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Pet Insurance a life saver!!

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Oh my goodness, we had a real scare with Emo... she snuck into the basement and drank something off of the floor, but we had no idea what. Well, long story short, $400(canadian) worth of vet bills, and two days of gut wrenching fear, and our litle baby is a-ok... Well now we have pet insurance, and I'm telling you all it's gonna be a life saver, it even pays for vaccines! Wow! why didn't I know this before, anyways, just sharing my new discovery with you, and I think it's a very useful thing to get, especially if you're a broke student and have 3 cats like myself
post #2 of 44
I could really use something like that if it's not too expensive. I have six cats and am a broke student! I had took in a stray that ended up having kittens, so my animal population exploded. How do you go about getting the insurance on them?
post #3 of 44
Not yet....but I have been thinking about it.
post #4 of 44
I was thinking about getting it for a long time until I read a consumer reports ad about pet insurance. I live by consumer reports, and it said that you are better off just saving the money in a bank account, so that what I do. I figure either way as long as you have insurance or something saved up it's all good. I have a pretty good amount of money saved up in case of an emergency for the babies.
post #5 of 44
I looked at the policies offered in Canada and I decided against it since I only have Nakita. I invest 'X' amount of dollars in a high interest rate account that will accumulate interest until I need it.

A friend of mine took out insurance for his dog. He paid approx. $200 a year for 5 years. When his dog got sick, the insurance paid hardly anything because of the illness being excluded. So he paid $1000 and received nothing in return. Imagine if he would have invested that money instead.

Be careful when choosing a policity and read all the fine print for exclusions!
post #6 of 44
Thread Starter 
We got our pet insurance through Pet Plan
It's $15/month per cat for the basic plan, but it covers all the vet bills, including vaccinations, illnesses and accidents including hospitalization, surgery, x-rays, medication, specialist referral, approved alternative and behavioural therapies and more, plus dental care!! (i just copied all that from the pamphlet)but you get a good sized discount if you have more than 3 cats, and it covers $1500 per year per cat, so we're totally covered!! It ends up only being just over $500 a year for all of them.. so it's pretty good.. but I definately recommend it, especially if you have multiple kitties!
post #7 of 44
I clicked on that link for pet ins, and for the USA it took me to a site that I discovered is my pet ins company. To make a long story short I would call if I were you because I thought the good plan covered dental, and it does, but what I found out on the phone that the max covered is $65 and sedation, bloodwork not taken into consideration....and just $65 will be paid! The price at my vet is $383, thank goodness I asked and Jan-March they have a 1/2 price sale, gives me time to save up.Someone else posted they heard it is better to just save up money in budget for vet, yes, a good idea, but in my circumstances I only pay $25 per month toal that covers my 2 cats,which is only $300 per year.....and a surgery could well exceed that amt. I think a good plan is to have a basic inexpensive plan and save in addition to having the ins, just figure some $ into each payday just like it was a bill to pay. Linda
post #8 of 44
So far I did use my insurance and it covered the lab work and meds for a bladder infection, paid that all back to me, and quickly. It did not pay the office visit because I have the basic plan {was going to upgrade to better plan that covers office visits and vac. shots,and flea treatment it would be $99 more per year, but decided I could just save for vac. shots cuz I can go to petco and get shots cheap, and then take my cat to vet as well for a anual check up and it would cost the same anyway).And as far as the Advantage, I buy off the internet from Pets Mega store, and even paying shipping is tons cheaper than buying at Petco or vets. Linda
post #9 of 44
With four cats I found it would be too expensive. Tulip is 18 and has only ever been sick as a kitty when she got 'cat flu'. I think that by surviving that she has built up a great immunity. the last time she was at the vet she had her teeth out and that was not too bad, price wise. So if I had paid £5 roughly a month for her - wow! The others have not been seriously ill either and our insurance does not cover for the routine stuff.
Even Mischa who is now about 12/14 with her recently diagnosed diabetes the standard insurance would not have covered it. Not would it cover anything related to it. They get 'pocket money' (dont tell them though) that I put aside to pay for any treatment. If I only only had 1 or 2 cats perhaps I would think about it.
post #10 of 44
I have always thought it better just to have money saved in reserve for any emergencies than to pay the premiums on 7 cats. Although I have looked into it, it just seems more economical to me to just have savings to cover any catastrophic emergency.
post #11 of 44
I would love to have pet insurance, but, with 7 cats, I too found it very costly.
post #12 of 44
I thought about it and still think about it but I also read that it wasn't worth it... that's what saving money/having a rarely used credit card is for!
post #13 of 44
I have VPI insurance for Annabelle and I'm about ready to add the new kitten. I pay 22$ per month, which covers all routine care (I spent about $ 115 per year on Annabelle for this- without the insurance, it costs 99$ per year for that part of the plan. That saves me 16$ a year. If you don't add the routine care the monthly cost is less expensive). For non-routine care the deductible is $50 and the premium 144.40. They give a multipet discount. They will cover a max of $4,500 per incident, and $14,000 for each policy term. You pay up front and they reimburse you. I haven't had any problems with this, but you'd really want to make sure you keep a credit card or something handy in case the initial bill is pricey.

