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Insurance

AKC Pet Insurance Review

Updated Dec 26, 2023   |   19-min read

  • No best-for designation
  • No editorial rating
  • Pre-existing conditions coverage in certain states after 365 days of continuous coverage

Our team hasn’t yet rated AKC Pet Insurance, so it hasn’t earned a specific best-for designation. But its pet insurance options might appeal to certain pet owners. 

Marketed as the “exclusive insurance brand partner” of the canine registry American Kennel Club (AKC)—but not an AKC business—this insurance option from Pet Partners Inc. could be attractive to those who value and trust AKC. Pet Partners’ founder entered the business in 1984, and the company has maintained a two-decade-plus partnership with AKC. Pet Partners offers accident-only and wellness plans, including add-on coverage for hereditary issues and breeding, making it a worthwhile consideration for pet owners seeking customization. 

If you want the peace of mind of coverage for pre-existing conditions, AKC Pet Insurance stands out by waiving its pre-existing coverage exclusion in certain states (not specified on its website) after 365 days of continuous coverage. Here’s our complete AKC Pet Insurance review to help you make informed decisions that protect your furry companion.

About AKC

AKC Pet Insurance and Pet Partners Inc. have been partners since 2003. Aiming to provide comprehensive and flexible insurance solutions, AKC Pet Insurance helps pet owners manage the financial aspects of pet healthcare. 

It covers many needs, including accidents, illnesses, and preventive care with optional add-on coverage, ensuring that pets receive necessary medical attention without placing undue financial strain on their owners.

AKC Pet Insurance offers coverage for dogs and cats without breed-specific exclusions. Coverage is available nationwide.

AKC Pet Insurance’s evolution, from providing basic pet insurance to incorporating breeding coverage, reflects its commitment to adapting to the changing needs of pets and their owners.

AKC Pet Insurance at a glance

AKC Pet Insurance allows you to tailor your pet’s insurance plan to its—and your—specific needs. Being able to select from several deductibles, coverage limits, and reimbursement rates means pet owners can balance the insurance cost with the level of protection they desire. 

Below the table, we’ll discuss the terms mentioned in more detail to give you a comprehensive understanding of what AKC Pet Insurance offers and how you can personalize it.

TermsDetails
Eligible petsDogs and cats, no breed restrictions
Deductibles$100 – $1,000
Annual coverage limits$2,500, $5,000, $7,500, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, or unlimited
Reimbursement rates70%, 80%, or 90%
Waiting periodsInjuries: 2 days

Illnesses: 14 days

Cruciate ligament conditions & intervertebral disc disease: 180 days

Pre-existing conditions: 365 days*
Policy discounts5% multi-pet
Preventive care coverageWellness exams, vaccinations, and more (as add-on)
Fees$3 monthly service fee
Unique featuresCoverage for pre-existing conditions* 

Multiple customization options

*Not available in every state; excluded states not disclosed on website

What types of plans does AKC offer?

AKC Pet Insurance provides a variety of plans to cater to pet owners’ needs and preferences. These plans range from comprehensive coverage to accident-only policies, ensuring a suitable option for most pets. 

AKC’s plans allow for customization, enabling pet owners to choose the level of coverage that aligns with their pet’s health needs and their financial capacity. Understanding the distinctions between these plans is crucial to make an informed decision.

Options include:

  • Accident and illness: This comprehensive plan covers a range of conditions, including broken bones, cancer, and allergies. It’s ideal for pet owners seeking broad protection against almost any unexpected event but is unavailable for pets over eight years old. This type of policy is popular among AKC policyholders for its extensive coverage.
  • Accident-only: Tailored to older pets (nine years and up), this plan covers accidents, such as bite wounds and eye injuries, but not illnesses. It’s a cost-effective choice for senior pet parents who may want a less expensive coverage option.
  • Preventive care add-ons: The Defender and Defender Plus add-ons cover routine care, such as vaccinations and wellness exams. These aren’t standalone insurance plans but complement the main policy by covering essential preventive care, which can mitigate future health issues.

What does AKC Pet Insurance cover?

Now we’ll get into what each plan covers so you can see how specific nuances and add-ons might cater to diverse needs.

