Companion Protect Pet Insurance Company is a popular pet insurance provider that offers a unique in-network pet insurance model for cats and dogs without any waiting periods. But is it better than other pet insurance companies when it comes to covering the cost of vet visits?
Here’s what you need to know about Companion Protect Pet Insurance:
- How long has Companion Protect been in business?
- Companion Protect Pet Insurance review
- What we like about this coverage
- What could be improved
- Is Companion Protect Pet Insurance worth it?
How long has Companion Protect been in business?
Launched in 2020, Companion Protect is a relative newcomer to the US pet insurance market. With an experienced and innovative team of experts, this privately-owned company from Kansas focuses on providing pet owners with simple, affordable, and comprehensive coverage options for their four-legged friends.
Companion Protect’s policies are underwritten by Liberty Insurance Underwriters, Inc., which has an A rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from BBB**.
Companion Protect Pet Insurance review
Companion Protect Pet Insurance offers one comprehensive but straightforward plan with Accident & Illness coverage. The policy includes a 90% reimbursement rate and covers a long list of unexpected ailments and incidents, including:
- Injuries and illnesses
- Chronic conditions
- Cancer treatments
- Hereditary and congenital conditions
- Orthopedic conditions
- Surgeries and hospitalization
- Vet exam fees
- In-office diagnostics
- Dental treatment for injuries resulting from accidents
- Alternative and holistic therapies (chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, etc.)
- Heartworm and parasite tests (only for diagnostic purposes)
- Prescribed medications and food (50% of the costs)
- Medical supplies
- Tissue or organ transplants deemed medically necessary
Note that for some instances (unless in the case of an emergency), you will need to contact the insurer to determine if they will cover your pet’s treatment. The services that require prior approval include surgeries and hospitalization, hip dysplasia, veterinary specialist fees, veterinary services covered by the policy exceeding $2,500, and tissue or organ transplantations.
Companion Protect is the only pet insurance provider with no waiting period. All other companies require customers to wait between two and 15 days after their policy enrollment date before filing a claim, but Companion Protect has no waiting period for insurance coverage to go into effect for accidents, illnesses, and orthopedic conditions. You will have coverage for your four-legged friend as soon as your policy is active.
However, some treatments require pre-approval, while others, like intervertebral disc disease, can take up to 12 months before your pet is covered.
Like all other pet insurance companies, Companion Protect doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. The list of exclusions also includes:
- Cosmetic and aesthetic procedures like ear cropping, tail docking, declawing, dewclaw removal, and debarking
- Grooming, bathing, and nail clipping
- Breeding, pregnancy, whelping, or nursing
- Injuries and illnesses that developed because the owner failed to vaccinate their pet or failed to provide preventative treatment for them as recommended by a veterinarian
- Treatments or medicines that a veterinarian didn’t administer
- Treatments for injuries intentionally inflicted by the owner or a close family member or purposeful negligence
- Treatments for injuries or conditions caused by activities like organized fighting, security guarding, track or sled racing, coursing, hunting, working, or law enforcement
- Treatments for preventable parasites like fleas, ticks, roundworms, and heartworms
- Preventive procedures like spaying/neutering
- Foods, supplements, and vitamins that a veterinarian does not prescribe
- Pet cloning
- Euthanasia that a veterinarian doesn’t recommend
- Fees for medical waste disposal, taxes, shipping, or postage
- Expenses for transportation to and from the veterinary clinic
Unlike most other pet insurance companies, Companion Protect doesn’t structure the price of insurance premiums around your pet’s breed or gender. The only factors that play a role in the cost of your policy are the pet’s species and location.
There is no option to choose from various deductible and reimbursement levels. Companion Protect pays 80% of all covered services and requires pet parents to pay a $100 deductible per incident. The deductible may be as low as $50 at in-network veterinary offices with a reimbursement rate of 90%.
Finally, the company has a lifetime payout limit of $100,000 ($20,000 in Illinois) that you can use for the duration of your pet’s life. If you exceed this limit, your policy will be automatically canceled.
Companion Protect offers several pet insurance discounts and savings options.
