Is Walmart Pet Insurance Good? Here’s How It Stacks Up
As the country’s largest private-sector employer and the biggest company in the world by revenue, it’s hard to miss Walmart.
The retail corporation has made serious inroads into several industries beyond its original mission as a retail and wholesale business. Now, Walmart has jumped into the pet insurance marketplace.
NOTE: Pawlicy Advisor is an independent pet insurance marketplace and is not affiliated with Walmart in any way.
On November 12th, 2020, Walmart announced in a press release that it will offer customers affordable pet insurance for cats and dogs. The product is being released alongside an expansion of the company’s other pet offerings, which include dog walking and pet sitting services through Rover as well as in-store and online pet pharmacy services through Walmart PetRx.
According to the press release, Walmart’s goal is to offer “an accessible insurance solution in the same place customers buy their pet food and fill their pet’s prescriptions.”
Walmart has partnered with Petplan to provide customers with accident and illness pet insurance, and Petplan will manage the policies. At the time of this writing, Walmart is offering 10% off monthly premiums for those who sign up for their plans.
What’s the Big Deal?
Walmart’s pet insurance offering arrives at an interesting time for the pet industry. The pet insurance market is still relatively new, but it’s starting to heat up. Experts expect it to grow to $11.25 billion by 2026, and several new pet insurance providers have entered the marketplace with innovative approaches to the traditional pet insurance model.
Not too long ago, most pet insurance brands began offering holistic accident and illness coverage as a standard. Although pet insurance is still different from human health insurance, these holistic plans allow pet parents to get coverage for almost every type of unexpected pet illness or injury.
Pet ownership was at an all-time high just before Walmart released its plan, in part because of a surge in pet adoptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to research firm Packaged Facts, 68 million U.S. households owned at least one pet during the summer of 2020.
The Walmart brand is also one of the most recognizable in the United States. Walmart’s stores serve nearly 265 million customers each week. The company includes pharmacies in its stores, which means Walmart Pet Insurance customers could pick up their pet’s prescriptions at the same time they do their regular pet shopping.
Meanwhile, Petplan has been operating in the U.S. since 2003 and is already a mainstay in the pet insurance industry. Walmart customers who have been considering pet insurance may feel more secure knowing they have a Petplan-run insurance policy, especially if they see it as a bargain.
Finally, there’s something to be said about the convenience of buying pet insurance from a store you shop at regularly. Walmart Pet Insurance may be a logical step for customers who already take advantage of Walmart’s other pet services.
Overview of Walmart’s Pet Insurance Coverage
Walmart’s pet insurance plans provide a similar level of coverage compared to accident and illness policies offered by other providers. Like other pet insurance plans, Walmart lets you use any vet you want and you’ll be reimbursed for your bill after you submit a claim.
Still, there are a few notable perks to Walmart’s plans.
Walmart Pet Insurance plans cover behavioral therapies. You can even get coverage for alternative therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic care, and homeopathic treatments at no extra cost. These aren’t always covered by other pet insurance providers.
(Source: Walmart Pet Insurance)
Pro Tip: To find other providers also cover these therapies, explore the pet insurance marketplace).
You can also get coverage for boarding fees, advertising and reward money if your pet gets lost, and up to $1,000 in TeleVet communication. Again, these come at no extra cost. Some plans offer this type of coverage, but you sometimes need to pay extra to get it.
Walmart Pet Insurance plans are also customizable, but only up to a point.
Walmart gives you three options to adjust three features of your pet insurance plan. These are your maximum annual payout (annual reimbursement limit), your annual deductible (how much you have to pay out of pocket per year before insurance kicks in), and your reimbursement rate (the percentage of your vet bill Walmart covers).
Walmart Pet Insurance covers the following injuries and illnesses in cats and dogs:
- Accidental injuries and illnesses
- Veterinarian exam fees
- Dental injuries and diseases
- TeleVet services (up to $1,000)
- Chronic and hereditary conditions
- Behavioral therapies (up to $1,000)
- Cancer treatments
- Prescription medication
- Surgery and rehabilitation
- Alternative therapies
- Referral and specialist treatment
- Imaging (X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds)
- Advertising and reward for a lost pet (up to $1,000)
- Boarding kennel fees (up to $1,000)
- Vacation cancellation (up to $1,000)
^This coverage information is based on the results generated for a 1-year-old, medium-sized, mixed-breed dog.
Like every pet insurance company, Walmart won’t cover pre-existing conditions. That’s why it’s best to sign up for a plan when your pet is still young and healthy. That way, you’ll be able to cover any illnesses that develop as they age.
Walmart Pet Insurance doesn’t cover the following, either:
Unlike some other brands that provide accident and illness plans for pets, Walmart does not currently offer routine and wellness care as an add-on feature. Walmart’s plan only covers unexpected accidents and illnesses, so you can’t get reimbursed for routine checkups, vaccinations, teeth cleaning, or spaying and neutering, even if you’re willing to pay a little extra per month.