I don't know whether this issue has been discussed in previous threads, but I was hoping to get some forum members' opinions on pet insurance. I am debating whether to get it or not, and if so, how much coverage is practical, and how much would be excessive?
Hi Casey's Mom - You will find a few threads on this topic. I purchased insurance for my then 9 month old Hav based on reading about major health issues with this breed - such as liver problems. I'll be honest - I am not certain I would go through surgeries, specialists and nursemaiding a dog. As much as I love my furbaby, I was raised that pets are pets. So, I figured if I had the financial question removed, I would know for certain what is the right thing to do should Lola ever get really sick. And I am also wary of injuries that in SF would cost plenty of $$.
I read suggestions on threads here. The three most important issues to me are 1) does the insurance cover "hereditary issues". Some don't cover problems that certain breeds are "known" to face. 2) is the insurance really for serious conditions and offer options for higher deductibles. I figure I am willing to pay the first few hundred $$ which happens in one vet visit here. (Lola got a foxtail in her outer ear last month and it cost $375 to have it removed! I can't imagine what it would cost to remove had the foxtail lodged further inside.) 3) having reasonable coverage for each year, not limited by one diagnosis. I figured that this insurance is for major issues and what's the point of having it if doesn't cover liver surgery and a broken leg?
So I purchased insurance from PetPlan. They are underwritten by a major insurer - top rated. I bought the maximum coverage and the maximum deductible brought the cost down to around $240 a year. They do not cover annual vet visits or spay/neuter. It keeps the cost down. They have a calculator where you can play around with different coverage and deductible plans. And I read from a forum member that they reimbursed expenses without any hassle. That did it for me.
All that said - I have not used the insurance. My deductible is higher than the foxtail removal cost. But I do have peace of mind that I would go to what my dad would call "extreme measures" to insure the health of Lola. And she is happier, too.
---Little Lola a.k.a. Princess Pee and Poop and her humom Anne
I've looked at pet insurance in the past and talked to both vets & financial planners. The consensus opinion was that it was a better financial decision to set up a separate bank account (that earns interest) and put a set amount into that account monthly for the dogs rather than paying the money out to an insurance company.
Hi I'm just a lurker here but I recommend some form of financial plan in the event of a catastrophic illness. I wish I had found you guys earlier to know about insurance and/or a dog health care fund.
I just lost my little furbaby 10 days ago. We did not hesitate to give him any and all chance for recovery and therefore did all we could to diagnosis what was wrong. We did not have health insurance and ended up spending almost $10,000 in the course of three days only to lose my darling Domino.
I am heartbroken over the loss but would do it again in a heartbeat if it meant that he would have any chance for recovery. Nevertheless, I wish we had made the important purchase of insurance.
I am waiting for PetPlan to get approved for New York State. This should have happened already but the Insurance people of New York suck and apparently are taking their own sweet time approving PetPlan. Anyway, as soon as they get approved (any day now), I will be going with them. They have the best plan of any pet insurance that I have seen and they cover any and all illnesses, including hereditary conditions! And they don't have any kind of time or cost limit on treatment either, which I think is great!
I am so sorry about the loss of your Domino. Thank you for speaking up....it may help another to make the decision to either get insurance or, as Jill says: setting up a savings plan for only that purpose. Both are viable options that make sense depending on your circumstances.
Personally, I think the savings idea is wonderful IF you can be strong enough not to dip into it for other reasons. For me, insurance made the best sense and I went for the VPI plan. I have not used it as yet but feel better just knowing it's there.
I love Embrace pet insurance - they cover everything, including chronic conditions. It's not cheap but it is peace of mind. PetPlan is also very good and I believe their chronic coverage is a bit better.
It is to your financial advantage to use the savings account route as long as you've got something to cover the first three years it will take you to build up the account.