Pet insurance for new puppy

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pochax
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Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by pochax » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:16 pm

We are about to get a new puppy in the coming weeks for our family. i am new to this whole dog ownership thing and am wondering if there are bogleheads who recommend getting pet insurance and if so, what is the best approach? is there a boglehead's guide to pet insurance reference out there? i don't want to get suckered into insurance propaganda/websites and would rather have the most objective way to make the decision. thanks for any advice.

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willthrill81
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:27 pm

pochax wrote:We are about to get a new puppy in the coming weeks for our family. i am new to this whole dog ownership thing and am wondering if there are bogleheads who recommend getting pet insurance and if so, what is the best approach? is there a boglehead's guide to pet insurance reference out there? i don't want to get suckered into insurance propaganda/websites and would rather have the most objective way to make the decision. thanks for any advice.
Insurance is to cover losses that would be financially detrimental to you if they occurred.

Forego the pet insurance and save what you would have spent on premiums in some kind of sub-account, cash in an envelope, etc. Odds are high that you'll be better off that way.
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mhalley
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by mhalley » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:30 pm

I know that Clark Howard has not recommended pet insurance in the past. Long time multiple dog/cat owner and we have always self insured. Here is his latest article on the subject. He seems not QUITE as negative on it as he has been in the past, but certainly not a ringing endorcement.
http://www.clark.com/is-pet-insurance-w ... cebook_sfp

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G12
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by G12 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:59 pm

pochax wrote:We are about to get a new puppy in the coming weeks for our family. i am new to this whole dog ownership thing and am wondering if there are bogleheads who recommend getting pet insurance and if so, what is the best approach? is there a boglehead's guide to pet insurance reference out there? i don't want to get suckered into insurance propaganda/websites and would rather have the most objective way to make the decision. thanks for any advice.
I asked our vet of 20+ years about pet insurance about 18-months ago and he said self insuring is still typically better for those that can afford it OOP. There are known exclusions for some breeds, which would negate the reason for obtaining insurance for many pet owners. We have never had it for 20 years of having dogs, some of the dogs have been very expensive due to osteosarcoma (~(7500), aftermath of a horrendous dog fight (~7000), etc, yet we could afford it OOP. Vet care has gotten more and more expensive over time, I think one should really research potential or common breed medical challenges. I know multiple people who have pet insurance as they have multiple dogs primarily due to concerns of cost if one or more get significant illnesses and capacity to pay. I have 2 friends with boxers and they have had terrible health problems and have been very costly to take care of, multiple forms of cancer, blindness, etc. A primary concern would be premium increases over the time of policy and cost effectiveness in later years.

mhalley
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by mhalley » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:24 pm

I suppose another question would be your criteria for what would you do if your dog got really sick. Would you pay $$$$ for an emergency surgery to keep them alive, and then pay $$$ every month until they passed, or would you say, sorry, Fido, see you over the rainbow bridge? If the former, could you afford the extra expenses?

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:55 pm

I removed an off-topic post. As a reminder, referral codes (offering, asking for) constitutes solicitation and is off-topic. See: No Solicitation
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mckaydw
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by mckaydw » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:34 pm

We also have a young puppy and are looking into pet insurance for her. We have not decided for sure, but we are leaning toward getting a high deductible plan that essentially limits our vet bills to not more than $1000/yr.

USAA partners with "embrace" and you get 15% off. For around $15/mo you can get a plan that pays 90% of costs after a $750/yr deductible, up to $15k/yr max coverage.

I'd be interested to hear others perspectives on whether it's worth it.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by ClevrChico » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:38 pm

I volunteer for a large animal rescue group and pay a lot of vet bills. Skip the insurance and spend the effort finding the best vet in your area. Better does not mean the most expensive. Some vets charge 2X other vets for the same thing.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by Mudpuppy » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:58 pm

ClevrChico wrote:I volunteer for a large animal rescue group and pay a lot of vet bills. Skip the insurance and spend the effort finding the best vet in your area. Better does not mean the most expensive. Some vets charge 2X other vets for the same thing.
I would second this. You want to find a good vet who basically follows the same principles as Bogleheads, but for managing the veterinary business. By that I mean things like new equipment is purchased to replace inadequate old equipment or provide new functionality, not simply to say "we use xyz technology!" in their advertisements. Also, veterinarians with more established practices may have lower overhead (e.g. has a long-term lease at a low cost or owns the building) than new clinics.

