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Do you buy pet insurance

  • Yes I do

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  • I did, but not anymore

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  • No I do not

    Votes: 9 75.0%
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Discussion Starter #1
I am involved in a few discussions on some other dog forums regarding pet insurance and thought I would post the question here. So do you buy pet insurance for your Basset (or other pets)?

I have had Snickers insured since November. I initially went with Pet Plan, but changed to Trupanion this week because of some fine print caveats regarding emergency clinics.

I pay $38/month and that should cover all accidents and injuries. The insurance doesn't cover wellness so I still pay for vaccinations, heartworm preventative, etc.
 

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Even with some catastrophic event in each dogs health that created a large lump some payment at least over all the cost of insurance out weighed the benefits in every case.

Unlike traditional health insurance for humans pet health insurance is a reimbursement for expense that means you still have to come up with the money out of pocket in the first place. So it is not really that helpful in that regard if you still have to have available to cover the expense in the first place. The limits on coverage both total and annual are general tight enough that they limit the possibility of care as well

lets for example take your current payment and expanded it to the life of the dog. 38 x 12= 456/year * 11 years = 5016 what the life time limit between 10,000 and 15,000? So all the insurance Romany has at risk is
5,000 to 10,000 dollars given that that median lifetime catastrophic expense for is much less that 5,000 never mind all the deductibles, in the end I don't find it a good deal given the limited risk it covers. With other types of insurance of a catastrophic nature health, home owner, flood etc the limit on the payout is much higher so the risk of non coverage is potential. though admitted rare. is much higher. Insurance is best reserved for those risk one can not afford should they occur. Given the relatively low risk associated with pet insurance, and you need cash on hand to cover the expenses initially anyway, I don't find it warrants protection against that risk. Others in different financial situation certainly will reach different conclusions.

There is much more incentive to purchase if you start with a puppy because of the pre-existing condition clauses, if you adopt an adult or older hound what the insurance will cover is much more limited but the cost is the same or higher making it even less attractive.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Unlike traditional health insurance for humans pet health insurance is a reimbursement for expense that means you still have to come up with the money out of pocket in the first place. So it is not really that helpful in that regard if you still have to have available to cover the expense in the first place.
That is true, but if you are the type of owner that will do or pay anything to get your pet back to health then having a policy that will reimburse you (80%, 90%, or even 100%) is extremely advantageous.

The limits on coverage both total and annual are general tight enough that they limit the possibility of care as well
Not sure what you mean here...the sentence didn't make sense to me.

lets for example take your current payment and expanded it to the life of the dog. 38 x 12= 456/year * 11 years = 5016 what the life time limit between 10,000 and 15,000? So all the insurance Romany has at risk is
5,000 to 10,000 dollars given that that median lifetime catastrophic expense for is much less that 5,000 never mind all the deductibles, in the end I don't find it a good deal given the limited risk it covers.
Very little of that is true. My lifetime limit with Trupanion is $20,000. My yearly limit when I had Pet Plan was $15,000/year with no lifetime limit. Your math is correct that I would pay $5,016 over 11 years, but a slipped disc (a high cost injury Bassets can get due to their long backs) can cost upwards of $7,000 to fix. I had to make a few phone calls in my area to get the "worst case" prices. So if Snickers suffered a slipped disc, a slipped patela, glaucoma, hip dysplasia, or a variety of other conditions I have the peace of mind that I'm covered. I pray she never gets injured or sick and hope I never need to use it.

Insurance is best reserved for those risk one can not afford should they occur.
Potentially, but I feel it comes down to risk vs reward. You may not need that extended service plan on your big screen TV, but if the bulb goes out in your new DLP it's a great feeling knowing it's covered. :D

There is much more incentive to purchase if you start with a puppy because of the pre-existing condition clauses, if you adopt an adult or older hound what the insurance will cover is much more limited but the cost is the same or higher making it even less attractive.
Very valid points.
 

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if you are the type of owner that will do or pay anything to get your pet back to health then having a policy that will reimburse you
if that is the case then you run up against the annual or yearly limits. Heck a substaintial protion of insurers do not cover cancer leading cause of death in dogs and the most expensive to treat without a rider and additional expense.


but a slipped disc (a high cost injury Bassets can get due to their long backs) can cost upwards of $7,000 to fix
there are many insurers that will consider a disk problem in basset a pre-existing condition. The reason for back problems in bassets in not the length of the back but rather the nature of the disk which is cause by a primairy inheirted condition, basical dwarfism cause the the disk to be less fluid and resilient and more prone to rupture. This can happen with many genetic condition, glaucoma, hypothyroidism as well. Much research needs to be done on what and what not a particular insurer considers a pre-existing condition including "genetic defects" which includes all the conditions you mentioned luxating petellas, gaucoma and hip dysplasia are all inheireted traits in the basset hound. There are many insurers that will not cover these problem as pre-existing conditions.

