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Do you have Pet Health Insurance? Thoughts, Opinions or Advice
  • After having a recent little scare with our 4 month old pup (see Bordetella Nasal Spray thread) My wife and I are considering purchasing pet insurance.

    Anyone have any thoughts or opinions? How many of you have your own pooch covered?
  • Kuro_KaiKuro_Kai
    Posts: 543
    I signed Kai up for PetPlan as soon as we put him to bed that first night. It's the reason I have health insurance: life is too unpredictable. Some of the potential vet bills could *easily* wipe out the planned down payment on a house. And I'd hate to have to make that choice: Kai or House. With pet insurance, yes we'd have to crack open the bank account. But at least we'd get most of the money back
  • I wish I did the moment I got him but now they won't cover my dog cause its a pre-existing condition. I have heard good things about pet plan.
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
    Pet insurance is something I've been talking to Kevin about a lot lately as well. I don't want Mika having a pre-existing condition like what Frank is going through with Severus and his allergies.
  • Pet insurance is good, but putting money aside is good too. Some pet insurances won't cover or pay for alot of things anyway.
  • velvetkatvelvetkat
    Posts: 497
    I have pet insurance for both dogs. I got a plan that pays wellness plus Heartworm and flea prevention is covered along with all vaccines and checkups. It only has a yearly deductible and not a per incident deductible. I do pay quite a bit but it has saved me when the unforeseen things pop up. If you get insurance just do your research so you understand what you are responsible for and are not surprised.
    Post edited by velvetkat at 2010-10-07 09:17:26
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    I have pet insurance. I LOVE my insurance provider. Are you in Canada? If so, go with PetSecure. They have really reasonable rates you can pick your deductible. They also have a bunch of perks, like I got a free subscription to Dogs In Canada magazine. They also cover a lot of things (like Hip Displaysia [sp?]) that other companies won't cover. They also cover cremation etc., and if Mylo gets separated from me, they pay a certain amount towards advertising that he's missing. They MIGHT not cover the US though.

    Look into it. If they do cover you (wherever you live), whisper a message to me so I can give you my full name and you can tell them you've been referred. I think there's a benefit to both of us if you tell them.
  • I think pet insurance is sooooooo important. When Yoshi was a puppy we were deciding which insurance co to go with and before we could decide Yoshi ended up hospitalized with food poisoning. $500 later we finally chose Trupanion. l love them. I added Emi to the policy before she even came home. You never know what could happen.
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 437
    Joe & Dawn 24 hour Pet Watch pays for everything! It's a Canadian company and covers the US. Pets Best is also a good one.
  • I have the most basic and cheapest pet insurance, for accidents only. (Which would cover dog fights, my biggest problem). It is cheap--roughly $38 a month for three dogs. I've hear the company isn't great and won't cover preexisting conditions, but since I've only got it for accidents, it doesn't matter that much to me. They will pay 80% of costs per incident, which would be a huge help. I had $4000 worth of vet bills from a fight between my Shibas, and even paying 80% would have been a HUGE help. Or something to cover the $700 vet bill last fall when Bel was attacked by coyotes.

    When I can afford a better plan I'll probably go for it, but right now, this is the best I can do, and better than nothing.
  • we'll have to check that our Tara, thanks.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    We've actually been putting money aside (I have a Pet emergency folder in my bank account, Tom has some sort of investment fund that takes money out of his bank account each month). Between the two of us, we've been putting $50-$100 each month for emergencies. Doing this has actually saved us during two major accounts ( $2000 plus when Tikaani got sick second day we had him, $1200 for cat getting sick). The vet we go to doesn't accept all insurances, and the ones they do are more of a waste of money (pay tons, covers little), but they do give us a discount for having multiple patients with them (which saved us a couple hundred dollars with Tikaani).

    I would say though that even if you do get insurance, try to make an emergency fund just in case something happens and you only find out when it happens that it is something the insurance doesn't cover. Even if you put something as little as $10 a month aside, over time it will become enough to really help.
    image
  • CrystalWolfCrystalWolf
    Posts: 235
    Bumbping this thread after some advise to get pet insurance. When Riku went to the vet for his first visit and shot they gave me a bunch of pamphlets, one of which is for pet insurance through Embrace, they do cover breed hereditary issues accidents and basically everything as far as i can tell. The pamphlet did not give a estimate and neither did the site later tonight I will enter the get a quote to see what that would be.

    I also looked into VPI pet insurance and they cover the same thing, you also get a discount if you know of anyone that already has it. For the best coverage its about 24-30 a month which IMO isnt bad

    http://www.petinsurance.com/?item=/ppc1&user=extranet\Anonymous&site=website

    My question is what insurance do you have and do you like it and the costs.
  • JScarf5JScarf5
    Posts: 202
    I used to have PetsBest, but I seemed to miss the "existing conditions" part. It was cheap enough, roughly 23 bucks a month. Are there any out there that does not have that? My dad suggested to just start putting money away each month...which some of you guys have already said. Perhaps thats a good route to go as well
    Post edited by JScarf5 at 2013-06-19 13:48:07
  • I have Petsecure as well. We purchased it the day we picked up Bella. Thank goodness as she has been to the vet every 2-3 weeks and all these costs are covered!

    There is a deductible but it is well worth it in the long run.
  • CrystalWolfCrystalWolf
    Posts: 235
    Sorry @JScarf5
    I have not come across pet insurance that covers already pre-existing conditions

    @bellatheshibainu
    thanks i will check into that.


    Post edited by CrystalWolf at 2013-06-19 16:21:24
  • CrystalWolfCrystalWolf
    Posts: 235
    ok i did a quote from embrace
    any advice is helpful.

    Riku
    Coverage Level:
    Additional Options:

    dog

    : Male

    : Under a year old

    : Not Neutered

    : Shiba Inu

    Edit


    Accident Coverage: Yes
    Illness Coverage: Yes
    Rx Drug Coverage: Yes
    Annual Maximum: $5,000
    Annual Deductible: $500
    Reimbursement: 80%
    Edit

    Wellness Rewards: Plus Plan
    Edit


    Your Policy Summary:
    1 Dog in 14411
    Riku

    Premium
    $21.71
    Wellness Rewards Plus
    $28.95



    The wellness will cover:
    What It Covers Basic Plus
    Allowance $200 $400
    Spay or Neuter Surgery
    Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Preventative
    Vaccinations and Titers
    Wellness Exams
    Routine Blood and Fecal Parasite Exams
    Microchip Implant and Registration
    Prescription Diet Food
    Hill's, Royal Canin, Purina, and Wysong brands
    Teeth Cleaning
    Dental X-rays, Crowns & Fillings

    After the neuter I will save 13 a month
  • I have been tinkering with the idea of pet insurance... Embrace quoted me 18 dollars a month for Hiiro on the cheaper plan.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I don't have pet insurance on any of my pets. It is like playing the lottery... you never know when you'll need it. This thread has sparked my curiosity though and I'll look into it.

    We have never purchased pet insurance because the last time we owned a dog before Kaji was when my son was 3 -he's 16 now, and pet insurance wasn't so common. Son now works for a vet so we get reduced rates. I just hope we don't have to visit too often to take advantage of the discounts!
    Post edited by amti at 2013-06-21 03:25:56
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 885
    I have PetsBest and hate it. I will be cancelling the policy after I speak with them. I filed two claims--one for neutering which is supposed to be covered plus an infection he got after neuter and another claim just for vaccinations and heartworm meds and flea prevention. They denied both claims. I will go with Embrace which is the company my vet suggested. I have been paying on PetsBest-45.00 per month since November 2012--a total of $810 of wasted money. I will be filing a complaint with the consumer protection division of the FTC. At leasr I found out that PetsBest is a rip off before I actually had any serious problems with Quake which I hope I never have.
  • I use healthy paws. They don't cover dental or wellness but have been on top of everything else. No complaints about them at all.

