View Full Version : Please convince me of pet insurance.

27th April 2011, 08:56 AM
Hey all,
Okay, so I need to get pet insurance and I have been waivering back and forth now for a few months. Brooklyn is 6 months old, and I think it is time. But every time I go to buy it, I convince myself I don't need to spend the money. I mean, I know I do...I have read a lot on this board that proves so...but can someone help me make the argument to myself? And more importantly my husband? He thinks it is a bit of a waist of money (and yes, we are prepared to pay for vet bills should something happen, but I would rather not if insurance was an option).
Anyway, can anyone out there give me some good pointers on how to argue to myself and my hubby so that when we get to the check out page, we actually press "purchase!" ;)

27th April 2011, 09:36 AM
I took out insurance without any real thought as I had no idea these dogs had so many different problems. In the back of my mind I thought I probably wouldn't use it until they became oad's but took out a policy for life anyway. I am glad I did from the age of 15 months, we have claimed close to £12,000 on the two dogs, they are four next month.
Part of the cost was trying to find out what was wrong with Molly before she was finally diagnosed with sm, she also suffered with Patellas, Hip Dysplasia and a problem with her elbows plus arthritis:(

You have a head start because you are part of this forum and are probably much more aware of the breed problems than I was. Even so I would recommend taking it out, unless money is no object of course!

27th April 2011, 10:52 AM
Apart from the long list of common inherited illnesses associated with cavaliers,simple injuries can cost a fortune.
A fall from the bed...fracture
A scratch to the eye....ulceration
Ear infections,car accidents,
Bites,fights and mites...
Three nights in a veterinary hospital on a drip for gastroenteritis.:shock:
I like to think that my younger cavaliers are bulletproof and invincible,but the truth is,they're not! No living creature goes through life in a state of perfect health,so give yourself peace of mind,press the button and get your insurance.

27th April 2011, 03:48 PM
In less then a year we have been reimbursed over $5,000. Most of that was just 2 dogs.

Monthly our insurance premiums for 3 dogs is $110... with reimbursement at 90%.

It's very comforting to go to the vet and not have a second thought about what procedures I can afford. It adds up FAST. I can't even begin to count all the times I have gone to the vet for something "simple" and it adds up to several hundred. Now there is no stress over which procedures to do and which ones to pass on. Whatever my vet recommends we do.

I don't have insurance on my other pets yet but I HIGHLY recommend it for a Cavalier. The odds are just way too high to NOT do it.
Researchers say 90% or more of cavaliers have CM, 50% or more will develop SM & 50% will have a heart murmer by age 5 that is extreamly high odds! Then factoring in all the other health problems and endless accidents...
Also remember anything found before the insurance or before the waiting period is pre-existing and not covered.

27th April 2011, 04:03 PM
My goodness, I sure wish I had...

*Ruby was diagnosed with Hip Displasia at 7 months old.
*Just last week, the feared SM diagnosis was made.
She just turned 2 on March 17th 2011.

If it weren't for an angel of a Neurologist who helped greatly with MRI/spinal tap costs, I honestly don't know what I would've done.
It's something I didn't know about 2 years ago when I adopted Ruby. If I had, I would've saved around $5,000 in total costs...
:) I'm not trying to frighten you! I just hope that helped you see how it really is a must have with these little guys!
Take care!

Kate H
27th April 2011, 08:24 PM
Because I changed insurers after Oliver was diagnosed with SM (an x-ray and 3 visits to a neurologist, cost £500, and the old insurer doubled the premiums!) it counts as a pre-existing condition and I can't claim for anything. Fortunately he is too old at almost 10 for surgery and so far is doing well on moderate amounts of gabapentin and frusemide. I've kept up his insurance, however, because he's a fearless and adventurous little dog and there's always the possibility he will fall over a cliff, down a rabbit hole, or under a bus! Not to mention his low grade heart murmur getting worse as he gets older, or cancer, or any of the other ills that any dog can develop.

Some people advocate putting a regular sum into a bank account rather than pay insurance premiums, and I did consider this, but that won't necessarily build up enough in time for a sudden, expensive emergency. Insurance also covers kennelling/boarding costs if I have to go into hospital, which could be a good standby as I live alone.

Unfortunately, as veterinary procedures develop, more and more people claim for a wider variety of treatments, and premiums and excess amounts are rising steadily. But I just don't feel happy without insurance.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

28th April 2011, 01:27 AM
I'll add my story here. We had a terrible accident one morning. Holly got out and I hit her with the car pulling out of the driveway. I rushed her to our local vet where she received emergency care -- the bill was around $500. Then I drove her to the University of Florida where she underwent major surgery for a hip and leg fracture, vertabral fracture and a tail amputation. The bill was $4000. She then underwent months of physical therapy. The bills there were around $1000. Medication for all of this was another few hundred.

