ASPCA Pet Insurance Reviews

While pet insurance may not be something that you consider an important thing to carry, anyone who has ever had a serious bought of illness or an accident with their pet will tell you that having pet insurance would have greatly relieved the burden of treatment.

ASPCA pet insurance reviews give varying opinions, and much like any other insurance plan, there are pros and cons.

In this article, I shall endeavor to give you an idea of what people say about ASPCA and learn more about its coverage:

Click on the links above to go directly to that section of the article.

Pet Insurance for Animals

ASPCA, also known as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and is one of the larger providers of pet insurance.

While this company provides insurance, they are also advocates against animal cruelty among other things.

They are active in fighting against cruelty on many levels and even conduct investigations when abuse is suspected and strong advocates in the fight against dog fighting as an illegal blood sport.

They have volunteer programs and involved with pet adoptions and educate pet owners about animal welfare and have deservedly earned themselves a very healthy credible reputation as a worthwhile organization which is known by just about everyone.

They moved into selling insurance and their good name as a charitable foundation puts them in a position of trust with many who are familiar with the good name the organization has earned itself over the years with its animal advocacy.

That’s a little background about the ASPCA, so we move on to the real topic here of assessing their insurance policies by using reviews to see how others have found them to be as an insurance provider.

When shopping for an insurance plan, this site offers four levels of plans with varying degrees of protection. It is your choice to select the level that is suitable for your pet’s needs and, of course, your budget. It does not necessarily mean that the cheapest cover is the worst pet health care insurance; it’s simply about finding the one that fits with your need and your budget.

All of the plans are set up to reimburse 90% of the customary charges after a simple $100 deductible. They also offer a 10% discount if you enroll multiple pets. Another plus is ASPCA gives you a 30-day money-back guarantee if you do not make any claims within the period.

Understanding what is covered and not covered will make it much easier to select an appropriate plan to avoid frustration later.

Pet Insurance Sample Plans

ASPCA has a 4-level protection plan that you can choose from. Here below, I shall give you the details of a Level 1 package.

Level 1 is a cheap pet insurance package which ASPCA offers that is an Accident only cover, and has a per incident limit of $2,500. The insured will be covered for Accident expenses, including but not limited to:

  • Operating room, sedation and pre-anesthetic blood work, anesthesia, and anesthetic monitoring fees;
  • For humane reasons, expenses to end life such as euthanasia;
  • Extractions of broken teeth;
  • Nursing care and hospitalization;
  • Examinations such as consultations with specialists, first examinations, emergency visits, and for 2nd opinion;
  • Laboratory tests
  • Intravenous (IV) fluids and medications;
  • Medical supplies such as but not limited to casts, bandages, and splints;
  • Poison control consultation fees;
  • Medications prescribed by a Veterinarian and that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA);
  • Surgical Treatment; and,
  • Radiology tests including X-rays, ultrasound, CAT scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

What is NOT covered?

  • Pre-Existing conditions, which includes any disease, illness, injury or change to your pet’s health which first shows indications of or arises: before coverage is effective;during a Waiting Period; or before the current Policy Period. This likewise includes conditions that are secondary, related to, or resulting from a Pre-Existing Condition.
  • Diagnosis, treatment or surgery related to knee and ligament conditions that arise or show signs of within the first 12 months from the effectivity date of your pet’s coverage on a 12-month policy. Knee and ligament conditions include anterior cruciate ligament (acl), medial patella luxation (mpl) lateral collateral ligament (lcl), cranial cruciate ligament (ccl), medial collateral ligament (mcl), or meniscal damage.
  • Any sickness, any wellness care, or any Congenital, Hereditary, or Genetic Conditions including those that are secondary, related to, or arising from any Congenital, Hereditary, or Genetic Condition.

All other general exclusions may be read on ASPCA’s website.

Levels 2, 3 and 4 are the more comprehensive plans that ASPCA offers, and each one has different levels of protection from the other. Click here for detailed information.

Expensive Bills without Pet Insurance

Much like going to the dentist or doctor without insurance, many people choose to wait until the problem has become exacerbated because the cost for treatment is so inflated. How many times have you thought to yourself that your pet needed a checkup or vaccinations, or even treatment for something more serious? Wouldn’t it have been better to have the option for at least minimum coverage?

While premium plans may be overpriced and unnecessary, it may be prudent to get a minimal accidental plan. These usually fall in the price range of less than 20 dollars a month, and should your pet get into some kind of accident, it is good to have that peace of mind.

I wasn’t always a proponent of pet insurance until my little Cocker Spaniel, Sadie, had crawled under my deck one night. I couldn’t find her anywhere. Finally, I heard her crying. She was obviously very sick, and I just could not afford to take her to the vet. I felt so bad with the pain of my decision. She had been bitten by a spider, and I could not treat her.

Fortunately, she recovered. But it was a tenuous several days. I vowed that I would never have a pet again that I couldn’t get medical treatment for. The cost of treatment and medications would have been several hundred dollars, whereas I could have had preventive maintenance for a few dollars each month.

Some of the stories of pets that have benefited from the insurance will make you a believer. ASPCA pet insurance reviews give reports of assistance with animals from shelters with a sketchy medical past, pets struck with a debilitating illness, and assistance for accidents.

Of course, there’s always the other side of the story.


Some pet owners complain that the company denies claims because the vets charge too much for care. With the 80% company payment, they have denied payment. Much like insurance for people, the carrier determines the “allowable” amount to be paid for treatment.

