Updated January 11, 2021
Reading time: 7 minutes
Walmart has recently increased its pet care services, now offering pet insurance in partnership with Petplan.
Pet owners looking for expansive non-veterinary coverage
Pets with “cured” pre-existing conditions
Pet parents looking for wellness plan add-ons
Pet owners looking for dental disease coverage
Although the coronavirus pandemic has brought new challenges and confusion, it has led to a national rise in pet adoption rates.
Animal shelters across the United States have seen a dramatic increase in pet adoptions for families stuck at home. While it might seem like the perfect time to get a new pet, dealing with a sick pet can only make these difficult times worse.
Buying a pet insurance plan for your pet can give you peace of mind that you can care for your pet’s health regardless of your personal finances.
Depending on the company and policy, pet health insurance can also help cover emergency vet bills, routine care, preventative measures, and even alternative therapies. Buying a pet insurance policy can mean saving up to 100 percent on qualifying vet bills for critical care, surgery, rehabilitation, and even behavioral treatment.
All dogs and cats will need vet care at some point, and everyone knows the importance of accessing the best possible healthcare. Despite having the best intentions, not every pet parent can afford a substantial vet bill after an animal adoption. The cost of vet care will continue to rise as technology improves, regardless of the COVID -19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it has to be inaccessible.
Pet parents may feel more comfortable looking into pet insurance when it comes from recognizable brands. Luckily, Walmart has partnered with Petplan to provide comprehensive coverage for cats and dogs.
“As adoption rates soar as a result of the pandemic, and more people become pet owners, this was the perfect time to launch expanded services in Walmart Pet Care for our customers,” according to Melody Richard, merchandising vice president.
The comprehensive pet plan is Walmart’s only option for both cats and dogs over six weeks old. It offers a decent amount of flexibility when it comes to adjusting the annual payout, the yearly deductible, and the reimbursement percentage. It pays for various veterinary fees like CAT scans, diagnostics, surgery, anesthesia, prescription pet food, and even non-routine exam fees.
The comprehensive plan also reimburses non-veterinary costs like monetary loss due to your pet’s theft, boarding kennel fees, and any vacation cancellations as a result of your pet’s illness or injury. That means if you’re supposed to go on vacation and cancel because your pet gets injured, Walmart will reimburse you for those costs!
Walmart pet insurance guarantees to never cancel your policy due to your pet’s age, health, or claim history. Just like every other pet insurer, Walmart does not offer coverage for non-curable pre-existing conditions.
But unlike many other insurance providers, Walmart offers to reinstate coverage eligibility for curable pre-existing conditions that can be “completely resolved without recurrence” following a 365-day exclusion period. During the 365-days, your pet must not show any symptoms of the disease or require further treatment. That includes any symptoms without a formal medical diagnosis, like vomiting and diarrhea.
That means Walmart will cover any medical condition or injury your pet previously had, as long as there are no symptoms of the condition for at least a year. The retailer ’s pet insurance will not cover elective surgeries, breeding, dental disease coverage, behavioral treatment, injuries from racing or organized fighting, or weight loss treatments, among others.
Walmart pet insurance only offers one comprehensive plan covering accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions, which can be adjusted to cover up to 90 percent of a vet bill. Walmart offers coverage for most emergency care, treatments, surgeries, and rehabilitation sessions from any licensed veterinary clinic, specialist, or emergency clinic.
It also doesn’t have any breed or upper age restrictions and will cover breed-specific conditions.
Walmart will cover any chronic condition following the end of its waiting period, including cancer and diabetes, and will cover prescription medications.
Walmart will also reimburse pet parents for surgeries, X-rays, MRIs, laboratory and diagnostic testing, rehabilitation, and alternative or holistic care in case of emergencies. Any of these treatments could cost thousands of dollars out of pocket without an insurance plan.
Walmart will not reimburse pet owners for routine or preventative care. That includes sterilization, vaccinations, exams, or any care related to parasites like fleas or heartworm.
Walmart does not offer insurance for birds or exotic pets. Currently, Nationwide is the only traditional pet insurance company to provide pet insurance for exotic animals. Pet Assure is the only alternative pet insurance company that covers birds or exotic pets.
Walmart pet insurance only has one plan, but pet parents can customize how much they want to spend each month, their annual limits for reimbursement, and how much of the bill Walmart will cover per claim.
Walmart pet insurance ’s accident and illness plan offers annual deductibles ranging from $250 to $1,000, and policyholders can raise these in $50 increments. That means your Walmart insurance policy will kick in once you’ve spent the chosen amount on any of the treatments that are covered by the plan, including treatments like blood tests or X-rays, but not routine vet exams or vaccinations.
Since this is an annual deductible and not a deductible per claim, once you’ve paid the chosen amount, your Walmart policy should kick in for the rest of the year up until you reach your maximum annual limit.
Walmart pet insurance gives pet owners the option to pick a per-condition deductible instead of an annual deductible. That means that if you have to visit your vet multiple times for the same problem, Walmart will apply the deductible once during the entire course of treatment.
