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View Full Version : 3 year old--should I bother with health ins?



linderbelle
31st January 2009, 02:42 PM
8 days ago we got our b&t. If there was any concern at all about sm wouldn't there be signs by now since the brain is completely developed. I don't want to take her into the vet for anything without deciding whether we want to take out insurance. She needs to be spayed and want to do asp also but again not before we decide which I feel we should decide by tomorrow because of the spay deal and we are under contract to spay her by the breeder--would anyways though. Right now I am leaning to no insurance but not sure on the sm deal if symptoms could start appearing at this old.

Karlin
31st January 2009, 03:00 PM
SM is a lifelong risk. The more serious forms tend to become symptomatic before age 4 but not always. It is not a brain condition per se and has nothing to do with the brain being fully developed but rather with the fluid that flows around the brain, and the skull being too small for the brain -- you can read more here: www.smcavalier.com. :thmbsup:

Insurance is always a good idea IMHO. There's a 50% chance every cavalier will have heart disease by age 5 and an almost 100% chance over its lifetime so I think this alone is worth carefully insuring for (a provider who will cover genetic illness -- most will not cover this).

Jan Bell
31st January 2009, 03:16 PM
Without a doubt, go for the insurance: you never know when something will happen that you just can't afford the vets fees for.

Just check earlier threads on this site and make sure you get the best cover possible.

linderbelle
31st January 2009, 03:37 PM
Thanks. Karlin we understand that --I just worded it wrong I guess. Learning on it. We have insurance on our other two and I just took it out on Chelsea too. I guess what I didn't understand is that symptoms COULD occur after this age so to be safe we took it out. Thanks for replying Jan and Karlin. $24.00 a month is cheap compared to what it could be down the line.

LucyDog
31st January 2009, 07:16 PM
Most insurers won't cover genetic or congenital defects/illness though and if they do they are usually prohibitively expensive. My husband is an insurance broker...not pet insurance but auto/life/health etc... We have gone over a few of the pet insurance contracts and in most cases w/ the limits per incident, limits per year and the deductibles, it is actually not that cost effective over the lifetime of the pet. For example, our Chesapeake Bay Retriever probably would have cost us about $25/mo to start but don't forget the premiums go up as the dog ages. So let's say for arguments sake that the average over her 12 year lifetime was $35. So around $375 a year. If you multiply that times her lifetime of 12 years you are around $4000. Her cancer treatment didn't even come to that much money....maybe $3000 and don't forget there is a cap on what they will pay out per incident and per year, plus a deductible and they wouldn't even cover SM or MVD because they are considered genetic defects, in most cases. Personally, I think people are better off taking the money they would be spending on pet insurance and putting it in a "pet health" fund. That way you have some money set aside in case you need it, but if you don't use it it's still yours not some insurance company's. Just my opinion.

linderbelle
31st January 2009, 08:00 PM
This is what our contract reads:

We will reimburse you for fees, includign tax, for:

1. A Genetic or Congenital Condition.

Coverage is up to the annual maximum as shown on the schedule page(s), subject to the deductible and co-payment requirements.

LucyDog
31st January 2009, 08:38 PM
This is what our contract reads:

We will reimburse you for fees, includign tax, for:

1. A Genetic or Congenital Condition.

Coverage is up to the annual maximum as shown on the schedule page(s), subject to the deductible and co-payment requirements.


Ok, but what you need to figure out is how much are you paying for the insurance and what is that annual maximum, don't forget to figure in what you would need to pay in deductibles/co payments etc.... because that will come out of your pocket. And, if you exceed the yearly max then the difference also comes out of your pocket. If you take your premium and multiply it out over the number years of your pets life (don't forget that the premium will probably go up as your pet ages), how much are you paying in total? If you are paying like $10,000 in premium over your pets life and your total yearly max is $2000 or whatever...then chances are you will never get reimbursed for the amount you are paying over time. What I am trying to say is, if you just took the monthly premium and put it in a savings account, over the years you would probably put away more than the insurance company would ever pay out and if you don't use the money because your pet is very healthy than you still have the money, whereas if you pay it to the insurance company they keep it either way. I am not saying that there is NEVER an instance where the insurance company pays more than the premium, it does happen. But, how do you think insurance companies make money? It's from all the people that they collect money from and never have to pay any claims on. This is the whole business of insurance. Most people keep insurance (health, auto, homeowners) just in case they have a catostrophic situation (they god forbid kill someone, or their house burns down, or they get a dreaded disease). But, in the case of your pet, chances are that you are never going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on veterinary care if your pet gets sick. It is very unlikely that a catostrophic situation is ever going to happen and if you put money aside like I said you will most likely have enough to cover an ongoing illness or an accident. Regardless, even if you have a huge vet bill the insurance is only going to cover what is stated as the yearly maximum which is usually not all that much, so you still could be out money. My husband could probably explain it to you better. All I can say is that over the past 12 years we have probably paid out maybe $7000 in total vet costs divided among 4 cats (2 are now gone), 1 dog that had cancer and was put to sleep and the 2 current dogs. Even if I had spent $10,000 total or even $15000. I would have easily spent that much if not more on pet insurance for 7 animals. Does that make sense?

