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I had been pleased with VPI for several years. But lately they've been living on their reputation from years ago. They still use a schedule to determine how much they would pay, and it's very antiquated.

I'm switching 2 of my 3 dogs to Trupanion. The third, being 8 yrs old, will have to stay with VPI because otherwise she'd have too many pre-existing conditions.

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I was with PetFirst, they were great about paying, but once a dog developed a condition the next year when the policy renewed it would be considered a "new" policy and the condition would be excluded as a pre existing condition. I switched to Trupanion, had them for a year and never made a claim. They were pricier, but didn't do the same thing as PetFirst and had no lifetime or condition limit, so they seemed worth the extra cost. Then, near the end of the year they notified me they were going to raise the rate for each dog by 33%. I thought that was outrageous and switched to Healthy Paws, who have a similar structure. They said they would raise rates in the single digit range, well, not so much, but at least they didn't raise them by that much - something like 11 - 14%, I can't remember.

 

Having had a dog that went from no insurance claims in her life to a $3000+ claims in a couple of months (I know others who it has been much higher much faster), insurance is definitely worth it to me.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just thought I would chime in with my recent experience. I adopted a stray rat terrier back in June, and had been debating pet insurance, even before getting her, because of Trinkett's osteo bills. After reading up on several, I decided to go with Healthy Paws, since it will cover bilateral conditions, and Katie has pannus in one eye already. I was, as I said, mostly concerned about the potential for cancer in Katie's future, but, given the costs, decided to cover both dogs. Guess what? Pixie, the little stray that I have had all of 6 months now, just was diagnosed with severely luxating patellas on both sides. The vet (and the two other opinions I got), are recommending surgery, at an estimated cost of $3,800. Per leg! Got the phone call from the insurance on Wednesday: there's no mention of it in her (admittedly skimpy) records, so it's not pre-existing, so they will cover it at the 90% after the deductible. Could I have covered this out of savings? One leg, would have been painful but possible. That would just mean delaying some long term projects even longer. Both legs? That would involve raiding the emergency fund as well. Would I have done that? Probably, since it's better than having a dog with a painful, degenerative condition. But it would mean a huge hit to the lifestyle for the next couple of years as I built those funds back up. I am much happier knowing that the insurance will cover most of it!

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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Guest Melissa516

I had VPI for the cats for several years. Never had to use it... thank dog. But, if you live in a metropolitan area where prices are higher, you are going to find their fee schedule very inadequate. We now have Healthy Paws for the 3 cats and 2 greyhounds. Haven't had to use that yet either, but we went with a $500 deductible and 90% coverage plan.

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I have Care Credit to make payments on the usual stuff, so the only thing I wanted in an insurance policy was coverage for the fluke, unexpected stuff. I have an accident/illness through ASPCA (it's only $11 per month). When Henry had the accident with his tail and ended up having a partial amputation, it was about $800 all told. ASPCA was true to its word and reimbursed 80%. A very sweet woman even called afterwards to make sure Henry was doing okay and ask if I was satisfied with their service. My guys are both pretty young and healthy- as they get older, I might opt for a more comprehensive plan. But I've really been pleased with ASPCA so far.

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I have 24PetWatch and I have had only good experiences with them. They reimburse quickly, they are great to talk to on the phone. I fully expect that Aquitaine might age out this year as she is turning 10, and the CRF has been very pricey in just the 5 months since diagnosis, but my fingers are crossed that I am wrong. They even told me that they cover prescription food -- I had crossed it off a bill. I put in a claim last week and already received my call that the check is being processed and will be mailed within 48 hours. The price does go up each year as my girl ages but only by $2 per month so it is negligible. That said, it is still $49.50 per month (currently) so it isn't cheap but if I put away that amount each month, I would only cover the one claim I put in last week!

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I have Healthy Paws. Legs' coverage is now $45/month, w/ the $250 deductible per year. I think if I did the math it wouldn't be worth it, however, I have been very happy with them. I email them the form & invoice from our vet visit, and have a check w/in the week for 90% of everything they cover (they don't cover any office visits/consults or routine stuff).

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I find it better to open a savings account for pet expenses and put so much in it a week. I don't like the idea of sending a company money over the years and maybe not needing insurance to pay a large bill. For example, you pay them X amount every month for a few years and you only use half of it. The insurance company gets the rest of your money.

Siggy1.jpg

Flying Racine 7/25/08 and Twelve Pack 12/1/2004
At the Bridge- Abenacki Icebox (Kiaba) 4/21/2002-4/1/10 and Wumps Niece (Tehya) 4/21/2002-11/26/2010
www.greyhoundwelfare.org

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Guest OurLacyandJax

Sure, that's how Insurance companies operate. Sorry to say it that way, and I am no champion of Insurance companies. But the problem lies in scaling the savings concept you described to cover any eventuality any time.