I personally self-insure for my pets. My primary veterinarian is very cost effective and very skilled. About 2/3rds of my annual pet costs for the past decade have been for everyday care (food, toys, annual exams, etc) and the other 1/3rd have been unexpected medical bills. But I have multiple, aging pets, so every year lately has had at least one unexpected vet visit.

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scubadiver
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by scubadiver » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:09 pm

Long time pet owner here and we love our dog. He truly is a member of the family.

Pet health care is pretty simple really and there is no need for insurance. We pay everything out of pocket. If we got to the point where our vet bill was being measured in thousands of dollars, euthanasia would become a serious part of our discussion.

If you are financially in a situation where routine vet bills is a financial drain, you cannot afford the pet. Above the routine pet care, you should have some sense for how much you are willing to spend to save your pet. Up your emergency fund by that amount.

As someone else said, insurance is for a financially catastrophic event. Death of a wage earner, home fire, etc. If your pet's medical bill is financially catastrophic, you have some other problem and it's not the vet bill.

Scubadiver

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by Fallible » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:17 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
ClevrChico wrote:I volunteer for a large animal rescue group and pay a lot of vet bills. Skip the insurance and spend the effort finding the best vet in your area. Better does not mean the most expensive. Some vets charge 2X other vets for the same thing.
I would second this. You want to find a good vet who basically follows the same principles as Bogleheads, but for managing the veterinary business. By that I mean things like new equipment is purchased to replace inadequate old equipment or provide new functionality, not simply to say "we use xyz technology!" in their advertisements. Also, veterinarians with more established practices may have lower overhead (e.g. has a long-term lease at a low cost or owns the building) than new clinics.

I personally self-insure for my pets. My primary veterinarian is very cost effective and very skilled. About 2/3rds of my annual pet costs for the past decade have been for everyday care (food, toys, annual exams, etc) and the other 1/3rd have been unexpected medical bills. But I have multiple, aging pets, so every year lately has had at least one unexpected vet visit.
And I third this for the same reasons.

I've had dogs and cats that have gone many years with only routine veterinary care such as annual shots and exams, and only a few that required expensive care for illness or injury when they were young. The key is finding a good vet, but also getting second opinions for expensive procedures, and learning how to take proper care of a pet.
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poker27
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by poker27 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:36 pm

We got our current dog a few years ago, and he was/is our first. We received a free 90 day insurance from the shelter we adopted him from. We filled out all the correct paper work and received our card. He came down with something, needed treatment and we submitted the bills to the insurance company (sub $500). I recall the insurance company denying our claim because of some very minor thing the vet said, I forget what it was but it didn't make any sense to me at the time.

We decided that any future claims would be impossible to get reimbursed for and cancelled the policy. It almost felt like a 3rd party car warranty

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by batpot » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:57 pm

scubadiver wrote:Long time pet owner here and we love our dog. He truly is a member of the family.

Pet health care is pretty simple really and there is no need for insurance. We pay everything out of pocket. If we got to the point where our vet bill was being measured in thousands of dollars, euthanasia would become a serious part of our discussion.

If you are financially in a situation where routine vet bills is a financial drain, you cannot afford the pet. Above the routine pet care, you should have some sense for how much you are willing to spend to save your pet. Up your emergency fund by that amount.

As someone else said, insurance is for a financially catastrophic event. Death of a wage earner, home fire, etc. If your pet's medical bill is financially catastrophic, you have some other problem and it's not the vet bill.

