I'll be getting a new Lab puppy in December and would like to buy health insurance for him. I live in Pennsylvania.
My last dog [who died in May] had insurance for 10 years through the company "VPI." However, over the 10 year period the total premium payments were far, far greater than the reimbursing payments on claims.
First, what are your [anyone] specific thoughts regarding "Dog Health Insurance" vs. "owners self-administered savings account" [personal opinions & experiences, references to websites, etc.]
ALSO >> does anyone have experience [good or bad] with the Insurance companies "Healthy Paws" or "Pet Plan" ?? > or are there any recommendations for any other Insurance companies??
Thank you in advance.
Well, I live in Canada so perhaps insurance is a little bit different here. Pet insurance is useless here. It doesn't cover anything. Anything minor you would want to pay for out of pocket...not put a claim on your insurance policy. Also, the insurance companies here don't cover very much...like for instance if a dog has cancer, the insurance company will not cover any of the treatment.
Never had pet insurance before. Will be first time with this pup. Will see how it goes. If pet insurance is anything like the human health insurance of today, don't think it will cover much either.
Based on an extensive analysis I did last night, using the #1 rated Insurance plan - at an average premium cost of $500/year, with a $100 deductible, at 90% reimbursement - AND based on actual Major medical bills I've paid for dogs I've owned during the past 10 years [that is, ONLY Major Medical bills] >> you will always be Net "out-of-pocket" overall with the insurance. I also got the same result using the $500 deductible at 70% reimbursement configuration.
However, if I had set up a self initiated savings plan of $100/month, and using the actual 10 year data again, the result was an approximate break even - cash in vs. cash out.
Bottom line: Depending on when and to what degree Major medical bills occur, the savings plan is probably the most cost effective, BUT the insurance approach still provides the most psychological reassurance. IMO the choice of whether to use Insurance vs. a Savings Plan comes down to an individual assessment/projection of the dogs future Major medical needs - coupled with the owner's tolerance for this type of monetary risk.
Any other opinions or thoughts?
We have VPI but I am not happy with them. They refused to reimburse us for Hamilton's colitis claiming first it was pre-existing and then claiming the plan didn't cover colitis. I fought but did not win.
Hamilton, Rescued October 4, 2011 at the age of four, background unknown. Hamilton is extremely lovable!!!!
I have Healthy Paws and have been very pleased with them. It is easy to find a payment rate and reimbursement rate that works for any budget. You can file a claim on line and it is usually processed within 24 hours witha check received w/in 3 days. Because I have had it from the very beginning, neither of my girls have any pre-existing conditions.
Cornerstone's Lady Cassandra CGC (Cassie) and Cornerstone's Lady Rebecca CGC (Reba)
Born to love and be loved 7/31/2010
I've never had pet insurance and probably never will but I think for those households that tend to be accident prone or if you are dealing w/ a less than well bred pup, it may be worth it.
I have had between 6 & 8 labs for years, and we rarely have but 1 halfway major expense per year averaging me ~$400. This year (so far) was a rattlesnake bite w/ a pup. Savings account all the way for me! Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
I agree with Windy too here. If you are accident prone, or you don't have any knowledge of first aid/treatment you may want to consider insurance. Like I said before though, insurance isn't in business to pay claims. They don't want to pay anything. A lot of claims are denied, so really read the fine print and talk to as many people as you can. After losing a dog to cancer, and then researching pet insurance for our new dog...it just didn't make sense. Nothing was covered.
We don't take our dogs to the vet that often, just a couple times a year. We take care of most things ourselves.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014