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Insurance Pet Insurance

Banfield Pet Insurance Review

Updated Jan 25, 2024   |   15-min read

Our take on Banfield Pet Insurance

  • Biggest benefits: No waiting period, telehealth options, unlimited vet visits
  • Biggest drawbacks: Wellness only, limited to Banfield Hospitals

With its Optimum Pet Wellness Plan, Banfield Pet Insurance offers immediate wellness coverage for dogs and cats with no waiting period. Its telehealth options and unlimited vet visits are key benefits that cater to pet owners prioritizing preventive care.

However, coverage is limited to care undergone at Banfield Hospitals and exclusively covers wellness-related expenses, excluding accidents and illnesses. This limitation makes coverage more limited than more comprehensive pet insurance plans.

Because the other companies we rate offer more extensive coverage, we didn’t assign Banfield an editorial rating. Its unique approach suits pet owners near Banfield Hospitals and those focusing on routine care. For broader coverage, including emergencies, other insurers might be more appropriate.

About Banfield

Banfield Pet Insurance, part of the Banfield Pet Hospital network, focuses on affordable veterinary care. Its mission is to enhance the bond between people and their pets through accessible health services. This approach emphasizes preventive health measures.

Banfield helps pet owners with healthcare costs through its Optimum Pet Wellness Plan. This plan covers routine preventive care but does not include accidents or illnesses. The emphasis is on regular health management, such as vaccinations and check-ups.

Banfield’s services are tailored for dogs and cats, including specific plans for puppies and kittens. Coverage is only available for care received at one of Banfield’s clinics, many of which are located inside PetSmart pet stores. 

Banfield pet insurance at a glance

Banfield Pet Insurance specializes in preventive and wellness care for pets. The terms of Banfield’s plans, detailed below, are not customizable like traditional pet insurance. Pet owners select from packages based on their pet’s age and health needs. 

This approach simplifies the selection, but it offers less flexibility than other insurance policies.

TermsDetails
Eligible petsDogs and cats, specific plans for under 6 months old
DeductiblesNone
Annual coverage limitsNone
Reimbursement ratesDiscounts on some services
Waiting periodsNone
Policy discountsMulti-pet discount: $15 off enrollment
FeesOne-time enrollment fee; varies
Unique featuresNo claims submission needed

Keep reading: We’ll explore these terms in more detail to provide a comprehensive understanding of what Banfield offers and how it can benefit pet owners.

What types of plans does Banfield offer, and what do they cover?

Banfield Pet Insurance specializes in Wellness Plans tailored to the unique needs of dogs and cats at different life stages. These plans are structured to provide preventive care services rather than covering accidents or illnesses. 

Here’s an overview of the plans Banfield offers and the associated coverage. The plan options differ based on whether your pet is older than six months and whether you have a dog or a cat:

For dogs over 6 months old:

Active Care: This plan includes office visits, pet chat, virtual visits (two per year), comprehensive physical exams (two per year), vaccinations, diagnostic testing, fecal exams (two per year), deworming (two per year), and health certificates.

Active Care Plus: Builds on the Active Care plan by adding professional dental cleaning and urine testing.

Special Care: This most comprehensive plan includes all Active Care Plus services, with the addition of preventive X-rays, eye pressure tests, and electrocardiograms.

For puppies under 6 months old:

Early Care: Covers office visits, pet chat, virtual visits (two per year), physical exams (two per year), vaccinations, diagnostic testing (one per year), fecal exams (three per year), DNA test, deworming (four per year), and a health certificate.

Early Care Plus: Includes all Early Care services plus spaying or neutering.

For cats over 6 months old:

Active Care: Similar to the dog plan, it covers office visits, virtual consults, comprehensive exams (two per year), vaccinations, diagnostic testing, fecal exams (two per year), deworming (two per year), and health certificates.

Active Care Plus: Adds professional dental cleaning and urine testing to the Active Care services.

Special Care: The most extensive plan includes everything in Active Care Plus, preventive X-rays, and additional diagnostics.

