Verdict On This Pet Insurance Alternative
Policyholders on Pawp need to conform to the company’s stringent evaluation process and definition of what qualifies as an emergency. However, considering the generous offer of $3,000 per year at a nominal rate of $24 per month, I’d definitely say it’s worth it.
That said, some pet owners may feel the company is a bit too strict in some of its policies. At the same time, this only reflects the brand’s commitment to its unshirkable responsibility of catering to those who are indeed in need.
Not to mention how Pawp makes the experience stress and hassle-free for both you and your pet once the request is approved. At the end of the day, the quick services and adherence to quality will assure you that your investment was worth it.
Anyhow, I recommend that you also look for a traditional insurance provider for day-to-day pet-related mishaps that could cost you an arm and a paw. And for all emergencies – Pawp has got you covered.
There’s nothing I won’t do for my fur baby – especially when she is sick and in need of treatment.
But, as any pet owner knows, veterinary bills can break the bank and set you back hundreds and thousands of dollars. At times, you may not even be able to afford to pay off medical bills at all, leaving both you and your pet in anguish.
Fret no more – Pawp now offers a solution that is quick, hassle-free, and 100% reliable. Indeed, you no longer have to fill in piles and piles of paperwork to purchase insurance, nor do you have to go through a long-drawn process to file claims.
Hi! I’m Pete Decker – a dog-dad, dog-trainer, and a fellow animal lover. Here’s all you need to know about Pawp and how they can help you deal with the stress of a sick pet.
Alas, accidents are part and parcel of any pet dog’s life. After all, these curious and mischievous balls of energy often go out looking for trouble.
And on those days, you can only hope for a broken vase or that they return sopping wet after trying to catch a frog at the pond. Worst case scenario; they reach home limping because of a broken limb.
This is what I thought had happened when Staples, my dear silver Weimaraner, came home one day, wobbling from side to side and reluctant to climb up the stairs. And as the poor boy dozed off to sleep and woke up showing no signs of improvement, I decided to get a professional opinion.
A few months before this incident, one of my clients at the dog training school had mentioned a new pet insurance company, which provides veterinary advice and instant financial aid. Considering how the company charged a nominal sum every month, I almost forgot I had signed up for its policy.
And so, I fixed an emergency consultation with one of the virtual vets, who revealed to me that my pup could be suffering from canine hip dysplasia – which another vet later confirmed. What’s more, the company offered to pay for the treatment suggested by my vet, which cost hundreds of dollars more than I had deposited.
While my experience was a fruitful one, some dog owners may not agree. After all, Pawp maintains strict guidelines on the kind of emergencies they cover. Needless to say, it is worth taking an in-depth look at the insurance policies and pricing before signing up.
What Is Pawp?
Pawp is a digital health clinic that offers a safety net for emergency pet bills. The entrepreneurs and petcare-enthusiasts behind this visionary idea started up the company to tackle the crisis of pet euthanasia, which accounts for a large chunk of animal-related deaths.
Considering how millions of cats and dogs are put to sleep each year at animal shelters due to a lack of funds, this business move is rooted in ethics. And not just animal welfare associations, but even pet owners may sometimes choose to euthanize their pets instead of coughing up medical bills that run into the thousands.
Established in 2019 with its headquarters in New York City, New York, Pawp shares some features with traditional pet insurance policies, but it differs in some aspects.
For instance, most pet insurance companies require the pet owner to cough up the money for medical bills, which they may later reimburse in full. That said, there is no co-pay policy with Pawp – the company grants pet owners the total amount of $3,000 once a year, which is paid directly to the vet.
Signing up is quick and hassle-free, and the company does not require new users to undergo any vet exam before insuring their pets. While this makes it increasingly more convenient to enroll pets with long-term diseases, bear in mind that each request has to be pre-approved by the in-house vets at Pawp.
How Does Pawp Work?
What sets Pawp apart is its easy accessibility and quick services. For starters, you don’t need to fill in piles and piles of paperwork or undergo lengthy medical checks and procedures before signing up for a membership with the company.
Indeed, all you have to do is visit the official website and click on the “Get protected now” button. And if you have time to spare, feel free to look through the attractive and neat website that is teeming with helpful resources about the importance of emergency medical funds and pet insurance.
Once the website takes you to the signup page, you will have to fill in details about your pet, including their name, pet type, breed, age, and weight. You can only choose between a cat and a dog in the “pet type” section since Pawp, unfortunately, does not cover any other pets at this time.
As for the breed, many owners who have taken in ferals may not be aware of their re-homed pet’s breed. In such a case, you can chat with one of the in-house experts at Pawp via the in-site instant messaging feature and discover your furry pal’s breed.
