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Customer Review for Hartville/ASPCA

2/10   very deceptive policy renewal discription
I have been with ASPCA for over a year, I have three pets on the plan.My cat had developed hyperthiroidism in Nov. of 2007 and was put on medication which is not hepling,he had to be on it for three months to regulate the thiroid before surgery could be done.The policy renewed in Feb. when I read my new ploicy on the certificate it had a clause that read any illness that manifests in one 12 month period and is not cured and treatnent free for 180 days will be excluded from coverage in the subsequent 12 month period.but there was a asterik at the end of that statement (*) at the bottom of the plan it says does not apply to our plan.I called to verify this and was put on hold for 10 minutes and told to turn to page 9 under section Limit Of liability which basically said the same thing that was on the front page.I was told that they did not know why the asterik had that clause and that there were two supervisers looking into IT ,but that I am still not covered,I am thinking of contacting a lawer in this matter,I sent several E-mails and they never reply.I asked if my pet had an accident 12/31 and had to go back for several appointments and my policy renewed Jan.1 if that would be covered and was told no.What kind of rip off company are they.I chose them because they are the aspca,and thought that they would be more reputable because of there name .Boy was I wrong.I am going to look for another company.
Patricia Rethemeyer, 4/2/2008
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RK says:

If we all end our support of ASPCA perhaps they will understand 
RK says:

HORRIBLE INSURANCE !!! I need help with this please they have hurt me tremendously. Refusing to pay claims and taking the monthly payments nonetheless. 
Charlotte says:

Long story short, I've cancelled my coverage with this company after having 2 dogs insured for 3-4 years with them. Filed my first claim recently on $475 worth of dental work/extractions, and I got a check for $28. The bulk of the charges were denied as "dental cleaning" (their words)which it was not. The dental had to be done because there were several rotten teeth which had become infected. My dog had had a routine dental cleaning 6 months prior to this, so this was not a routine dental cleaning. Very disappointed in this company.  
Bree says:

Despite what "pet insurance knowledge" says at the top, this is the only company that does not carry coverage from year to year. Yes, it is property insurance; and yes, no company can cover pre-existing conditions. But to "restart" coverage entirely from year to year and deny coverage for a condition that started within paid policy coverage is ridiculous. 
Johanna L. Gilgin says:

I had the same experience. This is the only company I know that creates a new policy every year so that if your pet gets an illness in the previous year, they do not pay again in the subsequent year. Terrible company. However, my dogs are locked into it because now that they are older, they have pre-existing conditons that were not there when I started with Hartville. They were just pups then.  
Maureen Meyer says:

The whole company is deceptive, not just the renewals! The "Accecptable Rate Clauses" that they refuse to publish, the 2nd year Continuing Care Deductibles that NO ONE ever mentioned when I called about renewals and the fact you can call to ask what is covered and even if they say YES, they actually don't consider that as a commitment to the customer! If there is any legal repercussions or actions taken against them, would appreciate being made aware. Thank you. Maureen- 
Roxanna says:

Well not going with this company thanks for the reviews.  
Pet insurance knowledge says:

I am reading many comments here and it is very apparent that most didn't do any homework, on the subject. I do consider my 2 loving pets (my kids), however the LAW people, not what you think, the LAW says they are the same as your home or car, PROPERTY. WHY, because we have many bad eggs that don't understand that the insurance is NOT, repeat, NOT the same as our people insurance and I hope it never goes that way. You must understand that if the dog or cat has had an illness that is ongoing, before the pet was insured, that is by all rights, a NON reimbursable issue, called a pre-exising and it should be excluded. What home or car insurance company would pay for repair for damages that happened before there was coverage taken out on so called home or car? YOU DIDN'T PAY DIME ONE ON THE PREMIUM, so why would you feel you deserve compensation? Again, pet insurance works just as your home and car insurance works, 12 month renewal and what you paid or were reimbursed in one insurance cycle, doesn't mean it carries into the next cycle. (All stand alone and they start new, each renewal cycle) Open up your car or home policy (Declaration page) and read it. You can pay for extra coverage that will meet that kind of coverage, if that is what you wish for, however it comes with a price and it should. There would have been SOOOO many less negative comments here, if people would have just done their homework and read the sample policies (that are on every pet heallth insurance companies website) It is there for your FYI. It is usually called the sample policy and you can find on their search boxes. Some of these companies will not pay if you don't follow the guidelines your vet has. (Which is the gold standard) however, we are PEOPLE and that makes us less then perfect and your pet depends on you to be perfect. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN So if you, like most, are less then perfect, your pet insurance claim , could be denied or worse, you could be dumped by the pet health insurer. Read those sample policies people. I have been reading the comment sections for all these different companies and about 98% of the people have it all wrong, because they have little to no understanding about their pet plan policy writing. I see tons of posts here that say they were sneaky, if you would have read the policy, you would have known it is all in black and white. Just my 2 cents  
M. K. Henry says:

