Pet Assure is an alternative to pet insurance. Pet Assure members are eligible for a discount on in-house medical services at participating vet clinics. Pet owners can sign up to Pet Assure at any stage of their pet’s lifespan and pretty much start saving straight away on vet care, with no restrictions on age or pre-existing conditions.
Bringing a new pet home can be an exciting time for a family. Pet ownership is a long-term commitment with an ongoing impact on the household budget.. New pet owners may not even think about the benefits of pet insurance plan until years later when their pet’s health starts deteriorating. By then it can be a challenge to find an insurer willing to cover an ageing pet or pre-existing condition, often leaving the concerned owner thousands of dollars out of pocket for vet care.
Pet Assure offers a different option compared to other pet insurance companies. Pet Assure members can enrol their pet at any time during its lifespan and virtually start saving straight away on vet care. Pet Assure can help take the sting out of vet bills with an ongoing discount that any type of pet is eligible for.
What is Pet Assure?
Pet Assure is a company that offers a veterinary discount plan for your pet. Pet Assure members can save 25% on vet care when they show their card at vet surgeries participating in the program. Pet Assure is different to pet insurance. Unlike pet insurance policy there are no waiting periods or exclusions for pre-existing conditions and there is also no age limit.
Pet Assure is unlike traditional pet insurance companies and does not issue insurance policies.
What does Pet Assure cover?
Pet Assure covers all pets, from typical pets like Fluffy and Pooch, to birds and more exotic pets like reptiles and monkeys.
Pet Assure provides discounts on a comprehensive range of services to care for your pet throughout its life. With Pet Assure you can get a 25% discount on in-house services. Preventative care includes discounts on wellness visits, vaccinations, dental exams and cleaning. Diagnostic care includes ultrasound and x-rays. Treatment includes emergency care, sick visits, allergy treatments, and diabetes management. Acute care includes hospitalisation and surgery such as spay/neuter and tumor removal.
Pet Assure also offers a lost pet recovery service with a unique ID tag for your pet.
What do they not cover?
It is important to remember that Pet Assure is for in-house clinical care. Pet Assure doesn’t cover things like pet grooming, boarding or medical care outside of the vet clinic, such as blood tests that get sent to pathology.
Pet Assure also doesn’t cover things you take home from the vet clinic, such as your pet’s prescription medicine or food for pets that need a special diet.
How does it work?
Pet Assure is a discount plan for vet clinics. The way Pet Assure works is, you enrol your pet online and then you pay a monthly fee for the discount plan. Once you are a member and have received your ID card, you can claim a 25% discount on in-house vet clinic charges at participating vet clinics.
There is a Pet Assure app that enables you to download a digital copy of your Pet Assure ID, so it’s easy to access when you need it at the checkout.
How much is the monthly Pet Assure fee?
Currently, Pet Assure is only available as an employee benefit at participating employers. Employers partner with Pet Assure to provide an alternative to pet insurance. Individual employees are then able to enrol their pet with Pet Assure.
The Pet Assure monthly fee is based on a number of factors, such as the size of the pet, how many pets you want to cover and where you live.
The Pet Assure fee ranges from $7.95 to $20 per month per pet. There is no limit to how many pets you can enrol with Pet Assure.
An estimate of the fee is about $10 per month for 1 dog, or $99 per year if paid upfront in a lump sum. The cost for 2 dogs is around $16.95 per month or $149 per year lump sum.
In comparison, traditional pet insurance may cost $12.95 per month and you may get up to 90% of vet costs reimbursed. However, unless you sign up early in your pet’s life you may not be able to find an insurer for older pets or pre-existing conditions. You also run the risk of paying premiums for many years and then end up not making a claim.
What’s the difference between Pet Assure and regular pet insurance?
Pet Assure is an alternative to regular pet insurance. With pet insurance, you can claim up to 90% of the vet bill. Pet Assure gives you a 25% discount on care delivered by your vet. So even with the Pet Assure discount, the bill can end up costing you more at the time compared to a regular pet insurance reimbursement of 90% of the bill, but it’s not just about the bill.
The main difference with pet insurance is the types of restrictions each has. Pet insurers will only cover pets of a certain age, they don’t cover pre-existing conditions and there may be a limit on how much you can claim each year.
Pet Assure has a flat 25% discount on the in-house care your vet gives, with restrictions on “extras” on things like grooming, boarding and medication.
How do I cancel my Pet Assure membership?
If you decide you no longer want to participate in the discount plan, Pet Assure has a cancellation policy. You can cancel your membership and request a refund up to 45 days after enrolling your pet with Pet Assure.
Who owns Pet Assure?
Pet Assure is a privately owned company. Charles Nebenzahl has been the President and CEO of Pet Assure for nearly 16 years. Under his leadership Pet Assure aims to make vet care affordable and vet clinics more profitable.
Where are they based?
Pet Assure Corp head office is based in New Jersey in the US. Pet Assure has grown a network of over 5000 participating vet clinics across the US, Canada, Puerto Rico.
How long has Pet Assure been around?
Pet Assure was founded in 1995 and has been offering pet owners a discount plan for vet care for the last 26 years.
Advantages of Pet Assure
- No waiting periods
- No limit on how often you get the discount
- You can start using your 25% discount as soon as you have your Pet Assure ID
- Use of the lost pet recovery service with a unique ID tag for your pet’s collar
Disadvantages of Pet Assure
- Not all vet clinics participate in the program
- You can’t get a discount on things like blood tests, grooming or prescription medicine
- The price you pay with the discount can still be more expensive than if you had pet insurance
- If you don’t have the ID card at the time you pay your vet bill, you can’t be reimbursed
Verdict – Is Pet Assure a good alternative to Pet Insurance?
Pet Assure may be a good alternative to pet insurance depending on when you sign up for it.
If you sign up for traditional pet insurance from when your pet is little, then odds are in the early years you’ll pay more in premiums than you’ll get back in claims. However, if your pet’s health deteriorates over time and you make a lot of claims, then you may end up ahead financially.
If, like many pet owners, you don’t think about pet insurance until your pet gets sick, then Pet Assure can help reduce costs at a time when vet bills start mounting up.
Another approach may be to have both, but some insurers won’t pay out if you have alternative cover, so read your insurer’s fine print.
Then again, it may be worth not having either, instead putting an equivalent amount of the monthly premiums in your own account and letting it grow over time, so the money is there if you need it.
In conclusion, adding a new pet to the family can be a fun time, however, pet ownership brings with it long-term responsibility and ongoing costs. Traditional pet insurance can help reduce the impact of vet care on your budget. Many pet owners don’t think about pet insurance until they need it, which may be too late to find an insurer willing to provide cover. Pet Assure can help make vet care affordable at a time when bills start mounting and pet owners need it most.