish

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Healthy Paws vs Pets BestThis is the tightest race we had this year in our pet insurance rankings, but in the end we chose a winner between Healthy Paws and Pets Best. We explain our reasoning below but want to remind you that you should always get quotes for your unique pet. If coverage is similar (as it is for these 2 companies), then price may play a larger role in your decision-making process.

Visit Healthy Paws’ Website | Visit Pets Best’s Website

Policy Coverage

The table below shows specifically what is and isn’t covered by Healthy Paws and Pets Best.

 HealthyPawsPets Best
Overall Ranking in our Pet Insurance Reviews1st2nd
Blood TestsCheckmarkCheckmark
MRICheckmarkCheckmark
RehabilitationCheckmarkCheckmark
SurgeryCheckmarkCheckmark
Hip Dysplasia Waiting Period12 Months*14 Days
ACL Waiting Period15 Days6 Months
HospitalizationCheckmarkCheckmark
Emergency CareCheckmarkCheckmark
Specialty CareCheckmarkCheckmark
Pre-Existing Conditions
Check Ups, Vaccinations, Spay/Neuter, Teeth CleaningExtra Fee
Non-Routine Dental TreatmentCheckmarkCheckmark
Chronic ConditionsCheckmarkCheckmark
Illnesses Waiting Period15 Days14 Days
Accidents Waiting Period15 Days3 Days
Hereditary ConditionsCheckmarkCheckmark
Congenital ConditionsCheckmarkCheckmark
Diagnostic TreatmentCheckmarkCheckmark
Alternative/Holistic TherapyCheckmarkCheckmark
Behavioral TherapyCovers related exam fees & RX meds
Prescription MedicationsCheckmarkCheckmark
Exam FeesCheckmark
Enrollment Fee$25
30-Day Money Back GuaranteeCheckmarkCheckmark
Claim LimitsUnlimited$5,000 or Unlimited
BBB RatingA+A+
UnderwriterWestchester Fire Insurance Company/ChubbAmerican Pet Insurance Company
A.M. Best RatingA++Unrated
No Exam Required to Set Baseline for Pet's HealthCheckmark

*Healthy Paws only offers hip dysplasia coverage to dogs enrolled before the age of 6.

To summarize, Pets Best requires no exam to set your pet’s health baseline, covers exam fees, offers wellness options and has a shorter accident waiting period. One of our favorite things about Healthy Paws is that it only offers unlimited lifetime benefits to its customers because it feels strongly that your pet should always be covered. However, it gets points deducted for not accepting dogs older than 14 for coverage.

Pets Best logoWinner: Pets Best

Customer Service & Reputation

Healthy Paws has one of the best reputations in the pet insurance business. The majority of Healthy Paws and Pets Best customer complaints are from customers who, unfortunately, didn’t read or understand their policy.

Complaints include the companies not paying a claim during a waiting period, not paying as much of a claim due to the deductible and reimbursement level selected, not covering pre-existing conditions, etc. We can’t fault Healthy Paws or Pets Best for these complaints because there are similar complaints about all pet insurance providers.

Instead, we hope to inform pet parents on the terms of pet insurance, so that they understand fully what is and is not covered when they purchase pet insurance. This is something we think all pet insurance providers can help with as well.

Pets Best has slightly more negative reviews online than Healthy Paws. We think part of these negative

Person holding phone next to dog: Customer Service & Reputation Winner

Pets Best reviews may be due to the company changing its underwriter in the past. Pets Best still has great customer service and reputation; it’s just that Healthy Paws has a better reputation.

Another reason we think Healthy Paws is the winner of this category is that Healthy Paws leads the pet insurance providers with positive changes, whereas Pets Best seems to react to competitors to keep up with the competition. While we think it’s great that both companies offer excellent customer service and coverage, we want to point out that Healthy Paws has been consistent with its performance longer than Pets Best and led the industry as the first company to offer unlimited claim limits.

Healthy Paws logoWinner: Healthy Paws

Timeliness Of Claim Repayment

Doctor's office papers: Timeliness Of Claim Repayment

Healthy Paws pays 99% of its claims within 2 days while Pets Best averages about an 8-day claim repayment or less. Both timelines are among the shortest when compared to other pet insurance companies.

Both companies have a history of repaying claims in a timely fashion, with Healthy Paws having a slightly better reputation. So we declare Healthy Paws the winner of this category.

