Pet Insurance Recommendations?

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hirlaw
Posts: 250
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:20 am

Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by hirlaw » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:50 pm

I am considering buying pet insurance for our 3 year old dog. Does anyone have any recommendations (or bad experiences) with a particular insurer?

Thanks!

KT785
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by KT785 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:12 pm

We have Healthy Paws for our 10 month old Vizsla; just made the first claim (still haven't hit the deductible) for a pukey puppy issue . . . all better the next day :D . Claims are handled through their app and process was easy. I narrowed my search down to Healthy Paws and Trupanion; premiums were virtually the same but ultimately preferred the "normal" annual deductible approach with Healthy Paws and the fact that they're underwritten by Chubb/ACE.

There was a very recent thread on this subject, which I participated in--you may want to check it out: viewtopic.php?t=261546

Gadget
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:38 pm

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by Gadget » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:02 pm

Why are you getting pet insurance? Have you run the numbers? Are there good ones today?

It's possible I just looked at bad options at pet insurance years ago. But I couldn't figure out how you would ever come out on top by buying pet insurance. You'd have to put your animal under chemo for cancer (which I don't agree with), or they'd have to get hit by cars frequently, or have more than 1 catastrophic incident. Animals can have expensive things required. But not expensive like humans who need an organ transplant. Insurance should be reserved for cases where you would be financially devestated if something bad happened. I just don't see how that would be the case with a pet.

What about a pet emergency fund instead? As a means of self insuring?

Odiedog
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Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:03 pm

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by Odiedog » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:16 pm

I use Healthy Paws for my working dog (SAR Belgium Malinois.) Other handlers have used them for claims and say it was pretty easy. One ACL and you've saved more than years of premiums. Elmo's plan is about $50/ month. Granted working dogs are more prone to injuries and it might not makes sense for a less active dog but if you play frisbee, hunt or are otherwise active with your dog. it might make sense. Note it does not cover any regular preventative care.

YMMV

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fortfun
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Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by fortfun » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:01 pm

Gadget wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:02 pm
Why are you getting pet insurance? Have you run the numbers? Are there good ones today?

It's possible I just looked at bad options at pet insurance years ago. But I couldn't figure out how you would ever come out on top by buying pet insurance. You'd have to put your animal under chemo for cancer (which I don't agree with), or they'd have to get hit by cars frequently, or have more than 1 catastrophic incident. Animals can have expensive things required. But not expensive like humans who need an organ transplant. Insurance should be reserved for cases where you would be financially devestated if something bad happened. I just don't see how that would be the case with a pet.

What about a pet emergency fund instead? As a means of self insuring?
+1 Just put the money you would pay toward the premium into a separate Ally savings account. Many pet insurances only cover accidents that your pet isn't likely to have. If it does, this savings plan should pay for it after a couple of years.

hirlaw
Posts: 250
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:20 am

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by hirlaw » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:07 pm

Why are you getting pet insurance? Have you run the numbers? Are there good ones today?
My previous dog, a Shih Tzu, lived to be 15 years old. He had Cushings Disease which required medication costing about $300/month. Also, he had an eye condition requiring constant eye drops to control. Along the way there were numerous skin and ear infections. I haven't finally decided on pet insurance, but am leaning towards it. Once the dog has a particular issue, it becomes a pre-existing condition, which can be very costly over a long period of time.

I have considered Healthy Paws that Odiedog above recommended. However, I have read many online reviews that complain that they raise the rates over time.

Thanks for responding :)

BanditKing
Posts: 559
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:11 pm

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by BanditKing » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:35 pm

I have Figo for my Cavalier. He's just over a year old, and in that first year I had several claims due to puppy swallowing stuff he shouldn't, and once getting a door banged against his head (concussion - don't worry, he's fine). They handled all my claims quickly with no pushback or questions. My premium did go up by quite a bit when I renewed, but it seemed to be well in line with other insurance companies as I shopped around. Several other dog-parent friends also saw increases even though they had no claims.

Gadget
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:38 pm

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by Gadget » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:28 pm

hirlaw wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:07 pm
Why are you getting pet insurance? Have you run the numbers? Are there good ones today?
My previous dog, a Shih Tzu, lived to be 15 years old. He had Cushings Disease which required medication costing about $300/month. Also, he had an eye condition requiring constant eye drops to control. Along the way there were numerous skin and ear infections. I haven't finally decided on pet insurance, but am leaning towards it. Once the dog has a particular issue, it becomes a pre-existing condition, which can be very costly over a long period of time.

I have considered Healthy Paws that Odiedog above recommended. However, I have read many online reviews that complain that they raise the rates over time.

