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The question about pet insurance has been asked a few times here, so I thought this might be interesting to post.

From the AARP Magazine :

Nearly a dozen firms offer health insurance for pets; this is a fast-growing industry. Unfortunately, the search for a decent policy exposes consumers to the same basic problems that spurred health care reform: high costs, shifting rules, and fine print that makes it hard to know what you're buying.
For example, policies vary widely. The nonprofit American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, partnering with Hartville Group, offers four levels of coverage - from accidents only ($9.50/month for dogs; $7.50 for cats) to comprehensive protection ($59 a month for dogs; $51 for cats). Some insurers' plans hit $75 or more a month.
Do such fees make sense for you ? With $4,000 hip replacements or $10,000 cancer treatments commonplace, "insurance is for those who would do anything to save their pet," says petinsurancereview.com's Mike Hemstreet.
But many policies won't pay for hereditary conditions, and none grant coverage of preexisting conditions. Worse, firms that cover an illness one year may demand another $5 to $10 a month to continue coverage the next.
Maximum payouts are another factor to weigh.
"Pet owners are most concerned about premiums," says Memphis vet Doug Kenney, author of Your Guide to Understanding Pet Health Insurance," but they should be asking, "If I have to file a 10,000$ claim, what is my total expense?" With a $3,500 per-incident maximum, you'll pay $6,500 out of pocket - plus the premium.
To compare policies, go to petinsurancereview.com or dogtime.com; both are independent sites.
Caroline E. Mayer
 

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I've looked into Pet insurance a couple of times. The last company I talked to was VIP Pet insurance. It would have cost me $89 a month to cover 3 dogs and a cat with no pre-existing conditions and no breed specific hereditary issues. Luxating Patella was covered if needed. This was their premium policy and covered all wellcare which usually ran about $450 a year for all the animals.

I guess I figured that it would cost more to insure them than it does to maintain them with me paying all the bills myself.

I've only ever been strapped when my collies needed a veterniary dentist. The bill was $3000 ten years ago. I asked if I could make a big deposit and the do payments for a couple months and they said that was fine. They were willing to let me give them $100 a month. I remember laughing and saying no a couple big payments not a bunch of little ones, you'll be paid off in 2-3 months. They were really great about it and I had it paid off in two months.

These days I have a larger savings account so I don't worry about being able to pay for their care. Besides I don't need to eat as long as they are ok. :)
 

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As I've written before I have PetPlan and have been happy with it. There is a deductible but they do cover hereditary health issues. I really wanted it as a catastrophic insurance since I know how much tests, x-rays, etc can cost. I think I paid about $350-$400 a year and we already received some money back when Tyler jumped down and got hurt. Very easy to fill our forms too. It works for me.
 

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When we first got Hunter and I called a few places one actually laughed at me (I don't know which one) because he came to us as a "lemon" with grade 2 LPs and a double heart murmor, a history of severe ear infections and bad teeth. I believe the women on the line actually said to me "are you sure you don't want to give this dog back?" Grr.......some people

For us - its just pay as we go, insurance simply wasn't an option.
 

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When we first got Hunter and I called a few places one actually laughed at me (I don't know which one) because he came to us as a "lemon" with grade 2 LPs and a double heart murmor, a history of severe ear infections and bad teeth. I believe the women on the line actually said to me "are you sure you don't want to give this dog back?" Grr.......some people

For us - its just pay as we go, insurance simply wasn't an option.

They just hadn't met Hunter or you! Look how well he is doing now that he is with you. I can't believe they said that though. That's rude and uprofessional.
 

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I checked into insurance recently because of Sassy's age. I was told that if she was diagnoised with an ongoing illness, ie diabetes, cushings, addison's, etc. that the plan will cover during the first yr. of the diagnosis but then will drop coverage for that illness. If you want to continue the coverage for that specific illness then you have to purchase an additional plan "continuing illness". Not worth the premium to me.
 

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When we first got Hunter and I called a few places one actually laughed at me (I don't know which one) because he came to us as a "lemon" with grade 2 LPs and a double heart murmor, a history of severe ear infections and bad teeth. I believe the women on the line actually said to me "are you sure you don't want to give this dog back?" Grr.......some people

For us - its just pay as we go, insurance simply wasn't an option.
I wish Hunter had been there with the woman who was on the phone. I would have politely asked him to lift his cute little leg on her. :HistericalSmiley: How insulting and oh so wrong. Didn't she realize Hunter is perfect and always will be to all of us?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I checked into insurance recently because of Sassy's age. I was told that if she was diagnoised with an ongoing illness, ie diabetes, cushings, addison's, etc. that the plan will cover during the first yr. of the diagnosis but then will drop coverage for that illness. If you want to continue the coverage for that specific illness then you have to purchase an additional plan "continuing illness". Not worth the premium to me.
For Alex it is too late, they probably would not cover anything. His heart condition is pre-existing.
My daughter adopted a chihuaha from a shelter. He is 2 years old, I doubt that he would be insurable. Something is wrong with his leg. Could be congenital if it is hip related or luxating patella. So two things already they are not going to cover.
 

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My company offers VIP Pet Insurance as an added bonus. The premiums are taken straight out of my paycheck like any other benefit that is paid by the employee. After Tilly had HGE about 2 1/2 year ago, I thought it would be a good idea to get the insurance -- especially for high dollar items.

They did pay a large part of the bill for Lacie's dental last year and also some towards their annual visits this year.

BUT -- after looking at the monthly premium for both girls ($30/month) and weighing the annual cost of their health care for which I am reimbursed, I have decided that it is best to just do my own savings plan for their healthcare, contributing the price of the monthly premium. It's not as easy, as it doesn't automatically come out of my check, but if I make myself do it, I will come out better off as the payments for the girls annuals is usually about $250 combined. That leaves extra money in their healthcare savings account each year for anything major that happens. And, of course, if I leave the money in the savings account, it will built up so that I would have funds available for any type of major illness, surgery, etc.

I have found that what is and what isn't covered by the VIP policies isn't what I really had hoped for.
 
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