Scubadiver
well stated.

pochax
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by pochax » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:24 pm

thanks for the replies, i think we will plan to self-insure. regarding the advice to find a good vet, how does one go about doing that? do you have to interview every vet in a reasonable distance from home? word of mouth from friends who have dogs (but what if they just went to the first vet they visited)? is there a reliable vet review resource online?

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badbreath
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by badbreath » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:28 pm

NO!!!!!!
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by Kevin13 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:29 am

pochax wrote:thanks for the replies, i think we will plan to self-insure. regarding the advice to find a good vet, how does one go about doing that? do you have to interview every vet in a reasonable distance from home? word of mouth from friends who have dogs (but what if they just went to the first vet they visited)? is there a reliable vet review resource online?
I've had my dog for 11 years and have been going to the same vet since the beginning. Originally, I found the vet by word of mouth from a friend. I actually did not like them at first, or rather didn't trust them but over the years have since developed a terrific relationship with them and would trust nobody else to care for my best pal.

I think you can get a feel for the way they do business, whether they are just in it for the business or if they care about your dog and his well being. Are they constantly pushing products and brands on you? Do they urge you to buy food from them, dental cleanings, and ancillary up-sells? If so, look elsewhere.

Maybe I have been on the luckier side, but in 11 years, my dog has required two surgeries (one was optional, my choice) and the total cost of both surgeries was under $1,600. Both surgeries occured in the last 3 years and are mainly due to older age. I believe I have come out well ahead self insuring vs. having paid for insurance. I've heard many pet insurances still don't cover many things and you have to battle with them to get reimbursed.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by Fallible » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:48 am

pochax wrote:thanks for the replies, i think we will plan to self-insure. regarding the advice to find a good vet, how does one go about doing that? do you have to interview every vet in a reasonable distance from home? word of mouth from friends who have dogs (but what if they just went to the first vet they visited)? is there a reliable vet review resource online?
Here's a good start from The Humane Society of the United States:
http://m.humanesociety.org/animals/reso ... arian.html
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megaroth
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by megaroth » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:40 am

I've had good experiences with both Trupanion and Embrace over a long stretch of time and with multiple pets. As with any insurance coverage, you do need to read the policy carefully and understand the guidelines, but I've found them to be straightforward and reliable. Speaking both personally and on behalf of friends who have followed my advice to buy the insurance, we've all been very thankful not to have to make finances the top consideration when deciding how to care for our pets, all of whom have had a range of unexpected and expensive illnesses (e.g., cancer, chronic conditions) and accidents over the years. Self-insurance sounds good (and I've done that as well in pre-insurance days) but is less fun when you're facing those huge bills (or smaller bills that keep adding up), which aren't unusual at all. Also, the decision to put your beloved dog down when facing a high vet bill is not necessarily so black and white - often, there's a very effective yet very expensive treatment available (similar to options available for human healthcare).

Re: choosing a good vet, if you happen to live near a university with a veterinary center, that would be my top recommendation. It may be slightly more expensive than the average local vet, but the additional expertise and resources are well worth it. I used both a decent local vet and a university veterinary center (depending on the issue), and on a few occasions requiring follow-up at the veterinary center, they determined that the local vet had made the wrong diagnosis and/or had not treated the issue correctly.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by magicman » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:50 am

I would not buy pet insurance. I think you could probably self insure for animal medical bills. Some people treat dogs as children...some people treat dogs as pets. I guess it depends on how much your care for your animal and what your financial situation is.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by stan1 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:58 am

My spouse decided to buy it for a few years against my advice. We never filed a claim. The policy got a lot more expensive after about the age of 7 and terminated after age 10. We stopped it when the rates started going up about age 7. Our dog is now 13 and there is no such thing as pet medicare so we are on the pay as you go plan.