  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8388
    @BanjoTheBetaDog - Have you dealt with them at all regarding Banjo's e-vet visit or are you having the owner of the other dog handle all the vet bills? (Just curious to know how they do with emergency situations versus regular visits or planned surgeries.)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • So they don't cover the exam fee. Banjo's bill was about $1000, and $170 of that was the "door fee". Of the remaining $830, I get 90% reimbursement. They processed the claims and supposedly sent a check last Friday.

    The other owner paid for everything and I owe him the insurance check when it comes in. Since its an insurance company, I have to submit ALL of the medical records to them or else they may not cover something (policy rules).

    They actually suck when it comes to routine things (check-ups, vaccines, etc) but covered an ear infection with no problem. I even had to call the vet for some flagyl as Banjo had a tummy ache. No exam etc. The medicine was $12, but sure enough they sent me a check for $10.80. (the vet has his insurance forms and submits everything for me, although I can do it online myself as I did with the e-vet).

    Again, outside of dental work, they are great. Their website lets you upload the invoice which gets processed the same day usually and then you get told what the check will be. From that point to the check arriving at the door can take 10-14 business days.
  • poltergeistpoltergeist
    Posts: 426
    No, I do not have any form of insurance as it is a form of gambling. That's my two cents.
    image
  • Gambling implies their is a chance you make money. Even with insurance you still have out of pocket costs and as such is a loss mitigation tool, not a profit generating tool and is thus not akin to gambling IMO.

    In either event, its just to ensure I never have to make a decision between selling my car, a kidney, my soul, or looking for a higher paying job on account of my responsibility to keep the dog healthy and happy.

  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3470
    ^Agreed

    @poltergeist

    Insurance is not gambling. Insurance is a safety net IN CASE any happens down the line. Not everybody has thousands of dollars to toss out if an emergency happens with their pet.
  • EmilyRubyEmilyRuby
    Posts: 24
    We got petsbest right after we got our puppy Ruby. We wanted it to cover only accidents so it's about 23$ a month. Haven't had to use it yet but I hope the claims aren't denied if we do :/
  • CrystalWolfCrystalWolf
    Posts: 235
    @Antoinette I did end up going with embrace, I have had them almost a yr now, they are great. For anyone looking for insurance I highly recommend them. The claim process is very quick and painless, you can either get a check or have funds refunded to your card. I have the 500$ a yr for wellness which for last yr covered his neuter and flea meds. once it renews he will be going in for teeth cleaning. You get a email when they receive a claim and after the review and customer service is great.

    I am glad I got it riku has minor luxating patella. Vet wants to wait a few more months to see if surgery is needed as it is not serious. But again, Embrace pet insurance is great and I recomment them to anyone who wants insruance for their dog. I have even liked their FB page and they post very helpful articles as well.
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 885
    @CrystalWolf-thanks for the information. I will be signing up with Embrace.
  • jarvizjarviz
    Posts: 69
    I've heard so many horror stories regarding pet insurance, especially when owners find out that their situation isn't covered under the plan. Does this happen often?
  • I use Healthy paws and they are quite transparent. They don't cover the door fee, vaccinations, or dental work but cover the rest.

  • We use Embrace with the Wellness Rewards plan, not a lot it doesn't cover and they are SO SO quick to reimburse. I think you just have to research what the various plans do/don't cover so that you know going in.
  • We insured Mei on Petplan and they have been awesome. Mei has to have 3 surgery on her knee which costed over $9000. Petplan paid 100% of the bill except for our excess of $125. Their processing time was really quick as well, we got the checks 2 to 3 weeks after we sent the claim forms. Not only that, Mei had a time where we were going to the vet every week for allergy and other mischief things she gets into. They also paid for those as well. This is only the second year we are insured with them and we pay a monthly fee of around $50.

