We’ve rated Pawp on price, coverage, policy options, waiting periods, customer support, and more. Read our Pawp pet insurance alternative review to see how this company stacks up.
The Cats.com Standard – Rating Pawp Pet Insurance On What Matters
We’ve rated the brand on six key criteria for quality. Here’s how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.
- Price – 9/10
- Coverage – 6/10
- Policy Options – 9/10
- Waiting Periods – 10/10
- Customer Support – 8/10
Overall Score: 8.4/10
In total, we give Pawp pet insurance a 42 out of 50 rating or 8.4 out of 10.
Pros Of Pawp Pet Insurance:
- Unlimited access to vets and pet professionals via text or video chat
- Simple, straightforward monthly fee covers up to 6 pets per household
- No pre-existing conditions or exclusions (other than non-emergencies)
- Emergency fund of $3,000 available to help cover unexpected vet bills
- Digital access to your pet’s health records and other important info
Cons Of Pawp Pet Insurance:
- Doesn’t cover preventive care, wellness visits, or scheduled surgeries
- Emergency fund can only be used once per household per year
- Care must be pre-authorized by a Pawp vet and sought within 4 hours
About Pawp Pet Insurance Alternative
Every pet parent dreads the thought of something serious happening to their pet. Aside from the heartache and pain of an accident or emergency, there are also the vet bills to worry about.
Traditional pet insurance plans reimburse pet owners for a percentage of covered services. While most pet insurance plans don’t cover wellness exams and preventive care, they provide peace of mind for pet owners in the event of a serious illness or accident. Reimbursement rates generally range from 70% to 90% with annual or per-incident deductibles running the gambit.
Pawp is an alternative to traditional pet insurance plans. They provide unlimited, on-demand access to virtual veterinary care along with a $3,000 safety net for emergencies.
Launched as an emergency fund based out of New York City in 2019, Pawp was created by Andrew Malek, Cody Simons, Marc Atiyeh, and Scott Sonneborn. It was created with the goal of ending financial euthanasia – the unfortunate but not uncommon choice pet parents sometimes find themselves in when a pet has to be put down due to lack of funds for treatment.
While the idea of an emergency fund sounds promising, it comes with a serious caveat: you have to get Pawp’s approvial prior to seeking care in order to use the funds.
In the event of a serious but not life-threatening emergency, this might not be a problem. But if your cat is in critical condition the last thing on your mind is calling your insurance company to ask for permission to seek emergency care.
That being said, Pawp does provide some protection against high veterinary bills along with unlimited access to licensed veterinarians and vet technicians 24/7 for just $24 per month. But is it a good choice for your cat?
Let’s dive deeper and find out.
Coverage And Pricing
Getting started with Pawp is fairly simple. You start by visiting the Pawp website and click Join Now to provide some basic information about yourself and your cat.
Pawp collects information about your pet’s name and the type of pet as well as your name, email address, and zip code. From there, you’ll be given a review of your pet’s monthly plan before being taken to the checkout page to complete signup.
Here’s a quick overview of what Pawp’s standard plan covers:
- 24/7 access to veterinarians and pet professionals
- Instant and unlimited video chats
- $3,000 emergency fund for vet bills
- Personalized vet & professional recommendations
Regardless your pet’s species, age, or current health status, all Pawp plans cost $24 per month. In fact, you can cover up to 6 pets in the same household, all for that $24 monthly fee.
Compared to traditional pet insurance plans, Pawp is very straightforward in terms of pricing. You don’t have to worry about any deductibles and you can use the $3,000 emergency fund once per year up to the full amount without having to repay it.
What About Exclusions And Waiting Periods?
Because Pawp isn’t a traditional pet insurance plan, there aren’t any concerns about pre-existing conditions. All pets in the household are covered in case of an emergency, even if it relates to a condition your pet already had or had been treating for.
While pre-existing conditions aren’t a concern, there are certain exclusions.
Pawp does not cover fees for scheduled surgeries, wellness exams, vaccinations and other preventive care, or pregnancy and pregnancy-related issues. Basically, Pawp is only for emergencies – not for any kind of planned or preventive care.
Here are a few examples of what Pawp can be used for:
- Severe intestinal blockage
- Toxic ingestion
- Foreign object consumption
- Severe injury
The important thing to keep in mind is that all emergencies are evaluated by Pawp vets on a case-by-case basis. You have to contact Pawp before seeking care and, once you’ve gotten approval, you have to initiate that care within 4 hours.
While many pet insurance plans have waiting periods for accidents and orthopedic injuries, Pawp only has one waiting period to worry about. You can access your plan immediately and speak with Pawp vets and pet professionals, but you have to complete a 14-day waiting period before using the emergency fund.
A Pawp vet can help you determine if a situation requires emergency care during that time, but you won’t be able to access the funds.
What Do Customers Think Of Pawp Pet Insurance?
Pawp is only a few years old, but it already seems to have a decent following. With nearly 450 customer reviews on TrustPilot, Pawp has a 4.5/5 average rating.
