Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
i'm not sure if this deserves its own thread, but i'm wondering if you guys have any info on pet insurance.

a few starter questions:

1) what are a few major providers? any personal recommendations?
2) what are the ranges in premiums? do they go up for brachycephalic dogs?
3) are you satisfied with the coverage?


thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
I have had pet insurance with PetFirst for two years, but VPI is probably the most common. I have three dogs, all three years old, and pay a total of $109 in premiums. Premiums will depend on the age of the dog.

I decided to get pet insurance because mine are taken out to run in the woods every morning and accidents happen. The last accident (one of 4 trips to the emergency room) was that one of my dogs got impaled by a stick and had to be taken to the emergency room to have it surgically removed. It cost about $575 and was reimbursed about $475.

Before getting insurance I'd think about why you want it and what your needs will be. Coverage will vary and what works for some, may not work for you. Most won't cover things they consider hereditary. I know some people just put money back for situations that come up, but knowing the way I am, I'd spend it on something else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Also , ask ( in person on the phone ) the insurer about their pre-existing conditions clause . I read somewhere here about one or more insurers re-setting their claims each anniversary . So.. if your dog for example became diabetic , or asthmatic in the first year of your policy , at the beginning of the 2nd year they could say its a pre-existing condition and wont be covered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Most won't cover things they consider hereditary.


thanks for the response! very helpful.

at this point, i'm considering a number of brachycephalic dogs, many of which may be prone to illnesses which are considered hereditary. in terms of age, the dog may range from a puppy to an old adult depending on how i deem it may best fit into my lifestyle; i have yet to buy one.

i should probably look into coverage details at PetFirst and VPI. if anyone has any more experiences to share, it would be much appreciated!

Also , ask ( in person on the phone ) the insurer about their pre-existing conditions clause . I read somewhere here about one or more insurers re-setting their claims each anniversary . So.. if your dog for example became diabetic , or asthmatic in the first year of your policy , at the beginning of the 2nd year they could say its a pre-existing condition and wont be covered.

thanks for the advice. it certainly seems unfair, but i will be sure to look for those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I also considered pet insurance 2 years ago. I suggest you to take a look at the fine prints very carefully, there's a long list of things that are not covered. After I went through the list, my conclusion for our situation was that, instead of paying years of premium and then one day they tell me the whatever surgery we needed is not covered, it's better off me to put the monthly premium into a savings account and build up a emergency fund for her.

There is also http://www.carecredit.com It is more like a credit card for pets. You've to apply in advance and it's good for that unplanned pet emergency expense. Interest is 0% if you stay stick with your payment plan. You've to check if your vet is part of this program.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
thanks for the insight. perhaps i should make a list of popular pet insurance companies, and go from there.

so far i have PetFirst and VPI. would you guys happen to know any others?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
968 Posts
I have had VPI for 6 months and have been pleased so far. I do pay quite a bit per year (around 500) but I have both the regular coverage (broken limbs, cancer, etc...) and then I have the wellness coverage too which is for annual exams, vaccinations, flea and heart worm preventative. So far in 6 months I've been reimbursed for over 300 in vet expenses. It takes about a month to submit a claim and receive reimbursement, which I think is pretty good, but I don't have anything to compare it to. Part of the reason I went with VPI is because my work gets a discount with them. When I signed him up he had a temporary pre existing condition for a UTI but after a year if he hasn't had another UTI, they will remove the pre existing condition. Their customer service is very helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
thanks for the insight. perhaps i should make a list of popular pet insurance companies, and go from there.

so far i have PetFirst and VPI. would you guys happen to know any others?
www.petinsurancereview.com has consumer reviews and links to all the major companies. I currently have Petplan (gopetplan.com) on my dog and am awaiting payment on my first claim (cut paw). Petplan makes a point of declaring they will cover hereditary conditions but their rates are based on breed as well as location.

I think right now Petplan and Embrace have the best coverage for the money. Both cover chronic conditions for life. Both pay prevailing rates for the location, while VPI has a fixed schedule that does not cover true costs in metro areas. I had Sheltercare insurance on my previous dog and they paid well but there is a $3000 limit per illness category over the life of the pet and that is easy to exceed. Neither Petplan nor Embrace have category limits; instead they limit how much they will pay in total in a year.

I wouldn't be without insurance although I have savings that would pay for most problems. I started a new Petplan policy for Benji in January. I paid $300 for a year in advance based on my being in NYC and Benji being a small three year old mutt. This is for their best policy which pays up to $20,000 a year. The one hitch is that although I chose to be reimbursed 100% after the deductible (not much more than 80%), the fine print tells you that emergencies and specialists are subject to a 20% copay. I really don't mind that because having a high copay on care that can get into five figures probably keeps the rates down for everybody.

Two weeks ago he cut his paw and it cost $375 and three visits to fix (New York is expensive). I have a $200 deductible (smaller deductibles really raise your rate) and expect Petplan to pay $175. So one minor accident should see me get back over half my premium in the first two months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,997 Posts
My gut instinct tells me that pet insurance is just another gimmick insurance, but I haven't done any sort of research in it so I can't say that that's the case. I don't like the care credit thing as I refuse to borrow money. I would suggest having a rainy day fund just for the dogs. Slowly build it up and top it off at $2000-3000 and you'll probably be fine I would think. I'm not any sort of expert on vet costs though. I will say that as a disclaimer.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
414 Posts
I currently have Max insured with PetCare. I haven't had a claim yet so I don't know how quick they are to pay. I insured him because he is a Lab/GSD cross and I'm sure that I will have to deal with hip issues or a blown knee at some point. I don't have enough in savings to cover a major surgery, but could borrow it from a family member and pay them back from the insurance money. I went with PetCare because they will cover hereditary problems such as hip displaysia which most companies will not. If I had a young healthy dog from Healthy breeds/stock, I would save my money and not buy insurance. Since I have a dog who is likely to have health issues, I figure better to plan ahead.

My policy pays 90% after a $100 deductable. VPI only pays a set amount. Cruciate ligament surgery in my area will cost close to $3,000 and VPI only pays around $1,450. Also VPI required a certain length of time before they would cover major surgerys.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top