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Thread: Pet Insurance : Do I or don't I ?

  1. #11
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    We are considering Pet Plan and was just at their site to get a quote. We do seem to spend a lot on routine care for our dogs such as tests, teeth cleaning, shots, etc.. Jenny has had 2 infections since we've had her, but they were both treated with antibiotics and she recovered in a day or so. As Karlin points out, you hope you never have to use the insurance so there's no point in worrying if you get your money back. Insurance is nothing more than managing risk. I have mixed feelings about buying the insurance v. having a pet savings account. Guess I'll have to talk to SWMBO about it.

  2. #12
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    All of my 3 Cavaliers have SM and one also has had an luxating patella op and also has a heart murmer and degenerated discs. All I can say is that as heartbreaking all this is I have peace of mind as all of mine have 7000 a year life cover. I can give them the best care there is without cutting corners. My heart breaks every day and I think I would go insane if I would have to worry about the money side of all this. My dogs are 6.5 & 6 and 4.5 and it all started 2 years ago. I could never have saved up as much as they have cost me so far.
    Sabby
    Rosie-06/06 - Ebony-01/07 Harley-08/08
    " My sunshine doesn't come from the skies, it comes from the love in my dogs eyes "

  3. #13
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    Since the dog from hell arrived and has had about 15000 worth of treatment done on him with no Insurance ( thankfully the vet I used didnt charge for a lot as the surgery didn't work) I have had my dogs insured. pheobe has the cheapest insurance I could find and they did pay out for her MRI but where a nightmare to deal with , delaying and "losing" records.
    Her litter sister was on the top pdsa insurance and they refused to pay as the policy level was changed half way through the year & that is considered to be starting a totally new policy.

  4. #14
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    @AT Changing rules in the middle of the game, eh? That's dirty pool as we say here. Seems to me that these are very tough decisions to make.

  5. #15
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    I think the biggest argument in weighing up a pet savings account vs insurance is: this breed almost all will get MVD eventually, meaning many of us will be paying out up to 100 pounds/euro/dollars monthly on heart meds. Appropriate cardio tests are many hundreds as well. Syringomyelia affects probably around 70% of cavaliers eventually. Thankfully far fewer than that become symptomatic and need treatment but if a cavalier does, an owner will need to produce several thousand to diagnose and start to treat, and easily will pay up to a hundred a month on medications.

    Over the 7 years Leo has been on SM meds, I have easily paid out over 7,000 euro on meds alone. He's had two MRIs too.

    These are just some of the common breed health issues every owner needs to know about and ideally, have the funds to cover if needed. That might be several thousand up front. If surgery is recommended, that costs several more thousand.

    All this is before you even count in possible accidents or 'normal' dog health issues that may need more costly vet care.

    That is why when I ran cavalier rescue in Ireland, and still as the person running this board, I advise anyone with a cavalier or two to get insurance, and make sure it covers genetic issues. I think if you have 3 or more cavaliers, it may be better to set aside the amount of a premium per dog every year. Insurance itself is a risk. Believe me, you hope you WON'T have to cash in and 'make' money with it. It doesn't surprise me that premiums increase. Care costs (and available services) also keep increasing -- and some of the costs for covering a breed like a cavalier are enormous for an insurance company if say 7000 goes out in one payment for diagnosis and surgery for SM.

    But yes I hate those increases too!!! I must say my main surprise though is that all companies haven't removed SM as a 'covered' condition in cavaliers. I do think that day will come.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #16
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    We've been looking at Pet Plan and Healthy Paws insurance. There's a website that has some pretty good customer reviews of a number of pet insurance companies here in the U.S.. Healthy Paws is rated slightly higher than Pet Plan. Some reviews of both plans range from very high to complaints that paperwork is "lost" and/or communications are not returned. Some customers say that they have submitted paperwork 4 times and still get told that it's lost. Pre-existing conditions seem to be a big bugaboo also. Some claims were denied because the dog had taken a particular med in the past before insurance coverage started. Hmmmmm...I wonder if it was an antibiotic. Would that mean if you dog had any type of infection treated in the past they there's no coverage for future infections? This is causing us concern since there do not appear to be any provisions for arbitration or legal remedies (No, I'm not an attorney. Thank God!). We're still mulling this over.

  7. #17
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    I am not in the US but I think insurances try to get out of paying where ever you are in the world. All three of mine been to the vets before I started claiming for SM. Rosie had ear infections and was on antibiotics and the other two had things wrong with them where they needed medication. Last year two of mine had colitis for 8 weeks I even got that paid without any problems. Maybe I am just lucky. My friend had to have her dog MRI scanned (she is with the same insurance then I have) because once every few month it started being funny even bit her once. The scan showed that it had a deep rooted ear infection all this time. The insurance didn’t want to pay for the scan as they said it doesn’t cover behavioural issues. After a few letters from the vets confirming that the behavioural issues were coursed by the ear infection they paid out. I had to chase my insurance in the past but I am thankful that I have it. Like I said my three have cost about 7000 over the last two years. I would never have saved that and I pay 85 a month for my three insurance.
    Sabby
    Rosie-06/06 - Ebony-01/07 Harley-08/08
    " My sunshine doesn't come from the skies, it comes from the love in my dogs eyes "

  8. #18
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    I like your signature, Sabby. I probably should be more savvy about this stuff. I mean, we have to hassle with our own human insurance reimbursements all the time. However, since our doctors' offices do the billing, they are the ones who hassle with the insurance companies. It wasn't always this way though. We used to have to pay and then bill our own insurance. We are going to check with our vet's office and see if they recommend any particular company. We will ask them up front if they go to bat for their patients and owners with the insurance they recommend. Oops, sorry about saying "bat" since it's used in a U.S. sport. Is that what it's called in cricket?

  9. #19
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    A friend of mine has 4 dogs (all rescued crossbreeds) & puts 50 in an account every month instead of insurance....... This was all very well until last month when after vaccinations/worming etc..... Had cleaned out her account & her old dog was diagnosed initially with cancer of the spleen but then that was downgraded to an infection of the spleen, depending on the next few weeks will determine whether she gas to have the spleen removed or not. She now has had to fork out for the numerous blood tests, antibiotics, steroids etc & may have to pay for surgery on top. Her dog is now too old to insure but had been healthy (except an annual ear infection!).

    Personally with our breed i would always go with insurance! Lucy in the past month has had blood tests, MRI & medication i would quote as costing aprox 1500 I have pet insurance with allianz (pet plan) so i have only had to pay 100 out of a that.
    Sonia
    Cass (F - JRT - 25/11/97) Sparky (M - Blen - 11/01/08.) & Lucy (F - Blen - 12/11/09-ish!)
    Leo waiting at the bridge

  10. #20
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    I opted to save money once a month for emergency but I also have a credit card if something major comes up. I live in US and many vets are willing to take credit. I have 6 dogs now and two elderly. I find I have spent more money the last year on my old dogs then all the dogs in a two year period. I think if you research your breeder before you buy it will save some vet bills when they are younger.

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