In 2020, Walmart announced that it would be partnering with Petplan—now known as Fetch by the Dodo—to offer pet insurance to its customers as part of the Walmart Pet Care line. Under the partnership, Walmart will not underwrite the policies or handle claims directly. Instead, Fetch by the Dodo will administer the policies and Walmart will simply act as a retailer, selling the pet insurance policies in its stores and online.
In turn, signing up for Fetch pet insurance through Walmart can help you save “up to 10%” on their policies. So how much will protecting your furry friend cost you?
Let’s take a look at Walmart pet insurance plans, pricing, coverage, and more to help you make the best decision for your pet.
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The Importance of Pet Insurance
First things first: do you even need pet insurance? The answer is yes, whether you have a cat, dog, or any other type of pet.
As much as we hope our pets will always be healthy, the unfortunate reality is that pets can get hurt and sick, just like people.
Vet bills are also notoriously expensive. Treatment costs for the most common pet injuries, such as breaking a leg, swallowing a foreign object, or getting hit by a car, can easily reach hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That’s just for the initial treatment—ongoing care and rehabilitation can quickly add up to even more.
Pet insurance acts as a safety net for both you and your beloved pet. It allows you to get them the care they need knowing that you’re not going to have to empty your savings account to pay the vet bills.
How Much Does Walmart Pet Insurance Cost?
Still, there’s not much room for customization when it comes to pricing. You can only adjust your policy based on these values:
|Reimbursement Rate||Annual Deductible||Max Annual Payout|
Based on this computation, you’ll need to pay $26.34 a month if you choose the middle tier for all features.
What Does Walmart Pet Insurance Cover?
Since Fetch is Walmart’s pet insurance provider, the coverage you’ll get from Walmart Pet Insurance is largely the same as what you would get from Fetch by the Dodo.
Under Fetch, Walmart Pet Insurance even covers things like “Advertising and reward” fees if your pet goes missing, up to $1,000 per pet.
However, there are some things that Walmart Pet Insurance does not cover:
How to Decide the Right Type of Pet Insurance for You
There are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration before purchasing pet insurance through Walmart or any other carrier:
1. How much can you afford to spend on pet insurance premiums?
It’s always a good idea to pay the maximum you can afford in premiums so that you’re not left with a large vet bill if your pet gets sick or injured, but be realistic. For instance, can you keep paying your premium if you suddenly lose your job or have another major financial setback?
2. How much are you willing and able to pay out of pocket?
Your deductible and reimbursement rate will affect how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket if your pet needs treatment. A higher deductible means lower premiums, but it also means you’ll have to pay more if your pet gets sick or injured.
3. Does your pet have potential breed-specific medical issues?
Not every pet insurance company covers breed-specific medical issues. For example, some companies may not cover hip dysplasia in German Shepherds or breathing issues in short-nosed breeds like Pugs. Check if you’re comfortable with the exclusions before you purchase a policy.
4. Are you willing to pay more for comprehensive coverage?
Some pet insurance companies offer more comprehensive coverage than others. For example, Fetch pet insurance covers holistic and alternative care like acupuncture and chiropractic treatment as long as it’s recommended by a licensed veterinarian. Not all companies offer this type of coverage, so it’s something to keep in mind.
How to Maximize Your Pet Insurance Coverage
Once you’ve decided to purchase pet insurance, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your policy:
1. Try to Get Pet Insurance as Early as You Can
Since most providers don’t cover pre-existing conditions, it’s best to get pet insurance when your animal is young and healthy. That way, you’re more likely to be covered if they experience any health issues down the road.
2. Keep Up With Preventive Care
Preventive care is important for keeping your pet healthy. It’s not covered by many pet insurance policies, but it can help you get your claims paid since insurance companies often consider preventive care to be a sign that you’re a responsible pet owner.
3. Record Everything
Keep track of all your pet’s medical records, including vaccinations, check-ups, and treatments. Ask your vet for “SOAP” notes. These are concise summary notes that provide important information about your pet’s health. Having these on hand will help you file claims more quickly and easily.
4. Read Your Policy Carefully
Be sure to read your pet insurance policy carefully so that you understand what’s covered and what’s not. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pet insurance company for clarification.
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Part of being a responsible pet owner is making sure you have the financial resources to take care of your animal if they get sick or injured.
Pet insurance can help you cover unexpected vet bills, but it’s important to choose the right policy for you and your pet. Consider factors like cost, coverage, and exclusions before purchasing a policy whether you decide to go with Walmart and Fetch or with another provider altogether.
Featured Image Credit: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock