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Pet insurance?
Old 04-05-2020, 12:43 PM
  #1

The previous post about going to the emergency vet has me curious. Does anyone have pet insurance and if they do, is it worth it?


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Old 04-05-2020, 12:50 PM
  #2

I don't have insurance, but our vet is part of the VCA Animal Hospital network. They offer a Care Plan. You pay monthly payments, and lots of stuff is covered...dental cleaning, a certain number of office visits/exams, shots, annual testing, discounts on meds and emergency vet visits...The annual cost of the plan is equal to the cost of shots and one office visit, so definitely worth the money.

Only people I now with animal insurance are friends with horses, dogs who compete, or animals with a strong pedigree/bloodline that are used for stud/breeding.
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Old 04-05-2020, 12:52 PM
  #3

I say if you have the money to do it, go ahead. I was about to for my last dog, but he died while the insurance enrollment documentation was on its way to me.
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Old 04-05-2020, 01:27 PM
  #4

My next dog will absolutely have pet insurance. You need to get it before going to the vet otherwise anything is considered a pre-existing condition.

If I had it for Mason his surgery would have been covered.
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I have it...
Old 04-05-2020, 01:46 PM
  #5

My first dog lived at a time when it was not available. She was very healthy after I put a lot of money for her to recover from canine bronchitis when I first adopted her. Insurance wouldn't have covered that anyway, as I noticed a cough when I first brought her home and it would have been a pre-existing condition.

I should have bought it for my second dog. She needed an ACL repair that cost $2500. She also developed liver disease and passed away from cancer. Than goodness for the Care Credit credit card and its lenient terms.

My present dog has it. It is pricey, because I carry well care as well as catastrophic illness and accident care. It came in very handy when she had a terrible reaction to the leptospirosis vaccine when I first adopted her. The insurance paid for the IV treatment she needed. She has been healthy, knock on wood, but it has reimbursed me well for most vet visits. It has gone up significantly in price over time. My dog is older now, but that's not the reason they told me. They attributed the rising price to the increase in claims from people along with the increased costs of veterinary care.

They do say if you are disciplined and can put away the amount of the premium into a savings account for your pet's health needs, that works out, too. It would take awhile to amass a good amount, but in the beginning, especially if it's a young dog, it hopefully wouldn't need much.


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Old 04-05-2020, 01:52 PM
  #6

DD has it for my precious grand-dog and she swears by it.
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:03 PM
  #7

We looked into it for our cats, but found it covered so little, and specifically excluded so much, that it wasn't worth the expense. We put a fixed amount away for vet bills every week, and it's always had enough when we need it. One of the cats had a Stage 3 kidney failure last October, which involved three nights in hospital, and a lot of treatment - came to well over $1000. We had that money but pet insurance wouldn't have covered her.

Note: I'm not in the USA, so could be comparing apples to artichokes, here.

Note2: The cat is currently fine but, at 16 1/2 years old, obviously isn't a really long term prospect.
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:16 PM
  #8

I looked into it years ago, so things might have changed, but at the time, it made more sense to take the money and put it in a savings account for future emergencies.

Very little was covered and we do antibody titers instead of annual vaccinations for the pets, so it was more cost effective in the long run to basically “self-insure.”

Definitely do a spreadsheet and risk analysis for whatever plan you’re looking at.
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Old 04-05-2020, 03:02 PM
  #9

I had the same thoughts as Gromit and Tiamat. It was also a few years ago when I looked into it. Right now we just have $ that goes into our savings for pets.

We haven't done titers yet, but it's on my list to talk to the vet about.
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Old 04-05-2020, 03:15 PM
  #10

For those who set aside savings for vet visits, can I ask how much you set aside?


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Old 04-05-2020, 04:06 PM
  #11

I had it for my previous dog. When we went to our first vet visit when he was a puppy, she recommended we get pet insurance because he was a lab and labs are big dogs and get into everything. When he was older, he was sick and needed emergency vet care for two days and then emergency surgery. The vet bill and surgery was $4700. I paid it and the insurance reimbursed us. I got back $4500. He has since passed away.
I have it for my two year old dog. He needed surgery for a cyst when he was 10 months old. It cost $1400. We also had him neutered at the same time. The pet insurance paid for everything but the neutering, which I found odd. I pay $52 a month. It also pays for vet visits, vaccines, and medicine. I have Nationwide pet insurance which was previously VPI. I researched many different pet insurance companies and I have been happy with Nationwide.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:17 PM
  #12

Quote:
For those who set aside savings for vet visits, can I ask how much you set aside?
It was $50 a month for 2 dogs and a cat, which is less than insurance for each would cost. These days, I would probably do $80 or so because our vet is $40 for a basic check. If my vet was more expensive, I might do more.

That's assuming I was starting with young animals with low risk of needing regular visits. We had years of 1-2 visits a year at the start and years of 2-3 visits a quarter at the end.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:46 PM
  #13

I remember first hearing of pet insurance and thought it was ridiculous. They (someone?) kept sending me stuff in the mail about it. This was when we had the dog-love-of-my-life around 1994. I think like any insurance, it can pay off big time if you need it (as long as what you need it for is covered). Insurance is always a gamble in some sense. I've seen people post here on PT that they've had it and it's helped.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:46 PM
  #14

I was thinking about asking my vet about this for future reference- it's too late for my current cat, but for the next one. If he finds people actually get things covered/if insurance actually pays and which one is good. My cat has had major health issues and I wonder how much of that would be covered by insurance. So far I've been able to afford everything (although it's been expensive) with savings but I know I will get to a point where I just can't.

I have a friend whose cat also had major issues and everything was covered by insurance. They paid out over $15,000. And by some stroke of luck, she had only started paying for the insurance 6 months prior to the cat getting sick, when he was 10. He lived for four more years after that; she wouldn't have been able to afford the treatment on her own. Stories like that make me think it is worth it, but then you also hear many horror stories with insurance of any kind where they just refuse to pay. I tend to have a major distrust of insurance companies after a fiasco with my car a few years ago.
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:23 PM
  #15

My problem with it is you have to use specific vets, and mine isn't on the list. I love my vet! I've gone to him for 20 years with 5 dogs. So I just hand over my credit card.
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Old 04-05-2020, 07:25 PM
  #16

SoCalTeach we put $75 - $100 a month for 2 dogs and 2 cats. I live in a average cost of living area. Plus, if we don't need it, it's just extra savings earning interest. Right now it's $100, sometimes we adjust it to $75 and use the $25 for toys and stuff.
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