Customers seem to really appreciate the 24/7 access to veterinarians, even outside of emergencies. In numerous cases, being able to ask a licensed veterinarian a question prevented the pet owner from seeking emergency care in a situation where it wasn’t necessarily required.
That being said, there are some customers who say they had to jump through hoops to access their emergency fund. We found some comments that suggested Pawp’s definition of “emergency” was too narrow.
Let’s take a look at what real Pawp customers have to say about their pet insurance alternative.
“My furry babies had an emergency situation twice and both times, the vets are so helpful and caring. They are very knowledgeable on how to assess your pets needs in times of an emergency. Everyone I spoke to at PAWP are extremely nice patience during the time of distressed with my cats. I will recommend PAWP for your pets emergency insurance coverage.” – Customer via TrustPilot
“My cat was showing signs of bloating or possible UTI issues. His stomach was distended and hard to the touch. After talking with the vet, and realizing his bathroom and eating habits were normal, it was not something to be concerned about. Amanda was great with all of my questions and with it being so late at night.” – Customer via TrustPilot
“You have to jump throw hoops to get anything. If it’s an emergency why make people do all the video and stuff by that time the animal could die. Why not just go to emergency room they should pay. God forbid the animals might have just an hour without intervention and they make you show the animal on video and everything else. It’s ridiculous.” – Leelou via TrustPilot
“I can’t give 1 star it’s cheap pet insurance you get what you pay for, the Doctor I spoke too was amazing! Very sweet and helpful thank you Dr. Gabby! But make sure you read the fine print, if your pet is dying, FaceTime them in the car on the way to the vet if you get to the vet first because of these issues they won’t cover costs, my dog ended up being parvo positive but I didn’t call them till he was in the vet and now I don’t get to use my insurance, parvo can be a life threatening emergency, but he was in the hospital I really wish this rule could change but that’s all I really have to complain about.” – Makayla Dreher via TrustPilot
Sample Pawp Pet Insurance Plan
Pawp isn’t a traditional pet insurance plan, so there aren’t too many details to go over in terms of coverage. It’s an emergency fund you can use for one covered pet per household once per year.
But how exactly do you go about using the emergency plan? That’s where the details come in.
After signing up for Pawp, you have to complete a 14-day waiting period before the emergency fund becomes available. This waiting period applies even if you cancel and reactivate your account.
In the event of an emergency, you must contact Pawp prior to seeking care. A live face-to-face video call or a video recording is required for Pawp vets to determine if it’s an emergency or not. If it is, Pawp will provide access to your emergency fund.
Your Pawp emergency fund provides up to $3,000 for initial emergency care in a single incident once per year. No matter how many pets you have covered, you can only use the fund once.
After receiving authorization from a Pawp vet, you have a maximum of 4 hours to take your pet to a vet clinic or emergency vet. If you wait too long, the funds won’t be released. The emergency fund is not transferrable and only covers cats and dogs.
The Pawp emergency fund doesn’t cover any kind of follow-up and cannot be applied to take-home treatments like bandages and medications.
Pros And Cons For Pawp Pet Insurance
Pawp is not a traditional pet insurance plan, so it’s important to understand that going in.
Unlike traditional pet insurance, Pawp doesn’t reimburse you for covered expenses – they pay the provider directly and only once per year up to $3,000. You can cover up to 6 pets per household for no additional charge but, again, you’ll only be able to use the emergency fund once.
Some pet insurance companies require you to go to certain vets within their network, but Pawp has no restrictions. As long as you’ve gotten approval via video chat with a Pawp vet, you can go anywhere.
Another significant benefit with Pawp is that there are no pre-existing conditions to worry about. Keep in mind that Pawp only covers emergencies, however, so you can’t use the fund for preventive care or scheduled surgeries.
Pawp has a 14-day waiting period which is pretty standard for pet insurance plans but there are no deductibles and the only annual limit you have to think about is the $3,000 emergency fund limit.
Overall, Is Pawp Pet Insurance Worth It?
Overall, Pawp isn’t going to be the best option for all cats but it’s worth considering if you’re already shopping around for pet insurance. The straightforward $24 monthly fee to cover up to 6 pets per household is a benefit but there are a few hoops to jump through to access the emergency fund.
In addition to providing you with peace of mind in the event of an emergency, Pawp gives you a virtual place to keep all your pet’s important information. You can easily gain access to your pet’s digital health records and share details with your vet for more personalized care.
While Pawp certainly has its limitations in direct comparison with traditional pet insurance, it might be a good option for healthy cats with no prior history of medical problems. If you just want the option of having a little help in the event of an emergency, Pawp might work.
Pawp may even be a good choice for pets who do have a history of medical problems. Most pet insurance plans don’t cover services related to pre-existing conditions and fuzzy definitions of what’s considered pre-existing can lead to denial of coverage.
If you’re having trouble getting coverage with traditional pet insurance, Pawp is an option. It can also be used to supplement an existing pet insurance plan.