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As of January 2022, Petplan is Fetch by The Dodo. Pricing and coverage are not affected by the name change.
Pet insurance policies can be overly complicated. For pet owners who want a simple, straightforward plan with no frills, there’s Fetch. This provider sells a single policy that covers most of the accidents and illnesses your pet might encounter. While wellness coverage isn’t offered, there are plenty of other perks that are well worth considering.
Fetch by The Dodo, formerly Petplan, was founded in 2003 by a young couple whose sick cat incurred an unexpected $5,000 veterinarian bill. The pair created a plan to offer accident and illness coverage to other pet owners for financial protection from unforeseen events. Fetch now sells this plan in both the United States and Canada; XL Specialty Insurance Company underwrites policies in both countries.
- Many ways to customize: Choose the coverage you need from a combination of three deductibles, three annual limits, and three reimbursement levels.
- Coverage for adverse events: Fetch will reimburse you for a variety of different unexpected costs, such as trip cancellation if your pet becomes sick or boarding fees if you’re admitted to the hospital.
- Helpful online resources: The Fetch website includes in-depth resources on pet health that include informational articles and an insurance provider comparison tool.
- No network limitations: Visit any licensed veterinarian in the United States or Canada, and you’ll be reimbursed according to your policy structure.
- Only one plan available: Fetch offers only one pet insurance policy with no options to add benefits.
- No preventive care coverage: Unlike many pet insurers, Fetch doesn’t sell any form of preventive care coverage.
- Restrictions on older animals: Fetch’s claim to have no upper age limit is accurate; however, those enrolled at age six and up must also undergo a veterinary exam within the 30 days before or after the policy start date. Pets younger than this only need to have an exam within the last twelve months. Fetch will also not reimburse for your pet’s death if they die of an illness and are six years old or older.
Fetch sets itself apart from the competition by offering one single plan and no optional riders for supplemental coverage. The policy includes treatment for most injuries and illnesses, reimbursing expenses such as exam fees, diagnostic tests, treatment, and prescriptions. Certain services like preventive care and elective procedures are excluded from coverage entirely.
|Covered Treatment||Included in Plan|
Since Fetch only sells one policy, pricing is fairly straightforward. Monthly premiums are determined by your pet’s age, breed, and location, in addition to the limit, deductible, and reimbursement amount you choose.
Our Expert Lisa Says
Since Fetch only sells one policy, pricing is fairly straightforward. Monthly premiums are determined by your pet’s age and breed, in addition to the limit, deductible, and reimbursement amount you choose.
A more curious aspect of Fetch’s policy premiums is that a minimum price of $20.16 per month is applied to policies below a certain coverage level. A one-year-old cat, for example, would be charged this rate for coverage with a $5,000 annual max payout, $500 deductible, and 70% reimbursement level. They would also pay this same price for a $5,000 annual max payout, $250 deductible, and 90% reimbursement level.
However, the price does change to $37.84 for the same cat with an unlimited annual payout, a $250 deductible, and a 90% reimbursement level. This means that owners of pets that would typically be less expensive to insure could end up paying the same amount for less coverage.
|Dog: 1 year||$20.16 to $66.71|
|Dog: 3 year||$22.44 to $76.85|
|Dog: 6 year||$35.06 to $125.74|
|Dog: 12 year||$167.60 to $639.13|
|Cat: 1 year||$20.16|
|Cat: 3 year||$20.16 to $46.40|
|Cat: 6 year||$20.50 to $80.05|
|Cat: 12 year||$60.66 to $260.87|
Pet parents who sign up for coverage with Fetch will need to wait 15 days before the policy becomes effective. This is the longest waiting period that insurers typically require; many begin accident benefits just two or three days after the start date. Any knee condition won’t be covered until six months after the enrollment date.
Any condition that showed symptoms before the policy start date or during the applicable waiting period is considered pre-existing and disqualified from coverage. This is standard across all pet insurance plans.
