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animal welfare

The best alternative to pet insurance: Pawp

Pawp gives pet parents peace of mind with 24/7 and unlimited access to licensed vets and pet experts — plus an annual $3,000 emergency fund. Here’s what you need to know about Pawp and telehealth for your pets.

Updated September 14, 2021

Created By

Emily Johnson , ,

What is Pawp?

Pawp isn’t your traditional pet health insurance company. Instead, they are the best affordable alternative for you to protect up to 6 pets in a household with only one membership. Rather than needing to undergo a vet exam prior to enrollment like traditional insurance, Pawp offers a monthly flat fee of just $19 and an emergency fund up to $3,000 regardless of your pet’s breed, age, location in the U.S, and pre-existing conditions.

Dog and cat owners can use this fund any time during the year for a life-threatening emergency, even if that emergency relates to a pre-existing condition (psst! No pet insurance does that). Pawp must approve of the treatment as an emergency, meaning it won’t cover any scheduled surgeries or regular vet appointments.

Pet parents can also access Pawp’s team of licensed vets and pet experts 24/7 via video calls or texts, no appointment needed and no wait times. You can ask any questions related to your pet’s health, behavior, or nutrition. Pawp wants pet owners to have peace of mind knowing that they have an on-demand expert at their fingertips whenever they need it.

With over 81% of dog parents interested in pet insurance, many traditional pet insurance companies don’t offer full coverage in times of emergency. Pawp offers pet owners an affordable alternative to pet insurance that takes away the financial worry of accidents and unnecessary vet visits. Our furry friends are family to us and we’d do anything to keep them healthy and protected, but that doesn’t mean we have to go into debt to save them when emergencies strike.

Jump down to compare Pawp pricing with competitors.

Who should use it?

Pawp is best for: 

  • Owners of pets (dogs and cats) with pre-existing conditions
  • New pet parents
  • Pet parents looking for multi-pet coverage
  • Pet owners trying to save time and money for unnecessary vet visits
  • Those looking for low monthly premiums

Pawp is not the best for:

  • Pet owners looking for wellness coverage or more than one trip per year
  • Owners of exotic pets

💡Pro Tip

Pawp offers coverage for dogs and cats, but doesn’t offer insurance for birds or exotic pets. Nationwide and Pet Assure are the only companies to offer traditional and alternative pet insurance for exotic animals and birds.

Perks

👉 Pawp is the only company that offers a yearly $3,000 emergency fund even if that emergency is related to a pre-existing condition.

That’s right — they’ll cover 100% of any emergency (up to $3,000), even if it’s related to your dog’s or cat’s pre-existing condition. They also won’t restrict coverage based on age, breed, or other medical history. 

On top of emergency coverage, Pawp offers 24/7 unlimited video calling and texts with a licensed vet so pet parents can ask questions about basic pet health, behavior, and nutrition. This is a great option when you have a question, but don’t have time to visit your normal vet — plus it’s all included in the $19/month fee.

Services, prescriptions, and coverage

Coverage for cats and dogs is only $19 per month and a single policy covers up to six pets per household. Plus, you get a $3,000/year emergency fund to use on any of your pets. The best part? There’s no deductible, no co-pay, no out-of-pocket expenses, and you can use your fund at any vet in the U.S. Pawp pays the vet directly before you leave the clinic — oh, and you don’t pay it back! Unfortunately, Pawp doesn’t cover scheduled appointments or surgeries and they won’t write prescriptions, and policyholders can’t change any of these policy aspects. 

Pawp’s waiting period for all emergency coverage is 14 days after enrollment. This means pet owners who sign up will have coverage for their pet(s) two weeks later; it’s not an option to purchase and immediately have coverage while at the emergency vet (this is standard across the industry). 

Payments 💵

Unlike other pet insurance companies, Pawp doesn’t require its policyholders to file claims in order to pay their vet bills. Pawp pays vet clinics and hospitals directly rather than paying pet owners through reimbursements. Tapping into your emergency fund is simple — first call the Pawp vets to determine the level of emergency before heading to the clinic. Once you get your invoice from the emergency vet, you can ask them to call Pawp directly for payment. 

Pawp pricing, deductible, and claims

Pawp has a fixed rate of $19 per month. You can cover up to six pets in the same household (if you need more, you can add on with an additional $19/month). And while the $3,000 coverage is only able to be used once per year on one of your pets, you can use it on any pet that needs it at the time. 

Pawp doesn’t have a deductible or a co-pay. The deductible refers to the money policyholders must spend out-of-pocket before they can access their insurance funds. The co-pay is the percentage of the vet bill that pet parents have to pay during the visit. Pawp policyholders can save hundreds since they don’t need to pay either of these at the time of their visit — deductibles usually range between $100 to $1,000 and co-pays can vary in price based on the insurance plan.

