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orangeatheist
04-21-2009, 04:52 PM
I'm looking into getting pet insurance for my 1-year-old German shepherd. We've had her on a "Wellness Plan" through Banfield (Petsmart) and it really helped this last year. But, it's more for routine visits and not much else. Just wondering if anyone else has pet insurance (or not) and what plan they use (or not) and why (or why not).

Rigs11
04-21-2009, 06:42 PM
We have our labs insurance at Banfield. They do have differentnplans that cover more

broncosteven
04-21-2009, 06:51 PM
I am not sure I feel comfortable putting an animal that cannot tell me it's pain level through any surgery beyond setting a broken bone or some other accidental thing.

I know people that have spent $5-10k on their pets. They didn't think the same way as I do. More power to em.

misturanderson
04-21-2009, 07:02 PM
I had VPI for 2 years for my dog. It was nice having the peace of mind that comes with the insurance, but I only really used it for one major issue when my dog started limping like crazy for a couple days. It turned out that he has hip dysplasia and when I filed a claim to get some of the xrays, sedation, medication, etc. paid for they said they didn't cover hip dysplasia, so I dropped my coverage right then.

If you make sure that the claim you're filing fits under one of the pre-approved conditions (or is written as such on the claim form) you shouldn't have much trouble getting reimbursed a fair amount of money minus the $50 + 10% deductible. I filed a few other claims for yearly physicals, vaccinations, a couple minor issues, etc. and they would send me a check about 3 weeks later.

I really just couldn't afford it as a college student any more and I didn't feel like it was worth it after they turned me down for the first claim I filed that was for over $100. I don't think this would be a problem though as long as you make the claim fit into one of their approved conditions. For example if I had filed my dog's hip dysplasia as a hip luxation (which was essentially the reason he was limping) I am confident that they would have paid for it.

orangeatheist
04-22-2009, 05:28 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I'm thinking maybe the best thing to do is just tuck some money away of my own in case of an emergency. She's only a year old and should be healthy as a horse for a few more years yet. What happened to the good ol days? We never had pet insurance on my dog when I was a kid. And she only went to the vet for shots and maybe an occasional tooth cleaning!

Dedhed
04-22-2009, 06:01 AM
If your dog is young and healthy it can definitely be cost effective to get insurance.

VPI is the largest, but they have some loop holes to watch out for. Embrace is a new company that I think has a better platfrom than VPI or any of the other pet insurance companies out there. The premiums for most companies are fairly similar, but there are vast differences in the details of the coverage to be aware of.

For example. If your GSD develops hip issues, VPI likely won't cover that because they have breed specicfic clauses that allow them not to cover issues that are known to be congenital issues with specific breeds. Hips in shepherds and golden retrievers, ACL tears in labs, heart/skin issues in boxers and King Charles spaniels, etc

VPI also uses a scale payment structure where Embrace uses actual billing for reimbursment. That basically means that for 'such-and-such' procedure VPI pays a flat reimbursment based on their scale regardless of the actual bill. Embrace pays out based on the actual charges incurred.

Those are a couple of things to be aware of.

Beantown Bronco
04-22-2009, 06:20 AM
After doing a ton of research, I found they simply had too many exceptions and not enough coverage IMO. I have a good relationship with my vet and my "money pit" English bulldog died a few years ago, so I don't really see it as a necessity. If I were to get another bullie or a dog that ate rocks (like my first boss.....they were under the knife all the time for that), I might look into it again.....but those would probably be the only cases.

Northman
04-22-2009, 11:27 AM
My cats are all insured. Our Vet is a pretty good place. Good boarding for when we are out of town and all that jazz.

crush17
04-22-2009, 11:39 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I'm thinking maybe the best thing to do is just tuck some money away of my own in case of an emergency. She's only a year old and should be healthy as a horse for a few more years yet. What happened to the good ol days? We never had pet insurance on my dog when I was a kid. And she only went to the vet for shots and maybe an occasional tooth cleaning!

This is EXACTLY what you need to do.

Pet insurance is a SCAM and nothing more. Put money aside monthly for your dog and don't touch it.

Its better than having insurance because the insurance companies always try to shiest you out of covering your animal's injuries.

They will look for any way possible to deny your claim, and usually they'll find a way.