I'm surprised to hear this - hopefully it still doesn't apply. I will be very disappointed in them if it does.  
alice says:

Very upset!! Same story as most people have said... if your pet has anything checked out in one year, and followed up on the next, claim is denied as pre-existing. Therefore, forget about coverage for even the slightest chronic conditions (e.g. rashes, allergies) AND and complications that may arise from them (e.g. asthma attack from allergy, infection from a cyst that didn't need to be removed in the past, thyroid, ANYTHING degenerative (vision care, ear care, arthritis to name a few.) BEWARE: THIS COMPANY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ASPCA CHARITY - THEY DON'T CONTRIBUTE A DIME, BUT JUST USE THE NAME BECAUSE "ASPCA GAVE US A GOOD REVIEW" -- REP WOULDN'T TELL ME WHEN THAT REVIEW WAS PROVIDED.  
Patricia says:

WOW - am I glad I found this site! Reviewed the plans that ASPCA has and picked one. I have two dogs. Was going to get the accident/illness one. I've always had the top plan at AKC and was very pleased, however, upon retiring I couldn't afford the monthly premium anymore. So I reviewed other Pet Insurance companies and filled out the form and got a quote from ASPCA insurance. Just before I put in my billing info, I saw this and decided to read it. I'm so glad I did!! Will not take this insurance. Going back to AKC and getting just the accident/illness insurance which even covers cancer treatment. Little more money, but I rather pay that and not have any problems. Thanks for all your reviews!! 
Susan says:

I had both of my dogs on ASPCA insurance for 4+ years. They were both originally on the most expensive plan. However, after 2 years of getting minimal (maybe 10%) reimbursements, I took them off the expensive plan and put them on the accident plan. Last year, on of their reps called me and said they were now covering more routine items and she sent me claim forms in the mail to use. So, I submitted a claim for one of my dogs for almost $400 and got back 0. When I called they said, 'oh, it was your other dog who we will cover routine items for'. I immediately applied at another company and got both dogs covered there. Have cancelled one policy with Hartsville and will be canceling the other shortly. When I called to cancel, the rep tried to talk me into a more expensive plan that would have covered this $400 bill. I pointed out to her that I had that plan for 2 years and never got anything back in reimbursements. ASPCA must be getting a kickback for promoting this awful company. As a result, I will donate no money to ASPCA. Let them get their $$$ from the Hartsville kickback. 
Jean Spychalski says:

I would like to file an appeal on a recent claim on 05/07/2013 in the amount of $939.19. The claim was denied by Hartville Group, stating that it was a preexisting condition. It took twelve searches to find the claims appeals website, which became very annoying. I hope that I am in the right place! I have been taking my dog, Roxy, a rescue from Arkansas, age 7, to my regular vetinarian since I got her. She has had no specific medical problems since we got her 6 years ago. This past few months, Roxy developed several eye infections with drainage and was treated with either eye drops or ointment. I spent hundreds of dollars and was never informed by my vet.,Carole M. Zydiak, D.V.M. of Harlingen Vetinary Clinic that Roxy was suffering from allergies. As the eye infections continued, they were treated and healed, only to reoccur again and again. Dr. Zydiak instructed me to try Clariten, which did absolutely nothing. She then recommended that Roxy see an opthamologist. Red Bank Vetinary Hospital happens to have a satellite office in Hillsborough, N.J. where we reside and had an opthamologist on staff every other Saturday. I made the appointment and within 5 seconds, Roxy was diagnosed with Macular Dystrophy. This is a genetic disorder and not treatable, however at the time of the visit, Roxy's eyes were again infected. His recomendation was that Roxy be evaluated by an allergist. I then made an appointment with Red Bank Vetinary Hospital in Red Bank, N.J. for Roxy to be evaluated. The results were quite remarkable and a specific treatment plan was begun. There has not been much improvement yet in Roxy's condition and it is not known at this time if allergies are the correct diagnoses. Please re-review this claim and reconsider your reimbursement for a health problem that has not yet been accurately diagnosed. I purchased ASPCA pet insurance in March,2013 and her Level II plan became effective on 04/01/2013. My account # is A320840. I am currently not employed as a Registered Professional Nurse because I am caring for my Mother who is very ill. I am her primary caregiver and share responsibilities with my sister for her home care. My husband recently experienced a $50,000 cut in in pay. I still have kids in college and would appreciate any reimbursement for this claim. I want Roxy to be comfortable and infection free. She was severely abused during her puppyhood and does deserve the best medical care that we can give her. Best Regards, Jean Spychalski, R.N., B.S.N. My e-mail address is My phone numbers are as follows: 908-874-8097 (H) 908-303-3994 (C) Please call or e-mail me with any questions that you may have. My vet missed this one, BIG TIME! 
Gary Rokuta says:

