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Pet Insurance

Fused0ne
July 3rd, 2006, 07:41 PM
I am looking into pet insurance but I am overwhelmed with all these different insurance. I dont really understand how it works, whats the deductible mean, if you pay everything then have to mail something in to get money back etc etc.

I am looking for something around 10-15 a month that can give me the most common coverage I may need. Ilness, visits, medicine, something that will be worth it.

Any responses appreciated.

mafiaprincess
July 3rd, 2006, 07:46 PM
Insurance that covers all the basics liek shots often has high deductables. Meaning that your first visit in a year you have to pay them the decuctible which could be as much as $200 with some companies even if the shots and visit would have only cost you $80 out of pocket.

So after the first visit of the year you see some savings, but I've found the only people I know who have benefited from insurance are people with dogs with horrible health problems. Like a young lady I know with VPI insurance and dogs with chronic ear problems. She's gotten more back than she's ever had to pay out to VPI, but if it were me, in 2 years I've never had a problem except an incident with glands that cost $35 to fix.

I'd be paying out way more in insurance than I would have gotten back. So it can be hit and miss. You really need to read all the fine print for the varying companies.

If you use the search bar above there have been some really well discussed threads on the subject in case all the knowledgable people don't post, bigger range of opinions to use.

Fused0ne
July 3rd, 2006, 08:03 PM
Yep Ive read them, and are reading some still, but I didnt want to start up a old thread, or hijack someones thread so I started one.

Well I am looking for something that if my pet gets sick I'll have some coverage. I dont need it to cover vaccinations.

I would like if he gets maybe attacked by another animal, or gets hit by a car, or falls trying to go over a fance, or sticks his nose by the stove and gets burned, or I find something on his skin, he seems sick, he eats something, etc.

And something that I wouldnt have to pay everything upfront. If I could do that I wouldnt get insurance.

raingirl
July 3rd, 2006, 08:48 PM
All the pet insurance companies require you to pay upfront and you get reimbursed. There are none that give you a "card" like some human health insurance companies (on that note, most aren't doing that anymore as well).

I did A LOT of research on pet insurance before getting our dog, since we were looking for an English Bulldog, prone to health problems. I looked and calculated and compared for almost 6 MONTHS!

I got one that is $19 per month, and it covers accidents and illnesses up to $2000 a year, 80% repayment (so if I pay $1000, I get $800 back).

I think it's worth it, because if anything happens, we have the coverage, and since Bulldogs are prone to so many things, I want to be prepared.

I know that VPI is one of the best, but also has the highest premiums. I think we have Pet plan or pet care, I always get them confused.

I know there are some new ones that have come out in the last year or two since we got our plan, and we may switch over to another since there are more choices now. I think the PC Insurance one is supposed to be good as well, but very new.

mafiaprincess
July 3rd, 2006, 09:26 PM
No no, new threads are cool, I just meant you might learn something you may not from this thrread in looking back at old ones is all :)

PC was mentioned in one of the threads in the last few months.. Had crazy deductibles and some weird stuff going on.

Fused0ne
July 3rd, 2006, 09:37 PM
I am thinking of maybe this:

http://unitedpetcare.com/standard.shtml#choice

If I can get opinions on this it would be appreciated. That seems more like discounts and such, if someone can take alook at the begining of the page where is says:

Annual exams and annual vaccines are provided in full at no charge
($20.00 office visit applies)

I am not sure what that means? Sounds like they can get a annual exam and vaccinations for free? Or am I reading that wrong?

OntarioGreys
July 3rd, 2006, 09:52 PM
As you already know you paid so much a month but when you go to use the plan at the vets the deductible is how much you have to pay for the visit.

For example for my house insurance I pay $600 a year for coverage, when a storm ripped the shingles off my roof the total cost to replace them was $3000, I had to pay $300 of that to the roofer which is my deductible, the insurance company paid the other $2700 to the roofer.


Exclusions are things the insurance company will not pay for,
for example my greyhound has dental problems If I try to get insurance now they will ask for his health records, and because the problems started before I signed up for insurance they won't cover dentals, they also won't cover things that are related or can be caused by the original condition that is excluded, for example if he develops heart problems, they can refuse to cover because infection from bad teeth is known to cause heart problems, Insurance companies may also have exclusions related to genetic problems in certain breeds, most large breeds have hip dysplaysia, so some companies will not pay for hip surgery in certain breeds

A $15 a month insurance policy may only cover sickness and accident only, it won't pay for routine health care like vaccinations, heartworm spays and neuters, and it may have limits on how muchj they will pay per incident.

