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Pet insurance? Good idea or bad?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have been considering getting my two cats on a pet insurance policy and I was wondering what everyone's thought or experience with pet insurance has been. A good pet insurance policy is not exactly cheap and I've heard so many bad things about the major pet insurance companies, for example that they claim to pay x% but after you file a claim, they will somehow find reasons only to pay you 1/2 of the x% they claimed.

So do you all think its a good idea??
post #2 of 22
I have pet insurance and to be honest, I wouldn't have been able to afford Scully's latest vet bill; without it. I have a basic plan for $9 a month (with discounts) and it covers quite a lot (with a $200 deductible).

Some plans will aslso work with your vet and tell them how much they cover so you only have to pay the deductible to the vet and they forward the rest of the payment directly

As far as the ones that cover routine care, IMO they are very overpriced for something you can budget for.
post #3 of 22
After we paid $800 for Trouts last vet bill, we are probably going to get pet insurance. It gives you peace of mind so that you can continue treatments for your pet if they are sick...while maybe if you didn't have the insurance and the bill was getting huge, you would be forced to put the animal down because of lack of funds.
post #4 of 22
I got a free month of ShelterCare insurance (they also do PetCare), and made a claim for a urinary test in that short period. I received a check within a week, $75 of the $125 bill (there was a $50 deductible). It was a good experience and I'd recommend them. They do seem to have a variety of plans and price ranges, ranging from under $10 a month to like $25 a month.

It's probably just a matter of weighing the potential costs. If I had a cat who seemed like he was in for some serious problems, I'd definitely do it. And you might look at the different plans and see if one meets your needs -- they have ones for indoor cats, senior cats, emergencies, budget, high end, etc.
post #5 of 22
I never used to think I could get pet insurance with mine being oldies, and it cost me so much money. Then I found I could from a different cat forum, got Pebbles insured last August, and the total of both her claims for her leg is nearly £600 - I will pay 15% of that, as long as they dont' quibble about anything, but the vet nurse can't see how. If she wasn't insured, I would have had to pay cos it was necessary, but it would have been a struggle.
post #6 of 22
Pet insurance is an excellent idea, in fact I would say that unless you could drop $2000 in vet bills at the drop of a hat, it's foolish to be without it.

Pet insurance is designed to help you afford major veterinary care. It does not cover routine procedures such as the annual office visit and vaccines. The reason is that you know that you will need these services each year and consequently, you can plan and budget for the $100-$200 it will cost. By not covering these routine costs, pet insurance companies are able to keep the premiums very affordable.

What it will cover are the major problems that can cost thousands of dollars. Even young, healthy cats can have major things go wrong and having worked in critical care and emergency vet medicine, I can tell you that nothing is worse than seeing an animal euthanized for a highly treatable condition just because the client could not affort to pay. Pet insurance is really insurance for your pets' lives.
post #7 of 22
I think insurance is not just a good idea but essential (unless you're rich!). When my Magpie was ill last year the treatment cost over £1300 which I couldn't have afforded. He died in the end but at least I was able to try everything possible to save him. Just make sure you check the policy in detail to see what is included - some sound cheaper but don't cover as much (which is fine until you need to claim for something that's not covered!).
post #8 of 22
Is it true that you can't get coverage if they are already diagnosed with something? Like Molly is diagnosed with Asthma. If it gets worst I know the test are expensive.
post #9 of 22
You can get insurance but any pre-existing conditions will be excluded - so it is better to get it done as soon as possible really
post #10 of 22
After what happened to Mishka- we are defenetely getting one. I wish I knew it is so affordable!
post #11 of 22
I looked into pet insurance when mine were young. I weighed the decision and decided i would be better off putting money away in a high interest savings account every month then getting the insurance. So every month the same money that i would have spent for insurance goes in and earns interest.
post #12 of 22
I have VPI I have thankfully never had cause to use it but paying 20$ a month for the peace of mind to know I could care for my girls in the event of something bad happening is totally worth it to me.
post #13 of 22
I think it depends on whether or not your cat ever go outside and how old your cats are.

How do they know which cat is which? I would never do this, because it is very, very highly unethical.....but technically a person can get five black male cats and insure just one.

I know someone who got several male black cats and paid one cat deposit for her apartment instead of several.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
I think it depends on whether or not your cat ever go outside and how old your cats are.
Inside or outside, young or old they can all get ill!
post #15 of 22
If it is an indoor cat you can choose the less expensive plans that doesn't cover vaccinations.

Most vaccinations only need to be given once every three years for an indoor cat.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers
Inside or outside, young or old they can all get ill!
They can, however the plans for indoor only cats are cheaper as they are less likely to be hurt by another animal / run over by a car etc and older cats are generally only covered by the more expensive plans particularly if they are outdoors. My plan covers indoor cats if enrolled over 8 but not outdoor cats.

The outdoor plans generally don't cover vaccinations but the 'other' risks I mentioned above and sometimes have higher coverage for indoor cats if you want to go with a more comprehensive plan.

Plans that include routine care such as vaccinations and check ups are available for indoor and outdoor cats
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
I think it depends on whether or not your cat ever go outside and how old your cats are.

How do they know which cat is which? I would never do this, because it is very, very highly unethical.....but technically a person can get five black male cats and insure just one.

I know someone who got several male black cats and paid one cat deposit for her apartment instead of several.
When you insure a cat, they ask for vet records, the vet tells them if you have more than one, they would have to be all the same age and identical as the vet gives a description (at least on my plan)
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21
They can, however the plans for indoor only cats are cheaper
Ah - I misunderstood. you can't get policies for indoor cats here It makes no difference whether it's an indoor or outdoor cat.
post #19 of 22
I was just about to say the same thing, it is no different in the UK. We also dont have a choice of a plan that covers routine things like vaccinations or check ups, so they are on top. My insurance didnt ask for vet records, although they have altered the form since last Aug and ask for the name and location of your vet.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers
Ah - I misunderstood. you can't get policies for indoor cats here It makes no difference whether it's an indoor or outdoor cat.
In the UK, though, indoor-only cats are fairly unusual. In the US a significant percentage of cats never go outside.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, thanks for all the replies.

I have 2 male indoor cats, they never go outside, both are around the age of 2. No current health problems, although one of my babies is overweight.

I have actually been looking into VPI and the one at petsbest.com since I posted the initial post. I have already called VPI and talked to their customer service to find out what they actually cover, but they are the one that has about 7 complaints from the bad business bureau, which I guess is really not that much, but it did worry me. I also love your idea Renny. I can easily put 50 dollars a month into a savings and would be able to save 600 a year strictly for my cats health purposes. The only problem with that is that if they happened to get sick before I had a few thousand saved up.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if you all could help me with a question. I know this is a "CAT" site but I've tried thedogsite, and no one is on that site. And I've heard other members mention they have dogs as well. I want to to enroll and pay for a pet insurance policy for my siberian husky dog who lives with my parents (since I had to leave her to move into a small apartment). She tends to get sick more than my cats so I DEFINATELY would like to get her on a plan asap.

But she currently has to have her anal glands squeezed manually by the vet about every 3 months. But when I talked to VPI, they said that is not considered routine care and would be exempt from the policy and anything that results from that would be exempt too. What exactly could result from that??? Or could you please direct me to a good dog forum? Thanks all
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