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Sure, that's how Insurance companies operate. Sorry to say it that way, and I am no champion of Insurance companies. But the problem lies in scaling the savings concept you described to cover any eventuality any time.

 

I completely understand. I have lost two dogs to osteo and my male broke his leg last year. I have an idea of what kind of savings I need to have. God willing I won't have future emergencies. If I don't, the money will roll over into the next dogs. If I decide not to adopt again ( yea, like that will happen), I will have money in an account to use as I want.

 

You have to figure in emergencies, illness, regular meds, food, treats, supplements and routine vet care.

Siggy1.jpg

Flying Racine 7/25/08 and Twelve Pack 12/1/2004
At the Bridge- Abenacki Icebox (Kiaba) 4/21/2002-4/1/10 and Wumps Niece (Tehya) 4/21/2002-11/26/2010
www.greyhoundwelfare.org

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I have Healthy Paws. Legs' coverage is now $45/month, w/ the $250 deductible per year. I think if I did the math it wouldn't be worth it, however, I have been very happy with them. I email them the form & invoice from our vet visit, and have a check w/in the week for 90% of everything they cover (they don't cover any office visits/consults or routine stuff).

 

I too have Healthy Paws. I got it for the same reason I carry health insurance on myself: Eventually there will be high, out-of-pocket expenses for which I won't have enough money to pay. Just reading about osteo and the thousands of dollars treatment can cost, if that route is chosen, confirms to me that having pet insurance is the right thing to do.

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Am in my first year with Healthy Paws. So far it is good. I have a $50 per year deductible with 90% coverage. Cost is $41.64/mo on a 4 yo Grey with no pre-existing conditions. Since saving isn't my best thing I'm better with a good insurance policy. This one seems to suit me. Only time will tell. Am about to add a second dog. Wish to heck I had the cat on it. He's starting to cost a fortune.

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I have PetAssure for all 7 dogs. It cost me right at $200 a year for all of them. It's not insurance; you have to make sure your vet is a participating vet. PetAssure gives you 25% off all vet services (not including food, treats). There's no deductible and it's not based upon the "customary charge". I've used it for dentals, yearly checkups and shots and have a puppy that will be spayed in 2 weeks. There are no forms to fill out - the vet takes the 25% right off the bill in the office. I've had no problem with it and am very happy to have it. I checked into pet insurance when we got the puppy and the cheapest I could find was $32/month just for her.

 

Connie

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Healthy Paws here. I had 3 critically hounds one after another---if I told you how much my total veterinary costs were you would be a gasp (I live in the NYC area--let's say it was >$25,000). I pay $36/month now for my 7yr boy--$500 deductible & 90% reimbursement. I never want my finances to determine the treatment plans of my dogs. Sadly, I can not get insurance for my girl--10yr old with a history of thyroidcarcinoma whom is currently on a metronomic chemo protocol :-(

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Sure, that's how Insurance companies operate. Sorry to say it that way, and I am no champion of Insurance companies. But the problem lies in scaling the savings concept you described to cover any eventuality any time.

I completely understand. I have lost two dogs to osteo and my male broke his leg last year. I have an idea of what kind of savings I need to have. God willing I won't have future emergencies. If I don't, the money will roll over into the next dogs. If I decide not to adopt again ( yea, like that will happen), I will have money in an account to use as I want.

 

You have to figure in emergencies, illness, regular meds, food, treats, supplements and routine vet care.

 

The thing about this is, if you calculate what you will spend over the lifetime of the dog in premiums, including projecting reasonable premium increases each year, you come up with a sum of money that could be wiped out in a heartbeat by one serious illness or emergency. Of course, how much money you would spend depends on the cost of living where are reside, what lengths you are willing to go to to treat/save a pet, etc. so those have to factor into your decision.

 

For me, the bottom line is that I don't want to be forced to refuse a medical treatment that I would want for my pet otherwise simply because of cost. For that reason, I am willing to take the risk that I might lose some money, but honestly, given the cost of medical care unless my dogs all age without any significant issues and then just pass in their sleep, or unless they're all taken suddenly at a young age by something that doesn't give me the opportunity to spend money trying to save them, I don't think I'll come out at much of a loss, sad as that is. :(

 

I'm not saying insurance is necessary or right for everyone, just mentioning the key consideration for me.

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest FreeholdHound

Received a letter from Healthy Paws today informing me that as of the new year Alternative Therapies will be covered at no additional cosines incl chiropractic, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, & rehab services. Nice to hear.

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Received a letter from Healthy Paws today informing me that as of the new year Alternative Therapies will be covered at no additional cosines incl chiropractic, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, & rehab services. Nice to hear.

 

Well there's a positive thing. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to receiving that from them, too. I'm still grousing because they raised their rates - then to add insult to injury they sent out an email offering 10% off for life for new customers. UGH. And this seems to be as good as it gets. I hope you are reading this, HP.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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