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What do you thing about Cat Health Insurance?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I'm new to this forum. I already searched for my topic but didn't find anything useful ...

We are thinking about adopting two kittens (they are about 5 month old).
We had cats in Germany before. Three years ago we moved to California. Unfortunately the landlord didn't accepted cats and we had no time to look for something else so we had to leave our cats in Germany. But they are in good hands.

Since we (my wife 24yrs, my son 21 month, me 26yrs) moved in a house we are really in getting two cats. Why two? Because we it's better when they have a playmate from their own species. And when we are going on vacation the the cat is not alone. Most likely we will pick them up them Wednesday or Thursday. They will only live indoor (the house is somewhere around 2300sq it is big enough).

Since health care in California is very expensive I'm considering getting health insurance for these cats. I found different insurance companies:
1. ASPCA Insurance http://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/?utm_id=2000
2. VPI Pet Insurance http://www.petinsurance.com/
3. embrace pet insruance http://www.embracepetinsurance.com/
4. Pets Best Insurance http://www.petsbest.com/
5. Petco PetCare Pet Insurance http://www.petco.com/petco_Page_PC_p...e_Nav_213.aspx

Banfield also provides a wellness plan... But I think it isn't a health insurance. It's more about preventive care: http://www.banfield.net/health/owp.asp

For me the ASPCA Insurance (I would go for the Advantage Plan) looks the most complete one. But I don't know.
What would you recommend? Or is health insurance for pets a waste of money? In Germany we didn't had any health insurance for our cats. But the medical bills where there a lot less than they are here. We also have two rabbits living indoor. One of them was sick and the medical bills were already expensive enough....

I hope someone of you can help me or can give me at least some advice what I should do.

Thanks in advance!

Niels
post #2 of 16
I wish I could help you but i do not know anything about it. I was told differant things. Some people told me its a waste of money not to get it. Some said to gte it. I never did but am wondering if I should for my younger Cats. Years ago I tried to get it for Coco and Meeko but was turned down because they were already sick. Your right everything is more here. I told my friend in South Dakota how much my Vet charges and she thought it was crazy. I had to tell her its more in Calif. Our Care Credit is full and went over the limit last Month. I think I spent over 4000 since November on my Cats. Let me know if you get it and like it.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hmmm ... For me it seems that the ASPCA Pet Insurance has the most complete coverage.... And since ASPCA is standing behind the insurance it can't be too bad.... at least I don't hope it ... But I'm open for any suggestions.
post #4 of 16
It depends on what you want. The basic idea of all kinds of insurance is this; there is a distribution of costs. Some people will pay a very small amount of money on vet bills, and some people will pay a very large amount of money on vet bills and most people will pay something in the middle. The insurance company will sell a policy for greater than the average cost of vet bills because they exist to make money. (Of course, insurance companies subdivide groups, so you pay over the average amount of costs for people in your position - such as people with a sick and old cat versus a young and healthy one, for example.) You buy insurance because you don't want to risk being an outlier who has pay a huge amount of money on vet bills.

The question of whether to buy insurance is the question of what will happen if you are that outlier with huge bills. Would you pay $2000 to take of your pet? $1000? More? If you are the type of person who will choose a cost limit beforehand and stick to it, then you shouldn't buy insurance, because you aren't going to be an outlier paying huge bills. If you're the type of person who will pay whatever it takes to get your pet healthy again, then you should buy insurance.

I also live in California, and I just recently paid $2,200 to get a swallowed shoelace out of Athena on a weekend (including all related followup costs). I still don't have insurance because I think that I would lose money in the long run, because I think euthanasia is the best solution for painful terminal illness (and therefore I'd never be the high-end outlier, no matter my pet's possible future bad health). However, I did just pay a huge chunk of money for an acute problem, and I'm slowly forking over money for a chronic illness in my other cat, so maybe I've mis-judged my own payment philosophy and I should have bought pet insurance, too.

If you've decided already that insurance itself is a good idea, I have no advice for you, as I haven't investigated it myself.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
It depends on what you want. The basic idea of all kinds of insurance is this; there is a distribution of costs. Some people will pay a very small amount of money on vet bills, and some people will pay a very large amount of money on vet bills and most people will pay something in the middle. The insurance company will sell a policy for greater than the average cost of vet bills because they exist to make money. (Of course, insurance companies subdivide groups, so you pay over the average amount of costs for people in your position - such as people with a sick and old cat versus a young and healthy one, for example.) You buy insurance because you don't want to risk being an outlier who has pay a huge amount of money on vet bills.

The question of whether to buy insurance is the question of what will happen if you are that outlier with huge bills. Would you pay $2000 to take of your pet? $1000? More? If you are the type of person who will choose a cost limit beforehand and stick to it, then you shouldn't buy insurance, because you aren't going to be an outlier paying huge bills. If you're the type of person who will pay whatever it takes to get your pet healthy again, then you should buy insurance.

I also live in California, and I just recently paid $2,200 to get a swallowed shoelace out of Athena on a weekend (including all related followup costs). I still don't have insurance because I think that I would lose money in the long run, because I think euthanasia is the best solution for painful terminal illness (and therefore I'd never be the high-end outlier, no matter my pet's possible future bad health). However, I did just pay a huge chunk of money for an acute problem, and I'm slowly forking over money for a chronic illness in my other cat, so maybe I've mis-judged my own payment philosophy and I should have bought pet insurance, too.

If you've decided already that insurance itself is a good idea, I have no advice for you, as I haven't investigated it myself.

Sure I would do everything possible to keep the kittys healthy and I would also pay for every treatment which has to be done as long it make sense. With and without insurance.