You mean to say that when the calendar yr was over, but not the policy effective date as a margin to one yr? I have to call cust. serv. tommorrow to find get the specifics in detail about what you were saying about the ASPCA's. reputable name and your disposition about the hypocritical terms and cond. If I find that you are in fact, right, when you used the term, "rip off", then I* ll support you by quitting after experiencing a situation similar to yours and or acquiring interpretation clearly to find out if you 're justified w/ that phrase, "rip off". I do know that a technician from South Shore Veterinary clinic told me thatVPI. is not very good, as I have been w/ them for many, many years. He's been a vet tech over 30 yrsso 
Martha says:

I, too, had a shock and was dismayed and upset with the ASPCA insurance. In good faith, we took out insurance on a stray cat we were caring for outside. We paid the policy for several months. Before taking out the policy, I called the insurance to see if he could get coverage. They said yes. Then the cat decided to let us take him inside and we had him tested (as well as full exam and shots, etc.) and he tested positive for FIV. So, I called and the company told me we could not renew his coverage his illness, that he would not get coverage for any FIV related illness. So, we canceled the policy and took out PetPlan for our several remaining cats. 
Rob says:

I have the same problem that a lot of you seem to have. My dog has been insured with ASPCA since July of 2011, and I have made several claims, many of which were covered by ASPCA. I brought my Golden Retriever in a year ago January to have a couple of growths looked at, and the vet recommended watching them and waiting before scheduling surgery. I went back this January because they had gotten bigger, and was told that they wouldn't cover the operation because these had been diagnosed in a previous plan period and were now pconsistered reexisting. I made many calls, the Attorney General's Office is looking into it, and I got a call from a television producer who wants to interview my dog, my vet, and me. Gotta get those sneaky bastards! This is morally and ethically wrong......The asterisk and the clause should be removed from the policy. 
G.G. says:

I've supported ASPCA for a number of years and just saw an ad for their insurance. So I decided to read some reviews first. I'm very upset that ASPCA would offer pet owners DECEPTIVE, crap "insurance" when THEY, as an organization to help homeless and mistreated animals, vicariously MISTREAT OUR pets with such ridiculous hidden trickery!!! How many pets have they NOT HELPED with their sponsored "insurance?" by denial of coverage for people that cant afford serious pet care. Pathetic!!! I just may END MY SUPPORT of ASPCA. -- Proud Cat Owner.  
Hiedi says:

I am not choosing this insurance based on the reviews. I must say my pets are paid for/adopted but not property. They are family. We give birth to our children and have to pay for them, we adopt children AND pay for them, does that make them property? NO so why should our four legged children be treated any different. One of these days they. Will be viewed differently, auto insurance does now. Health Insurance will if they are smart. My last kiddo, Lucy battled cancer off and on for five years... I paid for that! MY family is worth it. I want insurance for Abbott but if this is all there is then I will just pay for everything out of my pocket, even if its $9000 again  
Greg says:

If you would have added the Continuing Care Endorsement which is only a few dollars more, you would still be covered for the hyperthyroidism.You also would have additional funds to treat your cat's issue. ANY insurance plan would see a new policy with your issue as a pre-existing condition. Pet health insurance is not like our own. It renews every 12 months. So an ongoing problem NOT cured and treatment free for 180 days, would be pre-existing come renewal time. 
Greg says:

