PetFirst Pet Insurance Review

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Contributor, Benzinga
January 19, 2022
Overall Rating:
securely through PetFirst's website

You’ve got health insurance for you and your family, but what about your dog or cat? PetFirst is part of the MetLife insurance family, and it offers pet insurance for dogs and cats. Founded in 2004, PetFirst pet insurance is underwritten by the Independence American Insurance Company.

PetFirst not only covers all breeds of dogs and cats, it protects pets of all ages. Puppies must be a minimum 8 weeks old to qualify. 

PetFirst has no networks, so you get to choose any vet you want. Be aware, however, that PetFirst is a reimbursement service, meaning you have to pay for services at the time of disbursement.

PetFirst allows you to take your pet to any veterinarian you choose, and plans start at just $15 per month for dogs and $9 for cats. The company’s three different plans — Cost Conscious, Recommended and Additional Coverage — offer annual benefits of $2,000, $5,000 and $10,000,  respectively. Basic policies operate on an 80% reimbursement rate with a $250 deductible.

Best For
  • MetLife customers
  • Immediate coverage
  • Full coverage no matter your pet’s age
  • Discount for multiple pets
  • Low deductibles for years with no claims
  • No age or breed restrictions
  • 80% reimbursement rates
  • Extended waiting period for hip dysplasia
  • Routine wellness exams not covered
  • Pre-existing conditions not covered

PetFirst Ratings at a Glance

Policy Options
Customer Service
Application Experience
Overall Rating

PetFirst Policy Options

Minimum Coverage$2,000
Maximum Coverage$10,000
Eligible Ages8 weeks minimum
Eligible AnimalsAll dogs and cats
# of Plan Options3

PetFirst offers three different plans. With these options, you’re sure to find coverage that fits your budget and provides comprehensive coverage for your pet.

Cost Conscious

PetFirst’s Cost Conscious plan is the most affordable. If your dog is mostly healthy and you want protection at the best price, this is the plan for you. The Cost Conscious plan offers up to $2,000 in annual coverage with 80% reimbursement and $250 deductible.

If you think there’s a better chance you’re going to need to use your coverage, then the Recommended plan might be best for you. Premiums are higher than with the Cost Conscious plan, with annual coverage at $5,000. The Recommended plan reimburses at an 80% rate with options for deductibles.

Additional coverage

If you’re looking for even more coverage, an additional coverage policy provides as much as $10,000 in annual coverage. This plan comes with the highest monthly premiums. Wellness riders are available for your pet’s everyday healthcare costs.

Routine care

PetFirst does offer a wellness rider for your dog or cat’s routine care. If you’re the type that just likes having coverage for everything and hates paying out of pocket, a wellness rider could solve your problem. Routine care covered by the wellness rider includes:

  • Annual vet exam
  • Routine tests and screening
  • Microchipping
  • Behavior training
  • Vaccines
  • Teeth cleaning or polishing
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Preventive treatment
  • Heartworm prevention

The wellness rider offers benefit amounts of $125, $250, $400 and $575. It’s available for purchase at time of sign up. Rates vary according to type of pet and location, anywhere between $8.50 and $28.60 per month.

PetFirst Customer Service

PetFirst offers customer support via email, web chat, phone and fax. It also has an online portal where you can change your plan or check on the status of your claim. 

Download the PetLife app to get full access to your account and manage your pet insurance. The app lets you view all policy information and benefits, submit and track your claims and edit your pet profile.

App updates are coming soon, including the option to upload all your pet records, locate pet service providers in your area and sign up for reminders for care. 

PetFirst has a call center available seven days a week at (855) 270-7387. You can reach a representative Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST. Saturday and Sunday are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.

BBB RatingA+
AM Best RatingA+
NAIC Complaint IndexN/A
Moody’s RatingAa3 (MetLife Insurance Co.)
J.D. Power Rating817/1000 (MetLife)

PetFirst Pricing

PetFirst offers competitive pricing and some discounts. There is a 10% discount for veterans, shelter personnel and others affiliated with animal organizations. Those currently serving in the military, healthcare workers and first responders also receive a discount. 