We’d like to mention that Pets Best is currently experiencing longer claim repayment averages (25 to 40 days) because of the increase in customers. We are keeping an eye on this and will update our content as things change.

Healthy Paws logoWinner: Healthy Paws

Price Of Policy

This category was tricky for us to declare a winner. For the most part, both companies are priced similarly in terms of monthly premiums. Below are some quotes we pulled on December 16, 2019. All information is for pets without a microchip, no multi-pet discount and no pre-existing conditions.

 BreedBirthdayGenderLocationDeductibleReimbursement %Annual MaximumPrice Per Month
Healthy PawsYorkshire TerrierDecember 2016MaleOhio (43205)$10080%Unlimited$30.93
Pets BestYorkshire TerrierDecember 2016MaleOhio (43205)$10080%Unlimited$31.05
Healthy PawsYorkshire TerrierDecember 2016MaleOhio (43205)$10090%Unlimited$38.62
Pets BestYorkshire TerrierDecember 2016MaleOhio (43205)$10090%Unlimited$34.50
Healthy PawsLabrador RetrieverApril 2016FemaleCalifornia (90024)$25080%Unlimited$82.60
Pets BestLabrador RetrieverApril 2016FemaleCalifornia (90024)$25080%Unlimited$75.35
Healthy PawsMedium Mixed BreedJanuary 2014FemaleIllinois (60604)$50070%Unlimited$39.03
Pets BestMedium Mixed BreedJanuary 2014FemaleIllinois (60604)$50070%Unlimited$29.69
Healthy PawsMedium Mixed BreedJanuary 2014FemaleIllinois (60604)$25070%Unlimited$45.91
Pets BestMedium Mixed BreedJanuary 2014FemaleIllinois (60604)$25070%Unlimited$40.90
Healthy PawsAmerican Pitbull TerrierSeptember 2017MaleNew York (10012)$50070%Unlimited$63.52
Pets BestAmerican Pitbull TerrierSeptember 2017MaleNew York (10012)$50070%Unlimited$45.49

Dog laying next to money: (text in image: pricing winner)When we ran additional price quotes, Healthy Paws was consistently among the 4 least expensive, and Pets Best was either the least expensive or among the 3 least expensive. The quotes can be very similar between these two companies.

Additionally, Healthy Paws requires a one-time fee of $25 and Pets Best has a transaction fee of $2 for every payment. So, while Pets Best was less expensive more often than Healthy Paws, it also has a recurring fee that can make its cost closer to Healthy Paws. This is why we have a tie for this category.

We encourage you to run your own quotes to understand how the pricing stacks up for you and your pet.Healthy Paws & Pets Best logos

Winner: Healthy Paws & Pets Best (Tie)

Coupons

Healthy Paws

Use this link and you will automatically receive up to a 5% discount. The actual discount varies based on individual state regulations. You can also visit our dedicated HealthyPaws promotions page to discuss current offers.

Pets Best

Pets Best offers two discounts that you may be eligible for when you use this link:
  • 5% multi-pet discount
  • 5% discount for military members and their families
You can also visit our dedicated Pets Best promotions page to discuss current offers.

What’s The Verdict?

This was a tough one to compare because we think Healthy Paws and Pets Best are both excellent pet insurance providers. What it ultimately came down to was that Healthy Paws has a more recognizable and established reputation.

Healthy Paws should be on the lookout though; Pets Best is putting up an excellent fight to earn the winner’s spot in our pet insurance reviews. You can learn more about Pets Best and Healthy Paws by reading our individual reviews.

Healthy Paws logoWinner: Healthy Paws

Do you have an experience with Healthy Paws or Pets Best you’d like to share?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories, and more. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs. Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child.

In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly’s research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today. One of Kimberly’s favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds, and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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.
Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Paul
June 1, 2020 10:41 am

My dog’s Healthy Paws monthly rate was raised in the blink of an eye and went from $46/month all the way up to $78/month. She’s a healthy 5 yr old who has never even met her deductible. Customer service has offered no explanation, other than “It is what it is.” Additionally, I used to enjoy the $25 referral bonus for everyone I brought to Healthy Paws. Now they say a donation goes to help shelters, but when I ask for proof, they never provide it.

I will also be switching to Pets Best. I do not like being ripped off.