We live in a HCOL area. We have multiple friends who drive their dogs to vets in LCOL areas for hip surgery or other non-emergency care. I guess that would be veterinary tourism.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by lazydavid » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:58 am

We have one with a wellness rider, which was part of the benefits package at my wife's former employer, but was portable so we kept it after she left. Costs about $50/mo, but we get about 2/3 of that back in reimbursement for exams, vaccinations, and medicine (such as heartworm preventative). So really we're paying $200/year or so, which seems reasonable given the potential expenses. I really hope that that in 10 years I can say that money was wasted. But one $2,000 procedure will zero out a lifetime of premiums, and anything over that would put us "ahead".

Unlike some other types of insurance, covering your pet is not necessarily a slam dunk. But it can make sense in some cases.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by bottlecap » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:43 am

It sort of depends on your relationship with pets. Some people treat them better than their neighbors (or kids!).

I'm fond of animals, but would never pay for their health insurance. They are animals. I don't know exactly what my threshold would be, but somewhere near $1,000 would likely be my limit on a pet medical bill. I feel your obligation is to treat them well, not prolong their life by any means possible.

If I felt differently, pet insurance, as ridiculous as it sounds, might make sense.

As for vets: online reviews, word of mouth, or trial and error.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by researcher » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:08 am

mckaydw wrote:We also have a young puppy and are looking into pet insurance for her. We have not decided for sure, but we are leaning toward getting a high deductible plan that essentially limits our vet bills to not more than $1000/yr.

USAA partners with "embrace" and you get 15% off. For around $15/mo you can get a plan that pays 90% of costs after a $750/yr deductible, up to $15k/yr max coverage.

I'd be interested to hear others perspectives on whether it's worth it.
Your sentence could read..."we are leaning toward getting a high deductible plan that essentially guarantees our out of pocket expenses will exceed $1000/yr before insurance kicks in."

If you add up the total costs ($15 x 12 months + $750 deductible), you are guaranteed to spend $930 EVERY YEAR before your insurance coverage begins.

We've spent a fraction of this every year in vet bills since owning our dog.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by queso » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:19 am

We've had dozens of pets and have always self-insured. It has always worked out for the best, except for our current dog. Getting ready to go for orthopedic surgery number 3 so I figure we'll have about 15k into her two back legs by the time this one is done. Never thought twice about spending the money as she is a member of the family and I feel it became our duty when we adopted her to take care of her. We'll still always self-insure because in the long run it ends up being the smarter financial choice, but just keep things like this in mind when you take on a pet. There may come a time when your pet needs you to step up and help them out and in my opinion it's not optional. Nobody in the world loves you more than your dog does and he/she is likely the only one in your household who will gladly give his/her life to protect you without a moment's thought. Think about that when you are driving them to be put down because you would rather spend the money on a new MacBook. I thought only Dwight Schrute would put a pet down for what seem like pretty minor expenses, but obviously some posters feel that it's ok. Thank goodness there are laws that protect their aging relatives!
Last edited by queso on Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by LiveSimple » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:21 am

Find a vet, who does the job for the passion, have a modest office setup and charges nominally.

You do not want to walk into a vet's office with TVs, Music, Massage, Fragrances for your pet.

Avoid the marketing hype and find a good vet, you will be fine.

Mentally be prepared to spend some $$$ from your savings, on the vet fees, or start saving yourself for the vet fee.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by pochax » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:30 am

LiveSimple wrote:Find a vet, who does the job for the passion, have a modest office setup and charges nominally.

You do not want to walk into a vet's office with TVs, Music, Massage, Fragrances for your pet.

Avoid the marketing hype and find a good vet, you will be fine.

Mentally be prepared to spend some $$$ from your savings, on the vet fees, or start saving yourself for the vet fee.
are there any experienced dog owners out there who have had experience at vets who belong to an animal hospital practice vs. small outpatient clinic (not full fledged animal hospital)? is there a substantial difference in quality and/or fees?

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by fourwheelcycle » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:37 am

mckaydw wrote: For around $15/mo you can get a plan that pays 90% of costs after a $750/yr deductible, up to $15k/yr max coverage.
My wife and I had two Siberian Huskys that lived for thirteen years each. We never had insurance. Excluding two knee surgeries and one week of doggy intensive care for the second Husky, our vet bills averaged about $150 per year, including annual teeth cleaning once they got to be about eight years old. Bills for the three high cost episodes of care averaged about $1,100 each.