Accident and illness pet insurance

At its core, AKC’s accident and illness insurance covers:

  • Broken bones
  • Cancer
  • ACL injuries
  • Toxin ingestion (limited to once during the pet’s lifetime)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Digestive issues
  • Allergies
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) treatments

Optional add-ons include:

  • Exam coverage (for routine, emergency, and specialty vet visits)
  • Hereditary condition coverage (hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions)
  • Breeding coverage (breeding costs)
  • Final respects coverage (burial, cremation, etc.)

Accident-only pet insurance

The accident-only plan, only available for senior pets aged nine years and up, covers:

  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Bite wounds
  • Toxin ingestion
  • Snake bites
  • Bee stings
  • Eye injuries
  • Sprains

This more limited plan excludes coverage for illnesses. It’s a viable option for pet owners seeking basic, cost-effective coverage for older pets.

Preventive care

Preventive care under AKC Pet Insurance focuses on reimbursing routine health maintenance expenses. It’s available in two plans, Defender and Defender Plus, with varying coverage levels:

Reimbursed itemsDefender (reimburses up to)Defender Plus (reimburses up to)
Annual exam$50$50
Microchipping$20$40
Spay/neuter or teeth cleaning$0$150
Rabies vaccine$15$15
Flea/tick/heartworm prevention$80$95
Vaccination/titer$30$40
Heartworm/FELV test$25$30
Blood/fecal/parasite exam$50$70
Urinalysis or ERD test$15$25
Deworming$20$20
Elective/preventive gastropexy$0$200

These plans complement the primary insurance policy, allowing for proactive health management, which can prevent more serious conditions later.

What does AKC Pet Insurance not cover?

AKC Pet Insurance offers a comprehensive range of coverage, but not all pet care needs are covered, which is a standard practice among pet insurance companies

Common exclusions include pre-existing conditions (with certain notable exceptions) and elective procedures. This aligns with industry norms, focusing on unforeseen medical needs rather than conditions or treatments outside the typical insurance scope.

Items typically not covered by AKC Pet Insurance include:

  • Pre-existing conditions*: Generally, any condition that exists before coverage or during a waiting period is not covered. However, in certain states, coverage for pre-existing conditions may be available with AKC after 365 days of continuous coverage.
  • Elective procedures: Procedures deemed not medically necessary, such as cosmetic surgeries.
  • Breeding costs: These costs are excluded unless you add specific breeding coverage to the policy.
  • Grooming services: This includes nail trimming, bathing, and haircuts, which are typically considered routine maintenance.
  • Dietary supplies and pet food: Not covered unless prescribed by a veterinarian for a specific covered condition.
  • Behavioral treatments: Unless included as part of the policy’s terms.
  • Experimental treatments: Procedures or treatments not widely recognized by the veterinary community.

*The AKC Pet Insurance website states coverage for pre-existing conditions is not available in every state but doesn’t specify states where it’s available. We recommend using the “Get a quote” tool on the homepage to input your information and determine whether this coverage is available.

Waiting periods for AKC Pet Insurance

Waiting periods are standard in the pet insurance industry, serving as a time frame during which coverage is not yet effective after a policy begins. Insurance companies implement these policies to prevent claims for conditions occurring before or right after a policy’s inception, ensuring fair coverage for unforeseen incidents. 

The length of waiting periods varies based on the type of coverage and the insurance provider. AKC Pet Insurance has the following waiting periods:

  • Injuries: 2 days
  • Illnesses: 14 days
  • Cruciate ligament conditions: 180 days
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD): 180 days
  • Pre-existing conditions: Coverage may begin after 365 days in certain states

The two-day waiting period for injuries is notable because such quick coverage for accidents isn’t available with all pet insurance companies. If you’re in a state where AKC offers coverage for pre-existing conditions, this is unique and could make staying with AKC cost-effective over the long term.

How much does an AKC Pet Insurance policy cost?

Several factors influence the cost of an AKC Pet Insurance policy, including the pet’s age and breed and the chosen deductible, coverage limit, and reimbursement rate.

Pet owners have some control over these costs through their choice of plan and add-ons. Premiums tend to be higher for older pets and certain breeds predisposed to health issues. Premiums may increase over time due to factors such as the pet’s aging or rising veterinary costs. 

Sample quotes collected by our team

AKC Pet Insurance offers a free quote tool on its website, allowing pet owners to estimate policy costs for their pets. This tool is beneficial for understanding how different factors affect the policy’s price, providing transparency and aiding in budget planning.