The only problem with this plan is that veterinarians don’t write off the difference. If your vet, for example, charges $300 for a procedure, and the company deems it allows $180, you will only be reimbursed 80% of the allowable amount, which is $144. You are still out the $166.

For some, this is more like a discount program. You get reimbursed, but you have to be careful how much you are depending on. There is no book that gives a statement of allowable expenses.

While most reviews are positive, some users complain that getting a payment from the company is a hassle. For those who don’t keep good records, you may want to in case you ever have a claim.

The biggest recurring complaint in ASPCA pet insurance reviews is the issue of pre-existing conditions. Evidently, if your pet is being treated for a condition at the end of the policy and then the treatment carries over to the renewal period, the new period considers it a pre-existing condition. Several people have had complaints about treatments not being paid once the policy renewed.

One animal was treated the day before the policy renewed, and when follow up treatment was necessary because it was an unclear illness, no more payments were made. The company considers each renewal a completely NEW policy.

Therefore, if your claim is for a treatment on an overlapping policy period you are out of luck.

Going for ASPCA Pet Insurance

Whether or not you decide to insure your pet is a decision you must make based on several factors. How much treatment are you willing to put your pet through, how often will you use it, and what kind of risk factors do you deal with? Use these parameters to determine how much insurance you need, or if you would do better to self insure.

Even after my experience with my cocker spaniel, I’m not one hundred percent sold on owning pet insurance. I do believe that it can be an extremely useful thing to own, but be careful to read the fine print. I think my final decision would be to know I could afford the vet bills with a strong emergency fund. I would possibly own pet insurance and consider it a discount program.

In order to get the most value out of the insurance, make sure your vet is offering services at a reasonable rate. Prices can vary greatly. The range for spay/neuter and shots varies in my area from about $100 up to $300. That price difference makes it worth a little bit of a drive!

When owning a pet, there are always unexpected expenses. Just make sure you read the fine print before you agree to a policy. If considering ASPCA, there are an abundance of ASPCA pet insurance reviews available to reflect on.

At the end of the day, being a responsible pet owner, the most important thing that you can do for your pet is give it the best possible care as humanly possible by getting a good insurance coverage and uphold its rights to enjoy its remaining life as a well-treated animal.

46 thoughts on “ASPCA Pet Insurance Reviews”

  1. I had VPI for almost three years before switching to ASPCA Pet Insurance because I’m a member of ASPCA and so thought if this company is being endorsed by the ASPCA they must be good–WRONG! This company has put my dog through a great deal of unnecessary pain and surgeries.
    They are NOT the ASPCA, but rather an insurance company owned by the Hartville group. However the ASPCA has chosen to endorse them, which is unfortunate.
    In May of 2008 I called the company because I did not understand the online policy (most insurance policies read like Greek). I figured that by calling and speaking to an agent i’d get the correct facts…also WRONG! She told me that my dog would be covered for accident and injury almost immediately, but EVERYTHING else would be covered after 30days. In August my dog tore her CCL/ACL. My local vet recommended that I take her to an orthopedic surgeon an hour away for a TPLO, but when i called ASPCA Pet Health Insurance i was advised that they would not cover it–there was a 12 month exclusion on ACL injuries! I could not afford the TPLO without the help of my insurance ($3,800 with arthescopy) and so had to have the type of procedure my own vet knew how to perform, which was substandard, only because he was willing to take $200 monthly payments and didn’t charge interest. After the surgery I fought with the insurance company (who had an audio tape of my initial conversation with them) and they finally agreed to pay for the procedure. The only problem was that the sub-standard procedure–the one i only went with because ASPCA refused to cover ANY procedure– didn’t work. My dog had to return to the vet to remove the monofilament line, which had broken, and then, just today, I had to take her in for the TPLO that was first recommended by my vet.
    Is ASPCA saying they will pay for all of the procedures my dog’s had to go through just because they refused to pay for the correct one in the first place? Heck no. There is a $3,500 incident limit and this is considered the same incident. In addition to that is the fact (which you mention on this site) that now, because she didn’t get the best procedure in the first place, rather only the one i could afford, the recovery from this incident is lapsing into that “within 180 of renewal” bs, which means they’ll consider this “pre-existing” if she should need the other knee done in a couple of years.
    IN ADDITION to all of this, although the agent told me that, with the Advantage Plan ($420.96 annually), even if an incident falls within that period of time and is considered pre-existing, they will still cover all other things (excluding those deemed pre-existing) when you renew your policy. She said i would still be covered. WRONG AGAIN! I received a letter from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance telling me, basically, that they’ll not allow me to renew my policy because my dog is now considered “high risk.” She’s had only ONE injury!
    This is a really good way to make money, don’t you think? Collect premiums until you need to pay out on a policy–then drop them cuz they’re costing you.
    I’ve had my dog covered since i brought her home at 8weeks, for the very reason that i never wanted to be in a position where i had to make a decision on what was best for her health based on what i could afford. And thanks to ASPCA i was placed in that very position.
    This insurance company is a joke. I’ve written to the president of the ASPCA begging him to reconsider their endorsement. I think their backing of this company is sending people–like me–the message that this is a very good company. It’s not. I even called the ASPCA to report them for cruelty to animals.

    1. Victoria,

      I am very sorry to hear about your case with ASPCA as I am in a VERY similar situation. What steps did you take to contest their decision in order for them to pay on the first surgery??

      Thanks for any advice you can provide.


