Pet owners- do you have pet insurance?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Fran, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I know they won't cover Honeysue's cancer but I want to get pet insurance for future illnesses with both dogs. I couldn't do cancer treatment again.
    Anyone have a recommendation based on your use? Thanks.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't remember the name of the co that the shelter gave us 1 month free insurance with Gracie Lou (black cat). All I remember is that neither our vet, the vet school, or ANY vet in our town or the 2 nearest towns takes that insurance. So it was rather worthless. We declined it when we got Capn Morgan from the Animal control people. They were astonished - they were SURE the vet school took it, but I called while standing there and it isn't taken by them or any vet they know - including those in the major cities around us.

    Given that, I haven't looked into vet insurance further. I hope you can find a good policy at a reasonable price. We are lucky - our family vet is a neighbor of my parents and gives us a discount. also, she is the vet the ANimal control uses, so we were able to take Capn Morgan home 4 days earlier on the promise to take him to the vet the next week for neutering. And the surgery was included in the adoption fees.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Fran, my Mom has her dog on pet insurance. I'm not sure whether the breeder or the vet recommended one to her. She has a young dog and he hasn't had any major illnesses yet. So I haven't a clue what they do or don't cover that way. I do know it covers all his shots, routine exams, and such.

    You adopted your "kids" from a rescue group, right? Maybe they could give you some recommendations and information about it. Or you could maybe ask your vet. You'd want to be sure any insurance you signed up with would be accepted by them anyway.

  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    The insurance's I have researched allow any vet. You pay up front and they reimburse. I am earning many frequent flier miles on the credit card.
    I don't have a problem paying for routine care and treatment but you can only imagine how expensive it is for chemo,radiation and medications.
    The insurances I researched(3) do not cover pre existing conditions(which I figured) or any congenital or hereditary diseases. Also the best they do is a 15,000.00 cap per year which is great if you get just normal type animal illnesses but is not a huge help for catastrophic disease.
    Did you know that you have a fairly long waiting period before the cover knee ligament injury? Guess that is a biggie.

    I adopted the kids in Texas so they aren't any help. The vet gave a suggestion but he didn't really have any experience with them.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Fran, I have thought about it and decided against it. There have been many discussions about pet insurance on the dog-related board I visit. And apparently most of the companies will not cover conditions that are commonly associated with certain breeds, so this limits their coverage. For instance, I have Bostons and Bostons are very prone to luxating patellas, a painful potentially crippling condition with the kneecaps going out of place that requires surgery in many cases. So most insurance companies will NOT cover luxating patella surgery in Bostons because they are prone to getting it! Or they refuse to cover hip problems in Shepherds or other big dogs because so many of them get it!

    One of the 'big box' pet stores (I think it's Petsmart but not sure) has their own vets (Banfield) and their own health plans but I wouldn't touch them with a stick! I've heard of a lot of people who used their services and NOT EVEN ONE was satisfied with the care their dog received there. You may find that the insurance companies will not agree to cover Honey Sue at all because she has a history of cancer.

    There is a wealth of information on some of the breed specific internet dog boards that are out there. You might try googling it and see if you can find one. You may be able to get some good recommendations from the people there who have gotten pet insurance for their dogs.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I have researched it, and it is not worth it for us. Right now we only have 2 dogs,but I researched it when we had 4. You don't want to deal with-4 very sick animals at once!
    But the choices were not good. It's not like human ins. where you have lots of options, or where you can get low rates if you work for a large company.
    So we are just careful to get regular checkups so we are not caught off-guard by a serious illness that has gotten out of control.
    When a serious one comes our way, it will depend upon which dog it is and how old that dog is. Sad to say, but true.
    Wish I could help more.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Donna, I interviewed to be a mgr for Banfield. OMG the things they said. The TOTAL lack of concern for any animal! It was all about cutting corners, seeing the most patients in the least time, and actually not telling owners about cheaper alternatives or nasty side effects of treatments!

    I was HORRIFIED and will not purchase ANYTHING at Petsmart because their affiliation with Banfield. It is one thing to maximize profits. It is another to maximize profits at the expense of the pain of another animal and its owner!
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    How did HS make out with the chemo? How is she doing?
  9. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Thanks guys.

    Loth, Honeysue eats well, walks well and seems like a regular dog. Loves her trail walks everyday. Tomorrow she goes in for more chemo and various other medications. (bone building IV treatment).The chemo wipes her out for 2 to 3 days. She gets Cernia everyday for 4 days. Her appetite will leave her but once the cernia kicks in she eats well. We will know more tomorrow about what the tumors are doing. She made it a year with a good quality of life. If the tumors are not growing we will continue but if it seems to spread then we will probably do only comfort measures.

