Pethealth has acquired PurinaCare's pet insurance business with an official closing date of May 1, 2013. In the United States, Pethealth offers pet insurance through 24PetWatch and ShelterCare.
Although the news of this merger came out in a press release about 3 weeks ago, virtually no details were offered about how it would affect current PurinaCare policyholders. The following details were obtained from a representative of PurinaCare pet insurance.
All current PurinaCare policies will remain in force until the expiration date of the current policy term. PurinaCare policies that are within 60 days of renewal at closing (those that renew between May 1 and June 30) will be able to keep their current PurinaCare policies for another year. 24PetWatch will handle all claims and customer service.
Upon expiration of their current policies, PurinaCare policyholders will be offered the opportunity to renew to any 24PetWatch policy. It is my understanding that 24PetWatch is in the process of filing new policies in the states they are licensed to sell insurance that look very similar to the current PurinaCare policies.
It is also my understanding that any conditions currently covered under their PurinaCare policy will be covered by their new 24PetWatch policy and not considered pre-existing. This is good news as this is always a concern whenever a merger like this occurs. If your pet has one or more chronic conditions that are covered under your current PurinaCare policy, it may be worth sticking with a 24PetWatch policy when renewal time rolls around.
From all I've heard, this should be a relatively smooth transition. It will be interesting to see how many PurinaCare policyholders stick with 24PetWatch. To date, they have less than stellar review ratings from consumers. Current 24PetWatch policies are somewhat unconventional compared to the other pet insurers in the United States. Perhaps the new policies they are rolling out will be more attractive to consumers, especially to former PurinaCare policyholders. However, positive vibes from consumers usually boil down to customer service as much or more so as policy design.
If you are a current PurinaCare policyholder, how do you feel about this merger and what do you plan to do when renewal time comes, especially if your pet has any chronic conditions where it might be a disadvantage to switch companies, etc. I invite your comments.