Pawp doesn’t require policyholders to file claims. Most pet insurance companies use a reimbursement model when it comes to payment for their policyholders. Pawp, on the other hand, will pay for 100% of the vet bill (up to $3,000) directly to the clinic before you and your pet even leave. The $3,000 annual limit is pretty standard in comparison to other insurance companies. 

Pawp vs competitors

See how Pawp compares to other online vets in the industry: whiskerDocs, PetCoach, and AskVet.

How does Pawp compare?

Company Cost Emergency Coverage Payment
Pawp $19/mo, up to 6 pets $3,000/year covered for 1 emergency, no prescriptions available $0 payment, $0 deductible
whiskerDocs $16/mo for 1 pet or $39.99 single visits without subscription No emergency service coverage, no prescriptions available N/A
PetCoach $5/question, $20 for private consult No service coverage, vet consultations available Pay at time of question or consult
AskVet $19.99/mo or $29.99/3 mo $1,000 “rainy day fund”, at-home lab testing, discounts for meds/food/supplies $0 deductible/payment, $45 added every month up to $1,000

Pawp emergency fund 🚨

Unlike traditional pet insurance companies, Pawp offers a $3,000 “emergency fund” for cats and dogs that policyholders can access once a year to go towards a pet’s emergency vet bill. That being said, pet parents can’t use it for anything other than what Pawp deems to be a “life-threatening emergency.”

In order to gain access to your $3,000 emergency card fund, you first need to video call a Pawp vet for them to determine whether it’s covered based on the conditions below: (Note: the emergency fund only covers the first option, a life-threatening emergency.)

  • Covered: Life-threatening emergency. Must seek vet care immediately and leave for help now.
  • Not covered: Critical. Highly recommended that the pet be seen within 24 hours.
  • Not covered: Urgent. The pet owner can make the next available appointment with their Vet (within 3 days).
  • Not covered: Non-urgent. May need to see a vet at some point in the future.
  • Not covered: No action required. Situation resolved.

Some common emergencies that Pawp covers include: 

  • Toxic ingestion
  • Choking & difficulty breathing
  • Severe blockages
  • Severe Internal & external injuries

Pawp reviews

Pet parents have shared that Pawp is “a life saver,” and “it’s the best $19 I ever spent!” Even veterinarians agree that it’s one of the more affordable options out there.

Pawp is a very unique and beneficial insurance alternative for pet owners. The most expensive and unexpected costs for pet owners are emergency visits. So, having protection to cover those expenses can give you great peace of mind.

Dwight Alleyne Veterinary of Medicine

Frequently asked questions

Is Pawp a good pet insurance? 

Pawp is a super easy and convenient pet insurance alternative for emergencies and for 24/7 access to licensed vets. While most insurers have lots of paperwork, expensive deductibles and copays, or long waits for reimbursements, Pawp is here to keep it simple for you. One plan covers six pets (dogs and cats only), you have instant access to vets, and Paw pays your vet up to $3,000 on the day of emergency treatment. They also cover emergencies related to pre-existing conditions, which no pet insurance provider does.

What is Pawp pet insurance?

Pawp is considered to be a new alternative to pet insurance. Coverage allows you to protect up to six cats and dogs in the same household up to $3,000 for emergency treatment once a year. It also gives you 24/7 access to the online Pawp vets whenever you have questions or concerns.

Is pet insurance worth the money?

There are around 165 million cats and dogs in the U.S. alone, but unfortunately, only 2% of them have insurance. Pet insurance gives pet owners some peace of mind when it comes to paying for expensive vet bills, but the reality is that most people can’t afford the expensive fees and deals. Depending on the insurance company and the plan you choose, pet owners can be reimbursed for illnesses, emergency care, and accidents and could save anywhere from 25-100% of the bill. With one out of three pets needing emergency vet care every year, having pet insurance is becoming more and more popular even if it doesn’t always make financial sense. 

Trying to decide between pet insurance and a telehealth service like Pawp? Traditional pet insurance doesn’t offer the 24/7 vet availability or one-time $3,000 emergency fund like Pawp. However, most pet insurance policies offer coverage for more than one accident or emergency per year. It comes down to whether pet owners are looking for on-demand veterinary support from the comfort of home (as well as multi-pet coverage and one-time emergency coverage per year) or a life-long policy that covers more than one visit to the vet but may never pay for itself in terms of premiums, deductibles, and reimbursement limits. 

Does pet insurance cover wellness exams?

Not typically, no. Wellness plans are meant for routine vet care that you know your pet will need (like vaccinations, yearly check-ups, etc) and are designed to spread out the costs of these routine appointments over the year rather than paying a lump sum after each visit.