Brandon Fernandez
April 25, 2020 10:25 pm

I have read this website’s review of HP vs PB as well as HP vs Embrace and I think that it needs some updating. My 3-year-old GSD who I have never filed a claim for costs $53.55/month with a $200 deductible and 90% coverage with HP. If I raised the deductible to $500, then it would go down to $44.59. Now, inputting a $500 deductible and 90% coverage into the elite plan with PB, which covers everything and more than HP covers like exam fees, I would still only be paying $30.28/month…
Even if their payouts take 6 more days, (for me personally) my dog’s expenses would go on a credit card so they just need to pay within the month. Breaking this down, I would be paying $15/month less with no exam fees. Even if their customer service isn’t absolutely top-notch, I haven’t heard horror stories from people being denied.
In my specific situation, PB has a (way) better price and more coverage with timeliness being a non-issue since they will pay within my billing cycle. That means the extra $15/month and exam fees with HP boils down to a history of good customer service? I’m not sure that is a price worth paying for such a subjective measure.

CLK
November 13, 2019 9:58 pm

I have been with Healthy Paws since about 2011. I’ve always had 90% reimbursement with either $250 or $500 deductible. I’ve been a loyal customer with them, having insured 5 dogs with them as well as referring many of my friends, people in my adoption group to them as well as getting my employer to become a partner and offering a 15% discount for employees. This year in September I was told, “Your previous policy with Healthy Paws was provided by Indemnity Insurance Company of North America, which expired on your anniversary date of 11/5/2019. Starting on 11/5/2019, your policy rolled over into a new pet insurance product that is now provided by Westchester Fire Insurance Company.” No where in any document did they tell me that my 15% discount was going away – no where. My dogs are male and female, both sterilized, they are 6 months apart in age. One dog’s premium increased from $59.89 to $79.33, the other increased from $58.50 to $87.75. I am shocked and disgusted. Again, no mention in any document about the loss of my 15% employee partner discount. I am switching to PetsBest where the rates are significantly lower for the same coverage.

Tim from Healthy Paws
December 17, 2019 6:07 pm
Reply to  CLK

CLK,

We truly appreciate we have been able to play a part in the care of your pets since 2011. Pet insurance is regulated at the state level and each state has specific rules and regulations that dictate what discounts can be applied and to what portion of the premium they can be applied. Under the currently approved filing in each state, the maximum available discount is 5%. Discounts cannot be combined to create any discount greater than 5%. Discounts are not available in Hawaii, Tennessee and Minnesota

We also know that no one likes any form of premium increase and that your pending increase with the transition to Westchester Fire Insurance Company is larger than normal. Our management team works hard to keep our premiums as low as possible while still providing comprehensive coverage. New technology, advancements in veterinary treatments, and overall claim costs are taken into consideration when assessing our rates. Premiums are determined based on the rates and rating rules filed and approved within each state’s Department of Insurance. These reflect the cost of treatment, advances in veterinary medicine, your individual pet’s breed, gender, age and other factors, in addition to the overall claims experience for the program within the region your pet resides. As a result, we need to increase the premium level for all pets in your state so you and your pet can have continued access to the best veterinary care. Rest assured, we will never penalize you with higher rates for making claims. All pet insurance companies, no matter how they market their benefits, will raise rates to keep up with the rapidly rising cost of veterinary care. We do our best to be transparent regarding annual premium increases by including this information on the “Frequently Asked Questions” page of our website. We thank you for being a valuable member of the Healthy Paws Family.

The Healthy Paws Team

Sue B
February 21, 2019 3:48 am

Eventually Older Pets Question: if you enroll a pet with Pet’s Best or Healthy Paws at a young age (2), when they reach a certain age does the reimbursement amount drop to 60% or some other max?
Alternatively, do they drop coverage completely at a certain age if your pet has been enrolled?
Do other pet insurances do this?
I currently have Healthy Paws, but the lack of exam fee coverage is really bothering me.
(I have had very senior pets, dogs reaching 13, 14 and almost 15, and incidentally cats reaching 18 years and counting so far)
Thank you!!!

j d
January 29, 2019 5:42 pm

I am right with you M L. I actually already had HP and purchased PB about 3 weeks ago. I have a 1 yr old Great Dane. PB says the premium will go up based on age, breed, and zip code. HP insist they only increase based on claim payouts for the states. Neither will give me an ideas as to how past rates have increased. I am really struggling. It seems like PB may go up more because of the breed I have, but you do have the deductible that you can increase to help offset the monthly fee. HP goes up based on the claim payouts. If that isn’t a lot then its ok, but if it is I’m stuck. The office visit and wellness stuff isn’t important to me because I get the through the actual vet. So I’m really struggling to make a decision and can’t afford to keep both to see what happens.