For kittens under 6 months old:

Early Care: Provides office visits, virtual consults, physical exams (two per year), vaccinations, diagnostic testing (one per year), fecal exams (three per year), DNA test, deworming (four per year), and a health certificate.

Early Care Plus: Enhances the Early Care plan with spay/neutering services.

Each plan includes discounts on Banfield products and services, adding value. These plans focus exclusively on preventive and routine care, differing from typical pet insurance that covers accidents and illnesses. 

This distinction is crucial to consider when evaluating the best care options for your pets.

What does Banfield pet insurance not cover?

Banfield Pet Insurance offers comprehensive wellness plans, but many aspects of pet care aren’t covered. 

Unlike most traditional pet insurance policies, Banfield’s plans do not cover accidents or illnesses. 

It also excludes pre-existing conditions and elective procedures, which is standard among most pet insurance plans. This focus on preventive care over emergency or illness care is a fundamental difference in Banfield’s approach compared to the broader pet insurance industry.

Exclusions in Banfield pet insurance plans include:

  • Accidents and illnesses: Not covered. Banfield focuses solely on preventive and wellness care.
  • Pre-existing conditions: Any health issues diagnosed prior to the coverage start date are not covered.
  • Elective procedures: Procedures deemed nonessential, such as cosmetic surgery, are not included.
  • Emergency care: Banfield’s plans do not cover emergency treatments or urgent care for unexpected health issues.
  • Specialist care: Referrals to specialists or advanced treatments outside Banfield Hospitals are not covered.
  • Prescription medication: Costs for prescription medications are typically not included in wellness plans.
  • Breeding costs: Expenses related to breeding, pregnancy, or birth are not covered.

It’s important to consider whether you require more comprehensive coverage than Banfield’s wellness plans offer.

Waiting periods for Banfield pet insurance

A waiting period in pet insurance is the time between when a policy is purchased and when coverage begins. This period is a standard practice in the insurance industry, implemented to prevent fraudulent claims, such as buying insurance for an already sick pet. 

With its focus on wellness and preventive care, Banfield Pet Insurance has a distinctive approach to waiting periods—it doesn’t have one. Coverage starts immediately upon enrollment in Banfield’s Wellness Plans.

Banfield can do this because its plans operate differently from standard pet insurance. Rather than a traditional insurance model where claims are made for reimbursement, Banfield’s model is based on paying installment fees for specific services. 

This setup allows immediate access to the covered services without the delay of claim processing, distinguishing it from other pet insurance companies that typically have waiting periods for different types of coverage. 

How much does a Banfield pet insurance policy cost?

Several factors influence the cost of a Banfield Pet Insurance policy, including the type of plan chosen and the pet’s age, and any additional services selected. 

Unlike traditional pet insurance, Banfield’s Wellness Plan premiums don’t fluctuate based on claims filed or the pet’s health changes over time. Instead, pet owners pay a fixed monthly or annual fee for the chosen wellness plan, which covers specific preventive care services.

Pet owners have some control over costs by selecting the plan and any additional services, such as flea, tick, and heartworm protection. The costs are transparent and predictable, which can be an advantage for budgeting purposes. However, these costs do not cover accidents or illnesses.

The cost generally remains consistent, providing stability in costs without the typical increases seen with age or after filing claims in traditional insurance policies. An enrollment fee applies when you sign up for a Banfield plan. Banfield doesn’t disclose the amount.

Sample quotes collected by our team

Banfield offers a free quote tool on its website, allowing pet owners to estimate the cost of a policy for their pets. This tool can help you understand the exact costs of each plan and any additional services tailored to your pet’s age, breed, and location.

