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Pet insurance

Old Jan 2nd 2010, 4:49 am
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Default Pet insurance

I'd be grateful for a little help, please.

It's been a long time since we had a kitten who was eligible for insurance, and never in the US.

What can y'all tell me about insurance plans. I'm fixin' to take Velvet, the new kitten, to the vet's for a complete blood work up, etc, but I suspect it might be best to get her insured first. Just in case anything shows up.

She has a clean bill of health from the SPCA, so no pre-existings that I know of.

Thanks.
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 5:24 am
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Default Re: Pet insurance

I use VPI pet insurance for my cat. They have several different plans.
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 11:36 am
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Originally Posted by chartreuse View Post
I'd be grateful for a little help, please.

It's been a long time since we had a kitten who was eligible for insurance, and never in the US.

What can y'all tell me about insurance plans. I'm fixin' to take Velvet, the new kitten, to the vet's for a complete blood work up, etc, but I suspect it might be best to get her insured first. Just in case anything shows up.

She has a clean bill of health from the SPCA, so no pre-existings that I know of.

Thanks.
Suzy has always been insured, which has become more difficult with each move and with her advancing age. It's not like car insurance where you can use a no claims bonus with a new company. I wouldn't recommend a particular company to you (because it's 3+ years since she was insured in the US), but I will offer the following advice. I'm making the assumption you'll be in the States long-term in some of these recommendations.

Decide whether you want simple catastrophe insurance (no pun intended), to cover unexpected illnesses, injuries, surgery, etc., or a policy that reimburses a percentage of routine health care (required vaccinations, etc.). Personally, I wouldn't bother with the latter, as it involves the hassle of submitting all your receipts, etc., and I don't really think you get back in claims what you put in in premiums.

Find out (in writing/email, if possible) what the company's policy is regarding older animals. Some companies simply will not insure animals over a certain age. I know you have a new kitten, but you have to look ahead ... if the company has an "old animal" policy/clause, find out whether the policy differs for existing policies and new policies. You do not want to choose a company that will drop your cat at 10, or 12, years even if you've been with the company since it was a kitten, claim-free. Ask them what current premiums are for a 12-year-old cat who has been with them for over 10 years - again, some companies will continue to insure your pet, but raise the premiums so much that you can hardly afford it. Sneaky.

Beware new companies - in 2 years if they go bust, you are stuck with finding a new company, possibly with a cat that then has pre-exisiting conditions. A company I insured Suzy with had very good premiums, but closed down 2 years later.

Over the 11 years I have had Suzy (she's now almost 13), I have probably paid about $7,000 in premiums (I have always taken the "top-end" policy, at about $50 a month. Her current policy with Tesco is £32 GBP/month). In that time she has been treated for a ground-wasp attack, surgery for a tumour, a major acute vomiting incident (eating too much cat-poop), and a couple of other minor ailments. I would guess the total cost of these treatments would have been maybe $2,000.

On reflection, if I were to get a do-over, I probably would simply have gone with disaster insurance, with a reasonable ceiling on total reimbursed for one illness. Philosophically, if she had a major illness at her current age that was going to cost several thousand pounds, it would probably mean something serious enough to cause prolonged pain and suffering, and I wouldn't put her through that (so I wouldn't take out a policy with a $50,000 ceiling, for example)..
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

I use http://www.gopetplan.com/ no complaints
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Originally Posted by Poppy girl View Post
I use http://www.gopetplan.com/ no complaints
Seconded.

We got our dog insured pretty much as soon as we got her. Gopetplan offered us the most comprehensive coverage, at the lowest rates. The downside is that this company does not cover preventive care, so for the yearly vaccinations etc, you pay out of pocket-- this is fine by me, I would rather be out of pocket a couple of hundred bucks every year for vaccinations & heart worm, than pay for a major surgery out of pocket.
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Thanks folks. I've been looking at several providers. PetCo are pushing a plan from trupanion, that looks good, but so far I've been unable to find out if they drop you at a certain age...

Interesting (though most likely biased) comparison here.
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Originally Posted by chartreuse View Post
Thanks folks. I've been looking at several providers. PetCo are pushing a plan from trupanion, that looks good, but so far I've been unable to find out if they drop you at a certain age...