Just save money yourself - or get a Care Credit card and use that.

STBumpkin
04-22-2009, 11:45 AM
I had VPI for my 2 GSDs for the first year of their lives. It helped with the periodic visits for the first year. After that, I felt it wasn't worth it since they only go in for vaccinations. When they reach about 8yrs I'll probably sign them up again (about the age when problems usually arise), but not VPI for reasons already stated above.

P.S. Be sure to get your shepherd's hips and elbows x-rayed at 2 years old. It can save you a lot to know if they will have hip problems down the line.

orangeatheist
04-22-2009, 12:26 PM
P.S. Be sure to get your shepherd's hips and elbows x-rayed at 2 years old. It can save you a lot to know if they will have hip problems down the line.

Thanks for the advice!

Does anyone know what sort of vaccinations the dogs get following their first year? Will she just be getting boosters now? One or two?

crush17
04-22-2009, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the advice!

Does anyone know what sort of vaccinations the dogs get following their first year? Will she just be getting boosters now? One or two?

Just two boosters if I remember correctly.
After that you are good for 5 years on rabies I believe...

Rohirrim
04-22-2009, 12:40 PM
I tried to buy my dog insurance but he looked at me funny and refused to sign the papers.

broncosteven
04-22-2009, 06:25 PM
Just two boosters if I remember correctly.
After that you are good for 5 years on rabies I believe...

I got the 3 year rabies shot. Not sure if our vet had a 5 year one.

The biggest expense other than shots for our current dog has been ear infections.

Keep your dogs ears clean!

Dedhed
04-22-2009, 06:39 PM
This is EXACTLY what you need to do.

Pet insurance is a SCAM and nothing more. Put money aside monthly for your dog and don't touch it.

Its better than having insurance because the insurance companies always try to shiest you out of covering your animal's injuries.

They will look for any way possible to deny your claim, and usually they'll find a way.

Just save money yourself - or get a Care Credit card and use that.
You talk scam, and then suggest a credit card that charges 22% interest, seriously?

1 emergency surgery will more than pay for your pet's insurance. Ask yourself this; Which is more likely your house burns down, or your dog eats a dirty sock? Is HO insurance a scam?

Dedhed
04-22-2009, 06:40 PM
Just two boosters if I remember correctly.
After that you are good for 5 years on rabies I believe...

Not even close. You seem as informed on this topic as Bush on foreign dignitaries.

Dedhed
04-22-2009, 06:45 PM
Thanks for the advice!

Does anyone know what sort of vaccinations the dogs get following their first year? Will she just be getting boosters now? One or two?

If you booster her rabies vaccine within 9-12 months it will be good for 3 years. Distemper is an annual vaccine. Kennel cough vaccines will be needed if you ever plan to board her or take her to organized group activities. Every 6-12 months depending on the facility where you're going.

If you live in an area where ticks are common, a Lyme vaccine is a good idea. The first Lyme vaccine needs a booster within 3-4 weeks, and then it's an annual vaccine after that.

Gort
04-23-2009, 11:23 AM
I am not sure I feel comfortable putting an animal that cannot tell me it's pain level through any surgery beyond setting a broken bone or some other accidental thing.

I know people that have spent $5-10k on their pets. They didn't think the same way as I do. More power to em.

it adds up before you realize it. i was dealing with 2 critically ill pets during a 2 week period back in 2006 and they both ended up dying despite my efforts, but before i'd realized it, while attempting to help them both, i'd racked up $8K in vet and animal hospital bills. animal hospitals are as bad as human hospitals and you need to check their bills line by line because they will steal every last dollar from your wallet if you don't watch them closely. it was an eye-opening experience for me.

Gort
04-23-2009, 11:28 AM
Not even close. You seem as informed on this topic as Bush on foreign dignitaries.

you've really got to let go of your Bush Derangement Syndrome. he's gone. he's back in Texas. we have a new idiot in the White House who is 100x worse than Bush ever was. gladhanding tyrants and dictators. bowing to foreign kings. blaming America for all of the world's problems. confiscating private property. demonizing private citizens. trebling the national debt in less than 90 days. dismantling our military. aiding the enemy during time of war. and the list goes on an on. sigh. this country will not survive 4 years of Barry's Era of HopeyChange. :(