Thanks for responding :)
Crunch the numbers on this case. I'm still not convinced pet insurance comes out on top in this scenario. Most plans have maximum payout limits. Most also have a laundry list of things they won't cover. And sometimes you just need to play the odds. If you can afford to pay $300/month for the worst case scenario on a pet, you can probably afford to self insure with a pet emergency fund.

I had a dog with heart problems once where I had to go to a real pharmacist to get his medicine. I never wanted to know what it cost, but I think it was around $5-10/day for over a year just in meds before we had to put him down from being in obvious pain. But the extra happy year of his life was completely worth it. One of the meds was whatever the generic term for viagra was, so you can imagine that the techs at the pharmacist always gave me a look like really? You have to pretend you're getting this for a dog? So I've been there, but I don't believe the meds I had to get that were human pills with the dosage cut would have been covered under pet insurance. Even if I had pet insurance.

skepticalobserver
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Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:29 am

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by skepticalobserver » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:17 pm

Recent Washington Post article, "Is pet insurance worth it?"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyl ... 1618c5cd5c

MathWizard
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by MathWizard » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:26 pm

I self insure for pets. I only insure for those things that I could not afford.

I insure my cars for liability , but not collision. I can afford to buy a replacement car, so I don't need to
pay the insurer.

If I could not afford to self-insure for pets, I would not have them.
In fact, if I could not afford to self insure for pets, I most certainly could not have afforded to have children.

sf_eca
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:09 pm

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by sf_eca » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:17 pm

I've used Healthy Paws since I got my pup at 7 months old. One thing to consider is that if your dog is 3 years old it's highly likely that there will be pre-existing conditions that are not covered. Healthy Paws will look through three years of vet notes and pull out any indicators of a given condition. I still think it's worth it for accidents, but that's just my opinion. My dog recently started showing signs of paralysis in her back legs that turned out to be a herniated disc and the surgery was 10k and fully covered. This dog is my family, so there is no doubt i would have paid out of pocket had i not had insurance. If it's any help I've copied and pasted numbers below from a spreadsheet i use to track my claims and premiums. You can see that for my situation self-insurance wouldn't have been the way to go. I don't think pet insurance is necessary or right for everyone, but if you are going to get it I highly recommend healthy paws.

Claims:
Claim Date Service Invoice Reimbursed Paid
08/17/17 08/16/17 $711.55 $480.55 $231.00
07/11/16 07/09/16 $316.94 $0.00 $316.94
07/02/15 06/02/15 $149.09 $45.08 $104.01
02/24/15 02/20/15 $192.05 $117.95 $74.10
02/24/15 01/09/15 $143.00 $76.50 $66.50
01/08/15 12/26/14 $460.00 $222.20 $237.80
07/29/14 07/28/14 $263.10 $184.59 $78.51
07/08/14 07/07/14 $1,089.48 $853.53 $235.95
08/18/17 08/17/17 $352.64 $311.49 $41.15
09/20/17 09/20/17 $144.55 $70.25 $74.30
04/01/18 03/30/18 $1,345.74 $1,121.17 $224.57
04/01/18 04/01/18 $1,445.94 $1,201.35 $244.59
04/05/18 04/04/18 $1,872.00 $1,872.00 $0.00
04/05/18 04/04/18 $5,967.65 $5,145.89 $821.76
04/05/18 04/04/18 $69.80 $0.00 $69.80
06/09/18 04/28/18 $13.01 $11.71 $1.30
06/09/18 04/04/18 $40.85 $36.77 $4.08
06/09/18 04/07/18 $11.99 $10.79 $1.20
$14,589.38 $11,761.82 . $2,827.56

Premiums Paid
Year Year Monthly Annual Coverage Deductible
1 2013/14 $36.92 $443.04 90% $100.00
2 2014/15 $38.89 $466.68 90% $100.00
3 2015/16 $42.84 $514.08 90% $100.00
4 2016/17 $47.21 $566.52 90% $100.00
5 2017/18 $54.13 $649.56 90% $100.00
6 2018/19 $73.75 $885.00 90% $100.00

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willthrill81
Posts: 6131
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Location: USA

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:38 pm

MathWizard wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:26 pm
I self insure for pets. I only insure for those things that I could not afford.

I insure my cars for liability , but not collision. I can afford to buy a replacement car, so I don't need to
pay the insurer.

If I could not afford to self-insure for pets, I would not have them.
In fact, if I could not afford to self insure for pets, I most certainly could not have afforded to have children.
:thumbsup

Well said.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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