09-13-2019, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2018
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
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I researched pet insurance quite extensively before going with Healthy Paws. The deciding factors for me were the following:
-Healthy Paws has been rated #1 for the last 3 or 4 years
-I read reviews and they have very good reviews from customers
-The coverage is pretty clear. Any accident or illness is covered unless it's considered pre-existing. Other insurance companies are a bit vague.
CONS: There is a waiting time for ACL and hip dysplasia which is common for per insurance. Vet exams are not covered.
I didn't think going with a wellness plan was worth it. It ends up equaling out what everything costs anyway. It just divides the costs into payments.
A few things to keep in mind. ANYTHING that is pre-existing will not be covered. So in the past if you've mentioned your dog sneezes a lot that probably means they won't cover anything to do with allergies. Obviously the best case scenario is to get insurance on a puppy or a dog as soon as you get it before any health issues are known.
Something I think is important: I know some companies have a yearly deductible but other companies apparently have a "per-issue" deductible. So if your dog has to get a few stitches in May, you have to pay the deductible first before any coverage kicks in..then if your dog has diarrhea in June, and gets a prescription...you have to pay the deductible again...over and over. Most problems likely WILL BE new issues and therefore you'll constantly have to pay that deductible and a lot of times that will mean that the insurance coverage won't even be reached. But if you have a yearly deductible you pay it once each year and then everything else that comes up that year is already eligible for coverage.
Important advice: Know your coverage inside and out so there are no surprises. Example: If you sign up for 70% coverage and $250 deductible and then your dog swallows swallows something they can't pass and needs $3,000 in surgery and you think..."70% is good, but wow, I think I should go with 90% coverage and maybe $100 deductible, just in case something else happens."....it'll be too late. Most (if not all) insurance companies will not let you increase your coverage after your first claim. You can decrease, but you can't increase.
Make sure you're happy with the company you go with because you likely won't be able to change it since you'll have a history of things that have been covered that will now be pre-existing with another company. Don't let your payments lapse, or it's cancelled and you'll have to start all over. They tend to give 30 day grace period on late payments I think, but I wouldn't take any chances.
I weighed my options on putting money away for vet expenses or getting insurance. My last dog died of cancer and if I had had insurance I would have had him in sooner just to check why he was breathing heavier. I thought it was age and didn't take him in. By the time I did, it was too late. The cancer was throughout his body.
One of the best things about having insurance that I didn't consider before getting it, is that when you have insurance it's so much easier to just take them in to get checked instead of playing the guessing game, on if you really need to go in on a weekend to an emergency clinic or if you can wait for an appointment.
Last November when my German Shepherd puppy was 8 months old, she was acting restless when it was time for bed. Her head was hanging lower than normal. She looked a bit stiff. I thought something could be wrong, but I wasn't really sure. She had been at the dog park earlier in the day and was fine..although I noticed she was acting a bit tired. It was Sunday. The only place to go was the emergency specialist hospital. I really wasn't sure if she even had a problem that needed to be checked. I had insurance though so I brought her over. Long story short, but she had an abscess in her lung and her right lung wasn't functioning. She had to have part of her lung removed. Likely from a fox tail seed. Surgery and meds were about $10,000. I paid 10% plus the vet exam. Insurance covered almost 9k.
They needed to do an ultrasound, EKG, x-rays, CT scan, chest tube, etc. I didn't have to pick and choose what they could do. I just told them to do what she needed. She was in critical care for a week. And to think back and know that I almost didn't bring her in. If I hadn't had insurance I probably wouldn't have brought her in that night. She was a ticking time bomb and I had no idea. The way I look at it now, is I pay for a phone each month...my dog is more important by far than my phone. If I view a phone as necessary then I certainly see dog insurance as necessary. Hopefully she NEVER EVER has an emergency again,and if not I will know that the insurance payment is going to someone else's dog that needs it. But if something does come up, she's covered. I worry that about increasing rates over the years, but her insurance is a priority for me.
That one incident with her already paid for years and years of monthly payments. but, I'd rather make the payments and have no issues that need emergency care.
Is insurance worth it? Maybe you'll only need it for minor things over the years, and if you're super lucky that'll be the case and the money will go to other pets that are sick or injured. But if you do need if for major health problems or an injury then you'll be able to rest easy knowing he can have whatever treatment he needs.
Last edited by DogFaming; 09-13-2019 at 06:14 PM.