Most claims process within 10 days. Rates increase with age of your pet.

Here is a quote for the Cost-Conscious, Recommended and Additional coverages for a three-year-old, male purebred Alsatian. 

Policy TypeMonthly PremiumDeductibleAnnual BenefitReimbursement

This is a quote for a three-year-old mixed breed black cat under 20 pounds.

Policy TypeMonthly PremiumDeductibleAnnual BenefitReimbursement

*Monthly premiums vary depending on your pet’s size, age, location, policy of choice, deductible and rate of reimbursement.

PetFirst Application Experience

Signing up is easy with the PetFirst three-step enrollment plan. Enroll online, on your mobile device or by phone. Waiting periods are negligible. 

Fill out the form on the company website to find out whether PerFirst is right for your dog or cat. After you fill out the form, you’ll receive information on the options, how to get discounts, no matter the breed or size of your pet. A PetFirst team member can also take your application over the phone.

PetFirst offers customers the flexibility to select varying levels of coverage. There are no breed exclusions or age limits. No exams are required for enrollment.

PetFirst vs. Competitors

When it comes to price, PetFirst stands up to all the competition. Premiums are moderately priced compared to industry standards, with options for lower rates with higher deductibles.

While most of the competition makes you wait until your membership kicks in, PetFirst coverage kicks in the day after purchase. There’s no 14-day waiting period like many competitors. Due to the high cost of treating intervertebral disc disease and cruciate ligament injuries, however, there is a 6-month waiting period for those procedures.

PetFirst allows for up to $650 for dental care, which is not an industry standard. This also includes treatment for periodontal disease. Reimbursement for all exam fees is also a standout feature.

On the downside, PetFirst requires payment of deductible per condition. While this does get applied to the reimbursement claim, other companies rate their deductibles on an annual basis. Reimbursement periods compared to its competitors is about the same. The industry average is 9 days, while PetFirst takes 10.

  • PetFirst
    Best For:
    Immediate Coverage
    securely through PetFirst's website
  • Lemonade Pet Insurance
    Best For:
    Top-rated pet insurance
    securely through Lemonade Pet Insurance's website

    Lemonade is currently available in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin,

  • Spot Pet Insurance
    Best For:
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  • Pumpkin Pet Insurance
    Best For:
    Families with multiple pets
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    Limitations apply. For terms and conditions, visit Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (NPN#19084749) (“Pumpkin”) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance plans underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy, and is not available in all states.

PetFirst Overall Rating

Overall, PetFirst pet insurance rates 4.5 out of 5 stars. Ease of use and affordability gives PetFirst high ratings. Customers love the fact that PetFirst has no in-network, and you can see any veterinarian they choose. Because of this, there’s no doctor approval process.

Although customers are required to pay for services at the time of disbursement, filing a claim is easy. Claims are filed either online, by post mail or email. Claims packages are available for download and reimbursement typically takes 10 days. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Does PetFirst require customers to choose from a predetermined list of veterinarians?


No. PetFirst has no in-network requirements. With PetFirst, you get to choose any vet you want. Find the best doctor for your pet or keep the one you already have.


What if your vet doesn’t accept PetFirst coverage?


PetFirst operates on a reimbursement model, so you pay your doctor at the time of the visit, then PetFirst reimburses you. Reimbursement rates range anywhere from 70% to 100% and take only 10 days. Because of the reimbursement model, all doctors are accepted.


Are large and rare breeds excluded from coverage?


PetFirst accepts all breeds and sizes. There are no restrictions to the type of dogs and cats PetFirst accepts.

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About Philip Loyd, Licensed Insurance Agent

Loyd has written for, Red News Real Estate,,, McGraw Hill,, WikiHow,, S.R. Education, Society of Petroleum Engineers and BioTech Fortunes. He is a licensed insurance agent and financial advisor with both his series 6 and 7 certifications.