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- - Pet insurance (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/398849-pet-insurance.html)
I've had pet insurance before for a GSD.
First, most companies will not cover common GSD problems like hip dysplasia. I had to shop around to find a company that would. I suspected our GSD had hip issues when I got him (rescue) and I thought the insurance was a good bet if we were looking at TPO or similar. Turns out, he did have HD, but we never treated for it.
Things that I figured out:
1) Read the fine print. Look for muscular / skeletal issues to be included or not included. As about hip dysplasia and get it in writing (email). Ask about other common GSD ills...
2) Pet insurance is really only good for major issues or above average vet bills. It didn't cover minor issues - generally due to the up front deductible (at least $50) and then partial coverage of covered conditions - usually 60-85% of the bill.
3) You still pay up front and get reimbursed.
4) Get it early. ANYTHING in your pet's history will be excluded. Our dog had an eye infection when he was a pup before he had insurance and any subsequent issues related to that eye were denied.
5) You have to be able to show that your pet is up to date on all shots and records. If not, they can deny coverage.
6) We had one major medical issue - an MRI - where insurance really helped and paid about 75%. Regardless, the net to me was a loss. For a GSD, we were looking at $50-$75/mo (increased with age) and our amount paid in was greater than what they paid out for a dog with a major medical condition (degenerative myleopathy).
I'd consider doing it again if I couldn't afford a catastrophic medical bill of thousands of dollars. (Bloat, Parvo, hip surgery, DM diagnosis -all of these fall in that category)
I use PetPlan and just added another puppy to it. They paid for our visits to the specialist! no problems, very simple and they are cheap and cover most ;) '
It's cheap to keep around for emergencies.
They do cover HD, hereditary issues but best to get as soon as possible so no pre-existing conditions are recorded.
I generally recommend people take the $50 or so dollars a month and just start stashing it in an account in case something does happen. The problem with pet insurance is that its just like all other insurances, if you pay and nothing happens, you don't get your money back. So you're talking at least $600 a year over 10+ years, and if nothing happens, that's $6000 or more that could've been in your bank account.
Like the previous poster mentioned. Many insurance companies don't cover the more common things. If they do, there is a limit. The ones I've looked at pretty much have a different limit they will pay for treatment of each disease/issue. Sometimes accidents are covered, other times they aren't. I know the insurance I did research on covered up to $3000 for treatment of HD...well a full hip replacement is going to cost way more than that anyways. You also have to weigh the chances of your dog getting the disease, at what age, and if you'll decide to treat. Sure...if you have insurance and the dog comes down with cancer you might try to treat it because a large % will be covered, but is that going to be the right decision if the dog is 12 or older? Will it be worth putting the dog through all of that?
Mine is about 200 a year... and i already got $200 back so i guess it payed for itself. so if something happens it's allot cheaper than $50 a month. ;) but i might not keep this after xrays and two years of age.
If i find out by 2 that hip surgery is needed, than i will feel good about this. It's just a personal thing. But if you have more money up front or set aside, than why not do that.
The one insurance person on the forum that brakes them all apart, recommended it to me because of how cheap it was and how much it covers. I just quoted a second puppy, 8 weeks old, and the quote is $24. My deductible is 200, but my vet bill was for much more as we had 4 visits with specialist. They covered 80% as that's what i picked. A few of my friends do the same policy and had to have an eye surgery on the dog and are very happy with their decision as well.
Neko, $24 is pretty inexpensive. It looks like PetPlan covers hip issues.
The $200 deductible is high, but it makes sense at that monthly cost.
What is the % coverage? Do they have a max payout per issue or total?
Edit: It looks like that rate will change as the dog gets older. Everything else looks good.
Wow niko how did you get it so cheap I am pretty sure they quoted me at 35! Thank you everyone for your input!
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I have PetPlan for Nikki and been very happy with them. I would never own another GSD without insurance. You can put up some money every month but unless you can save a good amount it won't get you very far during a real emergency or chronic issue, they can easily run into the thousands. If you search "health insurance" you will come up with a lot of threads on this subject :)
I posted this in another thread before.
I decided to add up Nikki's EOB's for each year to see how much PetPlan has reimbursed us so far. Nikki needs treatment the rest of her life for her EPI/IBD/Atopy/B12 Deficiency. Maybe this will help people decide if insurance is worth it or not for them http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...xM_f3u022S.gif
1st year (Jan 2010) - I paid $387 in premiums
PetPlan paid $8517
2nd year 2011 - I paid $439
PetPlan paid $8703
3rd year 2012 - I paid $488
PetPlan paid $9347
4th year 2013 - I will pay $602
PetPlan has paid $3644 so far
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