Of course, you can take this opportunity to ask any other burning questions related to pet care or the company’s policies, and someone from the team will readily guide you.
After this, you must fill in details about yourself, including your name, zip code, and email address. Before you head to the checkout page, the website will show you all you can get for a flat rate of $24 per month.
Apart from the emergency fund of $3,000 per year, you also get access to virtual vets on the website 24/7 – no appointments required. Indeed, the online experts are ready to provide you with their professional opinion any time of the day or night on a wide range of subjects, including first-aid advice and product recommendations.
All you need is a computer, tablet, or mobile phone so you can either reach out to them via video call or instant messaging. What’s more, all these offers can be applied to up to five other pets in your household.
As a final step, you need to deposit $24 using PayPal or your credit card.
Accessing Emergency Funds
You can swiftly gain access to an emergency fund of $3,000 from Pawp once a year – and I do hope you won’t have more than one adverse instance too. But alas, you never know when a pet may bolt through the door and return with bloody bite marks. Or perhaps, they may end up sneaking a large amount of chocolate from the kitchen.
Either way, your pet requires immediate medical attention and must see a vet promptly. That said, you can contact the licensed veterinarians from Pawp for instant diagnosis and first-aid advice in an emergency.
For this, you will have to send a video recording of the distressed animal along with clues as to what may have gone wrong through their online app. Bear in mind that the company lays down several guidelines to ensure proper assessment of the situation. So, make sure that you:
- Record at least one and a half minutes of clear footage.
- Show the pet’s entire body for a minimum of 30 seconds.
- Focus on the injured area, if applicable.
- Show its breathing movement.
- Call your pet by its name in the video.
- Move objects in their visual field and touch the pet.
- Ask someone with a steady hand to record the video.
- Send more than one video, if needed.
Alternatively, you can seek an online emergency consultation via video chat. It is worth noting that Pawp offers unlimited video calls and chats to all its users, so even if there is no emergency, you may still consult the experts at no extra cost.
Apart from guiding you, the vets may take this opportunity to determine the severity of the case and whether it qualifies as an emergency. So, after thoroughly examining the symptoms, the vet will declare your pet’s condition as one of the following:
No Action Required
If the problem subsides or gets resolved after performing first-aid, then no further action may be necessary. Needless to say, members may not utilize the emergency funds in such a case.
Non-urgent cases are determined as those in which the owner can safely monitor the pet’s symptoms at home. These may include lumps, ticks, a torn toenail, and so on.
If you can wait for about 2 to 3 days before an appointment with the vet, this situation will come under an urgent case. Symptoms of an urgent issue include sneezing, a runny nose, itchy skin, and so on.
Some cases of vomiting and diarrhea may be a sign of a severe illness, or it may be a harmless instance of regurgitation. Either way, the professionals at Pawp will first evaluate the case and may deem it as critical but not an emergency.
To grant the $3,000 emergency fund, Pawp only considers emergency cases where pet owners have no choice but to seek immediate vet care. According to the website, these cases include:
- Toxic ingestion
- Life-threatening blockages and choking
- Severe internal injuries
- Severe external injuries, such as puncture wounds
Considering how a few disgruntled customers have expressed their disappointment after being turned down by the vets at Pawp, it is worth noting that the website does impose strict regulations. In fact, you may visit the “Coverage” page on the website to access an exhaustive list of what the company does not cover.
- Routine checkups
- Pre-scheduled surgeries
- Vaccination procedures
- X-rays and ultrasounds unrelated to approved emergencies
- Pregnancy-related issues
Despite these lists, you can take advantage of the free consultations and short waiting periods in case of any issue with your pet.
And while the company adheres to its rules with meticulous care, the vets understand that each situation is unique, and each instance is evaluated on a case-to-case basis. At the end of the day, the decision is up to the medical professional’s discretion.
Moreover, the company may withhold the emergency fund if one of their in-house vets had previously recommended a vet visit and you failed to comply. For the most part, this is because the company sees it as a case of medical negligence that may lead to a more severe emergency.
Payment Of Vet Bills
Provided that the Pawp staff has examined and approved a medical emergency, you should immediately take your pet to a nearby vet clinic. Remember that Pawp cannot grant the emergency funds if you have already seen a vet before requesting approval with an in-house professional.
And although you may choose an establishment of your choice – whether it is an emergency or vet clinic, the pet must be admitted within four hours of referral.
For all other damages that are within the $3,000 threshold, you can rely on Pawp. That said, the company covers all approved emergency treatment procedures and related expenses, including:
Once the treatment is concluded, you should request the front desk or technician to give the Pawp team a call on their official phone number. Alternatively, you may send a picture of the invoice and any other relevant medical bills to the official emergency email ID.