If you want more covered the the monthly cost goes up higher

Is it worth it? sometimes, especially if your pet gets badly injured or seriously ill, Some tests are very expensive an untrasound can cost $500, and MRI gets into a couple thousand, some types of blood tests can be upto $300, a broken leg can cost upto $3000 depending if surgery is needed to fix

My eskie is 8 1/2 years old now, she had an accident when she was a puppy that costed me about $200 in vet bills, she has had no accidents or illnesses since then, had I bought sickness and accident insurance for her when I first got her at $10 a month I would have paid by now a $1000 in insurance premiums. So had I bought issurance for her I would have spent $800 more than I recieved in vet care, had her accident been a broken leg instead that needed to have the bones surgiically pinned together the insurance would have saved me about $1500 in vet fees.
'
It is a gamble, sometimes it pay off big time to have and other times it costs you money instead, and there is no way to foresee what is going to happen to a dog. I don't have insurance for my 5 pets, instead I put money from my pay every week into a special savings account so that I have an emergency fund for my pets.

raingirl
July 3rd, 2006, 10:27 PM
I am thinking of maybe this:

http://unitedpetcare.com/standard.shtml#choice

If I can get opinions on this it would be appreciated. That seems more like discounts and such, if someone can take alook at the begining of the page where is says:

Annual exams and annual vaccines are provided in full at no charge
($20.00 office visit applies)

I am not sure what that means? Sounds like they can get a annual exam and vaccinations for free? Or am I reading that wrong?

You are reading it right, but there is only limited coverage for accidents/illness. It's basically saying you pay $20 for all office visits when needed, your annual vaccines are free, and you get a 20 or 25% DISCOUNT on xrays, medications, etc.

So, if your dog gets hit by a car, and needs $1500 in care, one office visit is $20 (emergency visits cost more, I think it said $30), 20% of any medication he/she needs, and between 20% and 25% off any other care required. So, after all that, you would still have to pay about $1125.

OntarioGreys
July 3rd, 2006, 11:02 PM
http://dogs.about.com/library/insurance/blpetcareusa01.htm

It explains a bit about claims on illness
especially in the case an illness reoccurs

Fused0ne
July 4th, 2006, 04:54 AM
Thanks guys I appreciate all the help. I'll keep looking around and everything.

So then the one I posted is not good?

erykah1310
July 4th, 2006, 05:38 AM
My dogs have insurance ( i could not imagine being with out) i pay $11 a month for each dog.
Its only accident coverage ( which seems to cost the most at the vet)
Pets dont wait till you can absolutely afford to have them fixed up to get hurt.
When my Rottie died, I acutally got back $500. It really helped to pay the backhoe guy. You do have to pay upfront though ( but most vets around here are good with waiting till you get your money) it only took a week to get the cheque. They sent sympathy cards and everything. THey also send the dogs birthday cards !

lewisw
July 4th, 2006, 05:42 AM
You can also check out www.vetinsurance.com which is what I took for my Dani and was reccomended by Marco the owner of www.pets.ca .

Hope that helps as well .
Best
Lewis

doggy lover
July 4th, 2006, 08:59 AM
I've been thinking of insurance for Tucker and I'm going to wait and talk to his vet on which one is better and that they accept.

PetFriendly
July 4th, 2006, 10:20 AM
I had looked into insurance, my mutt gets sick often and needed to got to the vet for meds about 4-5 times last year... After all the research was done, I spoke with my bank and had my line of credit extended and secured the interest rate to prime plus .5 . Insurance appeared to be forced savings, and unless something really horrible happened wasn't worth it.

I can use a credit card up front then pay that off with the line of credit. For me, that was the cheaper way to go.

dogmelissa
July 5th, 2006, 02:46 PM
That might actually be the better way to do it... taking out a line of credit, and then if you don't use the money, it's ok. If you do use it, you can pay it back in increments, but it might end up being cheaper over the lifetime of a dog, if you generally have a healthy dog.

I might look into that!

Can someone explain more about the PC Insurance deductible? I priced out insurance there and it didn't seem to be bad, but they don't say what the deductible is. I know it's based on the age of the dog, and mine is 2, what would that mean I would be paying for a deductible?

Thanks!
Melissa

mastifflover
July 5th, 2006, 04:50 PM
I have to add if you are in Canada you really should check out president choice pet insurance. They have an ultra plan it is expensive but depending on the type of dog it will vary. But for me it seems to be the best the 5000.00 is yearly not what your total coverage is forever which is the case with a lot of plans so if let say Bud had surgery for his hip at 3000. he would only have 2000 left but next year he will have 5000 again which means if he needed his other hip done they would pay for it. Other plans they would only cover as much as was left in the plan. In my case I am seriously considering the expensive plan since Mastiffs are prone to a lot of very expensive illnesses and injuries.

mafiaprincess
July 6th, 2006, 02:49 AM
I can't find the thread where someone talked about PC insurance for pets being sketchy..

I looked for myself.. And to get the ultra plan on Cider would be $45 a month.. So unless something horrible happened to her (and I pray it won't) That's $540 to PC.. And if anything happens you pay 20% of the final costs.. seems you have to pay $100 yearly for a 0-5yr old for illness coverage claims.. and $100 per every accident incident that occurs.

You also have signed that you are getting all the yearly shots the vet suggests.. if you don't they may not cover your claims.. and you have agreed to a yearly physical (not that that is a problem) and you have agreed to any 'preventive treatment that the vet recommends which is a pretty gray area for what they might suggest..

Fine print says if they feel in any 24 month period that your pet is a high risk because you have made too many claims they'll increase your co-pay from 20% to whatever they feel is appropriate..

Doesn't cover dental unless directly involved in an accident..

