questionsdo you carry pet insurance?

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No. I have pets. I am not a breeder. I love my pets but I do not need insurance because I am not going to spend $100s of dollars on medical bills if something should happen to them.

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i considered it but from reading the reviews of the top 2 pet insurance companies, i decided against it. the reviews were typical insurance complaints.. denying claims, delayed payments, small payments approved, etc. most reviews said it just wasn't worth it

i'd pay 100's and even low 1,000's for my pets, but i'll charge it instead of paying for what i feel is useless insurance. that's my 2 pennies

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I personally don't have a pet, but I know of people who have pet insurance and have found themselves using the coverage. I haven't heard of problems with claims, etc., but apparently at least one more than recovered the expense.

Pets are expensive.

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I don't have pet insurance, too many people have had problems with them. I do have a savings account and credit card to use if needed. Some of my pets have had big medical bills, and I pay myself instead of having to fight an insurance company.

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Pet insurance is pretty important. We had never heard of it until our beloved family member got sick.... And we couldnt afford to put him in emergency care overnight at the hospital so we waited a day and went to the vet instead.... And.. I lost my brother.

Reguardless of the issues with insurance, it is worth it. Just like paying for your own health insurance is always worth it.

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When I got my cat from a shelter, he came with 30 days of insurance called Sheltercare. I noticed something was wrong with his eye when I adopted him, but the shelter staff said it was a minor eye infection and gave me a tablet to mix with his food. It got much worse within a couple days, he could barely open his eye, and I took him to an emergency pet hospital.

The bill was almost $400 and thankfully they diagnosed him properly and provided medication that cleared his eye up. It was actually pretty easy to file a claim with the insurance and I was refunded all but $50 copay with a check within 2 weeks. I really appreciated the insurance.

I talked with the vet and was convinced to not renew the insurance until my cat is about 10 years old, only because it is usually unnecessary when they are young. I do plan on getting insurance again when he is older.

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find out what the monthly cost would be, and instead of buying insurance, put that money in savings every month. If you need it it's there, and if you never need it, it's like winning a small lottery prize.

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My pet is a rescue and she has had a lot of dental issues which have been quite expensive, would pet insurance cover this? Approx how much a month does it cost?

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No, but I do carry pet carrier insurance.

Seriously though, my brother-in-law was working for Subaru (I think. He bounces around) a few years ago, and they actually offered pet insurance as an employee benefit.

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@loubriccant: I've heard of companies doing that. Mine, of course, does not.

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I have VPI for my parrot. This is not the best coverage in general, but they're the only ones who accept exotics. There are other companies that cover 100%. VPI averages at about 50% for me. I find it worth it for the surprise illnesses. I am the type to do everything possible for my bird, so I plan to always keep it.

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@portezbie: they tend not to cover pre-existing conditions.

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I have VPI pet insurance and it has been a life saver for my family and our labrador. A couple of things to put out there at the forefront;
1. We treat our dog as part of the family and would do anything for her. She's not just some animal we tie out in the back yard.
2. We recognize insurance for what it is..... INSURANCE. We made the decision to buy insurance because it basically gives us the piece of mind that we will not have to make a hard decision based upon finances. Now that is within reason, of course.

My brother and I purchased our labradors from the same litter 7 years ago. We bought insurance, he did not. I estimate that I have paid $1700 into insurance over 7 years. (Bro +$1700)
Two years ago my lab tore both of her ACL's in her back knees, within about 6 months of each other. Insurance picked up half the cost. Still was a bunch of $$$$ but not overwhelming. I wouldn't say I've broken even but I am pretty close.
--continued--

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About six months ago my brothers lab had a lump on her side. It was diagnosed as a cancerous tumor. I watch him and his wife struggle with making the decision to have surgery or let the cancer progress. Of course thier was no guarantee from the vet. Their kids were heart-broken at the thought of losing their dog which made the decision all the more difficult for them. The decision had financial implications.
Well they opted to have the tumor removed and all is well. But, if they had the insurance it most definatly would have made their decision easier IMO. If he had bought the insurance when I did, he would probably broken-even too.
If either of our dogs didn't have problems, he would be +$1700 and I would be out the cash. But it didn't work out that way. Just luck of the draw, I guess.
I don't think if I was given the choice to prolong our dogs life (terminal cancer for example) for a few months at a huge expense, I would make that kind of commitment. But at least I have a choice.

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@kamikazeken: This always sound great in theory but if you don't have the will-power (which I don't) or you only do it for a few months, you will get STUCK in the end.

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I think moving forward we should avoid making comments that imply certain people care more or less about their pets, it's just unproductive. Thanks to everyone who is providing first hand experience though this is very interesting.

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@portezbie: In no way was I implying that anyone cared more or less for their pet or that one position was right/wrong. It's my opinion that there is a wide range of how people regard their pets.
I know this is going to get a reaction but, how you regard your pet is a key factor in the decision to get or not get insurance.
Now, now I must add that I have owned several dogs in my life. And I've had more that were not covered by insurance than were covered. That fact doesn't mean that I loved them any less. When they were sick I paid the veterinarian bills. That is a conscious decision I made. No insurance = possiblility of large bills. And their were large bills.
But now with the insurance, I have peace-of-mind knowing that I won't have to make a decision based on financial implications. And for the extreme situation where the veterinarian costs would be more than I could handle, I now have more options available for me to afford.

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This comment was not meant to imply how you treat your pet, rather to give you some insight into how I treat mine.

@jimmyd103: 1. We treat our dog as part of the family and would do anything for her. She's not just some animal we tie out in the back yard.

