Dog Insurance

sabrinah

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There's plenty of threads about pet insurance for cats, but pet insurance for dogs is generally more expensive.

A visit from a relative went awry and Beast ended up eating a shish kabob (including the skewer) and it took 3 emergency visits, 2 x-rays, and an endoscopy to remove the skewer. The sharp end of the skewer was a 5-inch piece, which could have killed him. It was a $1764.97 ordeal. Since he likes to eat things I think pet insurance would be a good idea. He's already 6 so the prices are a little high and he has notes on his records about possible dental disease so that would count as preexisting.

As much as I wish the cost wasn't a factor, it has to be. I'm a college student and therefore broke.

Since dental disease coverage doesn't matter I'm leaning towards Healthy Paws. I read their reviews on various websites and they have the fewest complaints about difficulties submitting claims. The quote from them only gives me the option of 70% reimbursement, a $500 annual deductible, and unlimited payouts for $40.15 per month. I like that they cover alternative treatment just in case he ever needs to see a chiropractor or something. The only thing that sucks is that they don't cover the office visit fee, which is $160-200 depending on the clinic.

Embrace also looks good but their Yelp reviews suck. It's $45.93 per month with a $15,000 annual reimbursement limit, a $200 annual deductible, and 90% reimbursement. They cover exam fees and physical therapy which is nice but they don't cover tests or diagnostic procedures, alternative treatment, or more than one anesthetic removal of an ingested foreign body in one period.

Do any of you have pet insurance for your dog? What company have you had good (or bad) experience with?
 

neely

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Our dog had an unusual autoimmune illness so it was too late for us to get insurance by the time he was diagnosed. However, we have always put money into a separate savings account for our dog or cats. Since you mentioned you are a college student with limited funds pet insurance might be a good option for you. There are numerous threads in the Grooming & General Cat Care section that although discuss insurance for cats might also apply to dogs. You may want to take a peek there for your reference.

I'm very sorry to hear about your dog's extremely costly vet visit(s) due to ingesting a shish kabob/skewer. :frown: I hope he is feeling better now. Best of luck with his recuperation and finding the best pet insurance for your dog. :goodluck:
 

Willowy

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I have Healthy Paws insurance for my Collie. It's about $45 a month, on the 80% plan. I haven't had to file a claim yet, though, so I can't say anything about that. Every time I've called with questions they seem helpful and pleasant.

I don't really like the idea of paying $45 a month for what might turn out to be no reason. But on the other hand, if he ever needs a $6000 new hip, I don't want to have to say no :/.
 
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sabrinah

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Yea I'm really conflicted about whether or not to get the insurance. He's a very active, clumsy, food-addicted dog though so I'm surprised I haven't had more issues with him yet.

I'm glad Healthy Paws is pleasant on the phone! I don't like that Healthy paws doesn't cover exam fees or cremation, will only give me 70% reimbursement, and won't cover hip dysplasia because he's 6. If I had Healthy Paws during his last fiasco, I would still have had to pay $415 in emergency exam fees, $500 deductible, and $254.99 of the remaining balance. So they would have reimbursed less than $600 and I would have already paid $240 if I got the insurance at the beginning of the year.

Trupanion is way too expensive ($72.70 with a $500 deductible, or $59.27 with a $700 deductible) and doesn't cover exam fees, rehab, cremation, or alternative therapies.

I guess I should narrow the options down by places that cover exam fees.
 

matts mom

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I don't have pet insurance...I have a 7 year old Lab, and he'd be about $100/month with a $500 deductable, and not cover any core things,. he has a pre existing lump, a limp, and anxiety. So there's a good chance the things I'd want coverage for wouldn't be covered


Here's what I did:
Each week, I transfer $30 from my paycheque to a dedicated savings account that can cover the cats if needed too.

I also talked to my vet about the cost of care. They offer health plans. Starting at a very basic plan that covers 2 visits/year, shots and wellness bloodwork for $30/month $60/month and $100/month "firth class planwhich I signed up for.

