In 2003, the American Kennel Club (AKC) partnered with PetPartners, Inc. to create AKC Pet Insurance, the exclusive pet insurance brand of the AKC. Serving both purebred and mixed-breed dogs and cats, AKC Pet Insurance is a reputable provider of pet insurance that offers some of the best add-on coverage options for pregnancy and breeding-related expenses. The company also stands out for offering coverage for animals with pre-existing conditions after one year of continuous coverage, which is quite rare in the pet insurance industry.
Whether you're searching for the best pet insurance companies or starting the process of learning how to buy pet insurance, there are a variety of factors to consider before making a choice. Read on to learn about AKC Pet Insurance, its plans and pricing, customer satisfaction ratings and how it stacks up against other pet insurance providers.
Best for Breeding and Pregnancy Coverage
AKC Pet Insurance is one of the few providers to offer coverage for pregnancy and breeding-related expenses. Available for both male and female dogs, this add-on insurance option covers a variety of unforeseen complications, accidents and illnesses related to pregnancy, breeding, nursing and whelping. For those expecting a litter, or breeders looking to protect their pets from potential issues, this type of coverage is well worth the investment.
AKC Pet Insurance Pros and Cons
- 30-day free trial of basic accident and illness plan
- Offers coverage for animals with pre-existing conditions
- Comprehensive add-on for breeding and pregnancy available
- Offers unlimited annual coverage option
- Requires additional coverage for congenital and hereditary conditions
- Restricts newly registered pets 8 years or older to accident-only coverage
- 30-day free trial: New customers can take advantage of a 30-day free trial period to experience the coverage and service that AKC Pet Insurance offers. The free 30-day coverage includes no incident limit, 80% reimbursement, a $250 deductible, a max reimbursement of up to $5,000 and no waiting period.
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions: Despite the fact that many insurance companies refuse to cover animals with pre-existing conditions or will deny claims related to them, AKC Pet Insurance stands out for its willingness to do so. In most states, pre-existing conditions that are not congenital or hereditary are covered after 12 months of continuous coverage.
- Breeding and pregnancy coverage: AKC Pet Insurance offers a comprehensive add-on for breeding and pregnancy. This plan covers a variety of services, including emergency C-sections, liver failure and mastitis.
- Unlimited annual coverage: AKC Pet Insurance offers an unlimited annual coverage option for some of its plans.
- Congenital and hereditary conditions: AKC Pet Insurance does not cover congenital or hereditary conditions with any of its base plans and instead requires you to purchase a separate plan for these instances.
- Accident-only coverage for older pets: Unless your pet has already been in continuous coverage with AKC with no missed premium payments, pets 8 years and older will only be eligible for an accident-only coverage plan.
AKC Pet Insurance Plans
AccidentCare is an accident-only plan that covers sudden accidents or injuries due to external causes such as snake bites, sprains, toxic ingestions and broken bones. This plan is offered to pets 8 years or older, or to pets 8 weeks or older who do not qualify for other plans. Some of the medical expenses it covers include:
- X-rays & ultrasound
- CT scan & MRI
- Prescription medications
- Emergency care
- Pet ambulance
AccidentCare comes with a $100 deductible, 90% reimbursement and an unlimited annual limit.
CompanionCare is AKC's standard plan that covers both accidents and illnesses. Alongside covering all of the accident-related expenses listed above, it also covers illnesses such as skin allergies, ear infections and digestive problems. When selecting CompanionCare, you can choose between two plans — the preset Basic plan or a Customized plan.
The cheaper Basic plan has a $100 deductible, 80% reimbursement, a $500 per incident limit and an unlimited annual limit. The Customized plan gives you the freedom to customize your coverage by adjusting deductible amounts between $100 and $1,000, reimbursement levels between 70% and 90%, and annual limits from $2,500 to unlimited. It does not cover the following medical situations and treatments:
- Elective or cosmetic procedures
- Exam fees (unless enrolled in ExamPlus)
- Hereditary or congenital conditions (unless enrolled in HereditaryPlus)
- Costs related to breeding (unless enrolled in BreedingCoverage)
- Routine and wellness care (unless enrolled in Defender/DefenderPlus)
Defender or DefenderPlus
Defender and DefenderPlus are optional add-on plans that offer reimbursement coverage for various forms of routine and wellness care. Each type of care is eligible for a certain amount of annual coverage based on what plan you choose. The Defender plan reimburses for rabies vaccination, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, wellness exams, blood/fecal/parasite exams, microchipping, urinalysis, vaccinations and deworming. The DefenderPlus plan has higher reimbursement levels for these services and also covers spaying and neutering, teeth cleaning and preventive gastropexy.
The optional ExamPlus plan covers exams and visits to primary veterinarians, specialty veterinarians and emergency services and consultations. This coverage is subject to the annual limits and reimbursement levels of the primary coverage plan.
HereditaryPlus is an add-on plan that provides coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions not covered in the primary coverage plan. Examples of covered conditions include the following:
- Heart disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Eye disorders
- Luxating patella
This coverage is subject to the annual limits and reimbursement levels of the primary coverage plan as well as a 30-day waiting period. It is also the cheapest of the optional add-on plans, typically costing between 50 cents and a few dollars per month.