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Ok, whatever. And do you think VPI is the way to go? How much do you pay a month approx?

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We have never carried insurance. We have ferrets and until recently have not found coverage for them. Since we have rescued for years, we have always had a good relationship with our vets. But a lot of treatment has been administered at home too.
I highly recommend both for financial reasons and good results that pet owners consider this book: "Dr Pitcairn's complete guide to Natural health for Dogs and Cats". Also, many remedies found in your health food store can be applied to you pet, just keep in mind that doses are recommended for 180 lb. person, and dilute if necessary.
I also want to mention that my vet was so amazed at the results of a treatment for pet cancer I had used (essiac) that he is now using it on several other animals with good results. jimmyd103's brother may have benefited from this also.

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I do not have pet insurance and recently my 13-year-old Rottweiler mix needed surgery. At that point I was wishing I had pet insurance but then I did the math. I got Jesse when she was 2 and if I had gotten insurance then, I would have paid $2640 by now assuming a low $20/month premium. Up until the surgery, I've probably spent around $200 on her over the past 11 years on check-ups and rabies shots. Her surgery was $600 so I came out ahead.

My sister on the other hand pays about $12/month for her young dachshund and has said it's been worth it because he has had a lot of health problems.

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Do you know which insurer your sister has? Wow, I didn't realize how expensive vets in nyc were, my poodle recently had to have 8 teeth removed, and it cost about 1,000

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@portezbie: If I remember correctly, it's actually a private deal through her vet who offers it as part of his practice. She lives in NC and has 3 dogs so I think he gave her a really good deal. I was teasing her for being a sucker but after heartworms, a cut paw, and a cracked vertebrae, she's coming out on top so far.

Also, $1000 for teeth extraction?? OUCH! I live in pricey Los Angeles and had expected my dog's lump-removal surgery to be in the thousands and was shocked when it came out to around $585. Still a lot of money but really low for an operation involving full anesthesia.

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Hell no. Pets are replaceable.

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@portezbie: I think we started paying about $18 a month and now around $22

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@thewronggrape: $585... that is a great deal. Stay with that vet.

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@portezbie: See what I mean?

" @iggz: Hell no. Pets are replaceable."

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i have something from my vet. I basically pre-pay everything for the year at a discounted rate and if anything happens i take her in and have like a $10 copay.

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I also just got a puppy. I looked into insurance and I did not think it was worth it. (I agree with Consumer Reports...) I ended up going with Pet Assure. It's awesome! I save a nice chunk of money every time I go to the vet. And it's only $9.95 a month, so you can't go wrong.

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wow. I live in the Bay Area of CA and think I have seen the most expensive emergency vet ever. My 2yr old cat loves to eat rubber bands - weirdo. Anyway, a guest had left one of those huge "head" size hair ties and inadvertently dropped it on the floor of the guest room, where this cat found and ate it. I guess he thinks they're worms or something. It ended up blocking his intestines. The emerg vet want to do do surgery that would've run $2700-$3500. Yikes! Told him no way at this cost. So we decided to keep him on IV fluids for 24 hrs and see if it could work it's way out. It did so only cost $685. Alls wells that ends well. Although I don't have ins I can see where it would be useful. But, I have 4 cats and that would break the bank for us. I'd rather pay my house payment than pet insurance....

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Okay, I talked to my sister and she doesn't have pet insurance per se but more like a healthcare plan. She plays a monthly fee which includes unlimited exams a month. Of course there will be months she won't go in at all but then will be a month where she probably will need to a few times for whatever comes up and follow-up visits. She also gets discounts towards services because she is a "paid member" of the vet. I guess it's almost like being a gym member.

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@thewronggrape: Thanks a bunch for talking to your sister. It sounds like this is the sort of thing that a lot of people have, and it sounds like a good system honestly. However, I havent heard of a service like this provided by any of the vets in my area which is a bummer. Thank you again though for asking her.

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Cat gets sick? Get a new one!

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I don't have it but plan 2. I have cats, 3 mo ago I had 6, then 4, now7 (3 orphaned kittens added). They are indoor/outdoor, all my cats were strays or came from litters of strays, especially durring the summer (coyote issues) my cats will not hear of being kept in. Where we used 2 live, we lost more cats than I can count & I fixed them ALL!

I know our lives are better with animals, I am not sure animals wouldn't be better off w/o humans period. I know some pets you HAVE 2 keep indoors, I don't believe csts fall into that category. Yes they live longer but the quality life of an indoor cat I ? I don't believe I could bring myself 2 own a cat that had 2 B kept indoors 24/7. Me personally, I'd trade safety 4 freedom.

My neighbor who I always got along with trapped one of my cats and took her to the pound, she came home less than 24 hr later. 2 days later she began sneezing, everyone began sneezing. My 8 yr old CatDog & 5 yr old Munchkin stopped eating and were hospitalized on IV.

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Long story short. Catdog passed away second night at the vet (completely unexpected, we thought Munchkin would be the one to go). Munchkin came home, went to the ER vet the same night and stayed for 2 more days.

The first vet bill was $500+ and second $1700

I alays said I would not spend that kind of money on a sick animal but when you are actually making life and death decisions especially with an otherwise healthy animal, you might be suprised at what you will do to save them.

Yeah, for sure, I'm getting insurance.

P.S. Please spread the word, cats and dogs are being skinned ALIVE in China at the rate of about 8 a minute. $1 a skin, some are even boiled alive. Check youtube, China fur trade, China animal torture, etc.
This is just soooo frigging wrong, it has got to be stopped.

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FYI all the pet insurance I have read about. You pay the bill and they reimburse you so you can use ANY VET. :)