Many Americans have at least one pet in the home, and while they might do their best to take care of them, sometimes accidents happen, and a vet needs to get involved. This can be an expensive process, with visits to the vet costing potentially hundreds of dollars.
Like with the regular healthcare system, there does exist a method of mitigating costs, insurance. Several insurance agencies offer pet insurance alongside their other forms of insurance such as home or auto insurance.
One organization that offers pet insurance might surprise you however, and that is Walmart.
Walmart offers pet insurance for both cats and dogs. Generally, the average price is about $35 a month for dogs and $25 a month for cats depending on your pet’s breed and age. Plans are flexible and can be based on the number of pets you have.
You can also sign up to pay on a quarterly or annual basis depending on your financial situation. Numerous options exist for customization, and you can even set what your deductible is.
The insurance offered by Walmart is a new addition, added in 2020, but the vehicle for this insurance is the company PetPlan. PetPlan has been in the pet insurance business for over fifteen years, meaning that the framework for these insurance plans has stood the test of time.
How Much Does It Cost?
Pet insurance offered by Walmart can vary in price depending on the breed and age of your pet, as well as how much you want to have covered.
Walmart offers reimbursement options ranging from seventy percent to ninety percent, as well as how much of a deductible, the price you pay before the insurance kicks in, you want to have.
Their deductible options are $500, $300, and $250. The lower you go with the deductible, the more expensive the plan becomes.
You can also choose a cap on how much the plan will pay out annually, with the options for that being $5,000, $15,000, and even unlimited payouts.
These options can be customized when making your plan, so here are a few examples of ages/breeds, as well as the levels of coverage offered.
Maximum coverage means you have unlimited payouts, the lowest deductible, and ninety percent reimbursement, while minimum coverage means you have the $5,000 payout cap, highest deductible, and seventy percent reimbursement.
Middle coverage has the $15,000 payment cap, $300 deductible, and eighty percent reimbursement.
|Minimum Coverage||Middle Coverage||Maximum Coverage|
|American Bobtail Cat, 3 years old||$20.16 monthly||$25.94 monthly||$48.00 monthly|
|Alaskan Husky Dog, 3 years old||$29.94 monthly||$54.89 monthly||$105.90 monthly|
|Maine Coon Cat, 8 years old||$33.54 monthly||$71.71 monthly||$138.75 monthly|
|Yorkshire Terrier Dog, 8 years old||$56.83 monthly||$107.17 monthly||$210.08 monthly|
|Siamese Cat, 1 year old||$20.16 monthly||$20.16 monthly||$34.76 monthly|
|Shiba Inu Dog, 1 year old||$20.29 monthly||$36.13 monthly||$68.53 monthly|
|Cornish Rex Cat, 5 years old||$20.25 monthly||$41.53 monthly||$78.91 monthly|
|Pug, 5 years old||$48.84 monthly||$91.64 monthly||$179.14 monthly|
The ranges vary widely based on the age, breed and level of coverage desired but there are several constants. Dogs of any breed tend to be more expensive to cover than cats.
Older pets are also more expensive to cover, which is to be expected. American Bulldogs are quite expensive to cover, as one that is five years old will have a plan costing over $300 a month at maximum coverage. You can visit Walmart’s website to get a personalized quote.
What Do They cover?
One of the big concerns about getting insurance is what your plan will cover. Luckily, the pet insurance offered by Walmart is quite robust. Here is a list of what is covered by Walmart’s pet insurance:
- Dental Care- Care for all types of dental issues is covered by Walmart’s plans, whether it is from disease or injury.
- Veterinary Exams- Unexpectedvisits to the Vet are fully covered, including any examination fees. Online Vet visits are also covered on the plan, up to $1,000.
- Cancer Treatments- Medication and treatment for cancer can be prohibitively expensive, but it is covered by this insurance as well. Chemotherapy and radiation fall under this category.
- Chronic/Hereditary Conditions– Diseases that develop due to age or your pet’s genetics are covered as well, especially useful since these ailments can be lifelong.
- Imaging Tests- Tests such as X-rays or CAT scans are covered if your vet deems them necessary,
- Holistic/Alternative Treatments- Walmart’s plans cover treatment options that are considered alternatives to conventional treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and stem-cell treatments.
- Surgery and Rehabilitation- If it is prescribed by your vet, rehabilitation services and surgery fall under the coverage of this plan.
- Kennel Fees- If you become hospitalized and your pet needs to be kept in a kennel, this plan will cover the expense up to $1,000.
- Behavior Therapy– You can get treatments for your pet’s odd/unusual behaviors such as aggression or phobias covered up to $1,000.
- Prescription Medication-Medication that has been prescribed by your vet and is FDA approved is covered by this plan.
- Vacation Cancellation-If you must cut a vacation short, you will be paid up to $1,000 to cover any related expenses.
- Lost Pets– Walmart’s plans with cover up to $1,000 in fees related to advertising or rewards for locating a lost pet. The plan will also payout $1,000 if the pet is not found.
There are some things that do not fall under the plans offered by Walmart, so be aware of these as well if you intend to enroll your pet in one of these plans:
- Pre-existing Conditions- This is the norm for most insurance groups, meaning that conditions that arose before enrollment into the plan will not be covered.
- Routine Vet Visits- The plans offered by Walmart are meant to be a cushion against the unexpected, so annual, or semi-annual checkups are not covered. Spaying and neutering are also not covered.