  2. Your story is heartbreaking. I’ve been with ASPCA since 2007 and have had on edissappointment after another. One of my Vizsals was diagnosed with Doabetes 2 months before our policy was to renew so now it’s considered preexisting and they cover nothing. They have also managed to tie any other treatments or diagnosis back to teh diabetes and will not cover as they are a secondary manifestation of the Diabetes. I’m so disgusted with them. Not to mention out thousands. I like you am in the exact situation I was trying to prevent by going with what I thought was a reputable company with a legacy of advocacy for all animals. I hate to place blame on the ASPCA because they don’t run the company but in a disjointed way I see them as cause for a lot of heartache for so many animal lovers trying to care for their companions.

  3. For those of you who have experienced egregious acts of ,”bad faith” re. ASPCA Pet Health Ins., please phone the CEO of ASPCA (the org. in NY, not the ins. co., complain to him, (Edwin Sayres) about your problems and follow up with appropriate complaints in writing. Sayres’ info is; 212-876-7700, Edwin Sayres, CEO,ASPCA, 424 E. 92nd St., NY, NY

  4. I’m shopping around for pet insurance and on the ASPCA site I noticed that you have the option of “continuing care”–for an extra $5-6/mo you can get diabetes and other long-term illnesses covered, and it also negates the 180-day waiting period. To the Letter-writers above: did you have this and would they still not honor the claims? Or is this a new thing that they wouldn’t let you buy yet? Would the ASPCA insurance be worthwhile if the continuing care works as it’s described in the brochure, in your opinion? I’ve been looking at VPI and Banfield, too, and I’d appreciate other thoughts or other options.

  5. Any of you feel frustrated and want an attorney to write ASPCA a letter on your behalf, please check out my website, for less than $1.2 a day, you can sign up w/ a monthly service, no commitment.

    I was recently dropped by VPI after one of my 4 dogs and cat fallen ill, they decided not to allow me to renew, and now the rest of my dogs are too old to get covered under their policy.

    I think if more of us take a stance, the insurance co will have to change the policy to accommodate us. Unfortunately, you have no rights in this country if you don’t have legal representation.

  6. I’ve had only good experience with ASPCA insurance. My dog ate a bunch of Chunky Bars, and wound up at the emergency vet to avoid raisin toxicity.
    I was reimbursed 80% of “reasonable” costs (like any health insurance company). Their customer service people were great.
    However, if somebody knows of a better plan, I’m all ears.

  7. Karen,
    Your expenses must not have been more than a few hundred dollars, right? They were good about paying their portion of my dog’s annual physicals and shots, too. These are amounts that most of us, when pressed, can afford. These are not the unforeseen expenses we paid several hundreds of dollars to insure ourselves against. When my dog needed a procedure that required $3,500., up front, ASPCA Pet Health refused to pay any portion of it (even though my policy incident limit was $3,500). THOSE are the sorts of expenses for which one buys insurance.
    So it doesn’t impress me that they were willing to pay for…what?…having your dog’s stomach pumped or given charcoal, or whatever. Let’s hope your dog never has any serious problem that will then be considered pre-existing once ASPCA Pet Health drops you because you’re costing them too much (as they did my dog). Heck, unless you took out their ADDITIONAL long term care policy, it will be considered pre-existing to ASPCA your very next policy period!
    Try Trupanion or PetPlan USA. I’ve heard the best reviews on both of these. I cannot tell you from personal experience, though, as my dog’s only problem is still the same leg that is now considered pre-existing by her new insurance company (though had we been able to stay with ASPCA it would ALSO have been considered pre-existing with them, even though the problem first arose while covered by them).
    I’m sorry if it sounds as though I’m minimizing your pet’s incident, I’m not. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to induce vomiting because my dog ate things she wasn’t supposed to eat (she’s very tall and can grab thing off my counter without standing on her hind legs). Either I’ve learned to be much more careful this past year, or we’ve just been very lucky.

  8. Diane,
    I’m sorry, I just now noticed your letter. ASPCA does now have options for continued care (they only offered this on the most expensive plan when I had joined them and never explained that it was not just for long-term/chronic care, but rather for anything that occurred while covered by them), but look at what is being offered very carefully. Please compare other insurance company’s policies. Most do not consider an illness or accident that occurred while covered by them to be pre-existing the following policy period. Your annual incident limit for that continued care with ASPCA is very minimal unless you pay for their most expansive plan. So take how much you’ll be paying for ASPCA’s plan + their continued care and compare it to what other companies charge for their plan alone, which usually includes continued care (make sure to ask about it). Then compare the annual total incident limits for each. If I’m not mistaken, both Trupanion and PetPlan USA have a reasonably large LIFETIME incident limit, which is nice if your pet just has one bad injury-prone year, but otherwise is in good health.

  9. Dear Victoria,
    Actually, my bill was close to $2,000, so after my deductible, ASPCA paid about half.
    Recently, my cat developed thyroid disease,so we’ll see how they reimburse for ongoing blood work and meds. I’ll let you know.
    I also have a new pup now, and after hearing all the stories about ASPCA, will be looking into Trupanion or PetPlan USA for her.

  10. In reply to:
    I am very sorry to hear about your case with ASPCA as I am in a VERY similar situation. What steps did you take to contest their decision in order for them to pay on the first surgery??
    Thanks for any advice you can provide.

    The first thing I did was to appeal ASPCA’s denial–of course, this got me nowhere. The next thing that I did was to file a complaint with my state’s Office of Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). They were the ones to finally get them to pay as per what was promised in my original phone conversation. (It was they who asked me to request a copy of the tape of my original conversation. I hadn’t thought they’d actually give it to me.) The problem was that the entire thing took six months and my dog needed surgery within that time. I had to get an inferior procedure because it was all that I could afford. Unfortunately this procedure (although it is standard for most breeds) did not hold for my jumbo breed dog and so the more expensive procedure was also necessary (the one originally recommended). That’s when I had to take them to court, because the two procedures exceeded my incident limit and my point was that I wouldn’t have needed both procedures if ASPCA had agreed to pay from the beginning as promised.
    So my advice is to first file a complaint with your state’s OCI before taking legal action, cuz they might fix everything for you.
    Good luck!

  11. Guys,
    Well, I don’t know what I did, but I wiped out the last comment I BEGAN to write here—disappeared mid-typing—so it may show up ending mid-sentence.
    This is what I was starting to say:
    How many of you get angry at the hypocrisy in ASPCA’s heart-wrenching ads for donations?
    I know that each time I see one I make a few calls to the number complaining about how their insurance actually ADDS to the cruelty of animals. Needless to say, those at the other end of the line will eventually hang up on me…but in the mean time, I’ve kept some people from donating to such a scam. Perhaps if enough people affect their donations they will re-think their choice of company endorsement.

  12. Hi.
    I have been with ASPCA Petshealth Care Plan for over 10 Years. The 180 Day Preexisting Condition Rule upon Renewal is a Disgrace. This has just been made clear on the Declarations Page of your Policy, and on the website. In the past, this has not been made clear.It used to be Hidden on Page 8 in your Policy. Someone must have lit a fire under the Underwriting Departments Arses.
    In addition, the ASPCA will nickel and dime your claim, and make you jump thru Hoops, in order to weasel out of paying your claim. Their Policy has more than 30 (THIRTY) Exclusions. The 180 Day Pre-Existing Rule should be enough to STOP Everyone from ever purchasing this Disgraceful Insurance for your Loved Ones in the first place.
    While you are trying to take care of your Beloved during very stressful times, the ASPCA Insurance Company will just Compound that Stress.
    Certain procedures are done by the Vet for reasons other than what the ASPCA excludes them for. But PetsHealth will make sure that they do not pay you because they will listen to their own reason for the procedure, and not the intended reason by the Vet, which would have not be excluded under the policy.
    After making you wait for your pennies on the dollar for close to 2 months, The ASPCA will then ask you to file an Appeal, which could take more than another month.
    Stay Away from ASPCA Petshealth Care Insurance. Look into Trupanion, and the other Pet Insurance Companies, as neither of the other Insurance Companies RIP you off with a 180 Day Preexisting Condition Rule upon Renewal, like the ASPCA does.
    Imagine your Dog breaks his Leg on March 15, and your policy renews on March 16…………You are NOT Covered. This is a Disgrace, and this Company should be ASHAMED OF themselves.
    It Behooves me how Anyone could ever purchase this Coverage for their Beloved. I made a Huge mistake when I did, because I did not know that the 180 day Exclusion applied for Existing Customers, because the ASPCA did not make this clear. I called and it was made Very Clear to me, and since then, I have been letting Everyone I know NOT to Buy this Insurance for their Beloved. I have also made it clear to them, what this Disgraceful 180 Day Pre-Existing Condition Rule Upon Renewal Really means.
    And this Disgraceful Company tells you how much they Care for your Pet, and want to take care of them. That’s a bunch of Baloney!!!!
    Again, this Company will make sure they figure a way not to pay the Claim in Full. And when you make ‘some noise,’ they may decide to pay, BUT initially, when it comes to your Claim, their Mantra is Deny, Deny!!!!!! Until you Jump through the Hoops they have set up for you………..and then, and only then, do they Sometimes give you a few more Pennies…………………..

  13. An addition to previous post >>
    My poor cat had an abscess in her mouth that burst through her face. She needed emergency surgery, and had some teeth removed. During her emergency surgery, the Doctor had to remove the abscess material from the other teeth, and clean those teeth in order to inspect them thoroughly, to see if there were any other abscesses in her mouth.
    Of the many procedures that the ASPCA Petshealtsh Care Insurance (Hartville Group) denied, was the cleaning of her teeth, saying it was a ‘Wellness’ procedure, a dental cleaning, which was an exclusion under the Policy!! This was NOT a Wellness Dental Cleaning, this was a possible live sparing surgery, in which the teeth had to be thoroughly inspected. My poor Li’l Girl later passed soon after, from possible complications from the abscess.
    This insurance company is as cold-hearted as they come, and I STRONGLY advise all others to stay away from this Pet Insurance, and for Existing Clients to CANCEL their policies. This company is a DISGRACE!!!
    They interpret procedures, contrary to the reasons they were ordered by the Veterinarian, so that they may be excluded from your claim. DISGUSTING & ABOMINABLE!!!!!

  14. SO after reading a large portion of these comments I will not be renewing my plan with ASPCA Ins. I have been a customer since 08. I have the level 3 coverage, and up until last week have never submitted a cliam for anything but yearly shots. Last week my 4 yr old pitbull had ACL surgery, now according to the paperwork that I have next to me as I write this, her surgery should be covered 80% less my $100 deductible. We were fortunate enough, being that Ava (our dog) was, according to three independent opinions, the perfect candidate for the lateral suture stabilization surgery. So far so good on that front, she is getting better everyday…anyways…I will be extremely interested to see the outcome of this claim. Even before the surgery was performed, I called and spoke with a ins. rep. she told me that as long as the surgery fell within the guidelines of my plan it would be covered. We will see and I’ll be sure to let everyone know.