The good news is that Fetch will waive pre-existing limitations on any condition that has shown no clinical signs for at least 12 months. This is certainly beneficial, although many competitors advertise similar policies with curable exclusionary periods as short as six months.
Two different annual limits are available through Fetch, one at $5,000 and one at $15,000, plus a more expensive option with unlimited annual benefits. The lower your annual limit, the less you’ll pay in monthly premiums.
If you’re having trouble choosing an annual limit, add up your veterinarian bills for the past year and give yourself some additional wiggle room for unexpected injuries or illnesses.
Since Fetch doesn’t provide any add-on coverage options, there are several exclusions to the policy that you should know about. No form of preventive care is covered, which includes wellness exams, vaccinations, and microchipping. Fetch also declines to offer reimbursement for end-of-life expenses such as cremation or burial.
Fetch claims on its website that most pet insurance providers don’t cover routine and preventive visits, but this simply isn’t true. Among the pet insurers we’ve reviewed, more than two-thirds offer some form of wellness coverage, usually through an optional preventive care rider.
Fetch’s claims policy is fairly strict, and there are a few guidelines that pet owners are expected to abide by if they want to receive reimbursement for qualified expenses. The most noteworthy is that a veterinarian must be seen within 48 hours of the first sign of any illness or injury. Since some conditions show symptoms gradually and many aren’t urgent, this can be difficult to achieve, especially with the busy schedule of an average working adult. Receipts must then be submitted within 90 days showing the services rendered and proof of payment.
Claims can be filed via the free Fetch app or by downloading a form from your account portal on the provider’s website.
You can reach customer service at Fetch from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST Monday to Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST on Saturday. If you prefer, you can also contact the company by email or live chat.
However, one cause for concern is the prevalence of potentially misleading claims on Fetch’s website. Fetch makes some claims about its competitors that should be taken with a grain of salt. As previously mentioned, the company occasionally misrepresents the availability of wellness coverage among pet insurance companies.
Fetch also uses its illness waiting period as a comparison tool against other insurers but fails to disclose that its accident waiting period is significantly longer than industry averages.
Fetch gets overall positive ratings from third parties. The provider has an A+ rating with the BBB, although dozens of complaints mostly cite billing errors and miscommunications. Fetch’s policy underwriter, XL Specialty Insurance Company, gets an A+ rating from AM Best, indicating superior financial stability.
Competition: Fetch vs. Healthy Paws
Pet insurer Healthy Paws takes a similar approach to Fetch in only offering one accident and illness plan with no policy upgrades. Since both cover similar types of treatment, we compared monthly premiums to see how the costs added up. For an unlimited policy with 80% reimbursement and a $250 annual deductible, Healthy Paws came in 30% cheaper than Fetch. This just shows how important it is to compare quotes using your pet’s information and a standard level of coverage.
|Fetch by The Dodo||Healthy Paws|
|Animals Covered||Dogs and cats||Dogs and cats|
|Example Cost||$42.36 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, no annual limit, and a $250 deductible||$29.39 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, no annual limit, and a $250 deductible|
|Coverage Type||Accident and illness||Accident and illness|
|Waiting Period||Injuries: 15 days; Illnesses: 15 days||Injuries: 15 days; Illnesses: 15 days|
There are plenty of things to like about Fetch; the provider’s single policy is straightforward and easy to understand, and customization is still available by adjusting coverage levels. Reimbursement is also available for non-standard expenses like trip cancellations and owner hospitalization. Still, you should keep in mind that wellness coverage isn’t even an option and will require purchasing a separate policy from another provider if this is something you need.
Every pet insurance provider offers unique types of coverage, so our methodology for reviewing pet insurance companies uses a quantitative scoring method to review them all on a standardized basis. Our model takes information such as pricing, benefits, and exclusions into consideration, ensuring each policy matches the level of coverage you expect for your pet. We also evaluate providers using customer service and financial strength data from third parties to help aid our assessment.