Presidents Choice PC Pet Insurance Review

Presidents Choice Financial has been a longtime competitor in the banking world, offering no-fee chequing accounts, ATM's at the Loblaw's grocers like Superstore, and even offering free groceries with the Presidents Choice Financial MasterCard.

So when I heard that they had pet insurance, I was intrigued but not too surprised.  You can read my follow up article on the best pet insurance companies in Canada.

I signed up with them thanks to the horrible service by PetCare because my dog was just starting doggy daycare again and I wanted to make sure that he was protected in case he got into a scuffle with the bigger dogs.  Yes, I am an anxious dog mom, I admit it.

PC Pet Insurance is underwritten by Western Financial Insurance Company, a company who is based out of Alberta and whose network expands to companies like PetSecure, Marlin Travel, and Western Direct Insurance.

They have four different “plans” ranging from low coverage to ultra coverage.  Image credit (PC Pet Insurance).

Here's my non-solicited opinion on President's Choice PC Pet insurance review as I recently had to file a claim for an accident for my dog.

Pros of PC Pet Insurance

  • They give you a first month free of pet insurance-  That worked out to be a $50 savings for me.  It was good to know that I could “test the waters” for a month before starting to see the insurance get charged to my credit card.
  • It's easy to sign up– I did so online, after getting a quote online.
  • They give you pet insurance at any age– Many companies are more hesitant to give you pet insurance if your dog isn't a puppy.  My dog is 5 years old and he didn't get denied.
  • The customer service representatives are nice-  They don't sound like they think you are annoying, or wasting their time.  They actually sound like they want to help you (as much as that seems contradictory for an insurance company).
  • They give multi-pet discounts– If you are a big animal lover, and you have 3-5 pets, you get a 10% discount.  If you have 6 or more pets (really, who can afford 6 or more pets these days??), you get a 15% discount
  • Coverage– Is the standard, beginning after 48 hours of your policy for accidents, and after 14 days for illness.  It's nice to know that this insurance company is similar to the others, being relatively “new in the game” for pet insurance.
  • Premium is individualized– I'm not sure if this is the case for other pet insurance companies, but at PC Pet Insurance, your premium is individualized based on your pet's breed and also where you live (because veterinary costs are more expensive in certain places compared to others).
  • PC Points-For all you diehard PC Points collectors, if you pay for your insurance with your PC Financial Mastercard, you can get 20 PC points for every $1 of premium that you pay
  • Pretty Cheap-Accident coverage starts at $10.95 per month for dogs and $9.95 per month for cats
  • They Approved my Claim! Most importantly, this company approved my claim without any hassle.  The previous pet insurance company that I used seemed to try and dodge every claim I had with BS excuses, and it was really frustrating (frustrating enough that it made me stop the pet insurance).

Cons of PC Pet Insurance

  • Pre-existing Illness-Of course, the underwriters will probably comb through your previous dog's veterinary records to make sure there was nothing pre-existing when you do your claim.  You also have to disclose, at the time of the quote, any current conditions that your dog has or had.  For example, my dog had food allergies, so certain illnesses that are manifestations of food allergies (like skin, gastrointestinal issues) are not covered.  This is the same with many other pet insurance companies.  In fact, Vet Insurance, which is known colloquially as the “gold standard” pet insurance, asks for a veterinary exam before you get approval for pet insurance now.
  • Insurance Documents were delayed-After I signed up for pet insurance and got the email that i was approved, I didn't even know my policy number or member number.  I ended up calling in to ask.  They said they would mail me the information.  It took quite a few days for the policy package to get to me.  However, once it got to me, it was comprehensive and clear to read.
  • Claim Forms- At first I wasn't able to find the claim form (I think I had to ask the vet for one), but it seems that they have changed their website now and all the claim forms are located clearly on the right hand side as Adobe PDF files.  It also took a while for me to know the result of my claim, though it was much faster than the previous pet insurance company I used.
  • Changing your Plan? If you change your plan you have to resubmit another application for pet insurance.  I know that with the previous pet insurance company I used, this was  not the case and I would simply call them to change coverage.  PC Pet insurance recommends on their website that you pick a plan that will work for your pet throughout its lifetime.  I wonder, if you change plans, the pre-existing illnesses will add up?  If so that would be pretty terrible.

PC Pet Insurance has been pretty good so far and I am a happy pet insurance customer.  I appreciate the friendly customer service, I appreciate that they seem honest and are not trying to gouge me.  I also like their simple plans.  The previous pet insurance company I used had plans where you could pick to insure certain illnesses from certain body systems (e.g. eyes, ears, nose, throat but NOT digestive disorders).  Seems silly to me.

Readers, do you have PC Pet Insurance?  Have you had a good experience with them?

20 Comments

  1. Joe on October 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    This is really expensive insurance for what amounts to protection against a non-catastrophic — potentially non-financial — loss.

    Buying pet insurance is about as thrifty as buying an extended warranty.

    Disclaimer: I love dogs. I’ve had 4 and it sucked each time one died. But they’re animals, not humans. They last 9 – 15 years depending on breed. If you buy the basics, they’re expensive enough. They’re not farm animals that produce income; please be humane and don’t subject dogs to painful life-extending treatments.



  2. Liquid on October 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Sweet, I didn’t know PC did pet insurance. I don’t currently have a pet myself but I enjoy playing with my friend’s cat a lot. Many new owners forget to factor in the cost of insuring their pets when getting a new pug or whatever, but it’s important to budget for it 😀



  3. young on October 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Of course- but for things like a tooth extraction I wouldn’t put my dog down because he needed one of those.