Customary and usual charges are dependent on location of the vet. Example; A vet in Iowa will charge less than a vet in Beverly Hills. Still 80% reimbursement is given provided the treatment is covered. If a cat gets UTI and is treated and considered well for 180 days, there is no issue when it's time to renew. ALL insurance policies have a renewal review. UNlike human insurance, pet insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions. 
Gwendolyn says:

ASPCA is rather shady! My two dogs are still insured with them, but I am doing many more reviews and opinions prior to changing. I had another dog that was insured with Health Care Plus for 13 years. When he turned 14 years old his insurance was cancelled and he never had another more than routine treatments. He lived until he was 16 years and the last two years was the most expensive, but he was my best friend! 
Jennifer says:

I have had the same problem with ASPCA. My story is too long, but they definitely seem "Shady". I can't believe that my vets office suggested them to us. I am definitely going to turn them into the State Bureau Of Insurance and inform my vets office about them. I wish that I read something like this before we put all of our money into ASPCA.  
Nicole says:

I was completely unhappy with what I paid for. I had three pets insured by the ASPCA insurance. Of course, similar to the first story, my cat had a check up and then less the 180 days later, had an emergency and needed to go to the er. ASPCA did not cover one penny of the bill. I called the company and they provided very vague answers. In addition, I asked to speak with a manager or someone higher than an operator and they refused to cooperate. In addition, the ASPCA explains that they cover reasonable costs for vet bills. Well, there form of a reasonable cost is about a quarter of what you really pay at the vet 
Sashma says:

Anonymous, I have read all of the comments on here. You seem to be the only ignorant one of the lot. These seem to be legitimate complaints about a company providing coverage for pets that people love, I don't care if they are considered "property." This company does not seem to keeping up its end of the bargain, and if I am reading correctly, slipped in the 180 day treatment rule after people had begun getting treatment for their pets. You, Anonymous, are either working for ASPCA or are a troll. 
Cecil says:

I should have read these comments before signing up. I just placed my two cats on a level 3 policy. The litmus test will be when I submit my claim for an existing condition that occurred over 180 days ago (chronic upper respiratory tract infection). If it gets denied, I plan to cancel both policies. 
Paz says:

It seems that the ASPCA Pet Health Isurance Plan has an option called "Continuing Care Endorsement" at an additional charge which would cover the on going care. You can read about it here: Would this solve the major problem described by this and other reviews? -Paz 
Kris says:

i won't tell you my long drama, but my story is very similar to the first post. As my dog aged, they denied more and more claims. I have 5 pets insured with them x 11 years - all have the highest coverage. You do the math on how much money they have received from me over the years. I am also contemplating a suit as they were very deceptive with my recent claim.  
chekesha says:

Mr. anonymous... Check your grammer. It is interesting that you can make all those smart remarks but don't have the GUTS to identify yourself. HMMMMMM.... 
anonymous says:

Yeah well I think people just mostly do not read the fine print. Also you have to know how to work and set up your plan, so its not the ins agencies fault. Most people health insurance is guilty of the same gripes people have here. But lets face it folks pets are classified as property and well you pay for them and own them so, they are. You don't pay for and own humans =/. Therefore Pets must be insured as property so like I said you just have to know how to work and set up your plan. Oh and a lot of you can't spell, and seem sort of ignorant I think thats why you got confused and lost money...=/ 
Shannon says:

