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Old 11-29-2007, 08:34 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
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Thinking about getting pet insurance for my 5 year old Lab.

How many of you guys have pet insurance, and what do you like/dislike about it?
Do they cover pre existing conditions after a waiting period?

What company and level of coverage is most cost effective?

Thank you,....marc
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Southeast Idaho
4,659 posts, read 15,773,408 times
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There was a thread about this a few months ago. My thoughts are to open an interest bearing account and place the same money into that each month that you would an insurance. The money remains as yours, it grows with interest and then you actually have an account for your pet to where you don't have to wonder if your vet or the emergency clinic accepts the insurance or not.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Marion, IN
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I have yet to see one that pays for a pre-existing condition. If your dog is diagnosed with a chronic condition this year it will become pre-existing when the policy renews next year. They don't cover routine care. many vets still make you pay for stuff out of pocket and you have to wait for whatever reimbursement the policy will give.

For me this is not the way to go. I have a credit card with a $0 balance that is only for veterinary emergencies that are more $$$ than I have.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Land of Thought and Flow
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I have all of my pets (except the hamster) under an HMO-like plan through Banfield at Petsmart. It covered my cat Gizmo when we found out he had Asthma.

It's really cheap and covers a lot of procedures (including dental!).
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:34 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
409 posts, read 2,546,535 times
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ASPCA now has pet insurance that is similar to what i have myself. You pay first $100 per year and they pay 80%. I think they will pay preexisting if it's been over 6 mos since last bill. Under 10 years old primary plan is only $16 per mos. Co vers up to $1500 each occurance.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:14 AM
 
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I wasn't going to get it, and just do the interest bearing account, but then my aunt's dog needed a serious surgery on her back leg and the $$ of that got me to think that I might like a little reimbursement. LOL. We have a lab too, and I'm afraid she might hurt herself going up and down the stairs of our deck or something like that so we have the insurance. Ours reimburses something for routine care, and so far I have no complaints about it. In the next couple of years as her account builds (we're still doing the savings account) I may discontinue the coverage, but we'll see.
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Earth
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I had Pet Assure through my job's insurance and found it useless. It was hard finding a vet on the list of participating vets, then when I called, no one seemed to be familiar with it. When they got back to me, they said I got a discount (which varied from vet to vet) and I think they just upped the price before the discount to make me feel like I saved money.
There is a difference between insurance and discount plans like Pet Assure. I can't speak for actual insurance. I have found that most vets have their own discount and pre-pay plans if you expect future medical problems. If you have a good vet that you plan to stick with, it's worth asking.
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Old 08-31-2008, 01:56 PM
 
5,340 posts, read 12,611,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuharai View Post
I have all of my pets (except the hamster) under an HMO-like plan through Banfield at Petsmart. It covered my cat Gizmo when we found out he had Asthma.

It's really cheap and covers a lot of procedures (including dental!).

Have you liked the service you've botten at Banfield?
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:34 PM
 
389 posts, read 3,292,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racelady88 View Post
I have yet to see one that pays for a pre-existing condition. If your dog is diagnosed with a chronic condition this year it will become pre-existing when the policy renews next year. They don't cover routine care. many vets still make you pay for stuff out of pocket and you have to wait for whatever reimbursement the policy will give.

For me this is not the way to go. I have a credit card with a $0 balance that is only for veterinary emergencies that are more $$$ than I have.
This is very true. We have clients that have insurance and they are surprised when they find out their pets dental cleaning wasn't covered because it had been previously noted as "abnormal" due to tartar and/or gingivitis no matter how mild it was. However, once they had the teeth cleaned and they are noted as "normal" future care is covered.

We have had clients that definitely benefited from the insurance when sudden illness led to expensive surgeries etc.

So I can see it both ways if you get it while the pet is young and healthy/"normal" it could probably come in handy.

Good Luck
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:32 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,224,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleosmom View Post
My thoughts are to open an interest bearing account and place the same money into that each month that you would an insurance. The money remains as yours, it grows with interest and then you actually have an account for your pet to where you don't have to wonder if your vet or the emergency clinic accepts the insurance or not.
While the original post was months ago, I'm sure many are still reading this so I'll chime in.

I used a "major name pet insurance company" that's been around for years, and is based in California for quite a while on two of my dogs. I only had two instances where I had to use them, but basically they were overall minor things. I paid the Vet bill, turned the stuff in to them, and they paid the amount they should have.

One day, I got a call from my bank asking about purchases I had made in California. I have never BEEN to California. To make a long story short, a recently fired employee of this pet company stole card numbers from clients and had given them to his friends, who were shopping along the California coast on our money. Took several trips to the bank, but eventually I got it cleared up after LOTS of hassle.

They were VERY snotty about it. They basically did a quick "We're sorry", but made sure to toss in an, "Under California laws, we are not responsible for the actions of our terminated employees, so, no, we will not compensate you for the trouble you had to go through at the bank" (I had asked for one month of premiums to be credited to my account - like, $20.00, maybe).

Ok, so maybe more of an isolated incident than stuff that happens every day at these places, but the idea is, you're dealing with a large call center of "whoever" people who take very personal info, on the assumption that you MIGHT need reimbursement of Vet bills at some point. Not secure, no screening, and not cost saving I found in the long run.

So do what cleo's mom said in the quote above - open a separate bank account JUST for your pets. Each month put in some money. Keep putting it in. It adds up quick, and you can just pay a Vet bill off in cash when you need it and not rely on a room full of glorified telemarketers thousands of miles away to help you.
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