    I know that if a dog or cat gets cancer many may continue to try for chemotherapy etc. but I don’t think I would go down that route for sure.



  4. young on October 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

    @Liquid- yeah these days all the grocery store companies are getting in on the finance/ banking action!



  5. Dominique Brown on October 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Great review. I bought a dog a few years ago to try to help my wife get over her fear of dogs.. I have been reading online reviews of different pet plans, and I think that PC Pet Insurance offers great coverage.However, I chose VPI pet insurance and banfied wellness plan for my needs. Works like a charm.



  6. Young on October 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    @Dominique- VPI is that Trupanion? Yeah as long as no one goes towards Pet Care or Pet Secure I think they’re doing pretty well for themselves. haha.



  7. Jordann @ My Alternate Life on October 3, 2012 at 7:20 am

    PC was one of the companies I looked at when considering pet insurance. In the end I didn’t end up getting pet insurance, for many reasons, but PC seemed to have one of the better plans. Congrats on finding a company that makes you happy! That’s hard to do in the insurance world these days.



  8. Jamie on October 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I come from a family that had a lot of pets. I do not think that it is a bad idea to have pet insurance. You have to think about what you really care about in life and if having a pet is worth the money then you should have one. It might not be a catastrophic loss since you can put your pet down, but who wants to be in that situation?



  9. Joe on October 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

    So I googled a hypothetical scenario: 5-year old retriever named after one of my dead dogs. The result is over $500 (with tax) per year — for JUST $2,500 worth of coverage per accident/illness. Keep in mind this doesn’t seem to cover routine visits to the Vet, standard inoculations, etc. That’s just silly expensive, considering the TRULY disastrous accidents (where bills can run to 10s of thousands per yesterday’s Moneyville article).

    And that’s on a young dog. There are very few insurances where people pay 20% of their potential pay out EVERY YEAR. Even some extended warranties would compare favourably! I’m sorry, but I just don’t think it even makes $$$ sense.



  10. young on October 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    @Jamie- Yeah, it would have to be something terminal for me to put the pet down…I can’t imagine what it must be like to put your pet down…



  11. young on October 4, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    @Jordann- Yup…They have pretty good customer service. Though once they increase the monthly rate, I’m out. I understand inflation comes into play and they have to increase the insurance, but I’m not a big fan of that justification.



  12. Candace on March 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Speaking for experience, I just got a three month old puppy. I declined insurance thinking I will take my changes. My puppy needed to admitted to the vet for the day then to the pet hospital over night and spent the night in an oxygen tank. Turns out he had pnemonia, the bill so far is at $2500.00 and he is still sick. Right now I am kicking my ass!

    Get the insurance for peace of mind cause when they get sick or injured the cost is HUGE!
    Another dog I have ate something ( I had no insurance, def have some now with pc) he needed surgery to remove it…. $3000.00 later. I signed up for insurance right away.

    Spending time at the vet hospital I witnessed countless pet owners paying their bills…. $1700-$4000.00.



  13. Candace on March 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Enjoy the vet bills!



  14. Foxy on January 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I have been with petsecure for 3 years now. They have raised the premiums from $45 to $65. for the exact same coverage I now pay $38 with tax through PC pet insurance. it is the same insurance underwritten by the same insurer.



  15. Sad Owner on May 16, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    When I first got my French Bulldog, others advised me to get pet insurance. I did not listen, and we are now nearing the $10,000 mark of costs (initial pet purchase price plus costs for skin meds, surgery to correct severe breathing issues, antibiotics every time he gets a new skin infection, surgery to remove a large piece of grass that was stuck in his throat and caused swelling, special food to control allergies



  16. Kyle on May 17, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    That’s a really sad situation S.O. I hope it all works out for the best!



  17. Chris on July 31, 2014 at 5:40 am

    My male dogue de Bordeaux is in right now for bloat with a flipped stomach from torsion and we had been perusing insurance policies just last month and were like no rush we can decide on these later.. and then this happens… he is stable atm but hopefully there will be no complications as of one day in bills are at $2400 plus a few days more of monitoring before he can come home. We are defenitly getting insurance after this had to borrow money from a relative wich is embaressing. he is 6 years old wich is about middle age but we love him so much another 3-4 years is worth it in our eyes. I have looked at a number of policies and the PC one seems pretty good for coverage without breaking the bank.



  18. Kyle on August 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    That’s a really sad story Chris. Thanks for sharing your experience. Here’s to hoping everything works out for you.



  19. Stacie on August 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Dear Sad Owner: I had an English Bulldog for years, and my vet suggested a surgery to help her “breathe better.” Please dont do it! Your vet is only interested in making money on you, and sounds like he may be taking you for a very expensive ride. Bulldogs French or english DO NOT need this pointless and painful surgery!



  20. Vet Tech on January 4, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Brachiocephalic (snub nosed) breeds can be born with something called stenotic nares, which mean nostrils that pinched or narrow and can cause difficulty breathing (and snoring and snorting). Surgery to correct this is relatively simple, but does require a general anesthetic. Not sure what surgery your vet was recommending for you Stacie, but unfortunately Bulldogs and other brachiocephalic animals have been bred more for looks than health and can come with innumerable health problems that can be costly 🙁



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