We decided to get Annabelle on this insurance after my vet recommended it. My first cat, Abigail, got extremely sick and the vet thought it might be an obstruction. The surgery cost for that was $1,300, which I couldn't afford. She ended up testing positive for Felv and not have an obstruction. The initial shock of not knowing how I would pay for her surgery made me sign up for the insurance for Annabelle, who was negative. I can't stand the thought of not being able to afford care for my cats. I find it much easier for me to make a monthly payment than to try to set money aside, but that's just a personal preference.
post #14 of 44
I've been thinking about getting this for a while, and I'm still not sure if I should. I know the best thing is to put money aside, but it seems like the week after I put something into their savings account, I have to use that money for another vet emergency. I've already spent close to $1,700 in 6 months with three cats....

It just seems like a ripoff, though, becuase of what isn't covered. I'm just worried I'd pay all this money for insurance, and then not have it cover what my cats need to have done.
post #15 of 44
You just want to be careful because some policies are quite limiting, yet you still have to pay the premium prices. It is better to just have one credit card set aside for vet visits, instead of insurance if you have more than two cats- IMO
post #16 of 44
I had the 2 boys on VPI for a few months. Miko had a "flea allergy" as his only exclusion. I later found out that VPI will not cover his Frontline Plus medication because it is related to his "flea allergy".

Then there was Kionu. He was approved and had no exclusions in his policy. But when I talked to a representative from VPI he stated that although there aren't any "exclusions" (technically), Kionu does not have full coverage. Why you ask? Well, he said that because Persians are prone to a lot of health problems, they will exclude certain conditions/illnesses related to the breed. I thought it was extremely strange for him to basically go against his company and tell me to cancel everything. But hey, who am I to argue? I've cancelled my polices and now I'm going to open an account for the boys and put money aside for them every month. That seems like the most effective way to handle vet emergencies (in my opinion).

P.S. My co-worker has VPI for her 2 dogs and 2 cats. Her pit/lab mix puppy had a vet emergency, and she ended up getting all but the $50 deductible back from VPI. However, her 2 cats and cocker spaniel have a lot of exclusions. I don't know why, they've always been healthy. *shrugs*
post #17 of 44
Originally Posted by beautifuldevian
We got our pet insurance through Pet Plan
It's $15/month per cat for the basic plan, ----- and it covers $1500 per year per cat, so we're totally covered!! :
ONLY $1500 a year!!!!!!!!!!! Sheesh! I spend that much on Corkie in a month or two!!!!! Course they would not insure her as she is a tripod due to that vaccine caused cancer and has CRF and IBD as well!
post #18 of 44
We try to keep a credit balance at our vet's office of $200 or more for emergencies. If I just drop off money from time to time it isn't too bad when kittens come and we need to get their checkups and shots. We also micro-chip every kitten so they are all ready for their new home. I think investing the money directly to the vet is even better than a seperate account as you are less likely to have "borrowed" some money from the vet's account.
post #19 of 44
Originally Posted by allissa
It makes no sense, since they ask you what breed the cat is before they tell you how much it will cost.
So, basically they lie and tell you they will cover the cat and then you find out they don't? Something is wrong with this picture, I would say. That's why I didn't get pet insurance, I was looking into it, but what is the point if they lie and don't cover the expense?
I found it strange myself. I told him that Kionu's breed was indicated on my policy application and if Persians are prone to any specifc health problems, it should've at least been listed somewhere on the site or in the policy. His words were, "We ask everyone the breed of their animal. Normally, the animal's breed is not a main factor in policy approval, and it's basically a formality." I then asked him what conditions would be excluded and he said, "Eye infections and anything having to do with their respiratory system.".

Apparently, he had been working with the company for a few years, and was leaving to work for another insurance company. I guess he had a grudge on VPI and was turning away their customers. Who knows why he told me what he did. I'm just glad he did. Saves me a whole lot of money.

