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Hello fellow pet lovers,
My wife has been trying to get me to look into pet insurance, but I am thinking most animals do fine with adequate food, water & shelter. We have 3 dogs, a cat & 2 goldfish. I could see where the bigger dogs, that we let run free a lot, may have the potential to get into more situations requiring veterinary help, but the cat & our little Lhasa-apso stay inside most of the time. We don't need the additional expense of another 'note' to pay monthly. My wife found a site with some good info but I'm still not sure. Anyone out there have experience with this?
 

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While food, water and shelter is a good start, pets also require vet care - which unfortunately can become very expensive.

Pet insurance can (literally in some cases) be a life safer for some pets. Pretty much all pets, at some point in their lives, will need vet care above the routine stuff. Just because an animal stays inside most of the time doesn't exclude it from getting sick or injured.

On the other hand, you're right, it's another bill to pay and if you're lucky you may go years without needing the insurance to cover more than routine vet costs.

Keep in mind that not all insurance companies are created equal - some will cover routine things such as annual check ups, fecal tests, vaccinations...etc. Making them more useful, even if your pet doesn't have any major incidents.

Also keep in mind that most insurance companies will at least partially base the amount you pay on how old and how healthy your pets are, as well as sometimes other factors such as the pets breed. If you have an older pet, or a breed prone to a lot of health problems, insurance might not be the right option for that pet because it will probably be more expensive for them.

Also with all the pet insurance companies I've looked at, you do still need to pay the full vet balance out of pocket. After you pay it, you submit a claim to the company who will then reimburse you afterwords. So if you don't have the money for vet care in the first place, insurance isn't really going to do you much good unless you can maybe borrow money to pay the vet, then pay the money back once the insurance company reimburses you.

All in all I do think that in a lot of cases, if you do your research and pick an insurance company that's right for you, pet insurance can be a really good thing. I know people who use it and are very happy with it. Personally, I don't use it. I've opted to, for now, keep money set aside for my pets just in case I ever have any large, unexpected vet bills.

No matter what you choose it's important to have some kind of a plan in case of emergency. Accidents happen, pets get sick when we least expect it. You're animals good health is not something that's guaranteed and it's important to have a way to get them proper vet care if something ever does come up.
 

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Regarding Pet Insurance:

I'm with you on the not needing an additional monthly expense, but if you're interested there are sites I found with tons of info you just have to google 'pet insurance' or 'pet insurance comparison', something like that.
 

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My wife still thinks we should get pet insurance on the 2 bigger dogs that run loose more often. I think she's getting paranoid. She insists I do some pet insurance comparison shopping. Anyone have a favorite company?
 

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The SPCA I work at offers the pet insurance and there are a lot of things that null the insurance. I think the dog running at large might null it, you might want to check in.

We also get a lot of complaints that these people get procedures done and then find out the insurance doesn't cover it because of something else (like I said many things seem to null parts of the insurance).

So if you are shopping around ask specifics like 'if my dog is lose, out of my sight and gets hit by a car what is covered etc...
 

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Find out where the companies may trick you into submitting the claims so you can directly ask them befor you give them your money. I read somewhere that most insurance companies will not insure older dogs or illness-prone breeds (or like Michelle said they are way higher to pay in to) So make sure you shop around. I only know of one company and its through Loblaws. The other companies are out there but I work with Loblaws so I've seen the pamphlet. Other than that, talk to some vets and rescue organizations and see what people are feeling in your region. I personally did not insure my pets, I was very young when I acquired my dog and now he's too far gone to get any benefit from insurance :) Good luck!
 

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Not sure if you would like another opinion?

Our old neighbor was a vet assistant - she had a company she lived by for insuring her pets (we are in Canada, so I don't think they do US insurance) and she had done a lot of research into it.

Her dogs both had health problems that showed up later - cancer and kidney problems. She lost the one, but her insurance saved the other.

We didn't have insurance on our Bella until then - seeing what she went through put it into perspective for us. Our insurance does not cost very much - about $44 a month, but we have no deductible (though, just like Dragonrain said, we do have to pay up front and submit our receipts, then wait for approval). Since then, Bella has been stung by a bee and had a reaction to winter mold - both incidents that you cannot foresee happening.