Looking at this 26 year experience, insurance would not have made sense for us. You can be sure the insurance is priced at expected actual payout plus at least 15%, over a large population of pets, net of fine print exclusions, and net of any premium discounts. Overall, I would say pet insurance only makes sense for people who feel they would undertake exceptionally expensive care if their pet ever required it, and who also feel they cannot afford to self-insure for that level of expense.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by queso » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:38 am

pochax wrote:
LiveSimple wrote:Find a vet, who does the job for the passion, have a modest office setup and charges nominally.

You do not want to walk into a vet's office with TVs, Music, Massage, Fragrances for your pet.

Avoid the marketing hype and find a good vet, you will be fine.

Mentally be prepared to spend some $$$ from your savings, on the vet fees, or start saving yourself for the vet fee.
are there any experienced dog owners out there who have had experience at vets who belong to an animal hospital practice vs. small outpatient clinic (not full fledged animal hospital)? is there a substantial difference in quality and/or fees?
We have some experience with that since we kind of have 2 vets. One vet we have had for years and she is excellent so we go to her for all "regular" care (shots, heartworm meds, checkups, throwing up, etc.). She is a lot more cost effective than the local animal hospital that has specialists and surgeons on staff. For most everything we go to our regular vet, but when it gets bad and a pet needs to go under the knife for something outside of spaying/neutering then we go to the animal hospital. Cost is at least double, but the care is excellent.
Overall, I would say pet insurance only makes sense for people who feel they would undertake exceptionally expensive care if their pet ever required it, and who also feel they cannot afford to self-insure for that level of expense.
Excellent summary. /thread

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by stan1 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:42 am

pochax wrote:
LiveSimple wrote:Find a vet, who does the job for the passion, have a modest office setup and charges nominally.

You do not want to walk into a vet's office with TVs, Music, Massage, Fragrances for your pet.

Avoid the marketing hype and find a good vet, you will be fine.

Mentally be prepared to spend some $$$ from your savings, on the vet fees, or start saving yourself for the vet fee.
are there any experienced dog owners out there who have had experience at vets who belong to an animal hospital practice vs. small outpatient clinic (not full fledged animal hospital)? is there a substantial difference in quality and/or fees?
Hmmm, in my area veterinary care has evolved differently. Most vets are in small neighborhood practices where they do exams, vaccinations, and deal with puppy/kitten and geriatrics issues. Yes they do spay/neuter at these clinics but hip replacement, renal failure, eye surgery, and similar more complex afflictions are dealt with at specialty clinics.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by pochax » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:12 am

stan1 wrote:
Hmmm, in my area veterinary care has evolved differently. Most vets are in small neighborhood practices where they do exams, vaccinations, and deal with puppy/kitten and geriatrics issues. Yes they do spay/neuter at these clinics but hip replacement, renal failure, eye surgery, and similar more complex afflictions are dealt with at specialty clinics.
thanks stan1, i live in Northern NJ where there is an animal hospital in every other suburb probably due to the fact that there are a LOT of pet owners and a lot of folks with means to pay for advanced care (ie. surgeries, treatment of chronic complex diseases, etc.). but there are also some small local office practices as well. if it is anything like human medical care, one often sees their local primary care physician in the office and only needs to get referred out for specialty care when the need arises. i guess i am wondering if it is the same. also wondering, since i will likely be paying OOP, whether the fees vary much.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by queso » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:16 am