Another thing I found strange was when I applied for Miko's coverage, I listed his previous injuries (eye and foot trauma) and his dental cleaning. None of which were listed as exlcusions in his policy.
post #20 of 44
Originally Posted by uabassoon
I was thinking about getting it for a long time until I read a consumer reports ad about pet insurance. I live by consumer reports, and it said that you are better off just saving the money in a bank account, so that what I do. I figure either way as long as you have insurance or something saved up it's all good. I have a pretty good amount of money saved up in case of an emergency for the babies.
I've read that just putting aside a certain amount every month is more advisable not only in consumer reports, but also in magazines like Cat Fancy. One plan I looked at here had so many exclusions, depending on the cat's breed, age, indoor or outdoor status, etc., that I decided just saving up was the best course of action.
post #21 of 44
I agree that saving up ahead of time is probably the most prudent way to go, but as a totally new kitty mommy, clueless to what can happen, I decided to go ahead with the insurance just as a way to have peace of mind. I don't want to have to say "I can't afford" something or other.

Also, it's important to remember, that insurance is supposed to be only that....insurance. You don't necessarily get what you put into it. It's there to protect you when you can't cover yourself (said by the crazy widow woman herself...LOLOL)
post #22 of 44
Originally Posted by allissa
Can they even do it legally? They don't tell it to you when you apply for insurance, isn't it false advertising or something? I got two persians myself.
I just spend 700$ on testing my kitten who was sick. The tests tell me my kitten should be healthy as a horse. I finally figured out what was wrong, all by myself, LOL. He didn't have any of the conditions he was tested for. Could have saved 700 $ if figured it out earlier, but a smart thought always comes late.

I'm sure it is illegal. But I bet there are tons of loop holes that they can go through to add exclusions to your policy. Who knows what this guy's real motive was, but it saved me money. I'd rather put money in an account for the boys (that I know will definitely be used), than pay the $700 annual payment for something that they "might" cover. Consider this a lesson learned.
post #23 of 44
I have it on all the kitties, and the puppy too. We will keep it for at least another year. We may move over to something more cost effective at that point as the family keeps growing. but i used. Banfield. www.banfield.com
post #24 of 44
Yep, Char has his own savings account for all medical expenses.
post #25 of 44
I did try it for a time in the UK, but there were so many exclusions that I gave it up. My daughter also took it out with Petplan for her cat, and got a payment when he died unexpectedly, though money was the last thing she wanted then. Here, thank goodness, vet fees are very reasonable, Persil's operation and aftercare has cost me the equivalent of $150 or just over £75. Mind you, it's all relative - my monthly salary at the university is ony £350 and if I didn't have extra income from the UK I would be in trouble.
post #26 of 44
What symptoms did your cat show that told you that he drank something he wasn't suppose to?
post #27 of 44
i never even thought about it, unless you have a cat with serious medical conditions, i don't think money should be spent on insurance. Plus, i'm sure there are drawbacks and restrictions, like insurance cannot be used by yearly checkups and shots. just a thought.
post #28 of 44
depending on the pet insurance it can be used to cover yearly checkups and shots. You just have to look around. As for having it, we don't. We put money into a savings account just for him so if anything were to ever happen, we would be able to take care of him.
post #29 of 44
I don't have pet insurance but on another list it's been a hot topic. It seems that the pet insurance companies find any/every loophole to not pay. they apparently check with you vet periodically and drop coverage for any conditions that were treated stating pre-existing conditions as the reason. If you can be disciplined enough to pay the insurance premiums, why not open a separate savings acct and deposit that amount?
post #30 of 44
Just wanted to revive this old thread. I've been seriously considering getting pet insurance myself and I'm still weighing the pros and cons. Like others have said, saving up or keeping a credit card handy works, but then again I just dropped $600 on my cat just to find out she stopped eating and drinking simply because she was mad about my recent move. Vet bills seem to be getting quite expensive so I still wonder if there is a benefit to getting insurance.

As a former insurance guy, VPI immediately raised red flags when I started looking at the fine print; particularly their list of covered/excluded expenses. IMO, it's highly likely whatever your cat gets will just so happen to be excluded. Pet Plan seems to be more reasonable, but I'd be more inclined to get it if I heard some feedback from people who have used them.

If there was an insurance plan that would just pay an amount or percentage of the bill without exclusions and other garbage I'd sign up. Any recommendations?
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