Here’s a breakdown of sample quotes our team collected:

Quote DetailsCompanion Care Companion Care Companion Care Companion Care Accident-only*
ZIP code75033
(Frisco, TX)
75033
(Frisco, TX)
19103
(Philadelphia, PA)
19103
(Philadelphia, PA)
19103
(Philadelphia, PA)
Type of pet🐶🐱🐶🐱🐶
Age47Under 1 yearUnder 1 year10
BreedMixedMixedMixedMixedMixed 
Deductible⬇️ $250$500⬆️ $1,000$100$100
Annual coverage limit$10,000⬇️ $2,500⬆️ Unlimited$20,000⬆️ Unlimited
Reimbursement rate20%⬆️ 30%⬇️ 10%⬆️ 30%⬇️ 10%
Monthly premium❗⬆️ $44.10⬇️💲 $18.09$30.31$30.80⬇️💲 $20.34
Add-ons (monthly premium)
Exam Plus $7.19$2.95$4.94$5.02$2.74
Hereditary Plus$0.90$0.37$0.62$0.63N/A
Breeding coverage $31.36$12.86$21.55$21.90N/A
Support Plus$2.00Not offered$2.00$2.00N/A
Defender Plus$27$22$28$23.00$28
Defender $16$12$15$11.00$15

*Accident-only was our only available option for pets nine years and up. We couldn’t modify this policy’s reimbursement rate, deductible, and other terms.

Discounts to save money on AKC Pet Insurance

Discounts can help you reduce your premium. AKC Pet Insurance offers two discounts to help pet owners save on insurance costs. These discounts can provide more affordable coverage options.

Available discounts are:

  • Multi-pet discount: Offers a 5% reduction in premium for insuring more than one pet with AKC. For example, if you have two pets, and the standard premium for each is $30 per month, this discount would reduce the monthly cost for each pet to $28.50, saving $3 per month in total.
  • Breeder discount: Get a 10% premium reduction if you participate in various AKC programs, including AKC Breeder of Merit and AKC Bred with H.E.A.R.T.

What types of pets are eligible for AKC Pet Insurance?

AKC Pet Insurance offers coverage for dogs and cats, encompassing a wide range of breeds without breed-specific restrictions. 

This ensures a diverse array of pets can be covered. When it comes to preventive care, the eligibility requirements align with those for the broader pet insurance policies. So if a pet is eligible for insurance, it’s also eligible for preventive care add-ons.

AKC Pet Insurance’s policy on pre-existing conditions can make it a viable option for pets who might not qualify for coverage under more restrictive policies.

Here are the eligibility requirements for AKC Pet Insurance:

RequirementDetails
Eligible statesCoverage is available in all states, but certain coverages vary by state.
Age restrictionsMinimum age varies by state (typically around eight weeks for dogs, 10 weeks for cats). 

No maximum age limit, but pets over 9 years are limited to accident-only coverage.
Breed restrictionsNone
Medical examNot required for enrollment, but medical history is considered for coverage eligibility.

AKC Pet Insurance claims and payouts

Understanding how claims and payouts work is crucial when selecting pet insurance. AKC Pet Insurance designed a straightforward process. 

You’ll pay for your pet’s healthcare services upfront and then submit a claim to AKC Pet Insurance for reimbursement. Preapproval is not necessary for routine treatments or emergency care, but it can be beneficial for costly procedures to ensure coverage.

The time frame for claims processing and reimbursement can vary. It takes as little as three business days to complete the process, but if AKC needs further documentation, it can take up to 30 days. 

The steps to file a claim with AKC Pet Insurance include:

  • Get treatment: Get the necessary treatment for your pet from a licensed veterinarian.
  • Submit a claim: Fill out the form on AKC’s website. (See image below.) Attach all relevant veterinary invoices and receipts.
  • Review: AKC reviews the claim, considering your policy’s terms and coverage.
  • Reimbursement: If approved, AKC issues a reimbursement based on your policy’s deductible, coverage limit, and reimbursement rate.

Source: AKC Pet Insurance

AKC’s claims process is similar to many other pet insurance companies. Its customer service can answer any questions during the claims process.

How has AKC’s pet insurance evolved over the years?

AKC Pet Insurance has adapted and expanded its services to meet the needs of pet owners over the years. This evolution reflects changing market demands and advancements in veterinary care.

