Deceptive, Unresponsive; Left My Dog Unprotected

Out of 10

In May 2009, my mother found out her Jack Russell had tumors that required extensive surgery. This incident prompted me to begin researching a health plan for my Yorkie Brewster to make sure she was protected. I performed extensive research before selecting a plan. After reading stellar reviews and feedback from existing PetPlan members, I decided to select PetPlan. The initial enrollment process was fast and simple. However, that is where the positive experience ends.
I purchased my plan on June 9, 2009, pre-paid for quarterly coverage and was charged after the 24 hour hold on June 10, 2009. A few weeks later Brewster began experiencing urinary issues, so on June 24 I took her to our local vet. Thus, it is important to note that the vet visit was after the two week waiting period. It was simply coincidental that the vet visit was on the day after the plan went into effect. The vet diagnosed Brewster with a mild bladder infection and prescribed some meds. Given the fee was only $70 we didn’t bother submitting it to PetPlan. After two weeks, Brewster still wasn’t well so we returned to the vet, who issued a different prescription. After another three weeks, she still wasn’t improving, so we returned to the vet who advised we begin costly testing. After checking with PetPlan, who told me specifically the procedures were covered, we moved forward with the testing to determine what was wrong. The tests ultimately showed Brewster had a stone in her bladder that had to be surgically removed. At this point we had spent around $800 with the surgery estimated to cost more than $1000. We submitted a claim for the $800 for the initial fees incurred, and I again called and spoke with PetPlan to confirm the next surgical procedure would be covered.

Brewster went into surgery today, on August 31 at 7 a.m. When I got home from work, I received a letter from PetPlan saying that they were denying my claim and subsequently would not be covering the surgery we had performed today. I then called PetPlan immediately and was informed that they were considering it a pre-existing condition – because even though I enrolled on June 9 and paid the same day, my plan “mysteriously” was not activated until June 15, which meant the first vet visit occurred during the two week wait period. However, I did open my plan on June 9, technically in effect on June 10 due to the 24 hour hold, which would mean the June 24 vet visit would fall after the wait period had ended.

It makes no sense that I would pay for a service and then knowingly consent to the plan not being activated for five additional days. At this point, we have not received any further response/communication/resolution from PetPlan and are currently responsible for nearly $2,000 in vet fees, despite Pet Plan incorrectly activating our plan five days after we enrolled and paid in full.

My dog means the world to me, which is why I was so thorough in my plan selection. Working in the insurance industry, I know how insurance companies work and often wrongly deny claims, which I fear is the case in my situation. I am glad my dog has now received the proper course of treatment, but there is still a large vet bill that needs to be resolved. We choose PetPlan to be protected, not defrauded.

Thankfully I work in PR and am well aware of the course of action needed to “get the attention” of PetPlan through reaching out to journalists who are committed to consumer advocacy and hopefully they can help me share my story with others who are considering choosing an insurance plan for their pet. Please use my experience as a lesson – insurance companies are not there when you need them most, which is unfortunately, usually at the cost of our precious pets.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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Posted: 10/01/2009

Are there any updates on this? Did they pay up?

Posted: 02/27/2010

Thank you for sharing your experience. I was torn between this company and Trupanion, and I believe now that the other company will better suit my pups needs. I liked it because they have a Death & Accident coverage and the other company does not. I also was going to go with them because of their rates, but then I found out that the rates increase as your dog gets older! I wish that there was at least one company that just put everything out there all at once and this wouldn't be so confusing. I'm sorry for what you had to go through, no one should have to endure such treatment for their hard earned money, and to provide protection to a member of the family!

Posted: 10/15/2009


Posted: 10/26/2009

Yeah, was this situation ever resolved?

Posted: 02/29/2012

I have been appealing to claims for diagnostic testing which has been denied several times. I got the insurance when my dog was 2yrs and he was urinating and drinking so they did a test and found an infection which was treated with antibiotics. They also did blood tests which did show increased liver values. He has had problems with other symptoms as well as the frequent urination and now they are saying that they will not cover it because he had this symptom before even though it was a urinary infection. I have paid a lot of money trying to find out what might be wrong with him which had come up negative so far. He hasn't even been diagnosed with any condition or illness yet and they won't pay for any test to even find out what is wrong with him. I am paying over $500 a year and am considering cancelling. Did you get any resolve from the above?