We had pet insurance, but dropped it a couple months before the accident as we were facing double mortgage payments and large moving costs. Had we kept the insurance, the stress of the accident and recovery would have been diminished. We, of course, would have still worried endlessly over Holly and her recovery. But the financial stress of the bills just added to our worries.

I can't urge pet insurance strongly enough! I hope you never need it, but if you do it's just priceless.

28th April 2011, 02:25 AM
I had the same thoughts. What made me click "yes" was when Coco starting acting funny...then I thought of thousands and thousands of diagnostic testing billing and what not...after thinking that through clicking the purchase button was much easier.

Better to act BEFORE anything happens, because Coco had to go in unfortunately while I was still on the waiting period of two weeks.

28th April 2011, 02:50 AM
I've never had health insurance for my dogs. But, this time was different. With all the issues related to Cavaliers, I felt it was important, because hubby and I are in no shape to handle a big bill should one arise.

And it would take years of saving that same premium amount each month to accumulate enough to cover some of the costs involved in the list of disorders and issues and testing it would have to cover.

I hesitated and hesitated, and finally signed up a few weeks ago. I know I won't regret it.

28th April 2011, 04:28 AM
This is all great. Thank you guys SO much. In my heart I knew I needed it, but I just needed to be pushed over the edge!
Off to go book in. I have heard great things about PetPlan, so I will probably go with them. Hard to figure out who to go with though! I will have to make some phone calls :)

28th April 2011, 05:55 AM
Apart from the long list of common inherited illnesses associated with cavaliers,simple injuries can cost a fortune.
Three nights in a veterinary hospital on a drip for gastroenteritis.:shock:


Yep $1000 today. Had to do care credit. Unfortunately GI is not covered due to previous condition when puppy also SM. Make sure you do research and look for one that covers hereditary conditions

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

Jasper and Holly
28th April 2011, 09:07 AM
Hey Brooklyn's mom,
Go for Petplan they have the best cover. I did the middle one and it's $41 a month and I have two dogs so that's $82 a month for me and well worth it. They are covered for I think $12,000 a year accident or illness sand they are covered for life. A lot of companies only cover until 7 years!! and that's when you may need it.

29th April 2011, 03:54 AM
I did Petplan also. Can't remember the plan, but it's $8000 a year, $200 deductible. I hope it will be enough......But, I was so bad about it. I kept hesitating even though everyone told me Petplan was great. I also looked at Embrace.

I was too late for Trupanion as Claire was almost a year old when I started shopping around.

29th April 2011, 04:29 AM
2nd to what everyone said. Pet insurance was one of the best decisions I've made. I have Petplan and used it about 8 months after I signed up for it. The plan I have covers 8000/year with 100% coverage and has a $100 deductible. I pay $37/month and have been reimbursed about $2,000 so far. I would never ever have a dog without it.

29th April 2011, 01:35 PM
I've had dogs all my life, and never gave a first thought to pet insurance. Sophie is our first Cavalier, and after reading here at CT about how much these dogs can cost, I bought insurance for Sophie.

29th April 2011, 04:24 PM
I'm so glad you've decided to go ahead with insurance - thank you to everyone for posting your stories of how much things cost - which is one of the arguments.

The other, biggest factor for me was that I never wanted to be in the position where we made a decision about treatment based on cost rather than the welfare of the dog ie not having enough money to go ahead with the necessary treatment.

There are organisations and charities that try to help, but they are so overwhelmed with requests these days that they are not able to help as much as they were sadly.

See this thread too http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?35387-Insurance

Even if you do not have health insurance for your dog, at the very least you need third party insurance:

Pet owners can be legally responsible for the actions of their animals. If your pet were to injure someone or run across the road and cause an accident, as owner of that animal you could be liable to prosecution and claims for compensation.

Third party liability insurance basically protects you financially in the event that your pet harms another person or causes them injury, or if your animal were to damage or destroy someone else's property. Under the 1971 Animals Act this includes damage to vehicles too. Some third party liability options extend to insure pet owners in circumstances where the animal is responsible for the death of another person. If your pet's actions were to cause such an incident the claim for compensation could be substantial -- and if you do not have third party liability cover you might even have to sell your home in order to make the settlement!

In the UK membership of the Dog's Trust includes FREE third party insurance - up to £1,000,000 cover per claim if your dog causes damage or injury to another person, their property or pets.

I understand this covers you for up to 10 [pet] dogs so for those with multiple dogs it may be very beneficial.

It also includes unlimited access to Vetfone™, 24 hour emergency advice from qualified veterinary nurses 365 days of the year.