Walmart offers reimbursement percentages per vet fee. Reimbursement percentages are similar to a co-pay. So if you pick a 90 percent reimbursement, Walmart covers 90 percent of the costs while you pay the remaining 10 percent.
Pet owners can choose between a 70 percent, an 80 percent, and a 90 percent reimbursement option for their Walmart policy, which will adjust the monthly cost. The higher the reimbursement percentage, the higher your monthly premium.
Your annual payout limit depends on the pet insurance policy you pick and can range from $2,500 to an unlimited amount. A yearly payout limit is the maximum amount of money a pet insurance provider will pay to cover your costs for the year. For example, if you were to pick a $2,500 reimbursement, once you’ve paid your chosen deductible, Walmart will pay up to $2,500 a year to cover the cost of your pet treatments, and so forth.
Walmart pet insurance offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on its policies for any reason. That means that it will refund the entire premium as long as you haven’t filed any claims within the first 30 days. Customers can still qualify for a refund on the premium after 30 days, but the amount back will depend on the termination date.
Walmart pet insurance offers up to 10 percent off a monthly premium for signing up through Walmart. However, the Petplan also offers 10 percent off for veterans and military members, AARP members, and service animals. These discounts do not overlap.
On behalf of Walmart, Petplan will reimburse your claim for money spent on vet treatment after it receives an upload or copy of your veterinary invoice. Subscribers can fill out a claim form, print and sign it, and then submit it. These can be faxed to 1 (866) 599-4654, emailed to email@example.com, sent via the Petplan mobile app, or mailed to:
Claims Department, Petplan
3805 West Chester Pike, Suite 240
Newtown Square, PA 19073
According to Petplan ’s website, it will enter all claims into its system and make them accessible from your online portal within one business day of receiving them. Following the collection of all necessary material and assessment, Petplan will reimburse vet bills within 30 days.
Walmart pet insurance has a 15-day waiting period for all covered accidents and illnesses. There is a six-month waiting period for hip dysplasia, cruciate injuries, and patellas injuries. However, these waiting periods can vary per state.
That means if your pet got injured or developed a disease that needed expensive treatment before the end of the waiting period, you would have to pay for it out of pocket. It would also become a pre-existing condition and would not receive coverage for future recurrences.
Walmart pet insurance can waive the six-month waiting period following an orthopedic exam by a licensed vet within 30 days. As long as there aren’t signs of any ligament or knee problems, the coverage will begin immediately. Unfortunately, if there are signs of early problems, these will become pre-existing conditions and not receive coverage at all.
To see how Walmart’s quotes stacked up to those from its competitors, Insurify’s data team compared pet insurance quotes from Trupanion, Embrace, Healthy Paws. Below are the pet insurance quotes for a two-year-old purebred golden retriever named Sally who lives in San Jose, California:
These are the pet insurance quotes for a one-year-old German shepherd named Jerry who also lives in San Jose, California:
These are the quotes for a three-year-old labradoodle named Sandy in San Jose. Mixed breed dogs usually have lower insurance premiums since they aren’t as susceptible to genetic conditions:
And for cats, these are the quotes for a three-year-old British shorthair named Simon, who lives in Houston, Texas:
Remember, cat insurance premiums tend to be cheaper than dog insurance premiums.
Finally, these are the quotes for a five-year-old mixed breed long-haired cat named Wesley, who also lives in Houston, Texas:
Walmart pet insurance is controlled by Petplan, a leading insurance provider. Petplan ’s website doesn’t have a section specifically for reviews, but it has a few success stories on its homepage. These usually talk about how easy it is to file claims and pet parents ’ gratitude for saving money.
Unsurprisingly, Petplan doesn’t include any negative reviews on its website. Consumers turn to sites like Consumer Affairs to express their concerns. Petplan holds a 2.75-star rating on Consumer Affairs, which is pretty low compared to competitors. Negative reviews usually cite the denial of claims and policy exclusions.
Walmart is expanding into the pet care industry with its introduction of Walmart Pet Care. In addition to partnering with Petplan to offer insurance to Walmart customers, it also provides several pet care services such as Walmart’s Pet RX pet pharmacy. This pharmacy service includes pick up or home delivery on over 300 trusted brands.
Through its partnership with Rover, a highly popular dog-walking company, Walmart is also offering dog-walking services. It also functions as a hub for pet-sitters with boarding and daycare options. As an added perk, any Walmart customers who choose to sign up before May 1, 2021, will receive a $20 Walmart gift card. If customers complete their fifth service with dog-walkers or pet-sitters, they will receive an additional $20 gift card.
Samantha Vargas is a freelance writer for Insurify. She has a background in comparative English literature and film and has produced a variety of journalistic content for the University at Buffalo's independent student newspaper, The Spectrum. She currently works in Buffalo, NY while finishing her master's degree. She spends her free time baking and working with animal welfare groups.Learn More