  15. Chris, I am glad to here that your Ava is doing well. Hopefully The Hartville Group (ASPCA Petshealth insurance) will pay you what you ‘Are’ due, not what they ‘think’ or ‘BS’ what you are due.
    I have a feeling that because the ASPCA Petshealth Insurance have taken some hard hits on the Internet lately, they may be listening finally to their Customers, regarding all of their complaints. I also think they have been losing Customers, and not enrolling the amount of Customers they have been in years past. It took a few years, BUT I think they are Getting the Message, which will result in less manipulation of claims, which will result in larger claim payments.
    The above is just my thoughts on the subject, and I’m not sure if The ASPCA is still paying as little as possible on submitted claims by interpreting the Vet’s Reports in their own language in order to exclude procedures, as they have been doing over the years.
    Let me know how it works out for you.

    Also, imo, even if the ASPCA (Petshealth Insurance, administered by The Hartville Group)is starting to pay legitimately on submitted claims, it’s too little, too late, and Members should still consider looking elsewhere for Insurance for their Beloved Family Members, if only because of the Abominable 180 day Pre-existing Condition Rule which applies towards Policy Renewals!!

  16. so as I said I would do I am reporting the outcome of my claim for my dogs ACL surgery. Of the 2013.00 claimed ASPCA Pet Ins. paid me back 1210.75. That is minus my $100 dollar deductible. Not quite 80%, and I will be getting in touch with them about some of the things I’m sure I will disagree with ( They haven’t posted the breakdown on-line yet, only the aount I will be getting back. ) I was surprised at the amount, I expected it to be less. However, I will be switching co’s at the end of the year. I fear that in the event that Ava needs to have her other knee done at some time, ASPCA will give me fits over covering it. According to the policy they consider these injuries bi-lateral. I assume that means they would consider this a pre-existing condition, or the same occurence.

  17. 63% payout. Not as bad as it could have been, but less than 80% as usual.
    You would be smart as you suggest to switch carriers and not take a chance again with the ASPCA Pet Insurance aka Hartville Group Petshealth Insurance. Good luck with fighting to get back more money. An UPHILL Battle it will be.
    Remember that when you switch carriers, the condition, if it should occur again, would be considered pre-existing, but that would be with most all Pet Insurances. At least you won’t be hustled with the ASPCA aka Hartville Group’s Abominable 180 Pre-Existing BS Rule which applies to Policy Renewals!!

    Good Luck to you and Ava 🙂

  18. Chris,
    My advice to you would depend on whether or not your level 3 coverage, back in 2008, included their new “extended care” policy. If it did, and ASPCA hasn’t dropped you, it might be best for you to stay with them (as much as I’d hate to give you this advice) since your dog’s first knee is now considered pre-existing by ALL other insurance companies. With ASPCA’s extended care plan, this knee and the other knee SHOULD be covered to some extent (call and ask them about it). Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean they might not drop you at some time if they feel your dog’s injuries are costing them too much still. (They did this with MY dog’s CCL injury.) If that $1210.75 was after your deductable, then it was closer to a 65% payment, which isn’t really too bad for a pet insurance company. I’ve heard of worse reimbursements from VPI.
    If, on the other hand, you do NOT have any extended care coverage, then ASPCA will, in fact, consider both knees pre-existing at policy renewal time and you’d be much better off going to another company. PetPlan USA considers the other knee covered after a year from the date of surgery on the first knee. Some other companies will cover the other knee after a 12-month exclusion with their company. ASPCA won’t cover it ever…and now considers both knees pre-existing (bilateral) even though you were covered by them at the time of the first injury…sucks, huh?
    You’re lucky that your dog only required the less-invasive and cheaper procedure. My dog is a jumbo breed and snapped the monofilament line used in your procedure and so required a TPLO. She had to go over 6 months for the right procedure for her size just because ASPCA refused to pay for it. She still toe-touches with that leg at times. Thanks to our economy I can’t find any other job but one as a substitute teacher. If you think teachers make very little…subs make much less with no benefits. I wish I could afford to get more x-rays on my dog’s knee, now, but can’t. Because I had ASPCA Pet insurance, I now have a dog with a pre-existing condition, even though fear of this predicament was the ONLY reason I took out insurance on my perfectly HEALTHY dog to begin with…just chose the wrong insurance company thanks to the ASPCA. I will NEVER donate to that organization again. I had been with another company and switched because I THOUGHT the ASPCA would never endorse a bad company…WRONG

  19. P.s.
    Make sure that you pamper your dog until that other knee is covered, as I’ve heard that 30% of dogs injury their other knee within a year of the first knee’s surgery (which I’m sure is the reason behind everyone’s one year waiting period).

  20. my dog had the same surgery TPLO surgery. he could not go without it. Not to mention, therre is a 50% chance this could happen again. It cost us 2999.99 and that was the better of the two. I don’t know if I want to get this insurance if it don’t pay for catastrophic injuries. I don’t feel like being surprised. Seeing everyones blogs makes me leary about getting insurance. luckily the dogs are healthy but who would ever expect to pay 2999.00 for the above mentioned insurance.

  21. Avoid ASPCA insurance: I subscribed to this insurance plan and every claim was an argument. The few times they paid for anything, it was only 10 percent of the vet’s fee. When the dog had surgery, they paid nothing. I covered the entire $2,400. This company is unethical. I, too, was sucked in by the ASPCA name; it’s phony.

