Let’s start with a basic clarification: Banfield doesn’t offer pet insurance in the traditional sense. Although often referred to as “Banfield pet insurance,” the company is really offering wellness and preventative care packages, not true pet insurance, which covers unexpected illness and injury care.
In this article, we’ll look at the cost of Banfield wellness care plans and how they differ depending on where you live. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of the plans and how to decide whether they’re worth the money for you. Finally, we’ll talk a little about whether you need traditional pet insurance instead of or in addition to Banfield’s version.
The Importance of Banfield Pet Insurance
Preventative care and routine vaccinations are essential parts of keeping your pet healthy.
Regular checkups can catch problems early when they are often easier to treat. Vaccines help prevent many deadly diseases. As your pet ages, routine teeth cleaning and health screening tests help keep them as fit as possible in their senior years.
Banfield wellness plans offer good coverage for many of these routine medical procedures, with annual or monthly pricing that’s easier to budget for. It’s easier to say yes to the health checks your vet suggests if you know they’re covered under your wellness plan.
While Banfield’s wellness plans don’t cover illnesses or injuries, they can help your pet avoid them or diagnose them earlier.
Top Rated Pet Insurance Companies
How Much Does Banfield Pet Insurance Cost?
Several factors play a role in how much Banfield pet insurance costs. These include your location, the cost of vet care in your area, and the age, breed, and sex of your pet. You also have the option of three levels of care.
Let’s take a closer look at how much Banfield pet insurance costs for different pets on the West Coast, East Coast, and the Midwest. This table shows the monthly costs for a 3-year-old male Golden Retriever in these regions.
|Type of plan||West Coast||East Coast||Midwest|
|Active Care Plus||$56.95/month||$44.95/month||$44.95/month|
Now, let’s look at the cost of Banfield pet insurance for a 10-year-old female mixed-breed cat.
|Type of plan||West Coast||East Coast||Midwest|
|Active Care Plus||$53.95/month||$41.95/month||$39.95/month|
As you can see, West Coast pet parents pay the most for their Banfield Wellness Plans. We got our cost estimates straight from the Banfield website, and it’s easy for you to get a personalized quote there as well. The website also offers an easy comparison of what’s included in each plan, so you can decide whether it’s worth it to splurge for Special Care.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
Banfield charges a one-time enrollment fee when you sign up for your plan, which also varies by location. Parasite control, like flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives, is not included in any wellness plan, so you can expect to pay extra for those products.
In addition, while all wellness plans offer unlimited office visits, they don’t cover additional costs for treating your pet’s illnesses or injuries.
If your pet experiences vomiting and diarrhea, your wellness plan may cover some of the diagnostics, depending on how many you have left for that year. Other costs, such as medications, will be added on. Banfield wellness plans include a discount on different products and services at the hospital.
What Are the Limitations of Banfield Pet Insurance?
We already discussed the services Banfield doesn’t cover, such as illnesses and injuries. Another limitation is that Banfield wellness plans won’t help you with any emergency or after-hours care. Many Banfield clinics have extended hours but probably aren’t open overnight, on holidays, or all weekend.
A significant limitation of Banfield Wellness Plans is that they can only be used at Banfield clinics. If you live near a major city or in the suburbs, you’ll probably have one or more Banfield locations to choose from. Outside of those locations, your options may be limited.
It’s not just rural areas. The zip code we used to calculate our Midwest prices is from Ames, Iowa, a college town with a population of over 60,000. The closest Banfield is still over 40 miles away.
The quality of health care available at Banfield varies widely by location; in some cases, you get what you pay for. While the wellness plans are pretty generous regarding what they cover, some Banfield locations have a reputation for up-selling other products and services that may cost extra.
Do I Need Pet Insurance in Addition to Banfield Wellness?
Traditional pet insurance functions slightly differently than Banfield Wellness plans, although you’re still looking at a monthly premium cost. Pet insurance providers usually offer either an accident-and-illness policy or an accident-only plan. Your monthly premium is calculated based on similar criteria to what Banfield uses.
Most pet insurance providers allow you to customize your plan and adjust your monthly payment by changing such factors as your annual deductible (the amount you pay before insurance kicks in), reimbursement rate (how much money you get back), or annual limit (how much insurance will pay out per year.)
Pet insurance generally doesn’t cover preventative care in their standard policies, so there’s little to no overlap with the Banfield Wellness Plan. While you’re almost guaranteed to use the care covered under your Banfield plan, traditional insurance is a safeguard against the worst-case scenario.
If your dog is young, healthy, and accident-free, you could pay monthly premiums for years without ever using the policy. At the same time, a devastating accident or prolonged illness could easily result in thousands of dollars of unplanned vet bills. When you consider whether you need pet insurance in addition to Banfield Wellness Plans, these are the risks you’ll have to consider.
What Other Options Are There for Preventative Care?
If you like the concept of the Banfield insurance/wellness plan but don’t live near a Banfield or don’t want to go there, you do have options. Some traditional pet insurance providers also offer an optional wellness plan add-on. They reimburse you for certain preventative costs each year for an additional monthly fee.
Every provider differs in what they cover under these plans, so read the details carefully. Unlike the Banfield plans, you can usually use whichever vet you want.
If you want pet insurance plus a Wellness plan, it may be more cost-effective to get both from an insurance provider rather than combining Banfield Wellness with an accident-and-illness policy.
Find The Best Insurance Companies in 2023
Banfield Wellness Plans may be a good value for you and your pet, depending on your location. While they have limitations, they can also make it easier to budget for pet care. If you’re interested in exploring traditional pet insurance, we won’t say your options are limitless, but they are plentiful.
Start your research by asking your vet and other pet-owning friends if they have a policy and who they recommend. Every plan is a little different in what they cover, and what makes sense for your pet will also be different from others.