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Pet Insurance

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Just wondering if pet insurance has helped anyone out with vet bills?

I was thinking of getting my pets on this for future health ailments.

My vet office said that they wouldn't recommend it. Why would that be? Do most vets not take it?


post #2 of 16
Some vets recommend it, some don't. Don't know why. My cats don't have pet insurance and sometimes I wonder if I should buy insurance for them. They are relatively healthy, but you never know. Not sure how it works and maybe that's what had stopped me from buying it.
post #3 of 16
I don't know whether insurance works the same for you as it does over here, but I consider it essential. Like any other type of insurance it's a gamble - do you pay for it and end up not using it, or take a risk and not bother, and just hope that you don't have any vets bills you can't afford. It's certainly helped me.

I took out insurance for my 2 kittens when I got them 9 years ago. Didnt claim at all for 8 years then last year one of them died from a blood clot in his neck. Got in from work to find him lying on the floor paralysed and needing immediate treatment. He died at the vets 5 hours later and the treatment cost me just over $3000. It was going to be a lot more but he deteriorated before they could give him some new drug to disperse the blood clot (injections that were going to cost $800 per shot and he would need several). Without insurance I would have had to have him put to sleep almost immediately as I couldn't have afforded that, and would have definitely had to say no to the injections. As it was, I was able to give my consent for them to do what they could and the insurance company paid for it all minus $30 excess. I worked out I had received more from them than I'd paid in over the years. With Jaffa (now 9), the only claim I've made so far is for a dental earlier this year. That was nearly $800 though so I was glad I could claim for it.

For me it gives peace of mind and the knowledge that I can give my boys whatever veterinary treatment they need, and will only need to say no to treatment if I don't feel it's in their best interest. Money won't be an issue.
post #4 of 16
American insurance is NOT as good as British, and I don't recommend it for most people. I got seriously burned by one 'older' company that had lousy service, never paid a claim, and jerked me around for months before denying it. I truly believe that they would consider a fall from a window a 'pre existing condition.' The insurance was worse than useless; I was paying someone to pick my pocket.

The only insurance here that is worth anything works with vets who have signed on and pays a portion of the bill directly to the vet, just as a human health insurance policy does. Unfortunately the best one is not licensed in my state.
Canadian policies are also far superior to the American.

Stay AWAY from the big, well advertised American companies.
post #5 of 16
PLus, even if the cost of treatment for something isn't wildly expensive (couple of hundred say) it can still be a huge amount to have to pay in one chunk. The one thing I wish they covered was s/n but obviously they won't.
post #6 of 16
We have insurance and it has saved us a lot of money so generally I would recommend it, but go through a broker and get a plan that suits you!
post #7 of 16
There are two that are advertized on the net. One is issued out of Canada. I have had both. The one that comes with service out of California was totally useless to me. The one that was issued out of Canada was OK, out of $178 Vet bill, after an argument with them, I got all but $38 of it.

The big thing like with any other insurance is knowing EXACTLY what is covered, DO NOT accept blanket statements that are not specific. I had two claims denied, one for geardia <sp> because they said it was not covered.

It is not cheap either, if you get a decent one it will run you $25 to $35 a month per pet.
post #8 of 16
I have insurance for one of my boys, but not the other. It's okay, but not spectacular. I have to apy upfront and wait for reimbursement.

On a $170 vet vist I got $88 back.

I don't know if I am saving money or throwing it out the window.
post #9 of 16
I had asked my vet about this since kirra has the seizure issue. He said that the way he has seen many of the different companies treat their clinets is why he does not recommend it. You have to pay for the treatment out of pocket (no matter 5 bucks or 5000 bucks) than subment claim forms and wait for a commeting to decide if what happened was indeed covered under their services, and there is alot of fine print. They told me that they have some clinents who after a year still had no rembersment from their insurance company.

Not my idea of a good service. To bad american insurance for pets doesnt work the same as for humans.
post #10 of 16
Your Kira would not be covered since her seizures are a pre-existing condition.

I have found that the disreputable company I was dealing with regarded EVERYTHING as a 'pre-existing condition' even when it wasn't. This was just a waste of time and money for me and did nothing for the cat.

A good company might be able to insure Gizmo against things that MIGHT happen to her, but I haven't found any in my neighborhood.
post #11 of 16
I think since my kitties are dependents of mine, I should be able to claim them on my health insurance at work wouldn't that be swell
post #12 of 16
I agree with that Katiemae!

They are members of the family, are they not? They should be covered. I'd pay more if they could have the type of insurance I do.
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
I think since my kitties are dependents of mine, I should be able to claim them on my health insurance at work wouldn't that be swell
I think that's a brilliant idea, pet package just like dental.
post #14 of 16
They should also be tax deductible!!
post #15 of 16
My place of business is offering pet insurance as a benefit for the employees (you do have to pay for it, but it appears to be a lower rate.) Unfortunately they are going with the same dishonest company that cheated me and at least one other member of this Board and did nothing for the cats. I'm going to recommend that they not do it.
post #16 of 16
While we're at it, can my school taxes go towards public obedience classes for dogs?

I've seen insurance be a life-safer for one client. She has two very high-maintenence dogs that require a lot of veterinary care, and one of them in the last year developed cancer. The insurance pays her back about 80% on all the treatment and testing. I know this woman loves her dogs enough to have sold her house to pay for chemo if necessary, but it's a lot easier on her to not have to. And now her dog is in remission.
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