Source: AKC Pet Insurance

  • 1984: The journey began in the U.K when founder John Spurling entered the pet insurance business. This marked the early stages of pet insurance, primarily focusing on basic coverage.
  • 2002: Marking its entry into the United States, the company expanded its reach, bringing new insurance options to American pet owners.
  • 2003: One year after its U.S. introduction, Pet Partners was recognized as the pet insurance brand of the American Kennel Club and launched as AKC Pet Insurance. This affiliation boosted its credibility and connected it to a broader audience of pet enthusiasts.
  • 2021: A significant development occurred when AKC Pet Insurance began offering breeding coverage. This addition helped the company address a previously unmet area in pet insurance.
  • 2021: The same year, AKC Pet Insurance joined the Independence Pet Group family, integrating into a broader network of pet health products and services.

Over the years, AKC Pet Insurance has broadened its coverage options and refined its terms and conditions to align with the evolving needs of pets and their owners. 

The introduction of wellness plans and customizable coverage options are testaments to its commitment to providing comprehensive and flexible insurance solutions.

Pros and cons of AKC Pet Insurance

When considering AKC Pet Insurance, it’s helpful to weigh its advantages and drawbacks. Here’s a balanced view.

Pros

  • Comprehensive coverage options

    Coverages include accident and illness plans, accident-only plans for older pets, and wellness plan add-ons. This variety allows you to tailor your insurance to your pet’s needs.

  • Customizable policies

    Choose your deductible, reimbursement rate, and annual coverage limit, which can help you manage the insurance cost according to your budget.

  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions

    AKC Pet Insurance offers coverage in certain states after 365 days of continuous coverage, a feature not found in many other pet insurance policies.

Cons

  • Potential for high premiums

    Adding all desired coverages, especially for comprehensive plans, can result in high monthly premiums.

  • Limitations for senior pets

    Pets older than nine years are only eligible for accident-only coverage, limiting options for comprehensive illness coverage for senior pets.

  • Exclusions and waiting periods

    Like all pet insurance policies, AKC has specific exclusions, such as grooming and elective procedures. The waiting periods for coverage to become effective can also be a drawback for immediate care needs.

How AKC Pet Insurance compares to others

When comparing AKC Pet Insurance to its competitors, several aspects stand out. The table below is from the AKC Pet Insurance website:

*Not available in all states. Pre-existing condition coverage is available after 365 days of continuous coverage.

**Plan may provide coverage for “curable” conditions.

***Not available in all states. New and current policyholders may receive a 5% multi-pet discount if they get coverage for more than one pet or add a pet to a policy.

****Covered with optional add-on at an additional cost.

*****In the event of an accident.

As you can see, AKC offers comprehensive and customizable coverage options, which is a significant advantage for pet owners looking for tailored policies. 

Its unique feature of covering pre-existing conditions after a year in certain states sets it apart from many other insurers. And the flexibility in choosing deductibles, coverage limits, and reimbursement rates allows for personalized policy management.

However, AKC Pet Insurance could improve in several areas. 

Limited options for senior pets

Accident-only coverage as the sole option for pets over nine years old might be restrictive for owners of older pets seeking more comprehensive coverage

CompanyMaximum pet age to enroll in coverage Comprehensive coverage for senior pets?What to know about this insurer
ManyPets14 yearsBest for unlimited coverage pricingGet a quote
ASPCA Pet InsuranceNoneBest for reliabilityGet a quote
Embrace14 yearsBest for quick coverageGet a quote
SpotNoneBest variety of termsGet a quote
FetchNoneBest coverageGet a quote

Higher premiums

AKC’s potential for high premiums, especially when adding comprehensive coverages, may deter some pet owners. 

If this is a concern, consider competitors such as Lemonade, with monthly base plans as low as $10. Our research also found that ManyPets offered the lowest premiums for unlimited coverage plans.

Is AKC a reputable company?

Customer reviews are a vital resource for anyone shopping for pet insurance. They provide insights into real experiences with the insurer’s policies, customer service, and claim handling. These firsthand accounts can help gauge the reliability and reputation of the company.

Here’s a summary of AKC Pet Insurance’s ratings from various sources.

SourceCustomer ratingNumber of reviews
Trustpilot4.4 out of 51,056
Better Business Bureau2.33 out of 53
Google4.4 out of 5350
Reviews collected in December 2023.

*Reviewed as Pet Partners

Reviews on Trustpilot and Google praise AKC Pet Insurance for its easy claims process, fast response times, and flexible plan options. Customers appreciate the coverage, peace of mind, and savings. A few negative reviews mention delays in claims processing and concerns about rising premiums.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reviews for AKC Pet Insurance are listed under “Pet Partners,” which is BBB-accredited with an A+ rating. However, the customer rating on BBB is much lower, with several reviews discussing coverage denial and claims issues. 