pochax wrote:
stan1 wrote:
Hmmm, in my area veterinary care has evolved differently. Most vets are in small neighborhood practices where they do exams, vaccinations, and deal with puppy/kitten and geriatrics issues. Yes they do spay/neuter at these clinics but hip replacement, renal failure, eye surgery, and similar more complex afflictions are dealt with at specialty clinics.
thanks stan1, i live in Northern NJ where there is an animal hospital in every other suburb probably due to the fact that there are a LOT of pet owners and a lot of folks with means to pay for advanced care (ie. surgeries, treatment of chronic complex diseases, etc.). but there are also some small local office practices as well. if it is anything like human medical care, one often sees their local primary care physician in the office and only needs to get referred out for specialty care when the need arises. i guess i am wondering if it is the same. also wondering, since i will likely be paying OOP, whether the fees vary much.
That is exactly what we do and your analogy of PCP vs. specialist is spot on. Regular vet handles everything and she'll hand off to the hospital/specialist if she feels that surgery or advanced expertise is warranted. Most stuff is handled by the regular vet and routine stuff is rarely over $100-$200 per visit.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by dsmil » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:21 am

We've never done insurance but we did do a puppy wellness plan offered by Banfield (vet inside Petsmart) during our puppy's 1st year. It was a monthly fee and saved us a good amount of money since there were so many visits in that first year. Now we just do shots from traveling vet and it is very cheap.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by pshonore » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:30 am

queso wrote:We've had dozens of pets and have always self-insured. It has always worked out for the best, except for our current dog. Getting ready to go for orthopedic surgery number 3 so I figure we'll have about 15k into her two back legs by the time this one is done. Never thought twice about spending the money as she is a member of the family and I feel it became our duty when we adopted her to take care of her. We'll still always self-insure because in the long run it ends up being the smarter financial choice, but just keep things like this in mind when you take on a pet. There may come a time when your pet needs you to step up and help them out and in my opinion it's not optional. Nobody in the world loves you more than your dog does and he/she is likely the only one in your household who will gladly give his/her life to protect you without a moment's thought. Think about that when you are driving them to be put down because you would rather spend the money on a new MacBook. I thought only Dwight Schrute would put a pet down for what seem like pretty minor expenses, but obviously some posters feel that it's ok. Thank goodness there are laws that protect their aging relatives!
I agree with you in part, but it really depends on the dog's age. Once the typical dog is say 11 or 12, I would not spend a lot money diagnosing a problem or "replacing body parts". We just went through that with a 12 year old. After spending close to 1K on emergency and regular vets, medications, blood work, etc, there was no end in sight. It's extremely difficult to say goodbye to a beloved pet, but it's sometimes the best answer for all parties.

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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by queso » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:35 am

pshonore wrote:
queso wrote:We've had dozens of pets and have always self-insured. It has always worked out for the best, except for our current dog. Getting ready to go for orthopedic surgery number 3 so I figure we'll have about 15k into her two back legs by the time this one is done. Never thought twice about spending the money as she is a member of the family and I feel it became our duty when we adopted her to take care of her. We'll still always self-insure because in the long run it ends up being the smarter financial choice, but just keep things like this in mind when you take on a pet. There may come a time when your pet needs you to step up and help them out and in my opinion it's not optional. Nobody in the world loves you more than your dog does and he/she is likely the only one in your household who will gladly give his/her life to protect you without a moment's thought. Think about that when you are driving them to be put down because you would rather spend the money on a new MacBook. I thought only Dwight Schrute would put a pet down for what seem like pretty minor expenses, but obviously some posters feel that it's ok. Thank goodness there are laws that protect their aging relatives!
I agree with you in part, but it really depends on the dog's age. Once the typical dog is say 11 or 12, I would not spend a lot money diagnosing a problem or "replacing body parts". We just went through that with a 12 year old. After spending close to 1K on emergency and regular vets, medications, blood work, etc, there was no end in sight. It's extremely difficult to say goodbye to a beloved pet, but it's sometimes the best answer for all parties.
Good points. Our dog had an accident when she was only 2 that was the root cause of all these problems. Had she been 14 and already had a myriad of other issues going on it might have resulted in a different outcome.