Below is a breakdown of sample quotes (note, these quotes do not include the enrollment fee):

Quote detailsQuote 1Quote 2Quote 3Quote 4
Zip code75033750331910319103
Type of petDogDogCatCat
Gender/age/breedMale (fixed), 4 years, mixedFemale (not fixed), 3 months, mixedFemale (fixed), 8 years, mixedMale, 4 months, mixed
Monthly costs$38.95 (Active Care)$51.95 (Active Care Plus)$65.95 (Special Care)$43.95 (Puppy Early Care)
$55.95 (Puppy Early Care Plus)$35.95 (Cat Active Care)$53.95 (Cat Active Care Plus)
$63.95 (Cat Special Care)$46.95 (Kitten Early Care)
$55.95 (Kitten Early Care Plus)

These quotes demonstrate the variation in costs based on your pet’s age and the selected plan. Adding services like flea, tick, and heartworm protection also affects the final price.

Discounts to save money on Banfield pet insurance

Discounts in pet insurance can help you reduce overall costs, and Banfield Pet Insurance offers specific discounts that can make preventive care more affordable. Banfield’s discounts are ideal for households with multiple pets and those who frequently use Banfield’s services.

  • Multi-pet discount at enrollment: A $15 discount off the enrollment fee for each additional pet. This makes it more economical for families with multiple pets to enroll them all in Banfield’s Wellness Plans.
  • Discounts on covered services: Pet owners can get discounts on various services at Banfield Hospitals once enrolled in a Wellness Plan. This can include preventive and routine care services, making regular healthcare more accessible and budget-friendly.

Consider a family enrolling two pets in a Banfield Wellness Plan. At enrollment, they get a $15 discount for the second pet. If the first pet’s enrollment fee is $50, the second pet’s enrollment fee would be $35. 

As part of the Wellness Plan, they would also get discounts on Banfield services, such as vaccinations or dental cleanings, reducing their healthcare costs over time.

What types of pets are eligible for Banfield pet insurance?

Banfield Pet Insurance offers Wellness Plans for dogs and cats. Unlike traditional pet insurance, these plans exclude pets with pre-existing conditions. 

This makes Banfield suitable for pets needing regular preventive care, regardless of their health history. However, availability is linked to Banfield Hospital locations, which can be limiting.

Separate plans are available for younger pets, but there are no breed restrictions or mandatory medical exams for enrollment, simplifying the process for pet owners.

RequirementDetails
Eligible statesBanfield Hospital locations exist in every state and Washington D.C., except Alaska and Hawaii. You can check locations in your state here.
Age restrictionsNone; separate plans for pets under 6 months old
Type of petDogs and cats only
Breed restrictionsNone stated
Medical examNot required

Banfield pet insurance claims and payouts

Banfield Pet Insurance operates differently from traditional pet insurance regarding claims and payouts. Since Banfield offers Wellness Plans rather than insurance policies, the usual process of filing claims for reimbursement doesn’t apply.

Instead, pet owners pay a regular fee for the Wellness Plan, which covers specific preventive care services. These services are not subject to approval or reimbursement processes because Banfield Hospitals provide them.

With Banfield’s model, the financial transactions are straightforward:

  • Payment for services: Pet owners pay a monthly or annual fee for the Wellness Plan, which includes the cost of covered preventive services.
  • No claim filing: Services are prepaid under the Wellness Plan, so there’s no need to file claims for these services.
  • Immediate access to services: Covered services are available without delay or approval, simplifying pet owners’ experience.

This approach to pet healthcare, focusing on direct access to preventive services rather than reimbursement for claims, distinguishes Banfield from traditional pet insurance providers. 

Typical pet insurance involves paying for services out of pocket, filing a claim, and waiting for reimbursement, which can vary in time. Banfield eliminates these steps, offering a more immediate and predictable way to manage expected pet health expenses.

Here’s how to access services under Banfield’s plans:

  • Enroll in a Banfield Wellness Plan.
  • Schedule and receive covered services at Banfield Hospitals.
  • Services included in the Wellness Plan fee are provided at no charge.

Banfield’s approach differs from other companies’ claims processes, where pet owners must first pay for veterinary services, file a claim, and then wait for potential reimbursement.

