Pet Insurance - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Pet Insurance

I am trying to determine if getting pet insurance is the right decision and if so, what company and plan is a good choice for my golden. She is healthy but just want to know that if anything happens I will be able to do my very best for her and not have to worry about the money. Does anyone have experience with pet insurance and recommendation?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 12:27 PM
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We got insurance for Freya because I don't know what our financial situation will be in 10 years or so when she starts getting older & I don't want money (or lack thereof) to impact her access to care.

We went with Healthy Paws after reading a lot of reviews. I like that they don't have a lifetime limit.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 12:28 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

I've had a policy with Embrace pet insurance for about 3 years now. Prior to that, my bridge boy torn both his CCLs (knee ligaments) and his surgery was a whopping $9,000 plus money we shelled out for rehab/physical therapy. We were lucky in that the orthopedic vet who did the procedure extended to us a steep discount so we only paid around $5500 for the surgeries.

When we got our second dog, I told my husband that we were in NO WAY prepared to take on that expense again. So we got pet insurance for both of our dogs.

Our policy with Embrace was meant to be a "in case of catastrophic emergencies" type thing. So we have a $15,000 annual limit with a 90% reimbursement rate and a deductible of $1,000 (annually not per incident).

We pay about $21 per month per dog for this policy.

For us, it's been well worth the cost. My bridge boy developed an auto-immune disorder that took us about 6 months and thousands of dollars to diagnose, not to mention hundreds of dollars in medications. That happened about 2 months after we took the policy out. Once it was diagnosed and we were able to get a solid medication regimen on Bear, the costs dwindled and I didn't think we'd actually break the $1,000 deductible the next policy year. But I was wrong. He got a lipoma (fatty benign tumor) on his leg that ended up being removed. And if that hadn't pushed us over the deductible, his sudden sickness a few months later did. Between vet visits, medication, ultrasounds, biopsies, etc. Turns out he had developed cancer. It was
an aggressive immune cancer that sprouted up out of no where and from initial diagnoses to death we only got 2 weeks. BUT I truly believe that if the cancer had been more slow growing or if we had caught it sooner, having the pet insurance would have allowed us to fight it and it *might* have extended his life. We wouldn't have been able to do it without pet insurance.

On the flip side, my other dog, Gypsy, has the same policy as Bear but we've only filed claims 1 for an ulcerated lipoma that needed to be removed (cause she was bleeding everywhere) and the surgery was only about $500 bucks over my deductible.

Through all these years and claims the company was absolutely amazing. I submit all my claims at once at the end of the policy year and I have checks in hand in a few weeks. I've had a couple claims go wonky. Once got denied a prescription for pain killers cause they said arthritis was a pre-existing condition. My vet wrote a letter to them and within a week I got a letter from the underwriting manager apologizing for the oversight and a check for the reimbursement. There was another claim that I filed that was kinda confusing (cause I try to file the claims grouped by issue rather than strictly chronologically) and so only a part of the claim was covered. It was a clerical mistake and one that was corrected right away.

They were also extremely kind and sympathetic after Bear died and I was weeding through his files to get it sorted. I will always recommend them because of my experience.

But I know there are so many other options so here are some threads I found doing a quick search on the forum. You might want to take a look through the threads for additional opinions: (Pet Insurance?) (Should I get pet insurance?) (Pet Insurance?) (Pet insurance) (Is pet insurance worth it?)

Hecate's Hellhound, Gypsy Magic - "Gypsy"
2/15 - Present
Hi-Tide's Danger Scone - "Lana"
6/18 - Present
Waiting at the bridge:
Hecate's Hellhound, Bearer of Mischief, CGC - "Bear"
8/12 - 7/17
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 12:35 PM
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I have pet insurance on both of my boys. Noah was diagnosed with mild hip dysplasia a year after we picked up coverage (usual waiting period for dysplasias with most insurance companies). It doesn't affect him right now, we keep him lean and fit, which helps. BUT - it will be covered with the insurer that we have, and so we can't change (though I don't have any reason to want to change).

Moses started on the same insurer after his free month that came from his breeder (Trupanion offers a free month, no obligation with a breeder referral).

We chose Healthy Paws, and I chose the $500 deductible per year, and 90% coverage after that (their insurance is better than my own for myself). I did have $250 deductible and 90% coverage, but it saved a bit of money changing to the $500 deductible. They also have no cap on coverage. Some cap their payout per year.

Claims are easy to file, just snap a picture of the invoice from your cell phone.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 08:00 PM
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I will have insurance on all future dogs the day they come home. Do not wait.

SHR Richwood Work Hard Play Harder CD JH WC
Mack the collie boy
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for responding. Itís good to hear about each personís experience, especially knowing that we all love all pets and want the best for them.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 08:04 AM
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We have Healthy Paws and love it! Seamus fairly recently needed an echocardiogram and then didn't flinch! BUT, I would suggest whomever you go with, get it sooner rather than later.

Seamus - Golden Retriever 4/22/2015 -
Sonny - Corgi/Golden Retriever mix 5/2/2009 -
Daisy Mae - Corgi/Yellow Labrador Retriever 6/5/1998-12/17/2014
Ralph - Beagle/Basset Hound Mix Came to us as an adult August 1994 - 5/17/2003
Cheyenne - Alaskan Malamute/Golden Retriever cross 10/25/1993 - 2/4/2008
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 08:51 AM
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Yeah, definitely get it.
I had TruPanion in the past, not terrible, but I will shop around next time I need a policy.
I had stuck with it because I paid "puppy rates" throughout his life and it would have been more expensive to switch when he was an adult.
However, it was very easy to file a claim and they paid out fast.

With the increasing cost of veterinary care you pretty much need pet insurance now.

I dont know if any policies include routine vet care, but thats something I will look into next time.
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