SteveB3005
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by SteveB3005 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:47 am

I pay it, $124 total for both our 3 year old dogs. I pay it for me, as much for them. For when the Vet looks at me and says, "there's a good chance of recovery, but it's a $9500 operation", and it takes one second to say yes. No indecision, no regrets.

pshonore
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by pshonore » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:55 am

SteveB3005 wrote:I pay it, $124 total for both our 3 year old dogs. I pay it for me, as much for them. For when the Vet looks at me and says, "there's a good chance of recovery, but it's a $9500 operation", and it takes one second to say yes. No indecision, no regrets.
Excuse my skepticism, but for $62/dog, (which won't even cover the cost of an annual checkup/shots), either they won't be paying many large claims or they will not be in business when you make a claim.

SteveB3005
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by SteveB3005 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:06 am

Call'em, Trupanion is the carrier. Ricky is a Cardigan Corgi 2yr10mo, Lucy is a Rat Terrier mix 3yr 1 mo. 90% /$750 deductible

pshonore
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by pshonore » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:11 am

SteveB3005 wrote:Call'em, Trupanion is the carrier. Ricky is a Cardigan Corgi 2yr10mo, Lucy is a Rat Terrier mix 3yr 1 mo. 90% /$750 deductible
So whats the deductible? per year? , per dog ? , etc.

SteveB3005
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by SteveB3005 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:35 am

$133 and there is a discount for auto-pay, deductible was lower than I thought. This plan does not cover check-ups, but has no limit and covers 90%


Pet Name: Ricky
Date of birth: 03/05/2014
Type: Dog
Breed: Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Gender: M
Monthly premium for this pet: $72.66 (As seen on Dec Page)
Deductible: $100.00 per incident


Pet Name: Luci
Date of birth: 01/01/2014
Type: Dog
Breed: Terrier
Gender: F
Monthly premium for this pet: $60.40 (As seen on Dec Page)
Deductible: $100.00 per incident
Last edited by SteveB3005 on Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

pshonore
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by pshonore » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:42 am

Yikes !! Is the annual premium $1600?? Does it go up as the dog gets older?

SteveB3005
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by SteveB3005 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:48 am

Yeah that's about right $1600 a year for the 2 dogs. A bargain compared to the $9200 yr I spend for my healthcare premiums.

annabel
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by annabel » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:52 am

I do pay for pet insurance. It actually helps to pay for the heart worm prevention and flea prevention medicine and any check up or vaccine. My reimbursement for the whole year actually is higher than what I pay for the premium. So I am not losing any money at all. I wish I had the insurance when we first adopted our dog in 2015. She had some blood in her urine and the vet had to do some tests and x ray on her. It cost me a lot of money. And there were so many vaccine she had to get in the first six months. Maybe the vet in the hospital was milking us for all the unnecessary vaccine. But it is better safe than sorry for a brand new adoption. I do find that the prevention medicine is much cheaper if you order online than purchase them directly from the vet.

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N1CKV
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by N1CKV » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:20 pm

Skip it. This from a pet owner whose dog has had knee repairs on both back legs. Just about everything that would make the insurance worth while is excluded without the "premium plan" and the cost of that would have at best put me ad dead even.

Now something that you should consider is a membership at https://www.petassure.com/ My spouse picked up a groupon coupon for this and it just so happens that the only participating vet in my area was my primary vet just a 1/2 mile from my house. They happily accept this discount program and it pays for itself just with annual visits, anything else is just extra.
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

BogleMelon
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:30 pm

annabel wrote:I do pay for pet insurance. It actually helps to pay for the heart worm prevention and flea prevention medicine and any check up or vaccine. My reimbursement for the whole year actually is higher than what I pay for the premium. So I am not losing any money at all. I wish I had the insurance when we first adopted our dog in 2015. She had some blood in her urine and the vet had to do some tests and x ray on her. It cost me a lot of money. And there were so many vaccine she had to get in the first six months. Maybe the vet in the hospital was milking us for all the unnecessary vaccine. But it is better safe than sorry for a brand new adoption. I do find that the prevention medicine is much cheaper if you order online than purchase them directly from the vet.
Something seem not right. If prevention vaccination cost by itself is more than your premium, and if it is the same for everyone with a pet, then how can the insurance company makes money?! :oops:
Did you included your deductible in your math?
I am almost sure that your premium + deductible cost more than prevention medication reimbursement for the year, no?
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FelixTheCat
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by FelixTheCat » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:50 pm