SupportPlus is an add-on plan that provides coverage for end-of-life expenses such as cremation, burial, urns and memorials. Pets must be under the age of 5 to enroll, and the maximum benefit is $300.
The optional BreedingCoverage rider provides coverage for certain illnesses, accidents and complications related to breeding, whelping, nursing and pregnancy. This covers these conditions:
- Emergency c-section
- Liver failure
- Gestational diabetes
BreedingCoverage doesn't cover routine, preventative or elective procedures and also doesn't provide coverage for planned c-sections. Expenses are eligible after 30 days of continuous coverage, and the reimbursement is subject to the deductible and coinsurance of the primary plan.
AKC Pet Insurance Pricing
As with any insurance, AKC pet insurance pricing varies depending on your pet's age, breed and where you live. For pets that only qualify for AccidentCare coverage, the monthly premium is relatively inexpensive, starting between $5 and $10 for young dogs ($3 to $8 for young cats) and steadily increasing up to $40 to $50 per month for exceptionally senior dogs ($20 to $30 for older cats). The following are some of the important components that influence the cost of AKC Pet Insurance coverage:
- Annual deductible: This is the amount you are responsible for paying before insurance kicks in. Higher deductibles result in lower monthly premiums.
- Reimbursement percentages: This is the amount of each eligible vet bill that the insurance reimburses you for.
- Annual coverage limit: This is the maximum amount of money the insurance will reimburse you for in a calendar year.
- Per incident limit: This is the maximum amount the insurance will reimburse you for a single incident or illness. The basic CompanionCare policy offers this, and the maximum is $500.
- Age: Older pets will cost more to insure.
- Breed: Some breeds are more prone to certain hereditary and congenital conditions than others, so the monthly premium will be higher for those breeds.
- Zip code: Insurance premiums vary by location due to regional veterinary costs and the local pet population density.
- Optional riders: Riders are additional coverage options you can add to your plan. Examples from AKC include breeding coverage, exam coverage and coverage for hereditary conditions.
Pet owners interested in coverage can easily get a quote via the online AKC pet insurance portal. A 5% discount is available for customers that insure more than one pet. There are also 10% discounts available on full-term policies for breeders who participate in the AKC Breeder of Merit Program and the AKC Bred with H.E.A.R.T Program.
AKC Pet Insurance Financial Stability
The Independence American Insurance Company underwrites all of the plans from AKC Pet Insurance. The company's rating is “A-” (Excellent) with A.M. Best. This rating, based on the company’s financial strength and stability, suggests that it is a financially stable organization likely to be able to meet its financial obligations.
AKC Pet Insurance Accessibility
AKC Pet Insurance is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, although the 30-day free trial, breeding coverage and hereditary coverage are not available or subject to certain restrictions in some states (i.e., NY, CA, FL and WA). AKC pet insurance waiting periods also vary by state.
Customers, or those wanting more info, can contact AKC pet insurance customer service by phone at 1-866-725-2747. Company representatives are available from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. There is also a contact form on the company's contact page that allows customers to send an email message.
Overall, AKC Pet Insurance's website is well-designed and user-friendly. The site includes an AKC pet insurance quote tool, comprehensive FAQs, recent example payouts to customers, a dedicated page for every type of coverage offered and easy-to-understand sample policies. A 24/7 vet helpline page connects policyholders to support services by licensed veterinary professionals via live chat or phone.
AKC Pet Insurance Customer Satisfaction
Customer reviews regarding AKC from various online review sites are generally positive. Customers often praise the company for offering comprehensive coverage at reasonable rates, providing helpful customer service and paying out full benefits up to their policies' stated limits (unlimited in some cases). The company is also quick to address customer complaints on these sites, showing a commitment to customer service.
AKC Pet Insurance FAQ
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How We Evaluated AKC Pet Insurance
In order to evaluate AKC Pet Insurance, we looked at several criteria ranging from policy coverage and pricing to customer service and financial stability. Here's a breakdown of what we considered:
- Policy coverage: We looked at the types of coverage offered, annual limits, deductibles, the availability of optional riders and more.
- Pricing: We compared AKC Pet Insurance's rates with those of other pet insurance providers.
- Customer reviews: We examined the company's customer service ratings and reviews to get an idea of what kind of experience people were having with the company.
- Financial stability: We looked at ratings from A.M. Best to determine the financial stability of AKC Pet Insurance's underwriter.
- Accessibility: We researched where AKC Pet Insurance's policies are available and what types of pets the company insures.
- User experience: We scrutinized the company's website to determine how easy it was to find and understand insurance-related information.
Summary of Money's AKC Pet Insurance Review
While it may not make the list of the best cheap pet insurance companies, American Kennel Club insurance is a solid choice for pet owners who want customizable coverage, good customer service and reasonable premiums. A financially stable insurer backs the company's policies and the website makes it easy to quickly obtain policy quotes. Due to discounts offered, AKC makes for an attractive choice for pet owners participating in various AKC breeder programs. The company also stands out for its coverage of pre-existing conditions and rider options for breeding and pregnancy.