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Pet Insurance?

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Hi everyone!

 

I'm thinking of putting my gals onto pet insurance. I was on one that was specifically for the vet surgery I use - which was very useful as Charlie managed to rip the webbing between her toes last year and had to be put under and stitched up), however because she is the clumsiest poop in the known universe, I figure it is probably worthwhile getting her insured by one of the big players, as the local insurance didn't cover emergencies etc.

 

However, all I am seeing is $$$ and 2 star reviews for everything, or suspiciously happy 5 star reviews that look paid for, and now I am confused and annoyed.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for insurers? Those that will pay something out for big events is more important to me than small, frequent payouts such as cuts and grazes I am happy to cover smaller visits/surgeries as/if they happen, I am more concerned about any big emergencies happening that costs megabucks. I don't mind if they take their time paying out, only that they do eventually. I think I would like to go for 80% payouts with a larger deductible and lower monthly payments.

 

My one concern is that they really seem to try and play on preexisting conditions. Charlie has had very bad stomach problems when she was younger (empty stomach syndrome) and of course cut her webbing. Does this mean if she suddenly has unrelated stomach problems, or gets cut again, they are less likely to pay out?

 

Help, opinions and experience would be very much appreciated!

 

 

 

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Healthy Paws. They have paid exactly as they said they would for Bowie. She's 2 years post first limp with osteo. I have a $250 yearly deductible, I pay for the office visit fee and they pay 90% of everything else.

So far over the last 24 months they've paid for:

Many sets of x-rays

Bone scan

Front leg amputation with 5+ day hospitalization

3 day hospitalization for infection post suture removal

Ultrasound

6 rounds of chemo (Greyhound Health Initiative paid for the actual chemo meds)

Osteo vaccine expanded field study (original 3 rounds and 3 additional boosters)

Multiple chiropractic visits

Emergency visit requiring sub q fluids

Immunocidin injections

Entyce to stimulate appetite

Multiple meds

And on and on and on. Probably right around $20,000.

They are amazing. They raised our rates significantly recently, but it still will never come close to what they've paid out in the past 2 years.


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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All companies do not cover for pre existing conditions. So yes, gastric issues and torn webbing in the future probably aren't covered unless you can prove they're unrelated.

 

Another vote for Healthy Paws.

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I'm another Healthy Paws user. My boy has a screw in his hock following a race injury, so I'm resigned to owning any medical problems with that joint, but that would have been the case with any insurance company.

 

He broke a canine up by the jawbone trying to chase a treat he'd knocked out of his crate. It happened on Saturday, so we wound up in the E.R. Surgery that night, then follow-up x-rays and a doctor's visit. I scanned the bills and filed them online with Healthy Paws. In less than two weeks, they emailed me a statement of what they would pay, and the payment reached my bank account about 10 days later.

I'm not sure why they don't pay for the doctor's exam. Surgery, x-rays, anesthesia, meds, etc., all paid. Doctor's exam--not. How do they think you get to the stage of surgery, x-rays, etc., without a doctor's exam?


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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Thank everyone, very much. Happy Paws is the one I was thinking of using so that's great it's getting good recommendations from fellow greyhound owners and glad to hear it has helped you out.

 

I'm pretty sure if Charlie has any more tum or webbing issues it won't be covered, however I am ok with that as it's never reached a high cost (yet, touch wood) so am happy to pay out of pocket for that. It's more in case there's an accident or emergency or the dreaded C word etc where costs can escalate quickly that I want to make sure there is something in place to help. Heartbreaking enough to deal with these things!

 

Thanks again!

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/is-pet-insurance-worth-it/2018/10/23/64ff3dfa-ccb1-11e8-a3e6-44daa3d35ede_story.html

 

This interesting article was in the Washington Post a few weeks ago. I appreciated the cost estimates for insured vs. uninsured, for the various insurance companies, and for healthy vs. less healthy animals.


