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Pet insurance??

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've been pondering this for awhile, and dauntingfire's comments have got me thinking about it again. I've been skeptical about pet insurance companies, since they aren't regulated or anything, I've been a little leery of getting involved with them.

So can some of you fine folks here give me some advice?? How many have used pet insurance, and actually made claims?? Has anyone had any problems dealing with pet insurance companies??

BTW, do they help with Advantage?? I'm paying almost $200/year on Advantage (two of our four cats are outdoor cats, and the other two interact with them), and I'd be spending even more if I wasn't buying the larger size and splitting one tube between two cats!!

Also, if it's not against the rules here, can anyone recommend pet insurance companies that they've dealt with and had good results from?? I would be eternally grateful!!

( I have *got* to try out this smilie, it is TOO tempting...
)
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by derelict View Post
BTW, do they help with Advantage?? I'm paying almost $200/year on Advantage (two of our four cats are outdoor cats, and the other two interact with them), and I'd be spending even more if I wasn't buying the larger size and splitting one tube between two cats!!
No insurance company is going to pay out for normal day to day care of your pets - and that includes worm and flea treatments, vaccinations, annual vet checkup, dental checkups, and neutering/spaying. That would be like expecting car insurance to cover getting your oil changed, or house insurance to cover putting up new wallpaper.

I'm afraid I can't help with insurance company recommendations as I'm in the UK and I'm not sure what the pet insurance situation is like where you are! In the UK it's pretty good and all my pets are insured, they are covered for illness and accident, not the cost of normal routine care.
post #3 of 15
I think that British pet insurance may work differently to yours. Ziggy is insured. The insurance will not cover flea treatment as that is part of everyday maintainence. Like food/litter/yearly vacs. It does however cover damages to furniture, vets bills for operations (not spaying/neutering) and prescriptions/treatment for eye infections, UTI, CRF etc. (not fleas or worms). It also cover theft of the animal, and advertising costs if you lose them, and also if they die, it will cover your purchase cost.

The insurance I have for Ziggy only costs me £70 per year, which I think is worth it because I know I know that I won't have to worry financially if anything were to happen. If she was hit by a car, I wouldn't have to pay the 100's of pounds that it would cost for the op and treatment.

Insurance costs are at a minimum here if: You cat is not a purebreed, they are microchipped, they have yearly vaccinations, they tend to be indoor, (On Ziggy's it says she is indoor/outdoor). The younger they are the cheaper it is.

A very large number of people insure their pets over here
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadieandziggy View Post
Insurance costs are at a minimum here if: You cat is not a purebreed, they are microchipped, they have yearly vaccinations, they tend to be indoor, (On Ziggy's it says she is indoor/outdoor). The younger they are the cheaper it is.
I think my insurance premiums cost 20p more per year for my pedigree cat than my moggy, seems a bit silly really! I do get a multi-pet discount though
post #5 of 15
The pet insurance company I was looking at was about $18 a month for a cat. Which isn't too bad! But I don't have any experience with pet insurance places yet, it's just me doing research.

Here are the ones I looked at:

http://www.petcareinsurance.com/
http://www.petinsurance.com/
http://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/

And here is a nice article about Pet Insurance:
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com...Insurance.aspx

Hope this helps! I'll more than likely have one purebred and one moggie on insurance. I think it's a fantastic idea simply because I saw my mother's pet bill go into the thousands easily. I just want to be sure that I'm prepared in case of an emergency.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
No insurance company is going to pay out for normal day to day care of your pets - and that includes worm and flea treatments, vaccinations, annual vet checkup, dental checkups, and neutering/spaying. That would be like expecting car insurance to cover getting your oil changed, or house insurance to cover putting up new wallpaper.

I'm afraid I can't help with insurance company recommendations as I'm in the UK and I'm not sure what the pet insurance situation is like where you are! In the UK it's pretty good and all my pets are insured, they are covered for illness and accident, not the cost of normal routine care.


Insurance is pretty good over here. I'd say it's essential for anyone who doesn't have lots of money lying around. I've made a couple of claims and have received the money promptly. I currently have a claim in at the moment for Mosi's operation when he ate some string - fingers crossed I'll get that back too.
post #7 of 15
I have VPI. There is a rider you can purchase that does cover wellness, and a little for flea control, not very much tho. But it does help with shots, worming, etc.I pay around 20.00 mo. for one cat. Princess Gina had a UTI this year and I was glad I have it, I can go to the vet as many times as she needs.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
No insurance company is going to pay out for normal day to day care of your pets - and that includes worm and flea treatments, vaccinations, annual vet checkup, dental checkups, and neutering/spaying. That would be like expecting car insurance to cover getting your oil changed, or house insurance to cover putting up new wallpaper.