Wow! I just posted a raving review of PetsHealthCarePlan of which Hartville is the parent company. I am quite surprised by what I'm reading! Mary Ann, I need more details of why you say this is a scam. I'd appreciate whatever you could share. As for me, I can only speak to my own experiences with Hartville since early 2002 with 4 pets (Wow! can't believe it's been 7 years!). First of all, I just buy the injury or illness coverage. My early research back when there were like only TWO pet-insurers, I found buying into any of the higher coverages was cost-prohibitive for me, especially when I found a vet/hospital/clinic that doesn't charge over-the-top prices for exams, etc. I've been fortunate in finding great vets, but I did go to one that was outrageous in their charges at one point. Didn't go back. And yes, I have spent a lot of time on the phone with Hartville customer service making sure I understood the policy exclusions. I have to rate their customer service an A+. I can only recall one time getting a guy on the phone who seemed to be a "script-reader" and really didn't listen to my issue. Pissed me off at first. So I just hung up and got someone else who was wonderful. I made it a point to remember her name and requested her on any future calls. It was no problem to be transferred to her and when she wasn't available she always called me back within 24 hrs. She gave me her direct email and I copy her in on all my claim submissions. Even though I don't expect it, she calls me to let me know she received the email and ensures the claims department is working on it. I think the maximum time it took for me to get a reimbursement was 3 weeks. One time I got it in ONE week! Average is probably 2 weeks. I even appealed a claim as they had lumped a totally separate injury together with a previous injury and shorted me because I hit the $1500 cap. The appeal took one week to resolve and I got everything corrected and the proper reimbursment sent to me. I, too, have been disappointed at the "reasonable cost" tables, but I don't know who's really at the vet over-charging or are the insurance coverage tables outdated or non-reflective of the region??? But I get over this disappointment when I look at what I've paid in premiums over the years and what the plan has paid out. In my latest experience, my kitty (Jonah) was covered since 2003. To keep things simple, let's put the monthly premium at $13/mo (I believe it started off around $6 or $7/mo and he ended at $13.13/mo). 6 years x 12 months = 72 months. 72 months x $13 = $936.00 total paid in premiums, which is considerably overstated. In the last 6 months alone, the insurance reimbursed me $1731.74 with one more claim still in process. The way I look at it, this is money I either 1. would have paid anyway with no reimbursement or 2. would not have paid (and therefore not treated my pet) because I knew I couldn't afford it if I wasn't getting any kind of reimbursement. That second option is what scares me to death when it comes to my babies and is the sole reason why I have insurance. Yes, I did learn the hard way on the whole renewal coverage thing as I got rejected on a $350-$400 claim when my other kitty Boaz had to go to the cardiologist for an ultrasound. My appeal got rejected, too, and I don't think my claim & appeal were properly communicated on my end (I forget what was going on at the time, but it was crazy). But Boaz has had 4 urinary blocks in 4 years (3 times to the emergency vet) and he had corrective surgery which ended the problem forever...all 5 instances were separate covered claims and got me a BOAT load of money back. Again, that's how I get over the disappointments that I have experienced with the coverage. Having said all that, if there's better coverage out there, I want to know! And I'll switch, too! It's all about the babies first, but my wallet and budget are next in line! I just haven't had the time to research all the carriers and really haven't had a reason to leave Hartville. Thanks to all for your posts. They are all helpful and I hope you find my post helpful, too. 
Evan says:

Go Mary Ann! You GO girl! You Rock! 
PK says:

I had the same negative experience and wish I had found this website before I wasted money on ASPCA. Do not go with them! 
Royce says:

Thank you for taking time to fill out reviews. I am moving on to another company because of your review. ~ Thank you 
Royce's Mom says:

Thank you for taking time to fill out reviews. I am moving on to another company becaus eof youtr review. ~ Thank you 
M. Romero says:

Even though my first year of association with ASPCA was not good at all since most of the claims submitted were denied for a variety of reasons, I went ahead and renew it and once again the claim was rejected. If there is a way to be protected by insurance companies like these, our lives and our pets health will be better protected. I have to be extremely carefully now when I choose the next insurance company. dont use this one. 
Pat says:

We took out ASPCA for our new pup and have found it to be a real rip-off. We went with the Premier Plan and after paying $650.00 for the premium, we've only recovered $62.00. We've found that their usually and customary charges are WAY below our vet charges. Our vet charges are not out of line when compared with other vets in our area. They find every little way to get out of paying for services. I would NEVER recommend ASPCA to anyone and I did a lot of homework before deciding to go with them. What a and learn. Once our policy expires, we DEFINITELY will NOT renew.  
Mary Ann says:

This review and your responses to my comments show serious concerns about this company. On two occasions, they have promised to pay claims after being badgered, even giving a dollar amount. Then, they reneged on that promise. Google them and you will see that this is SOP for them. Please keep your comments coming to my email and this site. I intend to seek justice at personal expense. No pet should be denied health care because their owner tried to do the right thing and was treated like this.  
Mary Ann says:

Go to your state Bureau of Insurance, Dept of Insurance, or whatever they are called and make a complaint. I did and I am suing. PLEASE go and at least file and ask them for their free help. Also contact the Attorney General. 
Mary Ann says:

YES it is very deceptive policy renewals--as an attorney who specializes in insurance law I can assure you that I have fully investigated this company. They are a scam. Please email me at with your complaints and I guarantee I won't charge a penny and will have ANOTHER lawyer litigate this.  

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