For charges like these, since it is an extra expense, we like to also get immediate return by putting them on a card that has airmiles or other such member rewards.

We've had Bella insured now for two years, and we've used it twice (it does not cover routine checkups etc) - but the cost of those two times makes it worth the price for us.
 

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I have a 5 year old Pekingese and I have had insurance for him for almost his entire life. The reason I decided to get it was because my last dog died of liver cancer, and even though insurance wouldn't have saved her, I still wanted my new dog to be protected. It's an awful thing to be at the vet and have money be such an issue.

The company that I went with was VPI and so far I have not had a problem with them. I have submitted 2 claims with them and they were both accepted. One was for a severe allergic reaction and skin problem. The other one was for gastro troubles.

In general, I would say that if you can afford the annual payment (something like $275) then you should get it. When you have a young dog, it's very easy to forget the horrendous vet bills that can happen out of the blue.

Maude
 

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Pet insurance can help to pay for unexpected pet illnesses and accidents. These type of vet visits can be very expensive and often owners simply don't have the means to pay for the veterinary services, procedures and medicines, leaving the owner with no other alternative but to have the pet euthanized. With some pet insurance policies, the majority of the veterinary bills are covered completely with the exception of the owner having to pay a one time small co-payment per incident. Others do not have co-payments, as they pay a large percentage of the bill leaving the owner only responsible for a small percentage of the bill.


 

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get in just in case of visits to the vet. Like dragonrain said some vet bills can be very expensive and cost a lot of money out of pocket. You don't want to be in a situation where you are deciding on how to pay for pet care in order to save it's life...
 

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It all depends on your financial standing. If you have the spare money to pay the occasional gigantic vet bill, then don't bother with it. But if you would have trouble with a lump sum then definitely go ahead and nickel and dime your way into the insurance just in case.
 

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I think it would be a good idea to instead of paying the insurance pay into a savings account the money for vet bills and emergency care. That way you aren't waisting the money if its not needed but it is there if you do. Many vets will work with you if you can't afford the full bill and set up a payment plan. Talk to your vet about it BEFORE you need it though.
 

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Not insurance but there are like credit things (pamphlet somewhere in my couch) that work like credit cards and an HSA. I believe you use it and it pays the vet in full and then you make payments back to them. This would have come in handy a few days ago when Loki got a foxtail in his ear. Seeing as vets here don't allow payments, he was suffering for three days till I could get my check.

Insurance however just reimburses you. If you have a large dog and put stress on their body, then maybe.
 

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[FONT=arial,sans-serif]No one would think of going without health insurance or life insurance, but is it really necessary to have insurance for your pets? ...[/FONT]
 

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Not insurance but there are like credit things (pamphlet somewhere in my couch) that work like credit cards and an HSA. I believe you use it and it pays the vet in full and then you make payments back to them. This would have come in handy a few days ago when Loki got a foxtail in his ear. Seeing as vets here don't allow payments, he was suffering for three days till I could get my check.

Insurance however just reimburses you. If you have a large dog and put stress on their body, then maybe.
My roommate just had a situation with his new great dane and parvo, that required an emergency visit to a 24 hr. vet clinic as well as a 4 or 5 day stay there. I think the end result was about $1,500 give or take. The clinic recommended basically a vet credit card, pet care I think, that gave him a 4,000 dollar limit on the spot. The interest is typical credit card, around 21% but it paid for all the necessary treatment, the dog is now 100% healthy, and he still has around 2,500 in credit left should something else happen.

I would look into applying for this now and seeing what sort of limit you get. If you feel it is too low then charge your routine office visits to build credit with the company and get them to raise the limit. This way you have the funds there if you need them yet you don't have another monthly note unless you actually use the card.
 

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It's so hard to say, I often debate on this too. I don't want to be stuck paying for pet insurance and never needing it (which is a good thing since that means that my puppy is healthy). But it can be a gamble too if something urgent comes up and the bills happens to be like 1k+.. Also, I've heard having the insurance, it takes some months to kick in for it to take effect.
 
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