This plan covers:
exam and core vaccines
biannual exam includes eye pressure and blood pressure
unlimited exam/consultation for any reason this is big for us because Shamas has torn two claws in 4 months
Fecal analysis(2 per year)
Urinalysis(1 per year)
Early detection bloodwork including 17 clip,cBC and Electrolytes once per year
Thyroid test once per year
Four desease testing
1 extra mini bloodwork panel including 6 clip and CBC
Wellness radiographs(3 views) birthday mani/pedi

All this PLUS 10% discount on all in-house services, medications, prescription foods, etc and 5% rewards points earned on every transaction. So far this year we have earned $50 in free services.

I can't afford to pay a monthly fee AND pay upfront for vet services, while hoping the insurance covers and re-emburss me
I CAN afford to pay ahead for core services, and save for big stuff. This way KNOW I'm covered
 
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sabrinah

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None of the vets I've ever been to have health plans!

It wouldn't work well around here anyway since the clinics (there are only clinics in this county, no hospitals) don't have the same capabilities. For example, the two closest vets to me are part of the same system and offer the same limited services. At his second emergency visit the vet said they would do an endoscopy if they had an endoscope but since neither clinic in the system did the only options were to wait it out (which is what he wanted to do) or do exploratory surgery. It took me asking if any other vets in the county had an endoscope for them to check and arrange a referral to another clinic 30 miles away.
 

matts mom

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None of the vets I've ever been to have health plans!

It wouldn't work well around here anyway since the clinics (there are only clinics in this county, no hospitals) don't have the same capabilities. For example, the two closest vets to me are part of the same system and offer the same limited services. At his second emergency visit the vet said they would do an endoscopy if they had an endoscope but since neither clinic in the system did the only options were to wait it out (which is what he wanted to do) or do exploratory surgery. It took me asking if any other vets in the county had an endoscope for them to check and arrange a referral to another clinic 30 miles away.
Yikes!

There are times that I take for granted that I'm in a big city....I could shop around, get a second opinion, and choose a vet that we both like. I'm still looking at another vet, for Matt-a hollistic vet. As he gets older, I want the best quality of life for him, but in the least invasive manner possible, because he's never been in GREAT health, since he nearly died of an infection at age 4. we've had a few touch-and-go situations, and he always ends up on antibiotics with our fingers crossed.
 
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sabrinah

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I miss my big city veterinary hospital. They had everything there and would have been able to deal with our emergency in one visit, no problem. The cost was also way more affordable than the clinics around here. This is the only emergency I've ever had with my dog, thankfully.

I've mostly been thinking about pet insurance for accidents, like broken legs, and illnesses like cancer. When I took him in for vaccines earlier this week I asked if the had any experience with insurance and they didn't have any helpful information. One person has Trupanion but hasn't had to use it yet.
 

matts mom

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I was looking at Trupanion as well. The ladies at the labrador forum speak well of it. It's definitely the one I'd pick. Since they work on a per-ilness basis, if you get something on-going, you only pay the initial $500(or whatever your plan is set to) once, then they cover 80% Perfect for cancer, allergies, hip displaysia, etc that require multiple visits to heal
 

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I have ASPCA for Jamie the cat and have been happy with them. They just covered what they were supposed to, to the penny, for an ultrasound. Orlando the dog was too old when I tried and had preexisting conditions. Most companies wanted $100 per month which was just before he was dxed with melanoma...so ironically it still would have saved me thousands as it was not a preexisting condition. As for Embrace, my friend with a cavalier spaniel has their coverage and was very happy with it until they called and changed the deductible. At that point it became a whole new game and everything ever done for the dog, even minor things became a preexisting condition. Since then the dog has been suspected of having syringomyelia, the great curse of the cavi world, the condition where the brain is too large for the skull. She needs an MRI but Embrace has told my friend that if the MRI does not show a neurological condition, which SM is, they won't pay. I certainly sympathize with you about facing medical bills. Owning an animal can be like having your foot on a banana peel if they get sick.
 
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