Trustpilot, BBB, and Google are established platforms that collect unbiased reviews from a broad customer base, making them trustworthy sources for evaluating a company. Discrepancies in ratings and reviews highlight the importance of considering multiple sources to get a well-rounded view of the business’s reputation.

Does AKC have a customer service team?

AKC Pet Insurance’s customer service team assists with various inquiries, from policy details and coverage questions to assistance with claims and general account management. 

Its approach centers on providing timely and practical solutions, making the insurance experience as smooth as possible for pet owners.

The customer service team is available during extended hours, accommodating various time zones and schedules. This availability reflects AKC’s commitment to being accessible to its customers when needed.

Contact options for AKC Pet Insurance include:

  • Email: [email protected] 
  • Phone: 866-725-2747, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern, and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Eastern
  • Mailing address: AKC Pet Insurance, c/o PetPartners, P.O. Box 37940, Raleigh, NC 27627-7940.

How to apply for AKC Pet Insurance

Applying for AKC Pet Insurance is straightforward and user-friendly, comparable to many other pet insurance companies. The online application process eliminates the need for extensive paperwork and allows for easy customization of coverage options to suit individual needs. 

Here are the steps to apply for AKC Pet Insurance:

1. Visit the website: Go to AKC Pet Insurance’s website and click “Get a quote.”

2. Input pet information: Provide details about your pet, such as age, breed, type, and your ZIP code. This information helps determine the base cost of the insurance.

Source: AKC Pet Insurance

3. Customize your plan: Choose your deductible, reimbursement rates, and annual coverage limits. Here, you can also select any additional coverage or add-ons you want to include in your policy.

Source: AKC Pet Insurance

Source: AKC Pet Insurance

4. Review and add to cart: Once you’ve tailored your policy to your satisfaction, review all the details and add it to your cart.

5. Provide personal and payment information: Complete the application by providing your personal information and payment details. This step also includes setting up your account to manage your policy.

Source: AKC Pet Insurance

Each step in the application process should be quick and intuitive. If you have the necessary information about your pet handy, you can expect to review quotes within a few minutes.

AKC FAQ

Can you visit any veterinarian or emergency hospital?

AKC Pet Insurance offers the flexibility to visit any licensed veterinarian nationwide, including emergency hospitals and specialists. There are no network restrictions, so you can continue seeing your preferred vet or seek emergency care from any clinic without worrying about network limitations. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for emergencies or if you travel with your pet.

Is a medical exam required to enroll?

Enrollment in AKC Pet Insurance does not require a medical exam. However, the company will consider your pet’s medical history when determining coverage eligibility, especially for pre-existing conditions. This approach simplifies enrollment, allowing pet owners to obtain insurance coverage faster and with less hassle.

Does AKC Pet Insurance cover exotic pets?

AKC Pet Insurance covers dogs and cats and does not extend its insurance policies to exotic pets. 

Pet owners with exotic animals can look into specialized insurance providers that cater to the unique needs of exotic pets, including Nationwide, which considers exotic pets on a case-by-case basis.

Can you add another pet to your policy?

Yes, you can easily enroll multiple pets, each with its own policy. To add another pet, go through the quote and application process for the new pet while logged in to your AKC Pet Insurance account. AKC offers a multi-pet discount, making it more cost-effective to insure multiple pets.

Can you make changes to your policy?

Policyholders with AKC Pet Insurance have the flexibility to change their policy. This can include adjusting coverage limits, deductibles, and reimbursement rates. 

You can make changes at renewal or, in some cases, during the policy period, subject to AKC’s terms and conditions. This allows for adjustments as your pet’s needs and your financial situation change over time.

Do you need to renew your policy each year?

AKC Pet Insurance policies are typically annual contracts that require renewal each year. Upon renewal, you’ll have the opportunity to review and adjust your coverage as needed. AKC will provide notice before renewal, giving you ample time to make any desired changes or continue the coverage.

Can you cancel a policy?

Yes, you can cancel your AKC Pet Insurance policy without penalty and get a refund on the unused portion of your premium. To do so, contact AKC’s Customer Care Team at 1-866-725-2747. Before you cancel, understand the implications, such as lack of coverage or waiting periods if you decide to reinstate insurance later.