    I highly recommend insurance because you never know what health problems your puppy could have. Insurance has practically saved Mei from lifelong pain because we wouldn't have been able to do surgery on her legs if we didn't have insurance.
  • Well, I was always told never to buy into pet insurance. Saving in a saving account is better. And yes, saving money in the bank for emergencies is a very good idea, but I think pet insurance can be a good idea for big ticket accidents/illnesses.

    When we got Tang (I think most folks know about this already. haha) When we got Tang back in Sept, about a week after his arrival, the day he turned 7 weeks old, there was a accident and he fractured his tiny jaw. We had to go to the ER vet and get X-rays, meds and a overnight stay. It was pricey, at least I felt it was. The good news was 3 days before the accident, I had signed up for a free one month trial (via a coupon from our vet) for Trupanion. I had zero faith in it being helpful, but I thought, hey, why not? Got nothing to lose. So I registered for the free trial. Well, it was a good thing. The day after the ER visit, I remembered, "oh yeah, that free trial! Well why not at least try?" All I had to do was call the ER vet and tell them our membership number. a week later, I got a check in the mail for $600 (the ER visit was $700) They covered everything except for the office visit of $100.

    So that right there convinced me to keep it. I also got plans for our older kitties. Eventually I'll get everyone signed up.

    They do not cover pre-existing conditions, vaccines, or the office visit cost. But they cover the rest at 90%. The website is easy to use and they have been very helpful when I've called. If you plan on signing up for insurance, do a little research and sign up asap. Because yeah, if something pops up before, it will be considered pre-existing after that. Even something like a bladder infection. :/ That goes for just about all of the companies.
  • When I was looking for insurance, this series of reviews by Consumers Advocate was helpful! http://www.consumersadvocate.org/pet-insurance/best-pet-insurance

    It gives you the top 10 health insurance plans and breaks down all of them and even does some comparison. I ended up going with HealthyPaws and even though they only cover 90% of a bill, I decided to bulk up my savings fund to cover the other 10 percent.
  • I had Petsbest Insurance for Quake and it was horrible. It was a huge waste of money. I now have Embrace which is the insurance my vet recommended. I have not filed a claim yet but will let everyone know how that turns out. I have included the Wellness Plan.
  • jarvizjarviz
    Posts: 69
    How much is everybody paying for their insurance? I'm being quoted about $25/month for healthypaws and embrace for their cheaper plan. I was hoping to get under $20 =(
  • I pay $28 or so for healthy paws.

  • I ended up going with 90% reimbursement and a 100$ deductible for Hamilton on HealthyPaws. So I am paying 37$ a month. It would be cheaper with a higher deductible, but my pay is about to decrease soon, so looking at everything, I chose the lower deductible rather than the lower monthly payment. Even with my lower pay, $37 a month won't kill me, but suddenly needing to dish out 500$ would hurt more. >.<<br />
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3470
    Still don't have insurance for my two dogs. I think I posted it in a separate thread.... But after analyzing the costs for the wellness plan vs regular "what if" plans, the capped pay outs were not appealing to my husband and I.

    Instead, we are investing our money in stocks and having it grow. Should anything happen to our dogs, we will be ready financially, instead of paying a monthly premium to the insurance company as a safety precaution.
  • @jarviz Trupanion has a scale where you pick what you pay a month, as well as the deductible. I pay $38 a month and have a deductible of $175 for Tang. a higher monthly premium would decrease the deductible. You can play around with the scale on their website and get a quote.
  • tysaaantysaaan
    Posts: 122

    I ended up going with 90% reimbursement and a 100$ deductible for Hamilton on HealthyPaws. So I am paying 37$ a month. It would be cheaper with a higher deductible, but my pay is about to decrease soon, so looking at everything, I chose the lower deductible rather than the lower monthly payment. Even with my lower pay, $37 a month won't kill me, but suddenly needing to dish out 500$ would hurt more. >.<<br />



    Did you use a promo code or something else? I was checking the plans and my rates for an $100 deductible is $43 a month. Also, how is HealthyPaws working for you? Seems like a good insurance.
  • @tysaaan

    no promo code. Maybe their prices went up? I dunno... Age might have something to do with it. I signed up right when my puppy turned 8 weeks.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I went with VPI Metlife pet insurance through my job's benefits and pay $12.02 out of every paycheck - my deductible is $200 and I got the coverage for illnesses, accidents, ailments, etc and not the wellness plan.