    Donna 723, I know they won't cover the bone cancer but I got the impression they would cover any new diseases. The cap is 15,000.00 which is easily met with cancer treatments. I'm just trying to hedge my bets with any other illness that comes up. I did hear about the knee caps and hip issues. It's frustrating but every dollar they pay is more than what I get now.
    I'll have to look for some pyr sites. Maybe they will have some suggestions. by the way, I saw the cutest Boston today. They have great faces.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I decided against this for our dogs, but I have some old magazines about vet care and there are advertisements in them for insurance. I might not be able to get my hands on it tonight, but I can post info for you.
  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Fran, I LOVE your new avatar with your furbabies! They're gorgeous dogs! I hope you get good news about Honey Sue tomorrow. Please keep us posted.

    And Susie, that's exactly what I've heard from people who took their dogs to the Banfield vets! One lady on my Boston board posted pictures of her dog covered in big red welts. They had taken him in to the Banfield vets and they gave him a vaccination that they they had specifically asked them NOT to give him ... he had a horrible allergic reaction to it and looked just pitiful!
  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Thanks Donna. They are sweeties. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Fran, I realized we were getting 2 magazines. One is called "Dog Fancy". I didn't find a health insurance company listed in the one I happened to pick up tonight but they might have something listed on their website. The other is thru our vet and the magazine is called "Healthy Pet". It has ads for 2 companies offering health insurance. One is VPI Pet Insurance (1-888-PROTECT) and the other is ASPCA insurance(1-866-826-1771)

    Sorry- I can't offer personal experience to back any company up or offer an opinion in this area.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Fran - I hope you get good news about HoneySue tomorrow! A year with good quality of life is a real accomplishment. I know it wasn't easy for any of you.

    Donna, that is MILD compared to some of the stories I have heard. I do feel badly for the poor Boston! Welts from allergies to shots are never fun. I have never had a job interview that literally chilled my bones like that one. I would rather work at the Animal Control Shelter euthanizing animals than work for Banfield. Honestly and Truly.
  15. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    husband & I had researched several types of pet insurance but never settled on one. Then we adopted tweedles dee & dum. At that point, we had to decide (budget wise) how much we could afford if one of our pets were to get hit by a car or have a catastropic illness.

    Over the years, we've had to stick to that. Pet ownership is such a responsiblity ~ our vet knows how & when to treat my animals. If I could find the same insurance that covered kt & wm life would be as I want it.

    Good luck in your research ~ I know how much you love your dogs. I'm glad to hear Honey Sue has responded thus far to her treatments.
  16. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Linda, I'm not sure I understand what this means?

    "our vet knows how & when to treat my animals. If I could find the same insurance that covered kt & wm life would be as I want it."

    What sort of insurance covers pets and kids? Do the tweedles have special insurance? Sorry to be dense but I didn't get it.

    I'm pretty sure most vets know how and when to treat pets right?
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I'm not going to promote or not promote pet insurance. What I will tell you is that I'm fairly certain (without joking even) at this point my veterinarians children both have braces ala moi's pets.

    After the last surgery when the Bulldog pulled a leather collar with tags off the American, and he ate it all - the surgery was $800.00. Not too long after that Dude had accidentally left the Bulldog in the front yard while I was mowing and I ran over part of a metal bird feeder pole that Dude had taken down (see my common denominator here?) and it got left in the high grass. When I ran over the pole, it shot out from under the mower and cut the Bulldogs tongue nearly off. Since I assisted in after hours surgery and took him home? Our bill was less than insurance would have been for a year.

    I did talk at length with our veterinarian (who is brilliant) about pet insurance and he was very sincere with me when he said that the amount that I thought I would save vs. the amt. I would spend with them was not worth it - ALSO most of the care was not covered under HIS watchful eye so it would be like taking you dog to a vet who didn't know them that DID take the insurance. He did not. He said by the time he filed the paperwork etc....he lost money.

    I would discuss this with your veterinarian and call whomever you have your home/auto insurance with. There are many companies out there and even some auto insurance now is offering pets ride safe clauses. (The one with the stack of money with the eyes is one that does) but only for travel in the car incidents.

    For us - our choice was no insurance, but we did look into several and most are the same. They have breed specific clauses, and loop holes and for us with our breeds it wasn't worth it.

    IN this mornings Craigslist - someone found a Pyrenese on her porch at 4am - eating her cats food and hoped the owner would claim it because she can't keep feeding him cat food...rofl.
  18. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Too cute about the pyr eating cat food,Star. Poor baby. I'll never get dogs being allowed to roam free. Pyr's are wanderers. They think the world is their territory to patrol.
    Seems that most found pet insurance not helpful. No one here seems to carry it on their pets. I was just trying to cut down expenses but if it weren't cancer I would have very little use for it. So maybe we won't benefit from it in the long run.