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Pet Insurance

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure where I should post this, so if it's in the wrong place, please feel free to move it.

I've been thinking about purchasing pet insurance for my cats, especially now that Maverick & Gabriel are getting older and need more medical care, and also b/c of Geronimo & Winchester's treatment for their FIP related issues. The office visits & treatment add up fast - especially having 10 cats! But I'm not so sure if it's really worth it. I got a few estimates from different websites, and it's really expensive if I want to include all the cats - especially the older ones. I received this from a PetPlace newsletter:






Quote:
I don't know about you but I find insurance companies very confusing. Which company is best, which deductible, what does the company cover, which do they not cover, what are the hidden costs or problems. Is their customer service good? How quickly do they pay claims?


And let me tell you - I've recently revisited the offerings from pet insurance companies, and this industry may be the most confusing of all. I've had clients, friends and neighbors all ask me about pet insurance. Is it worth it? Is it good? What is the best company?


First, I am a big believer in pet insurance. I've seen it really allow a pet owner to do the best they can for their pets without the worry about the costs.


Second, I've been researching all the different companies, what is covered, what is not covered, what the costs are, deductibles. It sounds like it would be straightforward but it is not. I've tried to compare what is covered and premiums in different states with different types of pets of different ages.


What I found is that it is often hard to compare and tell what you are getting.


For example -


Companies have different deductibles - some are per visit and others are per year.
Most companies do NOT cover hereditary conditions.


For example, under many policies if a pet acquires a problem such as hip dysplasia, it may be excluded as a hereditary condition.


Most companies do NOT cover behavioral problems; think separation anxiety or thunderstorm phobias.


Some companies have benefits schedules (limiting how much they pay for certain conditions or treatments).


Some companies have age limits - they won't cover senior cats.


There are policies that are for accidents and illness and additional policies or endorsements that cover preventive health treatments.


Some companies have caps for different conditions - for example they may have a cap of $300.00 for the treatment of ear infections. Once that cap is met, no more payments may be available for that condition under the policy.


Here is a big one - some companies' policies may exclude a covered illness when the policy term expires even if it is immediately renewed. For example - if your cat is receiving treatment for diabetes under the current policy, following policy renewal the insurance coverage for the treatment may be excluded.
Does anyone here have pet insurance, and if you do, is it worth it? How much are you having to pay, and what are the detuctibles?

Any advice would be appreciated.
post #2 of 11
Be careful - read the fine print.

Be aware that pre-existing conditions are often not covered & that it is harder to get coverage on an older cat.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Be careful - read the fine print.

Be aware that pre-existing conditions are often not covered & that it is harder to get coverage on an older cat.
that is the thing....
I am a firm believer in insurance - all mine are insured by Pet Best Insurance. They are awesome! I pay $75 deductible per incident, plus 20% of the bill, and they pay the rest. They cover everything - including tests, meds, surgery, specialists, ER, boarding, holistic care.... you name it, they cover - I pay about $23/month for each of them - I have a 7% multi-pet discount. My insurance allows me to negotiate with my vet to have them pay the vet directly, so there is little out of my pocket. If you have a good relationship with your vet, this is a great deal. The last claim I filed they took about 4-5 business days to cut the check - I had it in my hands within a week.
There is no Yearly limit, but there is a$7,000 per incident limit and $100,000/life of the pet limit. So, if a pet needs to have surgery for cancer, for example, it will pay everything up to $7,000. Diseases like diabetes, etc are covered for life, as long as the policy remains in force (you keep paying it). Keep in mind, the older the pet gets, the more expensive the insurance gets too...
They will NOT cover pre-existing conditions, So I am pretty sure they won't cover anything related to your kitties' FIP. If your kitties had a disease, and they were considered cured, that is no longer a pre-existing condition.

Is insurance for everybody? No. But for me it is - why? because if I have an emergency, or an expensive illness with one of my babies, I wouldn't be able to afford treatment, and Insurance would allow me to give them whatever is needed to save their lives - the best care, all the procedures, tests, meds, etc....
I do think that the sooner one makes that decision the better though...
Good luck to you!

Here is the link for my Insurance:
https://www.petsbest.com/enroll/step1.aspx?CI=PH2617765
and here is another VERY VERY GOOD one:
http://www.gopetplan.com/Cat-Insurance-Policies.html#
post #4 of 11
I agree, it's all very confusing. I looked into pet insurance a little while ago and figured I'd rather put money aside from each paycheck. I don't like that "per incident" thing. I guess it would've been good for the few times I've taken Genever to the vet for her tummy issues because the visits and meds were all related, but if she has to go for a cold, or a broken bone, or an ear infection, each time it'd be another $75, regardless if it's in the same year or not. And at this point I think anything related to her stomach/puking wouldn't be covered because it's been going on before the insurance (pre-existing). Unless I read things wrong, it doesn't seem to be worth it for my situation. Thoughts?