Standard membership is £25 per year but if you’re 60 years or over it costs just £12.50 per year.

http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/giving/m...q/default.aspx (http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/giving/membership/faq/default.aspx)

Obviously you are also providing valuable support to an important rescue organisation

29th April 2011, 06:18 PM
I thought it was a little extreme at first too, but since getting insurance with PetPlan (between my 3 Cavaliers) they have had 3 patella surgeries at 1500.00 a piece, plus Maggies recent surgery for SM, right at 5000.00. If I did not have insurance I would not have been able to afford this otherwise. It's good for any pet, but with the issues that Cavaliers have, I think it's a really wise decision. Hopefully you would never have to use it, but if something did come up it's comforting to know that you can give them the best care possible without having to consider the financial aspect.

29th April 2011, 07:51 PM
Also accidents can and do happen - a fractured leg may cost £1800 to £2000 to repair...

Most vets charge £35 just for an overnight stop now, consultation charges are £22 to £50 depending on where you live. Heart meds once in CHF average £100 a month.

29th April 2011, 09:12 PM
Thanks for a thought-provoking and informative thread.

I think it is always important to remember that the idea of having insurance is peace of mind and ability to cover all needed care -- and one should not consider it a waste if (with luck!) you never have to claim back what you put in. :thmbsup: People can be funny about pet insurance -- no one insures their house and then feels indignant if the house doesn't burn down or get turned inside out by thieves so they can claim back what they have put in. But some feel pet insurance isn't worth it unless they know they will be likely to claim. Insurance is security and as so many say, a comfort if and when the worst happens. With insurance, as Nicki and others say, you do not have to question whether you can give a pet needed care.

My own perspective is a bit of a mix IF there are large numbers of pets: for up to three animals I would definitely go for insurance.

Once you are paying for three or more animals, I think it becomes a matter of weighing up the risks versus benefits versus likely costs and one's own comfort zone and willingness to make sure their dog gets adequate care as needed out of pocket if not by insurance. Maybe given rising costs the issue would be more like four or more animals... though there is a discount generally with most policies if you have three or more covered.

I think for some -- willing to accept possible large out of pocket payments -- there is an argument for taking what would be the annual premium cost for all the dogs combined and putting it into a savings account as an alternative BUT if you face an up front early problem there could be a huge cost for a single dog that would more than wipe out a treatment kitty. :eek: Some have told of exactly such an experience.

I actually only have insurance on two of my five -- mainly because they had it from the start. None of the other three has needed treatment that would not have been covered by the deductible or the vast majority of it and Lucy is now old enough that I'd be paying 50% of her costs anyway. Jaspar has had two procedures now and his accumulated lifetime premium is I think still well in excess of what the insurance paid out for (a minor surgery on his foot and a myringotomy). Leo has SM but his costs are medications rather than MRI/surgery (it was cheaper to do the MRIs thru research programmes in the UK and insurance would not have covered those -- they are out of pocket donations towards research, from my point of view, scan costs plus travel and hotel).

With four cats it has/had been more cost effective to have savings towards any problems. I have had very few costs with the cats; Quincy's recent illness cost little more than a single year's premium would have cost me. I have a theoretical kitty of close to five thousand euro for the cats based on what I would have paid in premiums over all their lives.

For me, the cost of paying 5 dog and 4 cat premiums every year would be approaching €2000. Saving that money towards health issues has made more sense. But unlike most, I have a lot of furries -- I would definitely pay for insurance on a smaller number of dogs or cats, and am aware I am taking the risk of having a really enormous upfront cost at some point, but will cover that if it arises.

30th April 2011, 02:58 AM
I just purchase pet insurance. I still feel that Piper may have SM but now I have more peace of mind about it knowing I could pay for an MRI and such if needed. He is insured through Trupanion. It came to $41 a month for a $100 deductable.
Good luck with your decision :)

30th April 2011, 03:14 PM
Piper, I too have Trupanion and it is wonderful. I am not sure of Piper's needs but I would recommend you go for the $0 deductible. I too had a $100 dollar deductible and then I randomly decided to change it after seeing it was only a $3-4 monthly increase. Boy am I glad I did bc now with Jack's CM meds (and possible future heart meds as many cavies may need). Jacks meds cost me $100-150 per month and had I not changed the deductible I would be paying for almost all his meds, now I pay between $10-15 (much better:)) Plus even for a general sick visit I was finding the total cost was ~$200 dollars and after subtracting the non reimbursable office visit cost the amount left was usually around $100 and with my deductible I didn't get anything back. Just wanted to share what worked for me. Either way, I have found Trupanion to be a wonderful company. It has provided me with peace of mind knowing whatever happens with Jack's health I don't have to let finances come into the picture (which sadly without the insurance I would have to think of)