M L
January 11, 2019 7:56 pm

UPDATE: So I ended up going with Pets Best and here is my reasoning in case anyone else is on the fence between Healthy Paws and Pets Best:

Since the premiums with Healthy Paws (HP) and Pets Best (PB) are basically identical, I found several differences that ultimately swayed me to Pets Best.

Exams: HP doesn’t have any plans that include refunding exam fees and I initially didn’t think much about it, but I soon realized that they are like a “hidden deductible” and can add up quickly. Think about it, you are getting pet insurance in case your pet gets ill or injured and to help with the costs. This will involve at least one office visit and most likely repeat visits. Regular vet exams are in the $50-75 range, while a specialist can be around $100-$150. An emergency clinic can be up to $250! Pets Best lets you add exam coverage for only $2-3 more per month, so it works out to less than the price of just one regular vet exam for the policy year.

Options, options, options!:
You have double the deductible options with PB (50,100,200,250,300,400,500,1000) versus HP (100,200,250,500). I don’t like feeling trapped, so I’d rather have more options in case premiums started getting too high in the future and you are looking to cut costs but not lose coverage. Remember that if you take your pet in for an illness, that illness and anything similar or related to it will most likely be considered a pre-existing condition if you tried to switch companies. Or even worse, your pet could be diagnosed with a chronic condition. Having the option to go as high as a $1000 deductible with PB versus only $500 with HP will put a big dent in your premium and would allow you to at least keep the insurance if you have pre-existing conditions. While it wouldn’t be as useful for smaller costs anymore, you are still covered for the major stuff – which is honestly what this insurance is really for anyway. Also remember you can only increase your deductible and not decrease it (the opposite applies for your co-pay).

Which brings me to my next point, I was initially drawn to HP as I had heard they do not increase premiums as your pet ages – only for increases in veterinary expenses, technology, etc. I also read a recent newspaper article that mentioned this. However, this is simply not true. It may possibly be true in SOME states, but I emailed HP and they sent the following reply: “Your premium is based on your pet’s age, breed and your zip code. In Washington, your pet’s age is a factor when we evaluate your policy annually.” PB clearly mentions on their website that they adjust premiums as your pet ages. Based on this, I figured the chances of premium increases is pretty much equal between the two companies, so adding the coverage for exams will help offset some of those premium increases with PB over HP.

You have more payment options with PB. You can pay monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually versus only monthly with HP. PB does charge $2 per transaction for all but annual payments, so you can save up to $24 a year by doing one of the other payment plans over monthly. It’s important to note that the monthly premiums between the two companies are basically equivalent WITH the $2 monthly fee PB charges INCLUDED (as HP only does monthly billing), so paying any other option does save up to $24 per year over HP premiums. Therefore, the one-time $25 fee HP charges for the first year isn’t factored in and so the first year is $25 more with HP.

Any changes made to your policy in the 30-day review period with PB are backdated to the policy start date. However, with HP it doesn’t go into effect until the following month (as HP only does monthly billing). This essentially doubles the waiting period from 15-days to 30-days. If any claims are made between the original 15-day waiting period and before this next billing cycle payment is processed at the new rate, they clearly state that the claim may not be approved.

The following were additional items I found in favor of PB over HP:
– Shorter waiting periods
– No age restrictions on covered items or enrollment
– PB covers periodontal disease while HP does not
– No exam required beforehand
– You have the option to add a wellness plan at each renewal of your premium if you choose.
– PB includes 24/7 access to Whisker Docs helpline. I’m not sure how helpful this might be, but it is still a welcome addition since both HP And PB don’t have 24/7 customer service.

Anyway, I hope this helps others decide between these two companies if they are stuck deciding like I was. HP does have slightly better reviews, reputation and customer service, but I feel PB just has many more options for the life of the plan that make up for this.

M L
January 14, 2019 5:03 pm
Reply to  M L

Just a couple more things to add!

PB actually lets you choose any deductible in $100 increments up to $1000. For some reason they don’t show this on the website. So the deductibles available are 50, 100, 200, 250, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 and 1000.

The 24/7 Whisker Docs helpline actually costs $129.99 per yr, but is waived as part of your policy. So it’s definitely added value!

PB includes coverage for behavioral conditions, while HP does not.

