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Do You Think Pet Insurance Is Worth It?


Guest andrealynch
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Guest andrealynch

Hello Everyone!

 

Right now, I have insurance on my ten year old and pay out 80.00 per month (VPI is the company he's insured with). This is for a policy that includes routine care, one dental per year, and provisions for heartworm preventative, etc., and has the highest payouts at 80% (supposedly). So, figuring that I pay close to $1000.00 per year to have him insured, I am wondering--do you think it is worth it? My boy is in good health, and our vet is reasonable on her pricing.

 

I was wondering if I'd be better off putting the money into a Money Market account and letting it earn interest? At the same time though, I realize that the purpose of insurance is really not for the small stuff, but for the big, expensive, and unexpected issues--which we can't necessarily plan for.

 

So what are your thoughts on this? Remember, at his age, it isn't likely that I'd be able to find anyone else to insure him if I were to cancel the policy we have. Also, I do have Care Credit, which I could use in an emergency too--but that is really just a payment plan.

 

Thanks for your thoughts on this!

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I have Pet Plan on my 4 year old. I pay $53.00 a month. It does not include dentals, maintenance (heart or flea) protection and just about everything is called "pre-existing"..It pays 100% of new stuff like cancer or emergencys. I have a $50.00 deductable. Guess it is worth it in the long run as a vet bill can run up very fast!

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Guest Energy11

Yes, pet insurance (**NOT VPI*** is worth it!) Just ONE Evet visit, could cost thousands!

 

 

I have Trupanion, and right now, they are offering two months FREE! They also have NO LIFETIME Maximum!

 

I'd highly recommend this insurance! Good Luck! I have it for all five of mine, totaling $253/montlhy, BUT again, ONE Evet visit could be thousands!

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Guest andrealynch

Yes, pet insurance (**NOT VPI*** is worth it!) Just ONE Evet visit, could cost thousands!

 

 

I have Trupanion, and right now, they are offering two months FREE! They also have NO LIFETIME Maximum!

 

I'd highly recommend this insurance! Good Luck! I have it for all five of mine, totaling $253/montlhy, BUT again, ONE Evet visit could be thousands!

 

 

You like Trupanion? I have been researching them for a long time--I don't think they will enroll my older boy, but for the younger one I was looking in to it! Good to know! VPI has been OK to deal with--but I've seen that a lot of people DO NOT like them...worries me!

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Guest andrealynch

Yes, pet insurance (**NOT VPI*** is worth it!) Just ONE Evet visit, could cost thousands!

 

 

I have Trupanion, and right now, they are offering two months FREE! They also have NO LIFETIME Maximum!

 

I'd highly recommend this insurance! Good Luck! I have it for all five of mine, totaling $253/montlhy, BUT again, ONE Evet visit could be thousands!

 

 

I just looked into Trupanion, and they would run 53.00 per month for my 10 year old! I bet I could also get insurance for my 4 year old (which I don't currently have due to the high price I was paying with VPI) for about the same amount I am paying per month now! Thanks for the suggestion.

 

If you could, is there anything you would change about Trupanion? I'd appreciate your honest feedback on them!

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Guest Energy11

Yes, pet insurance (**NOT VPI*** is worth it!) Just ONE Evet visit, could cost thousands!

 

 

I have Trupanion, and right now, they are offering two months FREE! They also have NO LIFETIME Maximum!

 

I'd highly recommend this insurance! Good Luck! I have it for all five of mine, totaling $253/montlhy, BUT again, ONE Evet visit could be thousands!

 

 

I just looked into Trupanion, and they would run 53.00 per month for my 10 year old! I bet I could also get insurance for my 4 year old (which I don't currently have due to the high price I was paying with VPI) for about the same amount I am paying per month now! Thanks for the suggestion.

 

If you could, is there anything you would change about Trupanion? I'd appreciate your honest feedback on them!

 

Of course, I'd have the except pre-existing conditions, but NO insurance will do that! I would also have them cover the office visits and routine blood work ... that is about all, though. Good Luck!

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Guest sheila

I think pet insurance is not worth it for me. I would put the money aside in an interest bearing account as my 'insurance' instead. Keep in mind I live in an area where vet costs are reasonably cheap. For example a dental is about $120. The largest single vet bill was an after hours emergency tracheotomy (allergic reaction to a spider bite) and this included an overnight stay, all meds and follow up care. The total bill was $350.

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Guest Energy11

I think pet insurance is not worth it for me. I would put the money aside in an interest bearing account as my 'insurance' instead. Keep in mind I live in an area where vet costs are reasonably cheap. For example a dental is about $120. The largest single vet bill was an after hours emergency tracheotomy (allergic reaction to a spider bite) and this included an overnight stay, all meds and follow up care. The total bill was $350.

 

 

Yes, that IS reasonable! I didnt' need pet insurance when I worked for my vet in Florida.