    It's nice to know that for so little a month, approximately $24.04 - Kira will be covered if something happens and we can be reimbursed for the cost.

    My close friend has a chihuahua that got her titers and a full blood panel done a few months ago. The liver counts were more than double what they should have been and between additional bloodwork and seeing a specialist, she is over $5000 in medical expenses already. She mentioned that she wished that she had insurance for her dog before, because they would have helped to cover her expenses. It would now be considered as a pre-existing condition if she were to enroll.

    The key to pet insurance is that once your dog is on it, it tends to be more beneficial down the road if they stay on it and something happens. Now that we have it, we will always have Kira on it indefinitely because if we stopped it and something happened then I would always question "what if" we had kept it.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    imageimage
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • Embrace also has some customization options, I played around with their quote numbers and got it down to around 14.70, really high deductible ($1000), but really low monthly payment.

    We weren't going to get the pet insurance, but I kept seeing lots of Shiba owners talking about allergies and Nym has always been a sneezer, and then she got a upper respiratory infection from puppy kindergarten, so between our back and forth to the vet with that we decided to just do it. Embrace normally has the reimbursement check back to us within 2-4 days of sending in a claim. And with the wellness plan, they covered her microchip and vaccinations.
  • bump for @timandamy

  • Hello everyone. Transferring this over from another post i made.

    New to this forum, but not forums in general. I used the search function a yielded results that still left me with questions.

    We just got our puppy Odin last thursday, and at the vet, we were given a free trial of PetPlan insurance which we signed up for. However, after reading some reviews, I'm a little skeptical for signing up full time for it. In fact, almost all the plans mentioned in the tread on this forum regarding insurance yielded reviews all over the board.

    My question is what insurance do you have, if any? How is your claim process? What made you choose this insurance over the others? Seeing that a lot of posts are dated, perhaps this could be used as an opportunity to update your experiences with your insurance companies.
  • I use healthypaws and love them.

    Claims are processed by uploading an invoice. Everything is covered except the "door fee", vaccines, and dental.

    I chose them because they have no lifetime cap or annual cap and got a good rating from a an insurance rating company.
  • MoxyFruvousMoxyFruvous
    Posts: 384
    @TimandAmy We use Trupanion. We were given a free trial of this when we got our puppy last fall. Thank goodness I signed up for the free trial, because 3-4 days later, he fractured his jaw! ( I think everyone here remembers this) If you scroll up a bit, you'll see my post.


    I don't know many insurances companies, for pets or people, with really good reviews online. But the reviews can help.

    Claims were sent by our vet. Our vet has our policy number on file, so after we visit, I just let them know to file a claim with the company. They usually just fax or email it over. For emergencies, I keep a card with the policy number on it so if we take a trip to the ER vet, I can just give it to them. Its the same process at the ER vet as well. It takes about a week to process and they mail you a check. You can see the status of your claim on the website.

    We got a free trial. Since we had to use it during the trail, it made sense to keep it. I've signed up our older cats as well. Its also nice because the company is local and two gals that work at our vet office part time, also work at Trupanion. I also liked that I could pick what I wanted to pay monthly, as well as the deductible.

    The price you pay will be different if you have a older pet. Moxy is $20 more a month than Tang, because Moxy is close to 10 years old and Tang is under a year.






  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    No update to my experience with VPI so please refer back to my last post for information. I have a (knock on wood) relatively healthy Shiba and have still not had to make many claims to justify writing another review.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    imageimage
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • @TimandAmy, you should REALLY look for pictures of @MoxyFruvous dog, Tang, in his post fractured jaw outfit. It will make your day.

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