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I’ve been debating getting pet insurance for my GSD. I’ve shopped around and I’m looking at $50+ /mo for under 1 year old and lord knows how much they will increase it every year.

I am wondering how other experienced GSD owners feel about pet insurance.

If my pup does get something one day, I will have most likely paid it out of pocket to the insurance in monthly payments, and if he doesn’t get something then horray.

I kinda feel like I already paid my insurance by going to an expensive breeder with a solid blood line of healthy hips and show titles.

I am very responsible with my pets, and if I don’t neuter him, which I won’t, they fine print you with not covering testicular cancers or anything they deem related to aggression.

I feel like if I sign up for insurance the only way to win is if your pet has lots of problems. Which is a lose lose really.

What do you think?
 

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I have pet insurance, and regret getting a good but 'low end' policy. I lost the 'genetic lottery' with my dog and have high on going monthly vet bills.
 

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It's not just about genetics. Accidents happen. They can be hit by cars, or involved in car accidents in some other way. They can ingest dangerous things. They can run with a stick in their mouth and impale themselves. They can get bloat. They can get cancer. They can be attacked by another animal. The list could go on and on...

Pet insurance is definitely a risk-vs-benefit proposition and everyone has their own definitions and limits on what is "risk" and what is "benefit". For me...I'd much rather pay the monthly premium and never have to use it throughout my dog's long and healthy life, than to not pay any premiums and have to make a heart-breaking decision somewhere down the road because I can't afford to treat my dog for life-saving medical services.
 

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My PSA pup is insured because it's a pretty intense sport that asks a lot out of the dog. I pay around $45 a month for Healthy Paws and think it's a reasonable thing to have, especially on a sport dog. Several people I know in PSA have had dogs with minor injuries (broken teeth, a broken foot, etc.) but the bills for those minor things are still expensive.

I'm also considering adding my 2 year old GSD to the plan, just to have him covered. He does scent work, competitive OB, and therapy work so much less risk but we still travel a lot and are out in public a lot.

I think you do what works best for you and your lifestyle.
 

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Please do a search for "pet insurance" and/or "healthy paws" and "trupanion" in the archives -- we probably have 50 threads on this in the last two years, plus a sticky that has been updated in the last year discussing policy contract terms (and why to avoid some policies). It's a very frequent topic of conversation.


Bottom line is my Healthy Paws policy paid out close to $10,000 in one 12-mo period due to a a major dental specialist injury in a fetch accident (collision) requiring surgery to save both upper canines ($2k), followed by a cancer diagnosis later in the year (about $8k initially).



We are currently in cancer remission for melanoma because my dog got best-of-the-best care from a regional specialty surgeon (2 surgeries at $2-3k each) plus an oncologist who put him on cutting edge immunotherapy, teaching his own immune system to seek and destroy cancer (over $3k so far). Melanoma is scary, deadly cancer, so being almost a year out without any sign of it having spread is pure joy.



We're going to spend thousands more a year on regular ultrasound staging twice a year (almost $500 per pop), specialist follow-up exams (close to $200 several times a year), and ongoing immunotherapy ($700 every 6 mo.) --- but we don't care what it costs because insurance is paying 90%. They raised our rates only slightly this year.



I now have a happy, healthy, active middle-aged dog who may yet have many years of good life yet to live. Worth $50-60 a month? Um, yeah.
 

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Deja is super healthy but over the years had: a piece of wood pierced through her foot, a twisted colon that required exploratory surgery, stole and ate a pound of dark chocolate, needing emergency treatment.

Don't rely on good bloodlines to decline health insurance. Healthy Paws covered it all. I have the 90% coverage. Yes, it goes up regularly but still worth it.
 

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I used to think pet insurance was silly but on a whim, I decided to get it with my new puppy. We got Figo and never intended to actually use it.. instead, our puppy got pneumonia and several other small conditions that would have been around 3k. Now I’ll have it for every pet for life
 

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i guess most important question is will you, and are you capable of providing medical care for your dog.
you can do that with health insurance, OR without if you are rich.

i'm not rich, but with health insurance, it certainly softens the blow to my bank account with the help of insurance.

what's sad is, for people without health insurance, and NOT rich, they make excuses, postpones, or flat out ignores medical issues of their animals simply because they can't pay for their medical care. with health insurance, you can take care of that problem.

when choosing your insurance, also be on the lookout for which companies also pay for ROUTINE visits, and doctor examination fees. my routine doctor visits, the fecal drops, vaccines, dental care are NOT covered by my insurance, so for an otherwise healthy dog, in my case, my insurance doesn't really do much. but it's a peace of mind if something does indeed happen.

so if you have a healthy dog, like you say, shop for a plan that COVERS those routine bills, NOT just the accident/illness coverage.

something you should take note of.

if animals were able to speak our language, many people won't ignore our pets' medical issues to easily. i see too many people on social media, youtube ignoring medical issues of their dogs, and some are even just plain oblivious to any issues that are present. makes me angry.
 