    Our surgeon, Veterinary Orthopedic Sports Medicine Group, was shocked that ASPCA wouldn’t cover a common procedure. He recommended Trupanion and said they had never given his clients a struggle or refusal.

    The jury is still out on them.

    But I give a resounding NO! to ASPCA

  22. Donna,
    Trupanion is a great company, but just be forewarned; they do not pay for examinations. From what I understand, they pretty much pay the percentage they promise, but they don’t seem to emphasize the fact that examinations are not covered. So, for example, if you have a dog who’s torn his/her CCL and requires TPLO surgery, they will cover the surgery, x-rays, and maybe even the meds, but each time you need to return for the vet to examine how your dog’s bones are healing, no part of those exams will be covered.
    I’m with PetPlan USA and they get you another way: their deductable is not for the year, but for the ailment. They cover exams, and pretty much pay the percentage they promise (depending upon which deductable plan one chooses), but it really is only an insurance for accidents or chronic conditions, because unless one chooses to pay enormous premiums for a zero-deductable plan, most pet problems are fixed with one visit and therefore wouldn’t exceed the deductable. Only if one required a return visit for the same problem would the deductable likely be met.
    So, with both plans, of the everyday type of vet visits (ear infections, lethargy, not eating, etc.), the largest portion will not be covered. Only if your pet suffers something ongoing or somewhat catastrophic you pay most of each vet visit with both companies.
    Still, these two companies seem to consistently be rated, by reviewers, among the top three (I think Embrace is the third). All of this pushes me, more and more, toward skipping insurance and putting the premiums in the bank. If something happens prior to saving enough money for an emergency, Care Credit could be used.

  23. Victoria, Thanks for your information. Yes, indeed, I, too, am tempted to say adios to all pet insurance programs. Here’s my only counter: This is our first pedigree (long story there…) a great Cavalier King Charles Spaniel but I’ve been forewarned and it seems to be true that they, like other purebreds, are more delicate than my former troop of mixed breeds. That said, we’re crazy about this absolute loving dog and I’d give nearly anything to keep/get him well and healthy. That said, with the extreme veterinary care available now costing thousands of dollars will I regret it years (with great good luck) from now when an advanced, translated costing big bucks, procedure is available?

    I’m up to about $450 a year now with a $200 deductable–just reduced the deductable from $500.

    Thanks again for all your information.


  24. hmmm…..very interesting.

    I just received a call from ASPCA PetIns. The guy was very nice, very helpful, but I did make know our concerns and this particular website so that they could see how unhappy people are with their service.

    He saiid he was part of a new team that is focusing on customer service and the like. I told him that I thought it was coincidental that they have been doing this recently, especialy in light of all the negative I’ve seen about them.

    Anyways, just thought I’d share.

  25. I wouldn’t hold my breath for any quick changes.
    Until there is a majority of positive Feedback of any changes that ‘MAY’ occur, I urge ALL to shop around.
    If this ‘Guy’ is on the Level, it has been a LONG TIME COMING!!!!

    If this ‘Guy’ is NOT on the level, it is No Surprise.

    Petshealth Care Plan Insurance, The Hartville Group, have been screwing us for years.
    The ASPCA is a HUGE CULPRIT in ALL of this Mess, because of their Endorsement, of which, I believe, there is a Kickback of 10% to the ASPCA Cause.
    While the ASPCA does well for the Welfare of Animals, they should be Ashamed of themselves for Endorsing an Organization which stands for the OPPOSITE of Caring about the Welfare of OUR Beloved Pets.
    The ASPCA should have stepped in a LONG TIME AGO, and put an End to this Abomination. But instead, they have let The Hartville Group, Petshealth Care Plan Insurance continue on their path of Greed, at The Expense of the Health and Lives of OUR Beloved Pets!!!!

  26. Biker1, you are absolutely correct. I told the guy ss much when spoke with him. I informed him that even though I was plesantly surprised with the payout for my dogs acl surgery, my wife and I would be re-examining our policy and deciding on wether or not we will be renewing with them. ( I have no intention of doing so by the way…come march we will be signing up with antother ins. co. which one is yet to be determined.)

    The whole idea of the ASPCA lending it’s name to this co. displeases me. Again, I told the guy as much. I told him that the name ASPCA was what originally drew me to the co. I also informed him of how dissapointed I was with the action that have beeen wrought under that name.

    Anyways, heres to hoping that they get a clue…


  27. Donna,
    I’m with you, but was only grumbling. I, too, can’t afford to be without pet insurance. The more than $600 annual premiums I pay are a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of even the simplest of surgeries today. But what gripes me is that the insurance companies can still get away with treating our pets as chattel– like our cars–dropping us if our pet’s injuries begin to cost them too much. Perhaps centuries ago this would have been fine, but today pets are family members! This is the reason so many are turning to pet insurance in the first place. If we didn’t care so much we would let our pets muddle through their injuries without a visit to the vet, and just have them “put down” when their pain becomes too great. But would we do that with a family member? Of course not (which is why my mother has a medical directive—she thinks I’d keep her “plugged in” forever). But if the U.S. can’t figure out that all of its PEOPLE deserve health coverage, I doubt anything much will be done for our pets. (Sorry, I don’t want any political replies to this. I’m just trying to make a point about pet insurance.) PetPlan USA and Trupanion “claim” they will never drop your pet if the expenses become too great, but…it may require a visit to court with a copy of that taped conversation…who knows?