Interesting (though most likely biased) comparison here.
You may ne subject to restrictions, depending on whether the insurer can do business in your state. There are certainly restrictions in WA. We use http://petsbest.com/Pets Best, and they have been prompts with paying claims. Not the cheapest perhaps, but we are very happy with them.
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Noticed in another thread that you mentioned about cat food, and thought that I would mention it here, make sure Velvet has food low in phosphorus
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Originally Posted by nettlebed View Post
You may ne subject to restrictions, depending on whether the insurer can do business in your state. There are certainly restrictions in WA. We use http://petsbest.com/Pets Best, and they have been prompts with paying claims. Not the cheapest perhaps, but we are very happy with them.
Thanks. I looked at them, but they want all my info before they'll give me a quote and I really dislike that...

Originally Posted by Poppy girl View Post
Noticed in another thread that you mentioned about cat food, and thought that I would mention it here, make sure Velvet has food low in phosphorus
Yep - low phosphorus for kidney health. What I try to do is get hold of actual composition data, instead of the rubbish on the labels and do a comparison on a dry matter basis. Some of the levels are shocking. If a manufacturer won't divulge the truth about what's in their food, then I won't buy it - simple as.

Another is the amount of soy protein they use - soy has been linked to thyroid problems.

Anyway, back on topic, it seems petplan is coming in at a quarter to a half of the cost of trupanion (which is, itself, 3/4 of the cost of comparable plans elsewhere).

Only thing is, their site is massively lacking in detail - so I'll have to call them.
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

As far as food goes, our two both eat Pet Promise. We also give them the Innova Evo Ancestral Diet food, which has no cereals in it.
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Originally Posted by chartreuse View Post
Thanks. I looked at them, but they want all my info before they'll give me a quote and I really dislike that...



Yep - low phosphorus for kidney health. What I try to do is get hold of actual composition data, instead of the rubbish on the labels and do a comparison on a dry matter basis. Some of the levels are shocking. If a manufacturer won't divulge the truth about what's in their food, then I won't buy it - simple as.

Another is the amount of soy protein they use - soy has been linked to thyroid problems.

Anyway, back on topic, it seems petplan is coming in at a quarter to a half of the cost of trupanion (which is, itself, 3/4 of the cost of comparable plans elsewhere).

Only thing is, their site is massively lacking in detail - so I'll have to call them.
I just checked my account book for when I was back in the US, and the company I last used for Suzy was PetsHealth. I went with the higher-end option (that included routine/preventive care) and they always paid up promptly with no quibbles about the amount charged.

Here's their site: http://www.petshealthplan.com/

I just ran an online quote (they do ask for your email address, but nothing else) for Suzy (Labrador, 12 years old), and the quotes ranged from $9.50/mo for basic accident insurance, $26.25 accident & illness, $50.25 accident illness and wellness care, and $88.50 for the Accident, Illness, & Deluxe Wellness Care. I'm surprised they would even insure an old dog for a new customer (though I'm sure there would be a pre-existing condition clause).

That's cheaper than I currently pay Tesco (£52/mo) for what corresponds to the second level insurance above (accident and illness; $26.25).
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Originally Posted by nettlebed View Post
As far as food goes, our two both eat Pet Promise. We also give them the Innova Evo Ancestral Diet food, which has no cereals in it.
Those both appear to be good, low carb, foods. Some of the EVO varieties are very high in phosphorus, though.
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Originally Posted by nettlebed View Post
As far as food goes, our two both eat Pet Promise. We also give them the Innova Evo Ancestral Diet food, which has no cereals in it.
Just had a look at the Evo site and its not easy to find in my area, but there is a store in town will buy Puss a sampling this weeked.
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
I just checked my account book for when I was back in the US, and the company I last used for Suzy was PetsHealth. I went with the higher-end option (that included routine/preventive care) and they always paid up promptly with no quibbles about the amount charged.

Here's their site: http://www.petshealthplan.com/

I just ran an online quote (they do ask for your email address, but nothing else) for Suzy (Labrador, 12 years old), and the quotes ranged from $9.50/mo for basic accident insurance, $26.25 accident & illness, $50.25 accident illness and wellness care, and $88.50 for the Accident, Illness, & Deluxe Wellness Care. I'm surprised they would even insure an old dog for a new customer (though I'm sure there would be a pre-existing condition clause).

That's cheaper than I currently pay Tesco (£52/mo) for what corresponds to the second level insurance above (accident and illness; $26.25).
Thanks - I guess I should try the ones that ask you for info - I'll just use a throwaway addy for the quotes.

I'm still amazed at how much cheaper petplan is - I wonder what the catch is...
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Old Jan 2nd 2010, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Pet insurance

Originally Posted by chartreuse View Post
Thanks - I guess I should try the ones that ask you for info - I'll just use a throwaway addy for the quotes.

I'm still amazed at how much cheaper petplan is - I wonder what the catch is...
Nothing they are solid as far as I know and one of the older companys out there.
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