Pumpkin vs

Pumpkin & MetLife: Key Differences

While Pumpkin and MetLife (also known as PetFirst in some states) both offer pet insurance plans for accidents & illnesses and an optional wellness package or routine care benefit, there are some key differences to be aware of when choosing which provider is right for you and your pet. Let’s dig in…
Pumpkin plans cover behavioral issues. MetLife plans don’t.
With an estimated 40% of pet owners reporting cats or dogs with behavioral problems,10 we believe coverage for behavioral issues like separation anxiety and aggression is a necessity, not a nice to have. Pumpkin Pet Insurance plans cover behavioral issues. MetLife Pet Insurance plans do not.*
Pumpkin plans cover Rx food & supplements. MetLife plans don’t.
Rx food & supplements can be very helpful for pets suffering from a range of illnesses, from kidney disease to diabetes, but they can also be a costly recurring expense. That’s why Pumpkin insurance plans will cover any food or supplement prescribed to treat a covered condition (and not for general health or weight maintenance). MetLife insurance plans don’t cover any “pet food, special diet, vitamins, and mineral supplements.”*
Pumpkin plans cover treatment for parasite infections. MetLife plans don’t.
Heartworms, ticks, fleas, and intestinal parasites (or worms) are year-round threats to dogs and cats across the US indoors and out, and can be lethal if left untreated. While routine vaccines and preventive meds can help protect against some parasites and catch infections early, research shows that most dogs and cats will suffer from a parasite-borne illness in their lifetime.17 For these reasons, Pumpkin insurance plans cover treatment for parasite infections. MetLife insurance plans don’t.*
Pumpkin plans cover illnesses preventable by vaccines. MetLife plans don’t.

MetLife insurance plans do not cover “treatments for any illness for which a vaccine is available for your pet to prevent such illness and for which vaccination is both recommended by your Veterinary Provider and rejected by you.” While we encourage you to stay up to date with vaccinations that your vet recommends, your Pumpkin insurance plan would never decline coverage for a serious illness like parvovirus or lyme disease because you didn’t take certain preventive care measures with your pet.

Pumpkin plans cover recurring incidents of ingested foreign bodies. MetLife plans don’t.

With Pumpkin insurance plans, treatment for all eligible conditions is covered, regardless of whether there is a repeat occurrence within 18 months of the first treatment date. MetLife’s policy states that they won’t cover “More than one (1) anesthetic removal of an ingested foreign body in one (1) period of insurance.” For example, if your puppy gets into the trash and eats something toxic, your Pumpkin plan would cover that treatment. If a similar episode happened again a year later, your plan would be able to cover that, too.

All Pumpkin plans reimburse 90% of covered vet bills. Some MetLife plans don’t.

At Pumpkin, we try to take the guesswork out of choosing the right amount of coverage. All Pumpkin insurance plans are designed to give pet parents maximum cash back on covered vet bills with a high 90% reimbursement rate. They also all offer a data-backed1 annual limit of $10k for dogs or $7k for cats, plus higher annual limit options (including an unlimited option) for pet parents looking for added peace of mind. With MetLife insurance plans, you have to choose a reimbursement rate ranging from 70%-100%, and an annual coverage limit of $2k, $5k, or $10k. MetLife plans also don’t offer an annual limit option higher than $10k.

Pumpkin plans for dogs don't have a 180-day waiting period for orthopedic conditions.

Pumpkin insurance plans have the same waiting period for all accidents & illnesses: 14 days. This includes orthopedic conditions like cruciate ligament injuries (AKA knee ligament injuries), bone fractures, and hip dysplasia. These conditions are very common and can happen at any age. If surgery is needed to repair a bone or ligament, it can cost thousands, so it’s important that you’re covered as quickly as possible. With MetLife insurance plans in certain states, dogs have a 6-month waiting period for orthopedic condition coverage.

It’s ALWAYS possible to get full value each year from Pumpkin’s optional wellness package.

Pumpkin’s wellness package is called Preventive Essentials. It’s not insurance, but an optional benefit you can easily add to your insurance plan for a monthly fee. Designed with leading vets to help you plan and pay for crucial routine care your pet needs to stay healthy, Preventive Essentials gives you a 100% refund each year for an annual wellness exam fee, key vaccine(s), and important parasite screening test(s). To get the most out of your package – all you have to do is use these 3 benefits.

MetLife’s optional Routine Care Benefit can also be added to their insurance plan for a monthly fee. The benefit comes in 5 levels, each offering different reimbursement amounts up to a capped amount per service, per year. It currently covers up to 10 routine care services with the highest tier of coverage. MetLife’s Routine Care Benefit can be helpful if you use most of the services offered, but not everything on the menu is a typical yearly expense (e.g., deworming, microchipping, spay/neuter procedure). Whatever benefits you don’t use in the year term, you lose – there are no carryovers. Plus, one service on their list – treatment for behavioral issues – would already be included as a basic benefit of your Pumpkin insurance plan.

Compare Plans

Type of Insurance
Accident & Illness
Accident & Illness
Reimbursement Rate
90% of covered vet bills
65%, 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100% of covered vet bills
Annual Coverage Limit

$10k, $20k, or unlimited for dogs
$7k, $15k, or unlimited for cats

$2k, $5k, or $10k
Annual Deductible with flexible pricing options
Annual Deductible with flexible pricing options
Illness Waiting Period
14 days
14 days; 180 days for orthopedic conditions in dogs depending on the state
Accident Waiting Period
14 days
Midnight following the enrollment day
All Pets Ages 8 Wks. & Up Are Eligible to Enroll
All Pets Eligible to Enroll, Regardless of Health
Hereditary & Congenital Conditions
Chronic Conditions
Behavioral Issues
Dental Illnesses
Illnesses Preventable by Vaccines
Does not cover treatments for illnesses that occur as a result of not taking your vet’s vaccine recommendations
Parasite Infections
Exam Fees for Accident & Illness Related Vet Visits
Diagnostics, including Radiology & Lab Tests
Surgery, Emergency Services & Hospitalization
Specialized Care
Alternative Therapies
Prescription Meds
Prescription Supplements to Treat Covered Conditions
Prescription Food to Treat Covered Conditions
Microchip Implantation
End of Life Services
Limited to euthanasia
Wellness Package / Benefit

Preventive Essentials package:
(Not insurance, but an optional add-on)

100% refund of the following routine care services each year:
+ 1 Annual Wellness Exam Fee
+ 4 Vaccines for Puppies, 2 for Dogs, 1 for Cats
+ 1 Fecal “Poop” Test for Intestinal Worms
+ 1 Blood Test for Heartworm & Tick Diseases or Heartworm Only (for Dogs)

Routine Care Benefit:
5 benefit levels that reimburse an annual amount ranging from $125-$575 for a list of up to 10 routine care services

Discount for Multiple Pets
10% off for each additional pet
Varying discount when you bundle insurance for multiple pets into one plan
Money Back Guarantee
30 days, as long as you have not received approval or payment for a claim (except in NY)
14 days, as long as you haven't submitted any claims, whether approved or denied

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