Pros and cons of Banfield pet insurance

Banfield Pet Insurance, with its wellness plans, offers several advantages and limitations that are important to consider. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Covers preventive services

    Banfield’s plans focus on preventive care, covering regular check-ups, vaccinations, and routine diagnostics. This proactive approach is beneficial for maintaining a pet’s health.

  • No waiting period

    Upon enrollment, there is no waiting period, allowing pet owners to immediately start using the wellness plan services. This feature ensures prompt access to preventive care.

  • Unlimited vet visits

    The plan allows unlimited visits to Banfield Hospitals, allowing pet owners to seek veterinary care whenever necessary without additional costs.

  • 24-hour telehealth service

    Banfield offers a 24-hour telehealth service, enabling pet owners to consult with veterinary professionals at any time about their pet’s health concerns.

Cons

  • No coverage for accidents or illnesses

    The wellness plans do not cover treatments for accidents or illnesses, which many traditional pet insurance plans cover.

  • Restricted to Banfield Hospitals

    To use the plan’s benefits, pet owners must visit Banfield Hospitals. This can be limiting if a Banfield Hospital isn’t in a convenient location or if you prefer a different vet.

  • Can’t cancel midyear

    Once enrolled, you can’t cancel your plan during the year without paying the remainder of the 12-month plan’s payments. This lack of flexibility could be a drawback for some pet owners.

  • Enrollment fee

    An enrollment fee is required when enrolling your pet, although the amount is not disclosed. According to Banfield, the set-up fee covers setting up and establishing your pet’s OWP in our system. You can skip this fee for the next year by either signing up for automatic renewal with monthly payments or by reenrolling with full payment within 90 days of your pet’s last wellness plan.

These pros and cons highlight Banfield’s wellness plans’ specific focus and limitations. They offer comprehensive preventive care, but the lack of coverage for unforeseen illnesses or accidents and the requirement to use Banfield Hospitals are significant considerations.

How Banfield pet insurance compares to others

Banfield Pet Insurance stands out with its wellness-focused plans, offering no waiting period and unlimited access to Banfield Hospitals for preventive care. However, it doesn’t cover accidents or illnesses, limiting its scope compared to more comprehensive insurance options. 

For different needs, consider these alternatives:

  • Fetch Pet: Best for comprehensive coverage. It covers various health issues, including emergencies, making it ideal for extensive protection.
  • Pumpkin Pet: Best for preventive care with more provider flexibility. It’s suitable for those who want wellness services without being restricted to Banfield Hospitals.
  • Embrace: Notable for its short waiting period, with accident coverage starting in just two days, offering quick and comprehensive accident protection.

These options provide a range of coverage levels and flexibility, catering to various pet healthcare needs.

Is Banfield a reputable company?

Customer reviews are vital for assessing the reputation of a pet insurance provider. They offer direct insights from users, highlighting their experiences and satisfaction levels.

SourceCustomer ratingNumber of reviews
Trustpilot1.3 out of 5447 reviews
Better Business Bureau (BBB)1.12 out of 5658 reviews
Google3.2 out of 5175 reviews

Reviews collected on December 18, 2023

The reviews from Trustpilot and BBB indicate significant customer dissatisfaction with Banfield’s services, especially regarding its wellness plans. Common complaints include unmet expectations about coverage and the perceived value of the plans.

Though slightly more positive, Google reviews still reflect concerns about Banfield’s customer service and billing practices. 

Banfield’s lack of BBB accreditation and the consistency of negative feedback across multiple review sites raises questions about its overall reputation. Accreditation signifies a company is committed to resolving customer issues.

The recurring themes in these reviews suggest a need for clearer communication from Banfield about the specifics of its wellness plans. Banfield’s customer feedback reflects areas for significant improvement, particularly in transparency and customer service.

Does Banfield have a customer service team?

Banfield Pet Insurance has a customer service team to address questions about wellness plans, assist with enrollment, and support customers, although customer reviews cite poor experiences.