A few people I know have Healthy Paws https://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/ So far, everyone is happy with the service.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

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TxAg
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by TxAg » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:20 pm

I don't pay for it. But, then again, my dog gets Ivermectin for heartworm preventative (sold online), and I buy her annual shots from the local Tractor Supply. Flea/Tick preventative is generally bought from Amazon. She goes to the vet about once every other year for something small, and it is around $100 usually.

Fallible
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by Fallible » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:52 pm

pshonore wrote:
queso wrote:We've had dozens of pets and have always self-insured. It has always worked out for the best, except for our current dog. Getting ready to go for orthopedic surgery number 3 so I figure we'll have about 15k into her two back legs by the time this one is done. Never thought twice about spending the money as she is a member of the family and I feel it became our duty when we adopted her to take care of her. We'll still always self-insure because in the long run it ends up being the smarter financial choice, but just keep things like this in mind when you take on a pet. There may come a time when your pet needs you to step up and help them out and in my opinion it's not optional. Nobody in the world loves you more than your dog does and he/she is likely the only one in your household who will gladly give his/her life to protect you without a moment's thought. Think about that when you are driving them to be put down because you would rather spend the money on a new MacBook. I thought only Dwight Schrute would put a pet down for what seem like pretty minor expenses, but obviously some posters feel that it's ok. Thank goodness there are laws that protect their aging relatives!
I agree with you in part, but it really depends on the dog's age. Once the typical dog is say 11 or 12, I would not spend a lot money diagnosing a problem or "replacing body parts". We just went through that with a 12 year old. After spending close to 1K on emergency and regular vets, medications, blood work, etc, there was no end in sight. It's extremely difficult to say goodbye to a beloved pet, but it's sometimes the best answer for all parties.
Two of my relatives recently made a difficult choice with their 14-year-old cat. Other than rapid weight loss, the cat seemed fine, but tests showed abnormally high liver enzymes and the vet wanted to search for the cause beginning with an ultrasound and, depending on what it showed, a biopsy. They got a second vet opinion, then made the difficult decision to not test further, but to go with supportive care (special food and one medication) until the end. It wasn't just the expense, but what the animal would go through and with no guarantee the tests would reveal a cause or if the cause was treatable. Even if it were treatable and successful, most likely there would eventually be new age-related conditions to test for and treat. The cat for now is doing extremely well and gained back some of the weight. I think they made the right call for the animal, but it was not easy.
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Mues
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by Mues » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:48 pm

I self insure.

Pets don't have the risk humans have. You can generate a $50,000 pet bill. Save the 600 or more bucks a year in a bank account.

mainiac
Posts: 155
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Location: Maine

Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by mainiac » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:18 pm

I also self insure.

I strongly recommend a very good quality dog food. It costs more, but you feed a smaller amount and there is less to pick up. My dog is 10 and most people are surprised as he looks and acts younger. I attribute it to good food.

Limit human food (should be no human food, but I have a hard time ignoring those puppy dog eyes!)
My dog loves cucumbers and peppers and peanut butter and pumpkin!

Play with his/her mouth and teeth so you can clean the teeth and give medicine later on.
Play with his/her paws so you can easily trim the nails.

Have fun with your new puppy!

leonard
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Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Post by leonard » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:54 pm

Self Insure. I'd go a step further and say that no one should get a cat, dog or other pet without a fully funded pet emergency fund - that includes the max amount you are willing to spend.

Plus, who wants to deal with yet another health insurance provider - understanding what's covered, who pays, submitting receipts, getting paid, etc. etc?
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