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So I've finally escaped the grasp of Banfield's Wellness Plans and is in need of pet insurance. Anyone has recommendations on what company is reasonable and good? Kane has a mild case of Dilated Cardiomyopathy but is in robust health otherwise. Since his diet change, most of his symptoms has gone down dramatically and besides an occasional cough, everything is normal, no exercise limitations.

How does pet insurance work exactly? I was told by my sister's sister-in-law, whose husband has a practice that you basically pay up front, submit a claim to your pet insurance and they reimburse you? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I have looked into pet insurance and found that there are a couple of things you need to look into besides price. The big thing is exclusions. By the time you remove exclusions, very little is covered and they aren't thinks you usually spend money on in the vet's office. Another thing is limitations. Most have a dollar limit on what they will pay and with some policies it isn't very much. Of course the higher the doller limit and the fewer exclusions the more the premiums are. I decided against getting any. I've really never had any huge vet bills except for $1,400 for Skylar's ACL repair. And we are talking over a period of 25 years.

And yes, most work by reinbursing SOME of what you paid the vet.
 

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I've been looking at this one and found it is better than some. Pet Insurance by Trupanion - Cat and Dog Pet Health Insurance
I looked at their page and you're right. They are better than most. They quoted me $43.32/mo w/ $500 deductible for my 6yo Thor. That would be $520/year in premium. With the deductible, that means almost all office visits would not be covered. If you put that premium money in a savings account in 2 years you would have $1,040 and that would cover almost anything that would happen to your dog. I know that some things can cost more. In 3 years you would have $1,560 in the bank. If you had a $2,060 vet bill, your savings would cover as much as the insurance would. I am just of the opinion that the numbers say that putting that money in the bank is by far the best deal. If your dog, like most, never has any expensive problems, you still have the money. With insurance, you don't.
 

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But you get to pick how much you want the deductible to be, the more the deductible the less the premium will be. They cover way more than most things I've looked at. I don't know the last thing I had done cost almost 1800.00 and I had to use my LOC to get it paid. They won't cover animals older than 16, so that rules my cat out and the younger the animal the cheaper the premium.
 

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I know everyone's situation is different; but, I too, have chosen not to go the pet insurance route. There are so many exclusions and it's as difficult to compare pet insurance plans as it is to compare cell phone company plans.

If you have the discipline to put aside a set $ amount per month in your own savings, you'll never be out any money unless you truly need it for pet emergencies. I usually assume most people can afford the routine care of a yearly checkup and core vaccines if they've decided to purchase a dog. So, it's the big potential unknowns that make pet insurance seem a smart choice for some. If you think you are someone who would want every test, procedure and surgery available for your dog no matter what the illness, then you are probably a good candidate to look at purchasing insurance.
 

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But you get to pick how much you want the deductible to be, the more the deductible the less the premium will be. They cover way more than most things I've looked at. I don't know the last thing I had done cost almost 1800.00 and I had to use my LOC to get it paid. They won't cover animals older than 16, so that rules my cat out and the younger the animal the cheaper the premium.
Yes, they do cover more than most. As far as coverage, I haven't seen any that are better. I ran the numbers on $1,000 deductible - $27.68/mo or $331/year or $662 in 2 years and $993 in 3 years. With the $1,000 deductible, you could have a $1,993 vet bill for the savings to cover the same amount as the insurance. It's very rare that you will have $1,000 in vet bills for one pet in one year. You would almost never use that insurance except in extremely expensive cases. After 3 years, you would still have the $993 unless something huge happened. I still think the savings method is far superior IF you put the money in savings each month.
 

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I have Petplan.
I pay $228/year for each girl.
I believe in pet insurance because my younger girl Moka broke her leg when she was 4 months old. Cost-$4850.
My other lab Java tore both ACLs 3 months later, when she was 13 months old. Cost-$10,000.
If I had had pet insurance at the time of either of these incidents I would have paid only 20% of the cost, instead of 100%.
Putting the cost of the insurance into a fund instead of having the insurance...well, it would have taken 65 years to accumulate enough to cover both surgeries. Does anyone here have $15,000 sitting in a pet emergency fund, really?

Petplan covers genetic conditions such as hip/elbow dysplasia (which labs are prone to), ACL injuries/repairs (after a short waiting period or an exam by an ortho vet), cancer treatment, emergencies and illnesses. I did not opt for the plan that covers wellness visits or annuals.

I have a $200 deductible and it's an 80/20 plan. The Bronze plan, I believe.
I feel more comfortable knowing that my girls are covered for any accidents, emergenices or illnesses. In the future I will get pet insurance on a pup as soon as I bring that pup home at 8 weeks old.
To me it offers a level of peace of mind.
Petplan is rated the #1 pet insurance in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you everyone for their responses, I truly appreciate everyone's input. =)
 

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Well, After spending over $6K/ each!! for 2 TPLO's for my rottie Zeus (they were almost exactly 1 yr apart) when we got Khan we decided that maybe pet insurance would be the way to go. I checked into several, and you're right, comparing them is impossible. I did decide on Trupanion because they did not have a limit, the premium was reasonable 43/per month, and the deductible was only 250. I signed him up before he was a year, so I opted for the hip displaysia. During the first year I think I turned in 3 claims, all for allergy related visits. I don't even think they met the deductible. The Office visit charge, does not count. We are in year number 2, and I just got a notice that because dogs are living longer, they are changing their premiums, so if I wanted to keep my 250 deductible, my monthly charge would be 70+ bucks!! Now, if I want to keep my 43/per month my deductible would need to be around a 1000$. That actually goes into effect this month, so I was seriously thinking about just doing as Bill suggested, putting the money away each month!
It's too bad; because I really do think this was a good deal; but at those prices, not any more!
 

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That's funny cause they told me that the premiums wouldn't change no matter for the life of the dog, they lied!
 

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That's funny cause they told me that the premiums wouldn't change no matter for the life of the dog, they lied!
Well, I think what they meant was that as the dog gets older...Some of the ones I looked at before settling on Trupanion had the premiums very reasonable; but as the dog aged,the premiums went up. They obviously felt that an older dog would/could have more issues, so they wanted to make sure they were covered if they had to pay any claims!!
 

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Pet Insurance.
Just like any insurance, it's a gamble. You have options. You can pay them X amount per month, and maybe nothing will ever happen, and you never need to use it. This is usually the case for people, hence the money making aspect on their part. In this case, You've thrown out X amount of dollars per month, to no benefit of your own.
OR. you could not get pet insurance. You could not spend the money, and then IF something big happens- well, you my friend are out of luck. In that moment, you'll wish you had it... and you'd hope whatever is going on is covered (most things aren't)

I, like many, have made a "dog fund." We set aside money every month, as part of our budget, into an entirely separate bank account. Now, while I realize my pack is about four times larger than average, my cost, on the basic plan per month is: $262.17/mo. I currently set aside about half that ($125/month) ($1500/year) and have done so for several years, adding more on months that I make more. I find a lot more security in this. I've been going this route since 2008, and now have an emergency fund that rests comfortably around $7k. Yes, one tragedy could drain that. But, I feel better knowing that I'm not paying for something that I probably won't need.ETA: And better knowing that the funds are there, at my finger tips, in my control, just in case I do need them.
 
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