Banfield’s app also features a 24/7 “Pet Chat” service, providing veterinary advice and support at any time. You can contact Banfield’s customer service team in the following ways:

  • Email: Send an email via the contact form on the Contact Us page.
  • Phone: For questions about wellness plans, call 866-277-7387. A callback option is available through a form on Banfield’s website.
  • Chat box: Available through Banfield’s app, available to account holders, offering 24/7 “Pet Chat” for veterinary advice and support.
  • Banfield App: Downloadable on the Apple App Store or Google Play, providing an additional platform for managing wellness plans and accessing services.

How to apply for Banfield pet insurance

Applying for Banfield’s Wellness Plan requires minimal documentation and allows pet owners to choose a plan that suits their needs quickly. 

Unlike some insurance providers that may require medical history or a waiting period for approval, Banfield’s enrollment process is designed for ease and efficiency, reflecting its focus on preventive care.

Here are the steps to apply for Banfield’s wellness plan: 

  • Visit Banfield’s website: Go to Banfield’s website and click “Start enrollment now.”
Screenshot of Banfield's website
  • Fill out your pet’s information: Enter details about your pet, including age, breed, and any specific health information required.
Screenshot of Banfield's application
Screenshot of Banfield's application - pet information
  • Select a location: Choose a Banfield Hospital location for quote purposes. (You can use any Banfield Hospital with your policy.)
Screenshot of Banfield Hospital location finder feature
  • Review plan options: Browse the Wellness Plans offered and select the one that best fits your pet’s needs.
Screenshot of Wellness Plan options from Banfield
  • Consider additional options: Decide whether you want to add services, such as flea and tick control or heartworm prevention.
Additional options available on Banfield's application
  • Enter personal information: Input your personal details to complete the enrollment process.

This step-by-step approach ensures pet owners can navigate the application process quickly, with immediate access to preventive care services once enrolled.

Banfield FAQ

Can you visit any veterinarian or emergency hospital?

Banfield’s Wellness Plans are designed for use at Banfield Hospitals. Services covered under these plans are only available at Banfield locations. You can’t use a Banfield Wellness Plan with other veterinarians or emergency hospitals. The plan’s benefits are exclusive to Banfield’s network, limiting flexibility in choosing different veterinary service providers.

Is a medical exam required to enroll?

Banfield does not require a medical exam for enrollment in its Wellness Plans. This lack of requirement simplifies the enrollment process, allowing pet owners to sign up for preventive care services without needing prior health assessments of their pets. 

This approach aligns with the focus on routine and preventive care Banfield offers.

Does Banfield pet insurance cover exotic pets?

Banfield’s Wellness Plans are only for dogs and cats and do not provide coverage for exotic pets. Pet owners with exotic animals will need to seek insurance or wellness plans from providers that cater to these pets’ unique needs.

Can you add another pet to your policy?

Adding a pet to a Banfield Wellness Plan is straightforward. Owners can enroll multiple pets, and each pet has its own plan. You must repeat the enrollment process for each additional pet. 

Banfield also offers a multi-pet discount, reducing the enrollment fee for additional pets, making it more cost-effective for families with multiple pets.

Can you make changes to your policy?

Once enrolled in a Banfield Wellness Plan, the ability to change the plan is limited until the time of renewal. 

Additions, such as opting for flea and tick control, can usually be made during the plan period. However, you can only make significant changes to the plan type upon renewal.

Do you have to renew your policy each year?

Banfield’s Wellness Plans are typically annual agreements that automatically renew each year. Before the renewal date, plan holders are usually notified and allowed to change their plans for the upcoming year. 

This automatic renewal ensures continuous coverage and allows for annual plan adjustments as the pet’s needs change.

Can you cancel a policy?

Canceling a Banfield Wellness Plan is not as straightforward as starting one. Once enrolled, if you choose to cancel your plan midyear, you are still responsible for paying the remainder of the 12-month plan’s payments. 

This policy emphasizes commitment to the annual plan and limits flexibility regarding cancellation. You must contact Banfield and follow its procedures to cancel.