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Insurance or Not | GBGV

October 4, 2012

Emma as DVM, Katie the nurse, Bert the patient

Usually I have fun and or funny posts because that is my nature, but sometimes I feel the need to write about serious topics that are important to us dogs such as staying off thin ice, the need to brush your teeth or that you should always wear a seat belt in a vehicle.  Today, I am going to throw in my doggy dog opinion on pet health insurance.  Keep in mind that this is just my opinion from my own experience but I want to make sure that all pets and their parents think about this subject.  Lately a lot of my friends have found themselves with major health issues and some of their pet parents are struggling to pay for their care and this makes me sad so I want to offer my thoughts on a way to help alleviate this problem for other friends in the future.

Mom used to laugh at the thought of pet health insurance.  That is for crazy people she said, or only in America.  She had had some hefty vet bills in the past from ill pets but never took the insurance idea seriously.  In Germany her dog Trine stopped eating from one day to the next and a week later she was gone.  She passed away from pancreatic cancer.  Mom took her to the vet who was her friend and they did everything they could for her but there was no cure.  Normally, this would have been a very expensive week but because mom’s friend was her vet, charges were minimal.  When we moved to the US, mom’s vet friend was an ocean away but mom did not think much about vet costs.

At my 2 year old check up here in the US, the vet found a lump in one of my many breasts, it was an odd lump and it was decided to send it in for testing.  The vet informed mom that it could very well be cancer and that as with humans, cancer can strike at any age.  Mom spent several days worrying, thinking about the costs of taking me to big clinics, etc, but she knew she would do anything to save me.  We got lucky and it was just a cyst which disappeared on its own a few months later.  It did get mom to realize, though, that she should check out pet health insurance to see how it works and if it is worth it or not.

After checking with 3 different companies she decided that it would be a good idea to have, so for us dogs mom took out insurance, just for accidents, illness and cancer, routine exams and shots are an option but she did not need that part of the plan.  So far it has worked really well.  We, knock on wood have not had any major emergencies, but for things like an ear infection or Katie’s arthritis medication it has helped cover the costs.  Our provider is very good and mom gets a check within a couple weeks of submitting a claim, no questions asked.

Bert, my cat bro, had a blocked urinary tract in the winter and had to go to the emergency vet and then our regular vet all of which cost over $1000 but he was not insured so mom had to pay for it all herself.  She did not think about the cost for the cats. Once it happens it is too late.  Just because the animal is smaller does not mean that care will be cheap, it can also be quite expensive.

I just want pet parents to think during the good times for a moment about the awful case that your pet has something terrible happen.  Mom says pets used to be just pets and the vets did not do much when they were really sick but now us pets are family and care is available for almost any illness or accident and it is expensive.  Can you afford several or more thousands of dollars to treat your pet?  If you can, great, but if you can’t or are not sure, insurance may provide you with peace of mind. At first the monthly premium may seem like a strain but now it is simply in our budget and it is not that much money really. You will still have to pay your deductible and depending on your policy a portion of the total costs but that is much better than having to face the entire bill.  Vet costs, especially emergency vet costs, add up quickly and you need to be prepared.  If you have specific questions, mom and I are happy to help, just put them in a comment or send me an email. My email is on my about Emma page.

Since I am thankful that mom has insurance for us I have joined in the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop – join in the fun!

Stay healthy friends!

20 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2012 07:08

    I’m insured:-) Mummy says she pays more for me than she does for herself BOL. But my friend Ellie had to have emergency surgery and it cost £1500 so they thought it best to be on the safe side.
    Stay healthy Emma!

    • October 4, 2012 09:01

      mom says we get about half the premium back each year from what they pay for medicine or small things that we are in for and if something big happens we will be covered.

  2. October 4, 2012 09:00

    I was just thinking about pet insurance. Unfortunately neither Boomer or Dottie are covered and it’s too late w/ a few of their issues. I think I may have learned my lesson!

    • October 4, 2012 10:27

      It is never too late to start, they may exclude prior conditions but you are covered for anything that crops up in the future.

  3. October 4, 2012 09:26

    Mom says her next cat 1. Will have pet insurance, and 2. Will not be permitted within 200′ of a palm tree, even by accident. =^..^=

  4. October 4, 2012 11:40

    Mom doesn’t have pet insurance on us but she says it is something she is going to look into. She has been pretty lucky cause she tutors her vet’s son and they trade out tutoring for doggy care stuff!!!!! But that won’t last forever:(

  5. October 4, 2012 13:08

    Mom looked into pet insurance a while back. She’s sorry now that I’m a little older that she didn’t get it. It’s not a bad idea at all! (She really wishes that she could claim me on her own police, bol!)

  6. October 4, 2012 16:00

    This was a helpful post so that peoples can manage their monies better. Last year when all three of us dogs were sick and/or in need of expensive tests all around the same time, my peoples really regretted never getting insurances for us. Now that most of our conditions are “pre-existing” and me and Leah are seniors, they feel it’s a little late now, but I’ve heard them say that any NEW DOG coming in will get insurances in the future.

    • October 4, 2012 16:45

      Yep, that is usually how it happens so if I can help just one human get insurance before something happens, my goal will be reached!

  7. October 4, 2012 18:05

    Hey Emma, Jet here.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion. Mom waffled for me way back when. Koko’s last illness was $3,000 and JJ has already been over $1,500 her first year. Mom never knew which companies were phishy (do not want to insult any fish), and which were reliable. So, we appreciate your input.

  8. October 4, 2012 21:02

    Hi Emma,
    You have the sort of hospital I wouldn’t mind staying in. Pet insurance sure is a lifesaver if you have something big happen. When I got sick and went to ICU hospital (for 7 nights), mum almost had to donate her own arm and leg to pay for it. Yikes! She wished I’d had pet insurance, but I didn’t.
    Thank you for such a good article ! :=o) @PepiSmartDog

  9. October 5, 2012 08:22

    What a important post! Pet insurance is so important! I think the accident and cancer coverage is ideal for most pet owners!

    • October 5, 2012 08:31

      That is exactly what mom says because you never know and the treatment is costly!

  10. snoopys@snoopysdogblog permalink
    October 6, 2012 03:00

    Hi Emma,

    I’m with you, I’m happy I have Pet Insurance too – even though Mum and Dad don’t like paying each month, they’d rather that than worry about what the cost would be if I got sick, it’s really expensive to make us better again!

    Sorry to hear about your Dog Trine, something very similar happened to Mum’s Golden George and he was only 2!! It’s never too early to think about insurance – it’s nice not to have to think about the cost when you’re so stressed about your pet anyway!

    Great topic buddy!

    Wags to all

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  11. October 7, 2012 01:16

    Through our dogs we have had some expensive vet visits for well checks w/shots are over 250.00 each and most is covered. We have also had some really expensive emergencies most covered by insurance. Yes there is a monthly (in our case) payment, but it has paid thousands more than it costs 🙂

  12. October 8, 2012 20:50

    You have some very valid points pal. A couple of years ago, It was discovered that I had stomatitis – a disease in the gums. I had to have all my toothies pulled by a specialist – an animal dentist – because not even a tiny chip of the tooth can remain or my infeciton would never clear up. $10,000 later I’m a healthy kitty. M wished she had pet insurance that time. She hasn’t gotten it yet and says she probably really should as they can’t handle a bill like that now that they are retired. Thanks for the reminder.

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