    Biker 1 and Chris,
    Maybe a year or two ago many of us from this site contacted the president and CEO of the ASPCA (not the insurance company, but the SUPPOSED animal advocacy group)—NUMEROUS TIMES!– telling him to withdraw their endorsement of this insurance company. As you can see, we were ignored. Yes, they get a kick back and that seems to be their only concern. If he truly cared about the cruel treatment of animals more than whether he could get that big bonus, he may have done something. Personally, I contacted the ASPCA and reported them for the cruelty of animals. Needless to say they were surprised—“you’re reporting US for the cruelty of animals?!”—and didn’t know what to do with me. When I explained, they connected me to…ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. *sigh*
    Lately the Subaru advertisements have been angering me. Purchase an Outback (great vehicle, btw) or some other Subaru, I’m not sure, and they will donate $250 to one of five charities—the only animal one, of course, is the ASPCA. I feel like contacting Subaru and complaining…but can’t afford to buy a new vehicle anyway, so my complaints would really fall on deaf ears, I’m sure.
    The Human Societies of America endorses PetPlan, a much more animal-friendly insurance company, and so I’d suggest donating to them, rather than the ASPCA

  28. You may want to contact NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Association.)
    They are very open to listening to the Concerns of Customers who have purchased Pet Insurance for their Beloved.
    If you Google NAPHIA, and contact them, I think you will be extremely pleased with their response.
    The Board Members consist of The CEO’s of some of the Pet insurance Companies we have been discussing, But the Head guy at NAPHIA is not associated with any Insurance Company, and seems to have a Genuine Concern regarding the way these Insurance Company’s do business, and how they can improve their Policy’s.

  29. Hi, I was looking into getting APSCA insurance for a friend of mine who is unemployed and has two dogs – but based on the reviews, it doesn’t seem like a good bet.
    My animals go to a Banfield clinic, and are on their health plan, which covers all routine stuff every year including dental, and gives a 20% discount on everything else. Not as good as real coverage, though, if your pet is seriously ill. My cat had lymphoma (she was euthanized on Jan. 7th) and that cost me a bundle. 🙁

  30. First let me say that I am very sorry about the loss of your beloved.

    As you correctly state, you are better off not referring the ASPCA Insurance to your friend, as your friend may not be your friend shortly after the 1st claim is put in and most likely not paid 🙁

    There are other Pet Insurances available that may suit your friends needs.
    But I would say the ASPCA, aka The Hartville Group Pets Health Insurance is one of the Worst Pet Insurances available. Their 180 Day Pre Existing Condition Policy which includes Policy Renewals is one of the worst Exceptions that any insurance Company can have.
    That alonng with the miserable payouts and excuses for not paying claims makes this insurance company the worst available, imo.

  31. I bought this insurance because og the ASPCA name. What a huge mistake. Paid about $1000.00 per year for my 3 dogs and they covered absolutley nothing. They claimed everything was pre-existing which was a lie.
    I had too many other things going on in my life (financial and health) to fight them.
    THEY RIPPED ME OFF BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. I have had ASPCA pet insurance for a number of years. I was satisfied until my dog became ill and I needed the insurance the most! My dog has been suffering from chronic diarrhea. The vet did several tests to try to establish why this was happening. They paid a claim in November 2010. In December 2010 I submitted another claim for the same issue which was denied because he was supposed to be cured for 180 days before I submitt a claim for that same condition. I had the insurance to cover when he is ill. Then I am told that the reason for the call was to inform me that they made a mistake and shouldn’t have paid the claim in November and could I please reimburse them for their mistake. I had read the reviews prior to signing on with ASPCA insurance and against my better judgement I signed on anyway even though it was in black and white why I shouldn’t. I only have myself to blame but as they say “Buyer Beware”. If you have money you would like to give away the ASPCA pet insurance will gladly take off your hands.

  33. I just received an offer by mail for pet insurance from the ASPCA & just as I was about to call, a friend of mine told me to look for reviews just to be on the safe side. I’m so glad I did that because after reading all your comments, I definitely will not purchase ASPCA insurance. I have two small dogs, miniature schnauzer & yorkshire mixed, both 4yrs old & they’re pretty healthy so far but you never know when you’re going to need some help paying those huge vet bills.

    Thank you all for the advice:)

  34. I have ASPCA insurance as well – I was told by Nathan how everything was covered at 80% where as other companies only cover what they feel is the customary price – He told me they do not do that,everything is covered. I have 2 puppies and I told him the total to spay and neuter them would be $900 – He told me 80% is covered. So I signed up right away and now when submitting my claims, I am finding out they are only covering what they feel is a fair price -Now I am being told by someone else they are only going to consider about 1/2 of the spay and neutering of that as a customary charge, any blood work is not covered, not sure why, so I am lucky to see $200 of reimbursement. I explained to them that is not what I was told – I have spent almost $300 on each puppy- and they are still telling me I havent met my deductible – They are telling me office visits are considered “wellness visits” and are not covered – It seems nothing is covered – This company is definately not what they say they are!!! I cannot wait until my plan expires I will definately be switching – I heard Embrace is one of the best pet insurance plans so I will definatley be switching to them!!!

  35. To continue-I have a female Bijon Frise, 3 yrs old & am very worried about anything happening to her. I just received the ad for ASPCA pet insurance & was about to sign with them but after reading all these comments, I am going to shop around. Thank yu all again.