- A multi-pet discount
- A 5% discount for active members of the military and military veterans
- A 10% discount for** **those employed or volunteering in a center designed to help and improve animal lives (including rescue shelters, vet clinics, and foster centers)
- A deal for every pet owner that signs up for coverage as an employee benefit through their workplace
Customers can combine discounts for a maximum of 15% off the premium price. The discount programs aren’t available in all areas, so we recommend contacting Companion Protect for more information.
Claims and reimbursement times
The claim process is very fast when you go through the Vetwork Network, Companion Protect’s network of licensed vets. If you use the services of a veterinarian on the Vetwork map, they will file the claim directly on your behalf so you don’t need to deal with the hassle. When visiting a Vetwork Partner for your approved claim, your out-of-pocket expenses are only the $50 deductible and 10% copay; the rest of the vet bill will be submitted to the insurer for reimbursement.
If you use the services of a veterinarian that is not part of the Vetwork Network, you will need to pay up-front and then submit a claim with Companion Protect. In that case, you will pay a $100 deductible and 20% co-pay to receive 80% reimbursement.
Policyholders will generally get discounted services when they choose a vet in the network, but they are free to take their pet to any licensed vet in the country. Vetwork Partners also provide one free wellness exam a year if the pet is under seven years of age and two free wellness exams a year if the pet is seven years or older.
Payments to in-network veterinarians are processed within a couple of days, whereas if you have used an out-of-network vet, the insurer will process your claim within a few days. If your claim is approved, you will be reimbursed within 30 days, although the average time for reimbursement is between three and five business days.
Companion Protect will reimburse your claim through a mailed check or bank transfer if you opt for a service from an out-of-network vet. If you are using an in-network vet, the provider will handle your bills directly with the vet office.
What we like about this coverage
We love that Companion Protect has no waiting periods, does not increase your premium price as your pet ages, and has no pricing discrimination based upon breed.
The company has affordable premiums that don't increase after making a claim, low deductibles and copays, and coverage that is easy to understand.
Customers can use any licensed veterinarian in the US, regardless of whether it is an in-network or out-of-network vet, although using Vetwork Partners comes with some great benefits.
Another great advantage is that Companion Protect doesn’t impose exclusions for bilateral conditions such as cruciate ligament injuries, knee tissue disorders, luxating patella, etc.
In addition to providing free wellness exams, the insurer also offers end-of-life expense perks. If your pet needs to be euthanized, Companion Protect will cover the costs, even if the cause was a pre-existing condition. The company will also provide up to $250 for the cost of burial or cremation.
What could be improved
One significant disadvantage of Companion Protect is that, unlike other insurers, it lacks a 30-day money-back period during which customers can try the product.
The per-incident deductible is another big drawback. The provider imposes that policyholders should pay the deductible every time they require treatment or procedure for their pet. Other pet insurance companies like Embrace have an annual deductible that only needs to be met once a year, regardless of how many claims are filed.
Companion Protect requires the pet’s full medical history before signing up for a pet insurance policy. If your dog or cat hasn’t had a physical exam within 12 months prior to your application, the insurer might reject your application until you obtain such an examination.
Finally, Companion Protect has a restrictive policy for maximum pet age which states that pets younger than six weeks and those older than 25 years can’t get coverage. However, this age bracket is quite relaxed as it is very rare for a dog or cat to reach the age of 25.
Is Companion Protect Pet Insurance worth it?
Companion Protect is the only pet insurance on the market with no waiting periods and offers instant coverage upon enrollment. Because the company doesn’t price their plans based on breed, this pet insurance may be worth it for owners of dogs that are more susceptible to genetic health issues (and, as a result, more expensive to insure with other providers).
However, Companion Protect’s premiums are slightly high, and the comprehensive insurance plan might be a turn-off for pet parents searching for Accident-Only coverage. Finally, the insurer has some exclusions, such as spay and neutering surgeries, that other companies include within pet wellness plans.
If you feel like Companion Protect doesn’t satisfy all of your pet insurance requirements, our pet insurance advice blog can help you discover tons of other options that offer higher flexibility than Companion Protect. You can also use Pawlicy Advisor to get customized pet insurance plan recommendations based on your pet’s unique details and your personal preferences.