the following is from truepanions web site
your pet demonstrates traits that increase the probability of requiring future veterinary treatment they are considered pre-existing conditions. Our policy excludes coverage for pre-existing conditions, neutering/spaying and hip-dysplasia.
hip dysplasia is a pre existing condition, any back problem may or may not be a pre existing condition based on their interpretation it is possible any condrosdystrophic (dwarf) breed's back problems are pre-existing conditions, I don't know if this is the case or not for trupanion but there are some that would not cover it.

Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease
Disks can be divided into two histochemical types: 1) chondrodystrophoid and 2) nonchondrodystrophoid or fibroid. The word "chondrodystrophoid" literally means faulty development or nutrition of cartilage. In humans, chondrodystrophoism is recognized physically (phenotypically) as dwarfism, where individuals are smaller than normal and whose parts (especially limbs) are disproportionate. Certain breeds of dogs, such as dachshunds, show their chondrodystrophism by having disproportionately short and angulated limbs. However, phenotypic characteristics alone can not be used to identify chondrodystrophoid dogs. Other breeds, such as miniature poodles and beagles, have been histochemically identified to have chondrodystrophoid disks and yet do not appear outwardly to be chondrodystrophoid.

When comparing the disks of nine month old dogs, chondrodystrophoid disks characteristically have a larger ratio of transitional versus peripheral zone in the annulus fibrosus. Also the cells of the transitional zone lack clear orientation as is typical in nonchondrodystrophoid disks. The nucleus pulposus in chondrodystrophoid is almost completely composed of dense fibrocartilage which appears to have completed the chondrofication process. There are only isolated "islands" of notochordal cell remnants seen. In contrast the intracellular matrix of the nonchondrodystrophoid disk is loose and fibrillar and contains notochordal cells only.

The amount of pressure that builds up inside the disk when forces are applied depends on two factors: 1) the water binding properties of the nucleus (more water equals more elasticity) and 2) the degree of resistance and elasticity of the annulus and surrounding structures. These factors are highly dependent on the histochemical makeup of the disk and the changes it undergoes during aging.

...Biochemical differences between chondrodystrophoid and nonchondrodystrophoid disks are apparent shortly after birth and explain the differences in the types of degeneration that occur. The degeneration that occurs in chondrodystrophoid disks is called chondroid metaplasia because the nucleus pulposus is gradually replaced with cartilage. Degeneration takes place rapidly and begins as early as 6 months of age starting at the periphery of the nucleus pulposus and progressing centrally. A dramatic and rapid increase in collagen content, as much as 30-40% by dry weight, is seen between 6 and 12 months of age

...In comparison, nonchondrodystrophoid disks degenerate by fibroid metaplasia with the process becoming clinically significant at 8 to 10 years of age.

...However, because of the unique metabolic differences of their disks, the chondrodystrophoid breeds are far more likely to develop significant intervertebral disk disease in their lifetimes. Analysis of the frequency of occurrence of disk disease within particular breeds shows that standard and miniature dachshunds are at the highest risk of all dog breeds followed by Pekingese. Approximately one in every four dachshunds will have some degree of disk related problems in their lifetimes. The age of incidence for chondrodystrophoid breeds is highest between three and seven years, as opposed to eight to ten years for nonchondrodystrophoid breeds.
I feel it comes down to risk vs reward. You may not need that extended service plan on your big screen TV, but if the bulb goes out in your new DLP it's a great feeling knowing it's covered.
It is why well informed individuals can reach very different conclusions, risk tolerance is at the heart of any discussion. One can demonstrate financially that a particular insurance does not make financial sense but one can not quanitfy peace of mind that insurance provides. It is an deeply individual decision. IMHO many however make such a decision basical on emotion and don't full understand all the costs and limits to most pet inusrance policies. I think having this info is important to make a more rational decision although emotion, risk aversion, does have to play a big role as well, to chose whether to insure or not and if to, what insurance policy is best for your situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
if that is the case then you run up against the annual or yearly limits. Heck a substaintial protion of insurers do not cover cancer leading cause of death in dogs and the most expensive to treat without a rider and additional expense.
I'm not sure what insurance companies you are lumping in as a "substantial portion" because the 2 I've mentioned (Trupanion and Pet Plan) do not exclude cancer and other companies like VPI have optional riders you can purchase.