I'm afraid I can't help with insurance company recommendations as I'm in the UK and I'm not sure what the pet insurance situation is like where you are! In the UK it's pretty good and all my pets are insured, they are covered for illness and accident, not the cost of normal routine care.
There are companies that cover normal day to day care of pets. This one can cover all the things you mentioned, depending on the coverage you chose to pay for. Check out this website http://www.banfield.net/health/owp_adults.asp
post #9 of 15
My experience is with Petshealth Care Plan (also marketed as ASPCA) and with PetsBest. Frankly, I can recommend neither. I haven't had any claims/reimbursement experience with PetsBest. My experience with Petshealth has been less than satisfactory. Frankly, I wish someone would sell a catastrophic health plan for pets, something with, say a $500 deductible to cover the really big stuff. I'm thinking of dropping my insurance because I've paid out more in insurance, way more in fact, than I've recovered in reimbursements, so if my experience is typical, these companies are making a nice, fat profit. I'd like to be covered in case of some major, unexpected expense, if such coverage can be purchased for less, and cover the small stuff myself. I'm not really interested in the comprehensive coverage I have now because it's not worth it.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u View Post
There are companies that cover normal day to day care of pets. This one can cover all the things you mentioned, depending on the coverage you chose to pay for. Check out this website http://www.banfield.net/health/owp_adults.asp
Those kind of policies are not available over here, and I'm not sure I see the point really. As they are pretty much given costs, the company is just going to add that amount to the premium. I'd prefer to just budget for those kind of expenses as I know when they're coming. I have insurance for unexpected costs.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
Those kind of policies are not available over here, and I'm not sure I see the point really. As they are pretty much given costs, the company is just going to add that amount to the premium. I'd prefer to just budget for those kind of expenses as I know when they're coming. I have insurance for unexpected costs.
The thing I'm struggling with as well is whether to just budget for expenses or get insurance. The premium on those plans I mentioned though, is very reasonable for here at around $20 a month. That covers the wellness/maintence stuff such as worming, fleas, boarding, vacinations, well visits, teeth cleaning etc., as well as unexpected costs. It would be nice to have those well visits, vaccinations, teeth cleaning etc. covered (as they are in those plans) but also I'm concerned with catastrophic expenses. I had to put out a large amount of money for Jake over the last few years and I couldn't have planned that when I adopted him because I just didn't know. He was worth every penny but it may have been helpful to have that coverage! And I would have been able to get additonal tests and things done. I'm still weighing the pros and cons because I'm not convinced of the pet insurance thing yet.
post #12 of 15
I'd suggest adding up all you spend on routine care and see if that's more or less than the difference between a plan that covers routine care and one that doesn't. And remember you don't get fully reimbursed, you have to figure your reimbursement rate, which for example on my plan is NOT 80% of the actual expense, but 80% of what they deem is "usual and customary." For example, I had a lab test done that the vet charged me $42.75 for, the insurance company "allowed" a charge of $20.00, and then they paid me $16.00 (20% of what was allowed.)

Then consider the caps. A plan that covers routine care may also have lower caps, for example $1500 per incident. And then find out whether that cap is for each office visit for that incident or for ALL office visits for that incident and whether it's per year or lifetime. For example one of my plans has a per incident cap of $2500 and it says "chronic conditions are considered one incident." So if your cat gets diabetes, the maximum they'll pay is $2500 for that disease for the lifetime of the cat.

Insurance is really tricky. You have to read the fine print. For example, on one of my policies, you have to have had no treatment the last 180 days, otherwise it becomes a pre-existing condition, and they don't cover pre-existing conditions. That bit me with Twinkie. He had crystals and needed a follow-up urinalysis. It didn't make any difference whether I send in a claim or not. Because he was treated within 180 days of the policy renewal, it became a pre-existing condition and isn't covered on the next policy term.
post #13 of 15
The only insurance I had was the first year I got Luna. It was $200 some odd dollars and just included 20% discount on all office visits and Rxs, then 10% in the event of a surgury.

She was parasite heavy when I first got her, so I saved maybe $50 after the first office visit and another $20 after the second. I sometimes look at it this way though, you're just paying money up front for something you may or may not use.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I'd suggest adding up all you spend on routine care and see if that's more or less than the difference between a plan that covers routine care and one that doesn't. And remember you don't get fully reimbursed, you have to figure your reimbursement rate, which for example on my plan is NOT 80% of the actual expense, but 80% of what they deem is "usual and customary." For example, I had a lab test done that the vet charged me $42.75 for, the insurance company "allowed" a charge of $20.00, and then they paid me $16.00 (20% of what was allowed.)

Then consider the caps. A plan that covers routine care may also have lower caps, for example $1500 per incident. And then find out whether that cap is for each office visit for that incident or for ALL office visits for that incident and whether it's per year or lifetime. For example one of my plans has a per incident cap of $2500 and it says "chronic conditions are considered one incident." So if your cat gets diabetes, the maximum they'll pay is $2500 for that disease for the lifetime of the cat.

Insurance is really tricky. You have to read the fine print. For example, on one of my policies, you have to have had no treatment the last 180 days, otherwise it becomes a pre-existing condition, and they don't cover pre-existing conditions. That bit me with Twinkie. He had crystals and needed a follow-up urinalysis. It didn't make any difference whether I send in a claim or not. Because he was treated within 180 days of the policy renewal, it became a pre-existing condition and isn't covered on the next policy term.
That's some good information! Thanks! Give me a good idea of what to look for and ask about.
post #15 of 15
I'd suggest asking each company to email you a sample copy of an actual policy so you can read all the fine print for yourself. The definitions part of the policy is extremely important because that will tell you how they define something like a "preexisting condition." That's how I found out about that 180-day provision with my Petshealth Care policy. But I didn't find out until after I had bought the policy because I hadn't read the fine print first.

I think every person buys insurance for their own reasons, so reading and study the policy and understand what the company means when they say something is the only way to find out if it's right for you. I don't know how many times I've heard people say that they were disappointed in their insurance -- the coverage wasn't what they thought it would be, or whatever, and most of the time it's because they didn't understand what it was they had bought.

If something in the policy language doesn't make sense, call them and ask, and keep asking until you get an answer that makes sense. The way an insurance policy is written is always for a reason. If it's worded in a way that's confusing, that's completely intentional.
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