Being a pet parent sometimes means dealing with expenses that you might never have anticipated. Recently, MetLife introduced a new pet insurance offering to help pet owners better manage unexpected financial stress and ensure that their beloved pet gets the best care available.
MetLife Pet Insurance offers a wide range of features at various different price points available to both canine and feline pets of all ages and breeds. But the question remains — is it the right choice for your pet?
Keep reading to find out more details about the company’s policies, including pricing, discounts, waiting periods, claims process, and more.
Table of Contents:
- Does MetLife offer pet insurance?
- Overview of Metlife Pet Insurance
- What we like about this coverage
- What could be improved
- Is MetLife’s pet insurance worth it?
Does MetLife offer pet insurance?
The U.S. pet insurance industry worth $2 billion has attracted another major competitor: MetLife. The global insurance and financial service provider joined the ranks of nearly 20 companies that contend in the pet insurance market space, including recent additions such as Lemonade and Pumpkin, the new insurance product from Zoetis.
In December 2019, MetLife acquired PetFirst — an insurance company that has provided coverage for dogs and cats across the US since 2004 — replacing its former partnership with Trupanion. This means that MetLife’s pet insurance policies are taken out directly with PetFirst.
An Overview of MetLife Pet Insurance
MetLife pet insurance covers a wide range of ailments and incidents, including illnesses, accidents, congenital and hereditary conditions, chronic conditions, exam fees, diagnostic tests, x-rays, hospitalizations, surgeries, emergency care, medications, and alternative therapies.
After six months, the insurance also covers cranial cruciate ligament injuries, posterior cruciate ligament injuries, anterior cruciate ligament injuries, and intervertebral disc disease.
Customers also have an option to purchase additional insurance to cover routine wellness and preventative care, including checkups, screening tests, behavioral training, and vaccinations.
Like many other pet insurance providers, MetLife doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. However, the company offers coverage of pre-existing conditions covered by the previous provider for employees who decide to shift their insurance to MetLife.
The list of exclusions also includes breeding, elective procedures, pet food, special diets, and supplements, anal gland expression or removal, grooming, parasite treatment and prevention, illnesses or injuries related to racing, commercial guarding, or organized fighting.
When it comes to pet insurance cost, the price of MetLife Pet Insurance varies based on several different factors, including your pet’s age, breed, and location. Monthly premiums start at $15 for dogs and $9 for cats.
The company allows customers to choose from three different combinations of annual benefit limits ($2,000, $5,000, or $10,000), four reimbursement levels (65%, 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%), and four deductibles ($50, $100, $250, or $500)
Insurance riders can be purchased with total annual benefits from $125 to $575, although each treatment carries its own limit within this amount.
MetLife Pet Insurance is available as an employee benefit at discounted rates of 10% for Employer Groups and 5% for Associations.
There is no discount for going through MetLife to get pet health coverage. While getting all your insurance policies through MetLife is convenient, there’s no discount for bundling pet insurance.
Claims and reimbursement times
MetLife offers a seamless claim submission and tracking process via a mobile app. The claim can also be submitted via their online portal, email, mail, or fax.
PetFirst, the company that provides pet insurance for MetLife, requires claims to be filed within 90 days of treatment by submitting a copy of the vet’s invoice. The company takes about 10 days to process claims, which is much faster than some other pet insurance providers. For instance, with Liberty Mutual’s Pet Insurance, the waiting period for reimbursement is 30 days.
What we like about this coverage
MetLife’s coverage is flexible, with straightforward pricing and deductible savings. The company has very short waiting periods and no breed or age restrictions.
Enrollment is very simple, as is the claim submission and tracking process via mobile app. Claims are processed within ten days, which is quite fast compared to other pet insurance providers.
MetLife Pet Insurance features some of the shortest waiting periods for its policies. Accident coverage and Preventive Care coverage begin on the effective date of your policy, whereas Illness coverage begins 14 days later. For orthopedic conditions like intervertebral disc disease and cruciate ligament injuries, the company requires a six-month waiting period due to the high costs associated with treating these conditions.
In addition, the company covers certain situations that other insurance providers don’t, such as hereditary issues. MetLife’s pet insurance policies also include:
- The opportunity to roll over benefits from the previous year
- Family plans covering multiple pets under one policy
- Access to telehealth concierge services
- Grief counseling
Some pre-existing conditions are also automatically covered when a pet owner who purchases an insurance policy through an employer switches from another provider. Currently, MetLife Pet Insurance is the only company in the industry to offer such a benefit.** **
What could be improved
Unlike most pet insurance providers, MetLife doesn’t have Accident-Only coverage. If you are looking for basic emergency coverage, you will need to look into other insurers.
MetLife doesn’t offer an option for an unlimited annual benefit. The maximum annual limit is $10,000. In addition, each preventive care treatment carries its own annual limit if you purchase a wellness rider.
The trial period is quite short - the company only allows 14 days for customers to decide whether they are satisfied with their policy. Most other insurers have a 30-days money-back guarantee.** **
The waiting period for some orthopedic conditions is six months. While this is similar to many other insurers, there are providers like Liberty Mutual Pet Insurance for instance that have no waiting period for hip dysplasia.
Is MetLife’s pet insurance worth it?
MetLife is great for pet parents who are looking for a simple, easy-to-navigate policy. However, the company doesn’t offer an option for an unlimited annual benefit, so be sure your pet doesn’t need more than $10,000 in annual coverage before purchasing a policy.
Choosing the best insurance for your pet
Many responsible pet parents have chosen to anticipate unexpected incidents and sign up for pet insurance. However, choosing the best pet insurance policy can be quite difficult. There are many elements to consider, such as coverage, cost, the process of reimbursement, etc.
When comparing pet health insurance policies, it’s very important to compare the actual policies instead of the more general descriptions provided on most pet insurance sites. In addition, you should be able to predict your pet’s potential health care needs based on their age, breed, and heredity.
Pawlicy has conducted thorough research and presented findings in a series of unbiased pet insurance reviews that will help pet owners make an informed decision.