Read the Policy and Compare to Other Providers

Out of 10

When you look at ASPCA (Hartville) as a potential provider of insurance for that special member of your family take into consideration the reviews you read on this site. Some are very good and some are very bad resulting in a rating in the 5 - 6 range. As a person that has learned by experience, after 1.5 years with ASPCA I am now looking for a better alternative. Based on my first year experience, I would rate the ASPCA policy with a 7. The claims process was easy, they were very conservative in their reimbursement of my claims (allowable amounts for my region are much lower than the amounts charged by veternarians) and the premium costs seemed reasonable. When I did the compare of my premium costs to my out of pocket costs less reimbursements the result was self insurance would have been less expensive. This is typical of any insurance policy because the insurance is there for the big events. As we moved to year two my rating goes to 2 and I caution people to consider other providers. My dog exibited symptoms that indicated potential liver problems. I made the decision to have tests done to know what was causing the syptoms and if treatment was needed. I submitted my claims to ASPCA with confidence that they would be there for me (as they promise in their web marketing). To shorten this story, ASPCA did not delviver on the brand promise of protecting our little friends nor the marketing promise presented by Hartville on their web site. They said that since blood tests were done outside of the plan period (this is their way of avoiding payments) that should have indicated the syptoms or should have allowed my Vet to diagnose the problem I had a pre-existing condition (#18 is their code). Four claims have been denied, customer service has been polite but very slow to respond and I feel there is limited recourse. I now realize that I made the ill fated choice to buy insurance from a company that co-branded with someone I trusted but that did not mean it was good insurance. Hartville invests their money into web marketing and limits the funds going to robust customers service. The business model depends on very limited payouts so the policy is written to accomplish that. When you do the math in terms a policy that is replaced on a yearly basis so that anything in the previous year could be pre-existing unless you can demonstrate the 180 day rule you cannot win with this company. Rates go up every year and the odds are the things they will cover go down. It is not a scam, it is just a business model that is based on greed and a brand message that does not ring true.

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