- Cosmetic/Elective Treatments- Treatments that do not serve a medical purpose are not covered by Walmart’s plans. Ear-docking and declawing are examples of unnecessary procedures.
The range of coverage offered by Walmart’s plans is quite wide, while remaining affordable. What it does not cover is what has come to be expected from the insurance industry, with pre-existing conditions and elective treatments not falling within the coverage offered by the insurance on offer from Walmart.
How much can you save?
The options for reimbursement range from seventy percent all the way to ninety percent, as well as there being an option for a low deductible at $250.
This means that you could potentially cut your emergency pet expenses to about ten percent of what they would have been without coverage. This means thousands of dollars stay in your pocket while your pet will still receive great care.
Some of the pros of signing up for Walmart’s pet insurance are as follows:
- Wide Coverage- Just look earlier in the article to see how much is covered under Walmart’s plans.
- Flexible Plans-You can choose between a wide range of monetary options for deductible, annual payout, and the percentage of reimbursement to control how much you pay monthly.
- Options for Telehealth-Virtual vet visits are covered as well, helpful if you do not live particularly close to a veterinary office but still want to get your animal examined.
There are some issues that might lead you to reconsider enrolling in Walmart’s plan.
- Routine Exams– Routine exams are not covered, and neither is spaying and neutering. While this is not a deal breaker, it is something to consider when looking to Walmart for pet insurance.
- Limits on coverage-Some services are capped at $1,000 of coverage. These include Telehealth visits, behavioral therapy, kennel fees, and reimbursement for vacation expenses if you need to cut a vacation short due to pet injury.
- Slow Reimbursement-Reimbursement is typically paid out within thirty days, which can be a long waiting period if the expense runs into thousands of dollars.
Overall, the plans offered by Walmart are very robust, with only a few gaps in coverage. The cost is also fair, allowing you to care for your pet without breaking the bank.
Comparison with competitors
Walmart is not the only player in the pet insurance game, though it is the newest. There are several competitors that might have plans that fit your needs better.
|Brand||Average cost||What is not covered||Reimbursement speed||Percent Reimbursed|
|Walmart||$25-$35 monthly. Can be higher depending on breed/age.||Pre-existing conditions, routine vet visits, and cosmetic procedures.||Within 30 days.||Reimbursement percent ranges from seventy percent to ninety percent after the deductible.|
|Wagmo Insurance||$20-30 dollars monthly. Can be higher depending on breed/age.||Holistic care, dental surgery, boarding, cosmetic procedures, and pre-existing conditions.||Almost immediately.||Wagmo insurance reimburses one hundred percent after the deductible|
|ASPCA||$30-45 dollars monthly. Can be higher depending on breed/age.||Pre-existing conditions, lost pet advertisement/rewards, routine vet visits.||Between 9 and 30 days||Reimbursement percent ranges from seventy percent to ninety percent after the deductible.|
|PetFirst||$25-35 dollars monthly. Can be higher depending on breed/age.||Behavioral therapy, poison control fees, lost pet advertising/rewards, and pre-existing conditions||Between 10 and 14 days, though it could be longer.||PetFirst has a flat eighty percent reimbursement.|
|Pets Best||$10-35 dollars monthly. Can be higher depending on breed/age.||Rehabilitation, holistic treatment, pre-existing conditions, and behavior therapy.||Within five days||Pets Best offers an eighty percent reimbursement.|
Walmart has a good all-round pricing system, a wide variety of coverage and multiple options for reimbursement. This marks Walmart as a sensible option if you foresee needing veterinary care often. They also offer services not common to other plans like holistic care and behavioral therapy.
Wagmo offers two plans, one for insurance and one for wellness. Their wellness plan is quite cheap, while their insurance plan is in line with other offerings. Their reimbursement speed and amount are both the most impressive aspects of their plans. The insurance lacks dental care and holistic, but this will fall under their wellness plan instead.
ASPCA is a flexible option that is a little bit more expensive on average than other plans but makes up for it in superior coverage to most options. Walmart does have them beat when it comes to reimbursement for lost pets.
PetFirst offers a standard eighty percent reimbursement, while keeping prices in line with other plans. Their speed of reimbursement is superior to Walmart and ASPCA, though they lack coverage for behavioral therapy and lost pet reimbursement.
Pets Best is potentially the cheapest of all plans, though this is due to gaps in coverage. Rehabilitation, behavioral therapy, and holistic care are absent from this plan, though if you can deal with that, the low price is otherwise worth it.
Their reimbursement speed is also quite fast at five days, while their rate is also eighty percent.
Compared with its competitors, Walmart offers the most coverage in a single plan while also staying within the price range set by other parties.
How to Sign Up (Step-by-Step)
Signing up for Walmart’s pet insurance is incredibly easy and can even be done on mobile phones.
- Visit Walmart’s pet insurance website. This gives you more information to look at and leads to the next step.
- Click ‘Get your price’ to be taken to the information screen. Alternatively, you can follow the links in these steps instead.
- Fill out your pet’s information. You will need to know your pet’s age as well as their breed. If you are not sure about their breed or they are a mix, there are options for that as well. The site will also ask the name of your pet.
- Select how much coverage you want.
- Click ‘next’.
- Fill in your name and address.
- Select your payment cycle. You can choose between monthly, quarterly, and annually.
- Fill in your payment information.
- Click ‘submit’.
- Your pet is now insured!