Join Date: May 2019
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I am getting my new puppy on Friday. I did EXTENSIVE research (almost embarrassingly extensive) into this, lost my golden earlier this year to cancer and while we had insurance, at the time we got it (13 years ago) the landscape was very different and we spent $10k out of pocket in the last several months of his life (wouldn't do anything different for those last months of love though). Ultimately its going to come down to you personally, your financial situation, and what you want insurance for.
Healthy Paws is a decent option, its well funded and backed, premiums dont increase in a large way yearly. However in California for Golden's they now only cover up to 80% of vet bill, and no exam fees. They do cover alternative treatments and the monthly payment is good.
I went with PetsBest. The monthly is slightly more than Healthy Paws - but they pay 90% of vet bill, customizable deductible to fit your needs (as low as $100/yr up to $1500), premium increase yearly is minimal. I got the best coverage which covers alternative treatments and pays the exam fees. I also added wellness plan that gives $535/yr benefit for $300/yr if you use it all, which I will.
Other good options I found and warnings:
Figo - I ALMOST pushed purchase on Figo. Then I dug into the California Department of Insurance yearly records. Long story short, for the last 3 years they have requested 20-50% increase in plan cost approvals and were granted the approvals. Meaning they had legal right to increase your premium by that percentage. In the case your dog developed a condition while insured, you would be stuck, because that condition is now pre-existing when switching to a new insurance plan. So while their offerings are stellar (up to 100% of vet bill coverage) - I couldn't take the risk of a 50% premium increase yearly.
Embrace - only negative here is yearly maximums - however they offer a $30k yearly maximum on their highest plan, in a catastrophic case this may not be enough, but with us I think $30k would be fine as a max.
I have more info but my fingers got tired, happy to answer any other questions.