I've recently been considering pet health insurance for our 10-month-old chocolate lab Murphy. Of course, he likes to chew on rocks, wolfs down his food (even with a slow bowl), chews on toys until he tears them apart, etc.....all the things labs are known for, right?
I've done a little looking into different policies and I'm a little overwhelmed. I'm not really sure if we need it since he's pretty highly supervised and he's young and hasn't had any medical issues yet (knock on wood). From my research it seems that there's typically 3 policies - ones for wellness, illnesses, and accidents/emergencies.
There's a part of me that wants to get a policy to help make medical decisions easier. I would do anything for Murphy no matter the cost. My husband, on the other hand, is a little more practical and would look at the dollar amount first. So for example, if he needs a $3,000 surgery and the policy will help pay for that amount, then it would certainly make those kinds of decisions much easier for my husband to get on board with.
So for those of you who chose to get it - why? For those of you who chose not to - why? I want to hear both sides and whether you guys think it's really worth it, as well as which policies and companies you prefer. I've heard great things about Healthy Paws, but they're obviously not the only contender out there.
Also, are the payouts on the wellness policies worth it? I've seen wellness policies for $10/month - but do you actually get payouts that offset that cost?
One last thing....the policies always ask what state I live in. My husband's in the military so we do move around every few years - does anyone have ideas on how this affects the policies (i.e. will I have to change policies every time we move)?
Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated!
Good that xracer4844 posted the ongoing thread regarding health insurance.
Just take a look. some people do have it, some make a savings account for the pup.
Also the last thing you asked, regarding what state (Thanking your husband BIG TIME for his service to our Country), I would ask a representative of the pet insurance you go with. They should be able to let you know if you need to send in a notice when you move just to the policy follows you and the dog.
It really depends not only on the breed but also on your lab’s own unique health profile and that can vary depending upon breeder. I’ll tell you my process for figuring out whether or not I should buy pet insurance and hopefully it helps.
Part 1 - The first thing I did was obviously get my puppy checked with a 3rd party vet. I got health guarantees from the breeder but wanted to make sure for myself. Checked out with a clean bill of health and I asked the vet about health problems that labs often suffer from. She mentioned issues with their knees and elbows and the sites I found online seemed to confirm that (I’ll include them below if you want to review yourself). The other thing she said which was kind of depressing to hear was that over 40% of labs die from cancer.
Part 2 – After I was reasonably sure I had an good idea about the health risks that labs faced I started comparing plans. Since technically these issues would all probably fall under hereditary or congenital, which mean genetically inherited or happened in the womb, I first narrowed my search down just so the plans I was looking at provided comprehensive coverage and not just accident and illness or wellness as you mentioned. Then I started reading reviews. I find reading reviews on a bunch of sources is more reliable than any one site so I checked yelp, bbb, pet insurance review sites, and a few others. By this time I narrowed my choices down to healthy paws, trupanion, petplan and embrace. Then I looked forever and finally found a comparison chart to compare the plans right next to each other. I ended up going with healthy paws because their coverage was the best and their price was very fair. They skip wellness and the reason they gave me on the phone is that pet insurance is a bet on the future and kind of a what if policy and wellness stuff is more elective. However, I did notice they cover most of the wellness stuff like rehab, physical therapy, etc. in their standard policy.
I’ll include some of the places I went to find the info I used to make up my mind and feel free to message me or reply here if you have any questions.
A discussion on lab health issues and insurance
Good page for lab health problems 101
Labrador Retriever - Health Information & Pictures | The Worldâ€™s Most Suitable Pet? | petMD | petMD
very accurate tool I found to compare and review plans https://www.petinsuranceu.com/compare-pet-insurance