Looks like some of the other ones are still better like vetinsurance.

mastifflover
July 6th, 2006, 04:08 AM
I think that every dog and owner have different needs so not one plan would work for everyone. So the key is to find the one that best suits your needs as far as coverage. For me some do not cover hips and knees and that is one of my must haves but for some that is not a big concern different dogs, different problems. But be sure to really read what they cover and what they do not because some are really sketchy as to whether you are covered for certain things. Email them and ask for definite answers this way you have proof so it is not a matter of he said she said. Some plans are not worth the money and some are. Buyer beware. Your vet is a good person to ask since they usually deal with a few of them they can tell you who has good coverage and who does not and who pays quickly and who does not.

dogmelissa
July 6th, 2006, 05:58 PM
I can't find the "sketchy" PC thread either... but mafia you were the one who said it might exist?

I looked into PC insurance. On my dog--2 yr old Maltese X--it'd be $29.81/month for the "Choice" plan. The Choice plan
" * Covers veterinary fees up to $2,500 per accident for an unlimited number of accidents
* Covers veterinary fees up to $2,500 per illness for all illnesses over the lifetime of your pet "

Ok... I just talked to a lady at PC Insurance. My deductible (age-related) would be $100/accident and $100 *annually* for illness. So if Cube got sick in January, and the total bill is $1000, I'd pay $100 + 20% (of the total, I assume) so $300 total. Then if he gets sick again in July, and it costs $1000 again, I only pay $200.
Deductible is *per* accident. So if he gets hurt in January and it costs $1000, I pay $300. If he gets hurt in June and it costs $1500, I pay another $100 + 20% so $400.

A girl I work with had a problem with her dog (he's a large dog but this could happen to mine or any dog!)--he blew out his knee somehow. She has pet insurance so that was a saving grace, but the surgery cost $3000 once it was all in (medications, etc). If that was my dog, I'd pay $100 + $600 so $700. Insurance would pay $2300 (really close to that max, huh?!). However, I'd have to have insurance at the rate I chose for 7 yrs to have paid more than that in insurance. My dog is 2, so if I get insurance now and nothing happens to him, by the time he's 9, I'll have paid more in insurance than that one procedure cost. If he does get sick, however, I'll be using insurance that I'm paying for.

Of course I don't want or expect that my dog is going to get sick or hurt, but if he does, I'd like to know that I have the financial ability to help him get better. And I'm not sure that I'd be able to do that without insurance. Sure, my vet lets me go on payments (she's awesome!) but if there's an emergency, or if I'm out of town and can't go to her, it'd sure be nice to know that I won't have to stress so much.

I have to talk to my bf about this tonight, as he's my financial advisor, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to get insurance.
Comparible insurance at Pet Care would cost $35.25/month, at Vet Insurance it would be $34.80/month (and this one has a maximum amount on the lifetime of your pet), Pet Plan is $32.98 and that's all I could find in Canada. The Pet Plan page looked so much like PC page, I'm going to guess they're almost the same. I know that PC banking works through CIBC, so I'd hazard a guess that the PC Pet Insurance works through Pet Plan.

Anyhow... for those of you in the States, I also found a link for a place called ShelterCare, which is insurance for pets adopted from a registered animal shelter. It'd probably be pretty good value, and might even put a portion of your money back into the shelters!

Melissa

mafiaprincess
July 6th, 2006, 11:19 PM
It wasn't a thread by itself it was in someone else's thread. People having some personal experience with PC and some issues with them and why they'd pick another company. But I tried as many variations as I could searching and can't find it anywhere.

Think at this point I'm better off with a line of credit I could use in case something happened. Since if it doesn't I'm not paying out monthly, or agreeing I will give my dogs a yearly wackload of vaccinations I wouldn't necessarily give unless forced.

dogmelissa
July 7th, 2006, 03:26 PM
There is only one detail I need to check on, and that is the vaccinations. My dog goes to the vet every year, but he doesn't get vaccines every year, because he is on a 3-year cycle. He gets one vaccine every year, so over 3 years, he has them all, and then it repeats. My vet said there is no reason to vaccinate every year when the vaccine companies say they last 3 years. It's like our tetanus vaccines; you get it once every 10 years (or supposed to) not every year "just because". So if PC says that they require I get all the vaccines every year, then I am either going to look at something else, or get a line of credit, or just put $30/month into a "pet" account.

Thanks!
Melissa

Fused0ne
July 24th, 2006, 09:05 AM
Thanks for all the replies, I've still not decided what to do yet, but its something I think about everyday.

doggy lover
September 26th, 2006, 05:06 PM
Well I just came home from the vet and I have three different insurances that they use, he said they are all good it depends on what you want to spend. I have Pet Plan, Pc Financial, and Vet Insurance. I think the last one is the better, you are given a lump sum of $15, 000 for a lifetime. Even my last dog with all his health problems never cost me that much in his lifetime. It will cost me $34.80 per month never going up in price, all you pay is their vet visit cost and first $25 of bording fees for hospitalization. It pays 90% of all approved claims, instead of most companies 80%. Has anyone else out there used this insurance, if so how did things go if you have made any claims?