I thought of another way to explain it. Insurance is kind of like gambling. The house (in the this case the insurance company) has figured out statistically what the odds are of someone losing vs. someone winning (paying out a claim). All the amounts they choose for yearly maximums, deductibles & copayments are not just chosen randomly. The insurance company has actuarial tables and statisticians that stack the odds in their favor. Of course, every now and again someone does win (the insurance company pays more than they collect) but overall the chances of winning are fairly low, so in most cases it is better to save your money on your own and not play the game.

Mindysmom
1st February 2009, 12:58 AM
It makes sense to me Aimee and I have been coming to the same conclusion when researching insurance for Max. I've tallied up what I've spent on vet bills for our two dogs over the last 12 years and it is far less than what I would have paid in insurance premiums (had it been available when Zeus and Mindy were young enough). I am going to check with our vet regarding specific companies when I take Max in to be neutered but I so far I haven't found a company where it would seem to be a cost effective decision in our circumstance.

linderbelle
1st February 2009, 02:24 AM
ok I have a very big pet peeve when it comes to insurance believe me and the reason being is we are self employed and have been for 25 years. That means we pay for our own medical. People don't realize what a bennie it is. We pay close to a 1,000 a month for the two of us. We are both 57 and it goes up and up every year. Our deductible is 4,000 with co-pay of 40. Why do we have it--simple for the "what if". I do NOT have it for the doctor visits and routine stuff. I have it for the what if I have a heart attack or stroke or am in the hospital for a few days. Wouldn't be pretty without insurance. Granted we may pay out every month and never ever use it but it isn't that expensive for pet ins. $24. per dog and my oldest is 5. Thats 5,000 annual maximum with 20% co-pay and continuing care with continuing care of $1250. With 3 of these guys its reassuring to me that if I ever need it I will have it. We're not rich and when we're talking about thousands at a time for sm and heart problems etc. I guess I don't look at it the way you guys do and maybe its because we pay out and pay out every month for medical--heck by this time we've probably paid out close to $300,000 in medical--will we ever get that money back--doubtful but I sure would hate to have a 100,000 medical bill and not be able to pay it. Its just nice knowing that if ever the time comes and I have to have mri's or surgeries etc. that I won't base my decision on money. I understand your guys points also but a pet's life isn't as long as ours and we don't have much time to build a kitty in a sense with our pets. By putting away the premiums which is about $250 a year it will take a few years to build enough for a mri.

LucyDog
1st February 2009, 03:40 AM
You should, of course, do what is right for you regarding the pet insurance. I just wanted to mention that I do feel your pain regarding the cost of human health insurance. My husband is a self-employed insurance broker.....so we are also not insured through a group plan. We are younger than you, however we also have two young children that need insurance. We pay just a couple hundred dollars less than you do per month for our family of four w/ a $5000 deductible and the rates continue to increase just about every year. Sucks, doesn't it?

linderbelle
1st February 2009, 03:49 AM
yep sucks big times. Feb is hubbies birthday and of course we got our renewal for insurance last week. Now they recommend uping our deductible to 10,000. I'm about ready to sign everything over to my kids and get free health care like all these other people. Really really really makes me mad about insurance. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. How do these people come to this country and get free medical care and then us who work and work have to pay premiums like this and still stay in business. Again grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. lol Ok thats enough--my bp just went up--lol

Mindysmom
1st February 2009, 12:55 PM
Well I would say that if I could pay $24 a month I would consider it. The least I have been able to find (and I'm in Canada) is $40 and I didn't get warm fuzzies looking at all the exclusions. I'm still going to talk it over with our vet.

linderbelle
1st February 2009, 02:28 PM
I posted a few weeks ago about a site that reviewed all the various insurance companies etc. Very good site. Was for the US though so wouldn't help you. You might try looking on the web for something like this for canada though. Hey at least you guys for people have medical. no more on that subject. lol

Mindysmom
1st February 2009, 03:10 PM
Oh yes and don't think for a moment I'm not grateful for that. I remember when my kids were small one winter I made a standing weekly Drs. appt.