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Lucy with MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, and Miles the slinky kitty (OSH).
Missing Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin) and Winston

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For what it's worth, I was going to get insurance through Pet's Best because they have plans where you can get a higher deductible and lower premium. We ended up not getting any insurance, so I can't say how they are (and we haven't had problems aside from hookworm anyway, *knock wood*), but they have more flexibility in how you can structure your plan.

 

Just know this--with all these policies, once they pay out for some issue, then when you renew, that issue is now a pre-existing condition, so they won't cover it again.

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Just know this--with all these policies, once they pay out for some issue, then when you renew, that issue is now a pre-existing condition, so they won't cover it again.

 

That is not true with Healthy Paws. Bowie's osteo diagnosis began back in 2016 and they are still paying claims related to her osteo as I type this in 2018! I had Pet First ages ago and they did that with Carl as he was hypothyroid. I dumped them right away.


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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Just know this--with all these policies, once they pay out for some issue, then when you renew, that issue is now a pre-existing condition, so they won't cover it again.

 

This has not been my experience (Trupanion). If vet records prior to enrollment (and during the waiting period, probably) show a condition/issue, that condition will be considered pre-existing and will not be covered. However, an issue that occurs once the waiting period is over, and that is not pre-existing will be covered, as will the next occurrence. If the next occurrence is not considered a continuation of the first, the deductible will apply again, but the condition will be covered.

 

Edited for clarity

Edited by Rickiesmom

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For what it's worth, I was going to get insurance through Pet's Best because they have plans where you can get a higher deductible and lower premium. We ended up not getting any insurance, so I can't say how they are (and we haven't had problems aside from hookworm anyway, *knock wood*), but they have more flexibility in how you can structure your plan.

 

Just know this--with all these policies, once they pay out for some issue, then when you renew, that issue is now a pre-existing condition, so they won't cover it again.

That is not the case with Embrace.

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Ok, sorry--I might be mixing this up with my horse insurance. I read all the policies carefully, but I can't find them all now. But I did see on Pets Best from a chat with them that there's no additional pre-existing conditions issue at renewal time. In other words, it matches what you guys are saying about your policies.

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Just know this--with all these policies, once they pay out for some issue, then when you renew, that issue is now a pre-existing condition, so they won't cover it again.

 

that's not true of any insurance carrier. You renew every year. they cannot deny a condition the second year. But if you drop the insurance carrier and go elsewhere, yes it becomes a preexisting condition.

 

the key is to stay with one insurance carrier. do not switch around.


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Does anyone know how deep these companies dive into vet records to establish what is pre-existing?

 

We've been investigating some issues with our guy pretty thoroughly, so there've been a lot of tests for things that weren't there. The vet even thought she saw something that might be a bladder stone, but no crystals in the urine, and two weeks later it was nowhere to be found - meaning it probably wasn't there in the first place, but it's in the record :(

 

Is something like that going to mean that he'll never be covered for a future bladder stone? Or other bladder issue?

 

Is a documented specific upper GI issue going to disqualify him from any future GI issue?

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I would ask the company about those two things specifically as they will definitely find them in the records. My impression is some companies review vet records when a pet is enrolled, others wait until the first claim to review.

 

It is important to ask because, as an example, a friend of a friend (really) adopted a dog with a "something" on its leg. Vet examined it, and it was listed as "undetermined" or similar in the records. Some time later, can't remember the timeline but think it was quite awhile, the "something" suddenly grew, and this time it was diagnosed as a mast cell tumour. Insurance company did not cover it as they considered it pre-existing. I can sort of see their point since in this case the bump was definitely there, but also felt very bad for the owner, since it had seemed of no consequence until it suddenly changed.

 

OTOH, one of my girls at various times would get a little bump on her tummy and these were always suspect so I always had them taken off and set for biopsy. All benign, and every one was something different. I did ask about these when I enrolled her, and was told that if she developed another of the same kind as one she had had, it would not be covered, but if it was something totally new, it would be covered. And they did honour that.

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