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i guess most important question is will you, and are you capable of providing medical care for your dog.

you can do that with health insurance, OR without if you are rich.



i'm not rich, but with health insurance, it certainly softens the blow to my bank account with the help of insurance.



what's sad is, for people without health insurance, and NOT rich, they make excuses, postpones, or flat out ignores medical issues of their animals simply because they can't pay for their medical care. with health insurance, you can take care of that problem.



when choosing your insurance, also be on the lookout for which companies also pay for ROUTINE visits, and doctor examination fees. my routine doctor visits, the fecal drops, vaccines, dental care are NOT covered by my insurance, so for an otherwise healthy dog, in my case, my insurance doesn't really do much. but it's a peace of mind if something does indeed happen.



so if you have a healthy dog, like you say, shop for a plan that COVERS those routine bills, NOT just the accident/illness coverage.



something you should take note of.



if animals were able to speak our language, many people won't ignore our pets' medical issues to easily. i see too many people on social media, youtube ignoring medical issues of their dogs, and some are even just plain oblivious to any issues that are present. makes me angry.
Are there any insurance companies that cover routine visits and care? When I was looking I did not come across one.

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so if you have a healthy dog, like you say, shop for a plan that COVERS those routine bills, NOT just the accident/illness coverage.

Sorry, but I strongly disagree, and have posted about this elsewhere, as has our forum insurance expert (kr13).



Some of the most popular plans with "wellness" coverage frequently give you CRAPPY coverage for big stuff in exchange for covering piddly, annual stuff -- you trade real coverage on a $5,000 vet bill (where you'll be lucky to get even $1,000 back, if anything) for getting a $150 annual bill covered. Insurance companies get away with it because consumers are emotional and "feel" like they're getting value with that annual wellness coverage. Certain insurance companies are rational and pay those piddly annual bills happily knowing you'll never get much else out of them.



Think of it like car insurance --you're insuring major accidents, not oil changes. You can afford oil changes, but you may not be able to afford totaling your car. Wellness visits are just part of the cost of dog ownership IMHO -- root canals, torn ACLs, blown elbows, cancer, hip surgery, etc. are a whole other thing. Most people's breath catches at the prospect of paying a specialist $5,000 for one procedure.



It's critical to understand the information we've posted many times about how to read a policy. A lot of people here post about how they "like" their insurer, not understanding they have usual & customary language, per incident deductibles, annual pre-existing condition recalculation, medication formularies and a dozen other nasty policy features. They won't know the policy sucks until they have a multi-thousand dollar claim for an illness with a long tail that will span multiple policy years -- even if you get partial reimbursement this year for the start of treatment, next year it's pre-existing and not covered at all! Luckily, we have a sticky that dissects the policy terms of many of the leading companies, so you don't have to do it yourself.



Anybody who posts about liking their insurance company ought to post about how much the insurance company has paid out for them. Where the rubber meets the road is how they pay big claims, not little ones.
 

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@kimbale i think embrace covers routine coverage such as vaccines, office exam fees, dental, etc
@Magwart yea i was just thinking out loud when this post made me think about MY experience so far this year with insurance. i've been to the vet numerous times this year, either physcially with my dog, or without the dog (fecal drops), and i haven't even used up the deductible yet ($250).

so it made me think whehter i should have just gone with a plan that covers those routine stuff + doctor fees.

i do my own oil changes and they sure cost A LOT less than a single 5 minute visit to the vet !!
 

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@kimbale i think embrace covers routine coverage such as vaccines, office exam fees, dental, etc


@Magwart yea i was just thinking out loud when this post made me think about MY experience so far this year with insurance. i've been to the vet numerous times this year, either physcially with my dog, or without the dog (fecal drops), and i haven't even used up the deductible yet ($250).



so it made me think whehter i should have just gone with a plan that covers those routine stuff + doctor fees.



i do my own oil changes and they sure cost A LOT less than a single 5 minute visit to the vet !!
Ah, yeah, I've heard bad things about them. Basically what Magwart said. I don't think any of the really good companies cover routine stuff, but they pay out big and cover a ton of the non-routine stuff.

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Ah, yeah, I've heard bad things about them. Basically what Magwart said. I don't think any of the really good companies cover routine stuff, but they pay out big and cover a ton of the non-routine stuff.

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they are bad ??
oh i didn't know
i was actually thinking of an "alternate" healthy insurance coverage in addition to my existing coverage just so i can get routine stuff covered.
 

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they are bad ??

oh i didn't know

i was actually thinking of an "alternate" healthy insurance coverage in addition to my existing coverage just so i can get routine stuff covered.
I never looked deeply into them and was basically told to look elsewhere, so I can't speak specifically to them. Just know what I heard. There are tons of posts here that cover pet insurance, check them out. I have Healthy Paws and have been very happy with them.

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