there are many insurers that will consider a disk problem in basset a pre-existing condition. The reason for back problems in bassets in not the length of the back but rather the nature of the disk which is cause by a primairy inheirted condition, basical dwarfism cause the the disk to be less fluid and resilient and more prone to rupture. This can happen with many genetic condition, glaucoma, hypothyroidism as well. Much research needs to be done on what and what not a particular insurer considers a pre-existing condition including "genetic defects" which includes all the conditions you mentioned luxating petellas, gaucoma and hip dysplasia are all inheireted traits in the basset hound. There are many insurers that will not cover these problem as pre-existing conditions.
Partially true. Every insurer provides a declarations page which defines what they consider a preexisting condition and the 2 companies I have mentioned cover all hereditary and congenital defects...so from my interpretation...that means if Bassets get glaucoma as a congenital defects then that is covered. What isn't covered is if she was treated for glaucoma or a similar illness prior to being covered. I'm not a lawyer so I may be wrong, but that is how I read it. Also, Pet Plan does not exclude hip dysplasia and Trupanion offers an option hip dysplasia rider.

It is why well informed individuals can reach very different conclusions, risk tolerance is at the heart of any discussion. It is an deeply individual decision. IMHO many however make such a decision basical on emotion and don't full understand all the costs and limits to most pet inusrance policies. I think having this info is important to make a more rational decision although emotion, risk aversion, does have to play a big role as well, to chose whether to insure or not and if to, what insurance policy is best for your situation.
I agree with that...what policy works for me may not work for you or others...that's why there are a lot of companies and a lot of different policies.

Also, does your browser have spell check? :p
 

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Discussion Starter #6
On a separate note, I'm surprised this topic hasn't fostered more discussion from the new puppy owners and the seasoned veterans. I've read several posts from people where their Basset is recovering from an injury, but no mention of whether pet insurance would have helped them with the costs. How much did it cost for the medical treatment? I like discussing things with Mikey, but it's more fun when others chime in. :rolleyes:
 

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I am in the UK and Pet Insurance is very popular here.
There are loads of different providers that offer various levels of cover.
My three hounds are insured with a company that offers £7000 per year cover and covers for life as long as you renew each year.
It also provided third party cover up to £2million in case they cause an accident.
With the Vet fees you pay an excess for each condition but ongoing illnesses are covered for the life of the dog.If they develop something that needs medication for life you pay on excess per year then the rest of the meds can be claimed for.
My Vet will claim direct from the Insurers so I only have to find the excess.
 

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Won't pet insurance drive up cost for everyone just the way health insurance caused out-of-control sky rocketing cost of health care for humans? What's with the cost of pet meds? $75.00 for a bottle of glucosomine, then my basset wouldn't take the pills, only thing in her life she wouldn't eat. How about the cost of Frontline and the fact we are dousing our pet with a pesticide that has a warning label "harmful to humans". If the pesticide is harmful to humans, wouldn't it be harmful to an animal? Searching for a new basset, I'd love to get two but wouldn't be able to afford the vet bills when one reg. visit cost $250.00, that would be 500 buck-a-roos, more than half my take home pay! Then there are the ER visits, for eating a sock, a sprained tail, scratched eye from sniffing through the brush........simply being a basset! So, it's expensive, either way, insurance or no insurance. Is it worth the cost to own a basset, you betch ya! I'll be boycotting the pet insurance based the the mess the insurance companies have for humans!
 

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I have Pet's Best Insurance. I just lost my boy on Sunday so the insurance topic is heavy on my mind. I have had insurance on my hounds for 3 years. I pay $45.00 monthly which is for both dogs. I have a $100 deductible (per incident) and they pay 80% and I pay 20%. They have 3 types of plans to choose from and I have the basic plan. (I am not sure what the middle or the premium plan includes) I do know that my basic plan does cover cancer and there are very few exclusions. I used this insurance for Benny at least 6 or 7 times between 2008 and now. With this particular insurance I had to pay up front. (I have never had a different company so I really can't compare it to others). Paying up front might be hard especially because the bills can be enormous, but as someone else said.. many of us will do anything to save our babies. If I had opted to put my boy through a very difficult surgery for a 9 year old on Sunday, I was quoted $5500.00. I made the painful decision to let him go and it was not due to the cost, but due to his age and condition. Of the $5500.00, I would have paid all up front but out of pocket my portion would have been the $100 deductible and 20%. In the past, I would send in the receipt and literally within 10 days I would have a refund check. I would never go without insurance on my pets as I have found it to be one of the best things I have ever purchased. Like everything else... just read the fine print. I am struggling with his loss so very much this week, but I do know that I was able to extend his life on a few occasions due to that plan.
 
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