M L
December 31, 2018 12:18 pm

I’m also torn between these two. Actually, signed up for both so I can research during the 30-day no-risk period. The biggest differences I see are Healthy Paws doesn’t cover exams or periodontal disease, but does cover alternative treatments while Pets Best is the opposite. Healthy Paws has longer waiting periods than Pets Best. If you want to pay monthly, Healthy Paws has no transaction fee, while Pets Best charges $2 per month (waived if pay annually). Although Healthy Pets does have a $25 sign-up fee, but that’s just for the first policy term only and not an ongoing charge like Pets Best.

Healthy Paws has much better reviews and is recommended over Pets Best by pretty much everything I’ve read. This makes me wonder if Pets Best maybe denies more claims or finds ways not to pay out? It also seems Pets Best increases rates more as a pet ages, but hard to tell. I did notice though that Healthy Paws appears to restrict the co-pay / deductible options if you get a quote for an older pet, but Pets Best has the same options no matter what age. I’m not sure if this applies though if you are already enrolled before your pet reaches that age? Honestly, I’d rather go with the company who has better reviews, appears to deny less claims and doesn’t increase premiums as much. So far, leaning towards Healthy Paws…

Deborah
February 21, 2019 5:17 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

I have had Health Paws and been pleased with them, but using your rationale above, while you don’t know how many visits to your vet’s office you’ll be making, you DO know that that Healthy Paws will not cover the cost of the visits themselves.

M L
January 3, 2019 12:10 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Thanks! It’s a big decision as you never know if your pet will develop a chronic condition down the road and then you are pretty much stuck with that insurer. At this point, pretty sure I’m going with Healthy Paws.

Brad D
October 29, 2018 11:07 pm

I am on the fence between these two. They both cost the same for my Goldendoodle who is 1 and I live in Illinois just oustide of St. Louis (across the border, of course) and the prices are almost exact. The deciding factor for me seems to be the fact that Healthy paws does not cover exam/office fees per visit, whereas Pets Best does. Other than that, they literally seem to be the same across the board.

Arby
May 28, 2018 1:30 am

Can you please clarify the hip dysplasia waiting period. At the top of the page you have it listed as 6 months but further down its states 14 days.

Thank you

Arby
May 30, 2018 4:09 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

When was this last updated? I reached out to them a today and asked specifically about the waiting period for hip dysplasia and they said “We have some of the shortest waiting periods available – just 3 days for accidents and 14 days for illnesses (including hip dysplacia) that are not pre-existing to the policy. Routine items covered under our wellness plans will receive coverage next day. There is a 6 month waiting period on cruciate ligament injures.”

Is it really 6 months but they don’t just say 14 days to get people to enroll?

Thanks for the help

Greg
April 16, 2018 9:23 pm

My Healthy Paws policy jumped from $39 per dog to $49 per dog ( monthly). Went to Pet’s Best, and exact same policy was only $34 per dog. Healthy Paws claimed increase because my dog breed ( Schnauzer) cost more per treatment at the vets. I call B.S. Vet doesn’t change rates based on breed for care, that’s absurd.

Anon
April 13, 2018 2:30 pm

I have had Pets Best since 2017. I paid $529 for 2 dogs with unlimited coverage, 90% coverage, and $1000 deductible. We moved in late December to another state which caused my premium to go up $6.25/month. My policy renewed with them this month and it increased to $709/yr for the same two dogs. Taking account for the premium change when we moved states, this was an increase of about $100/yr. I decided to look at healthy paws and see if I could get a cheaper rate. With Healthy Paws unlimited coverage, 80% coverage, and $500 deductible per year, my quote was $1090 for the year. Not sure if this is new for healthy paws, but they definitely aren’t cheaper. They also don’t offer a $1000 deductible, which I prefer because I would rather pay a little more out of pocket to keep my premium down.

Anonymous II
September 17, 2017 4:47 pm

I like the shorter wait periods. If my dog experiences an accident, I don’t want to wait two weeks before getting him care. Plus, given the fact that both companies are very close in pretty much all other regards, I’m tending toward Pets Best.

Cynthia Short
October 20, 2018 8:31 pm
Reply to  Anonymous II

Please note that the waiting periods are one-time from the date of enrollment. You don’t have to wait ever again to get treatments for accidents or illness once the initial waiting period has been met. Hope this helps.

Anonymous
June 23, 2017 6:48 pm

I was on the (dog) fence about this, so I think this convinced me to go with Healthy Paws…