After examination and verification by the team, the company will provide payments of up to $3,000 to the vet clinic. If applicable, this will include any security deposits that you may have made earlier.
Since all transactions are done directly, members are not reimbursed in any form. Therefore, you should take the necessary precautions to ensure that the clinic returns any upfront deposits by the end of the visit.
And once the transaction is complete, you can return home with your recuperating pet.
Why Choose Pawp?
An attractive and user-friendly website goes a long way in determining how the company functions. That said, my first impressions of the Pawp website were overwhelmingly positive – after all, which animal lover won’t get excited seeing such adorable puppy-shaped graphics?
But it’s not just the sleek layout and inviting colors that caught my eye. In fact, the Pawp website contains a wealth of information about the company policies for first-time users and links to vet-backed articles for first-time pet parents.
What’s more, if you want to learn about the Pawp Membership in detail, the website offers an advice column with relevant informational articles. Not to mention how an in-site chat bar is available for all kinds of personalized questions.
Speaking of which, I was pretty delighted to find that once I had subscribed as a member, the website was personalized to Staples’ name. Needless to say, there is much to be said about a company that works with such precision and care.
And that’s not all; the friendly and endearing quality of the website translates well in the official app. Apart from all the nuggets of wisdom I have learned from the accommodating staff, who I often disturb with my silly questions, the chat interface itself is easy to navigate.
Furthermore, the pet profile system has helped me organize all my pet info – the fun way. Sometimes, as I look through Staples’ profile on the app, I feel as though I am going through his very own social media profile.
Fun and games aside – this feature offers a convenient method of storing and accessing health records on the go. And while I will never lose these essential documents, I don’t have to worry about furnishing a piece of paper every vet visit.
Indeed, the company remembers every detail and records the health history for the vet’s reference so that you can get quick and personalized care every time.
Covers Multiple Pets
More good news awaits those who live in multiple-pet households – coverage for either cats or dogs is $24 per month and covers up to six pets. What’s more, the company does not restrict its services based on breed, age, or medical history.
Indeed, even if your cats or dogs suffer from a long-term illness, they are not seen as a liability and are provided equal access to the $3,000 emergency fund. In fact, Pawp does not conduct any vet exams before new users sign up as members.
All you need to do is fill in the required details online and keep an eye out for any signs of distress – even if it occurs due to a pre-existing underlying issue.
No Deductibles, No Co-Pay
Usually, traditional pet insurance providers charge deductibles, which could cost anywhere between $100 and $1,000. Simply put, a deductible refers to the amount of money that a policyholder coughs up before they can access any funds.
On the other hand, you need not file any claims for yourself or the clinic once the company has approved the treatment. And while you may have to put down a deposit upfront, the company will pay all charges, including the advance, so that the clinic can reimburse you once the treatment concludes.
And since Pawp takes care of the whole bill by directly paying the clinic, it does away with co-pay, one of the most common practices in the pet insurance industry. The direct transaction also differs from other insurance companies, which generally follow the method of reimbursement.
Since you hardly pay any money during the entire process – unless there is some advanced deposit involved, this policy is indeed one tailor-made for emergencies.
However, it is worth noting that the $3,000 annual limit cannot be adjusted and is only applicable for one treatment in an entire year. But considering the swiftness of the procedure and how Pawp provides financial aid for the most expensive sector of pet healthcare, you may want to cut your losses.
Covers All 50 States
In a bid to make their services accessible to a maximum number of people, Pawp covers emergency cases from all over the country.
What’s more, understanding that emergencies can occur anytime, anywhere, and to anyone, the company does not restrict services based on the location of the emergency clinic. In fact, you don’t need to get the treatment done from an emergency facility and may head to the nearest vet clinic.
And perhaps to make sure that you take prompt action, the makers only allow a window of four hours post-referral before they withhold the emergency funds.
Can You Get Birds And Exotic Pets Insured Under Pawp?
Birds and exotic pets are not covered under Pawp’s emergency fund policy. In fact, you may only sign up as a member if you own one or multiple dogs or cats.
However, Pawp does not restrict services based on breed, age, or medical history. What’s more, at $24 per month, one membership covers up to six pets at a time.
But, to be on the safer side, I recommend that you apply for separate memberships for all your pets. I say this because members can only access the emergency fund of $3,000 once a year, which means the company won’t provide treatment for multiple cases, should they occur.
What Is The Average Waiting Time Before I Can Consult A Vet?
Pawp specializes in providing a safety net during emergencies, so it only fits members who can reach veterinary professionals in optimal time. That said, once you have made a request for a consultation, someone from the team should be with you within two minutes.