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Guest Fasave

Yes, definitely worth it IF you don't have VPI. I too have a 10 yo on VPI without all the extras and am paying $57/month. He has needed surgery every year for the last three years. 3 years ago it was cancer. Total costs were around $3,000 and because I had the cancer ride, I was reimbursed around $2,400. Last year, cancer again but just a small tumor removed. Cost $800 and they covered $700. This year a combined surgery for cancer, torn salivary gland and a epulis & 2 teeth removed from this mouth. Total bills $3,000 and reimbused $1700. They've lost money on me but I'm probably one of the few. With my last pup, it was a different story. Their benefits schedule is too confusing and does not take into account regional differences.

 

My new boy is on Embrace but I'm hearing good things about Trupanion. $53/month for a 10 year old is a good deal. Thunder is 5. I have a $10,000 annual limit, $200 deductible and a 10% co-pay.

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Guest zoolaine

I would switch to Trupanion if I was you. I have PetPlan, but I think the dog has to enroll before they turn 9. Trupanion was my second choice. Even if the routine care is fairly cheap where you are, any type of specialist, etc will be $$$$. I probably spent $7,000 - $9,000 for 5 months of cancer treatment for Sunny (his insurance PetFirst paid $2500 - I switched all my other dogs to get high coverage). And am currently looking at ACL surgery for Briley at $2500 - I will have to pay 20%, so $500. I tried the special doggie savings account but the money seemed to always get spent on something else that came up. I would never go without insurance for my dogs again. And I would get your younger dog signed up now - once something happens it is pre-exisisting and won't be covered.

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Guest hlpnhounds

I work in the veterinary field....specifically ER/ICU. Given the choice, I would opt to just have a credit card that was used just for emergencies or even a Care Credit account that is often interest free for larger bills for up to 12 months. Care Credit can be applied for on-line and can be used for your own medical bills also as long as your Dr accepts it. I've used it for my own dental work in the past. Thankfully, none of my dogs have needed extensive work that would require me to use the account again. Once applied for, the account stays active.

As with most credit cards, the better your credit, the larger your "allowance" would be.

 

I have seen too many animals put down with "fixable" problems that the owner just simply could not afford to treat to go without some sort of "insurance" even if it is an interest free line of credit.

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Guest BorzoiMom

VPI sucks! I'm switching to Trupanion asap. I got $449 back on a $1,003.00 emergency expense. Not even half! Without any insurance though my dog would have had to die or be returned to rescue. Because I had insurance I was able to borrow against the payback and keep my dog (and the roof over my head). (oh, and the bill should have been over $2000.00 had I not gone against Dr recommendations and done IV fluids at home)

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A money market fund, right now, is bearing virtually NO interest--but if you can put the money in any bank account, and have it, that's great!

 

VPI would not insure George because his creatinine level was outside of their "normal" range. I had a policy from ASPCA, and cancelled it just because their payout were SO much less than my actual costs.

 

It's a little bit scary knowing that I'd have to go out of pocket for a big thing, but when I looked at what was covered, there was NOTHING they would pay for the whole bill anyway.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Mine is with Pet Plan. Pays up to £4K vet fees pa (6KUSD)and covers £1Million (1.5MUSD)third party damages per incident, emergency boarding kennel fees too. If you keep savings to cover emergencies then they must be 100% ring-fenced - it's just too easy for ordinary people with normal lives to dip into them when needs must.

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For most people, it's much cheaper to set the money aside yourself even if it isn't earning interest. The insurance company's purpose is to make a profit, right?

 

Over the years I had Zema, for example, the things that insurance would have reimbursed *anything* for came in at a total cost of less than half what a $55/month premium would have totalled. And that's counting a couple e-vet visits, dentals, many urinalyses, a night in the hospital, cremation .....

 

If you can't save and live so as to have no cushion for disasters, then perhaps better to have insurance.

 

 

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest zoolaine

I think I have always made money off of the insurance. Yes, in certain years I have paid in more and it does depend on which insurance company you have. PetPlan, Trupanion, and Embrace all seem to have excellent payouts. Right now I have PetPlan and Briley is facing possible surgery for a torn ACL. There are 2 primary surgeries one costs $2500 and the other $3500. I am probably going with the $2500 (which is a less invasive surgery), of which I will have to pay 20% - so $500. I will be reimbursed $2000. Briley's policy cost $241 a year - so this claim alone would cover 8 years of insurance coverage for him. If he had the $3500 surgery I would get a reimbursement of $2800 or over 11 years of insurance coverage. I realize that is not exactly correct because his yearly cost will increase as he ages but it gives a good idea.

 

Another example is when I was with PetFirst - for Briley, Luna, and Sunny I paid $79 a month for all three of them on their family plan, which included routine coverage. I had many, many claims and got a lot of money back. When Sunny got cancer they covered up to their per incident limit $2500. So the one claim of Sunny's alone paid for the 2 years of premiums for all 3 doggs that we were with that company. I have since switched everyone to PetPLan to get better coverage, since I still ended up paying thousands out of my pocket for Sunny's chemotherapy.

 

I think when you have more dogs your odds of having big claims goes up. I don't think Jupiter has had any claims in the 18 months that I have had him. So I have lost money on him but overall I am still way ahead. Plus I really like the peace of mind knowing they are covered.