A friend of mine got insurance for his dogs, and one had to have knee surgery I think, it was not a pre-existing thing, but it wasn't covered because they didn't have the insurance long enough. Like benefits didn't kick in for 6 months or something. So he dropped it because it turned out to really not be worth the premiums.

I'd like to hear what others have to say about it though... I know you swear by it from reading other posts, carolinalima, and maybe it is worth it if you have multiple pets, I don't know. Like I said, maybe I'm missing something while reading websites...
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkMavis View Post
I agree, it's all very confusing. I looked into pet insurance a little while ago and figured I'd rather put money aside from each paycheck. I don't like that "per incident" thing. Actually the per incident is great, as you don't need to pay for the follow up - ever.... One deductible for that problem, and that's it. Sure, there will be times that it will be better otherwise, but usually per incident is better, especially if the illness needs follow up visits, specialist and meds. I guess it would've been good for the few times I've taken Genever to the vet for her tummy issues because the visits and meds were all related, but if she has to go for a cold, or a broken bone, or an ear infection, each time it'd be another $75, regardless if it's in the same year or not. And at this point I think anything related to her stomach/puking wouldn't be covered because it's been going on before the insurance (pre-existing). not true - if it has been treated and cured, it is not pre-existing. Pre existing is a condition that the pet has at the time of getting the policy, and hasn't been treated yet, OR that it is a chronic condition and it has no cure. Unless I read things wrong, it doesn't seem to be worth it for my situation. Thoughts? If your pet had a cold, or diarrhea, or whatever before, or during the policy, and was treated, and is ok, no problem, that is not a pre existing condition.
Now, a cancer, diabetes, FIP, someting like that... yes - that will be a pre-existing condition.

A friend of mine got insurance for his dogs, and one had to have knee surgery I think, it was not a pre-existing thing, but it wasn't covered because they didn't have the insurance long enough. Like benefits didn't kick in for 6 months or something. So he dropped it because it turned out to really not be worth the premiums. 14 days for non emergencies, like cancer, etc - the insurance kicks in at 14 days, 3 days for emergencies, like broken bones, hit by cars, etc.

I'd like to hear what others have to say about it though... I know you swear by it from reading other posts, carolinalima, and maybe it is worth it if you have multiple pets, I don't know. Like I said, maybe I'm missing something while reading websites...
...............................
post #6 of 11
So I guess what you're saying is that, while I have taken Genever in for vomiting already, if I got insurance today and had to take her in for vomiting again, which I can see happening, it would be assessed as a new 'incident'? (i'm sorry, i feel thick-headed here. I'm not trying to argue, i'm seriously asking!!) I still think a yearly deductible would make more sense though, then it'd be $75 or whatever, and 80% after that for the year, like people health insurance. Doesn't matter what I take her in for, it would all apply.

Then there's the EXTRA cost of regular vet visits, the yearly shots and whatnot. The cost of that really didn't seem worth it. Blah.

It's worth taking another look into though I suppose. And you're right, the younger they are when you start, the better. Thank you for your insight, and feel free to add anything else!!
post #7 of 11
Depends on the insurance company carolinalima, some insurance companies will say that a cat is more likely to a reoccurance and say it was in remission not actually cured. Some also do have a 6 month waiting period for certain coverage, depends who you are with and how much you are paying.

We had insurance with Scully, he had it before he got sick and they were great about covering everything. The fussed a little when I changed vets but other than that paid out most claims. Autumn came with shelter insurance that I didnt carry on past the free weeks as we had so many complaints at the shelter that they would not pay out claims,

