Should You Insure Your Pet?

August 5, 2014 • Author: Ruff Haus

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For those of you who know my dog Lux, you've likely heard all about her story. She was adopted at 3mos old from the Montreal SPCA, and came with a whole pile of puppy problems and issues. She made a lot of progress quickly in her new surroundings, and with the help of some training classes, daycare and a structured environment at home we were on the right track to a well balanced dog. But just when we thought we were through dealing with her behavioural problems, she got sick…really, really sick. It came on fast and was completely unexpected. She was rushed to the emergency clinic and after multiple tests, xrays and an ultrasound she was later diagnosed with Pancreatitis and a bacteria overgrowth in her stomache which lead to a condition called EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Deficiency). Long story short…her body is no longer capable of producing the enzyme her Pancreas should be making on it's own to  breakdown her food and provide her body with the nutrients she needs to survive. Super. Serious. Stuff.

Thankfully, we had pet insurance. I can honestly say that without it there's a very good chance that Lux wouldn't be with us today. Her medical bills have been well over $6000 since January of 2014 and like most people we didn't have any emergency money set aside for our pets. Our pet insurance company reimbursed us 85% of everything we paid out with no questions asked. With the help of our veterinarian, a canine nutritionist and our pet insurance provider I am happy to report that Lux has made an almost full recovery. EPI is a condition that will likely effect her for the rest of her life, however because we were insured, we were able to diagnose her quickly which meant we were able to get things under control failry quickly. 

This is just my own experience, and everyone will have their own reasons to insure or not to insure, and it's true that many pets can live long and healthy lives without ever running into trouble with their health. But did you know that some insurance policies offer to pay for things like annual vaccines, bloodwork and dental cleanings? Reward money if your pet goes missing? Boarding fees? It's not always about those unexpected emergency visits- it's about planning ahead. 

There's a lot to consider when choosing a pet insurance provider. I researched about 8 or 9 different companies before deciding to go with ours. If you're considering insuring your pets dont be afraid to make some calls and ask some quesions! Here's an article I found that can help you learn what to look for in a pet insurance provider.

                            -Kim

 

"As veterinary medicine becomes more technologically advanced, the cost of care increases because of the higher costs associated with the equipment, facilities and training required to provide these higher-quality services. For some, the cost of care can cause some anxiety. Pet insurance can help by offsetting some or most of the costs of diagnosing, treating and managing your pet's illness or injury.

But pet insurance isn't for everyone, and there's no magic formula that will tell you if it's right for you and your pet. If you're considering pet insurance, talk to your veterinarian and do some research on your options. Here are some basic considerations:

 

  • The insurance provider should clearly spell out to you the details, including the limitations and exclusions, of coverage for routine and/or wellness care as well as emergency treatments and conditions that require extensive care. Find out how your premiums will be increased as your pet ages or if you make any claims.
  • See if they have add-on options to provide any specific coverage (e.g., dental care, travel insurance, etc.) you may want.
  • Find out how they define and handle pre-existing conditions (diseases or conditions your pet already has – or has had – prior to purchasing the insurance plan).
  • In some cases, insurance providers will not insure a specific pet or breed of pet, or may limit the number of pets you can insure, if they consider them "high risk."
  • Some providers will give multiple pet discounts.
  • All of the charges, including co-pays, deductibles, add-on charges and other fees, should be clearly explained to you so you fully understand the policy and its limitations.
  • You should be allowed to choose the veterinarian who will provide veterinary care for your pet.
  • Pet insurance plans are generally reimbursement plans – you pay the bills up front and are reimbursed by the insurance provider. Ask the insurance provider how claims are processed as well as the timeframe for reimbursement of your expenses so you know what to expect. If you're concerned about covering the expenses up front, ask your veterinarian about payment options that will work for you in case you need to make arrangements. (It's best to find out your options ahead of time so you don't have the added stress of trying to make payment arrangements on an emergency basis.)

Your veterinarian may be able to provide you with a recommended pet insurance company based on their experience, but it's ultimately your decision whether or not to purchase pet insurance (and what coverage and from what company you purchase). Below is a list of companies that provide pet insurance. The list may not be complete and is intended to provide information to help you investigate and decide if pet insurance is right for your pet."-www.avma.org

 

Trupanion (www.trupanion.com)

Petsecure (www.petsecure.com)

Ospca Pet Insurance (www.ospcainsurance.ca)

PC Pet Insurance (www.pcinsurance.ca/pet)

PetPlan (www.gopetplan.ca)

CAA Pets (www.caapets.com)

24 Pet Watch (www.24petwatch.com)

 

 

 

 



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