 

You do also have to be aware that you have to come up with the $$$$ and are then reimbursed by the insurance 1-4 weeks later. I use my CareCredit for this.

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

For us, not worth it. Had I been paying into insurance all these years, I'd never once have used it- total waste. Plus we can afford to cover an emergency if we have to.

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Guest DebSzal

I may be the only one, but I have been satisfied with VPI. They readjusted a previous claim when the diagnosis was confirmed and actually reimbursed me more by only using 1 $50 deductible for two office visits. The last bill was for a checkup with x-rays for a reoccuring limp and bloodwork for a previous platelet disorder. Bill was $224 and they reimbursed me $112.54 with a $50 deductable because the diagnosis for the limp was synovitis (not a sprain as previously submitted). I will agree that their diagnosis sheet and pay-outs are confusing, but I have usually had a good experience with their customer service.

 

All that said, I am not planning to continue the insurance. Gracie will be 9 in October and her plan was the Superior Plan w/cancer endorsement for $441.80 a year. This plan does not include routine exams or dental but she has gingivitis so the dental has been covered anyway. But we now have Primo and I can't afford a policy for both. So I am setting aside money every month for a pet expense account to help offset any major bills. I figured if I had the $400 to pay for the insurance I could put that money aside for payment of vet bills and gamble on the outcome. My vet is reasonably priced so I feel better about this decision-although it was not an easy one.

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Guest eaglflyt

Well, it's been VERY worth it for us. ;) We have our girl covered with Embrace pet insurance. And, hubby just failed us at fostering (although we still foster) and our new boy is covered with Trupanion. Having our girl covered in her first year with us has more than paid for itself ... actually probably 3 or 4 times, at least.

 

For us, it's just *peace of mind* that in an emergency or any illness situation, no decisions will ever need to be based on expenses of vet care. It's not too difficult to have $ in savings for small to moderate expenses, but in the case of catastrophic illness or injury, the expense can skyrocket! I'd rather have a few years where the insurance didn't pay for itself (which we haven't had yet) than to have a year when something terrible happened and we wished we had had that safety net in place.

 

We live on a budget and I'm a bit of a numbers nerd. I like knowing what I'm budgeting for vet expenses each month & year ... and not worrying about a huge surprise. I gladly pay for the insurance companies to take that *surprise worry* out of the equation for me. :colgate

 

Also, check out all the plans carefully. Both Embrace and Trupanion have made excellent changes to their coverages just in the past few months!!! A lot more value added in!!! :D

 

eta info: Last year, Ady Bea's premiums were $36 per month (our choice of a premium policy ... quite a few extras), but her medical expenses after several UTIs, a severe vaccination reaction with e-vet visit, several vet visits and meds, and a surgery equaled in excess of $5,000! So, annual premiums were $432 + $200 deductible and 10% of expenses. I realize (and HOPE) that we don't follow this trend every year, but for us, it was a great choice and huge comfort for us all. ;)

Edited by eaglflyt
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Guest zoolaine

Does anyone use Pets Best Insurance? I have heard good things about them - there is a $100 deductible for the lowest plan, and they pay 80% of everything, no questions asked. I am considering it for Puzzle, but I would like to hear from someone who has used them before.

 

 

I ruled them out due to the low per incident maximum.

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it's a real gamble. i didn't insure emily, basically until she needed shoulder and lung xrays otherwise her upkeep was minimal. i knew from the very begining that if i ever had a dog w/ cancer i would medicate and that was it. so, in the 5 years of owning her the one big bill was around $900(xrays and pain meds) and standard shots and minor injuries, which i now feel more comfortable cleaning up and bandaging.my late welsh terrier also ran up one big bill- went to a speciality center/hospital and he used up all of his sick allowance in one day. i do have accident insurance for crazy felix....but i pay it in full, once a year it's only $130 annually.

 

yeah, it's a gamble, but having to shell out $1130 per month for health care for dh and myself has made us rethink our monthly expeniences. if something catastrophic happens, i'll cross that bridge when i get to it.

 

just looked up trupanion, in the nyc area it's $32.xx per month, aspca- $27, vpi-$37. the quote was for a neutered 3 year old male grey.

Edited by cleptogrey
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Guest kydie

Vet costs are very reasonable in my part of the world too, my old girl just had 2 teeth removed, a dental, antibiotics, for 30 days , rimadyl, xrays, lab work, and 2 office visits for $324.00, I just stash money away every pay in my "vet" account :)

 

Youngest has a large wound with office visit, cone collar, antibiotics,(14 days worth) collasate spray, and chlorhexdine scrub, (large bottle) was $58.19 (this was considered an emergency visit too, as it was after hours) :)

Edited by kydie
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Guest Swifthounds

Pet insurance would run $2,500-5,000 a year for our crew, without all the riders and "extras" for "seniors" (three hounds in double digits currently). We're in the "high yield savings account" and unused credit card for dog emergencies category. Sure, you have to have the discipline not to spend the dog emergency money on things other than dog emergencies, but that isn't that difficult.

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