We have since changed to PetSecure insurance and they have paid out more this year than the other one ever did!
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkMavis View Post
So I guess what you're saying is that, while I have taken Genever in for vomiting already, if I got insurance today and had to take her in for vomiting again, which I can see happening, it would be assessed as a new 'incident'? (i'm sorry, i feel thick-headed here. I'm not trying to argue, i'm seriously asking!!) I still think a yearly deductible would make more sense though, then it'd be $75 or whatever, and 80% after that for the year, like people health insurance. Doesn't matter what I take her in for, it would all apply. If that is not a chronic condition, yes, it would be covered, no problem. Now, for what you are saying here, I am not sure if your cat has a chronic condition? Bugsy has a sensitive stomach and is allergic to chicken for example, it gives him violent diarrhea - all his diarrhea stuff is covered, including emergencies... And yes, I have used, and I have been paid back. Pet insurance is different from people's insurance - for one thing, you pay $15-25/month, instead of $500/month; so yes, the out of the pocket deductible is more expensive. But: You only pay it once - so... If your cat needs to go to the vet 10 times for that illness (cancer, diabetes, i.e.), you will pay that $75 only once. If your pet has an accident, or needs surgery, that could be thousands of dollars.... If you can afford that otherwise, good deal! I can't, and with the economy the way it is, a LOT of people can't either... I see that all the time... people putting their pets to sleep because they don't have the $$$ for treatment, or even for a test. It is much easier paying a bit a month for insurance and be covered for whatever. Some people will say - yes, you can save $20 a month, and that will add up... sure... if you consider that your pet will be sick or have an accident only after many many years... But in many cases, that is not the case... An accident can happen anytime, and so can an illness, and IMO a GOOD insurance policy is an excellent way to protect your pet and your pocket - provided that you get it when your cat is young, so it covers everything for life.

Then there's the EXTRA cost of regular vet visits, the yearly shots and whatnot. The cost of that really didn't seem worth it. Blah. yes - that is not what insurance is for - it is for illnesses and emergencies. FYI - For Bugsy alone it has paid off in 6 months, and for lucky it has been worth it too.

It's worth taking another look into though I suppose. And you're right, the younger they are when you start, the better. Thank you for your insight, and feel free to add anything else!!
that is the thing - get it while they are young, so there is no pre-existing conditions... those two companies I put out there IMO are the best ones - I like mine better just because I dealt with them, so I can speak bu experience... I never had trouble with them... But I hear great things about the other one too
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Be careful - read the fine print.

Be aware that pre-existing conditions are often not covered & that it is harder to get coverage on an older cat.
Yeah, I noticed. And that's mainly why I've been thinking about getting the insurance - b/c I'd like to have it for Maverick & Gabriel (my two older cats), and Geronimo & Winchester (my two FIP cats). I think I'm actually better off not having insurance, and just saving a few extra bucks every month to put aside for vet care. And my new vet will work out a payment plan, so that helps, too.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
that is the thing....
I am a firm believer in insurance - all mine are insured by Pet Best Insurance. They are awesome! I pay $75 deductible per incident, plus 20% of the bill, and they pay the rest. They cover everything - including tests, meds, surgery, specialists, ER, boarding, holistic care.... you name it, they cover - I pay about $23/month for each of them - I have a 7% multi-pet discount. My insurance allows me to negotiate with my vet to have them pay the vet directly, so there is little out of my pocket. If you have a good relationship with your vet, this is a great deal. The last claim I filed they took about 4-5 business days to cut the check - I had it in my hands within a week.
There is no Yearly limit, but there is a$7,000 per incident limit and $100,000/life of the pet limit. So, if a pet needs to have surgery for cancer, for example, it will pay everything up to $7,000. Diseases like diabetes, etc are covered for life, as long as the policy remains in force (you keep paying it). Keep in mind, the older the pet gets, the more expensive the insurance gets too...
They will NOT cover pre-existing conditions, So I am pretty sure they won't cover anything related to your kitties' FIP. If your kitties had a disease, and they were considered cured, that is no longer a pre-existing condition.

Is insurance for everybody? No. But for me it is - why? because if I have an emergency, or an expensive illness with one of my babies, I wouldn't be able to afford treatment, and Insurance would allow me to give them whatever is needed to save their lives - the best care, all the procedures, tests, meds, etc....
I do think that the sooner one makes that decision the better though...
Good luck to you!

Here is the link for my Insurance:
https://www.petsbest.com/enroll/step1.aspx?CI=PH2617765
and here is another VERY VERY GOOD one:
http://www.gopetplan.com/Cat-Insurance-Policies.html#
Thanks for the input, and also the links, Carolina. I'll definitely check them out.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
Depends on the insurance company carolinalima, some insurance companies will say that a cat is more likely to a reoccurance and say it was in remission not actually cured. Some also do have a 6 month waiting period for certain coverage, depends who you are with and how much you are paying.

We had insurance with Scully, he had it before he got sick and they were great about covering everything. The fussed a little when I changed vets but other than that paid out most claims. Autumn came with shelter insurance that I didnt carry on past the free weeks as we had so many complaints at the shelter that they would not pay out claims,

We have since changed to PetSecure insurance and they have paid out more this year than the other one ever did!
Absolutely it depends on the company... as with anything out there, there are good ones, and bad ones...
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