  36. i have aspca insurance and i just took my dog to the vet today because she not eating at all. she acting normal still and still wants to play but when it comes to food she has no interest. i try to hand feed her or give her a treat but still no interest. i took her to the vet and the doctor said its rare for a dog to react to that so he reccommand blood work and xrays. her xrays came out normal but i have to wait for the blood work tomorrow. if everything comes out normal is there a possible way i wont get anything back.i payed 270 dollars for everything. im seeing all these comments and they are saying its a rip off and no one getting their money back. im hoping thats not going to happen to me because with gas prices its a struggle

  37. I took my dog for a wellness visit. At that time I told the veterinarian that my dog has a lump by one of her nipples. She has not been diagnosed with any illnesses. I find your company quite deceptive in what is covered and what is not. I called on a couple of occasions and asked if a wellness visit would be covered and they said yes. I spoke with someone on June 30th and July 1st to make sure that the plan was effective. I knew that If I were to have my dogs tumor removed that it would not be covered, BUT the other things that the veterinarian and I spoke about (X-rays, blood tests, and being spayed) were done because she had not had anything done before. I have read about your company and wish I would have read more into the reviews your company have received from NUMEROUS unhappy consumers. I will ask that you review the claim again as I will ask the Illinois insurance department review this claim.

    The numbers above are the numbers to the conference calls that I made and that according to your customer service representative and the automated response the phone calls are recorded. I asked what would be covered a wellness visit? Also if she needed to be spayed? would they be covered. Also to make sure if she needed surgery for mass removal would it be covered? For this last question her response was no. I am fine with that! If the customer service representatives do not know how to answer a question by a consumer or beat around the bush for a direct answer, they should not be working. I will not be renewing my pet insurance with your company as I believe you misrepresent your intentions about claims and such forth.

  38. Whatever you do, stay away from this pet insurance through ASPCA. As someone here has already stated, the insurance is not with the ASPCA. It is with an insurance company that the ASPCA has partnered with (for reasons unknown to me.) This is a horrible, horrible, awful, wicked company. My miniature wire-haired dachshund had back surgery in December. The total cost of the surgery was around $5,000. We had the Level 3 insurance coverage which costs a little more but we decided it was worth the extra premium payment per month. We wanted to make sure if anything happened to Baxter we would at least receive some help in the form of reimbursement from the insurance company. Bottom line – over a month after submitting the claim and all the necessary paperwork and not hearing anything from the insurance company I finally called to be told that the claim was denied and that we would be receiving no payment. The woman on the phone was rude and would only continue to repeat the same phrase over and over and over. DO NOT GET INSURANCE WITH THIS COMPANY. RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN. Get insurance with another company or put money away in a savings account out of each paycheck. Do not buy insurance with these people. I am going to reporth them to the Better Business Bureau and the state attorney general.

  39. We had an English Bulldog who developed pneumonia , we had the plan for over a year . The vet charged 900 for treatment they has to keep him and we were told that it is hereditary , after writing several letters we still had to pay out of pocket for his care . Prior to that he had throat surgery that also was noit covered at the cost of 2000.0o , this was breed related . Needless to say we dropped the insurance unfortunately our beloved winston contracted Lymphoma and passed a year ago but on the whole it was not a good experience , we never received a dime for a claim . I am looking into trupanion for my brothers dog now , any comments on this plan ?

  40. ASPCA dropped us due to age –11 and 14.
    We used level 2 accident and illness coverage with aspca for years. We have always been up to date with our payments and no lapse in coverage. The coverage was ok. We didn’t over submit with claims.
    We received a notice last month that our level 2 coverage will be canceled as of september. They were not going to offer that illness policy anymore. But they will sell us accident insurance. Hum.
    I called to inquire as this must be a mistake. We have been clients for years. Our illness and claims are are not out of control. Why would they just drop us? Why aren’t we just being grandfathered in to any new policies with a payment adjustment of course.
    I was told, there was an optional supplemental protection I could have purchased that linked all preexisting conditions from coverage period to coverage period. For example, if dog #1 tore a ligament in jan-july coverage period–say june 15. Got the knee fixed, all was well, then showed up lame in same leg august 15, the next coverage period july-jan, the insurance doesn’t cover since problem happened in 6 months prior to new coverage period. The additional OPTIONAL supplement policy linked the periods so that it would be covered in new policy period.

    We chose not to purchase this extra coverage. The representative went on to say –This year, this optional coverage is now manditory coverage, and in order to continue to have illness insurance, you must purchase this coverage. (we would have been happy to if we must).

    The catch, you can’t purchase it if your dog is over 9. So there you have it. We are dropped due to our age. Again, we would have been happy to pay to additional expense to remain insurace. Nice way for the company to do a little “housekeeping” of all older dogs. Based on this treatment, I would not recommend aspca. thank you for listening. robin

  41. Dear Readers, I just came upon this older posting and wanted to give one more update on pet insurance; this time Trupanion. Yes, indeed, it did not pay for us. We have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, now almost age six, who had one major surgery at 18 months. His other issues were minor but many—everything from eating a piece of pork and becoming ill to a skin alergy? The point is that Trupanion did not pay. They, too, argued every single submission—and these were supposedly covered, etc.. Finally, I’m back to self-insuring. My time and emotional sanity are worth more. Thanks.

  42. I encourage everyone to report bad pet insurance companies to the Attorney General in the state where the company is incorporated. ASPCA Pet Insurance is incorporated in Canton, Ohio. There is an online form at:

    Please also complain to the Canton Better Business Bureau at:

    You can also file a complaint in Small Claims Court in your local area. Please do complain with the Attorney General and BBB to make their practices public knowledge.

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