But why insurance? Because with an insurance you can keep costs within your budget since you can choose a plan that fits your financial possibilities.
It has nothing to do whether I can pay the vet bills or not. It's more about financial planing.
post #6 of 16
I had a Cat with Crf years ago that was turned down for Insurance but we did everything we could for her. she had Sub Q's more then once a week. Procrit Shots every week. Winnstrol Shot every 2 weeks. Yes it cost alot but I would do anything for my Cats. I was scared to do teh Sub Q's so we took her to the Vet for them.
post #7 of 16
Insurance isn't going to make California vet care cheap; it's just a way to avoid spending huge amounts of money if your cats get really ill.

It sounds like you should buy insurance. It's not a "waste" of money for you, even in the likely event that you end up paying more for insurance than you would have payed for vet bills, because you a have contingency plan for emergencies.

I can't help you any further; hopefully other posters will have more to say about the different insurance plans.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
Insurance isn't going to make California vet care cheap; it's just a way to avoid spending huge amounts of money if your cats get really ill.

It sounds like you should buy insurance. It's not a "waste" of money for you, even in the likely event that you end up paying more for insurance than you would have payed for vet bills, because you a have contingency plan for emergencies.

I can't help you any further; hopefully other posters will have more to say about the different insurance plans.

I fully aagree ... It doesn't make anything cheap or "more affordable" since you have to pay a monthly or annual premium and a co-payment/ deductible ...
post #9 of 16
Hi - I just got the VPI Insurance for my 2 cats a few months ago. It was so inexpensive I figured what the heck, since I have a cat that is always sick with something. I pay $13 a month for one; and $11 a month for the other. This is for the basic coverage. I think it depends on the age as far as what you pay.

I've been dealing with a URI with my male persian for the past month and have submitted numerous claims. So far, I am very pleased with what has been covered. I think where you really benefit from having this type of insurance is for the big ticket items.

I can only tell you from my own experience, that for as cheap as it is, I think it is worth it if you should get hit with a $1,000 vet bill.

I do know that VPI will not take cats that are over 10 years old. Oh... also, the other thing I like is that the process to submit a claim is so easy... it doesn't require a vet's signature, you just attach your receipt and fill out what the diagnosis was on the claim form and fax it in. For the past 2 claims I have submitted, I have received checks within 10 days of submitting the claim.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
It has nothing to do whether I can pay the vet bills or not. It's more about financial planing.
I think it has everything to do with whether you can afford your vet bill or not.

Companies that sell insurance only make money if they shell out less in claims than what they take in in premiums. Some people who buy insurance will, over time, receive back more in claims than what they pay in premiums. Others will, again over time, pay out more in premiums than what they receive in claims.

If you buy insurance you are gambling that you will be one of the ones who receive more in claims than what you pay premiums. This gamble only makes sense if you might be unable to pay your vet bill. If you are able to pay any bill that might come up then there is no reason to take the gamble.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I think it has everything to do with whether you can afford your vet bill or not.

Companies that sell insurance only make money if they shell out less in claims than what they take in in premiums. Some people who buy insurance will, over time, receive back more in claims than what they pay in premiums. Others will, again over time, pay out more in premiums than what they receive in claims.

If you buy insurance you are gambling that you will be one of the ones who receive more in claims than what you pay premiums. This gamble only makes sense if you might be unable to pay your vet bill. If you are able to pay any bill that might come up then there is no reason to take the gamble.
But that's how insurance companies work. They deal with the anxiety of people. There are insurances for almost everything you can imagine. It's a piece of mind you buy.

But I don't agree with you in one point. Most people who are wealthy are very good insured to "protect" their status... Having an insurance doesn't reflect your financial possibilities at all....
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niels81nrw View Post
But that's how insurance companies work. They deal with the anxiety of people. There are insurances for almost everything you can imagine. It's a piece of mind you buy.
Yeah, the piece of mind that you will be able to pay for something that you otherwise would not be able to pay for. But if you don't need insurance to be able to afford your vet bills then what piece of mind are you getting for your money???

Quote:
But I don't agree with you in one point. Most people who are wealthy are very good insured to "protect" their status... Having an insurance doesn't reflect your financial possibilities at all....
Someone who is "wealthy" will be able to afford any vet bill.
post #13 of 16
I have Petcare Insurance (http://www.petcareinsurance.com/) and the experience has been very positive. They've paid the majority of claims on my cat's heart condition and other health problems, to the tune of a few thousand dollars. It's been a tremendous help to me... and I think my cat probably got the full workup and care he needed, EKG etc., sooner than he would have if I'd been factoring cost into the equation.

It's not helpful for routine care, but for illnesses it can make a huge difference. I think it's a good idea to get a pet insurance policy for the first half year or so after you get each new pet, just in case. Then if it doesn't seem worth it, you can cancel it.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
Yeah, the piece of mind that you will be able to pay for something that you otherwise would not be able to pay for. But if you don't need insurance to be able to afford your vet bills then what piece of mind are you getting for your money???
This is exactly the question. Does it make sense getting a health insurance?
That's why I started this Thread to get different opinions....


Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
Someone who is "wealthy" will be able to afford any vet bill.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niels81nrw View Post
This is exactly the question. Does it make sense getting a health insurance?
That's why I started this Thread to get different opinions....
OK, lets try this: I am confident that I have sufficient resources to pay for whatever vet bills may arise for my 4 cats. Therefore I feel I have no need for pet insurance especially considering that statistically speaking I would be likely to pay out more in premiums than I would receive in claims.

Good luck to you!
post #16 of 16
Bottom Line.... as another poster said, it is not that great for routine stuff, but if you get hit with something big like a major illness or unforeseen accident, it is definitely worth it. As we all know, you can have a healthy cat one day and a very sick cat the next.
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